List of Applications

List of Applications

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At Lick Observatory, we use a Sybase database, with various interfaces including forms and reports, which are user-friendly, GUI, applications - and wisql, for more experienced users. Your contact for these and related applications, is de.

Word Processors & Publishers

The word processor of choice, here at Lick, is currently FrameMaker. This can be started up from your xterm by typing maker &, provided you have the necessary environment variables set in your .cshrc. These are:
	setenv FMHOME /usr/local/frame
and appended to your path:
A manual for FrameMaker is available in room 8, Kerr Hall, where you might also find some other helpful documents. For help beyond this, please see a syscritter, or ask deanne, who has become somewhat of an expert.


Xess is the spreadsheet available at Lick, which provides extensive mathematical functions. This can be started by typing xess & at the command prompt, and requires no special variables.

There is an Xess help document available, which gives tips on such as things as exporting files to Microsoft Excel.


There are many handy non-commerical programs for Unix, all of which it would be impossible to describe in this manual. They often begin with x (for X11 tool), and usually their name is also the start-up command. Here are some of them, and the others you are likely to hear of through word-of-mouth:

  • xcalc - calculator
  • xical - calendar
  • xrolo - rolodex
  • xman - manpage viewer
  • xclock - clock
  • xfig - drawing program (good for creating forms)
  • xbiff - mailbox (flag pops up and beeps when you have mail)
  • xterm - terminal emulator
  • xedit - editor (extremely minimal!)

Web Browsers

The World Wide Web browsers which are made available at Lick currently consist of lynx, started by typing lynx, mosaic, started by typing xmosaic, and netscape, started by typing netscape. You are probably using one of those right now to read this, and beyond that they don't require much explanation.


The foremost document viewer Lick provides for postscript documents is ghostview.

Fax Software

Lick-created Software


  • Mail - started by typing mail
  • Berkeley Mail - started by typing Mail
  • Elm - started by typing elm
  • Tkmail - started by typing tkmail

Window Managers

  • fvwm
  • uwm
  • mwm
  • twm/tvtwm
  • olwm/olvwm


  • C
  • C++
  • Fortran
  • Tcl/tk
  • Bourne
  • Korn
  • Perl

Data Dumping

The NICS - Network Information and Computing Services - group offers a central backup facility for Lick computers. When a new machine is hooked up to our network, the owner will be asked if they would like to utilize this option to dump data from their various disk partitions. Backups are currently not charged for, and as a result (due to expense in time, equipment, and materials), not as frequent as we would like. This promises to change soon - when we realize the funds to migrate from Exabyte (2GB), to DLT (20-40GB) media.

Users also have the option of backing up their data individually, with either the rdump, tar, or cpio command.



scanworx is the software used for ICR - intelligent character recognition - with our publicly available black-and-white scanner. This program should be run from helios after the documents have been loaded into the scanner itself (currently in Kerr Hall, room 8). An instruction booklet should be alongside the scanner, but it also available from a syscrit in room 25, or the publications office, in room 61.

We do not currently own a color scanner - although one can be accessed through media services - but suggestions for the purchase of one are welcome and acknowledged. Please send your reason for requesting it to syscrit.

The scanner we do have, however, is a flatbed/auto-feed type, capable of 400dpi resolution, monochrome (no gray scale). This scanner was acquired for digitizing paper text documents so that they might be converted to machine-readable form by intelligent character recognition software. It is not suitable for digitizing photographic images.

The output from the scanner is in the form of TIFF files, either one large TIFF file describing the entire document, or one TIFF file per page. The TIFF files can be manipulated by a variety of tools available here, or fed into the XIS Scanworx software for ICR.

The accuracy rate of the XIS ICR software on normal (popular typeface and clean copy) text is better than 98%. The XIS software includes a feature for converting the paper document to a reasonably equivalent FrameMaker document. This was usefful when we converted the Publisher Bio Bibiographies to Frame, but be forewarned: mathematical and foreign symbols are not correctly transformed into Frame control codes.

The scanner has a high input scan rate (scans many pages quite rapidly). If the source document is no longer then 8.5x11in., up to 25 pages or so can be fed automatically at one time.


  • Mathematica
Lee Rottler is your contact for most, if not all, mathematical software at Lick Observatory.

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UCO/Lick Observatory
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
1 831 459 2303