Lab Laptops


There are two Mac Book laptops located in Pupin 1333 (graduate student office). They are primarily for use by the graduate students for lab and outreach-related activities.

Names & Specifications

  • Pallas (Purchased 2009)
    • Mac Book
    • Intel Core 2 Duo (1 processor, 2 cores)
    • 2 GHz Processor
    • 2 GB, 667MHz RAM
    • CD/DVD +/- RW
    • 110GB SATA hard drive
  • Vesta (Purchased 2011)
    • MacBook? Pro
    • 2.8 GHz Intel i7 Processor
    • 4 GB RAM
    • CD/DVD +/- RW
    • 750GB hard drive


There is a passwordless "astrolab" account with access to everything, as well as an "admin" account with root privileges.


Each of the computers can print to moth (the black and white printer in Pupin 1407), dragonfly (the black and white printer in Pupin 1328), and bee (the color printer in Pupin 1328).

File Storage

While these computers each have ~80 GB of free space, it is not recommended that you store precious data on them, because they will be wiped from time to time. If you have long-term data storage needs on them, please contact Cameron. Please do not leave downloaded, unwanted files sitting on the Desktop.


Each of the computers should be identical in terms of software and functionality.

TypeSoftwareVersionShort Description
Operating SystemOS X Leopard10.5.7Operating System
Parallels4.0Program for allowing other OSs to be run as subprocesses
Microsoft Windows XPWindows XP SP3Operating System
Word ProcessingMicrosoft Office for Mac2004 11.5.3Suite of MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint
OpenOffice3.1.0Free MS Office Clone
NeoOffice3.0 Path 2Free OS X port of Open Office Suite
TexShop2.26LaTeX GUI and Suite
ImagesImageMagick6.2.8Image Manipulator and Converter
ghostview3.6.2Postscript Viewer
gimp2.6.0Free Photoshop clone -- Image Manipulation
DS95.6.3Fits Image Viewer
ProgrammingPerl5.8.8Excellent, free programming language
Python2.5.4Excellent, free programming language
Python:NumPy Module1.2.0Module adding arrays and other scientific extensions
Python:Matplotlib Module0.98.3Module adding plotting functions
HPC g773.4Gnu Fortran 77 Compiler
HPC gfortran Gnu Fortran Compiler
HPC gcc4.4Gnu C Compiler
g950.91Gnu Fortran 95 Compiler
Subversion1.4.4Version Control System
Xcode Tools (gcc, g++)3.1.2Mac OS Development Tools and GUI
IDL7.0.4Proprietary programming language
IDL: Markwardt LibraryJune 3rd, 2008IDL Astronomy Library
IDL: astron LibraryMarch 2008IDL Astronomy Library
IDL: idlutils Library5.2.0IDL Astronomy Library
IDL: idlspec2d Library5.2.0IDL Astronomy Library
IDL: kcorrect Library4.1.4IDL Astronomy Library
IDL: SDSSIDL Library1.4IDL Astronomy Library
Sky VisualizationStarry Night Orion Edition6.2.3Proprietary program for visualizing the sky at any date/time
Stellarium0.10.2Free program for visualizing the sky at any date/time
Celestia1.5.1Free program for visualizing the sky at any date/time
Google Earth5.0.11733.9347Free program for visualizing the surface of the Earth
Astronomy ToolsIRAF2.13All-purpose tool for reduction of astronomical observational data
Pyraf1.4Python Port of IRAF
Gnupot4.2 patch 5Free Plotting Tool
SExtractor2.5.0Source Extraction Tool
SciSoft2009.6.1Astronomical Tools Suite -- List of programs
Windows ProgramsMeade Autostar Suite3.23Software for CCD Data Acquisition and Processing
Firefox3.0.10Free, awesome web browser
Adobe Reader9.1.1PDF Reader
Symantec Antivirus11.3.2Anti-Virus Program (Columbia Site License)
CLEA Education ExercisesJune 2009Free, educational astronomical exercises for lab students
MiscellanyFirefox3.0.10Free, awesome web browser
x11 Window Environment2.1.6Window environment for using unix tools
vim7.1.123Text Editor Editor
xemacs21.4Text Editor
Adobe Reader9.1.1PDF Reader
Jolly Fast VNC0.98.18VNC Client
Symantec Antivirus10.2.1Anti-Virus Program (Columbia Site License)

If you see any software missing that you would like installed on these computers, or if you encounter problems with the installed software, please contact Cameron.

For another reference on Mac OS X programs useful to astronomers, check out OS X for Astronomers