Monthly Archives: July 2006

Daily Work Log 2006-07-26

July 26th… August approaches. Rob leaves the lab in a mere three days. It’s the beginning of the end as we start planning to take servers offline.

There’s a new science blog aggregator from the creator of HubMed, called aggademia. It has only just started up, so I can’t really tell you much about it. The about page is here. The tags are currently pretty limited, but you can get RSS feeds for the tags that they have.

I’ve started a group for Cardiac Electrophysiology, but haven’t done anything with it. If you’re interested, go sign up and join the group!

I actually came up with a bunch of stuff to write about today, but I haven’t had time to devote to posting about them. Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze in a little blogging time at home tonight. But probably not.

Daily Work Log 2006-07-25

I spent an hour and a half dealing with e-mail, health insurance, taxes, papers, and so on.


A lot of it was stuff I’d been putting off, but was in my system. For some reason this morning felt like the right time to do it. Nobody’s here yet. I recently read a suggestion, I think on 43Folders, not to deal with e-mail first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, it’s something I prefer to have cleaned out, especially because my e-mail account has its own -Action-, -Waiting For-, and -Response- folders to check on.

Right now there’s this metaphorical cloud on the horizon. Our lab is moving. We’re leaving Tulane. Sure, we’re going to “greener pastures”, but this city and university have been my home for seven years. This lab, for nearly four. The cloud is not only philosophical — it’s logistical. In a few weeks our servers will be shut down. The following week, all of the workstations will be packed up and shipped off. In one of our most productive times of year, we’re facing substantial downtime, yet deadlines continue to nip at our heels.

Some of us still haven’t got apartments in Baltimore yet. I am included in that group, unfortunately.

I went to the Payroll building to take care of my tax situation (no big deal, but needs addressing), and I found that Payroll has become “New Orleans Jazz Orchestra”. At least that’s what the sign says. Apparently they never moved back to campus after Katrina. Everything else moved back, basically.

I wonder why they didn’t move back… oh wait. I know. Because it’s a pain to get them to do anything, and you have to go bug them in person. That’s a lot harder when they’re a 15 minute drive across town, rather than walking distance on campus.


I sent them an email. That’s step 1. Step 2 is to call them.

I just spent some time discussing our workstation set-up with Rob and Umar. We currently use a central file server to host people’s home directories, and we remotely mount them on the workstations. Due to increased file I/O and bandwidth issues, that’s no longer a great solution. It also used to be more important, because people shared machines a lot. That doesn’t really happen any more, so it makes more sense for people to have local home directories. We’re going to want mirrored local disks on the workstations, where possible. For the machines where that’s not possible (like laptops) people should back things up onto external disks. I currently do that every night with my powerbook, automatically.

Busy day. More news later. I’m going to try to make it home through the rain now.

Daily Work Log 2006-07-24

My focus this week has to be on my prospectus. I still don’t know whether I’ll have to be at Hopkins by August 24th or September 8th. Hopefully I can get that information this week.

Either way, the prospectus needs to be done before I go, and either way, that means soon.

So far I’ve managed to get one (10+2)*5 dash done on my prospectus, and I’m in the process of the first dash on my paper. My “minimum” quota is 2 dashes for each of those projects. The minimum bit means that before I work on other stuff, I’m supposed to try to finish those four dashes every day. So far my track record is not that good, but last week was a strange week, with the visitors from Oxford and so on.

Because of resolution issues, I’m redoing a figure for the paper. For some reason, even though I thought I used the same method as usual to make the figure, the activation maps from the model came out fuzzy when the figure was viewed at document resolution. None of my other figures were having an issue, so I’m re-making the activation maps on higher-res images. It’s kind of a pain, but the results look nice.

Two dashes on the paper down, one on the prospectus. One more dash on the prospectus left to go for today. Then I’ll start going through the @Lab Next Actions without regard to project/priority. I prioritize projects, generally, but not Next Actions.

Finished with all of my dashes today. I have stuff going on shortly after dinner tonight, so I’m going to go home at around 16:30. In other news, even after unsubscribing, the Heart Rhythm Society continues to spam me with training seminar notices, because they think I’m a cardiologist. Lovely. I have unsubscribed multiple times. I expect better from a professional organization. I’m going to run through my before-leaving-work checklist and get out of here.

EFF, AT&T, NSA, and Voting

I realized a little while ago that any money I dumped toward Washington would have a far greater effect than my one-in-several-million vote(s). To that end, I started financially supporting the EFF, and so far they seem to be putting my money to good use. Here’s the latest:

San Francisco – A federal judge has refused to dismiss the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) case against AT&T for collaborating with the NSA in illegal spying on millions of ordinary Americans, setting the stage for a congressional showdown over proposed dramatic changes in federal surveillance law.

EFF filed the class-action suit against AT&T in January, alleging that the telecommunications company has given the National Security Agency (NSA) secret, direct access to the phone calls and emails going over its network and has been handing over communications logs detailing the activities of millions of ordinary Americans. The government intervened in the case and asked that it be dismissed because the suit could expose “state secrets.” But Thursday, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker refused: “The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one. But dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security.”

“We are gratified that Judge Walker rejected the government’s overbroad claims of secrecy, and that our case on behalf of AT&T customers can go forward,” said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. “Judge Walker correctly found that the government, after having already admitted to and extensively commented on the NSA’s spying program, cannot now claim that it is a secret and sweep AT&T’s role under the rug.”

The whole post on the EFF blog is here.

Daily Work Log 2006-07-21

I arrived at work this morning to find the AC off. There was a scheduled shutdown last night, which I knew about, but I neglected to apply that knowledge and stay at home this morning.

I’ve spent a little time this morning trying to install Ubuntu Linux on an external drive attached to my PowerBook 17″ (G4). I had some difficulty getting the advanced install CD to do what I want, so now I’m downloading the LiveCD to try that.

The LiveCD wouldn’t install a bootloader either. I don’t have time to mess with it today.

We spent some time meeting the the IB/VRE people, and they’re off to lunch with Rob and Umar for the moment. Therefore, I’m going to do my weekly review, because it’s that day.

Finished the weekly review. I’m really feeling tired today, and there’s a lot of the day left. I’m taking care of my end-of-week activities, and the next one is to windex my desk (it’s glass). Therefore, I think that’s enough for the day.

Today has not been very productive. This week has not been very productive. I’ve done a lot of things, most of which really needed to be done, but my projects have not moved forward satisfactorily. Blah.