Well the transcription/translation lesson has just finished. It ranged from a massive disappointment to a mediocre success. The principle is completely sound, and the machinery worked as it was supposed to. However there were a few issues getting in the way of it being the roaring success I was hoping for.
The top one being the lag, when on my computer, with one lot of machines running and only me on the server, I could place blocks quite fast, so the RNA sequence moved along at a decent pace and got to the ribosome relatively quickly. However having 10 of the machines running with 8 students at only 4 of them, the lag was atrocious. This is not client lag, this was server lag, and I think it was due to the number of computers on an infinite loop to do things. (I was warned to stay away from infinite loops, but I did not quite realise the impact they would have.)
As I stopped, or killed off, the unnecessary computers the lag got much better and the sequences started flowing a lot more smoothly. Hence the mediocre success. The other main issue was my sequence, and it is yet to be determined whether this will be a success or failure as a lesson in terms of looking at mutations and their impact. Tomorrow the students will come back in and complete the mutated sequences. Then we will be able to see whether it is a valuable lesson, or whether I need to do some tweaking before it becomes a lesson worth repeating. The sequence was a fair bit shorter than I expected it to be, which in itself, given the way today went, could possibly be a blessing.
The third issue was that a student managed to break the machinery, they were able to break one of the DNA bases, which I am unsure how to prevent at this stage. This caused the sequence to fall well out of sync and of course impacted severely on the sequence that was presented to the ribosome.
As I said, not a complete failure, but definitely a lot of room for improvement and a lot of investigating on improvements to be made. Thanks for reading, feel free to comment below.