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Year View| Summary| Highlights| November 2004 (Month View)

01.11.2004Monday 1 November – Marking

I was at uni by midday, down in the labs with Soon, Mandy and Julie, discussing marking COMP1501. This I proceeded to do for most of the evening, as well as trying to find if there’s anything available for tutoring next semester, which as far as I can tell, there isn’t. All the lecturer’s teaching courses I’d be able to tutor already have their tutors picked out. I also took my new hard drive into uni again and Clint copied some (copyright free, obviously) music and I finished getting the one thousand greatest rock songs of all time, which I may even listen to at some stage. I currently have 21,983 songs in my play list, but that would include quite a large amount of duplicates, which I may try to sort out over the summer break.
I had subway for lunch, with Clint and Clus, who also turned up in the evening for a rush into the city for Cold Rock but we missed the bus so had to settle for doughnuts from Seven Eleven instead. Once home, I had intended to go almost straight to bed, but Joe was watching the end of what seemed to be a good war movie, and it’s always interesting watching them with him as he adds little observations from his own experience.

02.11.2004Tuesday 2 November – Not Studying & Not Sleeping

I was supposed to study, but I did very little. I did manage to make a study plan though – a pretty coloured Excel spreadsheet detailing just what I won’t do and just when I won’t do it. I also managed to stay up nearly all night.
I half-heartedly applied for a job that was posted in the ITEE jobs newsgroup. It’s twenty hours a week, from four o’clock through to nine o’clock, setting up AV equipment and so on, so I’m not really sure if I can take it. I’d miss all the movies, and it’d put more pressure on my study schedule – which will apparently be harder than this semester, although it would probably be doable. Still, I figure if I’m actually got offered the job, I could always decline. What probably wasn’t the wisest idea was staying up all night preparing a CV – my first. I’m not really sure what it’s supposed to include, but it’s all done and sent now.

03.11.2004Wednesday 3 November – Marking & No Study

I was up shortly after seven and at uni by nine o’clock – not an easy task when I’d gone to bed a mere two hours before. Hardly surprisingly, I felt tired – but two iced coffees later, I could do more than just contemplate the screen. I then spent most of the day finishing off COMP1501 marking with Mandy, including an argument with Dommie the Narc over his assignment and the precise meaning of “lab environment”.
  After marking was completed Clint, Maz and I went down to the Ville where I cleverly purchased, and subsequently ate, myself a felafel roll. Maz and I then managed not to do any study and get really sleepy for a while, before we headed into the city with Clint and Clus to get Cold Rock, meeting someone at Myers and discussing IRC, the FOK Rhett Kipps campaign and various other amusingly geeky things. I also bought fifty blank Verbatim CDs, which will hopefully be more successful in non-CDR tolerant CD players than my last CDs.
Comment by Maz – Thursday 4 November 2004, 3:49 AM
  I prefer "Maz".... " completed Clint, Marcus and "
  Ice cream is a tool of the devil.
  It's 4am. ahahahahahaha. At least you went to bed earlier.
  I'll see you at uni. hopefully not too late. Is tomorrow a 2502 day?

04.11.2004Thursday 4 November – Studying

My computer froze after attempting to open a file with QuickTime Movie Player – an inherently evil application on Windows.
I’d meant to be at uni as early as possible, but didn’t end up there until after midday; although I did manage to do some study – making for a rather unexciting day.

05.11.2004Friday 5 November – The Forgotten

I was at uni by nine o’clock, and spent the morning and early afternoon remarking some COMP1501 assignments and studying for COMP3502. I met Maz in the evening and we tried to study COMS3200 but it wasn’t happening so we went to Indooroopilly and saw “The Forgotten” instead. This has used up any leeway I may have (but probably didn’t) had, and now I have to study non-stop if I’m to get any sort of reasonable marks for my courses. The movie was reasonably good, and got suddenly quite good after the first “boom”, but the ending was a big letdown. It seems the ending is the hardest part to write. I’m giving it five ninths of A Man’s Gotta do, or five sixths of a Shaun of the Dead – which sums up the movie pretty well.
Loreena McKennitt’s “All Souls Night” from her “The Visit” album is brilliantly beautiful – and on that note, I go to bed.

06.11.2004Saturday 6 November – Thunder, Lightning & No Milk

I headed into uni to study. Exams are fast approaching and I am unprepared, as usual. Due to sleeping in all morning and then there being a big thunderstorm, I couldn’t get to uni until the evening, which means I’m going to stay all night and study.
Maz came in and we began our famous all night study, including a few parts where we actually studied between walking to the river, checking out construction sites, falling in holes, looking at ducks, finding an unbroken vending machine that had iced coffee, and all the other things one does when studying.

07.11.2004Sunday 7 November – Hero

A few hints I’ve come up with after my all-nighter:
  Chocolate flavoured soymilk isn’t as good as it may sound. It makes you very sick.
  Do not ever drink 2 litres of apple juice in one sitting, even if you have given up Coke after nearly dying last all-nighter and don’t ever try walking after drinking that much apple juice.
  The nearest non-broken vending machine that sells milk is at General Purpose North, which is sort of the opposite direction from General Purpose South, and involves walking through rain.
  Jellybeans are far better than Green Aero Chocolate, despite their appearance.
  There is a disgusting water-filled hole near the main refectory that you will fall into if you are looking at the flag hanging on the big fancy building in the great court instead of watching where you’re going.
  One in twelve flavoured milks will burst when bought from a vending machine. Opening the lid on this burst milk will cause the leak to worsen rapidly and is not a good idea when the leak is facing towards yourself.
  Never rely on people who say they will get pizza with you – they’ll end up going to Maccas without you and you will be hungry all night.
  Throwing confetti into fans is funnier in theory than practice, and may result in being threatened with scissors.
  Cold Rock doesn’t open early enough in the city and the Queen Street Mall wireless network will fail if you rely on it to be online at 8 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday, as one does.
  Staying up all night to study only sounds like a good idea the day before, – but it makes a nice change from sleeping peacefully, cosy in bed, listening to the rain.
I got very sleepy. I walked to the Ville. It rained all over the place, but particularly under my umbrella. I got wet. I bought a foot-long from Subway, half of which is still in its bag sitting on my floor. I then froze in the air-conditioned labs in wet clothes and completed my COMP3502 amazingly brief summary and table of contents, before heading off to Indooroopilly with Raymond to watch “Hero”, which was quite different.
The cinema was quite busy, and “Hero” was shown on one of their bigger screens so all was good from that perspective. The movie itself is quite different to what most would expect from a modern Jet Li movie, being subtitled Chinese, and aimed at being artistic and stylistic, rather than realistic. It was quite an interesting movie, but so different to most Western movies that I’m not sure what to think – yet I enjoyed it so I guess that is all that matters. I’m giving it one and one fifth of “The Forgotten”, which works out as precisely three quarters of a true lie.
Apparently, there was a big storm here while I was at uni. The water has come inside where it shouldn’t be, and is lounging around on the carpet. It is refusing to go back outside, and is becoming something of a problem.

08.11.2004Monday 8 November – Study & Sleep

As usual, I’d planned to be at uni much earlier than I was. In retrospect, seven hours sleep was probably an unrealistic goal after getting none the night before, so I just slept through my alarm, waking up hours later, and getting to uni late in the afternoon. Admittedly, I did stop at Govinda’s on the way there.
I managed to write an index of all the COMP3502 tutorials for its impending exam, and complete the second part of last year’s exam and post my answers to the newsgroup for comment.
Something a little unusual happened on the way home. I was snoozing on the train, as usual. The lights went out. There’s nothing unusual about that – they can’t run all the trains in Brisbane on one circuit, so the lights regularly go out when they’re changing across from one circuit to another. The unusual part is what I thought. In my mind, all of a sudden everything went black and I thought “oh no, I hadn’t saved” – exactly the same feeling I get when I’m halfway through doing something and my computer crashes or the power fails. I think the moral is clear – I’m not spending enough time around computers. In fact, I must be spending so little time around them that my mind has to play computer games with itself – so I shall make an effort to spend more time at a computer in future.
Comment by Reubot – Tuesday 9 November 2004, 10:04 AM
  Man, thats whacked!
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 9 November 2004, 10:50 AM
  Don’t worry – I’m sitting in front of a computer, deep underground, at the moment, so this should cure it.

09.11.2004Tuesday 9 November – Study

I studied hard at uni. Well, I didn’t really study anything, I just indexed all the keywords and concepts I could find, but in doing so did actually do a lot of study. As it ends up, the majority of what I indexed wasn’t actually used in the exam, but I managed to find almost everything asked in the exam, either in the lecture notes or in marked tutorials, within seconds using my index – so it really helped and I’ll be using this same technique for my other open book exams.
Comment by tracy – Friday 12 November 2004, 10:47 PM
  toads sounds remarkably like ducks
Comment by Ned – Saturday 13 November 2004, 1:17 AM
  Except lower.

10.11.2004Wednesday 10 November – Information Security Exam

Today saw me heading into uni by nine o’clock, doing some last minute studying, printing a few files, running up to POD when all the printers in GPS ran out of paper, and attending my COMP3502 exam.
The exam was three hours long and open book, meaning we could take in any written material. The exam had sixteen questions, all of which had subparts. My answers ended up being twenty-five pages long. I ran out of time (but it was entirely my own fault for spending too much time on other questions while avoiding those that I didn’t know the answers for). My comprehensive indexing helped heaps – by the end of the ten-minute perusal period I had located the relevant sections in the tutorial answers, lecture slides or my notes for questions one through ten. I don’t know if we can get bonus marks for spending too much time and effort on small questions – but I’d like to hope we can. I even cited sources for one, using the correct IEEE citation style. Unfortunately, this also meant that I had more difficulty with the questions after ten, skipping some, nearly forgetting one, running out of answer booklet, having my arm die, and getting entirely sick of the whole thing around the 2-hour mark, at which point I discovered the interesting deco above the doors. After pondering the wisdom of drinking my bottle of coke first and having only water left, attempting to locate friendly faces without looking suspicious, and checking that my pencil still had lead as I’d snapped it roughly two hundred times, I finished off the remaining skipped questions. There were a few I wasn’t confident about, one stupid statistical one I couldn’t be bothered working out so approximated a roughly correct answer (John said later that I’d get an approximately correct mark for it), and one question about something I hadn’t heard of before but apparently guessed correctly. While I did run out of time, I believe the difficulty of the exam was almost spot-on. It seemed to me that anyone with a basic level of understanding would have no trouble passing it, but to excel and get high marks would require in-depth knowledge – which is exactly how exams should be.
  Overall, I think COMP3502 may be the best course I’ve done so far. I would like to see a follow-on course (which was proposed at one stage), as this was very much an introduction to a varied, highly relevant and growing field (not something you can say about most of the other IT courses UQ offers). I posted a request for interest in a follow up course some time ago, but didn’t take it further due to an apparent lack of interest. Perhaps if there’s enough interest, I’ll be able to petition the head of school next semester.
Clint, Maz and I wandered around the city for a while; where I did the unusual and bought a Cold Rock Super Shake before dozing my way home. I almost missed my station, jumping up at the last moment – the third time in a row I’ve done this, having never done it before.
It appears to have become somehow later than I had wished. This is, I believe, a side-effect of the diminishing power of the Catholic Church, and the subsequent heretical belief that the earth is not only round, but no longer at the centre of the universe – something which is, to the best of my knowledge, still unproven.

11.11.2004Thursday 11 November – Taxi

Sleep, for it is that which makes men able.
Uni, for it is that which makes men IT professionals.
After a full day studying, Maz and I went to Indooroopilly and saw “Taxi”, with Raymond. Clint and Clus had originally said they’d come, but rudely left with Sméagol, without warning, and didn’t come. The movie didn’t finish until nearly half past eleven, by which time there were no buses back to uni, so Raymond walked back to Maz’s with Maz and I, and from there headed back to uni, getting a lift with Flash. The movie was good, just what I felt like watching at the time. I couldn’t have handled anything with too much of a plot, or any class – a classless and semi-mindless action movie with fast cars, an unrealistic plot, and very little else, hit the spot nicely. I’m giving the movie three quarters of a Hero, which is exactly half of what a Man’s Gotta Do.
Comment by kathryn – Wednesday 17 November 2004, 2:59 PM
  i saw taxi, with a bunch of people (of the two legged kind) and they all really liked it, but basically i went because i drove them and it's not safe to leave boyfrind, bestfriend and little sister alone without supervision. I found the movie very taxing on my sensitive blood and viloence scale, i can't take it when movie props that are supposed to look like arms covered in red sauce come flying at me. I haven't been in a war zone or in a traumatic event that explains this disliking, but i still don't get it how it's entertaining.
  ps i'm not one of those people that faints at the sight of blood or can't dissect a rat.
Comment by Kathryn – Wednesday 17 November 2004, 3:01 PM
  oh by the way tom crusie and washington where very good in taxi, and i hope i never come across a dead guy on a train.
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 17 November 2004, 10:33 PM
  Aww, poor rats.

12.11.2004Friday 12 November – Wherein Ned’s Brain Dies

Today Ned’s brain died. He cannot think. He cannot remember. He cannot speak coherently. He’s finally realised, as he did last exam period, that study is not a good way to learn anything. In fact, he’s going as far as to say that study is not a good way to do anything. He says the only good thing about study is that after a while, he doesn’t care anymore, and sees everything as so funny.

13.11.2004Saturday 13 November – Study, Sleep & Very Little Else

Going to bed a bit earlier may not have been the world’s worst idea, but it’s harder to change the past than it’s worth, so two o’clock it is.
I headed into uni, and stayed the night at Maz’s, having spent all day at uni studying COMP2502 and a bit of COMS3200 with Maz.

14.11.2004Sunday 14 November – Study & Woe

Apparently Maz woke me up, but I didn’t feel like getting up, so we didn’t end up getting to uni until after ten o’clock. I spent all day in the labs studying, mostly COMS3200. I’m not very confident about COMP2502, but because it’s multi-choice, I’m planning to employ an “educated best guess” technique, where I’ll have something of a clue what they’re talking about sometimes... hopefully. COMS3200, on the other hand, appears to be quite difficult and is open-book, so I’m devoting a lot of time to it. Logically, I should have spent a lot more time on COMP2502, as I should have been able to achieve a good overall result in that course a lot easier than in COMS3200 – but logic isn’t a strong point during exam period.
  I had to put up with a gaggle of depraved Union sluts on the bus into the city on the way home, but the train journey was uneventful. I attempted to read a little of my COMP2502 text, but snoozed instead.
Comment by Maz – Monday 15 November 2004, 11:30 AM
  COMP2502 was bad. very bad. fail doom and woe. I just made a bet with someone so I wont come out empty handed. I'll get $3 and a lollipop. I blame you. If you woke up an hour earlier I may have learnt something!
Comment by sef – Tuesday 16 November 2004, 1:33 AM
  Who the f$#% are Union?
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 16 November 2004, 2:33 AM
  Union College.
Comment by Mum – Tuesday 16 November 2004, 8:44 PM
  Slut is an awful word and ought not to be repeated. Makes me ashamed to even type it. It has a muddy gutter sound to it and ought not to be applied to the female race even if you think so. These females will eventually be mothers, aunts, and other nice things not at all to do with muddy gutters. Get a more long range perspective. And a little respect. Yeah Ma.
Comment by Reubot – Tuesday 16 November 2004, 9:46 PM
  I thought you meant our student overlords, UQUnion.
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 17 November 2004, 12:21 AM
  I attempt to use the most suitable word for the situation, and here, that is “slut”.
Comment by tracy – Wednesday 17 November 2004, 1:14 AM
  thats so cute

15.11.2004Monday 15 November – Algorithms and Data Structures Exam

I got up early to get to uni before my exam and do some panic study, which basically comprised of reading through the two-page summary Maz had made. I then completed the thirty-two multi-choice questions to the best of my abilities, picking the ones that I thought were most correct, and so on and so forth. The exam wasn’t too bad, with a lot less ambiguity than I was expecting after reading the sample exams. I’m reasonably confident I passed, but above that, I cannot say. I always seem to think I’ve gone well on multi-choice exams, but then get dismal results.
I attempted to study for my COMS3200 exam tomorrow, getting a bit of study done. I’m using the same method I used for COMP3502 – I’m going through the lecture slides and writing down a comprehensive index of all the keywords I find, in the hope that I can search for them fast enough during the exam to get away with not actually knowing anything.
I was about to go home when Bronwen turned up, and Tom shortly after, so I stayed and studied COMS3200 with them, although I think we did more laughing than studying. Tom gave me a lift into the city and I caught the train home. There was an interesting scene on the train – the two seats in front of me, one on either side of the aisle, both had young couples in them. On one side there were two young, very love-stricken youth – possibly still school aged, and on the other side there were two slightly older semi-punk, semi-gothic people, apparently just as in love. The contrast was remarkable, two groups of people, probably quite similar and in similar situations, yet so different.

16.11.2004Tuesday 16 November – Computer Networks 1 Exam

I was at uni by nine o’clock, and I studied, sort of hard, right up until my exam. I also got less than five hours sleep, which probably wasn’t the best thing to do. There ended up being a few of us, Kieran, Maz, Bronwen and Tom, who I all gave my index to, and who helped me work through the past exam, which was quite helpful as I didn’t have much of a clue. I was told that I like pretending to be “conventionally dense” – I’m not quite sure if that’s an insult or not, particularly as I wasn’t pretending.
The COMS3200 exam was held in the UQ Centre, and I was in seat 518, which was a purple card. We’d rushed up to POD to print some stuff just minutes before the exam, which meant we had to rush to the exam, which meant we had very little time to buy drinks, which meant that Tom bought his and mine, which meant that he grabbed the first lemonade looking drink, which meant that we both ended up with soda water. Surprisingly, despite tasting like soda water, soda water actually quenches the thirst quite well.
  I was quite worried about this exam, as everyone has been saying how hard it is, and the course itself covers quite a lot of material, but in the end, it was just another exam. In fact, I found myself actually enjoying it – which is something I haven’t had happen before and is a bit worrying. I turned up just late, did the easy half, spent ten minutes looking around trying to find people (which is remarkably hard to do, I couldn’t see Maz or Kieran anywhere and figured they’d left early, but they hadn’t) and looking at the roof thinking how high the projectors were, should I ever have to fix them, and then did the hard half. I’m pretty sure I’ve passed, but I’m not confident I’ll get a good mark. I hadn’t a clue about anything, and just looked it all up – once again, my indexing saved me.
I’d planned to ask Bronwen if she wanted to catch a movie or something after the exam, but just moments before we left POD for the exam, she went off to do her exam elsewhere – I’m not sure why. After the exam, I had some food with Tom and a friend of his, and he attempted to ring Bronwen a few times but her phone was off. I ended up back down the labs quite depressed. For some reason, finishing an exam makes me depressed. You’d think it should be the other way around, but it’s not. I think it’s the whole passing of time and change and stuff associated with finishing something and moving on. Bronwen turned up down in the labs while I was there, and we talked for a while, giving me an opportunity to ask if she wanted to see a movie, which she, in the typical feminine way, didn’t say yes or no to. She did, however, turn up again shortly after, which managed to dispel my depression.

17.11.2004Wednesday 17 November – Paparazzi

I got a full seven hours sleep for a change, and didn’t head into uni until the afternoon, at which time I attended a COMP2801 consultation and picked up our marked final assignment for that subject. We’ve achieved terrible marks, bad enough that I’ve managed to write over a page of the things I disagree with, and sent that off to the lecturer, so I’ll have to await his response. I’d then planned to study for the COMP2801 exam, which, worryingly, only has two questions, but I only ended up printing out a list of books that might be suitable, and then went to the movies with Clus. Unfortunately, I haven’t bought the prescribed text, which isn’t good when we’ve an open book exam. But anyway, the movie we saw was “Paparazzi”, and it’s not too bad – a similar level to Taxi, The Manchurian Candidate, The Football Factory, and Collateral.
Comment by Ricey – Thursday 18 November 2004, 5:32 PM
  Edited: Poster is stupid
  Rough Translation: Dear Ned, You are what one may call someone who is forced to work with computers, possibly against their will.
Comment by Ricey – Thursday 18 November 2004, 5:33 PM
  Edited: Offensive
  Rough Translation: Please do not use your IT skills to do things to my computer that will harm my computer.
Comment by Reubot – Thursday 18 November 2004, 10:39 PM
  Nice translations.

18.11.2004Thursday 18 November – Books

Uni, where I found library books a-many, then to the labs to deduce what I could – also the Ville for food.

19.11.2004Friday 19 November – Panic Not-Studying

I headed into uni shortly after midday, where I should have studied COMP2801 much harder than I did. I then stressed all night, meaning I didn’t get to bed until around three o’clock. I should not be stressed about this, but I am. I also didn’t eat anything all day and didn’t go to bed until four o’clock last night, so perhaps I’ve just burnt out.

20.11.2004Saturday 20 November – Software Engineering Studio Exam

For some reason I wasn’t overly stressed about my three previous exams, but this one I am – even though I was expecting this to be the easiest of the three. I’m ok today, but last night I was all stressed. I think it might be because I don’t know how to study for this. It was easy to study for the other exams – for the two open book ones I simply read the appropriate notes and made an index of any keywords I found, and for the closed book one multi-choice one I worked through a past exam and looked up the things I didn’t know. At least, they were easy to study for in theory – in practice I did very little study for any, relying on my indexes to allow me to look up things fast enough during the exam, and the fact that multi-choice is inherently easier (although a terrible way to test anything). This exam, however, is different. It has only two questions, and they’re both on UML and software patterns – things which are subjective and can really only be learnt through practice and experience, things which are somewhat difficult to obtain on the day of the exam. I spent most of the morning reading semi-random paragraphs from the prescribed text, which I had temporarily stolen from the high-use section in the library just after arriving at uni. Then, with only a few hours until the exam, I realised I was wasting my time, realised the only way I know how to study is by making an index, so made an index of what pages in that text and my other software patterns book referred to which patterns. I then read the chapters on sequence diagrams and class diagrams from my UML book, and, suitably unprepared, made my way to the exam.
The exam was held in the UQ Centre, and I had no problems with the exam, finishing early despite having to read entire chapters out of my two Software Patterns books on Observer patterns (not that I actually understood anything from reading them). My only complaint with the exam would be that I may not have gone particularly well on the exam due to the subjective nature of UML and the small amount of highly weighted questions, and could even have failed. Then again, considering that my entire study consisted of skimming a paragraph on each pattern on a book I got from the library, indexing the patterns from the prescribed (and inferior, in my opinion) text which I also got from the library, and photocopying some sample UML diagrams, I probably can’t complain. The UML in the exam is also the first UML I’ve ever drawn, so I guess slackness is the word of the day. I’m a little worried because my UML and sequence diagrams took were very basic and took very little time to draw but everyone else I know ran out of time. I hope I haven’t missed some major concept. I guess only time will tell.
Maz and I went back to St Leos college where we c-blocked for a while, before heading to the Royal Exchange with Clint, Clus and Dommie the Narc. Yobbo pubs aren’t what I’d call “my scene”, but I stayed for a while and had a good time. It seems my reputation has preceded me – four blokes sitting on the balcony above the door, none of whom I knew, called out my name as I walked in from checking what time the last train was – which is a bit disconcerting but also slightly cool.
  The train journey home was a bit more interesting than usual, due to the track work being carried out. There was a lot of pretty cool machinery parked at Roma St Station for me to look at, and then they ran me half the way home in a long articulated bus – sitting on the turntable of which beats sitting in a boring train the same as every other night.

21.11.2004Sunday 21 November – Without a Paddle

I set my alarm for half past eight, and woke up at a quarter to twelve. I rushed into uni, which is rather hard to do when the trains only run half the way to the city due to track work, and I had to take an articulated bus into the city – which probably ended up quicker than the non-express train anyway. From there I caught a bus to uni, after the obligatory Cold Rock Super Shake, and saw off Clint and Clus. Marcus was also there, so I got a lift back to his place where I stayed for a little while, before heading into the city, and then back to Indooroopilly where I saw “Without a Paddle”, which was quite stupid but comedic in spots. I give it three quarters of a Paparazzi, which works out to the rather obtuse twenty-seven sixty fourths of a True Lie, and led to an in-depth discussion with Maz about which is better for general Math – fractions or decimals. The answer is obviously fractions for everything, but Maz doesn’t agree.
  I ran into Sam (and Jess) at the station on the way home. We had a short but suitably geeky discussion about the diagnosis of the health of very hot objects shortly before they blow up, the technical effects of blue lights on computers (and the fact that red goes faster and to Beenleigh, while blue goes to Shorncliffe), and her lack of further edumucation due to having now gradumutated.

22.11.2004Monday 22 November – Doctor’s & Veer-Zaara

I had breakfast from an Indian curry takeaway place at Brunswick St Station on my way to Prince Charles Hospital.
I attended Prince Charles Hospital, where I undertook a stress test on an exercise bike. I pedalled for thirteen minutes, with the bike getting progressively harder to pedal each minute. As far as I can tell, the results were normal, although I’ll know better on Thursday when I see the doctor.
I had lunch at Govindas and then headed out to uni for a while where I had a look at Dommie’s new computer, which is not working at all. It appears to be failing its POST, but it doesn’t have a BIOS speaker so I can’t really tell what’s going on.
I went and saw the Hindi film Veer-Zaara at the Regent. It was pure propaganda – enough to make me proud to be Indian, something I don’t see any Australian movies doing. It was also a spectacular film, at least three True Lies worth. At around three and a quarter hours long, and with a ten-minute intermission, it also felt like good value for money. I don’t think any Western scriptwriter has written anything that can compare since Shakespeare stopped writing, yet Indian’s seem to manage it all the time. I don’t know why Western romance movies, and Hollywood movies in particular, are usually so trivial and baseless – it’s a bit worrying as I suspect it’s an indication of the audience. Virtually no one was at this movie (which isn’t that surprising given that it’s in Hindi, I guess) despite it being far better than anything Hollywood has produced this year – or probably in the past decade.
Comment by DM – Tuesday 23 November 2004, 5:58 PM
  UML exams pale in terms of subjectiveness next to your movie reviews, I'd say.
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 24 November 2004, 6:34 PM

23.11.2004Tuesday 23 November – Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

I had a relaxing morning, followed by a relaxing evening during which I saw “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” with Amanda, which ranks a surprisingly high one twelfth of a Veer Zaara, although that only works out at one quarter of a True Lie. I was expecting the movie to be quite bad, and wouldn’t normally have watched it, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.
I ended up spending an unplanned night at Amanda’s.

24.11.2004Wednesday 24 November – When the Last Sword is Drawn

“When the Last Sword is Drawn”, showing at Southbank Cinemas as part of the Japanese Film Festival, garnered two and a half Bridget Jones, which, once the math is done, works out as five eights of a True Lie. I have to admit though, that I didn’t pay as much attention to the movie as I probably should have. On the way out, a girl that I don’t know wanted to know if I was I, which is kind of cool in an infamous sort of way.
Amanda drove me to the train station, where she and I caught the train to the city, her getting off at Bowen Hills to get the train to the airport, and me continuing on home. I phoned Bronwen to ask if she wanted to come see “When the Last Sword is Drawn”. She was at work, but said she’d come. I then spent the rest of the day online, catching a train into the city a bit early after phoning the cinema and having them tell me it would probably be booked out. This ended up being wise, as we met two people after, who were unable to purchase tickets. I met Bronwen at South Bank Cinemas, and we took our seats in the second row. It was quite full, and she is quite beautiful – meaning I didn’t pay as much attention to the movie as I perhaps should have, instead cuddling Bronwen.

25.11.2004Thursday 25 November – Doctors & National Treasure

I headed out to Prince Charles Hospital for my doctor’s appointment, getting Subway on the way for breakfast, and then into uni to pick up my mail via Govinda’s for lunch, then to Centrelink at Toowong, and then to Indooroopilly to see a movie. While at uni, I got my tutoring evaluations back. I was very pleased to note that there were no bad comments about me, or my tutoring – only good ones.
Centrelink & Doctors
The doctor said there’s nothing overly abnormal about my stress test results. Apparently, it was my heart that prevented me from going further, so they’ve scheduled a heart scan for next year just to cover all the bases, although it’s typical of someone like me who hasn’t done any exercise in the past two years.
  I went to Centrelink at Toowong. I handed in my rent assistance form, got them to take me off casual employment so I don’t have to fill in earnings each fortnight (saying I finished last Friday), picked up a travel assistance claim form, and told them I’d be going home so redirect my mail.
I knew “National Treasure” would be a crappy movie, but it was fun to watch (which is half the point of the movies I guess), and the only thing that was showing at the time. I rate it three fifths of When the Last Sword was Drawn, that being half of a Shaun of the Dead and three eights of a True Lie.

26.11.2004Friday 26 November – Bronwen & Uni Results

I headed into uni to pick up some stuff from Soon, and get my remarked COMP2801 assignment, but the lecturer wasn’t there for that so I went home, only to head back to Toowong later to meet Tom via uni to pick up my COMP2801 assignment now that the lecturer was there. He’s given us an extra two marks for it, which isn’t much but is probably all I can justify getting. If there’s anything that I’ve learnt from COMP2801, it’s how to manage groups – which is something that could be very handy considering I have to do a yearlong group project with a randomly chosen group next year. I’ve learnt that, at least in a uni context, the group can never be trusted with my marks. Next year I plan to insist on regular demonstrable progress checks. Anyone falling behind will be expected to have a very good reason and convincing argument on how it won’t affect the group overall, or explain to the coordinator why he is letting down the rest of the group, and the coordinator can do something about it – because I’ll be buggered if I’m going to put in the effort for good marks only to suffer due to someone else’s work, or lack thereof. I wouldn’t be surprised if this will make my group dislike me, but I can handle that and, if what other people have told me about the course is true, it’ll probably be reciprocal anyway.
I found Tom in a gaming and internet parlour in Toowong receiving his tutoring, and we went and had dinner at a café nearby, before heading out to Bronwen’s place. We arrived early so went on a short wander around the neighbourhood and marvelled at the price of some very expensive antiques. The night was pleasant, Bronwen was lovely, and the wine was red. It’s nice to have some intelligent conversation in a nice setting – something I miss from home. Tom then drove me home while telling me horror stories about the area involving sawn-off rifles and so forth – something I may remember next time I’m dozing on the train.
Uni Results
University marks have been released. I am not at all happy. I have got a four (Pass) for COMP2801. I was tentatively expecting a seven (High Distinction) or confidently a six (Distinction). I have no idea how I went so badly – I was sitting on a seven before the exam and found the exam easy, answered all the questions and finished early. I also achieved a six (Distinction) for COMP2502, which I am also not happy with as I was unfairly rorted out of marks and should have got a seven for that course, yet even after arguing with the lecturer, my marks were not rewarded to me. Each semester so far I’ve learnt to be less forgiving of errors and general slackness, and this semester is no exception. Next semester, any lecturer not following their course profiles and marking criteria to the dot will be giving me (and the head of school if necessary) a damn good explanation why. I think the trick is to not assume a single thing and follow precisely what the lecturers, assignments and so on say without thinking, and if it ends up they’ve assumed something (which they always do) then complain – and ask about anything that’s even remotely ambiguous. I have had too many assignments now, that are not marked according to the criteria we’re given, or extra things are assumed that are not stated – like with COMP2502. Next semester I’ll be asking just what I need to do to get a specific mark in an assignment, and I’ll meet that criteria – and hopefully not get rorted again.
  Looking on the brighter side, I got sevens (High Distinctions) for both COMP3502 and COMS3200, but any benefit this might have brought me is entirely negated by the four I got for COMP2801. In one way, I can’t complain too much as I did very little study (as usual). I only did four of the ten tutorials for COMP2502 and then (after mass chaos and many lost assignments) successfully argued to get the marking criteria changed so that I still got eight out of ten for them, and then doing less than a day’s study for the exam. Similarly, the UML I drew for my COMP2801 exam was the first UML I’ve ever drawn – which says a lot about how much study I did for that exam. On the other hand, I was confident of a six or higher in both COMP2502 and COMP2801, as they’re only second level courses, and felt I did well on both exams, answering all the questions and finishing early – which should have been enough to get me good marks in both. I am attempting to query the results for both of these, but it’s hard as I’m flying home soon and not entirely sure of the correct procedure to follow, but it can’t hurt to try.
Comment by Yuri – Saturday 27 November 2004, 5:01 PM
  Like you, i was sitting on a 7 for COMP2801 going into the test. Like everyone else, however, i struggled to get the test done in time and basically left the exam room thinking id buggered it up. However, I somehow managed to get out of the course with a 6. I can only think that you had made some fundamental error in the way you approached the exam. The test was a sham, though - you should definitely approach the lecturer about the grade. I worked hard for my semester mark, like you, and i'd feel completely ripped with a 4 (i even feel slightly ripped with a 6)
Comment by geek – Saturday 27 November 2004, 6:21 PM
  Do you really think you deserve a 7, given the fact that this was the first time you attempted to draw a UML diagram?
  Maybe you should take the blame yourself for being slack.
Comment by Ned – Monday 29 November 2004, 9:57 AM
  The exam is essentially (supposed) to be a check that we have not cheated or sponged off other group members during our group work - it has basically found that I cheated and/or sponged off others, neither of which are true - so yes, I would say I deserve a six or higher. I am also convinced that the UML I drew is correct, at least from a UML perspective - it may not model the Java code as accurately as I would have like and practice would probably have helped, but I had two much harder third level courses to concentrate on (both of which I got sevens for), this being my easy bludge subject (or so I thought).
Comment by anon – Wednesday 15 December 2004, 2:16 PM
  You'd hope that John Yesberg doesn't read this...
Comment by Ned – Wednesday 15 December 2004, 7:45 PM
  I am curious. Why, exactly, would I hope that John Yesberg doesn’t read this?
Comment by Agent Shaver – Wednesday 16 February 2005, 2:44 AM
  ] I think the trick is to not assume a single thing and
  ] follow precisely what the lecturers, assignments and
  ] so on say without thinking
  "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
  Teach a man to fish and he'll ask if salmon roe
  is on the exam."
  -- Jaded Lecturer
Comment by Greg Roberts – Tuesday 22 March 2005, 12:10 PM
  why don't you stop blaming other people and actually do some work
Comment by Ned – Tuesday 22 March 2005, 12:16 PM
  Why don’t you acquaint yourself with the facts before making statements like that?

27.11.2004Saturday 27 November – Bronwen’s (Part One)

I spent the morning doing very little.
I arrived at South Bank and made my way to the Nepalese Pagoda, where Bronwen was waiting, and we made our way chatting down South Bank, over the Goodwill Bridge and through the botanical gardens along the riverside, stopping for a rest and cuddle on a bench. We then walked hand in hand to a bookstore in the West End, where Bronwen’s parents invited me home for dinner. We then walked back to Bronwen’s place, stopping for a milkshake and sorbet on the way at a nice little place in the West End, and picking up “Secret Window”, which we watched half before dinner, and the rest after. Dinner was quite nice, and Bronwen even nicer, particularly cuddling her during and after the movie – which was where I was when the last train left, leaving me little choice but to spend the night. Admittedly, we were aware that the last train was soon, but leaving wasn’t really a valid option at the time.
Much Bronwen cuddling, but very little sleeping, was done.

28.11.2004Sunday 28 November – Bronwen’s (Part Two)

Getting up seemed like a terrible idea, so we didn’t. Heaven knows what Bronwen’s parents think of me – not emerging from her room all day.
Dinner, on the other hand, seemed like a good idea, so we did.
As the day was now gone, there wasn’t much point in me heading home to arrange my flights up north, so I stayed the night – actually managing to get a little more sleep this time.

29.11.2004Monday 29 November – Remark Request & Flights Booked

Bronwen’s Dad dropped me into the city, where I made my way to uni via Hungry Jack’s, and hung out in the library for a while, feeling sleepy and waiting for half past eleven.
I went and saw Dr. Carrington to find out why my COMP2801 marks were so bad. It seems I’ve been caught out by a mix of mistakes, ambiguities and assumptions. Submitting for a remark involves getting a signature from the head of school, who was not there at the time, so I had to leave my remark request form with his secretary.
  It seems my UML diagrams are fine from a UML perspective – any problems with the diagrams are with my interpretation of what was required and some assumptions I made which differ from assumptions made by the markers but not explicitly stated, and it is on this basis (along with some other issues) that I have requested a remark. As an example, when designing the system for the first question, I did literally as stated – designing a system in such a way that I felt it fit within the given information, was logical, and was how I would build the system – including making (and stating) some assumptions. Unfortunately, the system was apparently precisely specified (although clearly not being so) and there was no room for assumptions such as those I made – and the assumptions I made (which I believe were reasonable and would have worked fine) had a flow-on effect causing me to lose marks on all aspects of the first question. I believe if I make and state an assumption and then lose marks due to contradicting assumptions made by the marker (or exam writer), that unless those assumptions are explicitly stated, my assumptions must hold. To generalise this even further, I do not think I should lose marks due to anything other than that clearly stated on the exam – any assumptions made by anyone during the writing or marking, if not stated, should not be assumed to be inferred, and should not cost anyone marks. Furthermore, I believe my answer satisfied all the required information, except that which was inferred. In a way I have misunderstood the question (as it was meant to be understood), but on the other hand, the question was written in such a way that I believe I can argue my interpretation of it is as valid an interpretation as anyone else’s. As Dr Carrington said, it was “intended” to mean something other than what I understood it to mean – which I believe is an unacceptable reason to lose marks.
  I also appear to have lost marks for directly paraphrasing the set text’s description of an Observer pattern. I find this highly unusual, as if the text we are given is insufficient in an exam, what else are we supposed to have used?
  However, I lost the majority of my marks for not directly tying my argument about whether there was an Observer pattern present in the given code in the second question or not, with the given code. I argued on a higher, more abstract level – I was supposed to have compared the actual code, including its method names and so forth, with the code I used to demonstrate an Observer pattern. In rereading the question, it does indeed state that such a direct correlation should be made, but I feel the marks I’ve received for this question are extraordinarily harsh. I got three out of twenty five marks for what I feel is a valid, justified answer, but unfortunately one that does not use specific names of methods or classes in the given code. I understand that the question asked us to refer to the code in a detailed comparison with our example Observer pattern, and that this infers that I should have used actual class and method names, or line numbers of the given code, or something similar. Unfortunately, at the time I felt that simply referring to the code itself, rather than line by line or method call by method call (as in “The code given in Question 2”) was suitable. I understand this is not what was required, as Dr. Carrington explained to me today. My issue is that I feel my answer still demonstrates the required knowledge, although not in the precise format required, and as such should receive some marks – particularly given that there is slight ambiguity in the phrasing of the question, where the phrase “detailed comparison” is taken to mean that one must provide detail about the differences or similarities between the two pieces of code being compared, making reference to its method calls, class names and so on, rather than a detailed description of why one does or doesn’t think the code exhibits an Observer pattern as compared to the definite Observer pattern (which is what I tried to do). This may be obvious to some, and in retrospect, it seems a reasonable assumption to make although it is still an assumption that’s not clearly stated as such. I don’t want to appear too picky – I just feel that the marks I got for this question were unjustifiably harsh; especially taking into account the logic I’ve used to arrive at my answer.
  Unfortunately, there’s no provision to argue my case (other than a short few line reason for why I want a remark), so it appears unlikely that the markers will even know the way I saw things or why I did what I did, meaning I can’t argue ambiguities and unstated assumptions, and making a positive remark much less likely. This is the only exam that I recall having this problem with, and judging from the comments from others on the newsgroups, I am not alone. I achieved my expected results for the other three courses I did this semester, without having any problems in their exams, although I disappointingly didn’t achieve the seven I’d hoped for with COMP2502 and had some issues with its last assignment. This has made me wonder whether I will even bother aiming for high marks in future, as there is really no long-term benefit, and issues such as this mean that regardless of how well (or unwell) I may know a course, my marks will just as likely be rewarded based on other issues.
  Despite the harsh and perhaps vitriolic way I talk about some aspects of uni, I’m really not as concerned as it may sound – it is a relatively easy matter to complain and fault find in an attempt to gain extra marks that I feel are justified, so I do.
I went home via Govinda’s, and should be packing now, but am writing this instead. I feel quite tired, so I’ve just finished off two litres of Coke, in the hope that will give me the energy to finish packing. I’ve already done my washing and booked my flights – only packing and cleaning is left.

30.11.2004Tuesday 30 November – Homewards Bound

I had originally planned to do most of my packing last night, and then the remaining little bit this morning, catching a nice leisurely half past nine train out to the airport in time for my flight. Because of this, and because I’m slack, I hadn’t done any packing by ten o’clock, which was about when I changed my plans to catch an earlier train, meaning that I ended up staying up late packing, getting only a few hours sleep.
I pulled the phone line out from the roof, turned off my PC, checked to see what I’d forgotten, and lugged my awful bag down to the train, nearly chopping off my fingers in the process. For some reason, halfway into the city, my right eye got really itchy so I scratched it – then, after a few minutes, the itchiness transferred to my left eye, my right eye got better and I arrived at Central, but for the rest of the day I had a very bloodshot left eye.
  I met Bronwen at Central Station, put my bags into a locker, and we went wandering around the city until it was time to get my train to the airport. For some reason they were flying the US flag – not even the Australian flag with the US flag, just the US flag. This would have all been good and great, had not Central Station entirely shut down the moment I arrived to catch my train to the airport, meaning I had to rush to Roma St Station to check for buses to the airport, of which there were none in time, meaning I then had to catch a taxi. It would have cost Bronwen and me ten dollars each on the train, so the thirty dollars in the taxi wasn’t actually a great deal more expensive, but the rushing my finger-slicing bag through the hot sun wasn’t fun.
Arriving late is the best way to fly – there’s no waiting in queues, and I still got to choose my seat. Getting through security wasn’t as easy though – they first made Bronwen throw out some forks, and then hide a pocketknife, twice, because the first place she hid it wasn’t acceptable. It’s such a joke, as anyone who is going to go to the trouble of spiking someone with a fork is going to be fully aware of the extra spikiness of a ceramic chopstick (or the fact that you can feed into the domestic air system via any number of rural hubs without any x-ray scanning at all). Still, being seen off to my flight by a beautiful woman who will miss me is something new for me.
Virginblue flight DJ873 was a Boeing 737-something, as per usual, and it arrived in Cairns, with me having slept for nearly all the flight. In case I ever want to know, it cost $147. A quick (but expensive) taxi ride later and I was at Cairns Central, where I left my bags at a hostel, went and bought a milkshake and some shoes, and wandered down to the esplanade. I met Carla, who I was surprised to find now manages a trendy Cairns bar, bought a kebab, and discovered that topless sunbathing is now underway on Cairns esplanade.
Another quick but expensive taxi ride later, and a half-hour wait at the Skytrans terminal, and I was on my way towards Cooktown. The flight was uneventful and expensive ($106) – which is how flights should and shouldn’t be, respectively. I dozed most of the way, waking up to have a look at where I live from the air and noticing a lot of smoke from fires.
Dad and Mum picked me up from the airport, and we drove into town. I bought a few things from the supermarket and went up to the shire hall to see Sarah, Vince, Shan and Kylie who were all there for kickboxing, although Vince has the flu so they didn’t end up doing any training. We stopped at the Den on the way home and had a very nice pizza, and I had a relatively early night, quite tired.

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