Life in Alabama

August 25, 2007
alabama hpc work

We’ve been here in Alabama for 2 weeks now. Things seem to be going pretty well so far. We somehow survived the move and I don’t think left anything too critical behind. The truck full of half our stuff (and pulling the Civic), the CRV full of cats and guitars, and all the occupants got down here safely and relatively uneventfully. The POD full of the other half of our stuff arrived this past Thursday and we’re slowly working on unloading it. Moving in and unloading the POD has been a little slow since it’s been 100+ just about the whole time we’ve been here. For an idea of just how hot it is, the TVA shut down one of the nuclear plants near here due to the heat/drought and apparently that’s a first for the US (article). Otherwise, things around the house have been slowly progressing:

  • All utilities are set up, but we’re still waiting on a replacement garbage can and a recycle bin
  • Got bundled cable internet, digital cable tv + HBO + DVR, and phone service
    • (dvr was a free screwup on their part)
  • Ordered and received a new fridge, washer, and dryer
    • (seems the outlet for the dryer probably wasn’t wired up right, so an electrician is coming on Monday to check it out)
  • Already made use of the home warranty to get the downstairs AC fixed this past week after the fan motor quit
  • Amanda put up curtains in most of the windows and has them ordered for the remaining windows
  • Amanda has started the complex task of planning and installing shelving, hanging rods, etc in the closets
    • Did I mention not a single closet had any of this when we moved in?
    • Did I also mention most of the closets are REALLY WEIRD shapes? I’ll have to remember to scan the floorplan Amanda drew up for the master closet and post it…

I’m enjoying the new job, and they’re definitely keeping me busy. Seems like I’ve gone pretty quickly from manual lackey (help load these new drive trays into the rack) to taking the lead on new projects (go figure out how to set up grid computing so we can jump jobs between the supercomputers here and the clusters down at UAB). I’ll probably go into more detail about what I’ve been up to at work, and what I will be getting up to in another post.

I think Amanda’s settling in to doing her old job at the new location. Things haven’t been entirely smooth, but she can finally get into the building without needing the secretary to buzz her in. Amazingly enough, her computer made it to the local office for her first day here, but they’ve still got some technical issues to iron out if they want her to actually be productive. Unsurprisingly, shuffling lots of data from Huntsville to Bloomington across the internet is 4-5x slower than moving it within their intranet in Bloomington. But at least she can access data in Bloomington and get work done, even if it isn’t efficient.

Since we didn’t have a fridge till this past Wednesday, we’ve been eating out a lot so we’ve had the chance to sample several local restaurants and have found a number of good places to eat. I’ve also picked up some Southern slang that I may have to document for everyone’s amusement. :)