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The possibility of treating large systems with some first-principles electronic-structure methods has opened up new opportunities in many disciplines. The SIESTA program is distributed freely to academics and has become quite popular, being increasingly used by researchers in geosciences, biology, and engineering (apart from those in its natural habitat of materials physics and chemistry). Currently there are several thousand users all over the world, and the paper describing the method (J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 14, 2745 (2002)) has received more than 5000 citations so far.