I completely forgot that if I don't drop a class by 5pm as of yesterday, I would be charged for the full course if I decided to drop it afterwards. When I realized this today, I basically shit a brick. There is no way I'm going to drive to school five times a week, to sit a class that I intended to drop. I think it's because, the classes I wanted to drop in the past, I just never showed up and I would get dropped by the instructor. This time around, I decided to go to the first class attendance day.
I'm going to get to the registrar's office as soon as it opens on Monday around 8:00 AM to see what I can do to salvage the situation. Hopefully they're lenient.
I've got a lot of these sitting around, these are the ones I've used up. I want to say that 34 of them were wasted because I entered them and went inactive, so they cleared my balance back to 0 points. Each cap is worth 1 point. I've managed to pull a few things off the site, such as NOS car decals, a NOS t-shirt, a NOS patch, a NOS lanyard (Speaking of which, I don't remember even getting it.), and a few other NOS items?
I'm working up for another shirt and I want the beanie, maybe even the backpack.
Life has been just school for the past two years. I've had some academic ups and downs, stresses beyond belief, and best of all, I've had times where I've worked hard and got in return good grades. I've been sticking it out with Dimitre for most of it, and along the way made a few friends too.
Now I'm almost done with undergraduate studies. I only need two more semesters, and I'm in one of them right now. Summer semester.
Because I've opted to graduate with dual degrees, both Bachelors in Computer Engineering and Bachelors in Computer Science (BsCpE & BsCS), I've gone down a harder route involving a larger breadth of courses and a higher credit-hour cap. Where each class is typically 3 credit hours, the dual degrees require 158 credit hours whereas the BsCpE requires 128 and the BsCS requires 120 standalone. But taking an extra 30 (about 10 classes), makes me eligible to graduate with two piece of paper. And we know how valuable in todays world a piece of paper can be. -rolls eyes-
This semester I'm taking an upper level elective outside of my department in order to satisfy a BsCS requirement, this class is called Survey of Jazz, and oh my chapsticks, is the software involved to use this course a complete joke. Not only did I spend $100 dollars to register and use the software, it feels like it's been coded by some student who just didn't care. It's purple, it behaves like a windows 98 millenium edition application, but worst of all, we are required to use it in order to pass the class. Whoever holds the mighty 'Survey of Jazz' throne gets all the test and quiz scores sent to them via this 'courseware' package and then they are going to have to update them to reflect our grades on the USF system. Why even bother? :| A website portal would have been a few hundred times more effective than this courseware package that delivers a system for grades, news, announcements, lecture topics, reading topics, etc.
Oh well, done with that rant. We'll see how jazzed up this course really is in a few weeks.
Onto Systems Simulations, this course is being taught by the head of the undergraduate department. What a nice guy this guy is, so far. Dimitre says he is very belittling, but the most he's belittle'd me is when he was passing out papers, he simply dropped them on the table rather than handing them to me. I'm so offended.
Relax, it's a joke. He teaches quite well, with enthusiasm, and his course is very structured and I know what to expect. The course is very important to me, it could teach me a thing or two about running successful, good, simulations. This is important to me because I could use this as a researcher now with a teacher that I do research for, or when I'm in graduate school (If I decide to go that route), conducting all sorts of experiments and research on computer hardware/software related issues.
There was another class I was signed up for, that class was FPGA design. This class was being taught by two TA's that are pretty cool and I've had them in other classes before. But I couldn't force myself to take this class because of a few problems I had with it.
First off, it's 3 times a week for only 50 minutes.
Secondly, it's at 5pm, which means I've got to drive through traffic to get there, and drive through traffic to get back home. (keep in mind, I'd have to do this 3x a week).
Thirdly, I'm not sure if I need the class to graduate, or if it could be used to graduate. But I AM 100% sure that I can graduate with System Simulations.
Fourth, Peanut is in the class.
Swag Yolo Gucci
Peanut is in the class.
I'm just gonna stop here about that.
Meanwhile all this is happening, I've started hanging out with my ex-gf and happened to hang out with her cousin on more than a few occassions. During these times I made friends with some new people who are pretty funny and good-hearted. At some point they told me they like me and it kind of freaked me out for a bit, because I haven't been spending too much time with them, and being accepted is a nice feeling. I don't know what to say other than I'm happy about that and if you guys are reading this, thanks a lot for the kind words. It's good to have caring friends.
I forgot to mention my birthday came and gone. I'm 23 now. I'm getting old. The idea that I'm 23 just makes me want to post some more into this blog because of its longitudinal nature.
Once upon a time I decided to take CSD (Computer System Design)
CSD, nobody warned me about it. CMOS was a hard class, and everyone said CMOS would be the bane of my existence because I would have to be living in lab a lot, but towards the end of CMOS they said CSD would be harder... I was blindsided. I thought CMOS was the hardest, I was the CMOS boss, I did great in CMOS, but CSD was a new challenger that I didn't even know existed.
I'm taking CSD this semester and it's the 4th week of class (I think?), and I gotta pick group members for lab. Dimitre and I are definitely working on lab together, and we wait for an hour to see who is in the next sections lab because we didn't like any of the people in our section, we got tired of waiting hours for people to show up so I put on the board, 'anyone who needs a group member, we have one slot available'. When I finish writing on the board, I turn around and this dude is like, "Is the spot still open?" I say, "Yes... yeah you can join."
This guy is Peanut. Little did I know when I agreed to letting him in, I was screwing myself over somewhere down the line. This is lab 4 where we start picking up group members, but it's not a group lab, group labs start at lab 5. While Dimitre and I get into lab to work on lab 4, we see Peanut working on lab 4 already there... dimitre and I go to work on lab 4 separately we noticed later that Peanut is cheating... he's copying this guy's answers from one side of the computer, turned around, then back to his computer typing the code, line by line. When Dimitre noticed this, he said, "Look over there, look over there!" We notice what he's doing... what the fuck is Peanut doing? This guy has been copying straight off the other monitor, we're shitting bricks, we finish writing some code and then go into the other room, we tell the guy he was copying off-of that he was copying his code. The guy acknowledged this and said, "Hey, this is normal, he's been asking around for lab 1, 2 ,and 3... he didn't do those labs, he just copied them from someone." So people have been feeding this troll (giving him solutions to labs) all along. Christ.... He doesn't know anything that is going on at all.
Anyway, we didn't want him in the group ever since then, we knew he could get us in trouble because of his reputation, he could commit academic dishonesty, and get us pulled down with him. Swag
Fast forward to the next lab, the one where we actually have to work in a group for, lab 5. We're working on it for a few days, Dimitre and I. Everyday Peanut has an excuse to not show up. Either work, or classes, or saying 'I just got into an accident, gotta take care of it'. Pretty legit excuses right?
So basically, for the last day before labs are due, he decides to show up. He tells us he's taking 6 classes at once, and that he has work (probably part-time). I asked him why he is taking CSD then, he responded with, "I thought it was an easy elective." Dimitre and I tell him that CSD isn't an easy class, and hardware isn't a joke, that if he thinks it is easy, he needs to drop before it's too late. He said he wants to graduate ASAP, this semester. Anyway, we finish up the code, the most he helped us with is with some arithmetic, to calculate timings. Just adding a number onto another number. Why? He doesn't really know anything that is going on, even though we provided him with what he needed to do to familiarize himself. He is a distractor and not really a contributor to the group. He was constantly telling us that we, "Just need to follow these 12 steps.", "it's what we need to do". I kept telling him, "Listen, listen, we've been provided the actual drivers in lab, we have the driver module, we just have to make use of it, interface it with our loopback system, use the drivers to make the system do what we want.", "If we follow these 12 steps, we'd be re-creating the ps/2 driver module, which was already created for us and supplied to us." We don't actually have to make the driver, which the 12 steps detailed on how to make a driver. He kept bringing that up and really, just not helping, half the time he was looking at his phone, or staring at the wrong datasheet for the ps/2 keyboard.
So, towards the end of the night when Peanut decided to leave, he apologized that he couldn't come work more on the lab, he offloaded the problems onto work and school, saying that they're the cause for him not being able to contribute, he said he really wanted to contribute. With this apology, and these statements, I told him that we all are working hard on this, we both got school and other things to deal with, that it is not an excuse. I told him that I would give him another chance to prove himself, and that I will put in the lab report that he did work. I lied in that lab report, I said he did 30% of the work ~1/3 of the work, which is perfectly fine for a group with 3 people in it. :) Although in reality he did around 2% of the work, if I had to score him.
Fast forward to lab 6, we needed to interface the LCD screen, use it to show characters being pressed by the ps/2 keyboard. We didn't want to be around Peanut because we knew he had no idea what he was doing in lab, and just pretending to know. We gave him assignments to do simple things like, read the datasheets or even do the FILL_IN's for the files, which means that all he has to do is find corresponding numbers that dictate the width of a bus-line or a register, or even a timing of some sort, easy peon work. He never did this, we gave him like a week to do this. At some point I got around to talking about him with other students, they all acknowledged his existence and told me he is known for cheating off everything he's been doing. I asked if he had the proper pre-requisites to be in the class, nobody really knew. So I went up to the teacher for CSD and asked if he has the pre-req, he said to go to some other lady, the other lady then said she knew of him, even by name and that she issued a permit for him to take the class because he is not in the major, he took it as an elective and before she issues the permit she made sure he met all the pre-reqs to take the course. GG thanks lady, you let him in here for me to deal with, I am a victim of Peanut.
Okay, so fast foward, it's lab 7 time, and Dimitre and I have been working on stuff from other classes, focusing on exams, and other assignments/homeworks. The idea of having to work with Peanut was very demotivational because he didn't even know my name when talking to me, he didn't know the deadline of the lab was in 5 hours and when it got extended on that same day, I left and he seemed to forget the new deadline again. -_- This was already making me sit back in disbelief, he has no regard whatsoever for the course, he's trying to ride it out all on Dimitre and mine's backs. Fuck. Where did this guy come from?
Because Dimitre and I were really demotivated with the lab, we decided to forgo lab 7, take a 100% hit. We didn't want to see this guy's face at all. The lab got extended once more, now we continued with this demotivated feeling phase and continued saying, screw it! It's not worth it. We're not going to do the lab, because we've got 100's on the previous labs, we can still score an A in the class if we dont do the lab. (I ended up getting a B in the course even though I basically aced all the other labs -_-, wtf)
At this same time, CSD lecture was having a mini-project and I told Peanut I am not going to work with him. He automatically assumed that because we are lab-partners, that we are going to work on this CSD mini-project. Fuck that, I let him go, I couldn't have him demotivating me further in class and taking credit for all Dimitre and I's work.
It was really hard to tell this to his face, but I managed to do it. But now I didn't even want to see him at all, probably the main reason we decided to let go of lab 7.
Now final lab time, this lab is worth 35% of the lecture grade and 40% of the lab grade. He comes up to me during lecture and says, "Hey are we working on this final lab?" I responded with, "No, we are not." He said, "Thanks, thats all I wanted to know." He went up to the teacher and probably discussed it with him, letting him know of his lack of group members. Later we found out he got an extension on the mini-project because of it.
The final lab was announced 3-4 weeks before the deadline, and we didnt start till the Thursday before it was due, basically 1 week to start and finish the final project. Why? Well, Dimitre and I were fucking carrying our animation group, for computer animation class. We had to model, rig, animate, render, post process, add soundfx, everything about 2 minutes and 30 seconds worth of content. Why? Well, because our group members only accounted for 15 seconds of animation. Wow, that took a full weekend from Friday to Wednesday, just animating, rendering in 720p, and doing video editting in Sony Vegas. We managed to pull out a legit video and it can be seen on youtube (link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U97R9yIvdTU). (In the end I got a B in animation and Dimitre got an A, LIFE LESSON: ALWAYS TURN SOMETHING IN, EVEN IF SOMETHING LOOKS LIKE SHIT, A GRADE IS BETTER THAN A 0, FUCK)
During the final lab week we only slept a few hours a night, working in lab almost 24/7, the final week was hectic, not only the project was due, but final exams were going on. During finals week, we saw that Peanut submitted a final project, we shit bricks the second we opened it and saw that he had something done, we knew that he cheated just from his reputation. Just a little bit of googling and you could see that he completely took someone elses report from 2012, copy-pasted it, and put his name on it, turned it in. We were in disbelief, how could Peanut be so daft? We already heard from people in class that Peanut was asking around for their mini-projects, we assumed he wanted to copy them because of the extension he was given.
My nigga Peanut, you never cease to amaze.
You never cease to amaze.
I ended up going to the TA's and screaming out that Peanut fucked up and cheated, I was worried this would come back and hurt me, and later after thinking about what I did, I was and am worried that Peanut could pop out of nowhere some day and stab/shoot me... why? Because of me kicking him out of our group, telling the TA's he stole the lab report, he probably got a double F, FF grade, and now can't graduate... ever. Well fuck him.
Now, it's the night before the final lab/project is due and Peanut comes to lab, he sits next to me, asks to borrow my key to get a FPGA board from the cabinet. During this time he texts me saying he has a working file for the lab (the stolen one) and I never reply to him, I ignore him as much as I can during the entire time. I didn't like the idea of him sitting next to us. I was afraid he was going to say something, that he was going to look at our code, that he was going to fuck up our FPGA board out of spite, we basically had to sit there the entire time while he was literally 5 feet away from us. This really sucked, he ended up leaving late into the night when we still stayed. Dimitre pointed out to me that he had an RS-232 cable plugged into his FPGA board, and we weren't even doing anything with the RS-232 cable interface at all for this lab, everyone who walked by could see how clueless he was. (Here is a picture of his board: http://i.imgur.com/udK9ue7.jpg ) He was asking his 'friends' that apparently he got answers and stuff from earlier in the semester or other classes. He even asked the TA's how to synthesize code, the TA's responded with, you should have learned that in lab 3, this is lab 8. His friends would walk him through synthesis, and in the end he couldn't even use the code he had stolen, why? Because it was for a spartan 3 or spartan 6 FPGA board, using a different version of picoblaze assembly for the microprocessor. In class, for 2013 we were using a better Virtex 5 board. Oh my gawd, when I overheard that, I realized how frustrated he was getting, making angry noises and huffing-n-puffing. I was getting freaked out a bit.
Anyway, apart from Peanut, think about this. It's 10:30pm and I just ate half of a large pizza. I go into a food coma, Dimitre goes to look over all the code I wrote that day while he was taking exams. We were missing 4 requirements that accounted for about 10 points out of 30. Delete a Message, Delete All Messages, Pause and Continue, and Message Full functionalities. As I go into food coma, I put myself under the table, resting on an array of 3 office-chairs. Legitimately under a table, like a coffin. After about 5 minutes, Dimitre comes around and pulls me out from under the table and says, "this is not the time for this, I want to finish this, go home, write the report, and go to sleep." I end up laying there for about 15 minutes, it feels sooo good being able to just rest there. Remember that for the entire week we've been living off of vending machine snacks and energy drinks, we were really tired and running on fumes for a full week. When I finally got up, I told Dimitre to fuck off, back off, I'm finna get this shit done. less than an hour and a half later, I managed to knock out all the code for all 4 functionalities that we were missing. We now had a finished project that we could demo, where previously we only had 50-60% done. Wow, this was amazing. I've only had to synthesize my code twice to get everything working properly, that's incredibly little debugging for 4 new functions being throw in so quickly. Sweet Jesus, Free Vybz Kartel.
The good part:
It was 12:30am, we finished the project, it was late. We needed an extension, the TA told us earlier that if we could get it demo'd in the morning, everything should be fine. I got a few hours of sleep after going home and writing the lab report, dimitre ended up demo'ing it all by himself. They said the demo went good, we got a 99/100 for the project, scoring us something like 29.9/30 on the project. Swag Swag
This was a great feeling to know we have achieved it in 1 week, when everyone else has been working hard longer than we had time to work on it, and some groups still not getting everything working. When I managed to go from sleeping on 3 office chairs, to finishing our project in under 2 hours, I felt amazing. I felt re-vitalized. I can't express the feeling of BOSS'ness that I felt. Just a bunch of fist-pounds between Dimitre and me. Dimitre was shitting bricks, and I was just doing a trollface, saying 'yeah, I got this bitch!'. :)
So that's my story of Peanut, don't be a Peanut. You'll ruin people's lives. I'll never have my A in CSD lab and Computer Animation. I want to thank the Peanuts out there for it.
Last night was New Years, today is now officially 2013. A different year, as Mike and I are going to be completing our undergrad degrees! Looking for internships and co-ops.
So, I was obligated to play a Pokemon Drinking game last night, luckily I didn't feel sick until I got home. The party at Patryk G's was good. Events leading up to the big night weren't favorable. I woke up to figure out that my gym spot with my buddy was taken by someone else because I slept-in, I ended up going to the gym with them anyway, The gym closed within 20 minutes, we ended up going to downtown Clearwater and did some cardio. Well, I did 'some', and they did the rest. ;)
A few things, that were small but significant in the past month.
I cut my own hair, a grand feat... executed with surgical precision by the one and only me. I messed up the sides by the ears, but all else is great for a first time attempt.
Dimitre and I purchased powders, capsules, weights, and capsule machine fillers in hopes of starting some sort of nootropics thing. I had trouble with commitment, I made sure Dimitre got enough pills, but I never made myself more. The process of making them involves me sitting here for 1-2 hours. I much rather spend that time watching a movie or learning something critical to my life. I've come to the conclusion that having such a business involves more than just 1 person, or even 2 people. You need to have a dedicated team willing to push this product to the consumers like ElevatedLabs (shout out). At least we saved a ton of money of really good supplements. I'm going to have to get back on them before school starts.
I had a dream Dimitre said he was coming over, so I got out of bed. lol
I really need to have a FP session b/c my VP came back and I have not had a chance to mess with it.
School Fall semester ended, Halloween passed, Turkey trot passed, even Christmas is over, all that is left is New Years and back to school. During this break I am taking it upon myself to familiarize myself with Verilog and some Tcl/Tk programming as I knew I will be using it in the coming weeks.
School has been very eye opening this past semester. I've managed to expand my options but narrow down my choices because of the CMOS VLSI class that introduced me to digital IC design. I'm no longer leaning towards programming, I am excited to do hardware design now.
Classes ended and what was the most torturous and redeeming semester has turned out to reflect exactly as I have wanted. I bombed my final Database exam because I didn't put much emphasis on the remaining weeks of the class, but at the same time all my grades were high and so the blow to my grade brought it down about 9% from the total being that the Final exam was worth 20% of the class grade. I earned a B in Database Design which counts as a software elective. At the same time I was taking the following:
Digital Design of Nano-Scaled Technology
CMOS VLSI Design
-cough cough- Needless to say I aced all these classes. I put most of my emphasis on Nano-tech and CMOS because they are such core classes, that just learning the basics and having a great foundation is required in order to expand on the concepts when it comes to employment or further education. That leaves me with the following final grades, A, A, A, B. I couldn't have been more happier with the turn-out when the final grades where posted.
I would like to note that I spent hours and hours in the VLSI Design lab learning basics, learning to script, learning to graph and plot my hpsice simulation data to optimize my designs. It's been eye-opening, hard, arduous, but a great experience.
Some stupid mosquito just bit my left foot twice and I'm freaking out lol, why does it have to bother me when I decide to blog?
I sent out my resume to 4 leading companies for hardware design coops or internships, AMD, Intel, Qualcomm, and Microsoft. I hope microsoft is really opening up their hardware department, I wouldn't mind working for them, but I remember talking to a representative at career fair, and at their event they had on campus, and the lady said, "Microsoft doesn't do hardware." So I ended the conversation with the wrong idea of Microsoft, that they only do software. I guess what she meant is, we are not looking for hardware designers but software developers at this event.
I also managed to take advantage of a Ask Me Anything on reddit, an Intel employee was taking resume's. Hopefully he parses through his inbox and gives me some pointers. Pointers... lol
I also cut my hair for the first time, because I don't like it long as I have a receding hairline and hair is just a problem I don't need to worry about right now. At least it makes me look older, I don't get ID'd cause I look OLD. Yup