02.21.2005 17:39

New Fugu (1.1.2) Available

Those of you using the Fugu SCP/SFTP client for Mac OS X should update to the latest version of the program.

It's available from the upstream site or from yum.math.

Posted by C.M. Connelly | Permalink | Categories: System Maintenance, Macintosh

02.21.2005 13:10

RHEL 4 Released; CentOS 4 Imminent

Red Hat released version 4 of their Red Hat Enterprise Linux products last week. RHEL 4 is based on Fedora Core, Red Hat's ``free'' distribution, and includes features such as GNOME 2.8, SELinux, and the 2.6 Linux kernel.

RHEL 4 also drops the Mozilla suite in favor of Firefox and Thunderbird, and changes a whole bunch of other stuff in ways I haven't yet discovered.

CentOS 4 will be coming out soon, incorporating these changes.

I have been running a release candidate of CentOS 4 on a machine in my office, and thus far my impression is that it has many shiny improvements over CentOS 3, but that the changes may cause some issues if they aren't handled carefully. I expect to install CentOS 4 on my workstation and run it for a while before making a decision about rolling the new version of the OS out onto desktops. (Among other things, there's a fair amount of locally built and deployed software that will need to be rebuilt, updated, or replaced before a rollout can happen.)

Exactly when we upgrade workstations to CentOS 4 is unclear at this time, although it's likely that the upgrade will happen this summer at the latest, and probably sooner than that for lab workstations.

I may update the Amber cluster sooner, to see whether the changes affect some problems that have been seen there. Our servers will remain on CentOS 3 until I can see clear evidence that updating them would add enough valuable features to be worthwhile.

As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write to me at cmc@math.hmc.edu.

Posted by C.M. Connelly | Permalink | Categories: System Maintenance, Linux, Website

02.04.2005 18:09

Broken Shell Startup Scripts

One of the MCM/ICM contest participants just brought a problem with the shell startup scripts to my attention. The basic problem was that there were no .tcshrc or .login files in the home directories for accounts created since mid-September, which, coincidentally, was when I upgraded our main server from Red Hat Linux 9 to CentOS.

The result was that new accounts weren't sourcing the global.tcshrc and global.login scripts, which meant that their PATHs and other important variables and aliases weren't being initialized properly.

I've fixed the problem. The longer term solution is to actually modify the default startup scripts on the machines, which is the ``right'' way to do things, and I will get around to doing that before too terribly long. I hope.

In the meantime, all should be back to normal. Remember, if you can't run standard software such as MATLAB, Maple, Java, and Acrobat Reader, please let me know. Making things work, and fixing them when they break, is why I'm here. But I don't use every tool available on the system, and I'm not always aware when things break.

Posted by C.M. Connelly | Permalink | Categories: System Maintenance, Linux

02.04.2005 18:01

MCM/ICM Contest Underway

Once again, Mudders are hard at work wrestling with the questions posed as part of the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM) and the Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (ICM).

This year's teams are working in the Scientific-Computing Laboratory (Olin B145), the Mathematics Library (Olin B161), the Mathematics Clinic Lab (Beckman B115), and the CS Conference Room (Beckman B100). Because of the intensity of the competition, participants tend to spend the entire weekend camped out in these rooms, working through the night, catching naps at odd hours, leaving only to grab some books or photocopy journal articles in the library, pay for the delivery of food, or use the bathroom.

To accomodate them, these rooms are reserved for their exclusive use from the start of the competition, 5:00 PM on Thursday, 2003 February 3, to its desperate, exhausting end, at 5:00 PM on Monday, 2003 February 7.

Please respect their insanity for agreeing to participate in the competition, and salute their efforts to keep Mudd ranking high in the competition's results by staying out of those rooms and not making a lot of noise nearby.

Also, as far as computer resources go, don't forget that someone sitting in front of a computer has priority in its use. So please don't start any computer-intensive processes on machines in the Scientific-Computing or Clinic Labs while the contest is going on.

Thanks for your cooperation!

Posted by C.M. Connelly | Permalink | Categories: News