How to manage lab computers?

Sarah Boomer sarai at
Sat Sep 21 12:16:35 EST 1996

Dear Yuriko,

	I work in a comparably sized lab at the UW where we rely on a lot
of computers (we have seven, all with ethernet connections etc).  At the
UW, we have two advantages:  a work study student pool that can provide us
with computer literate staff and an excellent computer group that can help
when even our lab computer specialist can't figure it out.  Specifically,
then, the boss has hired a computer major/ computer literate student to do
a combination of computer-related tasks part-time (everything from setting
up new systems to entering end-note references).  If big things arise,
though, we can phone up on-campus computer specialists who have been known
to literally come out, give us little lectures on using new software, deal
with hardware or incompatibility problems, etc.
	I am assuming that you are at rockerfeller and that you likely
don't have the work study advantage.  But you must have some sort of
computer or bioinformatics center with staff who can help you out.  Our
computer center even sponsors occasional brown bag lunch seminars on
different programs or internet things or whatever is vogue - perhaps you
can look into training type seminars, if available.
	Good luck!  And, consider all the computer troubleshooting perhaps
your most meaningful training.  My partner, a molecular ecologist who
stumbled into computational biology is so marketable it is almost
sickening!  Maybe it's all bandwagon type stuff for a few years - but,
man, is he doing great things and getting decent offers!

Sarah Boomer				email:  sarai at
Dept. of Microbiology			work phone:  543-3376
Box 357242				work FAX:  543-3376
University of Washington
Seattle, WA  98195

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