succumbing to peer pressure

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Being nice bites me in the ass

So I've got this massive computer program, to run simulations, for my dissertation, and it takes 14+ hours to run. Now, I'm on a bit of a schedule (trying to submit an abstract by Monday) but I've been trying not to be an asshole about it, and I've only been taking up one computer in our lab. This afternoon I expanded to two. [our department of about 40+ MS and PhD students has a lab with about 15 computers plus one computer per PhD student office, shared by 5 or more students. bottom line, although our resources are pretty nice, we still have to learn to share] I have to run the program over and over again, to look at different parameters (yes, I could have programmed this part in too, but then the damn thing would run for days, literally, without giving me an opportunity to check up on it) so I've been running up to school late at night to save one set of simulations and start up another round. My friends finally convinced me that it would ok, really, if overnight I monopolized maybe 50% of the lab computers, as long as I scurried back in in the morning and freed them back up for the masses. Well, turns out my office mate beat me to the punch - I turn up at midnight tonight and not only is he running programs on both our office computers (we're friends with the IT guy, so we got a bonus, old, computer) but 90% of the lab computers! Fucker!

It seems sort of unfair of me to feel that way. After all, I was planning to suck up a few extra computer resources myself. And it's only because I have some ill-placed sense of computer etiquette that I'm not already done running my simulations. I was perfectly capable of exerting some seniority and prioritizing my own research needs over other students' daily homework and e-mail checking. And now it nags at me. How come my office mate feels this sense of entitlement and I don't? And which is 'right'?

*and before you geek types ask, no, I can't run my program on unix because that network doesn't have the program I need. and the one helpful IT guy who could install the unix version is out of town until next week

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Geeks of the world, Unite! (for a good cause)
(God love ya Joss Whedon)

Turns out there's this group that organizes screenings of Serenity to raise money for Equality Now. Here's a quote from the man himself.

There are two ways to fight a battle like ours. One is to whisper in the ear of the masses, try subtlely and gradually to change the gender expectations and mythic structures of our culture. That's me. The other is to step up and confront the thousands of atrocities that are taking place around the world on an immediate, one-by-one basis. That's a great deal harder, and that's Equality Now. It's not about politics; it's about basic human decency.
- Joss Whedon

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Why don't we have soccer fever?

Did you know that the women's world cup is happening right now? Better yet, did you know our US team is undefeated for the past two years? Where are the house parties? Where are the bars full of rowdy fans? I'm currently watching our women defeat England (3 goals in twelve minutes!) and it's fantastic! Next up, Brazil, Thursday at 8pm.