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The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 15 - February 2007

SIEminar: "Seguridad Criptográfica", by Pino Caballero Gil, Dean of the Mathematics Faculty, ULL.

If you haven't noticed, the Internet is here to stay, together with its problems, one of which is security and privacy. In a networked world where by default communication is done unencrypted, most of what you do in a computer can easily be spied by others. Criptography offers a way to regain control of your privacy, by securing files, e-mails, websites, access to Computing Grids, etc. In order to remain secure, it is important to understand some of the ideas behind the cryptographic tools, which is what this SIEminar offers you (more information can be found at the SIE webpage).

Starlink reloaded

Although the Starlink Project was terminated in June 2005 (see, Starlink is actually more alive than ever, thanks to the people in the Joint Astronomy Center. They have recently produced a new release, namecoded Keoe, with many changes and improvements over the previous version, as described in the Keoe Release Notes. Keoe is now the default starlink version in the IAC (including observatories and CCA). We have also installed a standalone version, v 2.3, of TOPCAT, the "Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables".

STSDAS/TABLES, PyRAF and other software updates

We have just updated STSDAS and TABLES to v3.6. You may get error messages on parameters not found or similar if you execute an STSDAS or TABLES task whose parameter file has been modified. Unlearning the task usually solves the problem. For further info read the STSDAS v3.6 release notes and the TABLES 3.6 release notes. En passant, we updated gemini to v1.9.1 and rvsao to v2.5.0 too. Stsci_python has been updated to v2.4, and PyRAF to v1.3. Several other software packages have also been updated, as detailed in the SIE News and Activities page.

Course on Advanced Programming Techniques and Parallel Computing (with Fortran 90)

The SIE is organizing an in-depth practical course on advanced programming techniques and parallel computing for this year. The goal of the course is to learn about some advanced programming techniques (such as recursivity, pointers, etc.), parallel computing in Beowulf-type clusters and some useful programming tools (code profilers, serial and parallel debuggers), all in Fortran 90. At this time we are still deciding on dates, timetable, location, etc., which will depend on how many people are interested. If you would, in principle, be interested in following this course, please leave a message in the SIE Forum.

"Particular" mailing list and SIE Forum

We would like to draw your attention to our SIE Forum, which we believe can be an excellent alternative to the"particular" mailing list. What are the advantages of the Forum over the mailing list?
  • You do not have to be subscribed to read the posts (though you need to subscribe if you wish to reply).
  • You can read new posts whenever you like, instead of being continuosly bothered by incoming emails (however, you can ask the forum to send an email every time a new post is made, if you really want so).
  • All contributions to a given topic are kept in a organized and readable thread, instead of being split in many separate emails.
  • Our email server does not get overloaded with messages that have no relation with our work, specially important if such messages contain heavy attachments.
  • Your email account remains cleaner and leaner, thus less chances to override your quota.
So, we suggest that you send an email only for "particular" matters that require immediate attention, and use the forum for everything else.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 15 - February 2007 - Contact: