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Pam Klabbers | USLHC | USA

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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

I’ve been slacking. I don’t think I have written anything for more than a month for sure. I can’t blame being busy, because that is the usual excuse. I can find time to write a short blog, I think. But it has been, well, my car was in an accident and was totaled (no one hurt, thank goodness), we’ve had several shorter versions of the CRuZeT described in earlier posts, and we’ve been off to Montreux for a day of jazz, and somehow training for a marathon (the next run is 20 miles long) in September. By the end of the day, I’m shot, and honestly, uninspired. But today, I was at least inspired.

I am reaching a point now, after working on hardware for nearly 6 years straight, that I have to actually begin to look again at what comes out of it with software tools. The problem is, the tools have changed. Not necessarily for the better, but they have changed, and this dog has a few new tricks to learn.

One of these tools is an analysis and graphing package, that I need to use to turn columns of numbers, for example, into a graph to get something I can look at use to make a decision, for example, on timing. It is called ROOT which I think stands for R(?) Object Oriented Tool or something like that. I don’t really know. I was raised on PAW (Physics Analysis Workstation), another analysis and graphing package, based on FORTRAN, and got my paws wet with that. I spent years working with PAW, and now I have to switch to ROOT. I am basically learning by reading web pages and such, but for awhile today it completely flummoxed me. But finally, I got it, and I have to admit, some things are better, like the C++ like programming. But I still have a long ways to go…

The other I am trying to figure out is our CMSSW (CMS Soft Ware) package. I can now get it to run for me and produce some output that might be useful, but I needed lots of hand-holding to do that. Slowly I am getting it, but I am not yet ready to change the base code. I’ll leave that to the Graduate Students for awhile longer. I’m liable to throw a monkey wrench into the works.

Now I am going to work on a talk with another tool that seems to have changed significantly in its new release, ugh. Thanks Mr. Gates.

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