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[McIDAS #OBD-252979]: McIDAS Platform Questions

Hi Alan,

> This is Alan Stewart at U. Georgia...I'm a weather/psychology colleague
> of Tom Mote, who I think you know.

The combination of weather and psychology is intriguing!

> You were very kind in helping and answering some questions I had several
> years ago when installing McIdas on a linux box I set up. That system is
> a dual-boot sytems, a Dell with a pentium processor.  It is about 10
> years old has now begun to have hardward problems (usb ports have quit
> working, etc.)...

Moving to a modern machine will be quite an experience for you performance
wise :-)

> I am planning to build an inexpensive computer system myself that is
> dedicated only to fedora and use of McIdas and other products from
> Unidata (and to learn more about linux/fedora itself).

Sounds good.  You should be able to put together a great system for
not much money.

> Ahead of buying components, I wanted to double check with you about
> compatibility, etc.  I've heard fedora "likes" Intel processors and
> nvidia graphics cards.  So, I was anticipating building a system with
> and intel i3 microprocessor and maybe a compatible nvidia graphics card
> on a Gigabyte motherboard.

Sounds great.  Just so you know, Fedora also "likes" AMD processors.
We have built a number of systems using Athlons and Opterons in the
past, and they all performed very well.

> Then, I was planning on installing a 64-bit
> version of Fedora v.13 when it comes out later on (64-bit so that I
> could have abundant ram memory).

Sounds great!

> I looked, but was not able to see if
> there was a forum somewhere on fedora/hardware/mcidas
> considerations...if you know of one, perhaps you could point me in that
> direction.

I don't know of any forum in particular.  One could ask other users
what platforms they prefer, however. I would do this in posts to either/both
the address@hidden or address@hidden email lists.
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> Does taking this direction with regard to system planning/building sound
> workable/compatible with McIDas?

Yes, absolutely.

I have some additional comments:

- you will want to purchase an Nvidia card that is currently in release
  (old ones will likely work nicely, but Nvidia's driver support for
  legacy hardware lags behind its support for current hardware)

- you _will_ want to download, build, and install the latest Nvidia
  driver for the graphics card you purchase.

  We see significant video performance improvements when using the
  current Nvidia driver.

- as with anything, the more RAM the better :-)

- demands for McIDAS are actually quite modest.  If you can afford
  "more", I would suggest you spend the money so that you can effectively
  use the IDV.

  The IDV provides ways of visualizing data that are not available in
  any other of the analysis/visualization packages that we provide.
  The IDV running on a suitably configured machine can produce stunning
  displays and interactivity that is not available elsewhere.

  The IDV is also the basis for for the next generation McIDAS, McIDAS-V. 

> Many thanks....Alan

No worries.  Please don't hesitate to ask questions if/when they present

NB: you will have noticed that I moved your inquiry to me to our inquiry
tracking system.  Please send future questions directly to this system
as it helps us track our support efforts.  The mechanism for sending
directly to our inquiry system is very simple:  the To: name you send
to follows a simple formula:


Example To: addresses are:

address@hidden - questions pertaining to McIDAS
address@hidden    - questions pertaining to the LDM
address@hidden    - questions pertaining to the IDV
address@hidden    - questions pertaining to the IDD
address@hidden - questions pertaining to GEMPAK
address@hidden - hardware specific questions

If you are not sure of the specific topic area for your support
inquiry, you can send your question(s) to the general support


Thanks in advance for helping us out by using this submission formalism!


Unidata User Support                                    UCAR Unidata Program
(303) 497-8642                                                 P.O. Box 3000
address@hidden                                   Boulder, CO 80307
Unidata HomePage                       http://www.unidata.ucar.edu

Ticket Details
Ticket ID: OBD-252979
Department: Support McIDAS
Priority: Normal
Status: Closed

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