halloween fun at the office

You know you have a fun office to work at when we have a costume contest on Halloween. So far, Elvis is here, so is a Harley Davidson biker and a hippie. Me? I’m a Gibson girl. This is just too amusing to see what everyone has dressed up as for Halloween. Thank goodness we don’t have customers coming by today.

By the Grace of the ECE Department

By the Grace of the ECE Department, it has been decreed that I will graduate in May 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and a minor of Mathematics. Well, provided that I pass all of my classes next term and this term, of course.

Tuesday afternoon, I went to talk to Dr. Corsetti, our Associate Chair of the ECE Department. I walk in and the first words out of his mouth are, “I see a couple problems with your transcripts, Katharine.” Shit. So, after a 15 minute discussion, I determine that they have issues with me taking Music Theory rather than Music Appreciation (like there’s really that much difference, they’re both easy!). That, and he doesn’t think I should be allowed to double up a class for both my minor as well as a CPE elective. *sigh* Okay, so we arrange an appointment with Dr. Adhami, the Chair of the ECE Department for this morning.

I walk into the ECE Department’s Office this morning and sit down, I got there a bit early. Dr. Corsetti walks in and doesn’t even acknowledge that I’m there. We walk into Dr. Adhami’s office and proceed to have a 2 way discussion (Dr. Adhami and Dr. Corsetti) where on an occasion I get a chance to get a word in edgewise with Dr. Corsetti interrupting me every time. Thankfully, 40 minutes later, I leave with the renewed hope that Dr. Adhami really doesn’t want to screw every student in the Department over and that Dr. Corsetti is more concerned about sticking with tradition (“But, this is how we’ve traditionally handled this situation!”) than helping a student out.

The result? Because there is no policy in the 1999 Catalog about not allowing students to double dip a course, then Dr. Adhami is going to approve my Fourier Analysis class for both a CPE Elective and my math minor course. *whoo* Also, I have to write a memo stating why I took Music Theory rather than Music Appreciation (ie, bs bs bs about how I thought I would be more enriched by Music Theory than taking a class like Music Appreciation that I have already had several times over) and have Dr. Adhami sign the memo and it’ll just go into my file.

So, my task is to just pass my classes these last two terms and I’m going to officially be out of here! W00t! (sorry, I had to)

breakthrough scheduled for this week

That’s one of my coworker’s favorite lines during staff meeting. “I’ve got a breakthrough scheduled for sometime this week.” My breakthrough really was apparently scheduled for this week. Ever since getting our new cluster, we’ve been trying to determine ways to run our analysis missions at work more efficiently. So, Sally gave me the task of finding some batch management software, downloading it, figuring out how to run it and then test run it with some of our scripts that we have. So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been immersed in reading documentation, installing the software that I found and beating my head against the monitor in frustration. The software that I found is PBS – Portable Batch Software The software is great. It allows me to schedule jobs and then I can tell it how I want these jobs to run and I can put jobs into various different queues, etc. It was exactly what we were looking for. Unfortunately, the documentation sucks. I muddled my way through the installation documentation, but came to a dead halt when it came time to actually schedule and run jobs through PBS. That was about a week ago.

Yesterday, I finally got a response to my plea for help on the mailing list. Turns out a guy had the exact same type of setup that I wanted for the software and he was able to point out some mistakes I’d made and even gave me a script file to use for some of the scheduling. I was ecstatic. So, yesterday, I got PBS to send out 20 jobs to the 5 nodes (each with 2 virtual processors) and manage the jobs so that as soon as one job finished, another job was started.

Just to show an example of how well this software works… Before, we ran the jobs on an SGI and each one took 1 hour. Then, we moved everything over to Linux and it took 3 minutes to run each job. Now, with the 5 nodes able to run 10 jobs at a time and manage them properly, it takes me 4 minutes, 57 seconds, to run all 20 jobs. I’m ecstatic. This is going to save us so much time, it’s not even funny. *happy dance*

project house

We never bought this house with the thought that it would become a project house. We haven’t had any major projects, but once we get one problem fixed, there’s always something else.

This time, it’s the heater. As most people, I’m sure, have noticed, the weather’s gotten cool enough that there are a few times a heater has been warranted. Our heater works. The only problem is, it doesn’t shut off. First, we thought it was the thermostat. Nope. Then, perhaps the heat pump outside. No, everything looks pretty okay with it. So, the other option we had was the unit upstairs in the attic. Sean and I decided to go investigate last night. At something like 9pm on a Sunday evening, finds Sean and me crawling around our small attic trying to determine if there’s an issue with our unit up there. Upon opening the panel, one immediately sees just lots of wires. The next thing I noticed, though, is melted plastic at the bottom of the panel box. Somehow or another, one of the connector caps has melted off and there are some bare wires, possible crossed wires up there. Lovely. I didn’t want to touch anything.

So, Sean’s supposed to be calling a repairman today to see if they can come out and look at it. This is something that I want fixed now before it gets any cooler outside and we need to start leaving the heater on more often. One more project to add to the list. As a side note, though. While we were crawling around up in the attic last night, I noticed one of the secondary ducts had come loose from the main duct. So, Sean and I can now say we’ve used duct tape for it’s original, primary purpose. 🙂

Finding My Place in the World

Looks like it is the time of year when my website comes up for renewal. But, since I no longer have the Integra, I think I will be finding a new domain name. I have come up with a couple ones, but I want to see what others people might suggest.

I have been looking on GoDaddy.com to see what is open.

These are three that I have managed to think up, but any suggestions or comments are welcome.

Couchracer.net
Introspectivemind.net
Portabletraveler.net

I think all of these are also available as a .us address, which I am leaning towards since the registration is half cost right now.