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The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 1 - September 2005

Why this Newletter?

As you certainly now, the IAC is working on improving the Information flow and Communication among its personnel (see CD 18/05). The "SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza" would like to make its own small contribution, by launching the "SIENews". In these newsletters, that we plan to publish about every month, we will try to keep you informed about new software installations and upgrades, upcoming technical talks and courses, highlights from our Forum, etc.

Courses and talks: Python, Parallel Computing and Condor.

After the summer holidays (for most of you), what better way to get up to speed than with the talks and courses organized by the SIE. In September we have scheduled an intensive course (4 days) on Python; a two day course on Parallel Computing; and a talk about the Condor distributed computing system. You can find details about all these at

New Web server in the CCA.

Astrophysics undergraduate students are very important customers for us, and we feel we have a duty to provide them with the same information and tools we make available here at the IAC. To this end, we have installed in the CCA a new Web server (with PHP and mySQL), tunez, (only accessible from the CCA). It hosts a Forum, a Wiki area, a news-publication tool, and a mirror of our own website. With this new server, students as well as professors will be able to participate in forum-based discussions, upload/download courses-related material, publish news, and keep up to date with our own activities.

Private wikis and forums: sharing information within your research group.

You are probably aware of the Wiki system http://venus/SIE/wiki/pmwiki.php installed by the SIE (which lets you create collaboratively generated information), and the SIE Forum http://venus/SIE/forum/index.php (which lets you have online discussions). What you are probably not aware of is that you can create private wikis and forum topics for your particular subject of interest, which can be protected by a password. Get in touch with us if you would like to know how...

New software installations and updates.

We strive to provide our users with the latest advancements in astronomical software, and we do not want to be caught off-guard when software updates or new packages become available. In the last couple of months the following softwares have been updated (Linux and Solaris unless indicated otherwise):
Starlink to December 2004b, GAIA to v2.8-0, IRAF to v2.12.2a, R to 2.1.1, MIDAS to 05Febpl1,2 (only Linux), Cloudy to 05.06.07, HEAsoft to headas v6.0.2, g3data (new, Linux only: it's a tool to extract data from graphs).

100th anniversary of Condor at the IAC!

Well... not exactly. Condor has been scavenging at the IAC for only a bit more than a year, but during this time it has put to good use well above one million hours of CPU (above 115 years), which otherwise would have been wasted. If you want a piece of this cake (http://venus/SIE/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38), check out the Condor page at and/or come to the next Condor talk (20th September).

New reservation tool for the IAC car in La Palma.

The old Web form was somewhat clumsy and confusing, wasn't it? So we implemented a new application (based on a freely available PHP-based tool) that allows to see at first glance when the car is booked or free, and prevents from overlapping reservations: http://venus/inves/booking_calendar. Please remember that, in order to use it, you need first to register.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 1 - September 2005 - Contact: