Dell

CASE Placements and Research Software

In which I apologise for this week being low on blog posts and update you on my AstraZeneca placement. Also I use software I normally use for research for other purposes.I'm sorry there haven't been any updates this week. There was no cake made as I had no time for choir on Tuesday, no tea as it's an alternate week and the usual Thor update is delayed (pending a hot wire cutter).

CASE Placement

This week I started my work placement at AstraZeneca, the industrial part of my Industrial CASE PhD (see my post on PhD types). Apart from the system shock due to waking up significantly earlier than usual (my commute to UoM is a 15-20 min walk not a 45-60 min drive) the week has been good so far :) I've gone through a load of induction sessions and lots of positive feedback on my study designs and planning for the weeks ahead.

Next week I start work proper with my first study and hopefully the results will be as we predict. Sadly for now I can't give any more details due to confidentiality agreements. Rest assured though if I get a publication out of this placement (which I hope I will) it will be mentioned in this blog :)

Weeping Womble

On Monday night I managed to take a good set of photos of fellow Scout leader and Networker (Womble) walking ominously towards my camera. I used ImageJ a free, java based image tool commonly used by MRI researchers to animate this simple gif:

After fixing some timing issues, adding 'blinks' and a final word of warning I ended up with this final masterpiece of internet animation:

Proof that research software can be quite fun in your spare time!

Tom Out!

P.S. AstraZeneca

P.P.S ImageJ

Gentoo 64-bit

So guess what I was up to last night - yes that's right, installing Gentoo.

This was my first time installing Gentoo on 64-bit architecture - the important specs are below:

  • Intel Core i7 2600k Processor (Sandy Bridge - important later)
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 Motherboard
  • 250 GB HDD (well 250 GB partition out of the 4 TB in my machine)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 GPU
  • Blu-Ray recorder drive

Also worth noting that this is a dual boot with Windows 7.

[WARNING - If you're not interested in Linux or computer geekery I expect you will find the rest of this post boring]

I followed the Gentoo documentation found here: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/ I will be noting any differences between that guide and my install here.

Choosing the Right Installation Medium

I downloaded the LiveCD and used that as my initial Linux environment for installing from.

Configuring your Network

All done through DHCP.

Preparing the Disks

I used the standard layout of boot, swap and root partitions but on /dev/sdb2 to /dev/sdb4 because of my dual booting. I set my swap partition to 20 GB following advice I found online. Then annoyingly the LiveCD made me reboot in order to write the changes. The I used the standard filesystems.

Installing the Gentoo Installation Files

The -march option in CFLAGS needs to be native or corei7-avx because of the Sandy Bridge architecture. I used MAKEOPTS="-j5" as it's a quad core processor.

Installing the Gentoo Base System

I selected the default amd64 profile. I set up my USE flags with KDE in mind so -gnome and -gtk were used. I also added the bluray flag.

Configuring the Kernel

I mostly followed the guide but later I had to come back and recompile without some Nvidia options: http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/nvidia-guide.xml#doc_chap3

Configuring your System

I always set my hostname to be the name of a famous fictional computer - this time I went for Ozymandias (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_computers#1990s)

I set my locale to be en_GB.UTF-8.

Installing Necessary System Tools

I chose to get syslog-ng, vixie-cron, mlocate, dhcpcd and ppp.

Configuring the Bootloader

I used GRUB and followed the standard set-up except for a timeout of 10 seconds and replacing Windows XP with Windows 7. I also had to ensure to make the boot device hd1,1 and root=/dev/sdb4.

Finalizing your Gentoo Installation

I made my user with nearly all the groups (N.B. games doesn't work - is it depreciated?)

Where to go from here?

By the time I left for work this morning I had also emerged X-org and KDE 4.8.3 and had managed to get startx to not crash while going to a black screen. I'm going to have to work on my xorg.conf this evening and hopefully I'll get a working one running. This will be useful as Googling doesn't currently give a working one for my 42" TV and graphics card via HDMI. I hope people might find that useful :)

Tom out!

P.S. http://www.gentoo.org/