Busy, busy!

The last two months have been quite hectic. I thought I’d give everybody a brief outline of what I’ve been up to:

  • Finished my dissertation, defended it, and received my Ph.D. This is huge news for me. It took me 7 years but I finally got it done. For those that may be interested, my degree is in Chemistry and my dissertation title was, rather blandly, Ultra-Sensitive Detection Methods of the Orientation of Surfaced-Adsorbed Molecules. Basically I “developed” a new analysis technique that would most accurately be called Polarization-Resolved Normal Incidence Cavity Ring-down Spectroscopy (PRNICRDS, yes scientists love acronyms). The purpose was to use it to detect the rotation of an artificial, light-driven, molecular motor less than 1 nanometer in size.
  • I got a job as a postdoctoral research working for the Space Dynamics Lab (run by Utah State University) and contracted to the US Air Force Research Laboratory at the Hanscom Air Force Base near Boston. If that isn’t confusing enough, I work in the Battlespace Environment division of the Space Vehicles directorate. I think this is probably the closest I’ll ever come to being a rocket scientist 🙂 It’s exciting work even though working in the military has it’s own peculiarities.
  • Given my new job, my wife, two pets, and I moved from Reno, NV to Boston. We’ve always been west-coast people so it’s been quite a different experience. Neither one of us had been to New England before and we’d only been west of the Rocky Mountains for family vacations. We love the weather so far but are bracing for the (in)famous New England winter.
  • In between all this I seem to have been able, with help from Colin Watson,  to get the seeds for the new Edubuntu DVD working. This is a pretty big step for Edubuntu as for a few releases now we’ve been just an addon to Ubuntu. This meant our users had to first install Ubuntu and then grab the Edubuntu disk and install the educational packages from there. Additionally, LTSP, which is commonly used in schools labs, was shifted to the Ubuntu Alternate CD. The decision to go to a DVD wasn’t easy though. DVDs are a big download and we have to make sure that we maintain good sync with the Ubuntu installer, kernel, etc. Edubuntu 9.10 will be basically a Beta for Edubuntu 10.04 LTS as we’re trying to get the DVD thing going and revitalize development.

Well, those are the highlights from me, nothing too important but it’s been keeping me busy. I’m looking forward to seeing Karmic released and then focusing on the big push to the next Long Term Support release.


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