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Year View| Summary| Highlights| October 2003 (Month View)

01.10.2003Wednesday 1 October

Nothing happened. Existence may as well not have been.
Transinfo online told me to train to Altandi and catch the 130 bus from there to Griffith University, and the 150 bus from there to Garden City Plaza, where the cinema is. However, the 135 came instead, and took me to the same place, where I caught the 111 bus, which took me to the same place the 150 would have. I don’t understand buses.
“Boom” – any movie that has a scene where three supermodels kill a man while robbing a bank – and they all, including the dead man, break out into wild dance is, in my opinion, automatically good. Not to mention that they then kidnapped the wrong man, intentionally, to fool the gang lord who was holding them captive and using them for extortion, and proceeded to successfully turn each of the gang lords against each other and take over the entire show. I missed some of the finer nuances of the plot, as I could write my entire Hindi vocabulary on a cigarette paper – in chalk, and still have space for a nice haiku, but, apart from that, I really enjoyed it. A cross between Charlie’s Angels, James Bond, Monty Python and Snatch, and, if that wasn’t enough, it was in a huge cinema with a huge screen and excellent audio – how could anyone not enjoy it? The American Hollywood stuff we’re constantly plastered with seems to lack a certain subtlety. The way “Boom” managed to portray its sexual innuendoes, with subtlety but making it obviously clear without being crude – I’ve never seen in a Hollywood production. It definitely made a pleasant change from the other blockbuster crud I’ve been watching recently – well worth the full adult fare they made me pay.
I caught a 150 bus directly to Fruitgrove station, and a train from there back home. Much simpler than how I got there.

02.10.2003Thursday 2 October

I quietly did very little, waking late. Interestingly, I received an email from a past lecturer enquiring as to whether I’d be interested in tutoring. I’m not sure what to reply yet – it could be an interesting opportunity or it could be an unneeded diversion. I also did my washing.
Just as it began to rain, I headed down to the train station. Once I was on the train, it began to lightning and storm, but by the time I’d got into the city, it was all over, leaving only puddles. I entrained for Indooroopilly and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, eating pasta napolitana and a milkshake from the “Café lé Net” beforehand. It was incredibly busy. There was a queue of people waiting for the movie extending over fifty metres and I was worried by the time I got in there wouldn’t be any room left. Fortunately, the cinema was larger than the others I’ve been to so far, and I was still able to sit in my normal position in the middle of the front row, although even that filled up fast. The screen was huge, fully filling my peripheral vision – as it should, and the sound was thunderous and all was good. The movie is an action extravaganza, which although lacking any of the subtleties or finesse that would make it memorable, is nonetheless highly enjoyable and about as good as mindless action gets.
I caught the very last train from Roma Street. It’s almost scary seeing all the screens black, no people, no trains. I hope I never am stuck in the city after the last train has gone – a fate worse than death, which (according to something I just read) isn’t as feared as public speaking.

03.10.2003Friday 3 October

I went to sleep.
I woke up.
I carefully planned out my time so I could go to uni, see Soon about tutoring, head into the city, eat dinner at Govindas, head to Indooroopilly to see “Japanese Story” and then catch “Sex and Lucia” in the valley before heading home.
I trained to uni and went to see Soon about tutoring. It seems I’ll be tutoring seven hours a week, beginning Monday, for two weeks while another tutor is away. I’m skipping one lecture, the first hour of a three hour “Intro to Information Systems” lecture which usually follows the notes fairly closely so hopefully won’t be a problem. I hope I have enough time to do it all.
I realised a major flaw in my night’s plan. I’d allowed for how long it would take to get from place to place by train, but I’d forgotten to allow for train departure times. I’d accidentally assumed as soon as I got to a train station the train would be there and it would only take me however long it takes on the train to get to the next stop. Of course, after waiting nearly half an hour for the train to arrive to take me from uni into the city, I was rather behind schedule, and by the time I got to Indooroopilly, I’d well and truly missed my movie and the second movie was out of the question. Ironically, though, after waiting for the second viewing of “Japanese Story”, I met Raymond and some friend’s of his standing in line to buy tickets to the same movie, so I went and saw it with them.
I went to Govindas and had a particularly enjoyable vegetarian meal.
“Japanese Story”
I wasn’t impressed at all. A movie that spends five minutes showing a woman trying to get a dead body into the back of a car isn’t really my style. I think this movie could be compressed, without losing any of its simplistic plot, into a fifteen-minute movie – and it might even be watchable then. It was thoroughly disappointing really, and I’m not sure how it even managed to get funding and released. After the disappointing movie, I headed home, arriving sometime after midnight.
I went to sleep.

04.10.2003Saturday 4 October

I slept in late, yet again – but then, it is the holidays.
After a quick check of movie times and train timetables online, I figured I had just enough time to shower and catch the 5:02 train into the city, head into Indooroopilly and watch “Gettin’ Square” and then head back into the city and catch “Sex and Lucia” at the Palace Centro, which would hopefully be a nice night. The shower and train parts worked out ok, although I did nearly miss the train due to Joe coming to walk puppy and meeting another puppy on the way. I even managed to get to Indooroopilly in time to watch “Gettin’ Square”, and got my frozen coke and into the cinema before it started – impressive really. It’s an excellent movie too; I think perhaps the best I’ve seen this year, or at least the best since the last good movie I saw, although I can’t remember what that would have been. I really enjoyed watching it – great Aussie cinema with a good plot and well made, in stark contrast to the movie I saw yesterday.
After the movie, I walked down to the train station to catch the 8:49 train back into the city, which should give me just enough time to find and get to the 9:15 viewing of “Sex and Lucia”, and found that no electric trains were running. There was a power failure, the entire Corinda to Roma St line was out, and we’d have to wait for a bus. The bus didn’t show up for a long time, and by the time I got into the city it was nearly half past nine. I didn’t want to go home in an annoyed mood having missed this movie for about the fourth time, so I hurried down to the City Regent cinemas and watched the 9:30 viewing of “Matchstick Men”, which wasn’t too bad although nowhere near as good as “Gettin’ Square”. One thing I didn’t consider was the end time of the movie, and got a bit of a shock when I came out and found it was going on midnight and I wasn’t entirely sure when the last train was, so the walk to Central Station was swift, although I ended up waiting a while anyway.

05.10.2003Sunday 5 October

I had a quiet relaxing winding down sort of day. I drove down to the shops for Joe at some stage, and ate some hot chips at another stage. I watched something on TV with Tonya at some time in the evening, and went to bed early. I didn’t sleep very well, having got used to going to bed at about the same time I had to wake up over the last week.

06.10.2003Monday 6 October – Uni again

I was a bit worried I mightn’t wake up, having not got up before midday for most of the week, but as it ended up, I woke up about quarter of an hour after getting to sleep, and every quarter hour thereafter. I hope that my sleeping patterns have now been successfully re-modified.
A veggie roll and iced coffee began my regular university diet again, after its weeklong holiday.
I went and saw Ms Nicolette Drake to arrange the official details of my tutoring, and then spent some time chatting on IRC before going to see Soon to collect the marks book for tutoring.
I did my first tutoring for “Internet Interface Design – User-Centered Website Development: Theories and Technologies”, which was very quiet and I spent half the time talking to a girl I knew – I’d say less than ten people turned up to actually do any work, the rest were just using the computers.
Many lectures were had, some of which I attended. I also phoned the oral medicine clinic to find out what time my appointment was, as I had a card, which didn’t say any times. I found, after phoning, that the time is written on the back of the card. Luckily, only Clint was there to witness the embarrassing revelation.
Having once again visited Soon to obtain the revered marks book, I completed my second hour of COMP1501 tutoring. This time it was much busier, with quite a few people needing help or wanting their lab assessment tasks assessed. I quite enjoyed it, and ended up staying a quarter hour longer than I should have helping a guy with his PHP. I had a slightly worrying minute when I found the office and Soon’s room were both closed, but fortunately, I found someone else in Soon’s room to take the marks book.
Toot toot, chugga chugga chug. It’s raining outside but I’m in a train, toot toot. Happily, the rain had lightened to little more than a mist by the time I had to get off the train and walk home.
First Israel illegally occupies the Golan Heights, then they blatantly attack sovereign Syrian territory, and in the resulting United Nations Security Council meeting, only one diplomat doesn’t speak out against this obvious transgression – the United States ambassador, as usual. The sooner someone figures out how to get the US out of the UN, and preferably the rest of the world, the better it will be for everyone, including them. I wonder why Americans are so blindly and stupidly jingoistic, it doesn’t mix well with their apparent total lack of knowledge of anything foreign. Ironically, I asked several people, not all of whom are Australian, if they could think of a word that meant “apparent total lack of knowledge of anything foreign”, as I have the word on the back of my mind but can’t quite get it – and amongst “redneck”, “isolationist”, “xenophobe” and “sequestrator” they all said “American”. I’ve nothing against Americans – I’m sure they’re much the same as Australians, but there’s a vocal few giving the rest a bad name.
Comment by wagusa – Wednesday 8 October 2003, 3:30 PM
  Many of us in the US also want to get the US out of the UN. Perhaps we are too jingoistic, but IMHO we act slightly less out of self interest than others

07.10.2003Tuesday 7 October – Cryosurgery

I awoke and caught a train into Central Station, from where I made my way the short distance to UQ’s School of Dentistry. I filled out the required paperwork and waited a short while until I was seen, around 10:30. Several young, mostly female, presumably dentistry students had a look at me and decided to wait for the specialist before making any diagnosis. The specialist, who looked as though he would have only been in his late thirties, arrived after a short while and diagnosed my mucous cyst, and prescribed two twenty-second freezes. The idea is to cause a controlled amount of tissue damage, which will heal and resolve the original condition. In my case, it should kill the glands that have been producing the saliva that is trapped, and the surrounding tissue. My body will repair the damaged tissue, although the glands will be gone forever. I was assured that there are many more glands so killing a few will not be a problem – but to me it doesn’t sound like a good thing to do. It doesn’t inspire great confidence hearing the specialist instructing the young woman who performed the operation, to “turn the point while applying pressure, no – not like that or it will slip like it just did”, but the freezing itself was less painful than the four needles I was given beforehand, probably because of the needles. I was out within half an hour.
I walked down to a nearby chemist with my lip feeling extremely large, bought some ibuprofen painkillers, and then caught a train home. When I got home, I was alarmed to find that my lip was in fact as large as it felt. Usually, a numb lip feels huge but isn’t in fact any larger than normal, so I had assumed mine was perhaps only a little larger than usual – but it was huge. I sat an ice pack, or frozen 2-litre bottle of water, on it for quarter of an hour as instructed and then spent some time online. After a while, I became really sleepy, and the painkillers are only to be taken with food, yet I can’t eat, so I lay down with an ice pack on my lip again and fell asleep.
I woke up and it was nighttime. I must have slept for a few hours. I spent the night online, interspersed with my ice pack and saline mouth rinses, achieving very little of any use. I ate some tomato soup, and later some soft cheesy pasta, and later again a little ice cream.
INFS1200 Marks
Results have been released for the INFS1200 “Intro to Information Systems” mid-semester exam. I achieved 24.8 out of 30, which is above average (the average being just over 20), so I’m happy with it I guess.
I think I’m now tired enough to go to bed. This is all bad timing, I have two assignments due on Friday and simply couldn’t bring myself to look at either, and now I’ll wake up late tomorrow. It has also stopped raining, having rained almost all day, and on and off for the past few days.

08.10.2003Wednesday 8 October

I didn’t wake up until after two o’clock, and even then only because Joe woke me up to see if I’d died or not. I then spent the evening procrastinating, and the night trying to do my horrible COMP2302 microcontroller assignment.
Le Connoisseur
A friend wrote “A guide to things that resemble food on the UQ St Lucia campus”. It is the most accurate survey of campus food since Whitlam, so I have decided to steal it in its entirety. Seeing as I am a purist who does not allow his journal to be polluted with HTML tags, the closest I can give to a link is
Main Refectory, Union Complex
Run by the UQ Union, this eatery has a guilt complex over charging you. This is good price-wise (although do remember that you’re paying for this with your compulsory union fee) but not overly fun when you’re trying to put sauce on something. In order to put sauce on your recently purchased item, you must first cut through the people using the free hot water dispenser to heat up what looks like old socks in a bowl, then line up whilst the people in front of you squeeze all the tomato sauce into Tupperware containers for usage at home. The only food I’ve had here are buckets of chips, which are okay despite having the texture of hard-boiled eggs. This can be remedied by emptying half a bottle of the free vinegar on them and squeezing out the remainder of the “liberated” tomato sauce.
Physiology Refectory, near Centenary Drive bus stop
Much the same as the main refectory, although they also sell apple slices that are about as thick as a business card. Proceed with caution.
Biology Refectory, near Mayne Hall
Possibly the crappiest of the refectories. Last time I went there not only did they not serve me for an aeon or two, but the sausage roll gave me leprosy. It’s probably safe to eat here though, because bio students presumedly know where your organs are and can carry out MacGyver-style surgery with pens. Also the site of union propaganda that informs you that without the union, tomato sauce will not exist, so beware.
Wheel of Death, Floor 1 GP South
A bizarre electronic dispenser of all sorts of things used in combination with a microwave that is believed to be broken. Expensive AND dangerous, only for IT students who need a snack at 2am whilst doing projects in the labs.
Vending Machines, everywhere
These are great, because a) the union staff haven’t touched them and b) It’s not the Wheel of Death. Ignore all the morons that tell you that Cherry Ripe + Fanta isn’t a healthy lunch.
UQ Lolly Shop, Union Complex
Overpriced but safe, as everything they sell is in sealed packages. See Vending Machines for further advice.
If you know someone from college, they may be able to get you in for a casual meal for about $4. This is either good value or bad value depending on what is being served and how many weeks ago it was cooked. If it’s in the form of a hamburger it was probably originally served as steak in 1982.
The Red Room
Don’t know if they serve food, but they serve beer, which is far more important.
ARGH! I have read innumerable pages of microcontroller datasheets. This “Computer Organisation” assignment really sucks. We have to answer a set of sixteen questions about four different microcontrollers, the idea being that we’ll learn a lot about microcontrollers in doing so. I guess I have learnt some things about microcontrollers, such as their inability to have good datasheets written about them. The overhead in searching through the datasheets, trying to figure out what means what and where it’s likely to be all but makes this assignment nothing more than an understanding datasheets exercise – I don’t like it.
“The founder of an animal welfare group which campaigns for the protection of grizzly bears is killed by a bear in Alaska.” “Park rangers later killed two aggressive bears they discovered at the campsite and closed the park.” Somewhat ironic.
Time for sleep. My lip is quite annoying now. It has this horrible big white flabby blister sort of thing, which has partly fallen off, and is quite raw and sore, and I instinctively go to lick it all the time.
Comment by - news – Wednesday 8 October 2003, 5:04 PM
  I feel like SCO, you thief!
Comment by anonymous – Thursday 9 October 2003, 9:31 PM
  the red room does sell food. above average food (for uni students anyways) at reasonable prices. and you forgot the pizza cafe, and the sushi and noodle bars
Comment by bv – Saturday 11 October 2003, 12:53 AM
  I only reviewed places i've been. The pizza cafe disturbs me because it's run by the union and hence all their pizzas are named after various pinko revolutionaries and I live at college so uncooked fish is pretty easy to come by.
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 15 October 2003, 3:16 AM
  I think they’re actually named after famous Italian actors.

09.10.2003Thursday 9 October

I tutored for an hour, and enjoyed it, despite it being quite busy with lots of people needing assistance and wanting to get their assessments marked off. PHP sessions is being plain dumb and causing a few inexplicable errors. Quitting all instances of Internet Explorer and Apache is often necessary, just to get it to reset its session. Next semester, if I become a tutor, I think it would be worthwhile creating a simple one-step installation procedure for Apache, PHP and MySQL with all the paths and necessary options preconfigured. There have been a few silly problems, which shouldn’t be. Downloading MySQL, which is quite large, and then extracting it, which instantly more than doubles its size, and then installing it, which more than triples its size, quickly fills up the limited storage quota each student is allocated. I think it’s asking a bit much for students who barely understand the concept of compressed files to figure out how to delete the unneeded parts, or use the C drive as temporary storage, just to install something. Then, on top of that, PHP comes with all it’s temporary paths set to “/tmp”, which doesn’t exist on the lab machines, and has to be manually changed in the “php.dist” file, which is then automatically copied across to the windows directory... not the sort of things first year students struggling to understand new concepts need to bother with.
Tutoring again – much less busier this time, although I ended up staying half an hour later than expected helping and marking off a few struggling stragglers. Both today’s tutorials had two tutors, which helps as one of us can try sorting out silly problems while the other marks off people.

10.10.2003Friday 10 October

Despite not needing to be at uni until my tutorial at one o’clock, I decided the best way to get my assignment done was to head in at the same time as usual – arriving around 8:30. After my usual breakfast of iced coffee and a bucket of chips with lots of tomato sauce and vinegar, I went and saw Soon and dropped off the marking book and headed down to the labs to do my assignment. Much procrastinating later, I began to do it, and managed to get most of it finished.
Clint came and we took our COMP1800 English assignments across to the English department and dropped them in the magic box to be turned into marks. We then walked back to GPS and the BITS AGM. It was an utter shambles. Anyone who wished to become a member of the exec could, and did, simply making up a new title was quite acceptable. Raymond nearly became the health and safety officer, until someone pointed out he’d probably have a few legal commitments and need a first aid certificate, so he changed to “checker of sec”, before finally becoming the new “events advisor”. There are also two treasurers and a vice-treasurer, not to mention a technical development manager who didn’t even show at the AGM – overall, very dodgy and unprofessional.
I had to leave the AGM early to tutor. I quite enjoyed it, although we had several silly problems with PHP sessions. The configuration of the lab machines has caused a few headaches, with limited disk space, modifying things to work with NT style pathnames, and plain stupid stuff such as PHP refusing to work if there’s a blank line at the start of the document.
The BITS AGM was followed by a Microsoft Industry Conference, essentially a talk on how great everything .NET is, and why the world must embrace .NET now. It was quite interesting, although one moron decided to try to turn it into a Slashdot style Open-Source World versus Microsoft security argument and succeeded in making a complete fool of himself and annoying everyone, or at least me. The guy giving the conference happened to know what he was talking about, having been a software engineer for several years, and unlike the usual hysterical Linux freaks at uni, he also understood the concept of profit and how the real world works. I learnt a few new things about web services and .NET, which sounded good although I’m sure biased. This is, after all, Microsoft. It amuses me how they tend to not acknowledge the existence of or ever mention Linux or Java.
I had to leave the .NET thing early in order to submit my assignment on time. Each of the 64 questions had to be individually entered into a web form, which was taking around two minutes to submit each question. By four o’clock, this was more like five minutes, and by half past four, the database was unreachable. Shortly after, something died totally and all our roaming profiles and home drive became inaccessible, which not only prevented me from accessing the data I needed to submit, but also from saving the document I currently had open. As the assignment was due at five, I wasn’t overly impressed and decided to go hunt down the lecturer. Half the lab came with me, so we traipsed up to the office, which told us to be nice to the lecturer as he was probably stressed. He wasn’t in his office, but as luck would have it (not that I believe in luck, of course), we found him hiding in a room strategically located near an exit with his laptop and on the phone to the sysadmins. He did look rather stressed, but that’s how he normally looks. We got an extension until 5 PM tomorrow.
I have an exam on Monday. It is an open book exam, and I do not have all the notes for it. I have to print them out from UQ’s POD (print on demand). The POD shuts at 5 PM, so I went up there straight after we’d found the lecturer. It was about a quarter to five when I got there, but that didn’t help much, as they shut at four o’clock on Friday. This is not good. This leaves me with an open book exam without the book to open. I can probably study the online PDF versions, although it will be harder.
I caught a train into the city and went to Govindas for dinner. It was very nice and as I was hungry, I really enjoyed it. I had planned to go see the King’s College and Women’s College Choirs perform, but I couldn’t remember where they were performing so went to Indooroopilly to see a movie instead. There weren’t any movies worth seeing, so I went online instead, found Clint on IRC and he told me the choir would be at St Stephen’s Cathedral, so I headed back into the city and went there. The choir performance quite impressed me, because I was expecting it to be much worse and it was quite good. I met Frizz, who I haven’t met before, and Raymond, who is a section leader (whatever that is) in the King’s College Choir and who I have met before. I’m quite glad I went.

11.10.2003Saturday 11 October

After a late start, I finished off my nasty microcontroller assignment and submitted it. As the evening drew to a close, I drove down to the Smith Road Shopping Centre and bought a lamington and some chips for Joe and I, which I ate while watching some of the “Stargate SG-1” marathon on TV1. Dave arrived home a bit later and I went online and chatted. Apart from a quick look at the practice exam, which stressed me as I didn’t understand it, I didn’t do any study for my exam on Monday.

12.10.2003Sunday 12 October

Waking in the evening has some advantages, but I’m not sure what they are.
I drove and got some scratch-its for Joe, and picked a pizza on the way home. A miracle happened at the pizza place – the girl personally brought my pizza out, offered me a choice of drinks, and even opened the door for me. I doubt this has ever happened in the history of cheap pick-up pizzas before! I shall include it in my memoirs.
I decided that I had better begin studying for my exam tomorrow. Unfortunately, I had bought four blocks of different flavoured (and ultra-dark) chocolate when I went shopping earlier. I ate nearly a block all up, a little from each. This served to keep me awake and alert, and tasted yummy, but I’m not sure it was much good for anything else. My study consisted of reading through the lecture notes, writing down an index, reading the references given in the lecture notes, indexing them, and then going to bed. I didn’t attempt the practice exam, because I am too stupid to do logical things like that.
I went to bed. I have to get up at 7 AM. It is very important that I wake up. If I don’t I will miss my tutorial, and I’m the tutor so I don’t want to do that. I may also miss my exam. I am worried that I won’t wake up. Either I am too worried that I won’t wake up and thus can’t sleep or I ate too much chocolate and can’t sleep. Either way, I can’t sleep. Instead, I am daydreaming. It is fun. The problem is that the more I don’t sleep, the more worried I am that I won’t wake up; because the less I sleep, the more tired I shall be. Of course, this means that the longer I stay awake, the harder it is to get to sleep. I pondered such matters as this until I awoke some time shortly after 6 AM.

13.10.2003Monday 13 October – Computer Organisation Exam

Having woken nearly an hour ago, and only gone to sleep less than 3 hours ago (and probably getting not more than 2 hours sleep), I felt energetic and chocolatised. Trot, trot, trot, choofa, choofa, toot, toot – trains are fun on chocolate and no sleep. I must, however, not go on trains on chocolate and no sleep – it is not advisable for public safety reasons.
Time for a veggie roll and iced coffee. This is where I become suddenly normal again, like Superman before mobile phones.
After getting the marks book from Soon, I went and tutored. It was very quiet, with only a few people turning up, which gave me a chance to print out some stuff I needed and check out what
I wandered into the UQ Centre and my COMP2302 exam. It was nasty. Forty-five minutes and twenty-five multi-choice questions about the AVR microcontroller instruction set architecture and various other exciting things – not fun. I had five or more that I guessed madly when time was nearly up. Being an open-book exam, I had my text, notes and an instruction set summary, and chewed up too much time going through them. I got 14 out of 25, while Tim, who sat beside me, and whose notes I had copied (and he some of mine), got 23 out of 25. Either he’s a genius or I’m a moron. I’m afraid it’s the latter (as unlikely as that might seem). Moral of the story – chocolate does not equate to knowledge, under normal circumstances.
I tutored for an hour. It was quite quiet and I had another tutor with me, so had very little to do. As soon as the hour was up, I caught the train home and spent the evening procrastinating, while I should have been studying or working on assignments. Actually, I think I’d have died if I didn’t have a rest. My lip is much better now. It still has a nasty wound, but it’s now a small nasty wound, and not so sore. I haven’t taken any painkillers and it’s not too bad.
I shall try to go to bed today. I have two minutes to do it, so I don’t like my chances.
I failed. It’s tomorrow and I’m still awake. It has been three weeks, three days, twenty-two hours, thirty-four minutes and seventeen seconds since I rebooted or my computer. I think this breaks my previous uptime record. Ever since installing a new version of Nero, I haven’t had the silly power management problems, although I still don’t have any power profiles or way to change the one that’s stuck on at the moment. The most dangerous applications on this computer are my sound generation, visualisation and monitoring ones – running any of them guarantees that the 16-bit subsystem will die, permanently, and very little will work until I reboot. Exact Audio Copy and DVDDecrypter (which, by the way, I don’t admit to having on this computer) are the next most dangerous. Accidentally accessing the same drive twice at the same time will do bad things. The DVD players are pretty nasty too – if they come across some bad data in a DVD ISO (which, as pointed out once before, is a temporary cache – not a copy), they turn into runaway processes and I can’t always control them.

14.10.2003Tuesday 14 October

Today’s uni was the same as most other day’s uni. We have a new COMP2500 lecturer. He is, to put it simply, brilliant. He managed to explain almost two lectures worth of material, interspersed with about half a lecture worth of wit, in such a way that not only did I understand, but I did not get bored, uncomfortable or wish that I was elsewhere. On top of that sizeable achievement, he also managed to get more class participation in a single lecture than we’ve had in any of the previous lectures. Managing to explain, clearly, binary and n-ary trees, recursion down and along such trees and the use of a binary tree to reference nodes in an n-ary tree all in less than an hour, without boring me, and in such a way that not only did I understand, but I actually enjoyed learning, is very impressive. He embodies what I had, prior to last semester, though of as a “proper” lecturer. What really clinched it however; he stated several times that Java and QUT suck.
I went to Kieran’s room for a while, and then on to Clint’s. Clint and I were sent on an official BITS mission to discover the source of all input in the lab they’re planning to show a movie in tonight. We had fun with the touch-screen control panel, turning the lights and projector on and off. After a while, we heard people outside and tried to turn everything off before we were arrested, but in a Microsoft sort of way, it was too intelligent to turn off. Obviously, no normal user would want to turn anything off after they’d turned it on. After our narrow escape and the subsequent trip to the labs to report our findings on IRC, we walked up to the main refectory, where I bought some leftover pizza topping with rice and Clint had tomato sauce with some vinegar and chips in it. Our health satiated, we went exploring and discovered some new buildings, including one with a door. I also managed to skilfully and semi-accidentally find the cutaway jet engine again, and show Clint. It has lots of moving parts that require moving to make sure they move, so we had to move them.
Clint, Raymond, Simon and I, having sat at a table and discussed train timetables, newspapers, movies, Raymond and wine – amongst other similarly important things, went and joined the eager throng at the BITS Movie Night. We, along with a meagre scattering of others, watched “Minority Report”. Amusingly, the Linux machine showing the DVD died shortly after someone made a Linux versus Windows joke, and was replaced by a Microsoft Xbox, which worked well. Halfway through the movie pizza arrived. Two cans of soft drink and a vegetarian pizza later I left to find the ferry before it stopped running. It was freezing outside, and my cold can of Coke didn’t help. I had to wait about half an hour for the CityCat, listening to two girls comparing their marked assignments on some obscure English-type subject. I then had to wait almost an hour at South Brisbane Station for the train, which made it a late night, although I did get to snooze on one of the station’s un-ergonomically designed, flat and very hard wooden seats.
Comment by keight – Wednesday 15 October 2003, 4:14 PM
  OMG Ned, NO! Our new 2500 lecturer is... CRAP. his lectures are some of the most TEDIOUS I have ever sat through.. If you find them 'interesting', I'd hate to think what you find boring.

15.10.2003Wednesday 15 October – Sex & Lucia

I planned to wake up early, do lots of my Java assignment, then go and see a movie, as today is the last day it is showing. Sadly, by the time I awoke it was too late to do much study, so I’ve not done anything more than read the specification.
I had an Indian meal from a small take-away style restaurant near Brunswick Street Station, which wasn’t very nice, and then asked my way, via Mac Donald’s and a thick shake, to the Palace Centro Cinemas.
The Palace Centro surprised me. It’s brand new, classy, and everything the Schonell isn’t. It also has a slightly tilted-back screen, which is something I haven’t seen before. “Lucia y el Sexo”, or “Sex and Lucia” as it has been translated, was the movie and it was good. This is the only movie I’ve ever seen with an accurate portrayal of online chat, so accurate in fact, that I couldn’t help thinking of Becky, and imagining her chatting just the same. I got slightly lost in some parts of the plot – it’s quite complex and all the people looking the same, along with subtitles and its switching from present to past make it confusing. I’d like to see the movie again, as it would make a lot more sense now and I’m still not sure which parts were supposed to have actually happened and which were imagined. I think it’s a brilliant movie, the type that has me thinking about it afterwards, and enjoying it throughout. On the way out from the cinemas, I was surprised again. The place was packed. People were everywhere, which I wasn’t expecting on a Wednesday evening. Perhaps it’s a trendy dining area.
There’s some dumb football on, and all the trains are messed up. I ended up catching an express to the Gold Coast from the wrong platform at the wrong time, which was running express to Woodridge for some unusual reason. It is so much faster when they don’t stop at stations. I think the trains need some sort of stop signal like the one buses have, so they don’t have to waste time at stations where no one wants to get on or off. Apparently, I should revise my previous end of sentence preposition. “On or off” isn’t good enough, Word says. Neither is “off or on”, and I can’t think of anything else that means the same thing. Where no one wishes to cross the boundary between the train and the platform. There, that’ll do. Oh, no it won’t. Word says that entire sentence is a fragment, and I should consider developing that thought into a complete sentence by adding a subject or a verb, but I don’t want to.
I should go to bed. I have begun my Java assignment and written a few notes and a basic framework that might, if I’m incredibly fortunate, be the right way to start. I shall try to finish it off tomorrow, and if I can’t, I shall freak out instead – or more likely, I shall freak out trying to finish it regardless.

16.10.2003Thursday 16 October

Upon arriving at the uni side of the ferry, I was accosted by a group of rabid uni staff shouting that they were striking to protect me. I guess they’re all from the arts faculty, because I’m not sure there’d be a complete brain amongst the lot of them. Then again, I didn’t read any of their propaganda, so I suppose they may have had some sort of valid point.
Tutoring went well, and I quite enjoyed it being busier.
I spent the evening after uni wasting time and most of the night making up for the time I wasted, trying to do my COMP2500 Java assignment – successfully I hope, and getting to bed around 3 AM.

17.10.2003Friday 17 October – Kill Bill

I’ve only got one thing on Friday’s now – my COMP2500 tutorial. This one was easy, as Dina was presenting and she’d taken the time to write down solutions for everything before she came.
My last hour tutoring went smoothly. I’ve decided I’d like to tutor this subject again next semester, if possible, as I think I can contribute in a way most others probably can’t, seeing as it is basically my hobby – plus it’s a paying position and good experience. Generally, only postgraduate students get tutoring positions, and it’s apparently well contested – so I probably don’t have a very good chance but I’ll see how I go.
I went and saw my COMP2500 lecturer about some ambiguities in our assignment specification, and then went down to the lab to iron out those ambiguities in my assignment, which I then submitted.
Kill Bill
After handing in my tutoring timesheet, Clint and I bussed into Indooroopilly. I ate a curry with fried rice, à la the Pakistani food place, which wasn’t too bad, although not as good as the Pakistani place, which is now a Subway. At least it’s still possible to buy food. We then went and saw “Kill Bill – Volume One”. It’s a good movie, which I quite enjoyed. The violence is rather... violent, and terribly graphic but somehow not as disturbing without the pathos with which most movies surround their violence. This movie is a good example of why gun control is bad – none of the gangsters have guns, resulting in mass carnage. One gun would have stopped it all. If Tarantino’s second volume gets away from this terribly unrealistic anime induced swords and ninja revenge-centric violence and introduces something a bit more realistic – like, say, a gun... I think it will be a classic movie. This is the second time I’ve seen a movie in the large cinema at Indooroopilly, and the second time I’ve thought the sound noticeably better than the other slightly smaller cinemas – the opening with Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” was a fantastic.
Tomb Raider
Clint and I almost made a fatal mistake – buying dark chocolate, which we ate while watching “Tomb Raider”. Luckily, neither of us died, but it was a narrow escape. Tomb Raider didn’t improve with a second watching, but was fun nonetheless.
I struck up a conversation with a woman waiting for the train, which proved to be a bit of a mistake. It ends up she was on her way to what would probably turn out to be a break-up with her boyfriend, who was apparently suspiciously busy for large amounts of time, and she wanted to know why. She was also obviously feeling insecure and discarded, and was seeking someone to seduce her and make her feel wanted – which was apparently where I came into the equation. I managed to escape, but she was pretty sexy.
I decided it would be a good time to implement some “404 Page Not Found” error pages for my site, and fix up the hit counters. It shouldn’t have taken me long, and in fact didn’t take long, except it wouldn’t work. No matter what I did, nothing worked. The more I did, the fewer things worked. Things I’d not even touched began to fail. Things became very confusing. Edited files would turn into magical blank files, which seemed to have some magical property that prevented them from being anything but blank files. Various programs began reporting errors closing files, while still reporting they’d performed their operations successfully and converting anything they modified into these special blank files, which isn’t very good for data integrity. In desperation, after seven o’clock in the morning, I restored everything from a backup, having already irretrievably lost some data, and went to bed.

18.10.2003Saturday 18 October

I woke up at a quarter to four, in the evening. I couldn’t believe it. That’s despicable, horrible, disgusting – debauched even. It’s also a huge waste of a day.
Having caught a train into South Bank Station, and a bus from there to Elizabeth Street, and a walk from there to the Botanical Gardens, I found the Sunset Cinema, an open-air cinema. It’s quite a nice venue, on a hillside surrounded by the aliens, I mean, plants from the botanical gardens. $10 student entry and a $10 (small and not as gourmet as advertised) pizza made it one of the pricier movies I’ve been to recently. A fair crowd turned up and we settled onto blankets on the lawn to see “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and dislocate our shoulders, numb our arms and generally wish we were one of the intelligent few who’d brought beanbags. I’d failed to anticipate its cult status, so I ended up watching “The Brisbane Horror Show” instead – as the cult moved in, complete with water pistols for the raining scenes, confetti for the confetti scenes, and underwear for all other scenes. With everyone singing along, people dancing down the front in their underwear and the general joviality, it ended up being quite fun. The main downside was my shoulders, both of which ceased to function rather swiftly, but seem to have regained some of their functionality now.
I discovered all my web site woes are because I’ve run out of web site space, which is, apparently, because I’m not assigned to any plan. After getting my quota doubled, everything worked again and I quickly implemented the changes I’d made last night. Now I just have to wait and see if my self-healing atomic hit counter will work.

19.10.2003Sunday 19 October

I slept in despicably late, yet again.
I drove down to the shops and cashed in Joe’s winning scratch-its, bought some new ones, and picked up some pizza on the way home. Joe and I discussed the holidays over pizza. I asked if he’d be happy to have me here again next year, and he said it depends on if I’m happy to be here. He’s a great guy. After that, I spent a bit of time online talking to Mum, and then went and watched “Hart’s War” on TV with Joe.

20.10.2003Monday 20 October

I had a normal and generally boring day at uni, where I did normal and generally boring uni things. I can’t remember anything else, so I’m assuming nothing memorable happened.

21.10.2003Tuesday 21 October

I slept in. By the time I woke up, I’d missed my first lecture, and would have had to run to get the train in time to, maybe, make my second lecture – so I decided to stay home instead and work on my assignments.
Joe just asked me if I’d drive his sister to the airport tomorrow, as he’s got an appointment directly after and wants to have time to make dinner and things before he goes to work. So, it looks like I have to be up at a quarter past seven tomorrow morning, and driving through peak hour traffic to the airport. Oh, what joy.
I didn’t get much of my assignments done. I did, however, make a nice XML list of some of my favourite songs, and a nice XSL style sheet to parse it. Now, as I find songs that I like, I’ll add them to this list.

22.10.2003Wednesday 22 October

I got up before eight and drove Joe to Beenleigh, picked up Liz, his sister, went around a roundabout in the outer lane, was told to get in the inner lane, and was attempting to get in the inner lane when my lane ran out. Travelling in a circle at 60 or more kilometres an hour through a traffic island around a busy multi-lane roundabout during peak-hour with a rather large four-wheel-drive less than a foot from my window isn’t the right thing to do. I have decided not to do it again. I dropped Joe home, and drove Liz to the airport without hitting anyone. I then drove home, missed the exit, drove to Beenleigh again, turned around on the exact same roundabout, getting stuck in the idiotic ending lane again – minus the large four-wheel-drive and Joe telling me to suicidally get into the inner lane, and drove home. Roundabouts are dangerous. They have lanes that unexpectedly end and large vehicles that cut across from the inner lane. I blame it on my lack of sleep. Joe congratulated me on being fast and asked if I’d been through any speed traps.
INFS1200 Assignment, creating SQL queries in Microsoft Access – no more shall be said.
Late Night
Still Assignment, no more shall be said again.

23.10.2003Thursday 23 October

I slept in and missed my train. I’m now worried. I’m sleeping in too much. I don’t know why. I went to be relatively early last night, yet still slept in. I have now missed both my COMP2500 lectures this week. It is not good. I need rehabilitation and counselling.
Looking on the bright side of sleeping in, or at least the less dim side, it gives me time to do my COMP1800 web project – a 6-week project that I need to begin and complete before 5 PM tomorrow.
I have opened numerous web pages relating to the history of the Internet and Internet privacy, and I’m writing copious amounts of incoherent nonsense and paraphrasing large sections. Maybe, if I’m really lucky, it will look so long that no one will want to read it and they’ll just assume I must know what I’m talking about – at least they’ll know I haven’t plagiarised, no one else could write such a disjointed ramble.
I stayed up all night working on my web project. I must have been pretty stupid, because just before I left for uni a friend online pointed out several very obvious and dumb mistakes, and I realised that the file I’d already sent to uni several times wasn’t even what I needed.

24.10.2003Friday 24 October

I did not have a very good day. I do not feel very good. I am not very happy. My feet are cold. I am itchy. My eyes are sore. I did not go to bed last night. I did not fully complete either of my assignments. I did not pass go and I did not collect $200. Instead, I sat for an hour and a half through a cold drizzle with many, many angry rugby fans at Kuraby train station while emergency services scraped dead people from the tracks and dodged lightning.
After staying up all night working on my web assignment, which, because I stayed up all night working on it, is a bodged mess of incoherent rambling, I headed into uni in time for my midday COMP2500 tutorial. I remember thinking that my station was next, then noticing I was at uni – apparently staying up all night is not good for the brain. My COMP2500 tutorial was nice – I’ve missed the past two COMP2500 lectures due to sleeping in, so I had absolutely no idea what it was talking about, and, of course, it was my turn to present. Typically, for the first time, every other member of my group had also missed the last two lectures and had no idea what was going on either. Luckily, we’re all geniuses and managed to write enough blue circles for me to fake some very slight knowledge – and seeing as no one else seemed to know what they were doing either, it worked.
INFS1200 Assignment
After this, and finding the COMP2500 lecturer to collect my marked assignment two, I headed down to the labs to check that my webpage was working. I know it’s very hard to believe, but it seems to be working without any problems – I’m not quite sure why, I guess the problems are waiting until marking time. Three quarters of the people in the lab were attempting to do query ten from our INFS1200 assignment. So much for anti-collusion, everyone was asking everyone else if anyone knew of anyone who’d managed to complete it. Had one person worked it out, I believe all of GPS would have known the solution within a minute. Despite collaborating with around twenty-five people across two labs, attempting to bribe a tutor and trying to find the lecturer, we still couldn’t get it done and I had to leave my submission missing the final query.
After the 5 PM assignment submission passed, I went and saw Clint and collected my marked COMP2500 assignment that I’d left with him the other day, and headed into the city and the Govindas Restaurant. Once I left the roofed area it began to rain, of course – not stopping until I got to the train station roof. Needless to say, it began to rain again when I got to Central Station and again exited the covered area. My meal at Govindas was quite yummy, and in stark contrast to the rest of today, I don’t seem to have become violently ill – yet.
I briefly considered heading out to Indooroopilly and watching a movie, but decided I’d likely be killed getting on the train, crossing the road, or fall asleep in the cinema and wake up in the back of a garbage truck on my way to recycling. In fact, I actually thought I was clever getting on the special train running express from South Bank to Woodridge – it would be a faster way to get home. I didn’t realise there was yet another silly rugby match on somewhere, and when we got to Roma Street, a quarter of a million crazed black and white painted rugby fans got on and we all headed south in our happy, happy party train. Shortly after, while a storm raged around them, a disturbed individual took a flying leap from Loganlea station and met the Airport train running express and rather rapidly, or so they tell me. I imagine there was something of a splat and the driver probably needs counselling. Brisbane City should run public service advertisements for bridge jumps – a cleaner, more exhilarating means of proving life exists after death without annoying one uni student and a quarter of a million rugby fans who’d not only seen their team lose, but had difficulties on the train getting to the game, with many missing the start due to delays.
Because of the storm and lightning, emergency services had the power turned off before they’d go near the bones and body parts. Unfortunately turning the power off means all power from Kuraby to Beenleigh – and electric trains are rather powerless when they’re powerless. In typical Queensland Rail style, we were told to expect a ten to fifteen minute delay at Kuraby and half an hour later told to leave the train and stand on the windy, cold and roofless platform while it drizzled on us. Various people invented conflicting stories about buses and trains going in all sorts of directions and the crowd surged here and there trying to find them. Exactly why they refuse to tell everyone what’s going on, I don’t know. Eventually, after an hour or so, we were sent to another train and told it would continue in about five minutes, which it did half an hour later – but not until our original train had left without us. If I were a lawyer, or knew any sexy postgraduate law students, I should catch pneumonia and sue them to teach them a lesson. We were left standing on a platform in the rain, without being told what was going on, while a warm and dry train sat empty, and eventually transferred to another train, shortly before our original train left – without us. When I did eventually arrive at my station, there were nine or so empty buses lined up – presumably yet another example of Queensland Rail’s amazing malorganization skills.

25.10.2003Saturday 25 October – Intolerable Runaways Underground

I entrained for uni, and saw “The Weather Underground”. It’s an interesting, albeit somewhat boring, documentary on the American “Weather Underground” organisation, of which I know nothing so can’t really say anything more.
I then caught a bus to Toowong, and another bus from there to Indooroopilly, which seemed quicker than catching the direct bus from uni to Indooroopilly. I was forced to buy an unimaginatively named 6-inch from Subway for dinner, as not much else eatable was open. I then went and saw “Intolerable Cruelty”, which was quite busy and surprisingly better than I was expecting – I quite enjoyed it. I’d then hoped to sneak directly into a screening of “Runaway Jury”, due to start at the same time as “Intolerable Cruelty” finished, but I was foiled by Birch, Carol and Coyle’s diabolic cunning – it was screening in the other half of the cinema. I had to walk past the frozen coke selling candy bar to get there, which meant I not only had to buy another ticket too see it, but a frozen coke as well – the scheming capitalistic scum. Luckily, “Runaway Jury” restored my faith in the Western way of life with its portrayal of the ease at which a jury can be bought and the great justice this brings about. Once again, I was surprised to find this movie actually reasonably good and quite enjoyable. Perhaps I was just in a good movie-going mood, but I enjoyed both movies, which were both in nice big cinemas with lots of people, and I wasn’t even stuck at any silly train stations on the way home.

26.10.2003Sunday 26 October – The day of the deadly cheese

After a hard day sleeping, it began to storm so I had to turn my computer off and remove the phone line to stop stray electrons getting in. With my main reason for existence unplugged, I required action to remain alive, so braved what Joe direly informed me was a bad hail storm with severe lightning warnings and caught a train into uni where I met Clint and saw, for the second time, “The Weather Underground”. It is an apt title, considering the reason I was there and that the cinema is almost underground. After the documentary, we both bought five-cheeses pizzas – I forget its crazy Italian name. One of the cheeses turned out to be mouldy, and it was the first food I’d had all day, so hit my stomach rather strongly and I couldn’t finish the lot. After surviving the cheese, I caught a CityCat into South Bank and a train from there home – where I finished off three pieces of pizza Joe had left over, and discovered an alarming fact.
Alarming Fact
I have become aware that I am ruined, and unable to complete all my work in time. Next week, I have due on Thursday (I think) my 6 week VBA project – as yet unstarted, of course. I also have due on Friday another Java assignment – the last two of which have taken at least two days to get going, and one didn’t get going, not to mention that I’ve missed the two lectures which I’ll need to do it. I also have due my C/assembler project – which I don’t have any clue how to do because I don’t know C or assembler, and a prac exam on the same subject, which coincides with a doctor’s appointment so I shan’t be able to go, but it is compulsory. I also have a web review thing to do, which shouldn’t take too long, along with regular lectures to attend and probably something else that I’ve forgotten.
Comment by keight – Tuesday 28 October 2003, 9:52 PM
  the comp2500 java assignment is due on Sunday. you're saved.
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 29 October 2003, 2:39 AM
  Wow! That’s excellent! I now have a slight chance to get some stuff done. Thanks for letting me know ☺
Comment by keight – Wednesday 29 October 2003, 8:52 PM
  No problems. Just looking out for Neddy. We cant have you failing, now, can we?
Comment by Ned – Saturday 1 November 2003, 10:04 PM
  Thanks! I’m afraid I need more looking out for though, or I’m going to fail, or die trying :~(
Comment by keight – Sunday 2 November 2003, 2:17 AM
  What? You want the answer? :p

27.10.2003Monday 27 October – Losing the plot...

I attended university, as per usual. We had our last INFS1200 lectures today. I went down the labs and did my COMP1800 “Web Page Peer Assessment”, where I review and assess three other student’s web site projects. I then watched some more lectures and went home.
I began my COMP2302 project. I am “required to modify a program in order to implement additional features. The program is a terminal IO based version of Tetris – i.e. the AVR device (Atmel AVR AT90S8515 – small 8-bit microcontroller) runs the program and provides its graphical user interface via the connected terminal (terminal emulator on the PC) and receives input (keypresses) from the terminal.” If I knew C, it would definitely help. In fact, if I had any idea what I was doing or how to do it, it would help.
I spent several hours going around in circles. Our lecturer has written an AVR simulator in TCL, which while impressive, is too slow to be of much use. The only way I have to code is by trial and error, I don’t know what I’m doing well enough to do it any other way, and the error part is taking half an hour for each error to work through it in the simulator and find out what’s going on. Half the time I don’t know if my code is at error or if the simulator is too slow and has missed my keystroke or something.
This is terrible. I need to pass this project or I fail the entire course, but I have no chance of doing that now. It’s 5 AM and I’ve managed to achieve a grand total of absolutely totally nothing all night. I feel terrible. I am quite sure it took everyone else about five minutes. I feel moronic and useless. The stress isn’t worth it – I’ll die.
I give up. I am going to fail; there is nothing I can do about it. I’m considering all my options – ranging from quitting uni to razing uni to the ground and everything in-between. I feel simply terrible, and depressed, stressed and sleepy. Now that I’ve failed this, I have another project, assignment and a prac exam to fail this week – assuming I don’t die first, which at my current stress levels, is quite likely. This has, I think, been the worst night at uni so far – or at least this semester.

28.10.2003Tuesday 28 October – Cryosurgery Avoided

Train to uni. I felt aware, awake and as though the rest of the world was moving slowly – it is rather cool when everyone seems to be moving jerkily like in an old movie or through a strobe light, but I’ve a feeling it’s not good to see the world this way.
I sat through my COMP2302 lecture admiring the roof, floor, dust particles, and various repeating patterns. My legs ached so much, and after three quarters of an hour, I could only just sit. It was not pleasant.
I sat for an hour at the Turbot Street Hospital of Dentistry admiring the wall and the passing nurses.
I met many student dentists or oral surgeons or whatever they are, and was told that I’ll probably need more scary sounding cryosurgery, but that it should be ok until next year when they start up again – my lip is unlikely to swell up, explode and drown me or anything exciting like that.
I slept.
I drove Joe down to the shops, and began trying to sort out my horrible mess of a project from last night. I scrapped the lot and started again.
I am very tired and achy. I’ve just finished dinner – pasta, and I need to go to bed. I’ve also just seen a comment someone left on Sunday’s journal entry – my Java assignment is now due Sunday, so I have a chance to complete it.
Bugger uni, I am going to sleep.

29.10.2003Wednesday 29 October – More Assignment Woe

I arose from slumber to face the seemingly endless onslaught of assignment-caused stress, and spent the rest of the evening doing so.
I alternated between messing with my COMP2302 AVR nightmare and becoming suicidal with Access and my COMP1800 mess – not my idea of a pleasant night.
I’ve finished as much as I’m capable of doing with my horrible COMP1800 Access/VBA project. Access is horrible, really, really horrible. I am either doing several things wrong (highly doubtful) or Access is just crazy. I can have something that works in one form but not another – despite it being an identical copy and paste. Maybe, if things go unrealistically well, I can see a tutor during marking tomorrow and get it sorted out before it’s marked.

30.10.2003Thursday 30 October – VBA Marked Off

I went and saw Kieran, and my VBA project worked fine in his Access, despite it not working in mine several thousand times last night. I’d have liked to have throttled or otherwise violently injured someone who worked on the Access development team, but I’m not into violence so I had to quietly head down the labs and show the tutor instead. The tutor ended up being our lecturer, and she didn’t know much about Access or VBA, so she had a quick look at my assignment and told me it looked excellent, ticked all the boxes, gave me my excellence mark, and proceeded to make everyone else demonstrate theirs. While I appreciate the special treatment, due in part, I think, to my having tutored, it was almost annoying having put in all that effort and not even having to have demonstrated any of it. Still, it’s marked off now, and I got good marks, so that’s all that matters.
I went and talked to the different parties trying to be voted into the UQUnion. They struck me as all so petty, small and funny – but I guess it’s only university union elections, there’s not really any large issues at stake and they’re almost still kids (with the mentality of preschoolers in a lot of cases). I voted for Mojo – as they’re the only non-left, non-moronic party there, and because all the other parties hate them, so they must be onto something good.
I worked on my AVR assignment all night.

31.10.2003Friday 31 November – COMP2302 Prac Exam and AVR Assignment

Having not slept last night, and having spent most of the night trying to get my AVR assignment to work, I headed into uni in a somewhat fragile state of mind, or perhaps more accurately, out of mind.
I managed to get some time in the lab to test if my creation actually worked on the real AVR microcontroller, but it wasn’t easy. I had to wander around for a full hour, spying on other people’s efforts and helping a few friends who were having trouble. I’m surprised how much I’ve learnt – going from not knowing a word of C to being able to help others in only two nights. Fortunately for me, the tutor let a few of us keep on for half an hour after closing time, so I got to check my project, after waiting a long time until the poxy network would let me download it. Unbelievably, with the exception of one major problem, it all worked as intended – amazing really, and just goes to show what’s possible when I don’t leave things until the last night, but start them the night before!
I submitted my assignment, having fought slow lab machines, which crashed every time I tried to compile it. It’s great fun hitting compile, rebooting machine, wondering why it boots up running two instances of apache (both of which refuse to die), looking at clock, hitting compile, force quitting compiler, re-trying, watching more time pass... but I got it done and submitted 5 minutes before it’s due.
I went to my COMP2302 prac exam. It took me about 30 seconds to complete the required code changes, another 10 or so to compile, and within a minute, I had it downloaded onto the AVR – but it didn’t work. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out that my changes to the code weren’t being saved, despite the editor showing them as saved. It then took another 5 minutes of messing around to try and figure out why, after which time I got worried I’d run out of time and there were only about 3 minutes left, so I complained to the tutor and completed it in notepad, which has the capability to save files, and left. Apparently, a few others had experienced the same problem – just typical for today.
Innovation Expo
I printed out my piece of paper and ticked the features I’d implemented in my AVR project, forgetting to mention the HyperTerminal background colour problem, and went with Clint to see the UQ Innovation Expo, where I managed to find two different flavoured lollies, along with some soccer playing robots, nice Bose speakers and a good-looking stall attendant. I left Clint at the red room where he had a BITS meeting, and headed into the city – very tired, where I wasted some time and went to Govindas for dinner.
I’m amazed I made it home. I vaguely remember getting on the train, settling down to sleep, and waking up at various points in a panic to see if I’d missed my station – and then it being before 7 o’clock when I got home despite it feeling like 3 AM, so I went to sleep and didn’t wake until after 11 tomorrow.
Comment by bob – Tuesday 4 November 2003, 11:15 PM
  you forgot to mention the fact that you got 0wned on the way out of central station... my kung fu > your kung fu

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