ARSC T3D Users' Newsletter 17, January 6, 1995

T3D in the News

The following article appeared in the December 23rd issue of the Wall Street Journal:

Cray Research Inc.

Computer Systems Picked By DOE's Los Alamos Lab

Cray Research Inc., Eagan, Minn., said the Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory has selected its high performance computing systems to ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

As a result of the competitive procurement win, a 256-processor CRAY T3D massively parallel processing system and an interim four-processor CRAY Y-MP supercomputer system are scheduled to be installed this month at Los Alamos. In 1995, Los Alamos expects to upgrade the CRAY T3D system to 512 processors and to replace the CRAY Y-MP System with a four-processor version of Cray Research's next-generation parallel vector supercomputer system, code-named Triton, the supercomputer maker said. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

This is a pretty interesting article by itself, but does anyone know who else was part of the "competitive procurement"?

T3D Online Documentation with docview

Many of the CRI manuals are available, online, with the docview facility. By entering the docview command during an interactive session a user is provided with a menu for listing and searching the available documents. The top level menu looks like:

                        D O C V I E W
           On-line Documentation System Command Menu

  Please enter a command at the menu> prompt.

  a[list]                  List docnames in alphabetical order
  c[list]                  List docnames by subject category
  d[list]                  List docnames by date last submitted
  f[ind]  string           Find keywords and corresponding docnames
                           associated with "string"
  p[revious]               Return to the previous command mode
  v[iew]  docname keyword  View passage "keyword" in document "docname"
  w[rite] docname keyword  Write passage "keyword" from document
                           "docname"

  h[elp]  [topic]          Display help for the current screen
                           or a Docview topic or command
  m[enu]                   Display this menu
  q[uit]                   Quit from Docview

  Enter "help quick" for a quick look at how to use Docview menu
A quick summary of its capabilities comes from the "help quick" information page obtained by following the above advice.

                      HELP:  Quick Start to Docview

  To view or write a passage or an entire document, you must know the
  keyword associated with the passage and the name of the document
  (docname).

  FINDING A TOPIC     Syntax:   find 'string'
                      Example:  find make


  FINDING A DOCUMENT  alist or clist commands


  VIEWING A PASSAGE   Syntax:   view 'docname' 'keyword'
                      Example:  view support make


  VIEWING A WHOLE     Syntax:   view 'docname' entire
  DOCUMENT            Example:  view support entire


  WRITING TO DISK     Syntax:   write 'docname' 'keyword' [> 'outfile']
                      Example:  write support awk > tools

                      Use "entire" as the keyword to write the entire
                      document to disk.  Use "index" as the keyword to
                      write the document's keywords to disk.  The
                      default for 'outfile' is 'docname'.doc.


  GETTING HELP        Enter        Result
                      -----------  ------------------------------------
                      h            Help about the current command
                      h 'command'  Help about 'command'
                      h navigate   Help about navigational commands
                      h overview   More detailed introduction to Docview
The reason I brought up docview in this newsletter is that several new T3D manuals have been made available through docview recently. The list of online manuals available through docview for the T3D is shown below:

List of Available Documents by Date Last Submitted:


  Date        Docname        Manual Title
  ----        -------        ------------
  Dec  9 1994 pvm.hence.40   PVM and HeNCE Manual (SR-2501 4.0)
  Dec  9 1994 mpp.stdc.40    Standard C Ref. Manual for MPP (SR-2506 4.0)
  Dec  4 1994 pvm.hence.30   PVM and HeNCE Manual (SR-2501 3.0)
  Oct 27 1994 totalview.11   Cray TotalView Debugger Manual (SR-2502 1.1)
  Oct 27 1994 apprentice.11  Introducing MPP Apprentice (IN-2511 1.1)
  Jul 22 1994 emu.user.10    Emulator User's Guide (SG-2500 1.0)
  Jul 22 1994 cam.ref.11     CAM Reference Manual (SR-2510 1.1)
  Feb 24 1994 mpp.fortran.60 Cray MPP Fortran Ref. Manual (SR-2504 6.0)
There are a couple of limitations with docview:
  1. For each document there is a list of keywords for which the find command will return a description. Sometimes you have to list the keywords to know what you are looking for.
  2. If "a picture is worth a thousand words" then docview loses information in 1000 word chunks. Because docview is all ascii text files there is no easy way to reproduce the postscript pictures found in the hard copy manuals.
To get around the first limitation above, I sometimes write the entire document to a file and then all the unix commands like grep and vi can be used to search for information. On our printer the page breaks of the docview file are exactly one line too many, so almost every other page is blank.

For PVM programmers, the pvm.hence.40 document contains some interesting new information and it would be worthwhile to write the entire document to a file and just peruse it with an editor.

Man Page Tricks

As helpful as docview is, there is nothing as pleasing as to find a man page on a new command or function. But the problem of finding the right man page is the same as using a dictionary to check your spelling, you have to know what you're looking for. On top of this, "man" as a unix command is case sensitive (try man abort and man ABORT).

I learned a trick from Dr. Ming Jiang some time ago that might help finding the right man page. There is a file, /usr/man/whatis, that contains a one line description of each man page. The first few lines looks like:


  abort(3C) - Generates an abnormal process termination
  abort(3F) - Requests abort with traceback
  ABORT(3F) (see abort(3F)) - Requests abort with traceback
  abs(3C) - Returns the integer or long integer absolute value
  abs(3M) - Computes absolute value
  ABS(3M) (see abs(3M)) - Computes absolute value
  .
  .
  .
With this file, easy searches can be made to find out what man pages are available. For example:

  egrep -i PVM /usr/man/whatis 
produces (-i make the search case insensitive):

  PVFCHDSTSETUP(3) (see pvm_channels(3)) - Sends and receives messages over a 
  pvm(1) - PVM version 3 console
  pvm_addhosts(3) - Adds or deletes one or more systems
  pvm_barrier(3) - Creates a barrier to synchronize tasks
  pvm_bcast(3) (see pvm_send(3)) - Sends a message or messages
  ...
    120 deleted lines
  ...
  pvm_upkstr(3) (see pvm_upk(3)) - Extracts values from received messages
  pvm_upkuint(3) (see pvm_upk(3)) - Extracts values from received messages
  pvm_upkulong(3) (see pvm_upk(3)) - Extracts values from received messages
  pvm_upkushort(3) (see pvm_upk(3)) - Extracts values from received messages
But even beyond this there is the "man -k keyword" command that not only does the egrep on the file /usr/man/whatis but all also egreps the file /usr/man/local/whatis. This file contains the list of man pages added by ARSC for libraries and commands available at ARSC.

Reminders

Phase II I/O on the T3D

ARSC is evaluating the effort of moving from the current Phase I I/O to Phase II I/O on the T3D. In future newsletters I can summarize the differences, but for now I would like to ask if any ARSC users are interested in this upgrade or would want to be part of the evaluation?

List of Differences Between T3D and Y-MP

The current list of differences between the T3D and the Y-MP is:
  1. Data type sizes are not the same (Newsletter #5)
  2. Uninitialized variables are different (Newsletter #6)
  3. The effect of the -a static compiler switch (Newsletter #7)
  4. There is no GETENV on the T3D (Newsletter #8)
  5. Missing routine SMACH on T3D (Newsletter #9)
  6. Different Arithmetics (Newsletter #9)
  7. Different clock granularities for gettimeofday (Newsletter #11)
I encourage users to e-mail in differences that they have found, so we all can benefit from each other's experience.
Current Editors:
Ed Kornkven ARSC HPC Specialist ph: 907-450-8669
Kate Hedstrom ARSC Oceanographic Specialist ph: 907-450-8678
Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756020
Fairbanks AK 99775-6020
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