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SIENews

The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 47 - September/October 2013

IACTalks mobile version

A year ago we published the IACTalks website, a video archive of the webcast seminars at the IAC. IACTalks is an Adobe Flash-based application, so it doesn't works in some iOS computers and most mobile devices. Thus we have developed IACTalks Mobile, an independent mobile-aware version based on HTML5 and CSS3 with a responsive design, which achieves a very high degree of usability in touch devices and small screens. IACTalks Mobile is a simplified version of its big brother and is an early beta version so far. That means that it works in most modern smartphones and tablets including Apple's, though not all, and some issues or small inconsistencies may surface. We'll appreciate your feedback about your user experience, as well as suggestions about how to improve it. Now that you know, get mobile!

Installation of Python 3

Python3 (specifically, version 3.3.2) is now available in all desktop PCs at the IAC and in the CCA. To launch it, just type python3 or ipython3. It comes with a limited selection of the most widely used packages, such as numpy, scipy, or matplotlib. Python 2.7 is still the default version, as some python packages for astrophysics (for instance the stsci_python suite) are not compatible with python 3 yet. As usual, questions or problems about usage of python 3, as well as requests for installation of additional packages, should be addressed to our CAU helpdesk.

Condor/LaPalma Hall of Fame

Statistsics about the usage of Condor and the LaPalma supercomputer for the first semester of 2013 have been published. Condor usage has diminished with respect to 2012: in this period (January-June 2013) Condor has used up about 320000 CPU hours, which corresponds to an average occupation of 73 CPUs over a total of about 620 CPUs available. For details visit the SIE forum post.
Local usage at the LaPalma supercomputer (that is by IAC users who applied through our allocation committee) has been of 587113 CPU hours in the period November 2012-February 2013, and of 1479364 CPU hours in the period March-June 2013 (the LaPalma supercomputer was upgraded at the end of 2012). Breakdown of usage can be found in the SIE forum post

Usage statistics for Intel compilers

Since last April we have been collecting usage statistics for the Intel and PGI compilers, as well as for the NAG library. It turns out that the Intel Fortran compiler is the most popular one, as shown in the plot below, which depicts the number of times it has been run in a given day to compile some code (once the code is compiled, no license is required to run it). About 40 different users have used the Intel compiler in the period April-Septemebr 2013. We would like to remind you that also the PGI C/C++ and Fortran compilers are available, and, depending on your specific code, they may produce faster executables than the Intel (or GNU) compilers. For detailed info on the PGI compilers, see http://www.pgroup.com/products/pgiworkstation.htm Furthermore, we also have floating licenses for several variants of the NAG C and Fortran libraries for Linux, as listed in http://www.iac.es/sieinvens/SINFIN/Software_pages/Nag_soft.php. Get in touch with us if you are not sure about which specific implementation you need.
Intel compilers usage data
Intel compiler usage in the period April-September 2013. Blue: Fortran compiler - Red: C/C++ compiler. Gray stripes mark weekends.

Upgrade of Web Servers underway

A few weeks ago two new web servers have been installed, to replace marta and rialto, which (especially the latter) show signs of being unable to keep up with the increasing load of websites and applications they are serving. Just to give you an idea, there are more than 100 project websites, about 30 conference and workshops websites, 50+ personal websites. To those, add heavy-duty websites such as IACtalks, Site Testing, Telescopes and Instrumentation, IAC-STAR and others. The two new servers, carlota (development server, to replace marta) and vivaldi (production external server, to replace rialto), are significantly more powerful than their predecessors, and have the latest versions of OS, Apache, PHP, mysql etc. installed. Migration of websites is underway, and we hope it will be mostly painless (for users as well as for us), tough we expect some difficulties in transferring those websites developed and running with ancient versions of Joomla. More detailed information will be provided in due time.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 47 - September/October 2013 - Contact: