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ROWG Meeting Minutes 2020-04-09

Attendees: Al (AC), Dave (DT), Matthieu (MB), Michelle (ME), Steve (SA), Stephen (SH), Jenny (JP), Barry (BR)

Action Items

ID Owner Action Completion Date
#0 DM evaluate direct x2go access to AO machines. c19 on-hold
#1 DT, DM, ME, SA Check SH 4k screen for real-estate and ergonomics. n/a see current discussion
#2 SH Following #1 - procure 2x 4/5K screens replacements of 4-6 head stations. repurposed - see #20
#3 SH procure 2x zoom video-conferencing replacements of polycom for Tucson / Mountain. DONE
#4 SH install zoom on all 64 bits observing workstation (rm507-1345, obs1) and robs32 DONE
#5 SH install AnyDesk on all 64 bits observing workstation (rm507-1345, obs1) and robs32 DONE
#6 SH install x2go client on all 64 bits observing workstation (rm507-1345, obs1) and robs32 DONE
#7 SH install x2go server on robs32 / robs DONE
#8 MB create conceptual sketches how remote/eavesdrop between workstation WIP inital conceptual sketches to concretize as we finlize e.g., 14/15
#9 DT, DM, ME, SA evaluate zoom in to be fleshed out scenarii DONE
#10 DT, DM, ME, SA evaluate AnyDesk in to be fleshed out scenarii DONE
#11 DT, DM, ME, SA evaluate x2go in to be fleshed out scenarii DONE
#12 SW follow up with Christian, student project to convert LBTtools Iraf to Python WIP, CV approved, now MB with GG but somehow independent of ROWG
#13 AL follow up with IA2, how the data flows from instrument, /newdata, /repository, mountain/tucson/archive WIP - see note (*)
#14 ME draft letter to send out to partners about where we are see note (**)
#15 AC need for a formal document recap our ops thoughts WIP - see note (**)
#16 MB training how to host anydesk with Jenny Tue 17 @ 1 pm, zoom 916-654-2916 c19 on-hold - should really include every night-ops staff
#17 MB extend email alias DONE (if some missed, tell MB - but plan to use slack #rowg open to all)
#18 DM/JP deal with LBTI Jenny to help
#19 SW move forward one way or another with sing/dual 4/5K for sciops (note: UoA business office, delevery etc. are closing) DONE (today's discussion, see #20)
#20 SH identify 32"+ish and 42"+ish UHD-1 3840x2160 curved display, circulate finding and issue PO (one of each) new
#21 SH+all test new screens in 507 (short, 1-2h, to get a feeling) Note: CV consulted and okay'd 507 use for test - request: coordinate prior to visit by email to get clearance
#22 SH f31 new general consensus it won't change the user experience but bring whatever is the latest and keep us on a train to fight obsolescence
#23 IS Luci simulator for (UI) test new MB will talk to IS
#24 TBD further screen test after #21, tentatively, use screens at home for long-lapse tests (e.g., eye strain, etc.)

  • (*) AI#13 - Al shared the email from I12 but it's really about SHARK-VIS and not much details.
  • (**) AI#14/15 - these fall under one same big item, but shouldn't prevent us drafting #15 in advance as we envision it.


  • 2x screens config
    • ergonomics of 6x vs 2x
      • existing 6x physical borders likely help
      • gridded smart background for 2xsingles
      • difficult to tell - really needs to be evaluated
    • beta testers, run OT, ds9, etc (font size, etc.), simulators (luci, tcs, etc)
    • curved? side by side - portraits mode?
    • push screens further back from keyboards
    • Barry is using 34" curved, U3415W 3440x1440 - good compromise
    • test one of each UHD-1 3840x2160 in 32+ and 42+ inches config, curved - then decide
      • ship / deliver to Jenny, then rotate ?
      • setup in 507, and test there ? check with CV, rules getting tighter
      • Distro for test - fedora vs macos
        • setup PC / pi-4 ? take a couple weeks but same as amazon delivery
          • OT, PIT, ds9, luci (local or remote)
      • test for size/ppi, once settle, supply should be by pair

    • split screens vs single big desktop ?
      • 2x GPUs (single keyboard/mouse)
      • old xinemara isn't an option
      • tricky for mods etc.
      • keep idea as possible fall-back (Keck does that)

    • maybe dual 32" + 42" so you get the ppi on one side, denser on the other side
      • new screens will be a good opportunity to test - could be quite interesting

  • remote/service when operation restarts
    • document/letter will be a joint effort
    • obs restart = emphasis on service more than remote
    • does not prevent us to start a "formal" document for partners and ourselves, within the bigger scope what the partnership decides

  • f31
    • upgrade path - desktop
    • current stability - video related, 2 screens likely to have most impact
    • gnome3, etc. fedora 6 month upgrade
    • user experience remains very much the same


Hi Roberto, et al., 

- from conversations between ourselves and other partners, there is an idea lurking we could replace our array style arrangement to single/dual more recent 4 or 5K display. I think it will be beneficial for all sites to share the screen configuration.

That's is a great idea. If it's possible better use one single 5K display. 

	There are not too many 5K displays (5120x2160 pixels) on the market and they tend to be a bit expensive, though not in relation to the telescope cost (1 espresso per second).  Here is one, just as an example:

	It has a higher pixel density (163ppi) than the existing 6-headed 1920x1200 display monitors (94ppi) so everything would be smaller by a factor of 0.57x.  A single 5k2k monitor has the equivalent desktop space of 4.8 of the current 1920x1200 monitors, so there would be a loss of desktop space too. The other standard 5K size is 5120x2880 and every monitor I could find with that resolution was 27”…everything would be 0.44x the size of the current monitors. Too small to be comfortable.  These monitors are really intended to be used in “retina” mode, effectively 2560x1440.

	My suggestion would be to get 2 standard UDH monitors (3840x2160). This would be the cheapest option (again, not necessarily the driver here), 32” is a common size, the pixel density is lower (138ppi) than the 5K options on the market, though still smaller (0.68x) the current monitors.  Many computers today can run two 4K monitors.  To maintain the current pixel density the monitors would have to be 46 inches, two of which would be quite a bit larger than the 6-headed machines.  The next common size up for UHD monitors is 43” (102ppi, 0.92x) which would be closer to the current pixel density but still be a few inches wider than the current 6-head setup.  An added benefit is that 2 UHD monitors are equivalent to 7.2 of the current monitors, so we would gain a little desktop space.  

	Can we order one or two 32” 4K monitors and give this a try?  If we don’t like them, I can set them up in my office :).  

Best regards,  Dave


View unedited notes in raw format.

-- MatthieuBec - 08 Apr 2020
Topic revision: r7 - 10 Apr 2020, MatthieuBec
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