Urania

A blog named for the muse of Astronomy containing musings by an astronomer

Scisoft OSX 2009.5.2 Released

Posted on May 15, 2009 by Juan

This first Scisoft OSX release of 2009 has appeared. Despite the brief entry on the VersionTracker website which said that this update rolled in the recently released STSDAS and TABLES IRAF package updates. from reviewing the CONTENTS file distributed with the install, I found Nor Pirzkal made quite a few additional updates in this release. The changes from Scisoft OSX 2008.9.1 are:

  • Eclipse 5.0.0 has been added to the distribution. Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for programming. I don’t find it to be terribly useful, and in fact find it fairly awful in its implementation for IDL, but I am sure there are many people who disagree (enough to foster development of five major versions of it).
  • Gnuplot has been updated to version 4.2.5 from 4.2.3
  • Eye 1.4.1 has been added to the distribution. Eye is a program designed to allow you to use an artificial neural network to construct SExtractor filters for “adaptive filtering, feature detection and cosmetic corrections.”
  • Swarp was updated to 2.17.6 from 2.17.1
  • WeightWatcher was updated to 1.8.10 from 1.8.7
  • The Python distribution was updated to version 2.5.4 from 2.5.2 and the following python packages were updated:
    • ipython updated to 0.9.1 from 0.8.4
    • Numpy updated to 1.3 from 1.1.1
    • pyfits updated to 2.1.1 from 1.1 (or this could be a typo in the old CONTENTS)
    • matplotlib updated to 0.98.5.2 from 0.98.3
    • pyraf updated to 1.7.1 from 1.6
    • stsci_python updated to 2.8 from 2.6
    • AstroAsciiData updated to 1.1 from 1.0
    • scipy updated to 0.7.0 from 0.6.0
  • The STSDAS and TABLES IRAF packages were updated to version 3.10 from 3.08
  • fftw library version 3.2.1 added. This will be useful to me since we have been using fftw in the computational physics class I have been teaching this semester.
  • I noticed the Aquaterm.app application (used for graphics display by PGPLOT and Gnuplot) is now pre-installed in /Applications/scisoft/i386/Applications/.

Some minor glitches I have noticed in this distribution

  1. Permission Problems Persist: When the installer installs Scisoft OSX, it appears that a bug in Apple’s Installer program triggers a change in ownership of the /Applications directory to that of the second user on the system. I strongly suggest checking the ownership of the /Applications directory afterward and if isn’t owned by an administrative user, set it as such using: sudo chown username:admin /Applications (where “username” is the primary administrator’s username, in most cases, your username) to perform the repair. I know Nor spent a bit of time trying to resolve this without success last summer, so its a glitch that will probably persist.
  2. Older SAOImage DS9 included: I noticed that the SAOImage DS9 distributed with this version of Scisoft OSX is version 5.3b, whereas the current version is 5.6.1, so I manually installed the current ds9 command line binary into /Applications/scisoft/i386/bin/ and the current Aqua application into /Applications/scisoft/i386/Applications/ and everything is working fine there.
  3. HEASARC fv.app not installed: The fv.app application in the /Applications/scisoft/i386/Applications/ is actually a second copy of studenthera.app, misnamed. Not sure how that happened, but I manually installed the current version of HEASARC fv.app there without an issue.

All in all, a bunch of small updates, but it gets the package mostly up-to-date again. The current version of Scisoft OSX is available for download from the Scisoft OSX website, but I have made the package available on my Scisoft OSX mirror as well, in case it is faster for people.

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