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20010221: McIDAS etc. Information



>From: Simon Kissler <address@hidden>
>Organization: Valparaiso University
>Keywords: 200102211549.f1LFn6L18287 McIDAS-X

Simon,

>I have just inherited the task to re-build the long defunct McIDAS system
>at Valparaiso University. Unfortunately the people who used to support the
>system have long left since then and documentation concerning anything is
>scarce if non-existant. 

It would be best to approach McIDAS use at Valparaiso as if it was an
entirely new package.  This way, you won't get caught in trying to make
sense of some ways of doing things that have been replaced by new
features/applications/concepts.

>At this point all I know is that we used to have this set up, and that we
>used to get a data stream for it. I would appreciate if you could help me
>piece together what I need to get this going.

Sure.  A quick check of the status of the IDD (Internet Data
Distribution system) does not show a machine from the valpo.edu domain
receiving any data.  Do you know if you are supposed to be receiving
data?  Are you currently running any other Unidata-supplied
analysis/display packages?

>I have a system that will be
>dedicated to supporting it and is well within the specifications you
>stated on your website.

OK.  From what litte I know right now, you will probably be faced with grabbing,
installing, and configuring the following packages:

LDM         <- the backbone of the Unidata IDD
ldm-mcidas  <- decoders for products in the Unidata-Wisconsin datastream
mcidas-x    <- McIDAS-X itself
mcidas-xcd  <- McIDAS decoders for data products in the various 
non-Unidata-Wisconsin
               datastreams that you can get through the IDD

This may seem daunting, but when taken one step at a time, the job is fairly 
simple.

Before beginning, I should understand exactly what you are intending
for your McIDAS-X installation.  Will the package be used mainly to
generate web page content (various weather displays, etc.) and/or will
it be used by groups of students in labs, etc.?  The reason I ask is
that if your use of McIDAS will be "small" (meaning that you will not
be attempting to support several users of the package at once), then
you may be able to get by with only installing McIDAS-X and getting
your data from one of the growing number of sites that are running a
McIDAS ADDE server.  McIDAS ADDE is the part of McIDAS that allows
client applications to request data from remote servers.  If your
network connectivity is stable, then this avenue offers a way of not
having to run data ingestion and decoding processes locally.  If, on
the other hand, your objective is to support numerous simultaneous
instances of the package, then you will want to be ingesting and
decoding data locally.

The following assumes that you will be wanting to support lab use of
McIDAS (and other Unidata packages).

The first job would be getting and installing the LDM.  You should
review the information on the LDM web pages that we maintain here at
the UPC:

Unidata HomePage
http://www.unidata.ucar.edu

  LDM HomePage
  http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/packages/ldm/index.html

I include the ldm-mcidas and McIDAS-X web pages for future reference:

  ldm-mcidas HomePage
  http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/packages/mcidas/mcidd/ldm-mcidas.html

  Unidata McIDAS-X HomePage
  http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/packages/mcidas/770/index.html

The LDM and ldm-mcidas packages are downloadable as pre-built binaries for
a select list of supported platforms.  It may be the case that you can take
advantage of this depending on what OS you will be running.  So, what
kind of machine will you be dedicating to this project?

>Thanks,

Again, let's take this one step at a time.  As soon as we talk about what
your ultimate objectives are, we can decide on exactly what you will need
to install and configure.

>-Simon
>------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -
>Simon Kissler                                   address@hidden
>UNIX Systems Administrator                     Phone: (219) 464 6773
>Electronic Information Services                 Fax  : (219) 464 5381
>Valparaiso University
>Kretzmann Hall B22
>Valparaiso, IN 46383
>------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Yoksas

>From address@hidden Wed Feb 21 09:39:00 2001
>Subject: Re: 20010221: McIDAS etc. Information 

Thanks for your quick response, let me try to give you a better idea with
more details to help you help me :).

We are looking at using this in a lab environment. The meteorology
department would like this to be initially used for research and
forecast-teaching in their lab, which is relatively small, but enlight of
strong growth of the department in recent years they envision this being
available in our geography lab and possibly other places in the not too
distant future.

We have a SUN server to centrally ingest data and the clients (lab
machines) would access the data from the server. I don't know if this is
feasible and how easily it is set up, but that is what the department is
envisioning.

Please let me know if I can give you any more information about this.

-Simon

>From address@hidden Wed Feb 21 09:47:05 2001

Ok, sorry for the duplicate message, but I just received the info to
answer a few more questions, so here I go:

answers interlaced:

On Wed, 21 Feb 2001, Unidata Support wrote:

> Sure.  A quick check of the status of the IDD (Internet Data
> Distribution system) does not show a machine from the valpo.edu domain
> receiving any data.  Do you know if you are supposed to be receiving
> data?  Are you currently running any other Unidata-supplied
> analysis/display packages?

From what I know and just confirmed this used to be set up a few years ago
and the person supporting it left and since nobody could figure out how to
run it it was sidelined and eventually discontinued. As such we do not
have anything that uses Unidata supplied data at this point, but the
Meteorology Dept stated that we used to receive a data-stream via the
Internet.


> 
> The LDM and ldm-mcidas packages are downloadable as pre-built binaries for
> a select list of supported platforms.  It may be the case that you can take
> advantage of this depending on what OS you will be running.  So, what
> kind of machine will you be dedicating to this project?

The server is a SUN Ultra 220R server. More detailed specs:
(1)     450Mhz UltraSparc-II Processor
        1GB RAM
(2)     36GB HardDrives
        Solaris 8 (O/S)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Simon Kissler                                   address@hidden
UNIX Systems Administrator                      Phone: (219) 464 6773
Electronic Information Services                 Fax  : (219) 464 5381
Valparaiso University
Kretzmann Hall B22
Valparaiso, IN 46383
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Without trust, you don't have anything.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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