Today is Thanksgiving, at least in Canada. You Americans, will have to wait for few more days. This year I want to thank a number of people for this and past years.
Thank you to my classmates and writing friends in my Professional writing classes, for helping edit and improve my writing pieces. Thank you, Prof. Guy Allen for guiding my editing and shaping my philosophy about communication. Thank you Prof. Arnold Rosenbloom, for inspiring me and widening my horizons in computer science. Thank you Prof. Charles Rackoff for putting up with my ignorance of formal computational theory, and showing me the formal world of cryptography. Thank you Prof. Sherril Hook for helping me discover the importance of libraries, and cataloguing and accessing information. Thank you Prof. Jeremy Sills, your classes have been always some of the most fun, enjoyable and intellectually provocative ones. And thank you, my classmates and fellow sufferers in Computer Science. You inspired me to continue through CS, even when I got lost hope in ever finishing my degree.
Thanks Danny for working with me on a number of university and volunteer projects, and putting up with my shenanigans while I matured as both a programmer and a person. Thanks Rudy & Albert for all the comedy. Thanks Amanda for teaching me how to use verbs. Thanks Rosie for being my Christian voice in university. Thanks Kat & Megan for all the anime and good times together. Thanks Mr. Nick Nolfi for all the trouble you gave me in high school. Thanks Domenic for all the guidance and friendship through the years. Thanks Dmitri for helping survive high school with endless talks about gaming, god and hacking. Thanks Laura for giving me hope and love.Thanks Mom and Dad, for your endless support and love. Thanks Martin for being my crazy bro.
Thanks to may more, who helped shape and influence my life. You are too numerous to list, but your ideas and acts have made my life a better one.
And thanks you God. Without You, none of this would of been possible.
If one looks for trouble, one usually finds it. I guess the same applies to work. After a few months, huddled in the sanctity of university studies, I emerge to realize how much work needs my attention. A computer glitch almost killed my graduation. Weeds sprouted on the front yard, where the planned stone and stepping stones will be. My name needed to appear on the convocation list. And I need to get back to a bunch of people’s emails. I could on and on listing things, but that would sound like whining. And I try not to torture my readers with that. Fortunately, I seem to be making progress, in tying up all these loose ends.
As I mentioned in my last post, I resumed working on the justCheckers project. More accurately I resumed planning the future of the justCheckers project. With my disappearance for months at a time, most of the other developers seem to have lost interest. I sometimes wonder if I did not loose interest myself. However I challenged myself to build an open source game.
The challenge now revolves around putting momentum back into the project. justCheckers never had a community clammering for its release. And my designs did not pan out, with the development team being able to work on the project independently of me. For this reason I am working on fleshing out the details of running the project. This means reviewing the style guide, and core component design. My knowledge of Java now spans the entire project, so I should be able to come up with a simpler, cleaner and more efficient design. The most crucial point of the design is get the development team back on-board, and pumping out more releases.
I can finally confirm, that there is a life after university. And a compressed one at that too. I could go through the details, but I feel too tired to remember all the details. And too lazy to write them all down today.
Last weekend, I went to Montreal for the Taizé event. Got to experience life in a predominately francophone city. Experienced a desire to get closer to God and people. Sang my vocal chords to extreme soreness. Meet a few folks from the Polish youth group. And a few Filipanas from St. Kevins. And now I found an excuse to learn French.
The rest of the week consisted of hosting my Polish godfather and his wife. Became an impromptu tour guide of Downtown Toronto. (Now if only I could find the entertainment district. 🙁 ) And when I did not have to travel, or work at home, I attempted reinstalling Windows XP for a client. The gremlins came out to play, and turned a simple recovery and reinstall into a few days exercise in futility. Now, I remember why I enjoyed Linux and Ubuntu Linux especially.
Yesterday I met up with Robert and his roommate. We hoped to tour Toronto, but Rob’s car broke instead. So we caught up on old times. And “invented” a new cocktail, the LimJim, since thats what guys do when bored. Also looks like I might end up installing kUbuntu on his system too.
And I discovered Facebook and I am hooked. Now if I can find time to write.
Day 6 since handing my last assignment. 4 days to my only and last exam. Already I am wondering where did all my friends disappear to. Half of them probably sank into their textbooks, and wouldn’t come out until the end of April. The other half, already finished decided to leave the city, and possibly even the country. This effectively makes me alone. And I don’t study for exams. Ever.
So basically I get to bum around the house all day, cleaning, gardening and helping renovate the house. My portfolio(s) have to wait until, I finish everything around the house. I doubt it that I will touch any of my work-related work until after next weekend’s the trip to Montreal. Bother. With some chance, I will post a real open source gaming article this next week.
After a weeks hiatus I can finally blog again. The last few weeks tried my patience and sanity, since the majority of courses consisted of assignments. Leading up to last week Wednesday, my entire life revolved around writing assignments. Then the weekend ended up as one long last minute writing session for my professional writing course. Now with the exception of two articles that my writing professor wants me to edit, I am unofficially done my undergraduate studies. One exam from my easiest course this semester awaits. And then sometime in June, I officially pick up my diploma.
Unfortunately, freedom from assignments (mostly) does not translate into freedom from work. With guests coming from Poland, my folks want to fix up the house. And that translates into long days of housekeeping chores for me. Once the house is done, I still need to work on an outstanding contract, and work on my work portfolios. Portfolios, since I want to gather my programming, writing and graphics work in separate portfolios. Then the ominous job hunt commences. Lucky me.
With all this work ahead for me, I wonder about three issues. First, when (or if) I can take an extended vacation before I start a real job? Second, who will pay for my increasing debt? Third, when will I find the time and energy to do everything? I feel a 12 Task of Hercules moment coming on. So much for freedom from “assignments”.
Sorry about the lack of updates. My hell week of assignments on top of assignments just began this week. Started off tame too.
Anyways, I am going into “silent running” mode until I get a handle or break from the onslaught of work. Today by itself has 2 assignments due. The cryptography assignment is proving a worthy adversary. At least the writing is done, and I learned LaTeX. The hard part of proofs is now what I must face.
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.
Many people still believe students study before exams. Right… Some students still believe they should. I, however join the ever-increasing ranks of slackers and non-studiers. That said, I will look over my notes, before taking the exam. My definition of studying… kind of unconventional.
My rationale? If I did zero work the entire semester, I sure am not going to learn anything in a single night. So instead I read over my notes. And do other things.
Today, I foolishly decided would be reinstall-Ubuntu day. Most of the morning and a good part of the afternoon consisted of backing up and reinstalling. I tried installing the newest Kubuntu. Alas, it refused to accept a JFS root directory. I wanted JFS, cause I like a fast, responsive file system. Not like Reisers which is fast and crashes hard. Not like XFS that runs like if every machine was a six-million dollar rack with more RAIDs and CPUs then a centipede has legs. And ext3, thats an ancient system… old but reliable. Still old though. After jousting with Kubuntu Edgy Eft, I popped in my Ubuntu Dapper Drake and decided to go the upgrade route.
So I am sitting right now, 30 minutes into an upgrade, copying back my backed up data, one DVD at a time. When I am done the copying, I will study. Right…
Elation!!! I finished work for yet another course, Business of Computing, and an assignment for the Foundations of Research course. So all the work for my Computer Science courses out the way, I can concentrate on the assignments for my two other courses. Staying up all night, sure wore me out but nothing a make-up nap did not help.
Right now, I am sit chilling and relaxing. I can finally concentrate on my “other” projects. Well after I finish my assignments and write my exams, but you get the point.
Taking about my side projects, I am pleased to say the justCheckers project is moving along well. I am impressed the amount of attention project received lately. A lot of this attention comes from the increased ranking on SourceForge.net. The ranking seems to increased, thanks to migration to Subversion and the recent updates to the site. I set up a wiki that should speed up development of specifications. Maybe we will see a new release soon too.
In other news, Arnold Rosenbloom – my professor for many past course including this semester’s brand new Informational Security (CSC347) – will post my article on RSA cryptography and its demise thanks to quantum computation. I plan on resurrecting the SiteChunks project. Also as promised last Friday, I will post an update to the Self-Experiment: Fast Personal Context Switching, later on today.