The Term Has Definitely Begun

So now we are definatly into the start of term. First batches of assignments done, or near completion, schedules laid out, various meeting held, summer projects finished, and most importantly, the first Geek Beer has been held.

For what was the first geek beer, there was a pretty decent crowd. Lots of new faces, lots of old ones. Lots of good music (and not so good music). Plenty of entertaining acts (those that left before 10 missed out). Hell! I even made a profit at the bar!

The last part is fairly important right now. Last week, I found out that I have a massive bar bill from over the summer to pay off because a) for some reason the bar bills were not being payed and b) they somehow lost money at every single geek beer, and didn’t correct that in any way.

But I am sure I will be able to come up with something. If things work out like I expect them to, there will be Geek Beer all term still, and a kick ass Snowball too. All my other plans however………. yeah, let’s scrap all those other things I was looking forward to doing. Ah well, you can’t have it all.

Maybe next year I should become VP External, so all I have to do is go to DSU meetings and everyone else’s social events.

But come to Geek Beer. The more people that are there having a good time, the more worthwhile all these ‘technical difficulties’ that I have to deal with become. Besides, it’s Geek Beer, do you really even need an excuse for cheap alcohol?

Sun vs Dell

Considering my frequent problems with individual Dell machines, is it any surprise I find these amusing?

4 Days Vacation Is More Than I Usually Get

So I had a few days off before classes started. As this was 4 more days than I usually get, I decided to sleep in, play video games, and hang out with people before things got back into full swing.

Right now, I have various things I need to get done and am working towards doing them all. Work term report (just needs a little spit and polish now), TigerEvents initial public release (I’ll have a big story on that later), planning the social events on the term (the more I get done now, the sooner things fall into place), various other things…….

But I have decided to cut down. A chair position I was nominated for? Sorry, no time. The Inform stuff I was doing, which included a proof of concept, two presentations, and a DCSI abstract (which reminds me, I need to rework that abstract just a bit before this Friday)? Well, as interesting as it was, I am not interested in the joining it with a 3D engine. As all my work was pro bono, I have decided I can no longer give it the proper attention and would like to redirect my efforts elsewhere.

Classes are good so far. Networking and Crypto are so far just a review of Network Security, but the syllabii DO say they will be covering more. Initiating the Technology Venture (revamped Entrepreunership class) I don’t have an opinion for yet. But having no tests is a plus. Intro to the History of Science? I need to remember to arrive early and get a seat near the front to aid in comprehension.

I’m still stuck with Aliant. Due to wiring Eastlink can’t put high speed internet in my building. No internet = no Sean. But Aliant is slowly getting on the ball. I mean, when people call me, they hear ringing, as opposed to a ‘this number is no longer in service’ message. Too bad I don’t have a dial tone in my apartment. Doubly so as my buzzer is supposed to be tied into my phone. Aliant has assured me that a technician will be by tomorrow and I will be able to make calls. Will my internet be working, or will they have forgotten to connect that again?

All in all, once the above problems are taken care of, this should be a really awesome term. I am looking forward to it.

A Place Of My Very Own

So at the moment, I am basically all moved into my new apartment. Everything is unpacked and/or put away in their respective places. Looking around, I realize I still have more room than I need, and feel the desire to fill it. Maybe I will get a futon or something.

I would just like to take a moment to thank my helpful and professional moving crew, for without them I would probably be sleeping on the streets; and those visitors who helped motivate me into putting everything away NOW instead of over the course of a month.

The phone thing still isn’t resolved, but I want to ask the landlady a few questions before making my ultimate decision. In the meantime, hey! Unsecured wireless accesspoints! Who said Microsoft never did anything for me?

Aliant, Infuriatingly Consistent

Back in the day of being a 1st year student, new to the city and its ways I entered into a pact with Aliant for them to give me phone service and me to give them money. Over the years, I found it was easier in many ways to just switch my phone service over to my new residence, keeping my phone number and options. Almost always, however, my high speed internet fails to be switched over properly (and is always the result of it not being switched properly at the main switch, which they discover after sending out a tech).

This year, however, was quite a different experience. Yes, this year Aliant decided to go all out and screw up my phone transfer completely. Anyone calling my phone number gets a message stating that the number has been moved to a new number. Calling this new number gives a message stating that the number is not currently in service. I have no dial tone at my apartment either, so things are completely messed up.

The worst parts are thus: I called Aliant over a week ago, before my business trip to New Jersey. After explaining what I wanted and giving my new address, I was informed that things would indeed be switched over and that there should be no problems. After spending an evening moving the day I fly back into the city, I happily discover that, yes, I have no dial tone. And then, since I am unable to make it to a phone right away, I will have to wait until Tuesday to call Aliant (it’s Labor Day weekend after all) in order to find out what exactly is wrong. Considering that we will now be entering the time of new students wanting new phones, does anyone want to place bets on when I will actually get phone service restored?

Actually, does anyone have any opinions of Eastlink vs Aliant? If my phone problems can’t be resolved quickly, it might be worth my while, both timewise and financially, to switch over to Eastlink as my communications provider.

New Jersey Day……. Well The Rest Of Them

So writing 2 days behind turned into 3 turned into 4 turned into……. well, a week.

Things were pretty busy between diagnosing hardware problems (old power supplies dying really screws things up, you know?), software problems (no matter how many bugs you fix, running software in the field will always bring about more), and a combination of the two (what happens when you write code for a winch when you don’t have a 100% working example in the lab to test important things, like almost everything except movement).

End result: lots of code changes, lots of issues corrected, a lot of end user usability concerns written down. All in all this was pretty much what everyone expected going into this, and since nothing catastrophic happened, everyone appears quite happy. I had an awesome (though really tiring) time down here and am very glad I made the decision to. In the end, I learned a few new things, and came up with several ideas on both how to improve the user interface of the project as well as how to set things up in order to allow a trip like this to run more smoothly from the development side (I will be writing about some of those later).
One really important things:

They want me to go back down in a month. This is due to a number of things, including the fact that no tests were able to be performed in the water (due to dead power supplies) and the result in me doing an apparently awesome job, and my increasing familiarity with the code, along with my ability to discover, diagnose and fix problems even in areas that I am unfamiliar with. Technically, my supervisor wants me to work for them full time, degree or no degree, because he feels I am up to the task based on my work over the previous 4 months and, hey, I’m already trained.

There are some problems, however, mainly with a) me wanting my degree, b) the fact that I had registered for 5 classes, and c) prior commitments (being CS Social Rep is important for me as well). On the other hand, after hearing some of the future plans for Satlantic, I want to get more involved NOW so I can be included in all the cool stuff.

Some of you may recall asking me when I graduate. You will probably also distinctly remember me saying “May……. in theory”. Well, it looks like that theory proved wrong. I have just finished altering my class schedule yet again. Instead of taking a 5/3 workload, I am now doing a 4/3/1 workload. Since I ended up dropping Science Fiction, this means that I won’t have to spend time on writing lots of essays, and this will free up my Monday/Wednesday evenings, so I have more options for when I go into work at Satlantic and when to do everything else. Sure, this once again adds another 4 months to my degree again. On the other hand, based on the amount of stuff I have already done in the past 4 months, I know for a fact that I will do some cool stuff, learn a lot, have fun, and make some money while doing it.

Let’s see how this thing goes.