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InTheLoop | 03.20.2006

The weekly electronic newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences employees

March 20, 2006

Early Reporting of Ergonomic Problems Leads to Prompt Action

The recent experience of an ESnet employee who noticed discomfort apparently caused by the ergonomics of his workstation illustrates the importance of reporting such problems quickly, rather than hoping things will get better on their own. While the employee's inflammation has not entirely gone away, the prognosis is for a recovery without the need for surgery.

The employee's initial report led to a workstation evaluation and the addition of a left-hand mouse to ease strain on the employee's right arm. The employee noted that the doctor treating the injury cited “the excellent ergo support … at LBNL has made a tremendous impact on the recovery. He says all the suggestions I've received from the LBNL ergo team are working fine.”

Jeffrey Chung of the ergonomic group in EH&S added, “When we're alerted of individual ergo issues or are asked to help, we can intervene and usually fix the issue. It takes time and typically involves a tailored, case-by-case troubleshooting effort. A one-size-fits-all ‘cookie cutter' approach won't help.”

For help with ergonomic related issues, contact CS Safety Coordinator John Hutchings at JEHutchings@lbl.gov or EH&S liaison Betsy MacGowan at EEMacgowan@lbl.gov.

New NERSC News Highlights Global Filesystem, User Publications, SC05 Winning Effort

The newest issue of NERSC News, a bimonthly newsletter about achievements of NERSC staff and users, is now available on line at http://www.nersc.gov/news/nerscnews/NERSCNews_2006_02.pdf.

This issue includes articles about the new NERSC Global Filesystem, which allows users to uniformly access data from all NERSC computing systems; a NERSC-led effort which won one of three prizes in the StorCloud competition at the SC05 conference; an item about the 1,448 papers produced by NERSC users in 2005-06; and the results of the latest NERSC user survey.

Job Posting: IT Division Seeks Application Software Developer for EH&S

The IT Division has a job opening for an application software developer to work in the EH&S and Facilities Systems Group, which provides information systems and support for the Environment, Health and Safety Division. The holder of this position will participate in the analysis and review of existing applications, and propose improvements to the applications' architecture to leverage their efficiency, and improve effectiveness and functionality; analyze business requirements; conduct data and systems analysis; design, code, test and document JAVA programs and JAVA server pages; and design, code and test Oracle PL/SQL routines, database triggers, stored procedures and packages. For more information, go to http://www.lbl.gov/CS/Careers/OpenPositions/IT18859.html.

Commodity Cluster Symposium 2006 Invites Technical Program Submissions

The Commodity Cluster Symposium 2006 (CCS06) technical program committee has extended the deadline for submitting technical abstracts to Friday, March 24. The symposium will be held July 25-27 in Baltimore, Md.

The technical program will provide a forum for technical exchange and disseminating important advances in cluster computing technologies. This year's program will include invited speakers, panel-selected presentations, tutorials, a panel and birds-of-a-feather discussions. Submitted presentations should bring together the latest in cluster computing technologies and applications operating in production environments. Presentations and tutorials are sought in the areas of:
* Large-scaled scientific applications (programming challenges, implementation, tuning and performance)
* Operational issues and solutions (facilities management, systems administration, novel cooling techniques)
* High performance storage (file systems management, I/O bandwidth challenges)
* Security (problems, challenges and solutions)
* Technology trends (technology innovations, interconnects, use of field programmable gate arrays for scientific applications)

Accepted presentations will be provided a 30-minute time slot in the program. Tutorials will be provided a 4-hour slot. Abstracts are limited to 600 words. Please refer to http://www.arl.hpc.mil/events/clusters2006 for more information.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.