SSCC News for August 2004

Inside this issue...

Remaining Tru64 UNIX Computers to be Retired This Month
SPSS 12 for Linux Available on KITE
SAS 9 Available on (new) HAL

Remaining Tru64 Computers to be Retired This Month

SSCC's remaining two Tru64 computers, HAL and NORMAN, will be retired this month. HAL will be replaced with a new and much more powerful Linux computer during next Wednesday's down time. NORMAN will be removed on August 31. Since announcing the retirement of Tru64 computers in January's SSCC News, we have gradually been moving administrative and file services to Linux computers. Having all Linux computers provides several advantages: the hardware and maintenance are much cheaper, it simplifies system management, and it provides opportunities for better Linux/Windows integration.

After Wednesday, you'll have two Linux computers for interactive use: KITE and HAL. In addition, you can submit jobs to SSCC's cluster of Linux servers for running large STATA, R, Fortran, and C/C++ programs. This cluster uses a powerful batch pooling utility called Condor which was developed at UW-Madison's Computer Science Department. For more information on Condor, refer to the SSCC Publication, An Introduction to Condor.


The new HAL is very comparable to KITE and much more powerful than the old HAL. It's a dual 2.4Ghz Xeon with 2Gb of RAM. We will be adding an additional 2Gb RAM in upcoming months.

After Wednesday's down time, when you log onto the new HAL, you will notice few, if any, differences from the old HAL. One thing we hope you will notice though is that SAS is available on HAL. We heard from many SSCC members in the survey we conducted last spring that you were unhappy with having our second SAS license (the other one is on KITE) on Condor. The problem was that the Condor computer with SAS installed was often tied up running other jobs making it unavailable for SAS jobs. So, we listened and have moved SAS from Condor to HAL. See the related article below for information about running SAS on HAL.

For those connecting to HAL via SecureCRT, the first time you use your HAL session after Wednesday, SecureCRT will need to obtain a new key from the server for the encryption and you'll be asked to click "Accept and Save".

Software Availability

We have been gradually moving software installed only on Tru64 computers to Linux for the past year. This includes Aml, CTM, LISREL, PRELIS, and TPU. This past month we installed SPSS 12.0 on KITE. See the article below. Three software packages, DBMS/COPY, GLIM, and HLM, will only be available on Terminal Server (WinStat1 and WinStat2) after NORMAN is retired at the end of the month. These software products are currently unavailable for Linux.

SPSS 12 for Linux Available on KITE

SPSS 12 for Linux has been installed on KITE. This will replace SPSS 6 for UNIX when NORMAN is retired.

Note that we are indeed jumping six versions with this upgrade! SPSS has not developed its UNIX version for some time, and the Linux version is more a port of the Windows version than an upgrade to the UNIX version. So far the differences we've seen have been fairly minor, but you will notice some. The most obvious is that the command needed to run SPSS has changed. See Running SPSS Jobs on Linux for more information. Full documentation for SPSS 12 for Linux is available online as well.

SPSS 12 will read SPSS 6 data sets without any need to convert them. Please report any difficulties with SPSS 12 to the consultant.

SAS 9 Available on (new) HAL

We have installed SAS 9 on the new HAL server which will be available next Wednesday. Temporarily, you will invoke SAS 9 by typing sas9. Just typing sas will get you version 8 as usual. So far most SAS 8 programs have run successfully under SAS 9, with the exceptions being functions that are rarely used here at the SSCC such as creating PDF files. SAS 9 uses the same format for data sets as SAS 8 so there is no need for conversion. SAS 9 will be installed on KITE and SAS 8 removed from both servers when we have had more time for testing. Please report any problems you see to the consultant.

Visit SAS's web site for information about new features in version 9. SAS's documentation is on-line on SSCC's web pages. Currently, we have version 8 documentation posted. Once we remove version 8 of SAS, we'll replace the version 8 on-line documentation with version 9 documentation.

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