Monday, January 09, 2006

I thought computers were supposed to make your life easier

Silly me, I thought computers simplified life. However there is always a day now and then when you find yourself endlessly cursing at the computer screen. Today was such a day.

For days now I've been sitting in front of the confocal microscope taking picture upon picture of my cells and hoping that the next day isn't more microscope work. I need a break from the microscope. Even my eye has started to twitch (probably not microscope related but still). I rejoiced today when I was finally done taking all my confocal pictures. It was a short lived celebration.

You see, all of my microscopy work is done in the departmental microscopy unit and saved to the computers there therefore I need to transfer my images to something or other to get them from the computer in the microscopy unit to my computer. Sounds easy, right? That's what I thought but I swear the university strategically places hidden cameras around the university in order to see how grad students deal with situations such as the following.

The computer in the microscopy unit has a CD burner. That's all fine and dandy unless you have taken hundreds of images over the last few days that amount to about 6 gigabytes of files. That would be a lot of CD's. Instead of using a whole spindle of CD's just to transfer my files I figured I would use my pocket hard drive and transfer the files from the computer onto there. Oh but wait, the computer runs on Windows NT so no plug and play. Who uses NT anymore anyways? Then I figured, ok well I'll just transfer them over the network to the lab computer. Apparently I'm the only one who assumes that a computer that runs Windows NT would be networked. Ironic isn't it? Windows NT (a.k.a. networking) isn't hooked up to the network. Let me tell you, I didn't find it funny. I'm guessing that during the departmental virus outbreak of 2005 the IT guys figured they would disconnect the confocal computer from the network to avoid it from getting taken down by a virus. Good plan but hook it back up guys!

So now I've got numerous images that are currently stuck on the confocal computer which besides the confocal software doesn't have any imaging software such as Photoshop. So much for analyzing my images tonight. Instead I'm searching the internet for a Windows NT driver for my pocket hard drive. So far, no such luck. It's stupid setbacks like this that make me wonder if I'll ever get my PhD.

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