Urania

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

Playing with Scisoft OSX 2011.1.1 beta

Posted on March 03, 2011 by Juan

Since I am on sabbatical, I have been working on updating some of my software.  One of my projects is to update External SPECROAD to be functional on 64-bit IRAF installations which are becoming more common.  To do this, I needed to get a 64-bit IRAF installation.  Lucky for me, Nor Pirzkal has been working on updating Scisoft OSX for 64-bit and the most recent beta version is very usable.

Dr. Pirzkal started work on this version in early 2010.  The first alpha release was in March 2010 and contained the following note:

The latest version Scisoft OSX is being prepared. We are switching the distribution to be 10.6 compatible only. Its location is also being moved (again) from /Applications/Scisoft/ to /usr/local/scisoft/.
The main changes to this version are:

1) Requires OSX 10.6
2) 64 bit only
3) Now uses the OSX Python system
4) Pyraf no longer uses X11 and all windowing calls are made using the OSX Aqua TCL/TK libraries

These all sounded good to me, especially the move away from using a custom python installation.  The only problem is that the alpha was missing a lot for me, so after an initial try, I dropped it and went back to the 32-bit Scisoft OSX 2009.10.1.

This version installed easily enough with a couple of clicks to uncompress the ZIP file and then another click on the resulting package file to trigger the Mac installer.  The instructions were straight forward for how to edit your environment.  Once done, I had Scisoft OSX installed in /usr/local/scisoft/. I’ll note that this doesn’t clobber any previous installations of Scisoft OSX, so it is easy to switch back by editing your startup files. I am presenting a slightly modified version of his checklist for upgrading here.

  1. Install Scisoft OSX 2011.1.1b by downloading it here or from my mirror (NOTE: The file is misnamed Scisoft_OSX_macintel_2011.11.1b.pkg.zip, don’t worry, you don’t need to time travel to use this version before November 2011).
  2. Download the patch to IRAF 2.15.1a at
    ftp://iraf.noao.edu/iraf/v215/PCIX/patch1.macx.x86_64.gz(for 64 bit systems).
  3. In a terminal, type: cd /usr/local/scisoft/packages/iraf/iraf
  4. Assuming the downloaded file ended up in ~/Download, type
    sudo tar xvfz ~/Downloads/patch1.macx.x86_64.gz
  5. Now IRAF should show that you are using v2.15.1 (not 2.15) when you start it. However, that is not all: also the external packages need to be updated. I found the instructions on the IRAF web page not applicable for the Scisoft OSX installation. Instead, 
    1. start a superuser shell:
      sudo tcsh
    2. source /usr/local/scisoft/bin/Setup.csh
    3. cd to a directory containing your login.cl (might also work without this step) and type ecl
    4. within IRAF:
      cd /usr/local/scisoft/packages/iraf/iraf
    5. And then type:
      make update
      (and have a coffee or three because this is taking a while)
  6. logout (of IRAF) and then exit (to make sure you’re not continuing with superuser privileges

That process worked fine for me and I now have a current IRAF installation.  There are a few things in this beta that are not noted in the CONTENT file that came with it.  It certainly contains sextractor 2.5.0 (the current version is 2.8.6) which isn’t listed in the CONTENT file and in addition to STSDAS and TABLES 3.13, which are noted in the CONTENT file, the following IRAF packages are preinstalled:

  • color 2.0
  • fitsutil
  • gemini 1.9
  • gmisc
  • guiapps 1.2
  • mscred 4.8
  • rvsao 2.7.8  (this is the current version as far as I can tell)
  • nlocal
  • nmisc
  • vol 2.8

 

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