katsmeat: (Default)
I've just been offered money.

A ex-UEA professor has offered me a percentage of a project he's working on, in exchange for doing the software, approx. 6 months work.

I'll not say much, except the idea is to use clever software to extend the capabilities of certain pre-existing, lab instrumentation. The notion is that the manufacturer, who the Prof knows well, will jump at the chance to make their kit more versatile and sellable with virtually no costly engineering changes. People in white lab-coats will (we hope) be queuing around the block to buy for £30K, a bench-top box with functionality that currently costs £100K to buy. The idea isn't tied to that particular manufacturer's instrument, BTW; there is a plan B if they say no. The Prof has a decent background in this kind of thing - he's already got 16 patents (I checked) and a decent amount of experience in running spin-off companies, turning research into cash.

Only, all this is making be feel quite terrified and quite out of my depth. Certainly having low self-esteem, plus something I'd characterise as Imposter syndrome in bucket loads doesn't help when negotiating for money. It all amounts to the bad habit of catastrophically undervaluing my time and effort.

We only had an informal discussion, but I'll have to nail down what I'd get in cash terms (he implied about £1.5K per unit sold). And figure what to do about getting some kind of contract (about which I know exactly zero). My percentage is being offered instead of payment up-front and ,since I am actually living at home, I have near-zero living costs and could theoretically do it. Though I am inclined to ask for:

  • My name to be jointly on the patent (purely for CV points and bragging rights).

  • A small, monthly amount of cash in hand as pocket money.

  • A higher percentage. Not that I'd expect it, but just because I have the idea you never take what you're first offered when negotating and that I'll be doing something idiotically wrong if I don't haggle like I'm buying a carpet in the Cairo souq.

katsmeat: (Default)
Ohh.... I could do this.


In fact, I actually would like to do it.


And jinxed... it looks like it's gone.


katsmeat: (Crazy)
So... I've just hit 'send' for an application to do microscopy at the Cambridge department of Zoology (Imaging Specialist, Research Associate with the Developmental Biology Group, to be completely a. about it).

I know next to nothing about microscopy, but the vacancy notice curiously doesn't specify that you must. In fact, it specifies curiously little, considering it's a £27,319 to £ 36,464 gig. One would have thought they might have thrown in something random into the "Essential" bit - expert in Sinclair Spectrum Basic, able to pull off a frontside-360-ollie on a skateboard, be able to tell a merlot from a pinot noir. That would at least cut down on the workload of whoever's sifting the application.

Which all kind've leads me to assume that nobody's going to be reading them, as the vacancy has already been marked down to somebody, and they're going through the motions for the sake of HR policy box-ticking. In a way, that's a vague relief as I find it hard to talk about myself full stop, never mind writing myself up in cringe-making, estate-agent, salesman, nonsense language. I just hope I don't get an interview, as that would be a wasted afternoon traveling down there, to add to the wasted afternoon doing the application.
katsmeat: (Default)
I just submitted an application to the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge – they want a data-entry monkey for 8 weeks, entering meta-data on their image archive. It'll be with the "Education and Public Outreach" department; experience with Photoshop is desirable.

Am I just being paranoid, or does that vacancy sound tailored to a hypothetical, recently-graduated, unemployed sprog of one of the BAS's high-muckety-mucks, who did did some kind of Public-Relations, Meeja or "Design" degree that included a week playing with Photoshop.

Let's hope it's paranoia.

It'd be nice to get - forget the PR muppets, it might offer a chance to hang about in the common room with the researchers, saying things like "I know didley-squat about glaciology and oceanography but I know all about Modelling and Matlab".

Anyway... off to campus. The weekly Grad-bar pub quiz is on and I need some of the free-beer tokens that are a consequence of winning it.
katsmeat: (Crazy)

For once, the job centre came up with useful results - a couple of numerical modelling gigs with the British Antarctic Survey in Cam, doing stuff with ice shelves.

I'll ignore that 50%-of-jobs-come-through-personal-networking-and-5%-come-from-replying-to-ads statistic. Which seems to imply that because I've only have a piece of paper, as opposed to a favour-owing bosum buddy in the BAS, I'm screwed before I even start.

Hey ho and all that. At least my quite totally awesuumm Velma Zombie Apocalypse T shirt arrived today.
katsmeat: (Thoughtful)
I'm lazy - so could anybody help me on this?

If I had an arbitrary shape - a two dimensional splodge. Is there recognized, easy algorithm for discovering the centre? The point that would be the CG if you were to cut the shape out of a piece of cardboard?
katsmeat: (Geeky)
Happy Saint Matthias' day (see previous update)!

Today, I'm helping somebody I know put together conference poster for a paper on celebrity endorsements in women's' magazine advertising. Bet that's the first time somebody's used matlab to graph the number of times Eva Longoria and Liv Tyler appear in Vogue, as opposed to Marie Claire, not that I'm in the habit or reading either.

Currently listening to a newly acquired NoFX album called "45 or 46 Songs that Weren't Good Enough to go on Our Other Records"

Well... I can't say I wasn't warned < sigh >.
katsmeat: (Hat)
Midnight, and I've just about to email some results to the Prof. I generally set the computer running in the morning and analyse whet it's produced when I get back from the ski hill.

Actually, lift passes not included, daily living costs are about on-par with back home.

Why didn't I come out six months ago?
katsmeat: (Default)
For once, the meeting this afternoon with Prof Paying-for-Everything didn't go too badly. This was despite a bug in the code putting me back three days and stopping me from bringing any meaningful results to the meeting - yes, a hot object, suddenly finding itself in proximity to a cooler one shouldn't get hotter. Although at about two this morning, I was all set to give up on the code and try and think up some tortuous logic by which I could imply the model was right and the laws of thermodynamics wrong.

Anyway, the guy doing the practical lab-work that's running in parallel also hadn't produced anything so we were both off the hook until Friday. All day Thursday, I'll be in London and the code will take about 18 hours to run. It must be ready-to-go by Wednesday evening and it must be perfect as there'll be no time to rerun it.

So, no pressure then. :-)
katsmeat: (Default)
Wednesday - 3:30 ish is my favorite part of the week. I'll explain.

My weeks follow a set patten. In fact this exact pattern, with minor variations, has become so entrenched over the last two to three months it's become a routine I can set my watch by (if I had a watch).

Wednesday 2pm-3pm - Meet the Prof; agree what needs to be done for next week.

Remainder of Wednesday - Feel vaguely optimistic, do other stuff; try to catch up on sleep.

Thursday - Try to get week's task started.

Friday - Try get a significant chunk of task over and done with.

Saturday - Take day off.

Saturday Evening - Realize that progress on Thursday and Friday wasn't sufficient. Monday and Tuesday won't nearly be enough time to complete task. Feel guilty and worried about doing nothing on Saturday.

Sunday - Drive in to campus. Do laundry in campus laundrette. Work until late - usually finishing between 10 pm and 1am.

Monday - Exhausted from Sunday night. Come in about 11am. Feel guilty for not making it in for 7am to swim laps in the pool. Wonder why I'm paying for a pool card I'm not using. Feel guilty for wasting money. Work until 8pm when I go to the sports center for a session on the climbing wall. Finish on climbing wall feeling quite relaxed, aside from the serious worry about the amount of work that must now be completed on Tuesday.

Tuesday - Desperately try to get stuff done. Alternate between worry about getting my contract terminated and not caring. Finish at 3am.

Wednesday - Exhausted from Tuesday night. Come in about 11am. This time, I don't feel guilty for not making it in for 7am to swim laps in the pool (even I can recognize I need more than three hours sleep). Though I still wonder why I'm paying for a pool card I'm not using. See Prof at 2pm. Try to describe the problems I've been dealing with, the innovative solutions I've thought for them and try to think of an excuse why the precise objective has not been achieved. His response was that he though it was a perfectly simple task. He implies I'm a bit thick and have been clearly slacking. This impression is strengthened for him by the fact he always tries to phone me at 10am, when I'm not in the office having been working until 3am. Afterwards alternate between worry that the contact is ending in January and worry that I won't get something else - seeing as I have very very specialised skills, a patchy employment record and am the world's worst job interviewee. Decide not to care. Put off starting week's task until Thursday.

< Back to go - rinse and repeat >
katsmeat: (Default)
Huzzah! It works, it works, it works, it works < does Snoopy Dance >. Matlab Thermal modelling code - any heat sources you like with any arrangment of bodies of any thermal properties with any degree of thermal contact with each other.

Of course, only 2-D at the moment. But 3D will come! I can now see Professor Paying-for-Everything tomorrow without beforehand devising a line of BS about why it's not working.

Now I don't dare change so much as a comment for fear of breaking it.
katsmeat: (Default)
Current status - meeting with boss - 6 hours. Time since last sleep - 24 hours. Intractable problems as of last night - 1. Solutions as of 6am - 1.


The bastard just phoned to postpone it intil tomorrow.

< seethes >
katsmeat: (Default)
Various Metrics

I hate the Radio 5 program they run from midnight to 5. They call it "Up All Night" and it's depressing when you're actually having to do that and you must listen to something to avoid going bonkers.

Current status - meeting with boss - 6 hours. Time since last sleep - 24 hours. Intractable problems as of last night - 1. Solutions as of 6am - 1.

Update 10:26 espressos consumed -1, lattes -2.

Bright Eyed,  ----------|-  Walking into walls.
Bushy Tailed
Work (Last night)
God, this     ----------|-  I'm crap, I'm useless
is easy                     I'm this far away from
                            getting fired.
Work (Now)
God, this     --|---------  I'm crap, I'm useless
is easy                     I'm this far away from
                            getting fired.
Theocracy     ---------|--  Actually, not so bad now.
to happen
katsmeat: (Default)
From: Professor Paying for Everything
To: Katsmeat
Subject: Progress

When do you think this will be complete?

To: Professor Paying for Everything
From: Katsmeat
Subject: Re: Progress

I'll email you an update first thing on Friday morning to let you know what progress I've made today. In any event, it will be done for Monday even if I have to work all weekend.

I just sent that! Oh for f**** sake! Why, oh why, oh why....

< facepalms >
katsmeat: (Default)
I can hear the birds starting to sing outside ... that's the universe's way of saying to you "You're a stupid lazy pathetic idiot. Next time, get the bloody work done on time so you don't have to pull an all-nighter."

< sigh >


Sep. 8th, 2006 08:49 pm
katsmeat: (Default)
Hate hate hate hate!

I now hate the Rubber Book! Seriously.

I need to know the Thermal Diffusion Coefficient of a variety of example materials - a few metals, polymers and ceramics, a wide selection of examples.

This, you may think, is easy.

Thermal Conductivity = Diffusion Coefficient
Density * Specific Heat

If you want to find out these things, you automatically turn to the CRC Materials Science and Engineering Handbook - aka the Rubber Book. It's only then you realise the specific heats of all the elements are listed in calories per gram Kelvin. Specific heats of ceramics are calories per mole Kelvin. Polymers, just to be different, are in British Thermal Units per pound per degree Fahrenheit.

Thermal conductivity, well it can be BTU/hr/ft2/oF/ft. It can be miliWatts per metre Kelvin, Watts per centimeter Kelvin even calories per second centimeter Kelvin.

I don't need this, I'm not even supposed to be here today. Well, actually I am, but I just wanted to get in the Clerks quote. I'm not even supposed to be here now. I'm going home. And bugger buggger bugger the Chemical Rubber Company.
katsmeat: (Default)
Yaaah!!!! 2am on Saturday morning. And I'm in the lab. Admittedly, they do pay me quite well, but not _this_ well. I'm tired and I hate most things in the universe right now, including my life.

The code is finally working and I ought to have results when I come in first thing tomorrow. Yes, my life is that pathetic.

Anyway, I'm off home. I've got an 1852 edition of Juvenal to read, which I bought at a bookfair this morning for a pound, reasonably OK condition - I guess the dealer just wanted rid. It was translated by a Rev. so I'm assuming all the good bits got left out. Either that or they were left in Latin so only the educated would get titilated.
katsmeat: (Default)
It's 9:30pm and...

Read more... )
katsmeat: (Happy)
Meeting with Prof Paying-my-Wages went reasonably. I got some results so he's not unhappy.
At least, not sufficiently unhappy to stop paying me, which I view as a result.
katsmeat: (Default)
I think my internal clock is syncd by the time I get into the department. So as I rolled in today at about 12, (after dealing with an annoyingly lengthy errand in the city) it now feels to me like it's about lunchtime, even though it's 4pm.

Stayed up till four this morning, that probably had something to do with it. Anyway, I'm going offski at 5 to go snowboarding.


katsmeat: (Default)

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