Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Were you caught on camera?

A selection of photos from the NGS Innovation Forum '08 are now available on the NGS Flickr and NGS Facebook groups. Feel free to tag, annotate, comment etc on photos!

Most of the presentations from the event are now available from the NGS website so if you'd like to have a look to see what you missed, to grab that website address you missed on the day or to refresh your memory now is your chance. The outstanding presentations will hopefully be added soon.

The NGS fortnightly news email bulletin has recently had an overhaul and now comes to you in lovely colourful html format. The fortnightly email contains news of software updates on the NGS, updates to NGS services, job adverts, conference announcements, training events and much more. If you'd like to be kept informed then please join our mailing list.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

After the storm

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who came along to the National Grid Service Innovation Forum '08 last week. We played host to over 120 people over 2 days at the Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI) in Manchester where delegates heard over 20 presentations ranging from services currently available to NGS users to upcoming services and the future direction of the NGS.

Thank you to everyone who has so far completed a feedback form and I'm pleased to say that the feedback so far has been extremely positive. If you still have a feedback form that you would like to submit then please contact me. The feedback has strongly indicated that we should hold a similar event at least once a year so watch this space!

It's also nice to see that reports about the event are popping up in other blogs such as this one from the ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS).

The slides from the presentations will be up on the NGS website very soon and nearly all the presentations were videoed by colleagues from the Lancaster University Centre for e-Science so if you couldn't attend in person, you can see what you missed!

In other news there have been further software updates at the NGS so if you are a user of any of the following please take note!

EMBOSS 6.0.1
The latest release of EMBOSS (6.0.1) will be available on the NGS node at RAL ( next week. EMBOSS (The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite) is an analysis package specially developed for the needs of the molecular biology user community. The software automatically copes with data in a variety of formats and even allows transparent retrieval of sequence data from the web. EMBOSS also integrates a range of currently available packages and tools, for sequence analysis, into a seamless whole. Further information on running EMBOSS on NGS resources can be found here.

Scali-MPI 5.6.4
The latest version of the commercial PlatformMPI (previously known as ‘ScaliMPI Connect’) MPI libraries are available on the NGS node at RAL ( All MPI software at RAL is linked to this latest version and is the default when compiling using mpicc,mpif77,mpif90,mpic++ . It provides a number of bug fixes and, for some user codes which call ‘free()’ repeatedly, it provides a significant speedup. RAL have benchmarked these libraries up to 10% faster than equivalent open source libraries such as MPICH.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Live from the NGS Innovation Forum '08

Posting live from a very packed NGS Innovation Forum at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. We have a total of 127 delegates here over the next 2 days from all over the UK.

Currently Dave Fergusson from NeSC is speaking about the training opportunities available from NeSC and the NGS which range from helping new users get started to helping more advanced users make the most of the wide range of services available from the NGS.

Other talks today have included a keynote presentation from Dan Katz about TeraGrid and Michael Wilson speaking about EGI and how the NGS is involved in Europe.

For those of you who can't make the event all the presentations are being videoed and will be available online. Watch this space!