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SIENews

The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 50 - March/April 2014

Detailed Condor usage statistics

At last, it seems that the Condor problems experienced after the migration to Fedora19 (mentioned in our last newsletter) have been solved. Since Condor standard mouse/keyboard detection module was not compatible with our current OS version, we adapted and installed an external module to make Condor immediately suspend any running job as soon as it detects keyboard/mouse activity. To make sure that Condor is not interfering with user's normal activity, and to allow users to see how big a share Condor is taking of their desktop PC computing time, we have been gathering more detailed information about jobs executions since a month ago. In the last few weeks we have developed from scratch an online system to present such data in a user's friendly format. You can check daily, weekly and monthly statistics by going to (only internal network): http://carlota:81/condor_stats/index.php. Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any related questions or issues (also check this FAQ if you think you are still having problems related to Condor: http://www.iac.es/sieinvens/siepedia/pmwiki.php?n=HOWTOs.CondorFAQs#detection).
As for current Condor usage, it's keeping up its good pace: in March and April it has executed over 40% more hours than during the January-February period. Right now, Condor has executed over 860,000 hours in 2014 (almost one hundred years - not of solitude), more than the whole 2013 (728,172 hours - 83.1 years), and we expect to pass the 1,000,000 hours mark in just a few more weeks. As usual, if your research work greatly depends on computational results, we encourage you to visit our page about Supercomputing at IAC (http://www.iac.es/sieinvens/SINFIN/Main/supercomputing.php), and visit us so we can advise you on how to get your results in much less time.

New data published in the IAC Virtual Observatory

Since we started publishing IAC80 archival images on the Virtual Observatory (VO) last year, we have been adding regularly new images as soon as the one-year proprietary period ends. This week we just published images from late 2012 to April 2013. The IAC80-VO archive contains now around 90000 images, all of them reduced with the standard CAMELOT pipeline and appropriately astrometrized. The easiest way to retrieve such images is using Aladin's All-VO tool, filtering sources by IAC. We are currently working together with the Support Astronomers Group (GAS) to build a similar archive for the CAIN camera at the Carlos Sánchez Telescope.
Three weeks ago we attended a Virtual Observatory Workshop in Madrid, where, besides learning about similar projects in other Spanish observatories (and presenting the IAC' VO), we practiced with new tools for VO data publishing, developed by the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO). These tools will help us publish new data provided by IAC researchers. If you have (reduced) images, spectra or catalogues that you think are useful for the whole astronomical community, do get in touch with us to know how to publish them in the VO.

New scripts to install astronomical software in laptops

Although it took longer than initially planned and anticipated in our SIENews issue n. 48, we finally have completed the migration to the new system of scripts to install astronomical software in a (Linux) laptop. Now, one has simply to download the script from http://www.iac.es/sieinvens/siepedia/pmwiki.php?n=HOWTOs.AstronomicalSoftwareLaptop (a webpage accessible from anywhere an internet connection is available), and just run it, by logging in as root or using sudo). The same webpage contains some general instructions, while installation and usage notes specific to each packages are printed upon completion of the installation, or are included in the associated README file. We encourage you to try these new scripts, and will be happy to receive any comments, bug reports or suggestions for improvement about them.

Software updates

A few software packages have been updated in the last two months. Most notable is the upgrade to IRAF v.2.16.1, which is primarily a bug-fix release. However, there may be small but important differences with respect to the previous version. For instance, as a user just discovered, you can't leave the parameter ccdred.instrument set to NULL (that is, an empty string), otherwise you'll get an error message when running ccdproc. If you don't need or don't have an instrument file, just set ccdred.instrument=" " (with the blank). Other important updates are those to both the Intel Fortran and C/C++ compiler (to v14.0.2) and the PGI compilers suite (to v14.3). Also, we updated the Astromatic packages to their latest releases. For a complete list of updates, see http://www.iac.es/sieinvens/SINFIN/Main/sie_activities.php, or follow the announcements on Twitter (https://twitter.com/SIEie_IAC). We would also like to remind that usually, after a package update, we keep the previous version around for a while should problems or backward incompatibilities emerge. Then, older releases are deleted to make room for new installations or upgrades.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 50 - March/April 2014 - Contact: