29. January, 2012
And life changes. I'm now well into my PhD, which is exciting — I get to do maths all day! It's hard to get up at more-or-less normal times all week, but I'm doing OK at that. For the first year there's a lot of background to get to grips with before you can forge out into new territory. It's harder to motivate oneself to read a book than to do try and prove things, but it's got to be done.
The actual research also gets tantalisingly close, such that it's an effort to ensure one properly learns the material. It's all too easy to jump in before you're ready only to have to retreat again...
Our Maths department at Bristol is impressively sociable; we go to the pub and for a meal each Friday, and go to lunch together every so often as well. Mathematical company can be surprisingly good — it'd be easy to assume that the mathematicians would be as dry as the subject can be, but so far so good.
In November I bought a new computer, which is pretty fun. Unfortunately, it's experienced a whole bunch of problems. This is fairly unusual for me; most of the time computer builds go fairly smoothly. This time one stick of RAM was completely bust, which seemed to result in the OS installation being corrupt, requiring a reinstall. After this I still got new corruption, and after a long time realised that the hard drive was probably dodgy as well. So far a firmware update seems to have fixed the latter problem. Ockham's razor led me astray in assuming everything came from the faulty RAM!
It gets worse though! I sent the RAM back to Scan early in January and it hasn't arrived, so it seems to have been lost in the post. To add insult to injury, my headset broke the other day, which was quite sad; I only dropped it from the desk to the floor. (This is pretty obviously a design fault in the Logitech G35s since numerous other people have had them break in the same way. A very small rod connects the cans to the headband.) Hopefully the third attempt at gluing it will be successful, although I suspect the joint, being quite wide and now composed entirely of glue, will be quite brittle and therefore break before long. I wonder whether a return will be accepted with it covered in glue...