Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hurry up CS!

Gwahh why does my CS exam have to be on the last day of exams?! If it was a difficult course I wouldn't mind that, but it is my easiest course this term!

Hmm lets see here, what I have done since last post in my bored haze...
  • Installed Slackware 12.2! I've made a good deal of progress into making it fully working to my liking. Got the proprietary nvidia drivers working, 4 out of 5 of the buttons on my mouse working, the scroll wheel operational, and have started to cut down on the number of installed apps. When I was installing, I didn't know that selecting full install would install several programs that all serve the same purpose for everything I would want to do on my computer. I think I had 4 IRC clients after installation...I think I may just reinstall once I figure out how to make all my hardware work the way I want it.
  • Caught up on the Bleach manga. I read all the manga between where the anime currently is to the end. Took me about 5 hours yesterday o_o . It was awesome!
  • Picked up some books for next term. Well, one of them is for next term (Intro to Thermal Physics for, you guessed it, my thermal class) and the other is for a course I plan on taking in 4th year called Introduction to Quantum Information Processing. The book is called "An Introduction to Quantum Computing" written by some of the professors here one of whom is the professor for that course.
Yeah that's really about it. Blah.

I'm trying to figure out what I should do today, but I'm awefully short on ideas. I plan on reading my book a bit, and doing a bit of studying, but other than that I have no idea! Its times like this where I wish I had an active WoW account Q_Q or another game that could keep my attention for longer than 1h at a time. I would like to have TF2 right about now, but I wasn't told that it was only $10 this past weekend! Since its back up to $20 I haven't bought it because the entirety of the Orange Box is $30! But I'm pretty yeah.

Oh well, time to burn time somehow...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And the Big Three are Over

I'm of course referring to the big three exams that I had this term. These courses are Electricity and Magnetism (Phys 241), Calculus 3 (Math 227), and Quantum 1 (Phys 234). Now normally these could be quite the difficult exams to do well in. Given a good amount of time between each exam, it would be possible to do well in all 3. Sadly this wasn't the case with my schedule this year. Each one was right after the other, with E&M on Thursday, Calculus on Friday, and Quantum was this morning. This is why I haven't done more typing here due to not even having the time to properly study for the big three.

Lets start off with E&M. This course is basically what wrecked the big three more so than the exam schedule-ers. Our professor did a terrible job teaching the course. By the end of lectures, I looked back and realized that I have no idea what was going on. I spent hours just trying to figure out what was going on. If we had been taught properly in the first place I would have been able to do proper studying for this course, and devote more time to not E&M. I'm not trying to blame any of my poor performance on other people as I should have taken the time earlier in the year to get E&M right.

The part that aggravates me the most about this E&M issue is that people that didn't go to class did better over all. Why? Well they remembered that MIT has recordings of their lectures available for free on the internet. So instead of going to class they would use that time to listen to the professor from MIT talk about E&M. Not only did they learn what was going on, but they actually learned more as their course covers more material. Oh well.

Next was calculus. This one I really hope that I did moderately well on. This is because I almost failed calculus 2 last year. Being I got a 50% in the course. Yeah. So anyways, the exam went *alright* but, once again, if I had more a gap from E&M, I would have been able to be much more prepared. Our calculus professor was amazing. He did plenty of examples, and always did a great job of keeping our attention, especially with the class being at 8:30am. If I had the option to take one of my courses by him, I would pick him in a heart beat.

When I got back last night, I had only a few hours left in the day to study for quantum. Not only that, but I still had to do the course "task" where I had to find an example in a quantum physics book that related to the course, type it up, then submit it (along with a few lines of discussion) via the online website in pdf form. So that cut down on the time given even further.

When I sat down at the exam (9am by the way), I took a look at the questions.
  1. This had to do with expectation values of a mixed state source. Construct the bloch vector, find expectation values, bla bla bla. This type of question was done very poorly on average by the class in the midterm, so I knew that it was going to be on the final. Because of that, I'm fairly certain that I got it perfect.
  2. Here you had to do some work with a time dependent harmonic oscillator in an infinite potential well. I had no idea at all what do to. I basically left it blank.
  3. I totally called this one the night before. It was a potential step function (which was obviously going to be on the final), but instead of going from V=0 to V=Vo, it was the other way around. It was one of the few options that we didn't do in class or on assignments so I figured that this was going to be the case on the final. Assuming I didn't make any stupid mistakes, I completely owned it.
  4. Hamiltonian and time dependency question. No idea what was going on, but I made some educated guesses and some *non-educated* ones just to get as much written down as I could.
I'm sure you can see why I'm disappointed in myself. With even just one extra day after calculus I would have been able to review so much more of quantum that I could have aced the entire exam. That said I loved the course. Fascinating material. The professor did a good job, but not nearly enough examples in class, and sometimes we wouldn't cover the assignment material until the week after that assignment was due. Oh well.

Well now that the majority my exams are done with, I'm heading out in just a few minutes to go to a waffle party. Mmm waffles. Just one exam left to go, being my database class next friday. The exam should be a cakewalk.

Well I don't think that I should let Claire wait for me any more, so I'm going to wrap this up. I have a lot to type about last year still (like the adventure with my first and second roommate...mainly the first).

Until next time! Here's to hoping that I passed everything! *cheers*

Monday, December 8, 2008

University Life

Here's a copy of the post that I did last night on my Gamespot blog. I'm going to be moving away from that system I've had in the past it eat upwards of half my entries because my html wasn't formatted correctly...even though I was using a wysiwyg editor -_- . Only a few things might not make sense if you haven't read my GS blog before, so everything should be ok.

Well everyone, its been a long time. Lots of stuff has been going on lately and I've actually missed writing down whats been happening.

I'm currently in the my second year studying Physics at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. As of this writing, I'm in the middle of studying for my Electricity & Magnitism, Quantum, and vector Calculus finals. Its been a pretty tough term; I've basically abandoned my old way of playing video games all the time due to time contraints.

But lets back up a bit, I have a lot to type about. I didn't do a single post in my freshman year here, so I'll do my best to sum it up. Looking back at it, all I can say is "Stupid Frosh". I honestly have no idea how I managed to survive last year. In my 1A term (that would be first term, first year) I tried to partake in far to many activities than I should have. Frosh week was amazing though. Too many good stories to type them all up right now, but I remember convincing the manager at a Lexus dealership to bring down one of his expensive cars for the science scavenger hunt.

In 1B, I pretty much dropped everything in order to play World of Warcraft. It was a terrible idea looking back on it, but I did have some of the best fun I had had in a long time through that game with people, who at the time, were my friends. I'll talk about that in a while too. By talk I of course mean type. Back to how I did, 1B was worse than 1A. I almost completely became your complete sterotypical WoW player. Didn't do anything with people. Didn't do my homework. Sometimes I didn't even shower for days at a time. It was bad. I ended up with a 50% in calculus 2, and a 56% in chemistry. Granted, I've hated chemistry for a while now, and will never take a pure-chem course again, but I should have done much better for such an inherently easy course.

In the past summer I was employed in a summer-student government IT position. At this point I still played WoW too much, and got distracted easily at work. Although to be honest, I wouldn't dought that they expected this. My main project for the summer was to build an internal website for them to use. Normally this would take about, oh, a month or so of solid work on my end. I had just over 3 months to do it however. To top it off, I didn't receive the exact specification of what they wanted until close to the end of the summer. It was at this point that I had to impliment a lot of database stuff in a short period of time....and I didn't know much at all about db work. Oddly enough I'm taking a db course right now as my CS elective.

The job treated my well though. I made some good contacts with some of the people that work there; some of the people in accounting and the actual IT guy.

Close to the end of the summer I had to let a good friend of mine go. AKA I told him to frack off. Some people who look on the situation see it as "just over a video game" or what not, but its deeper than that. This guy, named Dan, decided to become power hungry. You see, up until this point, in WoW there were 3 of us that decided to make a guild to have fun. We've known each other for all of highschool. When we created the second guild (this time on horde) our friend that we made online came with us. She helped us level up these new characters with the ones that she transfered over to the server that we chose. Skip forward a few months (this guild was made at the beginning of the summer when we rolled the horde characters) and now Dan is insulting myself and the girl that came with us in the first place. What really did it for me was all the lieing and insulting to her that he did. We all talked to him about it several times, but nothing changed. So I just said frack this, and haven't talked to him since.

This term has been much better. I cleaned myself up, started to attempt to look respectable, and really buckled down on my studying. Its been a difficult term, but now that I'm living on the upper year floor in residence again with my friends, I have some good friends to help me get through the work, including a great roommate this year. I kinda feel bad right now though, right as I'm typing this he's going to bed, but he said that it was fine with him that I finish typing this. He really is a great roommate. He's on coop this term though, so its not like he has finals to study for tomorrow.

Now where was I? Or right, 2A term. At the beginning of this year, I was a frosh leader for our residence, which was an amazing time. I made everyone think that I was a loving person, but in fact, that's only when I don't know them. In general, this year's work load, combined with my lack of martial arts and having to fix the noob's computers really made me sour in general to everyone. This showed when I was given all around poor reviews by the residence in regards to my attitude when helping people with their internet issues. Since 1A I've been the internet-fixit-guy, but after that review I was essentially fired. This honestly doesn't really bother me as I was mostly doing the residence a favor than wanting the job (the pay was terrible for what I was doing...$250 a term for my skill set? Yeah right...). Oh well, I've actually already been giving off less of an angry attitude towards the frosh here already. It'll be fun to see what happens next term though as I was the one with all the knowledge around here to fix anything. Not my problem however

Speaking of martial arts, looks like I've found a group of people to practice with starting next term. This makes me happy as I've really gotten out of shape since I started university. I'm going to be very happy to get back into it.

Going back to good friends that I live with, I made a new friend here that I enjoy hanging out with on the floor (other than my roommate that I hadn't met before coming here this term). Her name is Claire and I really enjoy hanging out with her. I'm not going to go into more details however since I respect her and I'm not sure how much she wishes random stories that involve her to be on the internet.

Some of you may remember a certain ex-girlfriend of mine that I typed about a few years ago. Well, long story short, she decided last night to send me a message on gchat. Now, everytime I've seen her since that summer, my blood pressure has just about doubled as I feel my heart fill with rage or something. I'm not quite sure to be honest, its probably adrenaline pouring straight into my heart or something causing it to beat really strong (not fast mind you). Anyways, the moment I saw her name in the message, bam, there it goes. I didn't even respawn; just blocked her. I couldn't sleep for a while after that because I had to wait for my heart to calm down. Enough about that though.

I really hope that I do well on my exams this term. I don't really have the option to screw up anymore.

Also, I just remembered: STEPHEN HAWKING IS COMING TO THE PERIMETER INSTITUTE!!! Ahem. Yes I'm excited for this. The location of that building is very VERY close to the campus so I'm going to get a chance to meet him! EEEEEEEEEE SO EXCITED!!!!

I'll leave this post at this for now. I've got more things that I want to talk about, but I'm starting to feel really bad about doing this while my roommate sleeps. I'll leave it at this though, I'm looking to move to a different blogging site. Something more dedicated to blogging than GS . Man I feel odd typing blogging. I'm not really interested in making something that hundreds will read, but more of a way to keep track of my adventures for future reading in a format that I wouldn't mind other people reading (such as my friends). I did some quick checking while typing this up, and I've seen Blogger and LiveJournal. If any of you have some feedback as to what I should use, that would be great.

Until next time!


Oh-em-gee First Post

Well everyone, I've settled on Blogger for now to be my place of writing. I've always liked Google's products, so I'm assuming I'll continue to like them after using their services here :P. Plus, its free and I'm pretty cheap.

I'll import my last entry from my Gamespot blog once I get a chance today, then I'll type some more stuff as I didn't finish everything that I wanted to type about last night.