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The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 28 - February 2009

SIEminar: "The Debugger, a programmer's best friend." - 26 February, 12:00

If you do any amount of programming, you have certainly found that at some point during its development your code did not work as expected. Perhaps it simply crashed and told you that a core dump was created; perhaps it always gave you an "incorrect" result or perhaps it just behaved "oddly" given some input combinations. In any case, you were face to face with a "bug". And what did you do to correct your code? If the answer was to put "printf"s around the code and run it again, you should attend this talk in which we'll see an introduction on how to debug your programs with a debugger. The debugger (available for most programming languages) is a really easy-to-use tool that lets you run your application in a special mode, so that you can run it step by step, or stop at certain points, inspect variables, etc., which is a great aid to find what is wrong with your code without the need of changing its source.

Supercomputing Hall of Fame

With some delay, here you have the long awaited "Supercomputing Hall of Fame" for the second semester of 2008. In total, 1274932.2 CPU hours were delivered during this period (roughly equivalent to 145.54 years in just one CPU). By resource, Condor delivered 519661.9 CPUhours, LaPalma 408194.01 and Chimera 347076.29. Full details of the breakdown by users can be found at the SIE Forum for Condor, LaPalma and Chimera.

Survey about the Web-based project reports application

From the SIE we would like to thank all those of you who have used the new Web-based application for the submission of the yearly project reports. We appreciated your patience and cooperation while we fixed some small problems and glitches. We recognize that this application can be substantially improved, both in functionality and user interface; for this reason we are running a survey at http://marta/sie/survey2/survey.php?sid=24B4D5. We thank those who already completed it, and invite all others to do so before Friday 27 February. The results will be published on Thursday 5 March.

Useful tools

Recently we have found a few tools which we consider pretty useful, and would like to let you know about.
  • wput: the companion to wget, it uploads files to a ftp directory. For usage instructions, just type wput --help (type rehash first if the shell says command not found), or visit
  • JabRef: a Java-based open source bibliography reference manager. Type jabref to launch it. See for more details and relevant links.
  • Doodle: If you're trying to organize a meeting, and choosing the best date and time is becoming a nightmare, with an exponentially increasing number of emails exchanged among potential participants, Doodle can help you. Give it a try! Also, Meet-O-Matic might be a valid alternative.
  • Zotero: "Free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work - in the web browser itself." To learn more, visit the Zotero website.

OSIRIS SNR Calculator

The OSIRIS SNR Calculator requires that Java 1.6 be installed, and that the appropriate MIME type and associated application be set in the browser. Java 1.6 is installed in all desktop Linux PCs, though it's not the default version, while the MIME type can be easily added. If you wish to use the OSIRIS SNR Calculator from your Firefox or Opera browser, follow the simple, step-by-step instructions in our latest SIEpedia article.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 28 - February 2009 - Contact: