./backlog: Charlie's blog

meanderings through tidbits of mathsy computery stuff

Parallel I/O and JASMIN

So further to my last post, I’ve been putting some parallel Python code to use… at work! I currently work at CEDA in Oxfordshire, using a number of the JASMIN virtual machines to analyse and extract information from scientific datasets. This involves processing tens of thousands of files - ranging from a few kilobytes to 7-8 gigabytes in size. To make this task feasible, I need access to some considerable hardware - which CEDA has in the form of JASMIN.

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Problems with Python Parallel Processing

Python is an extremely popular programming language among the scientific community - in fact, not just in the scientific community - Python is the fourth most popular programming language in use overall. Part of the work I am involved in at CEDA involves developing data extraction software in Python that is run on some high-performance processing nodes (see JASMIN). These high-spec machines are deployed with several CPUs and a large amount of RAM, which in theory makes them ideal for performing large-scale numerical processing tasks.

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Zombie Game Project

Now that I have a little extra time to write about it, I’m eager to introduce one of my favourite University assignments from this year; my HTML5 game. At the beginning of this project, I was really pretty unfamiliar with JavaScript and the way it worked - I’d always regarded it as a fairly poor language (it has a reasonable number of flaws), and not paid that much attention to it.

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End of Second Year

So, I’ve just come to the end of my second year at Aberystwyth. It’s been an enormous challenge, but enjoyable most of the time and I’ve made some great friends on the way. As my friends and I are mostly heading to our respective industrial placements, we won’t get the same opportunities to see each other as we’ve had this year - it’s a shame that we’re about to go our separate ways for now, but we’ll be back in Aberystwyth in September 2015.

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Experience with Amateur Radio

So, during the last couple of days I sat (and hopefully passed) the RSGB Foundation amateur radio exam. I’ve been excited for this moment for a while (~6 months!), and with any luck I should receive my callsign in the next few weeks. Hopefully the callsign I’ve chosen (M6CCN - my initials) is still available - and then I’ll be able to do my first solo QSO/CQ calls. The main thing that got me interested in amateur radio was the possibility of being able to communicate with the International Space Station - I’ve always been interested in space exploration (in fact, I work as part of a space research organisation), so that aspect of amateur radio really appealed to me.

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