Dev - Sort these by name
Wall of text (2)
Posted on April 29, 2012 at 17:12
Continuing where I left in my last blog.
It was december and had to choose what courses I would take the next quarter. I was about to make the mistake of taking 3 comp sci courses, two of them being two very difficult elective courses: one about writing a compiler and another about working with intractable problems. A friend of mine, which is about to graduate, stopped me in time to teach me my golden rule of maximum 2 comp sci courses per quarter. I took his advice and dropped the intractable problems elective and settled with compilers and user interfaces (my last mandatory course).
The rest of december was mostly Skyrim.
Again that quarter turned out to be very smooth and relaxed. By this moment I had decided I wanted the rest of whatever is left of my university years to be as relaxed or better than this.
My plan for this quarter was to continue the compilers course and take the artificial intelligence course. That, my usual lab maintenance duties and nothing more. Made for another relaxed quarter.
Then artificial intelligence decided to go on vacation. I enrolled in advanced functional programming instead.
Then the compilers teacher offered me to teach the lab of the interpreters class the next quarter. I love the subject so I accepted right away.
Then a few friends offered me to work on a small system for a hospital as a way to do the 120 hours of community service required to graduate. I was thinking on doing community service the quarter that begins in September this year, but since they were offering me to complete it by programming, something very rare, I accepted right away too.
Finally, I received an email about an online cryptography course that was about to begin and would last 6 weeks. I was thinking on taking a cryptography class next year, but being unable to enroll in artificial intelligence this quarter made me drop cryptography. I enrolled right away.
And there I was last Sunday, about to begin this quarter. There are all my responsibilities this quarter:
- Compilers class
- Functional programming class
- Anthropology-ish class
- Lab maintenance duties
-- Bonus: my new boss is nagging me to finish that website I should have finished 2 years ago
- Cryptography class
- Interpreters class laboratory
- Community service
- Portuguese class
I expect to finish the cryptography class by week 3. The others will demand a piece of me each week for the next 11 weeks. I guess I'll just have to lower the quality of my work if I want to sleep.
Wall of text
Posted on April 22, 2012 at 23:53
So there it is, despite my best efforts I managed to blow it up taking more responsibilities than I can handle, I'm very stressed right now and the quarter hasn't begun yet.
Lets recap a bit.
Exactly one year ago I was readying myself to start what I foresaw would be the most difficult and stressful quarter of my university life yet. Of course back then I didn't fully grasp the magnitude of what I was getting myself into.
What I had in line were 3 computer science courses, my regular lab maintenance duties and a portuguese course.
That quarter was indeed the worst of my life. I did the math and I lost over a week's worth of sleep. I started to seriously neglect my lab duties and skipped many classes of my portuguese course. In the end I got 'good' grades by the standard, of course with great sacrifice, and by my standard those were very meh. Two of the courses I took stole all my time and I learned nothing from them. Hell, I was so damn stressed that in an attempt to manage it I started writing weekly blogs venting my anger and frustration. Those are fun reads for me now,
After that quarter was over I said to myslef 'relax, the worst is over', but it seems I hadn't learned anything, by the end of the quarter I had accepted an offer from a friend to work on a system for a small insurance company. The plan was to redo the critical parts of a very old and unstable system they had, we would do it during the summer, we would get paid and we would be done with it. My family went tot Europe while I stayed to work on that project.
After a whole lot of nothing and a whopping 3 meetings with the customer, each a week or more apart, summer was almost over and we were, for some reason, planning on working a little during the summer and do whatever we could over the September-December quarter and the December holidays as well.
In retrospective, thanks god our customer essentially refused our proposal, the following quarter would have been the worst.
So, summer was over and a new quarter begun. This time it was supposed to be easier. Two computer science courses, one regarded as the technically most difficult of the degree, and a course from another department that was supposedly so easy it was a joke.
And indeed that quarter was very smooth, although completely different from what I expected. What I expected to be easy turned out to be very hard, and what I expected to be hard turned out to be very easy.
Finishing that quarter meant I was close to finishing all the mandatory courses of my degree
I can sleep now, thanks god. I will finish this later though, I didn't even get to the actual point of this blog, I didn't even explain why I 'blew it up'.
Steam sucks ++
Posted on February 19, 2012 at 20:27
When it comes to videogames my official policy is pirate first, buy it later if the game was good. But lately some things are starting to piss me off, I mean, when a pirate version of your game offers a far better customer experience than your legitimate product, damn, something must be very very wrong with it.
I downloaded Skyrim in december, and have loved it ever since. I liked it so much I even bought it from Amazon. Hell, I even went through the whole pain of international shipping and customs taxes, just to buy that game. What did I get? A Steam-crippled version whose installer stopped because I had logged in from another computer. After that the installer refused to acknowledge the previous installation didn't finish, instead it allowed me to 'play' or 'reinstall'. The first option prompted Steam to download the 3 Gb that weren't copied, and the second option made it crash verifying my installation.
That's the short story. After so much pain and rage I grabbed my pirate iso and installed it. Within 5 minutes I was done.
What the hell is wrong with these people? According to them if me and my two brothers want to play Skyrim at the same time, each of us has to buy a separate copy. Are you insane? Hell, even the DVD says 'do not lend this game'. Really? you're telling me to not lend my own stuff now? Sorry, bring the cops if you want, I'm pirating and lending my DVD to whoever the fuck I want.
A few weeks ago I downloaded a game called 'Anno 2070'. I liked the previous game and the reviews were good. The game had some ridiculous DRM that forced you to login in-game so you could play it. Did I mention this is a single player[i] game?
Anyways, there was apparently a crack for it. I installed it, but it didn't work, so I simply uninstalled the whole game. If I can't play their game first, I won't give them the chance to play with my money either. Had the game been at least easier to crack, I would have played it, and perhaps even have bought it, but now there 0% chance of me ever buying it.
This week I also downloaded a recently released game, Kingdoms of Amalur. Right now it costs $60. Yes, $60, the same money I paid for Skyrim. The game is so crap I gave up within the first hour, I simply couldn't stand the poor graphics, and specially the incredibly crappy interface. I felt like I was playing some sort of cheap indie game.
Steam might have been an example of how to do online distribution right, but nowadays it's just a big bloated piece of crap lacking any real competition. My Skyrim troubles are small to other things that have happened to me and my friends:
- Games that take too long to start or simply refuse to start.
- Forced updates (it patched Skyrim without asking me)
- Random crashes ('cheat detection' in Portal made it crash and lose my progress)
- Corrupted downloads (A friend of mine after spending days downloading The Wither 2)
Big companies should start thinking more about their customers and less about their asses. Why can't I play my games in several computers at the same time? Why is my game locked to a single virtual store? Why do I have to login for a single player game? Why do you release games with such obvious bugs (I'm looking at you Skyrim)?
Another horrifying Steam story, and it also involves Skyrim.
This time I was at uni with my own laptop (different from the one I talked earlier). I figured that since the internet there is usually fast maybe I should try to install Skyrim and see how it goes, right?
Ok, here it is. I managed to hit 1 Mb/s during the download (10 times faster than at home). As soon as I launch the game, oh god, Steam installed it in spanish. Why ask what language the user wants, I mean, if they installed Steam in spanish, they [i]must want to install their games in spanish.
Meh, no big deal, it is usually easy to switch languages. Now I try to change the graphic settings of Skyrim, my laptop is kinda old by now and it barely runs that game on low. The launcher crashed.
Ok, maybe Skyrim is just being buggy. Let's skip changing video settings and go straight to the game. Nope, it refused to open in full screen (I also had the chance to make my eyes bleed with the spanish translation)
Ok, close the game. Let's change Steam's language to english, perhaps that will force Skyrim to change to english too. I change the language and restart Steam. Now whenever I attempt to launch Skyrim it says "Game unavailable". Dafuq is that supposed to mean?
I realize there's a settings menu for Skyrim and it has an option to change the game language (maybe I should have tried that first). Nope, it's set to english already. Let's restart Steam then.
Oh dear lord what is that percentage number next to Skyrim. Yep, Steam decided to downloaded a whopping 1.5 Gb more of date, I suppose it's due to changing languages. At this point in time I decided to shutdown my laptop and go home.
So let's see. At 1 Mb/sec it should take 1.5 hours to download Skyrim (5.5 Gb), which is acceptable. Those extra 1.5 Gb would have taken ~25 minutes to download, which is also reasonable. Now consider that it takes over 10 times that amount of time to download stuff at home. That is 16 hours to download the game, on the supposition that neither I or anybody else is allowed to use my internet connection during those 16 hours, and after all that wait, Steam makes me wait 4.5 hours to play my game just because it didn't ask me if I really wanted the game in spanish?
Sorry Steam, it is clear that my connection can't handle such loads, why the hell are you so happy to download shit?
On another note. I also uninstalled Team Fortress directly from the Windows' control panel, then Steam just said "heeey, let's just redownload the game to piss gml off, perhaps he just uninstalled the game by accident!"
Posted on November 03, 2011 at 00:05
Anyone ever played Magic The Gathering? It's a card game I used to play while in highschool. A few weeks ago while chatting with some uni friends we found out that we all played and still had our decks, and decided to bring them to uni to play while we were bored.
God what did we do.
Everyone's addicted now. We even drew in people I wouldn't have ever thought would play this game, it's insane.
Minecraft was manageable, but damn this is worse, I even had to hide my deck.
Week 4 Report, SD2011
Posted on October 17, 2011 at 09:05
Programming languages exam: meh, I could have done better had I not been an idiot.
Programming languages quiz: dunno, I think I did well.
Besides that, this week was again pretty uneventful. I burned two days playing games, which coincidentally were all games I hadn't played in a long time: sins of a solar empire, pharaoh and magic the gathering.
I have a networking project due this week. It's in C, which I hate a little less now. I also have an operations research exam, which I'm terribly afraid of.
Time to go.
Week 3 Report, SD2011
Posted on October 10, 2011 at 09:27
Just the regular week. Very late night coding, reading dozens of undecipherable book pages and working at the lab. Some of the uni's employees were on strike, resulting in the shutdown of the dining halls and the bus service. Life is hard when the dining halls are closed. In the end the employees resolved their issues and everything will be back on beginning today.
Really, this week was pretty uneventful. I guess I'm getting used to the high-stress, no sleep workload.
Week 1 & 2 Report, SD2011 Edition
Posted on October 02, 2011 at 20:29
The reports are back. This trimester is starting to look pretty rough, let me enumerate the things I must worry about the next 10 weeks, from highest to lowest priority:
- Uni courses
-- Programming Languages
-- Computer networks
-- Optimizing linear models
- Lab reservation website
- Stanford online courses
-- Machine Learning
- Computer lab maintenance
- Everything else, like taking my car to the mechanic.
I don't think I'll be able to pull this off, so as time goes I'll drop things starting from the lowest priority. I have my first programming languages project due next Wednesday and I'm planning to skip this night to work on it.
Where's my backup button?
Posted on September 29, 2011 at 00:08
Summer was nice, that job I mentioned didn't materialize and I ended up a month at home without much to do. I went to Europe for a week and almost bought a Macbook Pro, but then I read online about many people having overheating issues, a possible refresh soon, and a new design next year after Ivy Bridge processors are released. I guess I'll just stick to my 3 years old Toshiba laptop, which is starting to show signs of age.
Now I'm back to uni, beginning my 4th year there. Last trimester was madness, I think I lost 2 weeks worth of sleep in the span of 12 weeks. That was, without any doubts, the worst 12 weeks I've ever gone through in my life. I learned to hate PHP, Java and life. Haskell is awesome, but I still need to learn Monads to use it effectively. I didn't have enough time to finish my interpreter, and I don't think I'll work on it in the near future as I'll probably take the compilers course neginning in January.
I've fully recovered from those weeks of madness, and this time I'll be doing Programming Languages I, Computer Networks I, and Linear Programming.
Programming languages has a mythical reputation among comp sci students here, mostly due to evil teachers, deep and complex reading material, and the functional and logical programming paradigms. Mostly evil teachers.
I was really looking forward to it, I appreciate the challengue, but it seems I'm slated for a big dissapointment. So far, my teacher sucks, and people told me he is easy too. My level of excitement over this course went straight to 0 after that.
Computer networks is the most boring course I've ever taken in my life. Its sleep-inducing effects must be studied by professionals around the world as it might help people who can't sleep. I will also be programming in C...yuck. C is evil.
And then there is linear programming, whose reputation is totally opposite to programming languages: quick and easy.
In addition to that, I'll be doing the free online introductory courses on AI and Machine Learning the respective Stanford University teachers will be teaching this trimester. If you're interested you can sign up here:
Machine Learning: http://www.ml-class.com/
There is also a databases course, but it seems that the databases course I took earlier this year covered a great of those topics already.
To conclude my blog, where the hell is my backup button? While writing this blog I got distracted by my old blogs list that appear when posting a new blog, and remembered how useful it would be to have a button to automatically export your blogs to a downloadable file. I once sent it as a suggestion through the bug report system (even FSX told me it was a good idea) but it never came to fruition.
Hardware list and upgrade rules (v1.1)
Posted on September 16, 2011 at 19:27
My current hardware:
(Jan 2009) Sapphire Radeon HD 4850: $145
(Nov 2010) Cooler Master Hyper 212+: $28
(Nov 2010) Corsair PSU 650TX: $90
(Nov 2010) Biostar TH55BHD: $89
(Nov 2010) Intel Core i5 750: $195
(Nov 2010) Cooler Master Case: 2000 BsF?
(June 2011) Crucial 16 Gb DDR3: $170
1x 160 Gb Western Digital, I think
1x 1 Tb Samsung Spinpoint
(Jan 2009) 19'' LG TN-panel LCD, res 1440x900, VGA: ~1000 BsF
-Video card: when my current videocard feels slow and I can get a new one with at least 2 times the performance with $145 or less.
-RAM: when a new standard is released, I'm also upgrading my motherboard and I can buy 32 Gb of RAM for $170 or less. If I can max out the RAM with $170 or less, max the RAM, otherwise, settle with the most common amount.
-CPU/Motherboard: when the current CPU feels slow, and I can get a new one with 2 times the performance with $195 or less and a new motherboard for $90 or less. MicroATX or smaller boards are prefered, I don't want a huge computer.
-PSU: when it dies.
-Case: when I get a board smaller than MicroATX, which will probably be never.
-Display: when I can buy a good display in my own country, this one was cheap but I don't complain, I mostly program and surf the web anyways.
-Storage: when I run out of space (not anytime soon), or when I can get a 500 Gb SSD without selling a kidney.
By the looks of it I won't be upgrading anytime soon. The only thing that is getting close to my rule is the videocard (and hell, it's over 3 years old by now), and that still needs about a year to get the price/performance right.
October 1st 2011 Update
My laptop's battery is dying, Ubuntu complains its capacity is too low and Windows already shows an X on the battery icon while it is plugged. After this I noticed I didn't include upgrade rules for my laptop, so here it goes:
(2008) Toshiba A300: €800
- Intel Centrino (Core 2 Duo T5550 2 Ghz)
- 250 Gb HDD
- Ati Mobility Radeon HD 3450
- 3 Gb DDR2 RAM
- 15.4'' 1280x800 screen
I decided I'm going to save as much money as I can. That means I'm dropping the Macbook Pro idea and instead I'll be getting the cheapest device that gives me decent performance. It must, of course, cost less than €800, be at least 15'' and at least that resolution (width and height, not total pixels). It must also be twice as fast and bonus points if its battery lasts more than 2 hours.
Posted on August 20, 2011 at 00:33
I was bored. I downloaded 64d's stupidly huge Minecraft map (1.7 Gb!) and with some single player magic and a mod that increases by 3 the render distance of Far, I got pics of the environmental destruction caused by Founton:
Founton, before man:
Calenay, before steve discovered wood:
It's pretty much unchanged, except for that HORRIBLE skyway that cuts through the landscape. I hate it so much.
Melton, before it was founded:
You know, Melton would be a cool town and everything if it wasn't for that horrible skyway, park and tower thing. It really ruins the landscape.
Two more and I got to bed. Here's Old Old Spawn today:
Old Old Spawn when the map was started:
This one is truly an example of environmental destruction! I had some difficulty in recognizing common terrain patterns between both maps so I could line up the pictures.