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

SciSoft OSX 2012.7.1 Available

Posted on August 01, 2012 by Juan

I haven’t been doing much image processing in recent months (something that will be changing as I take charge of the MSUM observatory for the next year).  I just noticed that Nor Pirzkal placed a new version of the 64-bit SciSoft OSX online here.  If you are still transitioning from 32-bit Scisoft, this version of SciSoft OSX doesn’t install over the old 32-bit version, so a simple edit of your start up files can allow you to switch between the two versions.

This version makes a variety of updates to IRAF and pyraf and the underpinnings of those systems.  Specific changes I noticed versus the 2012.3.1 beta I was using

  • IRAF updated to version 2.16 64bit (from version 2.15 EXPORT) which was released on April 13, 2012.
  • STSDAS and TABLES updated to version 3.15 from version 3.13
  • pyraf updated to 1.11 (from 1.10)
  • Python package changes include
  • The ipython interactive interpreter updated to 0.13 (from 0.10)
  • The matplotlib plotting package has been updated to version 1.1.0 (from 1.0.0)
  • The scientific computing packages NumPy and SciPy have been updated.  Numpy from version 1.5.1 to 1.6.1 and SciPy from 0.8.0 to 0.10.0.
  • stsci_python updated to 2.12 (from 2.11)
  • The astronomical ephemeris calculator package pyephem was updated to (from
  • ScientificPython updated to 2.9.1 (from 2.8)
  • The python Monte Carlo stats package pymc was updated to version 2.1a (from 2.0).
  • The python database interface package egenix-mx updated to version 3.2.2 (from 3.1.3)
  • Cython updated to 0.15.1 (from 0.13)
  • New Python packages Quantities (version 0.7), uncertainties (version 1.8), and pymzq (version 2) added.
  • Nor also noted in his release notes that “This version fixed a missing link for SuperMongo and updated the STScI Synphot tables.”

Before installing this version, I backed up the old version of SciSoft OSX using the command line

sudo mv /usr/local/scisoft /usr/local/scisoft_old

(you may not need to ‘sudo’ if you have write permission for /usr/local).  Once the backup was done,  I installed this version of SciSoft OSX by double clicking the installer package.  

Minor Tweaks I Made to My SciSoft Installation After the Installation

  1. Fixing Owenership Issues: To fix ownership issues with some of the files, I performed a

    sudo chown -R root:admin /usr/local/scisoft

  2. Updating SAOImage DS9: I noticed that SAOImage DS9 installed by this Scisoft OSX is still at version 6.1 whereas version 7.0 is the current version, so I manually installed the updated version by downloading the MaxOSX 10.7 (Lion) version  DS9 from here.  Once unpacked, there were two files there, ds9 and ds9.zip.  I replaced the symbolic links to the SciSoft OSX ds9 binaries in /usr/local/scisoft/bin with these binaries using the commands when I had the terminal in the ds9 download directory:

    sudo rm /usr/local/scisoft/bin/ds9*
    sudo mv ds9 /usr/local/scisoft/bin/ds9
    sudo mv ds9.zip /usr/local/scisoft/bin/ds9.zip

  3. Living with Enthought Python Distribution: I have been using the Enthought Python Distribution for the last few month, quite happily I might add.  However, SciSoft OSX prefers to use the system’s python distribution and so I have taken to only loading the SciSoft OSX packages into my path when I need them by defining the following command in my ~/.tcshrc (and I use C shell, the native shell for IRAF out of habit):

    alias load_scisoft "test -r /usr/local/scisoft/bin/Setup.csh && source /usr/local/scisoft/bin/Setup.csh"

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