Big Bang Event Newcastle

Last Friday I helped out at the Big Bang festival at Northumbria University. During it we had many different schools approach our stand and it was my job to engage them and get them talking about the brain. We began with discussions on what the brain was actually made up of, and did the children know that the brain gives off it’s own electricity?! We can measure this using some special technology. After the talks we got some volunteers who would put on the headsets, and attempt to use the power of the brain (and the electrical signals from it) to move a cube on a computer screen. The concept went down a treat, and everybody got a brain sweet or a pen for coming to say hello. Hopefully it will have inspired some young scientists to learn more about the brain!

In other lab based news my most recent paper submission came back with some revisions. This is good as it means it wasn’t outright rejected and I can make some changes before Aniketa (a volunteer student) starts in a couple of weeks time to collect some data on a different experiment. I have also had another play with the eyetracker this week (I think we need some more equipment before I can get going on my experiment however), and worked on converting the footage from Sky into stereo 3D to be displayed!

It’s all going well, full steam ahead!

Zoltan’s diary: Wednesday 13/02/2013

I had a little unannounced demo today. I had bits working, and it seemed to make a relatively good impression.

As it turned out, the alternate blinking is indeed problematic, as Windows on the computer I got has severe scheduling problems. I wish I hadn’t worked on such a tight schedule, so I could re-install it (with Linux, of course).

I got an other computer today: it hasa Quadro 600 GPU, some reasonable amount of RAM and CPU. However, I found a bug in the display driver: when you select an ‘unsupported’ resolution, the display refuses to work after a reboot. The resolution I set was supported by my monitor and worked – until I had to reboot. The only way to restore display is to boot in safe mode and uninstall the driver. I don’t know where the per-display settings were stored (as opposed to /etc/X11/xorg.conf or …/xorg.cond.d/*), so I got one more shot.

Thankfully, using the latest, driver solves this problem.

There is a 64-bit version of Psychtoolbox, and I am installing it right now. As of this moment, I am in a dependency hell because of that. But not for long!