Archive for December, 2004

Christmas with the Browns

We have a relatively large family and Christmas is a pretty big event for us. We’re not religious, or anything, but we’ll take any excuse to get together with lots of family and friends and eat vast amounts of turkey and ham, and consume large quantities of alcohol. I guess I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Click the image to see a larger picture.

2004 Winter Term 1 : The Aftermath

My finals have been over for a while now, but I’ve been waiting to get my AI mark. This is how my marks break down, in order of best to last.
  1. User Interface Design: B+
  2. Computational Intelligence (AI): B-
  3. Chemistry: C-
  4. Statistics: D
  5. Computer Animation: F
I expected to fail Animation, so no surprises there. This is what happens when you don’t do the final project and you fail the final. I should have done better in 1-3. I had at least a B before going into the Chemistry final, but I didn’t have enough time to study after my Statistics final (3hrs). However, taking a huge hit on Chemistry to pass Statistics and never having to do either again is totally worth it. phew! I suffered a significant “retrieval failure” when writing my AI exam, causing me to miss major marks. That, and I didn’t finish it; much harder than the midterms were. The only real chink in my UI mark is the midterm… I didn’t finish that, either, getting only about 50% on it.
Now, one would be getting the wrong impression if they looked at this and thought, “Gee, Statistics must be hard.” That is completely not true; if I attended all lectures (and was completely awake during them) and did all the practice problems, I would have (no doubt) aced it. Instead, I ended up skipping many lectures because I was barely awake, anyways, and not doing any practice problems. In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to read all the notes. I’m pleasantly surprised I was able to get a sympathy pass. 🙂 Conversely, Computer Animation really is a hard course, and it’s significantly harder for me due to my recent apathy towards the maths. I will have to do something about that apathy, as my next term will be mostly math and physics. eheh.
For completeness, here’s an ordered list of the amount of effort I put into the courses, greatest first:
  1. User Interface Design
  2. Chemistry
  3. TIE: Computational Intelligence (AI) and Computer Animation
  4. Statistics

Eternal(?) Darkness

After putting in a few days of heavy gaming, I finished Eternal Darkness. Good game. One of the best storylines I’ve ever seen in a video game, too. I finished it in just shy of 20 hours, which is about average, I’m told. I had to sneak a peek at a walkthrough just a few times at the end; some of the puzzles weren’t so intuitive, but it was nothing like Resident Evil, where everything seems completely arbitrary. At the beginning of the game, I “chose green,” so now I gotta do it again with red and blue. 🙂 Then I get the super-special ending… Well, perhaps I’ll take a bit of a break from the games, for now.
Watched Bourne Supremacy, tonight. I liked the first a lot better, but it was alright.

Christmas Shopping

Alright. My exams have been over for a few days, now. On Monday, I had my Statistics and my Chemistry exams. After my Chemistry exam, my sister picked me up, and we went to her staff party at a Japanese restaurant she works at, part time. That was good. I got to drink sake and eat sushi for free! There was even a karaoke setup… but it was all-Japanese, with only 9 English songs. :-/ We thought House of the Rising Sun had not been defiled enough that night, so we had a go at it.
I did some Christmas shopping at Park Royal before coming back, the next day. It’s been ages since I’ve taken a good look around in Games Workshop! Wow. They have so many new things in there! Lots of new models for everything! And the new Ogre Kingdoms army looks pretty sweet. I miss painting. I was talking to one of the guys about the new stuff, and the new rules sound MUCH better – based purely on the rare/special rule. Now, all those cheap-ass war machines that some people *cough* Jesse *cough* like to use, are rare; only one rare unit per 2000 pts, thank you, very much. This means only one Doom Diver for me, as well, but… I digress. Also, the new rules for uniting all the Chaos stuff is pretty cool. And the new Chaos Dwarf models are a huge improvement over the old ones. Also, even though I already have the two prior starter kits, the new one looks so much better! All the models are plastic, (like with every starter kit), but they’re made up of many more parts allowing you to pose them and stuff. Way better.
Ah yes, back to the shopping… In my family, we usually only shop for one person, and everyone contributes a little bit of money for that one person. This makes Christmas shopping in a large family much easier. I was buying for my brother, who happens to be buying for me. I had called my brother and told him that they had a game at Future Shop that, I wanted, for fairly cheap.
Me: Hey, they got Super Smash Bros Melee at Future Shop for $40.
Him: Okay. Well, why don’t you just pick it up then.
Me: Um… okay.
Him: And you might as well pick up anything else you see, too. There’s no sense in me having to go down there later when they might not have it.
Me: Err… Yeah, okay…
So I was shopping for stuff for my brother and myself! I walked in between Electronics Boutique and FutureShop, and got some good deals on wicked games. So far, my bro will be getting 3 excellent PS2 games, and I will be getting 2 excellent Gamecube games. 😀 In fact, I made the argument, when I got home, that I will have much more time to play the games before Christmas, so I got to open them early. heh. Ironically, I did not get SSBM… even though I still want it. I saw another game that I hadn’t seen in many places for less: Super Monkey Ball 2! Wicked. I also got Eternal Darkness. So far, I’ve been totally enthralled with Eternal Darkness’ story, and haven’t tried Super Monkey Ball 2, yet.

Finals…

5 exams in five days. I’m so toast. 😮 But, at least, I’ll be done early: Dec 13! *tries desperately to smile*

some desktop luv’n

I’ve been screwing around with my desktop over the last day. Tried out a bunch of gDesklets and slapped on a new background. I should have taken a screen of the before, but at least I have one of the after.
gDesklets!

Let’s see, there’s the OSX-like launcher on the right, the column of various things on the left, the multitail thing in the centre-bottom (which is only tracking system messages, at the moment; notice all the errors ^^;), the memo thing beside the OSX launcher, and the corner xmms interface. *phew* One might even say things are a little cluttered, at the moment… especially considering I’m stuck with a 1024×768 laptop LCD, but I’m still evaluating them. Plus, it’s not like they get in the way of things – they’re basically part of the background! Fun stuff. :mrgreen:
Now, my goal for today was to get ACPI working, and thus prevent all of those error messages from scrolling onto my perdy desktop. Guess I’ll get at it. I have a huge buildup of random stuff from the past week+ that I was gonna put in my blog… maybe next post(s).