The CIRSI computer system has been significantly simplified compared to the arrangements used in the past. The computer that controls in the camera, and is built into the telescope frame, and therefore travels with the instrument is physically larger (it is built into a much more substantial server case than the previous computer). It consists of the 1 GHz Pentium-III processor with one gigabyte of memory and a single 36 gigabyte SCSI disk on an Adaptec 29160 controller as the system disk. There is, in addition, the Linux partition on this computer. In addition there is an Adaptec 3200 RAID controller attached to two 36 gigabyte SCSI discs in a simple RAID-0 configuration in order to give higher data bandwidth without any redundancy. In addition there is a Panasonic DVD-RAM device which allows a DVD discs to be written (4.7 gigabyte single sided, 9.4 gigabyte double sided). The DVD-RAM is on the same controller as the system disk.
This computer has an integrated 100 Mb ethernet controller as well as a display driver on the server motherboard. Full details of this computer can be found on: CIRSI_Computer_Systems_Content_02.htm
The second computer is a refurbished version of the original unit that has been used on CIRSI in the past. Its detailed specification can also be found on:
Basically it consists of 266 MHz Pentium-II processor with 384 MB of computer memory. It has two 6.4 gigabyte SCSI discs which are identical and have identical copies of the software on them (they give redundancy against failure of one of them: you can choose which one to use by changing the default drive that is used as the boot drive by the Adaptec controller software which is loaded therefore Windows starts. If you look at the screen it tells you what the correct key is to press to get into the Adaptec BIOS software and change it the boot on the second disk). In addition there are two 16.8 gigabyte IDE disk drives in the unit which are intended as backup data discs. There is also an identical Panasonic DVD-RAM drive on this computer as well.
The main function of this computer is to operate as the machine in the control room which, by running PcAnywhere, is able to control the telescope computer itself. In addition should there be any problem with saving data on the telescope computer it is possible to transfer this down on to the two high-capacity IDE disk drives in the control room computer. The use of two DVD-RAM drives allows redundancy in writing DVDs as well as the possibility of checking one device against the other for read-write compatibility.
In the case of a major failure in the telescope computer it is possible to remove the two instrument control interface cards (the AT link card on the ISA bus plus the PDCI card) from the telescope computer, to install the cards into the two vacant slots in the control room computer and run CIRSI by replacing the large server case computer with the control room computer. The control room computer may be fitted into the rack on the telescope once the two horizontal bars that are used to attach the server case to the angle brackets are removed from the original telescope computer case and fitted to the side of the control room computer. Should there be a major failure of one of the computer systems, it will be possible therefore to continue to operate CIRSI. All that will be required is to locate any spare PC running Windows. This will then need to have PcAnywhere installed on it in order to control the system remotely. The intention is to provide a very substantial degree of redundancy so that even quite major system failures can be handled without too much loss of downtime.
The telescope computer is connected via an MC101 copper to fibre ethernet interface and then, via the fibres that are built into the telescope, into another MC101 unit to convert back into copper which is then distributed via an FE104 multiport switch.
The software systems on both computers are essentially identical. The only differences are that the telescope computer has a RAID array within it and therefore the software appropriate to that is not included on the control room computer.
Should it be necessary to install software from scratch then this can be done from the Windows 98 boot floppy which is provided with the system. This floppy is inserted into the floppy disk drive on the computer and the power turned on. Note that you usually need to press both of the press switches on the server rack in order to get it functioning.
This will install the basic Adaptec drivers for the DVD RAM to be used as the CD-ROM. Once that has been done, Windows 98 can be loaded from the original Windows 98 CD which is also supplied with the system. Windows 98 installs in a fairly straightforward and sensible way, and you do not have to make any important decisions or choices while doing this.
The next stage is to load the other software which is contained on copies on the software DVD-RAM supplied with a system. In order to be able to use this you must start by loading the Panasonic DVD-RAM drivers which are contained on the separate Panasonic CD which is also supplied with the system. In doing this installation (the CD is self-starting, so you should need to do nothing but wait for the screen to start) just select the options that are offered to and continue with the installation. Once it is complete the system will want to reboot and when it comes up you should discover that under the "My Computer" icon on the desktop that there is a removable disk shown. If you now insert the software DVD-RAM you should be able to find on it the various bits of software that you need in order to make a complete installation. In particular you need to be able to load the PcAnywhere package (this package does not have any hardware key or code associated with it) and (if it is the telescope control computer that is being reconfigured) the PixCel package. Otherwise you can install whatever packages you think you will want. I would recommend that you installed as a minimum Netscape 4.75, the Acrobat reader.
If you really feel adventurous, and you are installing the telescope control computer with the Adaptec 3200 RAID array controller then you can try installing the RAID software. This package is also included on the DVD RAM. This is not something that I have ever done and indeed it may not be necessary since data can always be stored on the system disk and transferred down to the other computer for archiving if for any reason you do not want to write DVDs on the control computer. The documentation on the software is quite good but I have never got into it and therefore cannot give any guidance as to how it should be managed or set up. The only important parameter probably is that the two discs are set up as a RAID 0 configuration.
Once this is all the installed, you need to set up the network by right clicking on the network neighbourhood icon on the desktop and selecting "properties". The telescope computer is called CIRCC (for CIRSI Camera Controller) and the control room computer is called CIRDR (for CIRSI Data Reduction). Click on the "Identification" tab and enter these names. The workgroup of these computers is "optics". The system should come up with the necessary components installed for networking but if you wish to check what is on it then there should be
6.1. Client for Microsoft networks (you need to set nothing for this)
6.2. An entry for the interface (again you need to set nothing for this)
6.3. TCP/IP entry. Click on "Properties" and set the following entries:
6.3.1 click "specify an IP address" and enter the appropriate IP address for the computer. These are obtained from the CFG group at the telescope. The net mask should be set to 255.255.0.0
6.3.2 disable WINS resolution
6.3.3 add a gateway: 22.214.171.124
6.3.4 under DNS configuration select "enable DNS", enter the host name given above and set the domain to be roque.ing.iac.es. Enter the DNS server research order to be 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206
6.3.5 the should be no further entries required under this, so click "0 K."
6.4. File and printer sharing for Microsoft networks (you need to set nothing up for this).
Again, reboot and you should find that the network is alive. If you have any doubts about this then you can try running ping by clicking on "start" on the toolbar, select "run", and type in "ping 220.127.116.11 ". If everything is okay this should produce a screen that shows you that the system is getting a reply from that machine. If it does not respond then there is something wrong with your network configuration or, more likely, the hardware that is connecting you to the network of the ING.
In order to install the PixCel software, it is only necessary to copy over the directory structure on the DVD RAM under the name "pixel". However you will need to install the correct setting in the registry by running the file cirsi.bat in the same directly that the PixCel program is in. You will also find it convenient to put a shortcut icon onto the desktop for the program PixCel.exe.
You will also need to check that the parameters that are in the PixCel.ini file are indeed what you want. Specifically you may find that the numbers of the runs, for example, and other parameters that you want to run, are not as you have been using. These can be changed.
I have seen some instances where the PixCel program appears to work incorrectly. There appeared to be two reasons for this. The first is that you are trying to run and all conversion of the PixCel.ini initialisation file which is used by PixCel.exe. The latest version that operates under PixCel-IR version 2.8 has a number of additional parameters in the initialisation file. All versions of the file will produce extremely curious results, often locking up the system so that a filter respond properly.
The other reason why I have sometimes seen PixCel perform strangely is if the region that is selected happens to have a size of 0 by 0 pixels. This can be changed by selecting region and choosing the whole area of the device to be read out.
Prepared by email@example.com Please contact with comments, etc. Last updated 23 May 2001