Thursday, July 28, 2011

cats and dogs living together: how team rc rolls!

So we were rolling out a new complex system with our neuroinformatics folks and started to hit a lot of issues. Development team, systems team were all totally confused - turns out that this whole brain science thing is rather complicated after all - who on earth would have thought right ;-)?

So rather than the crazy finger pointing 10,000 email thread stuff I've seen go on in various shops we did a simple thing... got the team together! I can't underestimate the power of folks that work on tough projects to actually get in the same room, pull up an ssh session and have at it. Reminds me of the old ghostbusters line (thanks to imdb):
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
Mayor: All right, all right! I get the point!

Turns out that Dr. Venkman was wrong in this case - we totally nailed all our issues, one of the best meetings I've seen in a long while! Go team!


Monday, July 18, 2011

dropping one social media for another

This posting is inspired by:

https://twitter.com/#!/phylogenomics/status/92511834946551808

Clearly lots of folks out there in light of awesome googleplus are worried about all the time they have spent on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn etc...

It turns out that most people don't spend "all that much time" on Facebook.

A quick "show older posts" and a print to a PDF or/and a select all, and paste into Word is enough for you to capture all of those cherished memories. You can then save them off into a file so you can say cherrio to one sad social media method and then say hello to another to be sad method, as per this post:


Sunday, July 10, 2011

blocky graphics imac overheating epic fail

We've been using mac products for years. Two systems (imac white and a 24" imac) both had "blocky screen of death" issues. We took matters into our own hands and attempted the mythical "thermal paste fix". No joy. There are significant design issues that folks over at Apple HQ don't think exist:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1697470?start=930&tstart=0

The ifixit folks have an awesome set of tear down instructions. However don't even attempt this one - trust me it is a waste of time, even if you have the capability to pull the machine apart, and pull off the fix: by the time you see the "blocks of death", you are pretty much done. Spare parts are like rocking horse droppings and of various quality.



Monday, July 4, 2011

pop quiz, what do you do? what do you do?

Howard Payne (aka Dennis Hopper): Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up!

What do you do? What do you do?

Well in our research computing group and the crazy data centric world we live in, it is not quite like the movies. Most recently it has gone a bit like this:



[any opinions here are all mine, and have absolutely nothing to do with my employer]
(c) 2011 James Cuff