Sick and Spammed

Excuse the interruption in my regular updates for the blog.  I was sick most of last week, and could not write anything past: Ugh, not feeling so well. 🙁

Today I am back, ready for whatever the week can throw at me.  And I plan on throwing a bunch of well-thought out and edited articles back at it!… Err… blog entries… and maybe not completely well-thought out and with a quick edit.  Come on folks, if I did writing as my job I’d crank out fine articles on gaming, free software, technology and life stuff on a regular basis.

Anyways, where was I?  Ah yes!  I plan on throwing a batch of blogs back at life.  Two things I wish life would not throw at me:  more sickness as I already have a decent collection of cold bugs.  Let someone else get the free virus/bacteria starter kits, and KEEP THEM AWAY FROM ME!  Also I could use less spam.  Two articles in particular receive a ridicilous amount of incoming comment spam.  And my poor blog notifies me by e-mail when someone tries to post a comment.  My IT (internet tablet) likes to make loud proclamations whenever I get an e-mail.  Nothing is worse than walking up to a dingy noise and flashy blue light, to moderate spam.  Nothing worse except that being sick and receiving over 10 of these suckers over the course of a weekend.  PLEASE STOP IT YOU EVIL SPAMMERS!  I am sure none of my readers are interested in a life time supply of viagra.  Nor is Google happy with your attempts at google bombing.  Just go away.  Please.

Anyways I wish everyone else a good and happy week!

Viral Beatdowns

Anyone wondered what happened to me in the past few days?  Well in case you missed my online presence, I had a nasty upper respiratory viral assault.  So in order to support my immune defences, I had lay in bed and take medicine.  Today is the first day that I’m back to my cheerful, attentive and self-aware self.  Hence the silence for the past while.

So while my macrophages mop up the last of the intruders; I’ll start replying to everyone that messaged me in my absence.  I know that inbox has at least 16 messages to sort through.  And I don’t even want to think about my entire todo list and folder.  😛

Oh and by the way, I’m starting to seriously love WordPress.  It is full of blogging goodness.  Do you guys like the change too?

The Strept Empire Strikes Back

I have been sick these past few days, with a painful case of strept throat. So I have been unproductive until today. In more positive terms, I help host a side event for the 2007 Annual Symposium of Streptococcus. Now I have to clean up after the mad bacterial partying. Yum.

In other news, I got a rejection e-mail for a job at Canonical. Oh well, it was too good to be true. Still it was worth the try.

Tomorrow the job hunt begins for real.

The Plague (Part 3): Recovery & Headaches

Ah the third part of our series…
Today I do feel better, even with the occasional headaches and tiredness. Everyone is more or less on the road to improvement. Kind of too tired to write about this much, and I still am waiting for my “wakeup” tea to cool enough to drink.

Lets me go down and check… Much better. Its funny how a cup of orange pekoe tea can wake a person up. The miracle of caffeine, good thing the decaf folks did not outlaw that substance. Cause if they did, half the people would not get up and go to work the next day. And they would have to close the universities down for the day… Hmm… I feel an evil plan coming on. Muhaha!

In other news, I started keeping a radio diary of myself. Its harder than it looks. Keeping the noise down, speaking clearly and making sense at the same time, all of these create a challenge. Hopefully, by doing daily diaries I can figure this challenge out. And not sound like a cross between Adam Sandler and William Shatner. Yes. Really.

The Plague (Part 2): Repulse

More late breaking news from the quarantine zone at home. My brother managed to infect both my father and me. Fortunately I seem to got it easy. After a super-tiring day with a headache, frozen limbs (thanks to the combined efforts of two bus transit systems), starvation and a light-headedness, I got up this morning more or less refreshed and feeling better.

Yesterday’s day-off comes at a bad time for me. University work in writing, cryptography, radio and ethics classes all need attending to. The writing needs interviews and work. Cryptography and ethics requires research and write-ups. And the radio class has a proposal due today.

So much for easy non-rushed living. And my projects just went on hold again. Nothing like a cocktail of illness, university and transportation all conspiring to put everything except the urgent on hold.

The Plague (Part 1): Enemy at the Gates

Today I am blogging close to ground zero of a plague in progress. My younger brother become ill yesterday with a fever. While unfortunate, worse is the knowledge is that he rarely gets sick. When he does, the whole family usually falls ill too. A cause of concern for me, since this might turn out a busy one for me. So I fell an extra incentive to finish my work early on this week, before I too succumb.

On the note of rushed, a Saturday of intense gaming did not help achieve any considerable work. Whoa is me but doing the whole Half-Life canonical story from beginning to end proved to0 tempting. I finished up to the Lambda Core chapter in Half-Life, and skipped ahead to the last two chapters that I never beat. Well I finished it, cheated at the Nilinath final fight, but finished. Half-Life 2 proves much smoother and hence more fun. Up to the Nova Prospekt level, one of my absolute favourites.

Now, if only someone could convince Valve to port Half-Life 2 to Linux. Then I would be totally happy. While id and Epic Megagames both port their game to Linux, I never liked id’s games all that much. Unreal Tournament is different, and I enjoy the hyperactive action. But I am waiting for the 2007 instalment. If Bungie ported to Linux, I would buy Halo. But since Bungie is a part of Microsoft now, I can forget about that.

But all this gaming, I need to put on hold. It takes too long, I lack the funds to spend frivolously, and my procrastination may prove my undoing for this semester. A number of assignments are due this or next week, and need my attention. Instead I plan on resurrecting my old hobby, computer graphics. If I manage my day wisely, I will upload some of my “art”.

Now I must depart. Work awaits, and the “plague” looms. I go hither!

Groogy Weather, Groggy Me

Greetings again, and sorry about missing two day of updates. Dealing with stress, putting up with administrative nonsense, writing assignments, attempting to dance around illness and living with the sudden wacky cold-wet weather, puts me in a mood where I rather not even poke my nose from under the blanket. On the bright side, everything is falling into place.

The instructors of two of my course, kindly set the hand-in date for my course work until December 20. That gives me some breathing room, and lets me concentrate on the three assignments due on Friday. Next week I get to study for exams and work on the later assignments.

Carmen Hung, the new leader of our CSC454 or Business of Computing, handled getting everyone to work on the last assignment wonderfully. The paper still in the works, weighs in currently at a hefty 41 pages, and 24% of our term work. The business plan is coming along, not as fast as I wanted it. Still no complaints, as yesterday I came home late and crashed. I spent this entire morning getting over my tiredness “hangover”. When I finish blogging this entry, I will stock up on caffeine again.

Katarina Halan, classroom friend and almost my girlfriend, let me work with her on the CSC347 or Information Security assignment. We spent about 16 hrs on Sunday working only on the assignment. After hours of hacking, half-working and actual coding we finished the assignment. Thanks Kat for yesterday’s coffee “date”. Sorry about the Tim Horton’s coffee, next time I will buy some good coffee from Second Cup instead.

My last assignment after the “Business” course, deals with the unfortunate CCT209 Foundations of Research course. I am so behind in that course, it stopped being funny months ago. My group started on Monday, but since my e-mail to them, I saw no work. I guess I have to juggle this assignment and writing the business plan. Bother. Guys, you better get on the ball soon.

As for my open source project and my other blog, One-Time Trash Pad both I place on hold until I meet Friday’s deadline. I have too much at stake to deal with any side projects. If I don’t update this blog anytime before December 20, please do not be surprised. I will try my best, but no promises.

Until then wish me luck. I need all the luck I to overcome the stress, the weather and my own sluggishness.

A Scheme for Work, A Scheme for School

Sigh… can’t really sleep. So I guess I might as well post a blog entry about this pas week. Funny, come to think of it the reason why I blog. Its not for money or popularity since nobody really comes to see this. In fact since comments are the only really way I can judge things, literally nobody comes. I told my friends, but they probably visited once. Shame really, I would not have to repeat myself in questions like “So how do you feel?”, “What’s up?” and others. Oh well, maybe I’m too whiny or too verbose. Anyways, I just blog to keep a memoir of my own activities, so that I don’t feel like if every week is the same, and that I didn’t do anything in life. So essential a memoirs. (I wonder if I came/come off like a emo-kid…

This week I was sick. I started feeling “sniffly” Sunday evening, and I barely made it through the 324 midterm on Monday. Most of Monday was spent on trying to focus, doing a bit of Datasphere, and mostly feeling bad. The last lecture of the day (Web Programming) simply became unbearably long. Tuesday was abysmal. I just simply slept, ate tiny meals, and force-fed myself Mom remedies. It became painfully obvious this was not going to be a 24-hr disease, like many of the ones I had in previous years. Wednesday things started to level off, and by Thursday I was “able” to do work. Mostly I was so distracted by my attempts (mostly failures actually) of working on a potential commercial project, and by playing the two N64 Zelda titles on an emulator.

So now we are up to today. Today was much more eventful. Started the morning off with a meeting with Dr. Jeff and Arun. Played a bit with MathFactor, and listened to some of the requirements. Actually with Arun all I am doing is designing a bit of things. Completely apart from Datasphere, and can’t even see what direction we are taking. Not to mention, we found out that there is a new product called Blackboard, that might a good chunk of Datasphere redundant. Honestly I feel sortta disappointed, and useless. Or maybe Arun is taking the awkward way of trying to make Datasphere to his own liking. Me, I’m adaptable and I just want to see some results.

I started work on the 309 assignment today in class. Much nicer, and I know my way around web programming in general. I just need to hack some Perl along the way. No issue there.

Later on Rudy, Albert and I went to the Gym. Originally I didn’t want, because of an assignment being due in a few hours, and not feeling especially well. They convince me to go, so I did. We ended up watching the end of the soccer game. We then played a very strenuous round of basketball with some other guys. Not fun, especially I never really had the height or talent for that game. After a short break, I joined in a volleyball game that just started up. Now that was fun. Rudy and Albert unfortunately were the anti-talents of the game. I thought that I would be bad at it. Considering how many serves I had and how many times I managed to get the ball over, I would say I did rather well. Some much fun…

I arrived home with an hour to spare for the Scheme assignment. I actually started it after the “official” due time. I only finished three questions, but this is the last Scheme assignment for this class. Actually I got tired of Scheme, especially since I am finding thinking in it very difficult. Most of the time, dealing with nothing but functions just get in my way. It just a big puzzle that I am stumbling blindly throught. A far better excuse is the mere fact that I was sick this entire week. On that note I am ending this, since I need some shut-eye. The coming week is shaping out to be a busy one, but at least I know where I’m going. Good night fellow blogsphere wanderer.

Being is in Mechanical Harmonic is Not Fun

I think I can say that this is the last remnants of my malady. I can say this by the increase of sinus induced headaches and the symptoms of hay-fever. Also my throat no hurts… and so forth. Yesterday was OK too… except in the morning where I felt not too hot. Oh, and it was Mother’s birthday. Oops… I forgot everything about it. Anyways after a bit of coaxing I went with them to Awenda Provincial Park. Which was enjoyable as it was mostly me loafing around on a beach doing mostly nothing except writing. Then we went kayaking on nearby Kettle Lake. The sensation of gliding silently across the still water, gazing at the strange forest of dried pine mingled with water lilies, and grasses… serene. No unusual wildlife was seen but that is alright too.

When it comes to writing, I began to jot down notes about the different characters, factions, and plot of my story. I decided upon the title to be: Echoes in the Ether. I changed the beginning a bit, and made the background history interwoven in the conversations and thoughts of the characters. While I did notice a fair bit of influence from Battlestar Galactica (especially with the robotic Daedus faction), and the Homeworld games, I still think my idea as a whole is fairly unique. I am also glad that in the process of creating my universe I managed to get rid of the whole “Pregenitor” race idea, and still kept the Maker in the story. I hope that I can get the right mix of high tech science fiction and mystical religion as a backdrop for the story. I don’t want to turn into a fantasy story by adding too much crazy magic and mysticism. Overall I have most of the backdrop finished, I just have to finish notes on the last two factions. Then I have to jot down the back story, some technological details, and bit of landscape details. After that its just main character descriptions and plot.

On the programming front, I didn’t get much done except removing CHARVA and CLI elements out of the justCheckers code. The old style stream messages are still there. Maybe I can make a user interface from that. As for school preparations, a big fat zero. Oh well…

Standing on the Edge Looking Out

The cool wind tugged at his body as he stood at the edge of the cliff. Beyond the worn sand hills stretched in contorted shapes, casting strange shadows in the rising sun. He leaned gently on the smooth bubble canopy of his desert mlaren, and smiled.

Well today I am feeling a bit better the last few days. My sinuses still pound repulsively inside my face. But I hope that this the last part of this disease. With the hay-fever season in full swing its hard to tell which of the symptoms are the illness or my irritable body reacting to the ragweed pollen super-clouds drifting around. Sometimes I wish we could get one quick frost. Now. Then the rest of the autumn can be as warm as it wishes. But that would be too easy. Right?

Yesterday, I got up feeling much better. No pain, only one nostril stuffed up and in rather happy mood. I was up by 5:00 AM so I took the time to try to fix my wireless card. I am not sure I can fix it. In Linux doesn’t show up at all, under Windows it gets detected as PCMCIA MTD-0002 after I take it out. It quite disappointing. Not too mention my USB flash drive is not being detected in Linux. I will have to fix this up first. I searched the Internet to my hearts’ content and found nothing about the wireless card. I think its firmware is absent… but I can’t load it until it can be seen by the system. Endless, vicious circle… a challenge for Rudy when I get the chance to talk to him.

Anyhow, I worked on the justCheckers project in the morning. I went through all the documentation, and updated most of it. All that remains is to expand upon on the style guide which pretty much complete, and write up a code of behaviour for developers and community users. I am confident with that done, and CHARVA being removed from the dependencies I will be able to release version 0.1.1. Then I will have to do a fair bit of work on updating the code, fixing a bit of the website (yuck), and getting the GUI finally fixed up.

As usual my work didn’t last for very long as I found out that my parents had planned to go on a trip. A kayaking trip. I mean I have been sick for these past two weeks, and they want me to kayak?!? Where will I get the energy? My feeble protests were naturally ignored. So we went kayaking on the Masquash river in the Muskoka region. So after a bit of grumbling (especially from my father’s side), some hectic packing, whining (mine and a bit of mother’s) and a long drive we were there. While I usually don’t admit defeat, I must say I enjoyed it. Mind you I had a fair bit of rests during the kayaking trip. I love silent lakes, and northern Ontario forests. I could go into a long description, but that would spoil everything. Go there and see it for yourself!

So when we got back home, I naturally dropped into bed from exhaustion (I couldn’t sleep in the car, and I had to tow Mom in her kayak back to the car earlier on). That is why I am writing this now, the morning after. Oh well better put this up on the web… and see if I can get anything done before today’s planned trip. Argh!