CIMA Frequently Asked Questions

This is a compilation of some frequently asked questions about CIMA

You can return to the main CIMA page by clicking here.

Why are there different versions of CIMA?

CIMA is a system in constant development. CIMA is also a complex system supporting a wide variety of observing modes, some which are used very rarely. It is thus difficult to test and verify that modifications made to CIMA has no negative side effects for any of the many available modes. By offering several versions of CIMA, that does not become a big problem. Modifications and new modes can be tested out in a test version, without the risk of breaking the version that is normally used for observations. Should it turn out that "this" particular mode that hasn't been used for 6 months no longer works, the old versions are still available.

Which version of CIMA should I choose?

If You are a normal, happy observer, You should choose the CIMA version with the highest version number, since that version contains the latest improvements and bug fixes. If You are a bit more cautious, You may choose the version called 'normal'. That is supposed to be a recent and fairly stable version. If You need some new feature or some recently introduced bug fix, You may have to run a newer version like 'test'. Modifications and bug fixes in The CIMA user's log are usually listed with a version number indicating when they were introduced. If You find something in the log pages that You need, then make sure that You select a version of CIMA with the same or a later version number.

If You discover that CIMA can't deal with Your observations any longer although it worked fine when You were here doing the very same thing 6 months ago, You may consider trying an older version of CIMA. However, don't forget to inform the CIMA administrator (email at bottom of this page) about Your problems, so that he can fix the newer versions.

This is SLOOOOW --- how can I get CIMA to run faster when I am observing remotely?

Running interactive graphical packages like CIMA can be slow over the network. The best thing to do is to run CIMA via VNC which speeds up things considerably by cutting down on the network traffic. VNC is also more reliable and lets CIMA keep running in case there are hick-ups in the network connection. It can also aid in trouble-shooting since an Arecibo staff member can connect to Your VNC session and see the same screen as You see. See the remote observing instructions for details on how to use VNC.

I am just trying to open the 'ALFA Beam Positions' ('Quicklook Data', 'ALFA Status', etc.) display from the menu on 'dataview' --- why do I get a CIMA selection window?

Although not directly part of the CIMA observing session, the programs listed as 'CIMA Applications' in the menu on 'dataview' are still part of the CIMA package. This means that programs like the data quick-look display and various ALFA instrument displays all exist in several versions just like the CIMA observing session itself. The menu on 'dataview' has thus been set-up to launch all these program via the CIMA version selection system to allow You to choose which version of the software You want. If You don't want to see this selection window any longer, You can just use the 'Select CIMA Version' option in the menu to select one of the available versions as Your default version.

Where is my WAPP data written?

Spectral line data is usually written to a server with big disks. For some time this has been a disk called /share/pserverf.sda3/wappdata and a lot of people are accessing their data directly there, which is a BAD idea, since disks get full and data may be moved or stored somewhere else. The proper way to access WAPP spectral line data is via the directory /share/wappdata which contains links to all FITS-files.

There is no CIMA log in my project directory --- what happened?

If Your project directory is not owned by dtusr it has to have general write permission in order for CIMA to be able to write Your log file (or other set-up files) there.

I have lost/destroyed the CIMA log --- is there another copy somewhere?

Yes, there is a duplicate log of all CIMA sessions written to /share/cima/Logs/Obs_logs. The logs are kept in daily log files called Obslog.YYYYMMDD. If You want to use these log files, You probably want to extract the log that belongs to Your project by using a command like: grep ' a2142 ' /share/cima/Logs/Obs_logs/Obslog.20060407 > my_log. Note that a session running across local midnight (AST) is split up in two separate log-files. Also note that the file format is a bit different.

I like chatting with the CIMA chat box during my remote observations --- is it OK to use it to discuss some personal matters with the operator?

Well, that is maybe not the best of ideas. Messages written to the CIMA chat box are logged in case they could be helpful when trouble-shooting some problem. If You have matters of more personal/confidential nature that You want to discuss with the telescope operator, it is probably better to pick up the phone.

This page is administered by Prakash Atreya ( patreya (a) naic . edu ) and was last updated on 4 September 2007.