Blog from May, 2012

This month's issue of HPC Admin Magazine features the first in a 4-part series of in-depth articles on how to use the LBNL Warewulf Cluster Toolkit. Warewulf was developed here at Berkeley Lab by HPC Services Greg Kurtzer and it pioneered many of the stateless methods that other cluster toolkits use today. It is considered the standard stateless open source toolkit for clustering and is widely used by the HPC community. More ...

Advanced Light Source (ALS) physicists Changchun Sun and Hiroshi Nishimura along with HPC Services staff Kai Song, Krishna Muriki, Susan James, Yong Qin, Bernard Li, and Gary Jung recently explored several methods to use Amazon's VPC service to transparently extend the ALS compute cluster, located here at Berkeley Lab, and their software environment into the public Cloud in order perform Accelerator Simulation. Their work was presented during the poster session at the International Particle Accelerator Conference 2012 in New Orleans this week

Scientific conferences, reviews, and meetings are a critical part of our work at Berkeley Lab. IT offers a number of tools to help you with the lifecycle of conference planning.

Conference and Meeting Websites



Google Sites
Quickly make sites for meetings and conferences and share them with the world.  LBNL templates for simple meeting make it even easier.  Include documents, agendas, and more.  Alias your site with   Enable mobile access to let attendees check information from their smartphone.
Running on CERN's Indico platform, allows for complex management of abstract submission, track planning, and agenda sharing.

Registration and Attendee Information

You can create simple and complex registration forms with Google Docs forms. Gather anything from lunch preferences to travel plans (but no credit cards).  

Event Communication

Build simple mailing lists (Sympa)  or Google Groups to keep in touch with attendees and organizers.

Audio Visual Support

Updates to conference rooms are currently under consideration. Most conference rooms and all auditoriums have self-service audio visual. Additional av support is available from a contract-support firm through IT. Contact for details.

Streaming, Video Conferencing, and Recording

Some conference rooms have Lifesize Video Conferencing Units with many more under consideration for deployment. You can conduct traditional video conferences from these units, but also live stream your meeting or seminar to the web. This streaming service is free of charge and can serve hundreds of viewers simultaneously. Other options are available for other situations.

Readytalk audio and web conferencing is also an excellent way to share your meeting with a larger audience and include people who can't be there in person.

Post Conference Surveys

Use Google Forms to conduct post-conference surveys and get feedback.


Contact for information about any of these tools and advice about getting the most out of them.

The GQueues product continues to improve.  If you need a task manager built into our Google Apps Suite of tools, go to the "More" link and click on GQueues. 

New to Gqueues? Start Here

New Look (re-posted  from a company announcement)

In case you haven't noticed....GQueues got a facelift this past weekend! The re-design is based on direct feedback from the user community.

While the new, cleaner look makes it easier to read and manage tasks, it also enables the addition of several new features users have been clamoring for:

Gmail Web Interface Integration

A button (called a "contextual gadget") will be added to the bottom of each message when using the Gmail web interface. This feature will allow users to create a task from within Gmail.  A reference to the originating mail is preserved. 

Deployment is planned for Wednesday, May 16.

This is what the button looks like:

When you "create a task", the dialogue looks like this (the default queue is the inbox, but you can select which one is best for this task):

There will be a brief interruption of telephone service for both incoming and outgoing calls including all offsite locations (Potter, JBEI, Leap Frog, and OSF).  The AT&T work is scheduled on Tuesday, May 15th 2012 due to telephone network upgrades.  Work will begin at 5:30 p.m. and may last up to 12:00 a.m.  During this time, telephones may be out of service for up to one hour.  If you are in an affected off-site building (Potter, JBEI, Leap Frog, and OSF)  and there is a life-threatening emergency, dial 911 from a cellular phone.  To report incidents that are not life threatening, dial 486-6999 from a cellular phone.  A telephone technician will be onsite to monitor each location and can be contacted at 486-5011 if necessary.  Please contact Telephone Services (x7997) for any questions, LBNL's software distribution site, now sells popular iOS applications. You can use your Laboratory ProjectID to purchase work-related applications to your device.

To find applications, visit, click Purchase Software, scroll down to iOS App Store, then select your application.

At launch, the store sells licenses for:


If there's something else we should carry, please drop us a line at