Thursday, 28 January 2010

Hitting the road

Things have been pretty hectic in the outreach and training department over the last week or so and it's going to get worse!

We've got quite a few roadshow events coming up at either end of the country. Next week we're off to the University of Hull to run an event which is now almost fully booked. This will be held in Hull's visualisation suite so it made sense to have a presentation about the visualisation resources available from the NGS at this event. If you would like to see the agenda for this event then please visit the event page for the Hull roadshow.

After that we are off to Canterbury Christ Church university at the end of the month to run a roadshow event incorporating a training session as well. This event is open to anyone but places on the training session are already very limited so register quick if you would like to attend! Christ Church university is slightly different from the universities that we usually visit as they have a very strong focus on the arts, humanities and social sciences. The NGS user presentations at this event hopefully reflect this. If you would like to attend this event then visit the event page for the Canterbury Christ Church University roadshow.

The day after we are then off to the University of Surrey to again take part in a roadshow with a difference as this event will have a distinct "cloud" focus. The roadshow will take place in conjunction with Dr Lee Gillam who is undertaking a JISC funded study on "Using cloud computing for research". More information about this event can be found at the event page for the University of Surrey roadshow.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Can you hear us?

Last Friday many of the NGS staff were up at NeSC in Edinburgh to discuss communications and the new NGS website. It reminded me that I haven't posted on here for a while about the various outreach methods we have here at the NGS so here is a small reminder!

NGS blog - obviously! This is syndicated to the front page of the new NGS website - you can see the tab in the text box in top right. It's also syndicated to the GridPP and iSGTW websites.

NGS website - which has recently been revamped. We don't see the website as a static entity and we are constantly responding to feedback and making the site even better for you to use. If you have any feedback about the new website then please let us know through the helpdesk.

NGS email lists - we have 2 of these. We have the news list through which all subscribers receive a fortnightly email bulletin full of news from the NGS and occasionally further afield. It also contains details of upcoming conferences and training events. We have over 720 subscribers to this service. All active NGS users are strongly advised to sign up to our status list which sends out notices about service levels, problems and downtime.

NGS newsletter - we produce a quarterly newsletter which features longer and more indepth articles about the NGS as well as features on new technology coming soon. It's also an opportunity to introduce users to NGS staff and NGS sites. The newsletter is distributed in hard copy at NGS events such as roadshows and conferences and is also available as a pdf from our website.

We also have a NGS Facebook group where the occasional photo of the NGS team in action pops up and also our Twitter account. If you have any more ideas on how the NGS can reach out to it's users then we would love to hear them.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Call for Winter School particpants

Nothing to do with skiing or snowboarding I'm afraid but instead this is an online grid school!

The International Winter School in Grid Computing 2010 (IWSGC'10) will be held from the 1st of March until the 2nd of April 2010 and is now calling for participants.

IWSGC’10 will bring together world experts and enthusiastic students. It will be delivered fully online: participants will be able to attend the School without losing time and money on travelling. It will examine the conceptual and practical underpinnings of today's grids. Experts will provide exciting practical exercises, discuss the challenges of building and sustaining e-Infrastructure, report its rapid influence on the way we research, design and make decisions. They will share their vision of the developments and challenges ahead.

The deadline for applications closes on the 31st of January 2010. Please see the event website for more information.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Want some time on TeraGrid?

TeraGrid have announced that applications for time on their system closes on the 15th of January. Although the call states that the applications are open to scientists, engineers and other US researchers, it may be of interest to NGS users who collaborate with colleagues in the US.

More details about the call can be found on the TeraGrid website.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Do you need a certificate?

The NGS will shortly be running another RA Operator training course at STFC RAL. Participation in the course will allow participants to be able to distribute and manage certificates at their institution so if you don't currently have someone at your institution who can fulfill this role, then this is the ideal opportunity to nominate a RA!

The training course is free to attend, lasts a few hours and we even give you lunch!

Full details about the course and how to register are available on the NGS website.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Happy new year from the NGS!

I hope you all had a good break over the holiday season and that you are all coping with the snow. The NGS sites have not escaped the bad weather with Manchester staff being sent home yesterday and the university still closed today. The site at RAL was hit today with many staff being unable to get to work. Staff are working from home but please be aware that some helpdesk queries may be delayed. Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon!

Incase you missed it in the pre-Christmas announcements, our user survey will close on the 20th of January so if you would like the chance to win some Amazon vouchers then make sure you complete the survey ASAP!