John Thorstensen, Dartmouth College
Why and What: It's obviously useful to be able to see the spectrum you just took -- you can see if you have the right object, if the signal-to-noise looks adequate, and so on. Maybe there's an unexpected feature -- better to confirm it right away than be wondering weeks later whether it's real or not.
For some years I have had a script called doitall that produces a good-quality quicklook spectrum for Modspec or Mark III data. The latest incarnation, for the servers installed in 2012 August (mdm24ws1, etc) is called doitall6.py.
The script is nearly the same as the CCDS script, qccds.py, and the instructions for use are almost the same. The only differences are:
For detailed instructions, see the qccds documentation and apply the obvious changes. Very briefly,
cp /usr/local/pkg/thorsoft/scripts/doitall6.py .
noao imred specred
epar doitall6fill in your information, and go.
Note that the qccds doc goes into great detail about how to edit apertures in apall, and also tells you how to invoke the wavelength calibration.