The Lab Hates Me

So, I’m currently not on my advisor’s good side because I haven’t yet gotten the data that he wants, and, as he never ceases to remind me–as though I’m not painfully aware of the fact already myself–classes are starting next week and there’s not a lot of time for getting that data between now and November. Wednesday’s attempt to get the experiment done was foiled by the Ultimately Inconsiderate Labmates and the disgusting biohazard they left growing, dying, and rotting underneath their rig. We located them and, with the power of the facilities manager behind us, made them clean the mess up. Unfortunately, it took them most of the day, and there wasn’t enough time left in the day to do the experiment.

Thursday was eaten up by the gigantic lab meeting in which I got berated by my advisor in front of our entire lab group as well as another professor and some of his students.

So, needless to say, I was pretty desperate to get in the lab and get some data this morning, even if it wasn’t with our fancy $1000 probe (which, I discovered on Wednesday, actually has resolution problems that our straight, homemade probes don’t have). Steph got in, and we headed over to the lab, set up the probe calibration, and got started. Then the stand that we have to use to yaw the probe during the calibration broke. I can turn the knob that controls the angle all I want, but that doesn’t mean that the angle will change. Okay, whatever. I manhandle the stand into each of the positions we need; we record the data, get our constants, and set everything up for the experiment.

We fly through the data collection at our first location, then move the probe, turn the tunnel back on and get ready for the next one. Except the computer freezes. Nothing extraneous is open; only what we need to take data. Yet the computer cannot switch between open windows. In fact, it can’t handle us moving the cursor. Time for a forced restart, we think. And another. Throw some disk checks in there for good measure. I’m getting frantic. I slog through uninstalling a bunch of programs we don’t need. Finally, I manage to knock out a bunch of that junk that could be running in the background and get it started on a virus scan. We go to lunch.

When I return, the virus scan has run for over an hour but found nothing. Also, it’s frozen. I force yet another shut down and turn the computer on again. This time, when it boots, I tell it to restart, hoping that this will clear whatever weirdness might be lurking in the registers. The computer comes back on, and it cooperates. I call Stephanie back and we fly through a dozen probe positions. Things are looking up. Maybe we’ll even get done in time for the TGIF at the Big Red Barn.

And then, the computer locks up again. We manage to restart it without forcing a shut down. We get another data point. But it locks up before we can take a second one. Now funny lines are appearing at the top of the monitor. Time for another forced restart, and another set of data gets recorded before the computer locks up. Restart. I start another virus scan, which helpfully ends after less than 9 minutes when the computer locks up yet again.

Well, guess what. I got data at fifteen locations, professor. The data is safely stored on the E:/ drive–and it’s the C:/ drive that seems to be failing–but I can’t tell you a damn thing about it because the computer won’t possibly run for long enough to process said data files, and it’s the only one that has the code to process the batch files. But the data’s been taken. Also, I declare it the weekend now. Oh, and, by the way, can we get me a new workstation?

3 Responses to “The Lab Hates Me”


  • Augh. That’s rough. 🙁 I’ll be thinking of you. Let me know if you need anything.

    (Also: Suggest you consult QS for Creative Planning in re the dark cabal of the Keepers of the Stench.)

  • i’m at peak uselessness becayse oh my arm – i can carely type, ledt alone code.

    my advisor, also not so happy

  • “…in which I got berated by my advisor in front of our entire lab group as well as another professor and some of his students.”

    Ugh. Ass. That is NEVER appropriate! EVER.

    *hug* Hang in there!

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