Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Friday, April 28, 2006


My chuffing word has this week stressed me out. The commissioning of the new computers has been a mixed blessing. Ever one to embrace new technology, I've leapt onto the machine, requiring swift development of generalised byte-swapping / hdf5-to-binary type software. Trouble is, the new machine's HDF5 libraries are somehow corrupt, meaning that GADGET won't restart from HDF5 files, which is a problem when your simulations crash. As they often do.

No worry you say? Just restart from the....*restart* files! Yeah, I would if I hadn't deleted them (for no god reason other than directory tidiness) this morning. Rob, you've just written hdf5-to-binary software; convert a snapshot into binary and go from there! OK, so I did that (feeling duly smug), and off it went, happily.

Except get this: the lack of an hdf5 extention on my initial conditions lead GADGET to think it should start them snapshot numbering again from 000. Thus massacring the existing snapshots - it got as for as z=26 before I realised and killed it. Not to worry too much - these should be identical to the non-photoheated run until z=11 when I turn on the UV, so I can copy those over and rename them. Just have to rename a trillion files when (if) this current run completes.

In other issues, while waiting for the simulations today, I revisited my GADGET "observation maker" software, as the Caltech boys reckoned they'd found strong radial motions. Confused by this, I took a look at realised I'd forgotten to incline the velocities as well as the particle positions. OOPS. Just made myself look an utter dick in front of my collaborators....nice move. Another 3 hours wasted in fixing the problem, testing the solution to death, and writing grovelling emails to my betters across the pond.

I really need a pint now, except I've found I suddenly can't get into my jeans anymore. I've going home now, to put on some shorts and give myself a coronary somewhere along the river bank. That's if the chav kids along there don't stone me to death first. Happy weekend everybody.


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