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Scisoft OSX 2008.2.1 (Intel only) released 3 weeks ago!

Posted on February 28, 2008 by Juan
It’s been such a busy month that I missed the fact that Nor Pirzkal has released a new version of SciSoft OSX. Released on February 4, 2008, this version, dubbed 2008.2.1 is only for Intel-based Macs. [1] This new version contains the following improvements:
  • Certain links to libraries that I have previously noted had to be manually fixed have been fixed.
  • The IRAF within SciSoft OSX has been updated to the latest release, version 2.14. However, as noted in his February 25 post, Nor notes if mkiraf fails to create a proper login.cl, you should do the following:
    edit /scisoft/all/packages/iraf/iraf/unix/hlib/mkiraf.csh
    and replace the first two uncommented lines with
    set iraf = "/scisoft/all/packages/iraf/iraf/"
    set imdir = "/scisoft//all/packages/iraf/imdirs"
I’ll update this blog post as I experiment with the new release. But just from looking at the release notes:
  • SAO Image DS9 is still at version 4.13 and not the current version 5.1. This is an issue mostly for Leopard users, since the older version of DS9 doesn’t run under Leopard without some tweaks. This is an easy enough upgrade.
  • fv (an interactive FITS file viewer) is still at version 4.4 instead of the current version 5.1. You can download the current version and replace the one in the /scisoft/i386/Applications directory in case you view this as necessary.
  • It installs /scisoft with permissions set such that the owner is the second user account created on most Macs (User 502). Previously it installed as owned by the first user account (user 501). This is not a huge issue if you have “sudo” privileges on the Mac (any “Administrative” user does, its the default on the first account created), just type the following on the command line:
    sudo chown -R root:admin /scisoft
    and enter your password when prompted. This will set the root account to own the files, which is appropriate in a multiuser situation. If you are the only user, you could set yourself up as owner by replacing ‘root’ above with your username (you can determine your username by typing “whoami” on the command line).
I have placed a mirror of this new version on my Unofficial Scisoft OSX Mirror page as well
  1. Why No Current PPC Version of SciSoft OSX – I suspect the reason all the recent releases have been Intel-only is because it isn’t a simple matter to recompile these programs for PowerPC. These packages were designed for unix-based environments and are NOT Mac-specific. So they were not built using Apple Xcode [in which case building a ‘universal’ application is just an option in the compiler] but instead using the command line based make command. This means getting an intel-native binary involves hacking a Makefile for each package. And given the byte endianness differences between intel and PowerPC chips and the number of tweaks this would entail in the various makefiles used to build SciSoft, I understand completely why these releases are intel-only.

1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 06 04 08 10:18

    Urania » Blog Archive » SciSoft OSX 2008.3.1 Installation Notes

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