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Community Meeting 2012-08-21

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jrseti's picture
Joined: 2010-07-22
Posts: 252

IRC chat on Tuesday! Join us August 21 2012, 11am California time, 18:00GMT, for our weekly 30 minute setiQuest IRC chat at irc://irc.freenode.net/#setiquest
Or in a browser: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=setiquest
Today's topic can be:

  1. KHRM's SonATA distro. I will try to create a distro that includes everything and is the latest OpenSUSE version. It turns out that some people report there are not problems if you use the latest version.
  2. My trip eport - CASPER meeting in West Virginia. open source hardware and software.
  3. There is SETILive progress. Getting close. I know - I keep saying that.
  4. Website issues?  I put a big link to the Wiki on the front pages.

Any other ideas are appreciated.


sigblips's picture
Joined: 2010-04-20
Posts: 733
[11:00am] jrseti_:

[11:00am] jrseti_: Hello!
[11:00am] sigblips: Welcome back.
[11:00am] jrseti_: Thanks
[11:00am] jrseti_: http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/community-meeting-2012-08-21
[11:01am] jrseti_: I read te transcript of the last meeting
[11:01am] sigblips: 5) Happy 35th birthday Voyager 2. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48738978/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.U...
[11:01am] sigblips: So you saw that last week was something else's 35th?
[11:02am] jrseti_: wow
[11:03am] sigblips: Not wow but Wow!
[11:03am] jrseti_: :)
[11:03am] jrseti_: So, shall we start?
[11:03am] jrseti_: I need to build a new distro with the latest SUSE and ALL the necessary software installed
[11:03am] sigblips: What are your thoughts on last week's Arecibo tweets in space transmission?
[11:04am] jrseti_: I did not see that. Explain.
[11:05am] sigblips: The links are in last weeks transcript. Basically a group was going to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Wow! signal by transmitting a bunch of tweets into space from Arecibo.
[11:06am] sigblips: That appears to violate a bunch of SETI transmission protocols but no one seems to care. Just wondering what the SETI Institute's thoughts / comments are.
[11:07am] jrseti_: No one cares! I like the Will Smith one
[11:07am] sigblips: Also since SRI manages both the ATA and Arecibo, this gets more interesting ...
[11:08am] sigblips: I care!
[11:08am] jrseti_: OK, a few care.
[11:09am] jrseti_: I can tell you about my Greenbank trip...
[11:09am] jrseti_: I'm sure you know, it is a 300meter dish in West Virginia
[11:09am] sigblips: OK but before that, back to the SonATA distro.
[11:09am] jrseti_: OK, distro. 'll create a new one
[11:09am] sigblips: Are you planning on including stuff like Java?
[11:09am] jrseti_: haven't heard from Khrm
[11:10am] jrseti_: I think I should include everything.
[11:10am] sigblips: He hasn't been around here for a while.
[11:10am] sigblips: Are you thinking about including a snapshot of the SonATA source code and binary?
[11:10am] jrseti_: I'll get it all working with the latest OpenSUSE and make the VMWare file available.
[11:11am] jrseti_: everything
[11:11am] jrseti_: why not
[11:11am] sigblips: Might not want to include the Voyager 2 test file because is rather large.
[11:12am] sigblips: 310 MB !!!
[11:12am] jrseti_: They'll have to download it anyway
[11:13am] jrseti_: right?
[11:13am] sigblips: I've been playing around with VMware Fusion lately. Did you know that there is a free VMware Player for Windows and Linux? But not for Mac.
[11:14am] jrseti_: Oh well
[11:14am] sigblips: I've heard that the new free VMware Player can even create VMs but that seems crazy since it would eat into VMware's for-sale-products. Hmmm.
[11:15am] jrseti_: yes
[11:16am] sigblips: If you plan on upgrading your Mac to Lion or Mountain Lion make sure that you do a software upgrade of VMware Fusion first, otherwise things get a little tricky.
[11:16am] jrseti_: Thanks for the advice
[11:17am] jrseti_: I don't think I'll upgrade. I'll probably get a new computer first
[11:18am] jrseti_: Next?
[11:18am] sigblips: By software upgrade I meant the free in app upgrade to the next sub version option. I've heard that they are working on a 7.1 beta specifically for Mountain Lion, not sure if it will be free.
[11:18am] sigblips: Yes, next topic.
[11:19am] jrseti_: https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/gbt/
[11:19am] jrseti_: I spent 6 days there. Really a nice place.
[11:19am] sigblips: I heard that NSF is planning to cut its GBT funding.
[11:19am] jrseti_: I went to the CASPER workshop
[11:19am] jrseti_: https://casper.berkeley.edu/
[11:19am] jrseti_: Yes, the news came last week.
[11:20am] jrseti_: They may do that. It is still up in the air
[11:20am] jrseti_: CASPER is open source hardware and software for radio astronomy
[11:21am] jrseti_: Quite a few projects around the world use it
[11:21am] sigblips: NSF GBT funding. http://twitter.com/TheNRAO/status/236473869983178752
[11:21am] jrseti_: There were a lot of talks and some coding tutorials
[11:22am] jrseti_: See http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2012/portfolio/
[11:22am] sigblips: Are the ATA's FPGA beamformers based on CASPER?
[11:22am] jrseti_: The GBT's annual cost of operation is about 0.7 percent of the annual federal budget for astronomy and astrophysics
[11:23am] jrseti_: Yes, they use the BEE2
[11:23am] jrseti_: https://casper.berkeley.edu/wiki/BEE2
[11:23am] jrseti_: But the BEE2 is getting old and the software tools to support it are becoming obsolete
[11:24am] sigblips: So what is the upgrade option / plan ?
[11:25am] jrseti_: So best that we start learing about the new stuff
[11:25am] jrseti_: The plan now is to get educated in-house
[11:25am] jrseti_: need to learn how to program the Roach2 and GPUs
[11:26am] jrseti_: https://casper.berkeley.edu/wiki/ROACH2
[11:27am] sigblips: How much $$$ are those boards?
[11:27am] jrseti_: Don't quote me, but I think $7k-ish
[11:28am] sigblips: Is that with or without the 8 x 10 GbE ports?
[11:28am] jrseti_: All designed open source. You can make your own!
[11:28am] jrseti_: I think with
[11:29am] sigblips: I'm warming up my soldering iron and downloading the schematics right now!
[11:29am] jrseti_: Good
[11:29am] jrseti_: The hard part is the FPGA programming.
[11:29am] jrseti_: They use a program called simulink
[11:30am] sigblips: Everyone always thinks the software is the easy part. (:
[11:30am] jrseti_: http://www.mathworks.com/products/simulink/
[11:30am] jrseti_: not easy
[11:31am] jrseti_: Not much more to say about all of that. I'm stillthinking about what best to do and then propose it to Gerry.
[11:32am] sigblips: I wonder how the performance of Simulink compares to natively programming the FPGAs?
[11:32am] jrseti_: HDL is really hard. Sumulink makes it much more accessible.
[11:33am] jrseti_: Simulink
[11:33am] jrseti_: I asked the same question also.
[11:33am] jrseti_: The point is that what you do should be shared in the community. If you write in HDL most people can't make sense of it
[11:34am] sigblips: Yes but every company I've worked for / with does it natively. No one would ever consider Simulink for a shipping product. I've heard that Simulink is great for quick prototypes though ...
[11:35am] jrseti_: But a company does not have to share their code - and also they hire people who understand the code
[11:36am] sigblips: Yup, the leveraging of what CASPER has already done is valuable / important.
[11:36am] jrseti_: SETILive - still they same. They are working on it!
[11:37am] jrseti_: But, SonATA is ready
[11:37am] sigblips: I've noticed a new SETI Live frequency tuning.
[11:37am] sigblips: In the 4 GHz range.
[11:39am] jrseti_: Yes, we covered the lower crowded bands and jumped up in frequency
[11:39am] sigblips: Progress ...
[11:40am] jrseti_: yes
[11:40am] jrseti_: Did you see the Wiki link on the main setiquest.org page?
[11:40am] sigblips: Yes, I like it, thanks.
[11:41am] jrseti_: Now the Wiki will get too many visitors and crash the server ;)
[11:41am] sigblips: That's the plan.
[11:41am] jrseti_: anything else?
[11:42am] jrseti_: to discuss?
[11:42am] sigblips: Nope. Not much setiQuest spam this past week.
[11:42am] jrseti_: good
[11:43am] jrseti_: Thanks for the conversation. Talk to you next week
[11:44am] sigblips: You're welcome. Good meeting. Talk to you later. I'll post this transcript in the setiQuest forum. Bye.
[11:44am] jrseti_: bye
[11:44am] jrseti_ left the chat room. (Remote host closed the connection)