04.21.2005 16:09

Change Sucks

There's probably no good time to upgrade your operating system, and I think that goes quadruple or more for a systems administrator. Suddenly your familiar working environment is completely different. Icons and menus have changed or are in different places. Some bits are missing. New functionality has replaced the old, familiar (working) functionality. Keys are remapped so they don't do the same things. Programs you used to have aren't there any more, because you don't have packages for this OS....

Of course, given a couple of days to concentrate, you could clear up the problem in no time. Just write that script to clean up old SRPMs and build shiny new RPMs you can install. Take the time to port your old configuration files over to the new system. Figure out where they moved things (and speculate on why). But a couple of days off are pretty rare in this biz, and when a user asks you a question, it's hard to say no. So you stumble along from issue to issue (A computer just died! No, two! Someone needs an application built! Someone else needs some technical advice on a paper they're writing! The printers aren't working! The mail system is broken!) and gradually piece your world back together.

All that is my way of saying, relax, I'll get back to you as soon as I can. As soon as I can get my editor work, the mail server to send mail, printers to print, TeX to TeX, and so on.... Just relax....

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

04.11.2005 09:33

End of Support for Red Hat 7.3

The mathematics department hasn't had any systems running Red Hat Linux 7.3 for almost a year now. Accordingly, we are announcing the end of support for Red Hat Linux 7.3, and we are removing packages built for Red Hat Linux 7.3 from our mirror server.

The removal of these obsolete packages will free up some space for supported systems and will also allow us to clean up our directory structure a bit.

Support for Red Hat Linux 9 and the Fedora Legacy packages for RHL 9 will continue until sometime this summer, when the last of our RHL 9 systems will be retired, replaced, or rebuilt.

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

04.09.2005 18:36

HMC Poster Class Available

I've made a draft of a poster class for creating Clinic posters available. It's called hmcposter.cls, and it's available from several locations:

  • Installed in the math cluster's shared TEXMF tree, at /shared/local/share/texmf/tex/latex/hmcposter-alpha-2
  • Downloadable from my website (as a gziped tar file)
  • Read-only Subversion, using

    svn co http://vetinari.math.hmc.edu/svn/latex/hmcmath/classes/hmcposter/trunk hmcposter

If you can use Subversion, the Subversion method will give you the most recent changes to the class. If you choose to use this class, I would very much appreciate feedback and suggestions for improvement. Remember, LaTeX is designed to separate content from presentation (much like the combination of X/HTML and CSS), so you won't see as much flexibility as you might with some other tools.

The type in the current (Alpha 2) release is probably too small, allowing too much in the way of content for a poster. I will probably do some tinkering in the near future to make the body type larger. I'm also not thrilled by the way the title and sponsor currently appear, so will probably be addressing those, as well.

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

04.01.2005 12:40

gaspode -- our new color printer -- installed!

I have installed gaspode in the Math Workroom (Olin-1264). It should be available for general use as of this writing.

You can obtain drivers, instructions, and other useful information for using this printer from its new webpage.

I have also added similar pages for the other ``public'' printers. They're all accessible from our printing support page (which has been up for some time).


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