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Officially commencing my Ph.D. research

My professor, Brian Fitzgerald, identifies a common misconception about the initial phase of Ph.D. research as the drawing of a line to indicate a point in time when the research starts. Undoubtedly, a lot of thinking preceeds any such decision, and that's all part of the research. I didn't argue.

Nevertheless, I do consider my research to have officially started with the beginning of this month, especially since I've really taken a turn from my initial plans last year. It's been painful staying away from computers as much as possible while trying to cure my wrist problems with all these ideas and a lot of enthusiasm about getting to work on them. Even though the problems hadn't subsided in February, I decided to get back online while trying to take more care of my body. Since then, I've attended a few conferences, addressed some legal issues, cleaned up my data, and travelled around in Southeast Asia.

I could have continued going about, having a good time, and getting stuff done endlessly and I would have never started my research, which is why I decided to come to Limerick and booked a flight to have a fixed date.

So far, it's been a lot of literature and papers, but I've also spent a considerable amount of time making plans for how to proceed, and I am really pleased with what I'm currently looking at, even though I really need to figure out how to avoid distractions. And since my wrists and the rest of the body aren't all well yet, I should really be explicit of how I spent the few hours per day that I can be typing.

I've started a little web page to document my intentions and progress, and to bridge between the horribly tangled world of academia and the more pragmatic outside world, including the Debian project (which is core to my research). You can also find my current proposal on that page, in case you want to know more than the brief overview reveals.

PS: is it really the case that there are no means on Linux to annotate PDFs and highlight text in them???