./backlog: Charlie's blog

meanderings through tidbits of mathsy computery stuff

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. This is really exciting, because Building 31 (31-2-012, to be exact) was where Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and wrote the code for the first web server. As well as being where the WWW was invented, Building 31 was where the very first web servers were kept. That means I'm working right next to a piece of Internet history, which is pretty damn cool.

As I've been busy with learning the technologies involved with my projects, meeting people, going to lectures, and exploring Geneva and the surrounding areas, I haven't had time to write much of an interesting report (at least, not yet) - so instead of writing a monster blog post/technical report, I'll just post some pictures of the area and some of the things I've been doing in my free time.

The famous CERN globe
The famous CERN globe, just outside the main CERN campus

The view from my
The view from my office (note the mountains in the background!)

The mountain that you can see from my
The mountain you can see from my office (Mont Salève). Yes, I went up there. Yes, I hiked down it. In the dark. No, I don't recommend it.

The antimatter factory (antiproton decelerator) near my office
The antimatter factory (antiproton decelerator) near my office building. This is mostly just because I found the name fascinating.

The rather impressive murals on the ATLAS
The (rather impressive) murals on the outside of the ATLAS building - which was full of fairly tense-looking scientists on the inside.

The ATLAS control
The ATLAS experiment control centre. Nobody was running around screaming, which I took to be a good sign :)

The plaque outside Tim Berners-Lee's old office on the second floor of
Building 31
The plaque outside Tim Berners-Lee's old office on the second floor of Building 31.

The main server room at
CERN's main datacentre in building 513 - there are lots of others but this is the most famous one.

My laptop looking rather fancy with its new CERN
My laptop, adorned with a rather nice CERN sticker.

Lake Geneva in the evening, after I went sailing on
Lake Geneva, one evening - after I went sailing on it.

Right - that's all for now. I should probably put in a quick note about my projects - among various other things, I've been doing some interesting stuff with Puppet, writing recipes to deploy various monitoring and metric-gathering utilities, including Elasticsearch/Logstash/Kibana and OpenTSDB/tcollector. I'll probably write another (lengthier) post about those things in the coming weeks.