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!


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 "" 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.


  1. Compiling the code via "mcc" avoids the license problem.

  2. "Under Pressure" is the title of a song released in 1981 by Queen and David Bowie. It marked Queen's first released collaboration with another recording artist. The song was a hit at the time, reaching #1 in the UK singles chart.