Chapter 2 of the ookook describes in general terms how to get started in — signing up, logging in, mounting tapes, etc. Appendix Z gives details of these operations specific to NRAO’s sites. Your local Manager may be able to provide a version of this appendix appropriate to your system. Chapter 3 introduces the basic utilities. Chapter 4 leads you through the basics of reading in and calibrating your modern VLA uv data. Chapter 5 explains the basic operations required to make and improve images. Appendices A, B, and C provide simpler recipe-like approaches to calibration and imaging which beginning users may wish to try. Chapter 6 introduces the basic tools for making interactive and hard-copy displays of images and other data and Chapter 7 describes tools for analyzing them. Chapter 8 and Appendix B contain hints and further tools of particular interest, but not restricted, to spectral-line users and other observers who have images of more than 2 dimensions. Appendix O is designed for users of the historic VLA archive and for older VLBI formats. Similarly, Chapter 9 and Appendix C are aimed primarily at users of VLB interferometers. Chapter 10 deals with single-dish data reduction with . Chapter 11 describes how to help the programmers, to backup your data, and to exit from . It also suggests some cures for common hang-ups and miscellaneous “disasters” which seem to afflict users. No such list can be made comprehensive or sufficiently general to cover all the computer systems now running . You will need to consult with your local Manager or other users if you encounter an unlisted problem.
Chapter 12 is intended for the “mature” user who wishes to learn about data formats, procedures, RUN files, and various subtleties of AIPS syntax. We recommend that you read this after becoming familiar with the operations described in Chapters 3 through 7. Chapter 13 contains lists of all available routines broken down by categories. Appendix G presents Fred Schwab’s Glossary of radio astronomy data processing terminology. Appendix F gives some useful recipes for estimating disk files sizes and for saving data and images on tape. Appendix V contains information about tasks used to maintain the VLA, including holography of dish surfaces. Appendix I contains the index.
In this ookook, we use the minimum-matching capability of to abbreviate the instructions needed to run the programs. This speeds up your activity at the terminal while working in . However, the full names of some of the AIPS instructions may be easier to learn and to remember. They are given in Chapter 13.
Throughout this ookook, RESPONSES TO BE TYPED BY THE USER APPEAR IN THE PRESENT FONT. Prompts provided by the operating or systems are left-justified on the same line, e.g., system prompts $ on VAXes or % on UNIX systems , AIPS prompt >. THIS IS THE FONT USED FOR SAMPLE OUTPUTS FROM THE COMPUTER and for program names such as PRTUV. A lower-case italic font, such as this, is used for numeric and character parameter values which must be supplied by the user. The symbol AIPS refers to the program which you will use to communicate with the computer. The symbol refers to the full system, made up of the AIPS program, numerous other programs which may be run from AIPS, and the hardware configuration. The symbol C R means “hit the RETURN or Enter key on the terminal.”
The symbol § means Section and refers to the various chapters and sub-chapters of this ookook. Except in the values assigned to character string variables, is case insensitive. We use upper-case letters in this ookook to differentiate symbols from ordinary words visually. This usage also allows us to generate html and pdf capable versions of the ookook from the basic TE X files automatically.