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Computer hardware

The Siding Spring computer facilities include VAX 4000 Model 300 and MicroVAX 3800 systems, which have about 8 times and 4 times the CPU power of a VAX 11/780 respectively. The VAX systems run in a VMS VAX cluster environment and are both connected to a disk subsystem with about 5 Gbytes of mass storage. The MicroVAX 3800 is connected to an Exabyte 8200 8mm tape drive which can backup 2.5 Gbytes of data. The 3800 is also connected to two half-inch 9-track tape drives which can run at densities of 6250 and 1600 bits per inch. Both VAXes have 290 Mbyte TK70 tape cartridges. The VAX systems run DECnet and TCP/IP networking protocols.

The Epping Laboratory computing facilities closely mirror those available at Siding Spring. § 9.5 describes the computer facilities at the Schmidt telescope.

Image display facilities are provided with Starlink configuration Ikon systems, one each connected to the 3800 and the 4000. The Ikons have a display resolution of 1024 x  768 pixels, an 8-bit image display plane and an 8-bit overlay plane. Future expansion of image display systems will use devices compatible with the X-11 windowing system.

There are several Unix workstations (SPARCstations (SUNs) and DECstations) at both Epping and Siding Spring, and these are networked to the VAX systems. File sharing between VMS and Unix systems is possible via NFS, and file transfer via FTP. Some of the workstations have 600 Mbyte CD-ROM readers. The DECstations are equipped with TK50 95 Mbyte tape cartridges, while the SPARCstations have 150 Mbyte quarter-inch tape cartridges. All Unix workstations run TCP/IP networking software, and some also support the DECnet protocol.

Line graphics are available with Pericom MG100 and MG600 terminals which emulate Tektronix 4014 and VT200 terminals. There are also many VT200 and VT300 compatible terminals available. All terminals are connected to terminal servers and so can access any VAX system and some Unix systems.

Hardcopy devices include Postscript laser printers and Printronix line printers at both Epping and Siding Spring. In addition Epping has a QMS laser printer while Siding Spring has a Canon laser printer. Some printers are accessible from both Unix and VMS systems.

There are a number of Macintosh computers and a variety of IBM-compatible PCs at Epping and Siding Spring. A range of software is available on these machines. CD-ROMs for Macintoshes are also available at both sites, allowing access to the HST Guide Star Catalogue.



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