This is my first ever blog entry! Not too sure on this whole thing just yet, but I thought I would give it a go… I am hoping to make this place in to some kind of record of my life as a PhD student, and a user/developer of open source software. Hopefully others out there might even find it interesting enough to read I am an avid user of open source software on the Linux platform. My distro of choice is Gentoo as it allows me a great deal of control over my particular installations. I have gone through the usual distros such as Red Hat, SuSe, Mandrake, Slackware and even Debian. Recently I have been tempted to try one of the BSDs too, but haven’t had chance yet. I am doing a PhD at the University of Sheffield on thin Langmuir films of metallic nanoparticles (specifically gold), and the structural characterisation of them as well as their gas sensing properties. Only just started, but it seems OK so far. Anyway, I don’t want to wear myself out with my very first post.