This Month's News

Powerful Data Analysis Platform Launched in Texas

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), Indiana University, and the University of Chicago have announced that the Wrangler system is now operational and ready for business. TACC describes Wrangler as "a groundbreaking data analysis and management system." Wrangler is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), including $6 million for deployment plus additional operations funding.

Wrangler is an HPC system focused on data-intensive applications. According to Hans Hofmann, Director for the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the University of Texas Austin, the problem with employing conventional HPC systems often is "… not one of computation; it's that you always need to refer back to a database that's populated with sequencing data specific to your scientific question. Wrangler is really built for these kinds of specialized applications."

The Wrangler system offers "massive, replicated, secure high performance data storage" (10PB each at Indiana and TAAC) and large-scale flash storage for analytics. To obtain an allocation for Wrangler, see the Allocations page at the XSEDE website.

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* Off the Beat * Bruce Byfield *

The End of the Editor Wars

For years, the text editors Vi (and its successor Vim) and Emacs have been seen as rivals. In recent years, the rivalry has been largely a subject of jokes, but in the days before the desktop, it was serious enough, and the subject of endless flame wars.

When Enthusiasm for Free Software Turns Ugly

Last week, I wrote an article about the decline of Apache OpenOffice, and how its attitude towards other projects might be part of its problem. "No one wants to see OpenOffice humiliated," I wrote – but apparently I was wrong.

Sydney Padua's The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage

Imagine a world where Ada Lovelace did not die at 36, and Charles Babbage actually built his computer. Now imagine that world chronicled by a mixture of in-jokes and footnotes, and you have the flavor of Sydney Padua's The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

* Productivity Sauce * Dmitri Popov *

Wik: Probably the Simplest Wiki Ever

Wik is really, really simple. In fact, if there were a competition for the simplest wiki out there, Wik would win it hands down. The entire wiki consists of a single HTML file containing just 160 lines of code, which is an impressive achievement in its own right. Wik is also ridiculously easy to use.

Leave Geographical Breadcrumbs with Geofix

When I'm out and about, I often need to quickly record my current position. As an amateur photographer, I appreciate the ability to record the geographical coordinates of locations I plan to photograph later and spots I've already taken pictures of. The latter helps me geotag my photos in digiKam. When I travel, I like to record the locations of good eateries, coffee shops, interesting places, etc. An Android device is perfect for this task, but none of the apps I tried fit my needs. So I cobbled together my own tool called Geofix.

Instant File Transfer with airpaste

Need to quickly transfer a file between machines on the same network? Consider using airpaste. To push the foo.txt file, run the airpaste < foo.txt command. Then, issue the airpaste > foo.txt command on the receiving machine to download the file. No muss, no fuss.

Save Web Pages on Android with Save for Offline

In the good old days of not so pervasive and fast Internet access, utilities like HTTrack were indispensable for reading web pages offline. A lot has changed since then, but a tool for saving web pages for offline access can still come in handy in many situations. Although HTTrack is still a good option on the Linux desktop, the Save for Offline app has you covered if you happen to use an Android device.

ADMIN HPC

http://hpc.admin-magazine.com/

Encrypting Files * Jeff Layton

Encrypting your data is becoming increasingly important, but you don't always have to use an encrypted filesystem. Sometimes just encrypting files is enough.

Virtuous Benchmarks: Using Benchmarks to Your Advantage * Jeff Layton

Benchmarks have been misused by both users and vendors for many years, but they don't have to be the evil creature we all think them to be.

ADMIN Online

http://www.admin-magazine.com/

Monitor Your Network Infrastructure with SNMP * Falko Benthin

If you don't have the staff to monitor your network in real time, SNMP and a couple of scripts are all it takes to keep track of your device jungle.

TCP Stealth Hides Open Ports * Udo Seidel

Port scans for finding vulnerable services are nothing new, and port knocking as a defense has been around for a while, too. TCP Stealth tries to do something similar, but it takes a more sophisticated approach. We take a closer look.

GlusterFS or CephUdo Seidel and Martin Loschwitz

Many shared storage solutions are currently vying for users' favor; however, Ceph and GlusterFS generate the most press. We compare the two competitors and reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each solution.

A TurnKey Linux Software Evaluation PlatformHolger Reibold

TurnKey Linux comes with more than 100 of the most important free enterprise solutions to create a test environment for evaluating new open source system or business software on a local system, on a virtual machine, or in the cloud.

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