Saturday, March 04, 2006

under pressure -> screen is my favourite *nix program

80's nite on Thursdays at the Upstage is awesome! It's a great way for people to relax after a stressfull week of graduate school and meet some other cool people. Also, where else can you expect to hear Michael Jackson's Billy Jean with a very high probability?

So today I learned that it is in fact David Bowie who sings "Under Pressure" -- a song which is generally preceded by Vanillla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." What a great combination!

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Up until yesterday, SSH was my favourite *nix utility while screen was 2nd on the list. However, after a power screen-learning session yesterday I discovered the power of .screenrc files and screen rapidly jumpted to the #1 spot. In reality, there is no reason to use screen independently of SSH; however, all the fun features of screen make it just plain old awesome.

I wrote a short script that runs like:
$ screen -L -c ~/private/.screenrc

And does the following:
1.) Start 14 screen virtual terminals, and in the N-th virtual terminal do the following: ssh into a machine called "somethingN.cs.cmu.edu" and start MATLAB to start a process called "fun_batch"
2.) -L enables logging, and I have each log file name point to a web-readable directory so I can check out the output of each virtual terminal remotely
3.) Start a 15th screen virtual terminal which gives me a blank SHELL in which I can check the CPU states of the other 14 machines

Then I simply detach the screen session, and periodically check up on each MATLAB process.
Now I have to find out how to avoid using up 14 MATLAB Image Processing Toolbox Licenses. Any advice will be appreciated.