Scheduling solutions?

John Cumings cumings at stanford.edu
Thu Jan 22 11:17:31 PST 2004


Raith users,

We're all having trouble getting time on the Raith, and James is currently
exploring a number of possible modifications/solutions to make all our
lives easier.  I would like to see people post ideas to this list, to help
start a discussion before the upcoming "Raith town meeting".  

Along these lines:

Dan Grupp recently suggested an idea for scheduling Raith time that I
rather liked.  I've expanded it, and I want to pass it on to see how
people feel.

Basically, the idea is that when the schedule is full (like it is now, and
possibly may continue to be), that James schedules time for us, taking
into account our needs and wishes (expressed in general terms).  I think
this could help centralize communications and keep up an efficient use of
time on the machine.  This would also help prevent the <2 hr dead times
that we occasionally see on the machine.

An official policy on this could read:
"During times when the schedule is full, submit requests for time to James
7-10 days in advance, and James will schedule and shuffle around requests
at (say) 6-7PM every weekday.  James reserves the right to move or cancel
any session scheduled this way, until it is within the 7 day time limit.
You won't get an email confirmation; it's your responsibility to make sure
you show up for your sessions.  The usual time limits (12 hours prime
time, 18 hours total) apply even to time reserved this way."

The way that Coral works now, James would have to put these reservations
under his name, and double-clicking on the session would reveal who it is
actually for.  James would be the only one who could cancel these
sessions.  James is looking into the possibility of putting these
reservations under other users' names, but if this is not possible, then
cancellation of these sessions would be somewhat problematic.  

If Coral can't be changed, then the official policy could be amended to
read:  
"Only James can cancel these sessions (just a fact of how Coral works),
and cancellation of these sessions *must* be at least 24hr notice (by
Friday 5PM for all Sunday and Monday sessions). "

The main drawback of this is that it gives James more work and more
pressure.  Let me stress - this is just an *idea*.  I'm not sure I even
like the idea or that it will work out well in the long run, but I'd like
to start the discussion.

What do people think? 

-John

------------------------------------------------------------
     John Cumings
     cumings at stanford.edu
     Postdoctoral Scholar
     Physics Department
     Stanford University                        

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     lab (650) 725-2047
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     Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials
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