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It’s not a lab coat June 16, 2014

Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, research, work.
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I’ve been doing some work in the lab, and after I fried something, decided I needed to be a bit more careful.  So out come the blue smocks.

Of course, some people prefer to call them ESD jackets.  I’m one of them, but I absent-mindedly revert to ‘smock’ when I’m not thinking.  I prefer to call them jackets because ‘smock’ evokes images of an granny in a ruffly apron who speaks in a high, squeaky voice (almost as annoying as Karen from Will and Grace).

Come to think of it, they’re about as flattering…

My coworker had a pretty good description: he said we looked like the Bobbsey Twins.  I’d never heard of them, but after seeing this, I think he’s right:

Bobbsey Twins


That’s approximately the correct shade of blue for an ESD smock.  However, I wish my ESD jacket had a ruffled collar.  Or that it was actually purple.

Oops, I did it again… October 21, 2010

Posted by mareserinitatis in humor.
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We have two computers at work that are dedicated to running simulations. The reason we have two is two-fold: 1-we electrical engineers used to always be trying to sneak time in on the computer because the mechanical guys would need to be running their simulations. It never seemed to work for both to run simultaneously. The mechanical program would grab all the cores while the electromagnetics program would grab all the memory. 2- We have to deal with ITAR restrictions. Some of the work we do is for the DOD, and we have foreign nationals working in our building. Therefore one computer stays in a room that is ITAR restricted while the other goes into a lab with no such restrictions. (Note that the stuff I’m doing right now isn’t ITAR restricted, but that isn’t always the case.)

I’m usually working on the ITAR restricted computer, so I was surprised when one of my coworkers came up to me last week and asked if I’d been using the lab computer.


He went on to explain that he was asking “because it crashed.” In fact, it looks like the motherboard died. And of course, I was the first person he thought of.

And now that I think of it, I had been looking at something on there and thought it was acting flaky not long before the crash.

Because the mechanical group has a foreign national working for them, the solution was to move the other simulation computer into the lab so that we could both use it until the lab computer is fixed. This, of course, means going back to the scheduling conflicts. The other engineer’s schedule makes it easier for her to use the computer in the mornings, so when I went in yesterday, I figured I’d just go and work on another project at my desk.

I hit the power button on my desk computer, and nothing.

This is getting old.


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