Back by popular demand, here is our end-of-year SSCC News highlighting the most important new services added over the course of the year. We've limited ourselves to new services that you have to know about and actually do something in order to benefit from the service.

New Computer Lab Equipment

The computers in SSCC's drop-in lab in 4218 and the classroom lab in 3218 have been replaced with Dell dual core 3.4 GHz computers with 1G RAM. Each PC has a DVD writer with two USB ports and run a rich assortment of statistical software. These computers are a result of the SSML/SSCC merge and an Instructional Lab Modernization grant awarded by the College of Letters and Sciences.

Building Wireless

The Sewell Social Science Building now has wireless access to the Internet. You need to use your DoIT netid and password to connect. The announcement sent to everyone in March has all the links to instructions. We suggest using a VPN connection for security whenever you use the building wireless network.

Server Upgrades

HAL and the Winstats were upgraded to dual 3.4GHz processors with 4GB of RAM. This means HAL is marginally faster than KITE (3.2GHz).

Condor Upgrade

The SSCC's Condor flock was also upgraded to dual 3.4GHz processor servers. Plus, with Condor you get exclusive use of a processor until your job finishes. This makes Condor the best way to run any Stata, R, C/C++ or FORTRAN job that takes more than about a minute.

Stata jobs benefit even more because four of the Condor servers run Stata/MP (multiprocessor edition). Stata jobs will be assigned to these servers whenever they're available, and will run an average of 40% faster there than on HAL, KITE or the Winstats.

FALCON and 64-bit Linux

We also made a new server available, FALCON, which runs 64-bit Linux. All our other servers run 32-bit operating systems. 64-bit Linux does not run jobs any faster, but it does allow you to allocate much more memory. If you're getting the dreaded "op. sys. refuses to provide memory" message in Stata or its equivalent in R, C/C++ or FORTRAN, FALCON is for you.

FALCON also has Stata/MP installed, making it the one place you can run Stata/MP interactively. This could be useful for tasks like experimenting with graphs, where you want to work interactively but end up waiting for Stata to execute your commands. However, we only have one Stata/MP license on FALCON, so please be considerate of those whose jobs must run there.

Condor Upgrade and Stata/MP

The SSCC's Condor flock was upgraded with all-new servers and will run jobs as quickly as any of the SSCC servers. In addition, four of the Condor servers have Stata/MP installed (the multi-processor edition). Stata/MP will run most jobs substantially faster than Stata/SE, and Stata jobs submitted to Condor will automatically be run using Stata/MP if available. This makes Condor the fastest way to run a Stata job at the SSCC. For more details see An Introduction to Condor.

New Beowulf Clusters

Two Beowulf clusters are now available to SSCC members wishing to run parallelized code written in C/C++ or Fortran. Documentation is available at SSCC's web site. If you have parallelized C/C++ or Fortran programs you'd like to run on this cluster, please contact Ryan Horrisberger.

New Statistical Software

One benefit of the SSCC/SSML merge is that SSCC members now have access to statistical software on the lab PCs that is not available on other SSCC computers. These include SAS for Windows, Gauss, Limdep, Maple, Mathematica, Minitab, Stella, WinRATS, and Eviews.

Atlas.ti, software similar to NVivo for the qualitative analysis of large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data, was added to the Winstat servers.

Stata/MP, a special version of Stata written to take advantage of machines with multiple processors, was added to the Condor servers and FALCON, a 64-bit Linux server.

New Archival Service

A new archival service was announced in February. Here's how it works:

  1. Go to the Windows Y: drive, open the folder called "archive", and create a new folder using your user name.
  2. Copy the files you want archived to this folder.
  3. Then go to our Request Archiving web page and fill out a very short request form and we will archive the files onto CD or DVD for you. It's that simple!

Archiving files you are not currently using but don't want to delete is a good way to conserve disk space.