Radar Meteorology Group Frequently Asked Questions


  • Local Computing Environment
  • (1) What computers do we have?
  • (2) What is the difference between a Sun Workstation, a Mac Workstation, and a Linux Workstation?
  • (3) How do I get to data on another computer?
  • (4) How do I find a file?
  • Basic Computer Usage
  • (1) How do I ... and why does this not work?
  • (2) What programs do people use?
  • (3) How do I print?
  • (4) How do I use the tape drives?
  • (5) How do I change my computing environment?
  • (6) How do I send mail to everyone in the group?
  • (7) Where can I get some help learning vi?
  • (8) Where can I get more information about Unix?
  • (9) How can I make my own web page?
  • Radar Data Processing Questions
  • (1) Is there some documentation for processing radar data?
  • (2) How can I read and write pltgks netcdf files from fortran?
  • (3) Can I read and write UF files from fortran?
  • (4) How do I do an EVAD Analysis?
  • How to expand this FAQ
  • (1) How can I add a question that I get asked alot to the FAQ?

  • Local Computing Environment

    (1) What computers do we have?

    We have 11 Intel Linux Workstations. Linux is a free Unix operating system. Radarmet is the server for the group. Email for the group comes to Radarmet, and Radarmet serves as the group's ftp and web server. The /home directories are on Denali.

    Also there are a PC and a Mac which have Microsoft Office.

    (2) What about printing?

    We have one network printer, spectrum (color-Rm 226).

    (3) How do I get to data on another computer?

    One can "ssh -Y computer" to get to another machine to look at some data. Also the data disks are remotely available on most all machines, so one can access the data on a variety of machines. To access a data disk on another machine one goes to the directory '/net/computer/diskname'. The diskname is usually 'data'. Note it is best (but not necessary) to run the programs on the same machine where the data resides.

    (4) How do I find a file?

    To find a file on your computer type "locate string" and it will find all files with string in their names. If you type "run-all locate string" (with password), it will run the command locate on all the linux workstations.


    Basic Computer Usage

    (1) How do I ... and why does this not work?

    First look over this list of questions. If your question is not answered, then ask someone. It is part of the System Administrator's job to help you with questions that you might have. Also many of your fellow students have figured out these questions already and are willing to pass their knowledge on to you. Be sure to ask.

    (2) What programs do people use?

    The majority of our group uses thunderbird for email, firefox for the web browser, and idl for the graphing data. Check out the local help web page for more commonly used programs.

    (3) How do I print?

    To send a file to our printer from a Linux workstation type 'lpr File'.

    One can save paper and put several pages of text on one page by 'T2 File' (two pages) and by 'T4 File' (four pages). Similarly four pages of black/white postscript output can be put on one page by 'P4 File'.

    (4) How do I use the tape drives?

    Talk with Paul about how to use the tape drives. Tape drives are needed to access some really old data.

    (5) How do I change my computing environment?

    C Shell is the shell (i.e. environment) that is default. For each window has its own shell running with the default settings in '.cshrc'. (The default settings are set when the window is created.) When one changes the settings in a window (by 'source .cshrc'), it is changed only for that window. Files that begin with a '.' are hidden files and can be viewed with 'ls -a'. Many of the files that begin with a '.' are configuration files. Many default configurations are set at the system level, but they can be overridden by one's local configuration files.

    (6) How do I send mail to everyone in the group?

    If you send mail to 'radarmet' you send mail to everyone.

    (7) Where can I get some help learning vi?

    Vi is not an easy editor to learn, but it is very powerful and is the standard unix editor. First use vim, a vi clone, and not vi. Vim is more friendly and also even more powerful. Vim has an online help available by typing ':help' and you should check out this vi web page. Also check out the web pages listed as an answer to the next question.

    Note it is a good idea to periodically look at some vi documentation in order to expand the number of vi commands that you know and use. It can significantly increase your editting speed.

    (8) Where can I get more information about Unix?

  • Unix Help for Users
  • Basic Unix (NCAR)
  • Local Help
  • (9) How can I make my own web page?

    In your home directory make a directory 'public_html' which will be the place where you put your web pages. 'http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/~AccountName/' will be the address for file 'index.html' and will be the prefix for other files. Note there is a policy of only work related pages and links. (This is a broad definition where weather links are okay even if not directly job related, but a link to a ski page is not.) It is best to have a file (or linked file) called 'index.html' to keep people from snooping around your 'public_html' directory. You can have subdirectories in your 'public_html' directory.

    We have a good html editor called nvu. If you want to learn html, the best way is to find a page you like and then view the source (View/Document Source). Then you can save the page as source modify it to you liking or you can just take what you learned. Imitation is a good way to learn. Also check out:

  • Learning HTML
  • http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/~hein/www.html

  • Radar Data Processing Questions (mostly out of date)

    (1) Is there some documentation for processing radar data?

    Check out:
    Using Local Radar Tools (mostly out of date)
    Examples of How To Process Radar Data (mostly out of date)
    http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/AT741.html (quite dated).

    (2) How can I read and write pltgks netcdf files from fortran?

    Three routines have been created to make it easier to read and write pltgks netcdf files in fortran. To read a pltgks netcdf file you first call 'readinfd' to read the header information and then 'readat' to read the data. To write a pltgks netcdf file you call 'wrtdatd'. A description of the subroutines can be found at http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/software/rwpltgks.txt.

    To compile a program with the routines on a Sun Workstation:
    f77 file.f /usr/sea/lib/seagull.a -o exefile
    To compile a program with the routines on a Linux Workstation:
    f77 file.f -lpnc -lnetcdf -o exefile
    (This should work also on a Sun Workstation.)
    
    (3) Can I read and write UF files from fortran?

    Yes you can. A sample program showing and describing how it can be done is available at http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/software/ufroutine.txt.

    (4) How do I do an EVAD Analysis?

    The procedure to do an EVAD Analysis is described at http://radarmet.atmos.colostate.edu/software/evad.txt.


    How to expand this FAQ

    (1) How can I add a question that I get asked alot to the FAQ?

    Email the question and answer to Paul Hein.