February 2008 Archives
February 29, 2008
The Numerical Recipes plug-in for Adobe Reader 8 isn't working properly on the msprime linux workstations. In order to read an NR pdf file, save the file and then open in with acroread7*.
* Either run the command acroread7 from a terminal or right-click a PDF file, select "Open with" and then type in acroead7.
February 28, 2008
I've updated the OS X section of the instructions for setting up queues for the shared printers to include Leopard.
The colour printer in HH-401 is now only printing in shades of black, white and blue (cyan, more precisely). The problem won't be solved immediately because we are most likely going to replace that large, slow and problematic unit. You get colour printouts on paper and transparencies from MSU Media & Design in MUSC or the Engineering DocuCentre in JHE.
In short: avoid doing so, because it costs the department (and you) less money if you use the office photocopier. If you must, keep in mind that you will get the square of the number of copies you request from the linux workstations (OS X and Windows printing are not affected).
I upgraded the Adobe Reader plugin for firefox on the msprime systems late Wednesday afternoon. You may find that firefox is unstable or behaves oddly until you restart the program (by closing all windows).
February 27, 2008
The print server stopped relaying jobs some time late yesterday afternoon. Print jobs are now flowing again. Any obvious duplicate jobs - i.e. requests sent more than once - have been removed from the queues.
February 25, 2008
I've updated the instructions for using the departmental printers from OS X to account for changes in Leopard.
February 20, 2008
In some circumstances, the linux workstations are bringing still opening Acrobat Reader ver. 7 rather than ver. 8 when double-clicking files. You can for the system to use the new version by right-clicking a PDF file, selecting "Open with" and then specifying "acroread8" (this will work in KDE and Gnome).
February 14, 2008
R has been upgraded to version 2.6.2 on the compute servers and msprime workstations; the latest BioConductor has also beeninstalled. You can still run the previous version on the compute servers with R-2.5. Let me know if any packages are missing in the new version.
February 12, 2008
Mathserv, bayes, bluespruce and gosset will be rebooted on Wednesday afternoon between 4pm and 5pm in order to complete an important security patch. The linux workstations will freeze when mathserv goes down and then come back to life when it comes back up - about a five minute span. Of course, if there are problems, the systems will be down longer - perhaps 30 minutes.
A vulnerability in recent versions of the linux kernel was discovered on the weekend: Mandriva linux versions 2007.0, 2007.1 and 2008.0 were affected. We began applying temporary fixed on Sunday and so far have detected no compromises. We are now applying updated, fixed kernels to all affected systems.
I will be installing the latest Mandriva release on some systems where there is any suspicions of compromise. The series of updates of earlier releases (< 2006.0) which I began last month will continue.
UTS informs us that the network connection between McMaster and the rest of the Internet will be down this Sunday between 7am and 11am.
February 11, 2008
The HH-303 started jamming repeatedly on Friday; it's OK now. The technician suggests that the source of the problem was the guide in the paper tray not being set to Letter (such that the paper can shift).
February 8, 2008
The HP LaserJet 4345 outside of HH-303 is down with a hardware problem; a technician will be out to repair it on Monday morning. Use the HH-403 printer for now.
Any jobs queued to the printer between now and the time it is repaired will be deleted before they print.
February 6, 2008
I've upgraded Adobe (Acrobat) Reader on the msprime workstations from version 7 to version 8. The primary reason was to resolve a printing problem, but you will also notice that the printing controls are much improved you will no longer need (or be able to use, in fact) 'kprinter -c' to get printer options.
The old version is still available via the command acroread7.