ccp4maketape is a graphical interface which can be used to make up the CCP4 distribution on DAT or exabyte tape.

Typing ccp4maketape at the command prompt brings up the interface window:

The interface window consists of 4 sections:

1. Status window
This displays which tape device is selected, whether the device is ready for reading or writing, and the status of the prerelease files.

2. Update buttons
A set of three buttons:
  1. Select tape device: either DAT or exabyte
  2. Check device status: this updates the status of the selected device
  3. Prerelease button: if the prerelease area is not up to date then this button will update it. Otherwise, it will perform a check on the prerelease files.

3. Message window
This displays messages from the interface whenever an action is performed or if there is an error.

4. Action buttons
  1. Make tape: start transfering the distribution to the selected tape device
  2. Check tape: write out a list of the contents of the selected tape device
  3. Rewind tape: rewind the selected tape device
  4. Eject tape: unload the tape from the selected device
  5. Quit: exit the interface (automatically rewinds and ejects the tape first, if appropriate).

Procedure for making tapes

The interface will only start if you are logged in as user ccp4 on dlpx1. Type ccp4maketape to start up the interface.

  1. Insert the tape into the appropriate drive and select the tape type in the interface. If the device status is "Not ready" then use the Check device status button to update the status.
  2. On start-up, the interface checks if the prerelease files are up to date. If not then the option will be given to update the files, which can be done by pressing the appropriate button. Nb: you should really ensure that the prerelease files are up-to-date before making the tape.
  3. If the device is ready then pressing the Make Tape button will start making the tape. The file names will be listed in the window from which the interface was called as they are transfered - this may take some time, be patient! You can stop the transfer at any time by pressing the Stop button which appears. If you stop the transfer before it is completed then the tape may need to be rewound; use the appropriate button.
  4. Check the contents of the tape using the Check tape button, which will list the files on the tape. This is time consuming so you may halt the listing using the Stop button; once again, make sure the tape is then rewound.
  5. Eject the tape using the Eject button (this should do an automatic rewind first). To make another tape, go back to step 2 and repeat. Otherwise, press Quit to leave the interface.


The interface treats the files in the ftp area (/nfs/ccp4a/ftp/prerelease) as the most recent, it will check them against those in /ccpdisk/xtal/dist/prerelease and update them if requested. This involves deleting the contents of the latter directory and copying the contents of the former.

Files transfered to tape are those in /ccpdisk/xtal/dist

CCP4MakeTape is written in Tcl/Tk and runs using wish v8.0.

Known problems

These are things that may need fixing one day:

  1. The interface may fail on start-up complaining that it cannot find the file "status.dat"; restart the interface from the directory in which the source code resides.
  2. The paths and names of directories containing the prerelease files, ccp4 distribution etc are hard-coded.


Peter Briggs, March 1999.