coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
Initially typed this out on SF but it turned out too long and since it's totally off topic... It goes here instead.

Today? Was a terrible day. It started off well... Then things started going downhill when I got this colleague to teach me how to use a machine called the MP-AES to measure Fe concentration. I still have not read up on how this machine works... But basic principle is like this: different elements emit different light when burned. So this machine generates a plasma and then it has a detector to detect specific wavelengths of light so that you can know exactly how much of a particular element you have in your sample. (Correct me if you know better people!) So yes. I was learning from this colleague whom I've had a really bad experience with trying to teach her stuff last time (she used to be a final year project student here, so she's really new). And she's not experienced with using this machine. So she basically takes really long to get things started. And when the machine finally starts, the plasma wouldn't start. We restart. Plasma starts at last... But when we try to get the machine to do some auto conditioning, it wouldn't work! Trying this, trying that... I suggest to try another sample... Didn't work. I ask her if she knows anyone who's more experienced at using the equipment, she doesn't know anyone. We tried to ask the lab in charge, she took a screenshot of the error and mailed it to the engineer instead of helping us troubleshoot. Finally I suggested we restart again. And it worked. -.-'''

Sigh. Then I loaded my 109 samples to the auto sampler. Keyed in the sample names... When it's all finally done and we hit the run button, over 2 hours has passed since the start. Geez. All that trying to get things to work. I thought it would have only taken 30 mins at most but nope, took over 2 hours. And the software not allowing for adding samples on the fly while the machine starts running didn't help. Because otherwise I could have it start running already while I slowly continued keying in all my sample names. 109 of them!

I timed. It takes ~90 secs per sample. So it'll take almost 3 hours for all my samples. Went back to the office. Checked at the 1.5 hour mark, everything was fine.

Came back down around the time it *should* have been done and... It had stopped mid way. With over 30 samples to go. Cos the gas ran out. Zzzz. It was already past 7pm.

I tried looking for the spanner to take off the N2 gas tank regulator. Can't find the big spanner. Zzz. I was about to walk away (go home, and continue tomorrow) when some relatively new PhD student comes along. Just out of curiousity I just ask her about the gas regulator and she's like, oh yeah, I know that. Turns out she's used that machine quite a lot, and she would have been the expert we were looking for in the afternoon. *sigh*

And it turns out despite all my circling around the gas tank storage room, and looking behind nooks and crannys, I *still* managed to missed the spanner. I was simply looking at the wrong place zzz. *sigh*. So, spanner found. But the thing was too tight. Time to look around the lab for a strong guy to help. Thankfully, another PhD student was still around. The guy I'd just taught something to this morning. Gas tank changed. Hurrah. Plasma ignites. The program continues running. I head back up to finish that irritating programming challenge that I was stuck at. (I still swear there's some bug in their software for that question.) Went back down 30 minutes later, turns out that the plasma got cut off immediately after I left the lab. There were still over 30 samples to run zzzz. It was way past 8pm. I give up. I restart the plasma and sit in the lab till the end. Cleaning and clearing up whatever I could. Good thing I stayed too, because the plasma cut off AGAIN about 10 samples in. By the time I finish everything it was past 9pm. And I still had not had any dinner.

At least it's all done now. I didn't want to wait till tmr (well today, it's past midnight) because I have no idea how long it'll take to set things up again. And capping back the samples, and uncapping them, keying in the sample names... All that takes a lot of time... So yeah. At least it's done now... I don't have to deal with it in a while... *sigh*

And that, ladies and gentleman, was my bad day.
coolohoh: Biohazard (Biohazard)
Have I complained about how my leave was rejected?

I think I have.

Stupid prof. And stupid DJI. Like WTH? That was totally unnecessary. If things had been done MY way, I would have all the samples tested and done by last Wedn, and I could have gone on my leave. As it turns out, yesterday I was doing stuff that *could* have been done way earlier, as was the whole of last week. And today? I had absolutely *NOTHING* to do.

On the plus side, I spent my day revising all my completed challenges on FreeCodeCamp, and making notes. Which is what I intended to use my leave for anyway. (Still, you fucking wasted my whole week!)

Idiots.

Anyway.

Finally finished making notes for the 170++ odd challenges I've finished in about a week or so.

I can tell you that I spent way more time making notes than doing the challenges itself. Which made me question the efficiency of my choice of taking notes.

No wonder I never ever took/made notes in class. Like, ever.

Lol.

But I guess it's good to take notes. A little revision to make sure that I didn't miss anything as I sped and crashed through the challenges. And writing out the code in old fashion pen and paper helped me remember them a little better. And it's important that I remember all these and internalise them ASAP. The very basics, ya know. Sure, making those websites on codepen helps too. And so does taking notes.

When was the last time I studied this hard? Idk. But definitely not for anything school related.

Bootcamps?

I think I'm never ever going to attend those. Esp those that cost a fortune. I don't even have a fortune to pay to begin with. I totally drained my bank account on plastic filaments and electronic gadgets and pens and what not. Nope. Definitely NOT going to go a crazy spending in a long time... :X

Anything structured and formal doesn't work for me.

Ok, not sure about the structured part but erm... Rules and regulations? They exist to be broken. I like going at my own pace and just speeding through everything. And googling everything if I need help. I'm not even at the stage where I need to join chats and forums for advice. Uncle Google is my best friend. I like things just the way it is.

Well definitely not the way things work in schools in sg. I'll probably just get bored. The pacing... Either they go too slow for me, or they go too fast for a complete newbie like me (as quick as I may be in picking up new things...)

Everyone learns at a different pace after all. The chances of structured lessons going exactly the speed I want them to be are close to nil.

Unless you self learn that is.

Which is what I'm happy to do.

Especially when there's a big carrot dangling in front of me. I have a project in mind. A website to build. I'll learn whatever it takes to build it. And that, is my best motivation.

And when that gets completed. The website gets built... I'll have to maintain the site... And then I can dream up of the next big thing to build and learn the relevant skills.

How cool is that?

That's just like what one would do in science in an ideal world, but of course, we are far from an ideal world. At least, in coding, it's probably easier to achieve that sort of ideal world situation that I imagined. Maybe. At least you don't need millions of funding to do a website. You just need a computer and an internet connection, and some cash to pay for a hosting plan. Which is way more accessible than a BSL2 lab and tons of equipment and consumables. And those, are stuff that I already have.

Cool.

Let's see how fast things can go... The sooner I can monetize this coding business, the better.

Don't know how things will turn out, but it doesn't matter. I know I can do this. I don't have any doubts about it. Maybe it's because I've been tinkering with computer stuff and dabbling a little here and there in codes of some kind all along. Whether I can do it or not is not even a question. The question is how long I will take to achieve a decent level of proficiency. And how long it'll take for me to learn enough to start putting *something* on that new website. Oh, it's gonna look really horrid at the beginning. But that's ok. It'll be my experiment. And I'll just tinker with it till I'm satisfied. And I'll do it for as long as it takes.

Alright. It's time for dinner now! Then it's back to learning!

August 2017

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