matlab options

Using matlab on sphere with the “-nodesktop” option allows for command line access to matlab, but plots will still display.  This avoids using the large GUI that can be very slow, especially when accessing matlab remotely.

Mathematica on sphere – license updated

The license for mathematica on sphere has been updated and the program is functioning normally again.

More about Antivirus products at the University

It seems that the University’s antivirus webpage has already changed.  Now they are recommending that Windows users use Immunet from Sourcefire on machines that are owned by the University but which are not part of the Microsoft Campus agreement (there is a separate charge for that).

If you prefer not to use a cloud-based solution then the Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 mentioned in the previous blog entry is a relatively inexpensive solution.

It is possible to get a Microsoft Campus Agreement (software) license for approximately $70/year which includes an antivirus product from them if you prefer.  Please send an email to for more information.

Linux users do not need to install antivirus software, since that platform is very seldom compromised that way.

UofT drops support of Symantec Antivirus product

The University of Toronto’s subscription to Symantec Endpoint Protection has expired and will not be renewed (so the software engine will stop being upgraded, eventually  leaving machines vulnerable).  Please see for more  information from the people at the Licensed Software Office (there are links for Antivirus for Students and Antivirus for Faculty & Staff).

On personally owned computers running Windows it is simplest to download Microsoft Security Essentials from Microsoft, uninstall the Symantec software, and then install the Security Essentials.

On other computers there is a some free software that they recommend, or you can  purchase Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection 2012 which can be purchased through UShop.  The cost is $3.25 per user/device per 12 month period.  It has been  placed under the following category:

Software > Microsoft > Microsoft Servers > System Center Endpoint Protection (Forefront)

It also should be installed after removing the Symantec software.

For Apple OSX computers they recommend downloading the free ClamXav anti-virus software.

coxeter updates for thunderbird and firefox at 4:15pm on Wednesday March 7, 2012

The departmental server coxeter will have software updates for firefox, thunderbird, and flash-plugin applied this afternoon (Wednesday, March 7, 2012) at 4:15pm which will require that those processes be terminated and unavailable for about 10 minutes while they are updated.

More extensive software updates (requiring reboots) on all our systems, will be applied next week.

The updated thunderbird has tabs (similar to firefox) and a somewhat different look on the toolbar at the top of the window.  If you wish to have the “original Toolbar buttons” that will be more familiar to you then you need to select the menu:

Help -> Migration Assistant


1) click on the “Next” button

2) do NOT change the settings on this page (there is not enough diskspace on coxeter to “Synchronize” your folders); simply click the “Next” button again

3) on this page select “Keep your original Toolbar buttons” (as you choose between that selection and “Message Buttons Toolbar” options your thunderbird window will change and you can choose the display you prefer); then click the “Close” button

matlab license updated

The license for matlab on sphere has been updated and is good for another year.

"sage" now available on sphere for testing

“sage” is now available on sphere for testing.  Please let us know at if you have any difficulties with it.

From Sage is a free open-source mathematics software system licensed under the GPL. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface.

Latest version of mathematica (8.0.1) installed on sphere

The latest version of mathematica (8.0.1) was installed on sphere this morning.

Latest version of mathematica (8.0.1) to be installed on sphere

The latest version of mathematica (8.0.1) will be installed on sphere next week during the usual Wednesday (summer) update session which will start at 3:45pm.

Latest version of matlab (R2011a) installed on sphere

The problems with the matlab installer were fixed and the upgrade took place this morning.

Now sphere has version R2011a of matlab.