This document summarizes the changes and additions to the Science On a Sphere®
(SOS) main software in the version 5.4.x releases. Be sure to make note of
the Wibu CodeMeter dongle and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system requirements in
the Installation Instructions section below.
We increased our software security measures starting in SOS version 5.3. SOS
requires a licensed Wibu CodeMeter security USB dongle before you can do a
software upgrade from version 5.2.x or before. You can request one using an
online SOS Version 5.3.0+ Upgrade Request form. Once
SOS Support has received your request, a dongle will be mailed to your site. If
you run into any problems using the request form you can email
firstname.lastname@example.org. We will
provide instructions on how to upgrade your system to 5.4 once we have mailed
out your new CodeMeter device. Also, please note that the installation
processes for the iOS Remote App and Public Kiosk have not changed for 5.4.
Like the previous SOS versions beginning with 5.1, SOS 5.4 requires your SOS
computers to be running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. If you are already running SOS 5.1 or
later, you already have the operating system you need and you will only need to
install SOS 5.4 on your SOS systems.
This can be accomplished by logging in as the “sos” user and using Ubuntu’s
“Software Updater”. Simply follow these instructions to update using a
The 5.4 release includes new features, enhancements, and fixes in several
applications across the SOS application suite. Each of the following have
links to their own 5.4 Release Notes and updated documentation as indicated:
New feature that allows a PIP to move on an SOS dataset when given a path file
that contains coordinate locations. The path file is a simple comma separated
value (csv) file that contains frame number, latitude, and longitude. As the
dataset is animating, the PIP will automatically move to the location specified
in the file at the current frame being displayed on SOS. Option to render a
line path that follows the moving PIP is given. The moving PIP feature makes it
easy to show animal migrations, hurricane tracks, etc. on SOS without having to
render a moving object into the underlying global movie or image data.
Captions may now be displayed on SOS from standard SupRip Subtitle (SRT) files
that are read in to SOS directly. A SRT file is an industry standard file that
contains a sequential set of subtitles with their start and end timecodes.
Captions provide text for hard of hearing or non-English speaking audiences and
can also be used to show movies in AutoRun with the sound muted. Text
formatting may also be fully customized in the Visual Playlist Editor. NOAA
datasets will be getting closed captions added to them for your use, but will
not be shown by default. The captions may then be turned on in the Remote App
or displayed all the time by setting the visibility in your presentations.
The following issues identified in SOS were not changed in this release, but
will be fixed in the future.
Hidden layers briefly flash on the sphere when dynamically added to another
dataset using the iOS Remote App
Icons added to a playlist cannot use absolute paths
The iPad may continually prompt to update the database after the upgrade.
This issue should go away after 24 hours or if you manually update the local
data catalog. You can do that by opening the SOS program and then selecting
LibraryUpdate Library or by manually running the
/shared/sos/bin/sitecustom2db program from a terminal
For best results, we strongly encourage you to update all your SOS software
applications at the same time to version 5.4, including the Visual Playlist
Editor, SOS Remote App, and Public Kiosk (the later to 5.3.0). To assist you in
planning your SOS software upgrades, you can check the manuals on the
Where possible, individual SOS 5.4 software components have been updated so
that they will continue working with SOS versions as far back as 4.3,
recognizing there may be some limitations. Components older than 4.3 are
incompatible with version 5.4, so you will need to do a full update of all the
SOS software applications to version 5.4.
SOS App 5.4 may work with SOS 4.3, but has not been tested
There are some incompatibilities in the SOS Data Catalog, for example.
Dataset variations (such as Blue Marble with audio) will not show up in
the Data Catalog on the iPad. However, they can still be displayed on the
sphere if they are already in presentation playlists
The Splitter tool, Text PIPs, and individual PIP controls are not
SOS App 5.0 through 5.3 should work with SOS 5.4, but has not been tested
SOS App 4.3 may work with SOS 5.4, but is inadvisable and has not been
tested. The following limitations were documented previously when testing SOS
App 4.3.1 with SOS 5.0.0:
Transferring the Data Catalog from the SOS machine to the iPad may
timeout and fail to complete. This would prevent any new updates to the
Data Catalog from being loaded onto the iPad
The iPad would still display datasets that are in presentation playlists
on the sphere
VPLE 5.4 presentation and dataset output should run fine in SOS 5.1 and
earlier, but has not been tested. Text PIPs, format may be created in VPLE
5.4 but cannot be displayed using SOS 5.1 or earlier versions
VPLE 5.0 and later will be replaced automatically when installing SOS 5.4, so
backward compatibility will not be an issue