./backlog: Charlie's blog

meanderings through tidbits of mathsy computery stuff

What I Did At CERN: A Quick Summary

Seeing as I haven’t written anything in 2 months (oops), I thought I’d take some time to write a quick post about the project that I worked on during my placement at CERN. To give a brief summary, I worked in the IT department, in the databases group, in the Infrastructure and Middleware Services section (IT-DB-IMS). My workload involved a few mini-projects, but the overall goal was essentially to examine and improve some of the IT monitoring infrastructure at CERN.

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Settling in at CERN

I’ve been quite lax about posting lately because I’ve been settling in to life in at CERN, and adjusting to living in France/Switzerland. The last couple of weeks have been really busy; among other things, I’ve been meeting and socialising with the other summer students (of which there are a lot), working on my projects, having technical meetings with my supervisor, and learning the layout of the CERN campus. Much to my delight, I recently discovered that my office is above Tim Berners-Lee’s old room in Building 31.

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The Root of All Evil

Logging into a Unix machine as root is almost always a bad idea. I’ve come to this conclusion through several years of making silly mistakes and breaking important things on my own machines… usually mistakes that end up with me reinstalling my operating system. After destroying my system for the nth time because I was doing things as root, I decided to write this blog post - mostly as a reminder to myself not to be an idiot, but perhaps this will be useful to others, too.

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Bye CEDA, and Thanks for All the Fish

Today was my last day at CEDA! I can’t believe it’s been a full twelve months already. It feels like just a couple of months ago that I was arriving here, fresh from university and ready to start. It’s also now less than 25 days until I leave for CERN. Everything seems to be happening really quickly! Today is quite a nice coincidence, too - one of RAL Space’s new satellite instruments is ready to be shipped off to Cannes today - like me, it’s leaving RAL and won’t be back for some time.

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Wake-on-LAN is Super Useful

I was sitting in my kitchen this evening, working on my laptop and I suddenly needed to access a particular file that resides on my desktop. Normally this isn’t an issue and I’ll just get up, walk over to my desktop computer and boot it up. Today, however, I was struck by a sudden and desperate need to… not move anywhere. And so, in the spirit of future laziness, I set about finding a way to turn on my computer remotely.

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