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!

Adjusting to Easy Schedule

I am not good at adjustments. The switch from a super-busy, near-hyper-kinetic schedule to a “normal” lighter schedule keeps on throwing me off. Hence the lack of updates since Friday.

Yesterday was the great chill day. Today was the great after-chill day. Meaning, I did not get too much done when it comes to assignments or studying. Anyone who follows the justCheckers project got lucky with the new daily updates (at least on the wiki). Everyone else… kind of lucked out. (At least you lucky denizen of the blogosphere get a neat treat today – 3 make-up posts. Why? Because I love you and enjoy having a regular audience.)

Still, I rejoice at the thought of the “evil” over-busy semester finishing. With the exception of three moderately difficult exams, a wack of writing for my writing portfolio and two assignment-papers, my goal of finishing a B. Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, just got a semester to completion. The very thought of finishing in April-May 2007, makes me euphoric. Now assuming that I pass every course this semester, only 4 more courses await me next semester.

I only worry about what I do after-university. People assure me, there is a life after university. I am not too sure. I guess I will need a job, to pay off my meagre debt. But kind of a job? Where can I work? Sure I do plan to work for myself one day, only I need money to bootstrap any sort of business. I would prefer to entire self-employment on my own terms, rather than “starving” myself into it.

So where should I work? Most jobs want some sort of work experience, something I lack in the professional sense. Take gaming firms like Valve, Apogee, id or EA: everyone wants an artist with a portfolio (but can I build one in less than 6 months?), a project developer (do you know that I never worked in let alone managed developing a commercial game?) or a programmer (does Java AWT count as graphics experience? No I don’t do OpenGL, at least not yet). How about NASA’s JPL? Would love to code rovers to race around on Mars, yet neither engineer nor US citizen I am not.

Realistically, I should contemplate working for IBM or Canonical (makers of Ubuntu). Man too little dreamy options (Valve), and too many risky (Canonical) or dirrery options (IBM, Microsoft *shivers*). So long as all effort does not land me a low paying sys admin or code monkey job.

Stepping Mania

Life has been pretty hectic recently. I guess basically it always was but I was too busy gaming to notice it. Talking about gaming I bought my first new game recently, HL2 Episode 1. Excellent game and loads of fun. Strangely very re-playable and Valve has worked hard on making the game believable with good AI and HDR. Without spoiling the plot too much, the best parts of the game were: a new enemy, HDR (kept on blinding myself with a flashlight against a white wall) and the story.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am busy working on a new project recently. Basically a minimalistic web framework that you can drop into a website or extend to your heart’s desire. The only real problem recently was getting the Subversion repository working, and finding a new name for the project. It seems that at least two other open source projects have the names simplesite. I choose a new and original one. I am not going to release it yet until I get the SourceForge admins to change everything around properly.

I have been searching for jobs recently for PEY (UofT’s version of an internship). I need the money and the experience is welcome. Besides I want to decide upon my career path before I finish university. Might be a dev, tester, admin or a researcher. Right now I applied to two different places. We will see how it goes. Also I can’t get the courses I want either (might need to ruffle some feathers in that department).

Other than that nothing much else to say. I might say some nasty comments about one crazy nation doing “preemptive” invasions of another country. Looking for terrorists they say. What a pity most of their kills are civilians. Meh that what you get when you have one state-sponsored terrorist group going out to defeat another private one. Idiots.

On a brighter note, might go clubbing sometime soon. Continuations in writing, coding and other mad activities will also follow. Stay tuned for more.