Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Warm superconductors

What happens if you have a superconductor and the helium supply fails? It gets super hot super fast. If that happens at the LHC, you get that huge explosion in 2008. Now, if you instead scale that down to Nuclotron values (~6 kA) it doesn't get nearly as violent, but it's still bad. So, we didn't run the SRC experiment... We got to peek into the accelerator to see how the conductor had cleanly shot out a chunk of solid metal, much like an apple corer. We also got to see the looong tricky path for the superconducting cable, i.e. it'll be a big job to repair. Let's hope they manage before the snow melts, and everybody is equally puzzled how that would affect accelerator operations when I mention it. So I won't explain it here :D

Still, got a few things out of the trip:

  • I realized how much I miss proper winters, the weak crap we get here in Germany just doesn't do it for me. I was the only one who laughed hysterically while plowing through 50cm of snow and then I walked to the institute with snow filled boots with a huge grin on my face (and in my heart). I was dreaming of cross country skiing every day.
  • I know what prepaid subscription to go for with my smartphone, so I can finally hang out with the cool kids. And stare into the void without talking. Hmm, nothing new then come to think of it.
  • Fixed some strange new DAQ integration bugs, computers are terrible.
  • I need to learn to make nice salads.
  • Taking small breaks from playing an instrument really does help, my first day of practice after coming back was immensely fruitful. Doesn't help the technical but def. the musical bits.

I feel my task now is to try to keep business trips to a minimum and "finish" things at work (hah!). Will go to Strasbourg again this spring, and maybe Norway in the summer, but that's "not personal, it's strictly business". No wait, the other way around.

Lights out!

EDIT 2018-02-23: Carpenter Brut! Ladder tease! Finally some proper new music, and I'm so glad I have my decent headphone setup for this. Ah yes, I made udon noodles tonight, quite hard work if one substitutes the stomping with hand kneading. I blasted that dough really hard with empty hands of fury (forgot to put CB on in the background :p ) and it turned out really nice, but I'll cut the noodles much narrower next time, they really blow up while cooking.

And in closing, the Nuclotron is already fixed! Waiting for some people to decide who goes when and then I'll be off once more I suppose.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Wonderful toys

Toys are great, this is my newest one:

It's a DIY build, and I fortunately found Mechboards in the UK selling kits. And, err, don't mind the chaos on the Pro Micros, I was sent the wrong acrylic cases which I only noticed after I had soldered the four hidden switches + the Pros. Couldn't find a tin sucker :/ All that's left is to find the motivation to put Alt Gr somewhere, and to decide whether I should make my own homing marks (because I had to shift around the rows and the stock ones would end up on the wrong row) or buy a fresh set of DSA keycaps.

Going to Russia again on Sunday, hopefully this time to run the actual SRC experiment. Or rather, a new technique/setup in a suite of SRC experiments.

And that's it, have fun.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy 2018!

Hmm, what to do with this year? Other than the "normal things" (i.e. make a few experiments, use the first local beam for a few years, forcing myself to pick up the violin (and then force myself to put it down before my fingers bleed...) etc), I really don't know. Let's enjoy the ride and see what happens :) That's usually what I do anyway.

Take care everybody! That includes me.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas 2017!

Why not keep it simple sometimes? It was a nice day.

Will watch Star Wars again tomorrow, but in 2D. And with another set of friends in another country :) Somehow I manage without Facebook still.

EDIT 2017-12-25: Second review of Star Wars: I stand by what I said before, i.e. it's a nice film, but too many new characters are introduced, while at the same time many characters are heavily underused or misused. Also a German audience is more fun than a Swedish one ;) "The best moment in the film" was met by 100% silence except 1-2 young girls very quietly uttered "ooooo" and "aaaaa", and even afterwards it was completely silent for a very long time. I'm much like that myself, friends in the US sometimes ask me why I don't go bananas when something amazing happens...

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

The battle has only just begun

Maybe it was "The battle is only beginning". I'm terrible at remembering quotes, but Luke said something like that towards the end. Uh-oh, spoiler alert!

3D is still trash btw. Jerky, and I see shadows from unfiltered light, ugh. Gotta keep trying though, one day it might be good. Not gonna happen until they go to >= 48 Hz though.

So, spoiler-free opinions, hmm. I went in without having seen anything, except a few pictures on some trashy web-sites somewhere, so I had zero expectations. It's a very pretty film, of course. Surprisingly good. I like to say that "VII = bigger * IV + more - lotsa_charm < IV", and now "VII < VIII = (V + VI) / 2.3 < min(V, VI)" (see the final order in a later paragraph). My prediction about a spiced up Hoth variant came true (wasn't a prediction at all, I mean seriously, they had to have it). And the parts about the Force were really clunky, they didn't bother to do anything new with that. "Oh right, we need something about the Force, err, copy-paste a few lines from the previous films, sound ok? Just make a fun death scene so people laugh." On that note, it was a funny film from time to time, but man CG animals are so incredibly annoying. Bah, I need to lighten up.

There was one perfectly executed "woah!" moment, and the reaction in the cinema was amazing; absolute silence except for one guy exclaiming quite confidently "woah!". I'm not a big fan of hocus pocus in films, but this was really good. I saw the moment coming from parsecs away (what? they talked about parsecs in the film), but I would have chosen a much closer "destination". Anyway, what happened probably looked better, and yes it looked great. Best part of the film ;)

Some people in the audience stood up and clapped their hands at the "sage mode" scene, that was really stupid. I felt like performing the sacred rite of face palming right where I was sitting, but what's the point when nobody can see you in the darkness.

So, now it's IV >= V > VI > VIII > VII. Wait, why does this whole series start at IV? And yeah, IV >= V, because of that one sunset scene that I've written about before. That to me is film mojo. It's life.

Last day at work tomorrow, then I'll vanish back home to safety.

Ah yeah, the keyboard kit. There were a few issues: there was a USB mini B cable in the kit, not a micro B which the Pro Micros need, and the acrylic case plates had the wrong dimensions. So it's still lying around in its box. Seems like the seller will send a new case for free though, so I just need some patience.

AoC, do it. Little late now though. And there's Project Euler if you want the real deal, I should continue on that.

Violin practice is grueling, but when I suddenly do something good, I'm so happy.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

I made it

When I arrived, I thought to myself "how will I survive here for three weeks?" When we were about to leave, my co-worker said "I don't think there's any place on Earth where we cannot enjoy ourselves."

The 30 year old neutron detector that was sent there worked incredibly well, 1 very strange channel + 10 noisy ones out of 240. Their cave router doesn't allow fixed IP addresses to go out, so I had to write a proxy for the DAQ. Another one of those invisible things that make people happy, but they don't know about it.

The food was pretty nice, reminded me of Swedish food a lot more than German. I will miss the dinner "salads" we had there, they were really one of the highlights of every day. But I'm happy I won't feel the need to drink toxins for a bit...

Preparing for the keyboard kit onslaught, I will probably start with that on the weekend. Next week is a week-long meeting, so no time for any of that fun.

Violin practice!

Friday, 20 October 2017

Next bout of Dienstriesen

It's been a hectic time recently, late Wednesday afternoon I received an e-mail with a flight ticket to SVO in Moscow on Monday. Normally I confirm flight bookings, but this time I simply received the ticket in the attachment with the underlying sentence "go on Monday". It wasn't exactly a surprise, considering the paper work I again had to do for the Visa application (picked up my passport this morning), some administrative stuff at work, and trying to force some documentation of the DAQ infrastructure I need to integrate our detector into (of course when I asked myself twice I got nothing, but when the big bosses hear about it I get the documentation immediately), but it was a bit funny. I still have to gather a few items I need to bring in my luggage that didn't make it into the huge truck for the detector + everything else (when will things ever be done properly here...). On to the next adventure!

Went to another concert yesterday evening, a French quartet played Mozart, something modern (2016), and Mendelssohn. They did the modern piece very well although I'm not too fond of that kind of music. They also did the intense parts of the classical pieces well, but I feel a common "issue" with many performers is exactly this; the "boring" parts are the most important for a performer because they require the most focus and care, whereas the "fun" parts play themselves. I always complain... It was a very good quartet, and it was a unique performance for just 13.50 EUR, so I'm happy.

On a similar topic, the last time I mentioned rosins, I praised Bernardel. Cold dry weather has returned, and I've become more aware of what I'm doing, so the Hill Dark is my current go to rosin. I'm glad I bought both. 3rd position and bowing getting more stable and smooth, gotta keep going.

Still waiting for the keyboard kit, I hope it'll arrive today or tomorrow, or the post might send it back before I return from my trip... But then I'll spend my trip thinking non-stop about building the thing.

Ashes of Malmouth is excellent, but feels, uh, "spretigt", I can't find a good English word for that. Erratic or irregular, not very well focused, and things don't tie in as well as in the main game. But oh boy is a Skelemancer a ridiculously fast leveling build, I hope it'll keep up as my friend with his super burning Purifier and I go along. Sudden insane boss encounters have been fun, all in hardcore mode of course.

EDIT 2017-10-20 (evening same day...):Yay:

Nay: I can't build it since I'm going on the business trip :( I'm gonna be amazingly home-sick.
The list of items and the photo on the seller's website didn't show all the goodies that I received, the cables are really very nice for example. I was looking for a black cheapo TRRS cable on ebay, but the one in this kit has a metal coil all the way around it. If curious, and if you live in Europe, click here.

Also kicked every last butt in Ashes of Malmouth this evening. As usual the final boss is cool, but by far not the hardest along the way; that award goes to the jerk in the void rift. No, not the one with the trailer music and just before you meet Ulgrim again, but the similar creature in the next void rift. Of course this is nothing compared to the crazy people who have already slain every new nemesis and super boss, just goes to show I'm actually doing other things too... And still the most dangerous thing in the game is ground sh!t. No wait, doing stupid things, that's the most dangerous.