3D PSII supercomplex; here

Computers - Personal and Workstation Class administration / networking

Jon has been building PC computers since 1996. His first computer was a Commodore VIC20 (1982), then Atari ST (1987). He has, in the past, had the need to administer up to ~ 60 PCs in total at the same time, which has included both dedicated PC &, furthermore, alpha Tru64 UNIX clusters (1997-2007). He uses Linux and currently prefers Ubuntu 18.04 / LTS, but has run other distributions (SuSE, Redhat/Fedora; Tru64 (v4.0D-v5.1), with a soft-spot for Mandriva, and now Xubuntu).

In his past laboratories, a self-built Linux 'Beowulf' cluster was used, all core nodes being gigabit-switched (supported by The Royal Society 2001-2012). This was superceded by locally-built 160 node quad socket G34-series Opteron (4 servers), for local software training and dataset evaluation (2013-2019). Previously, he learnt collective UNIX-internals (kernel rebuilding/ graphics card/ HD/ memory replacement) and has upgraded many workstations for stereo (3D) modelling. In the good-old-days, Jon experienced the hands-on practicalities of setting up 10/100/1000baseT networks several times (i.e. even drilling holes in walls), from refurbishing labs to O/S configuration. He application-tests his Athlon and dual-CPU, quad-CPU (1080 ti), 16 core-CPU (3950X)...systems and clusters. He also admires Macintosh and has some machines to appreciate Darwin (so far up to OSX Mojave). He used SGI (1995-2004): ah, the (easily forgotten) memories.

Computers are employed in a multi-track (analogue input), with hundreds of tracks now available (digital recording) studio, where they are used as synth/samplers and configuring the MIDI environment, especially for mobile/laptop audio capture, composition and manipulation. He runs, of course, software synths in a 'practically unlimited' virtual recording environment via EMU-1820M hardware (excellent ADC/DAC to this day) and 16-CPU / terabyte NAS recording.

Software used efficiently and in depth:
Scientific Image-processing:
GRIP/ EMAN/ Imagic-5/ Xv/ 'O' crystallographic package/ Viewerlite/ Swiss Pdb Viewer/ PyMol
Presentation and Publication:
Inkscape, LibreOffice, Corel Draw X3 suite/ Macromedia Studio MX/ Office (Mac&Win7); Adobe Photoshop + Acrobat / Firefox/ Thunderbird. All iOS/Android and (was it that long ago!? - Compaq PPC/WM6.1 equivalents), including powerpoint and video capable PPCs as far back as the Casio E-125 (remember those stares on the tube whilst watching video clips!) and handheld GPS-enabled 'smartphone' devices pre-Google (Mio A701 anyone?).
General: ssh, sftp / GPG / nfs / [DVD+/-R/RW/RAM / DAT / DDS (!)] / Nero / Irfanview.


Jon Nield, 2000-2020