Friday, 5 December 2008

The week's finally over

This has been a frustrating week at work. A while ago I mentioned I was working on an instrument upgrade project and first light is now due this coming Monday night. Up until lunchtime today progress had been slower than I hoped, but was about what I expected. Modern astronomical instruments are extremely complicated and what makes things even more difficult is that they have to work seamlessly with the observatory's own observing software. The latter task is often the hardest and usually several months are assigned to this. We had much less time than this.

So I felt much relief at lunchtime today when the instrument worked almost flawlessly using our observing software. Now I can feel a little more relaxed this weekend before my stint at the summit next week. The software group did an amazing job in the last day or so and hopefully none of us will be reaching for the blood pressure pills this weekend. There are still some problems to fix but I'm feeling so much more relaxed than I thought I would be yesterday, hence the soothing picture of Mauna Kea from home this evening. I'll be back up there very soon!

Incidentally, have a look at Ant's latest image from the summit. It's amazing. I can't compete with that, but if I get to see something interesting next week, I'll do my best!

PS. I made one or two changes to the blog's layout tonight - a picture at the top and a slideshow. Let me know if they don't look good. I'm artistically challenged so changes like this shouldn't be left to me alone.


Beep said...

Wow, what gorgeous photos including the header photo and the slideshow! I had something bad happen to me today and it is so nice to be looking at something that gives me such a feeling of happiness and peace. Thank you for sharing these. And I hope your work stuff goes well.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your day (ignore my response to your post on my blog, just kidding as you know. You deserve a long break!). Especially as mine was quite a relaxing one - no matter how much we love being on MK, and we do, it's always good to be back home after a long stint on the mountain.

I like the banner picture at the top (bit noisy though, too much jpeg compression?). The waves look really good. And that slideshow feature is really cool - I wish wordpress offered that!

Tom said...

Ant - agreed, it's a bit noisy. I'll see what I can do over the weekend. I do have a panorama of Hilo Bay which I wanted to use but you can *definitely* see the joins!

Beep - I'm really pleased you enjoyed the photos. As for work, we always make things work at the last minute, it's just the way things are in astronomy!

Zuzana said...

Love the new picture in your header, the slide show is cool as well.
I can completely understand how stressed out you can get from your work, I too sometimes experience busy periods of time doing research.

Diane said...

Glad your week ended on a positive note! The photos are lovely, especially your header.

And the pecking incident left no permanent scars, thanks for asking! I'm just praying I don't show up on YouTube this weekend. Lordy ;).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Andrew Cooper said...

Glad to hear you have had some success! I know how complicated such systems can be and am sometimes rather glad it is only the hardware, not the software I am responsible for.

Have to think about integrating a slideshow into my blog.

alice said...

Looks good! I like the changes!

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about a personal blog... is that it's yours.

You get to make the choices on design and what you put on your blog.

If you like it... who gives a rats ass if I'm about to say I think the picture is to big for a blog.

Nice picture though!