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never before - Lograh — LiveJournal

Wednesday, 13.Nov.2002

17:13 - never before

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... have I had to work on such an odd machine as I did today. I just got back from replacing a floppy drive downstairs.

On a task-specific machine. Those beasts are never designed with user-maintenance in mind.

This one in particular was designed with the exterior being basically not much more than a solid box. All the exterior panels were welded together, with the exception of the back panel, which had *13* screws keeping it on. Then I had to remove another 9 screws to get the inner top panel off, and then I had to manage to unscrew the floppy drive from it's housing in a space no bigger than 4 fingers and the screwdriver bit (not the whole screwdriver, just the bit)!

GAH!

And, just to make things interesting, this machine is used by the biochemistry freaks to examine DNA mapping stuff, so the *entire* work area is covered in residue from something called Ethidium Bromide, which they explain to me as a carcenogenic mutagen that I would do well to keep from getting on me if I hope to ever have kids. And while the ensure me that the trace ammounts of residue that are on the equipment are not enough to actually cause problems, they still insist that I wear gloves and a lab coat to keep from getting any on my skin or clothes (which can then later get it onto my skin) and they advise me to wash off any tools I take down there with me. Just for safty, of course.

FUN!

So, what would probably only have taken 30 mintues or so (it was tough figureing out how that machine went together) turned into a 2 hour job with me trying not to bump my head (which was uncovered) against any of the panels as I was poking my head into the innards of the box or against the various cords dangling around while I was twisting and turning to get as many fingers as possible on the bloody screws.

I love my job, every day a different, exciting, possibly life-threatenig, adventure! :)

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:elentar
Date:21:19 13.Nov.2002 (UTC)

Also known as...

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3,8-diamino-5-ethyl-6-phenylphenanthridinium bromide. What a name! Glad to know that you were careful. It's a pity you didn't have a blacklight, as the stuff apparently flouresces quite nicely. Would've been a good photo experiment, maybe.

-Elentar
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[User Picture]
From:lograh
Date:7:13 14.Nov.2002 (UTC)

Re: Also known as...

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ooohhh! that'd be sw33t!

Actually, they do have UV lights down there (they use them for tracking the DNA after this stuff is added to it) that I could probably use.. the only problem being that they crank out some serious UV rays and I'd likely get a sunburn from turning it on.

I did get to peek through the special viewing glass (heavilly polarized) when one of them was checking an experiment and I got to see the stuff florescing. It was all pinkish and stuff..

Maybe I should see if I can get a cheap blacklight from Evangelienes or something this weekend and go do some photo stuff down there next week. Now you've got me thinking. :)
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[User Picture]
From:gregory_geiger
Date:8:16 14.Nov.2002 (UTC)

d00d3!!

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J00 turned computer geeking into a life threatening event. You are so cool!!
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[User Picture]
From:ox_number_10
Date:9:36 14.Nov.2002 (UTC)

Soooooo...

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Any interesting mutations yet?
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