MagAO-X 2023A Day 3: It’s alive

This blog post was titled—somewhat optimistically—earlier today, but rest assured, dear reader: MagAO-X is even more alive now than when I wrote that. There is a polemic I could write about the Linux kernel’s casual attitude toward hardware support, but the short version is: we got everything reinstalled and connected and closed the loop in lab this evening on 1,564 modes.

As you may have heard, our Instrument Control Computer was supposed to get a software remodel, but instead ended up with the equivalent of a spit-shine and a new coat of paint. (One can imagine worse outcomes.) The best efforts of our hardware partners to provide Linux support were no match for Linux itself, which continues to defeat all comers in its ability to break software that once worked.

On the plus side, I hear the new way to write drivers is, like, super convenient. Shame about all those old drivers y’all have.

The highlight of the day (other than the loop closing thing) was the arrival of Eva and Lardy:

This afternoon a van disgorged a Professor Lardy Clos (optomechanics lead, natty dresser) and Eva Maklaod, soon-to-be-Ph.D. student in the XWCL.

It was a bit disappointing to spend all that effort on the computer upgrade and then roll it all back, but getting here early means I’ve run out my quarantine days already. And that means I’m allowed in to the dining room to dispense cappuccinos from the fancy machine, and that is an outcome worth celebrating on its own.

The third most exciting thing to happen today was spotting this neat bug:

Song of the Day

A review of the blog archives (blargchives?) revealed that nobody had ever used 2000s classic “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence as a blog post Song of the Day before. (Jared didn’t believe me.)

“Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence

Required Song Context Per Rule 2023A§5(c): It is hard to pinpoint when I became aware of this masterpiece. To date myself (and/or upset my elders) I was a melodramatic 13 year old when it came out. That alone is reason enough to resonate with the subject matter. (Wikipedia research reveals the songwriter was 19 when it was written, which tracks.)

Per the blog rules I should explain a memorable occasion when the song was played, but “being 13” might not cut it. Instead, I offer the following important facts:

  • “Bring Me To Life” reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, but #1 on the US Alternative chart. (And was the number one song of the year in the Australian Rock charts, what the heck.)
  • The sudden dude energy that kicks in at 2:50 in the song was apparently due to record executives being too chicken to release a song with female lead vocals and heavy guitars. I always thought it was incongruous and now that all makes sense.
  • I have just learned that it served as the official theme song for WWE’s 2003 No Way Out event, a totally normal stop on the route to international fame.