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The newsletter of the SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza N. 6 - March 2006

"Emacs: editing and beyond", Wednesday 8 March, 12.30, Aula

As already anticipated in the December 2005 Newsletter, together with the Seminar Organizing Group we have devised a "Computing Seminar" series. We are proud to inform you that the first Computing Seminar will take place on Wednesday 08 March at 12:30 in the Aula. The topic will be: "Emacs: editing and beyond" (see for the abstract), and we expect a ~20-minute presentation plus 10-15 minutes for questions. We would like to remind you all that comments and suggestions about these seminars are always much welcomed and valued; just talk with us, send an email to , or, even better, post in our Forum: http://venus/SIE/forum/.

IAUS241 website

Have you seen the IAU Symposium 241 website? While it may look like many other conference and workshop Webs, it is not. In fact it offers many advanced facilities (based on PHP and mySQL) for both its maintainers and its users:
  1. Participants register, submit or modify abstracts, and the corresponding Web pages are automatically updated.
  2. A list of participants (with addresses, titles of contributions, etc.) and the abstract booklet can be generated automatically (kiss goodbye to manually updated excel tables!)
  3. The content of the page can be modified by authorized users (typically LOC members) from anywhere in the world a web browser is available.
  4. Detailed statistics are produced of how many visits, from what places, what platform and Web browser, etc., the IAUS214 Web pages receive.

Peter Erwin's python script telarchive

Do you often look for astronomical data in public telescope archives? Are you getting tired of going to the ESO, HST, ING, etc. archive web pages, only to find that no data are available? Peter Erwin's (former IAC postdoc) telarchive tool can make your life much easier, as it does simple automated searching of several telescope archives (including SDSS-DR4 and MAST), and tells you how many images and spectra are present in each of them. Many thanks, Peter, for developing and making available this very useful program!.

What hardware and operating systems are used to reduce astronomical data?

As far as we know there are no public data on how many Linux, Solaris, MacIntosh, BSD etc. machines are used in the various astronomical institutes all around the world. However, the poll "What is your primary IRAF system?" in the new IRAF site,, while having no real statistical meaning, gives nevertheless a clear indication of the current trend. RedHat/Fedora scores a 34%, other Linux distros 29%. Somewhat surprising is the popularity of Mac OS, 28%, while Solaris is less than 4%. Other systems account for the remaining 5%.

SMM images gallery

The Servicio MultiMedia (SMM) has recently opened an Image gallery which consists of images related to the IAC´s activities and projects. The archive contains hundreds of photographs taken by the SMM´s photographer (Miguel Briganti), sorted by topics. Miguel is in charge of maintaining and updating the archive, periodically adding new images of astronomical objects, observatories, telescopes and instruments, the headquarters, and other miscellaneous images related to the IAC.
SIE de Investigación y Enseñanza :: N. 6 - March 2006 - Contact: