Research Computing >> 2007 news archive

RESEARCH COMPUTING NEWS 2007

Please check here regularly for updated news and information on research computing.


Recent announcements

November 28: Power outage on 11/27 affected skew3 and SSCC
November 16: skew3 and SSCC down on Sunday 11/18
November 14: Euromonitor's Global Market Information Database
October 15: Database of prospective research assistants
September 24: WRDS server back on line
September 12: Stata Journal 7(3) available now
August 23: Matlab license server down after power outage
March 16: CBOT treasury package
February 12: New release of z-Tree
January 24: New behavioral labs manager

Announcements during previous years:


November 28: Power outage on 11/27 affected skew3 and SSCC

Yesterday around 12:15pm, during electrical work in Northwestern's datacenter, the facility experienced a power failure which brought down many servers, including skew3 and the SSCC. Jobs running in both systems were interrupted and users will need to restart them. In the SSCC, in particular, the batch management software, PBS Pro would normally re-start the interrupted jobs as soon as the systems rebooted. However, the file server (Isilon) where the user home directories are, took more time than the computing nodes to reboot and the automatic re-start of jobs failed.

Last night, NUIT posted the following update:

Midday, on November 27, the University experienced electrical problems in the datacenter that rendered many systems inoperable.

Ninety percent of the primary infrastructure systems were re-enabled within two hours of the initial outage. The remaining systems were enabled in a phased manner throughout the remainder of the day.

As of 6 p.m., all University systems have been restored and are functioning properly.

E-mail sent to University hosted e-mail accounts may require extra time for delivery as the system processes any mail that was backed up as a result of this event. We thank you for your patience during this unexpected event.

November 16: skew3 and SSCC down on Sunday 11/18

Northwestern's Evanston data center needs emergency electrical repairs this Sunday. This affects research servers as well. Both skew3, our UNIX server, and the the Social Science Computing Cluster (SSCC) will be powered down on Sunday. Please do not start any long jobs that may not finish in time for the shutdown.

In addition, to clarify the previous announcement, the following services will not work:

  • Blackboard (courses.northwestern.edu)
  • Northwestern's "Online Passport" (the authentication method used for library resources)
  • VPN
  • Northwestern web page

Any Northwestern service that requires NETID authentication (such as the UNIX mail servers, merle, hecky...) will be be offline.

Kellogg's web page and Sharepoint sites will work, but Exchange based email may not or suffer delays if it does work. KIS is still trying to determine the extent of services interruption, since a significant chunk of the campus network infrastructure will be powered off. Hence, you may receive an additional message from KIS later today or tomorrow.

FYI, the datacenter is currently running on generator power and an automatic transfer switch (the device that switches power between the emergency generator and normal power) has failed, which is the source of the problem.

Servers at the datacenter will be shut down starting at 6:00am on Sunday morning (the process takes about two hours), and NUIT hopes to start turning them back on again around 2:00pm. This is the worst case scenario; NUIT believes that services will be restored earlier in the day.

November 14: Euromonitor's Global Market Information Database

Dear faculty and doctoral students,

The following announcement comes from Carol Doyle from the Schaffner Library (downtown campus library):

Euromonitor's GMID Now Available at the Library

Euromonitor's Global Market Information Database (GMID) provides statistics on industries, countries and consumers. Economic indicators, demographics and consumer profile information on a variety of products and services are integrated into insightful comment and reports. Over 200 countries are covered. Link to GMID at:

er.library.northwestern.edu/brief.php?arg=gmid&st=quick

Carol Doyle
Reference and Instruction Librarian
Joseph Schaffner Library
Northwestern University
339 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
312-503-6618

We have added a link in the Research Computing Data web page, under "full text" resources.

October 15: Database of prospective research assistants

Dear faculty

Starting this fall, Research Computing has begun an effort to collect information on prospective research assistants around the school. To this effect, we have advertised a research assistantship survey in various outlets.

The response thus far has been encouraging and we are pleased to offer you a list of prospective research assistant with their contact information and some key skills. To access this list, please point your web browser to:

www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/researchcomputing/sec/faculty-only/RA_survey/RA_database2007.xls (MS Excel format)

This page is linked from the Research Computing page on Grants and RAs . This page also includes a printout of the survey -- we welcome any suggestions to improve the survey. Both this page and the spreadsheet are password protected and can be accessed only by faculty members and selected administrators.

Since responses are still being recorded, the spreadsheet will be updated several times over the course of the next week or two.

Contact these prospective RAs as appropriate -- both their email and phone numbers are listed in the spreadsheet. If you hire one or more of them, please let us know and we will record this in the spreadsheet for the benefit of your colleagues.

We hope this facilitates your research.

September 24: WRDS server back on line

The WRDS server was brought back online sometime between 9:00pm and 10:00pm, after experiencing a system problem shortly before 8:00pm last night.

September 12: Stata Journal 7(3) available now

The latest electronic copies of the Stata Journal are available online.

August 23: Matlab license server down after power outage

August 24, 11:50am update: The Matlab license server is up and running.

The Matlab license server, which controls the concurrent licenses for all platforms at Northwestern, was down after a power outage on August 23, at 3:40pm.

March 16: CBOT end-of-day and ticker data are avaialable now

The summary of the complete history treasury package is given below. The data are available in /kellogg/data/cbot on skew3.

Data
Frequency
Available since
Open Auction-Futures
end-of-day

08/22/1977

Open Auction-Options
end-of-day
10/01/1982
Open Auction-Futures
tick
1/2/1995
Open Auction-Options
tick
1/2/1995
Electronic-Futures
end-of-day
8/22/2000
Electronic-Options
end-of-day
8/22/2000
Electronic-Futures
tick
8/22/2000
Electronic-Options
tick
8/22/2000

Tick Data provides you with daily tick-by-tick data (time and sales) for all CBOT products. The following data is included: trade price, trade time, and volume traded (if available). End-of-Day Data provides you with the following daily prices for all CBOT products: Open, High, Low, Close, Settlement, Volume, and Open Interest. Click here to go to the data page.

February 12: New release of z-Tree

Urs Fischbacher has released a new version of z-Tree, version 3.2.1, which fixes an error. The error caused wrong information to be displayed in the participants' screens and it was due to lack of transmission of the \"Start if possible\" option to the z-Leaf instances when this option was present at the beginning of a stage. The recommendation is to upgrade right away if you are using z-Tree to run experiments.

January 24: New behavioral labs manager

We are pleased to announce that Simone Cavallaro has started working as our new full-time Lab Manager.

Simone, who has a laurea in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Padova, will manage the two existing behavioral labs in Kellogg as well as day to day operations of the SONA subject pool. Simone is knowledgeable in standard behavioral research software packages such as Direct RT, MediaLab and he will also assist faculty and doctoral students in the setup of their studies in the lab's computers. In the near future, he will manage subject payments on behalf of the researchers too.

His contact information is the RC Contact web page.

To find out more about the Kellogg labs and the subject pool, please refer to:

Access to the pages above is restricted to Kellogg faculty and doctoral students.

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