On the research front, I have been working on the application of machine learning to data sets of chemical structures and reactions. The objective is to determine the structure of previously unknown molecules which are likely to have one or more properties. The intention is to demonstrate that by leveraging existing data sets, we can identify opportunities to synthesise new molecules with certain desired properties (e.g. degredation pathways).
I recently bought an old server, with the intention of pressing it into service as a NAS (Network Attached Storage), hosting VMs (Virtual Machines), and running various services at home (e.g. DNS). Using a headless install of CentOS as a hypervisor, I have also used PCI pass-through with an old GPU to give a virtual machine better graphical capabilites. This machine has a Supermicro X8SIL-F motherboard, a Xeon X3440 CPU, and 32 GB of ECC RAM.
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard.
One of the most engaging histories of ancient Rome. A fascinating read, Beard draws from historical sources and archaeology to bring the republic and empire to life. If you're in New Zealand, you can find it at the Timeout bookshop, otherwise it's available here.
The Last Wish, by Andrzej Sapkowski.
It's always interesting reading a novel by an author from a different literary tradition, and The Last Wish is no different. You can find information on this book at the author's website. This book, and others by the same author, were the inspiration for the very successful computer game series, The Witcher.