Money, money, money…

I’ve just found out that I have DKK 100,000 left on the grant I am funded by until Feb 1st next year (where I move to a different grant but roughly the same research project).That’s a lot of money left to spend in a month and a half.The reason I have that much left is twofold: 1) in the budget I added a salary increase one year into the project that I didn’t get until half a year later (apparently I was too young after one year to move from assistant professor to associate professor level) and 2) I never used the travel budget because most of my travelling instead was paid for by the PolyGene project.Now I’m looking for ways to spend that money.I’ve ordered a new iMac with as high a spec as I can reasonably get, but that only costs about 20,000.For the rest I am thinking about either adding machines to our Linux cluster at BiRC or — if possible through some clever bookkeeping — find a way to use the money over the next year on a student programmer.The later is the nicer solution, ’cause I really have all the computer power I need through Brian Vinter’s grid if only I finish the framework for accessing it, so I will get more use out of a programmer to help with that (and all the other software development we need in the association mapping group) that I would get out of buying more computers.Not that getting more computers for our cluster would be wasted — we are pushing the limit of our system on a weekly basis and using our own cluster has some benefits that are missing on Brian’s grid — I just think I can get more out of a programmer.Of course, getting a programmer requries permission to spend the money over the next year rather than before the end of the grant, so I am not sure how to go about achieving that, but I’ll talk to our accountants to see if it is possible.

Teaching a course the nth time is so much easier than teaching it the first time

I’ve just finished preparing slides for my lecture in string algorithms tomorrow.It took about 15 minutes, and that was spend on reformatting the slides to the new version of Impress (for some reason the text always jumps about a bit when the version of OOo changes).In comparison I spent all Sunday preparing for my lectures in genome analysis, a class I am teaching for the first time this term. Having a clear idea about what to cover in the lecture, and of course having old slides to pick from when preparing the presentation, really speeds up the preparation.I guess one of the reasons I have managed so little research this year is that I have taken on three completely new courses (in addition to two old ones) to teach. Next year I only have one new class to teach and four that I have already taught before, so that isn’t so bad.

It’s alive, it’s aliiiiiiive!

That’s right, my blog is up and running again.

About a year ago I took down my blog to save the web server. My home-grown blogging software couldn’t cope with the traffic and the very inefficient backend data representation I used for the postings and archives so I decided to take it down for a bit while I found some software elsewhere to run the blog on. that took a while.

Now I’m running wordpress and I am looking forward to trying it out. So far I am quite happy with it, but then so far I have really only played with it and not done any “serious” blogging, so we will see how it goes. Anyway, with wordpress I have the option of hacking the underlying code, so I’ll get flexibility similiar to my homegrown code, but without the inefficiency. That isn’t bad in my book.

For the layout I’ve just picked a theme from wordpress and tweaked it a little bit. I guess I am going to play with the themes a bit more before I’ll worry about writing my own theme. For one thing, I am getting the impression that I need to understand PHP before I can do much on the blog, so I’ll have to look into that, but my time is very limited these days so I don’t know when I’ll get around to it.