Is Java freezing your system? Tune the garbage collector!

Posted on Tue 26 March 2013 in computing • Tagged with Aladin, Java, Topcat

I regularly open huge images and tables (>1 GB) in interactive Java-based (astronomy) software such as Aladin and TopCat. Because of the way memory allocation works in Java, the area where objects reside in memory (called the heap) needs to be reserved up front using Java's -Xmx switch. Hence I …

Continue reading

How do you organise $HOME?

Posted on Tue 30 October 2012 in computing

Home directories often turn into spooky graveyards of random files, temporary directories and images of lolcats. It takes courage to delete the mess, because there may be one or two important files hiding amongst the pr0n. As a result, many scientists have grown afraid to run ls ~ in public, fearing …

Continue reading