Happy New Millennium! So many things have happened since the last time I've updated my diary and I guess that since I can't summarize everything accurately, I'll just list what I think are the remarkable facts:

I have now put my new computer (a Duron 600MHz with a lovely Asus A7V motherboard) to actual use. Of course, I made a backup of my older computer, so that I was prepared for worst (read on); Linux 2.4.0 has finally been released and it includes a lot of new goodies. While I think that it is still not the right time to switch to the new version, it is indeed quite tempting (but I'll resist that temptation, since I've read a lot of people complaining of data corruption with the new IDE drivers when used with VIA chipsets -- and my motherboard features, guess what, a VIA chipset, of course). At the time of this writing (Feb 4th), Linux 2.4.1 was already released, with many minor fixes; A new version of the Linux Distribution that I use, Debian GNU/Linux is now getting more and more functionality. It is ready for the new Linux 2.4.0 kernel, but still under development (read: prone to break). Oh, why can't new software be stable? In the mean time, I'm using Debian's potato. One week after I have started to use my new computer, my 40GB Samsung drive broke. Ouch. Fortunately, I had taken backups of everything from my old computer and any new data that I had on my new computer was still readable. So, now, I'm using a new 30GB Quantum drive and everything seems to be working fine again. Nice. I am now reading more and more things about my Mastership work. It will be in a sub-area of computer science called Computational (Molecular) Biology. In particular, I'm studying now alignments of multiple sequences. The theory is quite general and applies to alignments of sequences over any alphabets, but the biological motivation is to study and compare (sub)sequences of DNA and of proteins; I must confess that while I was reading slowly in the beginning, without much motivation, now I'm quite excited about the subject. It has really grown on me and now I see how much I still have to catch up to read bleading edge papers (it is also surprising that this area of knowledge has evolved so much in so little time, but I guess that this is natural whenever there are economic interests in a given field). Now, I want to learn more!

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