Blog from January, 2011

Wolfram will be on-site for a two-hr. training on Tuesday, Feb. 8,
2011 from 1:00-3:00; Bldg 2-100. Doug McClinitic from Wolfram will
provide an overview on the newest Mathematica features.

Add to your Google Calendar:


Brief Overview of Mathematica

A brief introduction to Mathematica for those unfamiliar with the current version:  Mathematica 8.0

Woven throughout this talk we will highlight new capabilities in Mathematica 8.0 which include:

  • Free form linguistic input and integration with Wolfram Alpha
  • Nearly 100 new statistical distributions and new statistical visualizations
  • CUDA and OpenCL support for GPU computing
  • Automatic C code generation and linking
  • New image processing functions
  • New import and export formats
  • Integrated control systems
  • Wavelets analysis
  • Computation & Visualization

In addition, the talk will cover:

  • Example-driven view of key computational features: symbolic
    processing, solving, import/export, analysis, filtering and plotting
    data, modeling, simulation, dynamic computations; applied examples
    chosen from image processing, bio-informatics, particle physics,
    geodesy, astronomical science, and more.
  • Programming
    Mathematica as a development environment; programming paradigms (example-driven), parallel computation; development tools.
  • Connection Technologies
    Brief overview of connecting to databases, Java, .Net, legacy C/Fortran, etc.
  • Deployment
    Mathematica as a technical document environment; slideshows, saving to TeX/PDF/HTML etc.

The IT Division is offering a new backup service for PC and Mac computers called Carbonite that is reliable, cost effective and easy-to-use. Carbonite is easy to install and runs unobtrusively in the background. It securely encrypts data for protection. More importantly, restoring files, whether just a few or your entire backup, takes just a few clicks. Restoring to a new computer, after a crash or upgrade, is easy as well. Unlimited backup storage is only $4.00 monthly, billed yearly at $48.00. To learn more and get started, visit the Backups Service Page.

Google Upgrade News

Over the next three weeks, IT will be upgrading one division to the
new Google Apps Environment each evening. Users who will be
transitioned will receive a notice the day before as well as
immediately after the upgrade. After the upgrade, users will have
access to additional Google Apps services. Users will be required to
re-login to the service but no other disruption is expected. For more
information about the upgrade and schedule visit the LBL Help Site

When we originally launched the Lawrencium cluster project, we said there might be a possibility of a charge for CPU cycles to recover some of the costs. Unfortunately, that time has come and we will start recharging for cycles. The good news is that the charge will only be $0.01 per cpu-hour in addition to the monthly $25/user account fee so we anticipate a minor impact to everyone's budget. For further information, visit the SCS project page.

(the below message went to the most frequent purchasers of monitors at LBL)

As part of our overall sustainability program, the Laboratory tries to
purchase sustainable products, including computers and monitors that
are EPEAT registered. Registered computers and monitors are confirmed
to use significantly less energy and meet our overall sustainability
goals. In particular, purchasing EPEAT products ensures that multiple
sustainability goals are met, including reducing the use of
environmentally sensitive materials and design for end of life waste
reduction and safety.

While most popular products meet these specifications, it is very
important that you as a purchaser take the time to verify that
commodity electronics products (like monitors, laptops, and computers)
are EPEAT registered.

Last year, approximately 10% of the monitors purchased were not EPEAT
registered. 4 models, two from Dell and two from Asus, accounted for
the majority of these monitors. EPEAT registered alternatives at
competitive price points exist for both of these models*.

The ebuy website for USFalcon (CDW) lists the EPEAT status of almost
all products. You can also verify the EPEAT status of any product by
visiting the EPEAT website ( and using their
“Search the Registry” tool. It takes just a minute or so to verify
the model you are interested in.

We know there will always be situations which require particular
monitors which may not be registered, but we ask for your help in
limiting those circumstances as much as possible.

We are working with the ebuy vendors to improve the visibility of the
registrations to you, the purchaser, but in the meantime, we need your
assistance in order to keep the purchasing process flexible, but
responsive to our sustainability goals. To make things easier, all
future recommended monitors and computers listed on the IT website
will be EPEAT certified.

Thanks in advance for your help. If you have other ideas about how we
should spread the word about EPEAT purchases, drop us a line at And please share this email with others in your
organization who make IT purchasing decisions.

The SustainLBL Team

The Google Docs equations editor now supports a variety of LaTeX shortcuts for equation entry. More information is available here: