A Near Icarus Flight

We will be returning to normality. Once we figure out what that exactly is.

— The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

Yup. Normality, that would be nice. Relaxation would also be welcome. Yes, the universe is not letting me experience either of the above. This week is the final critical week in my semester. And the amount of stress is leveling to its normal high plateau. Again, my own fault for everything that has transpired. Last week was probably the worst.

Last week was work like no tomorrow time… I had three assignments, all due on Friday. Visual Computing naturally took the longest, and I had to iron out bugs. I hoped to finish it at latest Thursday 6 PM. When everything was said and done, I had completed it on Friday @ 2 in the morning. Right after I got to work on the Requirements Engineering spec that was due in the morning. Regardless, it took me up to 5:30 in the morning. That was a record time, because everyone in my group actually worked on the assignment. With a tiny bit of sleep, Rudy and I arrived at school to hand that in. In the process we interrupted a first year CS class. I felt like such a prick, but hey, I am third year. Everytime I talk to a first year CS student, I always come off like some “Zeus” of programming. If I want to light up my listener’s eyes like First of June (Canada Day, you hopeless Americans), all I have to do is slip that I am a hacker. Which is more or less true, both by the 1980’s coder definition and the more modern non-techie defintion (Don’t worry all your base safe with me… right…).

Databases was last. After a short nap, I viciously attacked that assignment. I actually figured out how to do most things in SQL finally (me == slacker), after a semester of procrastination. I knew it, but never really sat down and actually wrote the stuff up. Theory always has been my weak side, so I never really finished that part. I had done enough. And enough damage I had done to my lack of work on Datasphere.

So here I am employed at school, in this Datasphere project. I told my project manager that I would get something done two weeks ago. I did it yesterday. Later I encurred his wraith due to my keeping a low profile. And not answering his emails. I got an earful today, about it. I will admit it was unprofessional of me. However, I didn’t want to fess up that I had not touched it. To make things more interesting, there was supposed to be a meeting this morning. And yes, I showed up. Just to save my skin, and hopefully my job. No else did, cause it was rescheduled for Friday. Bummer. Nevertheless, I saved my skin, and despite the stern warning today, I still get to keep my job.

Yay. Tomorrow I have an exam first thing in the morning. Databases. Yummy. Friday is Visual Computing. After that I can actually take a short breather… err… I mean attend Datasphere meetings. I can probably expect another scalping for my previous behaviour… On the positive side, all my hard exams will be finished, and I will go shopping for a new box. I am still debating whether or not to build the system from scratch or just go with a prebuilt package. Considering that I have to basically get one from the ground up (with the exception of the mouse)… both options are expensive. The only great thing about a self build system, is that I can mod it to my heart’s content. Hmm…

Mayan Nightmares and Lazy Dreams

Yesterday was both a rather eventful and uneventful day simultaneously. I did not get much done, but instead I had a pleasant chat with Mike. The usual science fiction, writing, and social issues chat, which I enjoyed greatly. I think I might have come off as conservative, hardhead… and there is nothing wrong with that. We discussed everything from the state of fiction, the state of states, and just other random stuff. Anyhow, this chat was a welcome change in mood for me. Earlier that day I tried to catch the attention of Katarina, and while for a moment I thought I had gained some ground. Then it died off again… oh well. Rudy told me to let her go, but she is only person I can actually practise on. No I am not the person to just go up, and serendipitously ask ladies out. Anyways, talking with Mike cleared my head of those thoughts. I actually want to go off and write a novel now too. (Alas time where are you?)

From the university scene, the requirements engineering assignment is due this Friday. No I have not really worked at it, and I am not motivated to do extremely well on it. I will probably end up staying up tonight to do it. Databases nothing exciting happened. We finally got our assignment for visual computing. One of the parts we have to do a 30 min. short animation in Maya. Not too impressed since I have to use the Personal Learning Edition to do this. I am familiar with Blender, and would rather use it. I stayed up yesterday figuring out a way to use Blender and final work in Maya. Alas, the PE version does not have a 3DS plugin, and Blender does not yet support Alias’ FBX format. A real shame. The only positive light to all of this was, the fact that I can still make my models in Wings3D. That is good… unfortunately I still have to learn how to use Maya PLE. I have not decided upon an animation as of yet either.

Finally I actually did some Datasphere yesterday. Not a gigantic amount, but still it is progress. I will do the bulk of my task today. The rest of the time I will delegate to the 340 requirements report. I will have to continue reorganization first, before I get serious with any other work. In the gaming universe, I killed my first Yeti yesterday in Kingdom of Loathing. Then I noticed the Bounty for Yeti and Penguin fur… and I went nuts. I am proud of being able to level up, and to increase my meat amount by 100% in one day. 😉 Now I will probably continue with one quest, and level up so that Yeti hunting is a single strike issue. After that I am planning to open up a store, and upgrade the clan with the gained meat.

Other all I am feeling in good spirits, but extraordinarly tired. I assume that my writing shows this. Anyways, I have to run off to do some chores, and work on all this stuff.

And the Rain Kept Falling…

Slowly, very slowly the time seems to creep for eternity… Life. The continual stream of assignments and midterms has worn me out. Today, I have to finish off a DB assignment which I am about halfway through. Writing SQL Server frontends in Visual Basic .net is not a task I relish. Figuring out all of VB’s nuances drove me yesterday to the point of despair.

Basically my days are spent living in front of a computer. Also since this my Father’s work laptop, I don’t have the option of messing it up into my nice and pleasent cubbyhole. A 15-minute break of playing Star Wars: Battle of Yavin got me an ultimatum. I know. I know. I should not of. But when all you see for most of the day is an IDE, and you have stare into the face of a bizarre, mind-numbing language, the idea of blowing up TIE fighters and Star Destroyers becomes pleasant. Anyways, I have to follow the no-mess up rule until I get a new machine/fix my old one.

I have not had the luxury of fixing it. Most likely I will try to do so tomorrow, after my tutorials. I might have to say no to going kart-racing to allow for it thought. I don’t know what to think about it. If I am fortunate enough to finish the two applications by evening, then all will be fine. Most likely I will stay up and work on it. I really hope that Rudy is correct that this is a misaligned heat-sink issue. Today, I will inquire about the possibility of getting a grant to buy a new machine. I am thinking a decent desktop, and maybe a keyboard for my Palm. In that case, I will be the most mobile. Laptops are too expensive and underpowered for my liking. I want to build my own box. I would love to play around with it… modding it. Come to think of if it I do have an ancient box lying around… A new motherboard with a P4 would be inorder. Oh and 1 GB of RAM.

Anyways… I have to run and do a task for Mom. I pray that I can go all out and defeat this DB assignment in a fallow swoop.

Nightfall, Weariness and Hope

I feel so incredibly tired that I am amazed that I am still able to function enough to be able to write a journal entry. Must of switched over to auto-pilot. Funny. Today was busy, and full of unexpected twists.

Got up this morning, and rushed to get ready to school. Meanwhile my Mom and brother were preparing for another day out. I had just enough time to stuff my backpack, make my brother breakfast, make myself lunch, copy a CD, and few small computer fixes before launching out of the house for my first class. No hope for a ride back, but oh well I have the whole day to work.

A beautiful, warm day, but I had to dress warmly as my university believes that the temperature most conducive for learning is the breeding temperature of Emperor penguins. The lectures were hard to sit through as usual. I tried to pay attention but I still managed to copy two more CDs that I owed Mom. Sorry Professor Sills, and Katz, I only have a maximum attention span of 45 minutes. So I learned a bit in Requirements Engineering and almost nothing in Symbolic Logic. However, I managed also to try out some tricks with my Palm. I seems that I am making progress in connecting with my Linux-only laptop. But I would really have to work on it. I don’t have time for that now. Too much other things to get setup and running.

Registered with AccessAbility, and now I have the letters for my professors. In the meantime however, I received a nasty shock. My laptop refused to start up! I believe it had overheated later. But at the time being I was panicking (inside of course, always cool on the outside). A while later I turned it on… everything worked. Except that the power light had changed positions with the floppy/CD light. Confusing to no end. Now it works… lights right and all… Sometimes I am wondering if I am not dealing with a sentient being…

By the time I reached databases classes I was so exhausted that I was in my famous ranting mode. Fortunately I had nothing to talk about, but still I started falling asleep in class. And I sat at the front, not a good thing. However, I regained my senses half-way through and could answer questions, and ask for clarification. I think I understand this databases stuff. I really hope I do. Its pretty cool, once it all clicks into place. Danny was thoughtful to bring a DVD with ISOs for the course software (all legit, thanks for the lenient license Microsoft!). I got it most copied on to my system except for Visual Studio .Net 2003 Prerequirements and XP Pro. Now if only I can get VMWare Workstation to work on my laptop, we would be cruising.

I got back home by bus. Chilling and listening to music helped to kill the time, and I got off with high spirits. The short walk home I enjoyed throughly. Soft silent warm night air breezing around me, cooling me down but not too considerably. I enjoyed it. Life is good. There is a good chance I will be working for Dr. Graham in the Psychology labs… paid hacking. 😉 And I signed up for PEY too. OK I now post, and reboot. Hope this kernel fixes the framebuffer issue.