Thursday, December 07, 2006

EXAMS!


Yeah I'm studying already. In deep study mode so I apologize I still got a few pics to put up but I doubt I'll get around to them. Wish everyone luck during exams.

May the test gods have pity on your souls.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nintendo Wii sensor bar

Apparently all it is, is a row of IR led's go figure.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

View from thode

Well the more unglamorous side of being an Engineer is that you'd get aquianted with Thode library.... Very aquainted.








It also goes without saying that the best articles you will ever read are done while you a procrastinating so here's today's selection.
Work Work Work....

So much to do so little time is the name of the game it seems.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Maddy's Back!

Much to our surprise Maddy makes her glorious return to the little city of Hamilton.



The plan was originally to go see Borat the movie but it seems to be the in thing to do. So without a ticket we were left finding other forms of entertainment for ourselves.



We can't explain the giant crusafix all I can say is it's spooky spooky I say!

Halloween Recap

This year the engineering society decided to have their Halloween festivities early and not inform all the engineers in 4th year (thanks guys). We all know however that despite this I'll find a way to pull off this year's fantastic Halloween costume.

The Construction

Before we can go to any parties we need a costume right? Well ever since 5G it's been tradition that you A) have to be something in your field of study, and B) must be home made. I was pretty settled on my initial idea a while ago on being a mouse cursor so I went to get the stuff.

This year I started with 2 sheets of foam (which was actually one large sheet cut in half) $4.95 from home depot.



Next we need a reference mouse cursor, I printed this one out in big and worked out that to get it to fit on my block of foam I'd need it to be scaled 1:18.3.



I got spray paint while at the home depot so instead of using painstaking markers I could spray away and give the mouse cursor a more authentic look. To do this we need to mask away the areas we will be painting.



And now we paint and.....



The Party

So what's one to do with a finished costume but no engineering party to go to? Go to the biology party of course!






Jen decided to bob for apples.... Considering how she eats ice cream the ending here is rather clean.



Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dollarama Fun
You too can look this awsome for the low low price of 1 dollar! It's always fun walking down the isles of dollarama playing with all their tacky stuff, but no one quite pulls it off like Jenny!


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Maria Turns 22!

Maria arrived at her birthday with class grace. Just look at that smile she could do a Crest commercial right now and people would believe her. The birthday party was hosted at crabby joe's. Fun atmosphere to take your friends at a good price I might add.



After crabby's food, pool was the order of the night. Strangely we opted for an undrunken pool fest which turned out to be much more entertaining than I expected.



2 seconds later after this photo I stab Brad.... Ok I wish I did {evil grin}.



After pool both cameras were broken out and an all out camera war ensued.



Flashes fire shutters clicked, as cameras rapidly flashed the room!



Innocent bystandards were unfortunate enough to get in the crossfire.



Well... I put a caption on this one ;-)



Oh and how was the cake? Well watch below:

Friday, October 27, 2006

Where did the street light go?

There has been trouble on main street it seems. Some drunken driver in the middle of the night has decided he was going to test the limit of his car. One fallen street light and a school fence later this is the after math.







So if your wondering why we have a temporary light where the rest are cement... This would be why.
Wolfgang's Replacement

It seems that my roomate Alex has finally decided to take the position declared as "Wolfgang's Replacement".

Thursday, October 12, 2006

At Thode again

Yesterday was another 7:00pm-11:30pm at Thode, today will also be another 2 + 3 hours at thode.

This might be the cold talking but I think I spend 110% of my time on school related stuff. Well let's work this out:

there are 8am-10pm (14 hours) useful working hours in a day which we will treat as 100% output the remaining 10pm-12pm is considered slack time including eating time for the whole day breakfast / lunch / dinner (2 hours) and from 12am-8am the following day is your standard 8 hours of required sleep.

However I don't work from 8am - 10pm I work from 8am - 11:30pm yesterday and on average 8am - 1:00am close to 15.5-17 hours but we'll call that 16 hours to be fair.

so if 14 hours = 100% 16 hours = 114%

Now you may be asking where does this extra 14% come from? well it certainly can't come from the slack time cause 2 hours for breakfast lunch dinner shower is already pushing it. It comes from sleep time obviously.

I loose about 14% sleep to work / day, that's quite tragic.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

McDonalds


Lol normally I hate the stuff but this was too damn good!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thode Library


Well back in thode again, that will make it the third time this week I'm spending more tha an hour at Thode.... Well I'd write more but I really should be working.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pheonix night out


This actually happened about 2 weeks ago I headed over to 1 Glenmount initially to fix Maria's computer but ended up at the Pheonix partying with Sherry's crew which ended up being quite the set of geeks!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Exam Style Studying

It seems I was at Mills library yesterday already in the whole exam style study mode (I know it does feel early). It just goes to show how much changes in your final year, if you thought you had no time before then you now have less than no time.

On the bright side however I did get my first 3 pages done so I'm off to a good start.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

cell post

It's kind of one of those days that I don't feel motivated to work. Maybe I'll do my laundry today instead

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Talent

I wasn't gonna blog this but:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

No Water

My housemate just alerted me that there is no water currently in our house this probably has something to do with the construction crews outside.



Not to be picky or anything but isn't a memo suppose to be sent out before such work?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hamilton: Unfinished

There are some things about this city that I'll never understand take this for instance.



When I first saw it I thought it was the wireframe for a sidewalk, but as weeks turned to months and months turned to years, I realized that it's suppose to look like that. Call it what you will but it will always look unfinished to me.
Work Work work

Everyone has their own stratergy when it comes to work. Some keep agendas, others write notes. Me I just put it up on my wall with a post it, it's actually quite effective.


Essentially nothing comes down until it's done, as you can see I've got so much work it got cut off. Funny that 1.5 weeks into class and I already got 6 assignments 2 of which are done.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Birthday!

It's times when you forget your own birthday and your friends remind you that you realize you have the best friends in the world.

What other friends will go through the effort of setting up your whole birthday and realize that you'd be too over consumed to remember your own birthday?

Spur of the moment we decided to go out to the black forest inn. Which, was a German/Austrian restaurant. To be honest we went cause the chef's name was wolfgang. The restaurant itself comes highly recommended on the student list, the enviroment is very homey, the food is very generous. It's quite a full experience.

Unfortunately in our spur of excitement we didn't bring a camera so I don't have pictures for you.

However once I got back to Jenny's house there was a cake wating for me. In geeky tradition it was lit up in binary!


The entire house at put together my birthday celebrations complete with an ever so co-ordinated singing of the "Birthday song".





And as the candles went out I realized I had the best friends in the world. I mean if it weren't for them I'd missed my own birthday :-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lego Tat-Tat-Tat-Tat-Tat!

With the early details of the capstone project in hand we know it'll be lego and we know it will be mindstorms.

I was thinking of markets for our project (part of our assignment) and I realized that if I build one of the lego attachments below then I'd definetly be scooped up by Darpa.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Quick Recharge

Well I got back for the weekend and I'm back in T.O. now. I have to say this will feel like a good recharge after the noisiness and the inital chaos of welcome week and the first week of classes.

I do need to aquire a new set of ear plugs while I'm here can't really borrow ear plugs from Alex indefinetly. Other than that this blog entry is rather boring, guess I'll try and get back to the whole picture blogs that I used to have.

Oh and as a promise I'll be slowly uploading the 5G picture set once I get a new flicker account hopefully I'll eventually get around to most of them (there's about 2GB in total) once they're all up I'll cross link them to the 5G forum. Although at this point I see this as a year long on going project.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

No Cisco Clean client

Here at McMaster they introduced a new annoyance called cisco clean access. Basically it's spyware that scans for other spyware (fantastic!). However not many here at McMaster are aware that you can technically connect to the internet without any additional software.

On Windows XP all you need to do is connect to openport.mcmaster.ca via a PPTP tunnel, this method is still confirmed to work.

Linux users also can avoid installing cisco drivers and go with a standard vpn that supports pptp passthrough.

Encryption will be up the the user, and the whole connection is slightly less secure then IPSec but hey your just checking your email right?

EDIT: Ok I was asked to provide more specific instructions so here goes:
1. attempt a wireless connection to verify you get an ip and are on the Mac wifi
2. XP users click start "connect to", win 2000 users click networking.
3. Add a new connection select "connect to network at my workplace" (hit next)
4. Choose "Virtual Private Network connection" (hit next)
5. Call this "McMaster Openport"
6. If the next screen presents you with "Dial an inital connection" select "no connection".
7. In the hostname section enter: "openport.mcmaster.ca" (without the quotes)
8. hit finish.

Your username should be your MACID, your password should be your MACID pass if you have problems check that your connected to mac wifi first as this will not work off campus.

Additional considerations (security)
Without the cisco clean access client you are running a more insecure network so it might be a good idea to turn off a few features like file sharing if all you need is internet. To do this goto your "McMaster Openport" connection right click and goto "properties". Goto the networking tab uncheck "client for microsoft networks" and "file and printer sharing"

In doing this you won't be able to share files or be able to let other's use your printers while on mac connect but this isn't something normal users want anyways. It's probably a better idea to upload your files for pickup anyways.

Unfortunately UTS will block you if you use any ports that viruses spread from such as RPC ports so it's up to you to keep your machine virus free.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Official Start


So the year's officially started. Started off with a party with the first year in this house. Normally I would've participated in this however there comes a time in one's life where one realizes "I'm too old for this". Wonder how many of the other guys have fully finished the move in to the Hammer on this labour day.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Holy Fire Fire!

On August 8, 2006 at 1:00am I was awaken to sirens and the lights of numerous emergency vehicles through my window but there was something unusual about the streets there was smoke. Smoke? I thought so I immediately rushed to my porch, the sight to behold was more than words alone could describe.








Today the news is calling this a three alarm blaze on Niagara st. From what I could tell it completely destroyed the third floor of the town house. As to why a fire would start on the third floor it is as of yet unknown. Many of the residents near the fire were just thankful the gusts of wind didn not send the fire down further, and the fireman were successful at containing the blaze.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Useless-O-Pic of the day


What Jesus can do I can now do better.


Ever person creates ripples in the flow of time.
Dreamfall

I've just finished the masterpiece that is Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. Dreamfall is an action adventure game with the emphasis on adventure, with alot of cinematic flair. This alone isn't new, however the depth and richness of Dreamfall's multilayered story is extrordinary. In playing through the game each player litterally makes their own journey. Along the way troubling questions are presented to the player as well as real world lessons. I know this seems unrealistic and somewhat cliche but some of the in game dialogue was deeply insightful and gives another perspective to how we live through the day to day.

In the end Dreamfall is a very good novel the excellent graphics pale in comparison to the complexity and mulitfaceted nature of the story. Dreamfall reads like a book, a book that you will be dying to get to the next chapter through a sense of discovery.

And maybe if you just play Dreamfall with a open mind like me, you might just be able to find that Dreamfall has stopped being a game so much as a chance to live and learn some life lessons.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Finally A Non-Wimpy Electric Car




It took a long time but someone finally made an electric car that beat out my inital enthusiasm for the TZero from ac propulsion. It's called the Tesla and it's a serious electric car, it looks like one too however what's really impressive is that it can go 0-100km in less than 4 seconds and has a range of around 400km. I have to say that I don't care much for the first figure but the second figure is mighty impressive and if it were available I'd seriously consider it over a conventional combustion engine. What's more impressive is it runs about 2 cents / km. So let's compare with a modern econocar raitings.

The Tesla Roadster: $0.02 / km = $2.00 / 100km (Theoretical Max Range 400KM)

We'll assume the price of Gas is 100.0 / L even though it's currently 106.3
We are taking best case highway numbers as well to give the Gas cars an advantage and calculating the max ranges with an assumed 50L fill at those best case numbers.

Mazda3 GS 2.0L : 6.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $6.10 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 810KM
Honda Civic : 5.7L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $5.70 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 870KM
Honda Civic Hybrid: 4.3L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $4.30 / 100 KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 1160KM
Toyota Prius: 4.2L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $4.20 / 100 KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 1190KM

As we know sports cars are huge gas guzzlers so let's take a quick look at some exotic cars to compare:

Lamborghini Murcielago: 18.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $18.10 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 270KM
Aston Martin Vanquish: 13.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $13.10 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 382KM
Porche Carrera GT: 11.7L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $11.70 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 427KM
Bugatti Veyron (Highway): 14.7L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $14.70 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 340KM
Bugatti Veyron (City): 40.1L / 100KM @ $1.00 / L = $40.1 / 100KM
Estimated Max Best Case Range: 125KM

As you can see the specs look good if the Tesla delivers on what it says it'll deliver on paper it'll be the speed and range of a sports car, with the running cost of an econocar. As long as you can find a spare power plug every 400KM and can take 3 hours to charge it seems like a great deal, and a huge plus is no green house gases.

However part of the package for an exotic sports car is the looks and to me at least this one's got it.

The Tesla was designed by Lotus Elise engineers and it shows.


Low component count makes the Tesla mechanically simpler than most cars.


Notice the car only has forward and reverse, there is no gear changing since electric motors work well from 0rpm all the way to 13000+rpm.


Here's the car's powerplant, significantly smaller than a modern car engine and much less complex. The electric motor is infinitely more efficient as it is simpler than the internal combustion engine.

A few caveats though because the car uses laptop batteries after the first year the car will lose 20% of it's charge if stored at 100% charge level which is probably what everyone does if given a car like this. That means that after year one your range will go from 400KM to 320KM and after year 2 it's looking like 256KM by year 3 you will need a replacement since your now doing 204KM that's half the original range. So if you were going to own you must consider battery wear as a part of the cost, although everyone these days is a "right now" society and might just ignore this running cost.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The EBay itch

Ever wonder why people pay more for things on EBay? The way EBay is set it it's addictive, like many other's I've placed a bid that I thought later that I didn't really need and ended up praying to be outbid (luckily the prices were usually ridiculously low so I was out bid). The clever setup of EBay makes it reflect more of a gambling web site than a place of commerce. Ebay uses the words like Win, and encourages users to feel like they've accomplished something when you've outbid someone as metal rewards and reinforcement. With Ebay money is represented by strokes of your keyboard and seldom do users actually think of money, hence unlike a real auction when the users is upping his or her bid there's no guilt felt from the wallet. In the end the users that end up paying more than retail for items on Ebay will also be the ones that regard their Ebay experience as fun, entertainment almost, and that extra cost might as well be the price of fun.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Two types of computer users.

It has recently come to my attention that there are two major types of computer users. There are the ones that prefer the all in one suites and the ones that like lightweight applications. This was brought to my attention with a discussion on Maxton vs Firefox. For those that don't know Maxton, it's a up and comming browser based on IE rendering engine but incorporating many useful tools like tabs.

Maxton's design philosophy from what I can tell is the suite design philosophy. Bundle as much useful funtionality as you possibly can into this application for the user so the user never has to customize the application or get plugins because the popular ones will be integrated in the next release. From what I've seen suite users tend to be suite users for all applications, they prefer large "full featured apps" that try their best at doing everything. They also don't mind the idea that they start off knowing only 20% or less of what the application can do. These end up being the users that will prefer the full version of messenger to gaim outlook to webmail, and don't generally go to the task manager to check how much system resources a particular application is using. A general philosophy for these users is "a good application should predict and include all the tools I need without me having to go out and get them."

Firefox's design is quite different from Maxton's. Firefox has always gained popularity over it's suite program Mozilla by remaining simple and light. Firefox doesn't try and anticipate the functionailty from it's users but rather allows each user to go out and fetch plugins to extend the set of tools Firefox has on their own. As such Firefox attracts the lightweight users, or users that hate over bundling of functionality no matter how efficiently done it might be. The design philosophy behind Firefox seems to be, provide a very strong and basic core application, then allow the users to extend it any way they might like. Users of lightweight application design philosophy might use notepad as opposed to a heavier text editor just because "It's all they need". A general philosophy to these users might be, "just give me what I want with none of the bloat".

I won't debate the merits of either of these solutions because sometimes efficient bundling can cause the package to perform as efficiently as a non-bundled application. I'm purely pointing out these two divergent groups of computer users which I find intreguing. Being in the second group I can't understand the attraction towards the suite packages, but I cannot fail to acknowledge their popularity.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Car = Money Pit

I'm dissapointed with myself recently. A self-fix turned out to be a disaster that requires an entire part replacement. That costs alot of $$$ (about 900 to be exact). This is a huge dissapointment but there comes a time when you really got to cut your losses and just bite the bullet. The store all started when I got a tiny chip on my windshield, it wasn't big enough to merit a trip to the autoglass shop but it was annoying so me with my idiot bright ideas decided to polish it out myself... Against what should've been my good judgement I went online and got myself a glass polishing kit. I thought literally how hard could it be? Big mistake that whole fiasco was, istead of repairing the tempered glass it made the whole thing worse to the point that one can argue it's a driving hazard. This is terrible, I totally love my car but I hate how it always sucks money from me, and I am to blame this time (again).

It seems that I can fix anything mechanically wrong with the car but I really should not try and replace / repair anything cosmetic cause I suck at it. I totally suck at it.... So I'm sort of set back a week, it's almost like not getting 1 week's pay will it be worth it in the end? I don't know, but I'll probably feel better once this whole thing is over with.

And on that note once the service is done I vow to myself that I won't do any car crap for the rest of the year until school starts. It's just becomming too costly and for a highway car it keeps getting stone chips or various chips from everything these damn things are too fragile. Almost makes me wish I got an old banger so I woudn't care, sometimes I think that would be ultimately cheaper.

On a side note I really should be concentrating on my Grad School stuff, but admist all this chaos I'm finding it quite hard, I really wish I can get a bit of calm so I can sort this out but that isn't going to happen and I know it so I better get on top of all this. At least I'm studying the GRE, even though it's what I would consider a slow rate right now no more than 5 or so pages of practice test a day mostly on the English sections. Really my only hope is to be able to take the GRE test by September but that also means I'll need my universities scouted out before then which I haven't been doing lately.

The most difficult part really is that work, personal liabilities (car), and school don't mix at all. What's eating up the most time is switching between these, but I intend to emerge out of this month more on top of things than last so it's time to kick my ass into shape.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Who's the stronger?

Modern society has a problem of identifying our crazy perception of strength. Actually this can be traced back all the way to the spartians. We always honor our fallen in war saying how "they were brave". Not to be disrespectful or anything but what if they were stupid? If I ran into a hail of mini-gun fire I'm brave, but if I throw a smoke grenade and use cleaver tactics to slip through without having to face the minigun I'm not smart, no I'm being cowardly. This is just a rediculous way of thinking, sometimes if your in a ditch and that's keeping you safer that is the more correct thing to do, not jump over and get shot. Here in lies the problem, the people that die are brave and honored, the people that make it back as in the spartian days are considered cowards or suspected as such, if the rest of your company dies.

I think it's the opposite the ones that come back have proven their darwinistic advantage. That should be honored, and if that means they hid in a whole until it was safe there's NOTHING wrong with that in my opinion.

Why us monkeys are brainwashed to believe that the correct tactic is to run like duck madly flailing along with our rifles while getting our head shot off is beyond me. Anyone that uses tactics is considered, cheap, unfair, or not honorable. Excuse me but if it was a 1 on 1 match and I can beat you buy throwing sand in your face, then I will throw sand in your face. It's not personal it's just WAR and all is fair.

Before I get a million angry comments I respect and fully appreciate what our armed forces are doing to protect what little rights our current goverment is trying equally as hard to strip away. I'm just a little pissed that most people don't know how wrong their perceptions of what's fair is when it comes to the subject of actual combat.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Quick Update

Recently with most things completed I've been consumed with the task of studying for the GRE which, in retrospect is kind of nice to have a stable long term task. Now I'm already bored with the math sections as can be expected. However, the english sections are actually turning out to be quite difficult.

Alot of questions are requiring a very large vocabulary of very specialized words that will only work in certain context in order to solve them.

Otherwise though my life is boring right now and for the time being that couldn't be better news.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Good service isn't dead it's just hard to find

If your like me you hate going to your car's dealer to get service for small issues after getting the car. My dealer (Dufferin Mazda) had a bad habit of having difficult open hours, inaccessable to the bus system after drop off, and sometime's I'd get the car back with a greasy steering wheel.

Well no more! Yesterday my car went to Avante Mazda for service a recommended dealer from a forum. Let me tell you the experience was night and day. Even on the phone the service dept was much nicer informing me of if they could perform the service and when they can get the parts by so they can combine services together. They even went through a list of known issues for my car to see if anything else needed to be fixed.

When I arrived and dropped off my car they had a driver send me to work. What amazed me more is that they offered to pick me up after work to pick up my car. Now that's exceptional. It didn't stop there, while at work they called to update me on what was happening with my vehicle. When done they road tested my vehichle to make sure that I would not be comming back concerning anything (my original dealer never did that).

Finally when I actually arrived to pick up my car I was surprised to find a new plastic plate protector on my license plate and that my car was washed. The service department said that wash and free plate protectors are complimentary... WOW.

So moral of the story, excellent service does exist. These days you really have to look hard for it. The difference is I no longer dread going to my dealer in fact the whole experience was actually fun, and made me happier.

Avante Mazda:

Pros:
* Excellent service staff, friendly and the kind of people you can chat with.
* They will drive you to work, and back again!
* Free plastic plate protectors if your missing them.
* Excellent communication they never will leave you in the dark about what's going on.
* Extended service hours (7:30am - 6:30pm) so you can go to work and get picked up any day of the week.
* The kind of service that puts smiles on your face, and that's a rarity.

Cons:
* They are a bit far for me but well worth the drive.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

HL2 first impressions

Ok to some this is old news. Even to me it seems a bit old and dated, however I haven't had a computer capable of playing HL2 until now and let me tell you reading about the innovation and playing it is completely different.

This physics engine is nothing short of incredible. I'm frequently baffled about how well it can simulate how objects would realistically behave. So much so that even in the earily parts of the game I learned to used my new found ability to interact with the enviroment to my advantage. In fact without thinking about it I did things like knock down tables for cover. Grab a barrel for protection against fire. All of which later I sat back just to let it all sink in that this game reached a level of realism previously unheard of.

And it's not a dumb shooter either. There are frequent stops along the way where the game throws you into puzzle solving scenario. These end up being stages where they demonstrate the power of their physics engine. For example in one scene there's a titer tottler type scenario where you run around the room piling up bricks on one end until the titer toter is heavy enough to let you stand on the other end without going down. Things also have boyancy, and this is demonstrated by a scenario where you have to raise a platform by making it more boyant.

I think what's most impressive about half-life is how the game never feels flat. Frequently I find myself in the toybox scenario where every game object is like a toy because the physics engine so good at modeling realistic behavior.

For anyone that has glossed over HL2 because their computer wasn't fast enough be sure to try it when your computer is. Although I would also recommend playing HL1 to understand the storyline. Although the sad part is I don't think I'll ever run into a game that's this well thought out in terms of storyline, and gameplay. More and more games go for the all graphics approach, and like supermodels they might look beautiful, but you surely get fed up with them quickly. HL2's graphics might not be as spectacular as farcry but in every other way HL2 is a more superior game, and the level of polish is above everthing I'm used to seeing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

McMaster Can't do paper work part 4

McMaster University has alot of great things going for it. Ability to do paperwork for their students is not one of them. I finally traced down the reason the OSAP loan office was sending me notices for end of intrest free status. This was because the interest free status forms I filled out over the summer only cover up to 52 weeks or 8 months and thus I needed to fill out another one over the summer. Reminders were sent out to everyone, everyone but the co-op students that is.... Ironic isn't it since the majority of students eligable for continuation of interest free status are in fact full time enrolled co-op students.

4 years in a row McMaster has manage to foul up some form of administrative work and the outcome is always the same. I find out about it the last minute because something "broke" and I have under a week to fix it.

The university is great mind you... they just can't do paper work.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Blogger's Illusion

Blogger's go about their day to day activities often not realizing that what they wrote actually gets read. Yes that's right if you blog chances are someone will read what you wrote.

I'll be honest I like most blogger's assume that what I wrote will never be read by anyone unless of course I send my friends a link to check out pictures and such. In reality though friends seem to actually read it cause I've told no one that I had my car crushed but yet weeks after I kept getting emails saying. "Sorry to hear about your car accident"

I guess it's kinda stupid for me to assume my blog doesn't get read, I mean come on what are blogs anyway? Strangely though because I had no comments to any of my blogs I was under the illusion that the blog was not being read.

So I am famous, ok maybe just a little...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dell Delayed

Today I got an email stating that my purchase of the expensive Dell laptop has been delayed but they can deliver a new one with a different (cheaper) part with the cost reflected to me.

I originally purchased my laptop with a GeForce 7800 GTX which is top of the line from nVidia only the 7800 GTX Go is a higher end model which wasn't offered in my configuration.

However my Dell sales rep told me that tell ran out of inventory of the 7800 Go and they could give me my laptop within the next few days if I agree to the ATI x1400 (with a $200 discount).

I've been reading reviews and the ATI x1400 is ATI's new series of mid-range or budget cards. And seeing how I got premium or top of the line parts for every other component I wasn't about to go budget. The ATI x1400 apparently has less number crunching power than even the older X700 so I was in no way impressed by that offering. Don't get me wrong I love ATI I mean ATI headquarters is only 5 blocks away from where I work, but if the options were x1800 or even x1900 I would place an order in a heartbeat.

So it looks like provided they allow me to take a final look at my configuration once the 7800 is back in stock, and modify CPU / RAM / HDD if need be I'll be waiting for the 7800 Go which Dell says will be back in stock by May 1st. I'm still trying to see if they can give me a GeForce 7800 GTX go as it's found in their higher end gaming laptops, and I have their highest end multimedia laptop. I'd totally be willing to pay the difference if they offered.

I feel like I'm trying to purchase a ferrari labourghini or something. In the computer industry waiting a month IS waiting a year in any other industry. My only hope is that the nVidia does get here by May 1st and Dell will offset any price hikes.

Seems even if you are buying premium products you can't expect everyone else to not do the same.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Just when I thought it couldn't get worse...

It always does doesn't it. Sometimes my dad does these immaculate feats of incompetance that even I can't fantom how he manages to accomplish it.

Here I am with my Mazda3 2006 backing into the halfway under the garage door he presses the door close button with me and my car under it! I was seriously in a state of WTF?! who close their garage door on their own car with their children in it?!

The worst part? He was staring at me in his car while doing it and he didn't see me?! You gotta be shitting me!

So tomorrow and the day after I won't be driving anymore, my car is in the body shop for repairs. He's paying well he'd better be paying. My car was stopped engine was on and I was in it. He saw me so I don't know WTF he was thinking when he close the motorized garage door flattening my C pillar on the car. Jeez it's not even an old clunker either the damn car is only 3 months old manufactured in Nov 2005, and kept in prestene condition.

I'm just peeved right now seems nothing is going my way.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

All Look Same Even To Cops

Apparently even cops can't tell the difference between asians. My proof? I was at Sheppard and Midland today going to help my parents fix the suvallence computer and I was pulled over by a cop. He went thur the usual drill being quite rude, I was polite dispite that and provided him with everything, they he wanted to keep me in the car for a couple of minutes while he checked on stuff. That was fine with me because I knew I wasn't in any kind of trouble.

Anyways 20 min later after falling asleep in my car he wakes me up and tells me I'm he would like to see my ownership, no sweat I thought it's in the glove I hand him the paper, he looks at me and says it's the recipt from mazda. Since my parents took the car home for me they told me all the stuff was in the car I simply thought that the reciept or proof of purchase was the ownership. Luckily my parents arrived at the scene and they tried their best to explain they didn't know it should be in the car so I never got it. He sends me a ticket and says as long as I show up in court with the ownership in hand (green paper) he'd drop the charges.

He then goes to explain that apparently some asian dude swiped a ATM machine in a nearby scotia bank and he thought that was me (which I interpretted as he chased after the first asian he seen). I'm sure he thought for sure it was me but I guess he just wanted to see if I acted like I wanted to get away at the same time he took my wallet so I guess all the cards were checked. (and traced to my accounts).

Anyways I drove away giggling at the fact that all asians look same.

But also it goes to prove the age old adage, no good deed goes unpunished now I have to set some court date which if the name change serves me as a lesson could take up to a year, at which time. I won't be driving the car anymore.

Suffice to say this hasn't been my week, I won't even bore you with the stuff I had to deal with yesterday. Funny part is the more crap that gets loaded on, the less bad it seems. Guess the law of diminishing returns works for negative things as well that should be somewhat comforting.

(time of incident 8:30pm)

Monday, March 06, 2006

CS GAMES!

On march 3rd at 8:00am we boarded the first coach bus on our way to Montreal to compete in CSGAMES 2006



On the bus brian and me try frantically to contact Torum which isn't on the bus that is departing in 2 minutes. It seems it's become a McMaster team tradition to have one memeber cut it close. I am glad to say however this time we didn't lose a member that was originally on the team.





When we got off it was time to navigate the subway system but unlike last time we downloaded subway and bus route information and were well off even from the start. On top of that I had my palm with preloaded maps of Montreal which proved very handy along with the satalite photos to guide us on landmarks.







This didn't do anything about the brisk winds but as Jay here points out in this picture we were definetly much happier knowing exactly where we were going.







We arrived at the hotel earily this time, so there was not much left to do but relax. Until the opening ceremonies.








Then while we were all getting our team "Blue Screen Of Death" shirts on we realized that one member didn't have one fully ironed on yet. So Alan sans shirt went into sweat-shop mode and furiously worked the hotel iron so we would all come in team colours.








Lesson from the wise, when the manufacturer says wait for side A to cool before ironing on side B that's because they want you to avoid doing this :-)








McMaster finally hits the Opening ceremonies, we learn there are 33 different teams we were up against some stiff competition and we all knew it.




As with any skills based competition at the end of the night you can find us all in bars... I apologize for not having any in competition pics but were were far to busy competing.













Team Blue Screen of Death from McMaster University were the underdogs of this competition some teams like McGill brought 3 sub teams. Team Blue Screen of death however consisted of (from left to right): FanFan, Alan, Kevin, Jason, Emery, Torum, Bob, Brian, and Jeff.






Team Blue Screen of Death soon was known as "One of the teams to beat" ranking 1st in several events including the coveted #1 spot for the "TEAM SOFTWARE ENGINEERING" competition. Proving that McMaster engineers really aren't something you can laugh at (as many other students from Waterloo and UofT seem to think).

BSOD also ran away with several high ranking scores and hardly failed any of the challanges they where put up to proving that we are a resourceful bunch. The result? We ran away with 2nd place overall and beat all other Canadian universites making us the #1 university at the competiton in Canada, and that is something to be proud of!

So I end this fun article with a video of our team because if a picture is worth a thousand words then surely this video is worth a thousand laughs.



Feel free to check out all the other teams too!