Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Some people...

Some people should not be allowed to create professionally.

Three seconds of proofreading, people. Even Word's grammar check would have caught that.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Why is this so hard?

I'm trying to write a proposal. It's for an assignment, and I have to present it on Wednesday. I don't have to hand in the actual written proposal until the end of the semester, but I have enough due then that I pretty much have to finish it so I don't get overwhelmed. I already have a content specification, 2 usability assignments, an HTML assignment, and a research paper due next week, and I don't need to add a proposal to that list.

I've talked about this before, but I've changed my idea. It used to be a device for telling buses to wait, but I figured that was too vague to write an entire proposal on unless I came up with an implementation of the system, so I decided to scrap it.

Normally changing an idea 3 days before it's due is a catastrophic problem. In this case it was a relief. I never was completely sure how I was going to pitch the idea, and my new idea is a lot simpler in a number of ways.

The new idea is actually an old idea I had for a way for hotels to call taxis without making a doorman walk outside and wave one over. It was inspired by a short amount of time I spent sitting in the lobby of the Brookstreet in Kanata, waiting for Barrel to finish up an interview. In the short amount of time I was there, I saw 4 or 5 people need cabs, and the doorman had to leave the hotel and wave a cab over every time. It was ridiculously cold out, as Ottawa tends to be, and the doormen didn't look at all happy about having to go outside to call cabs.

So I figured there had to be a better way. I quickly thought of a setup with a flashing light that the doorman could activate from inside the lobby, and then he'd only have to open the door once to let the customer through. Seems like a simple, almost unnecessary thing, but I think it's a great idea for a proposal.

Until I tried to write it. I have a summary of points, and nothing else. I can't do anything about it, no words will come out. No matter how hard I want to get these ideas down, they refuse to leave my head.

It's very frustrating.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Today's the day

I give my presentation in an hour and a half. Fortunately there was an opening today (we're starting proposal presentations in the other class, and because the same person teaches both we're allowed to present what we what when we want), so I'm slotted in. I'm not sure when it'll start, but sometime bewteen 2 and 4. Think good thoughts for me.

In addition, my tutorial is due today. Finally. That's been hanging over my head for so long that I've started to hate it. I spent a bit of time on Friday or Saturday night drawing up some illustrations (I forgot to take pictures while I was testing it) and editing the text a bit. It looks good, and I fixed a lot of problems I had with my technical description.

Plus I got some practice drawing and inking. Inking is tough when you do it freehand with a mouse, and I don't think I'll ever do it that way again, unless I have good reason to. The pictures came out looking mostly like they were supposed to, which quite frankly surprised me a bit. I was expecting to have to do a lot of erasing and re-drawing, but they all turned out decently.

I might put some of them online later, I have no idea.

After today's class I have a relative amount of freedom. Nothing's due until the 30th when I do my porposal presentation, so I better get a proposal written before then. I have a test on thursday, but those two things are all I have due in the next two weeks. The first week of Decemnber has a lot due, so I don't get too much time to goof off, sadly.

After that I have 1 exam, and then freedom until January. Huzzah! I might actually start blogging regularly again.

Thursday, November 17, 2005



After all the time I spent stressing over and working on this presentation, it just somehow seems right that on the day I present it I sleep in and miss the class.

Now I know how Kev feels.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Signs of life

Yup, I'm still alive. Busy, but managing. A couple deadlines got moved so all i have tomorrow is the presentation, but I'll probably finish up the tutorial anyway.

I printed the presentation handouts today at the Publishing Centre. 20 copies, double-sided full colour, wound up costing me $34, a number that confused and infuriated me. They were supposed to be 99 cents a page, so where did the other 14 dollars come from? Sure, there was tax, but the rest? I guess there was a file handling fee or something else tacked on, or else I just read the form wrong.

Regardless, they look really good and everything came out a lot clearer than I had anticipated, so I hopefully got what I paid for.

My handouts are nice, my slides look decent, so the only thing that can drag this presentation down is the delivery. In other words, I'm screwed. I'm trying to stay optimisitc, just have to remember to breathe and not try to rush.

No time for self-doubt, the future is now.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

What's my motivation?

My plan was to take this entire weekend and devote it to nothing but getting my research presentation planned and written. After almost all of today, I have an outline. Nothing else.

I can't get motivated to do anything with it, and I'm presenting it on Thursday. I have to have a presentation (at least 15 minutes) and a presentation aid (a paper that summarizes my presentation for the audience to follow along with). I'm glad he changed the assignment to allow us to hand in the actual paper at the end of the semester instead of on the same day as the presentation, or else I'd be royally screwed.

I want to do it, but when I actually sit down to work on it I can't write anything. Is the deadline just so far away that I can't make myself care about it, or am I just completely uninterested in the topic? Maybe I just need to go write it somewhere else. My computer tends to give me writer's block.

I'm supposed to also have a test on Thursday, but according to the course schedule we're a week behind, so I have no idea what's going on with that. I really hope the test follows the class schedule instead of the date schedule, otherwise it could be a very nasty week. I'm just glad I got the HTML assignment done and the tutorial written (still need to test and edit it, but those won't take too long).

Maybe tomorrow I'll be more motivated.

Friday, November 11, 2005


I'm supposed to be going over to Steve's to play some Twilight Imperium, but so far I have no idea what's going on. He was supposed to be getting off work at 2, and here it is an hour later and he's not home yet. So, I wait.

We played on Sunday, but the game got cut short because people had to leave. I suggested we try again today when nobody would have anything to do the next day, and now everybody's just waiting for stuff to come together.

I guess I could be working on my research paper, or editing my tutorial, but I figure I'll no sooner start working on something and I'll have to go. Filling in time with the internet isn't completely foreign to me, so it's what I'm doing.

I have surprisingly little to say these days.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Time management

I have 3 large assignments due next week, including a fairly major research paper. I ahven't done any research whatsoever, but the other assignments are mostly done. It should be clear sailing to get the research started and some information compiled.

Instead I played Guild Wars for 4 hours and then stayed up til 5. I started a new character (a mesmer/elementalist) and I have plans to build up a skill set I don't currently have (interrupting), so it's going to benefit my gameplay as a whole. Plus I need to unlock skills for both classes, and I couldn't get into the right mindset to play my elementalist. Raw damage doesn't seem to be my play style anymore, I'm shifting into strategy and support roles.

Anyway, I got 5 hours of sleep before the sun baking through the window and the congregation of pigeons on my windowsill woke me up. It's still hot in here, but thankfully the pigeons left.

I figure I'd better finish one assignment in class today and then get the other one done tonight, and then focus on the research until the weekend. Do I have the drive and determination to follow through with this plan? I'd better.


I reinstalled Opera 7. Ever since I upgraded to 8.5 I've had nothing but trouble. Here's hoping.

Edit: Woohoo! In your face, Space Coyote!

Blankity blank

Just testing to see if the posting issue has been cleared up yet.

Thanks to Kirkey and Kevin for filling me in on the finer points of Firefox usage, and that middle clicking to open a page in a new tab is the most logical thing in the universe. Well, I'm unfairly exaggerating that, but it still makes no sense to me.

If there was an option to change the default behaviour, I wouldn't be so hung up on this, but there's nothing to set how you wantthe tabs to work for pages opened within the browser. I have it set up to open external links in a new tab, but I can't do the same for a page set to open in a new window.

I'm sick of talking about it, so I'lld rop the subject. If I do convert to Firefox it'll be a long, rough transaction that will likely leave me bitter and jaded (more so), so I'm not looking forward to doing anything.

Good news on the assignment front though. The big assignment I thought was due tomorrow is actuall due next week, so I get a few extra days to work on it. I got a ton of it done today, so everything's coming up Milhouse!

Edit: I hate everything. Lucky thing I thought to copy the post before I hit publish. Blogger hates Opera, I hate Firefox, and everybody hates Internet Explorer. What a world.

Edit 2: Why does Firefox scroll in such small incremements? I'm using the mouse wheel and it moves 1 line at a time. My finger's getting tired.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Firefox and tabs

When I tell you to open new indows in a new tab, I don't mean open a new browswer with a single tab in it. I mean open a new tab in the current browser. that's what tabbed browsing is. Opening a new window destroys the entire purpose of tabs.

And no mouse gestures. I hate this browser.

And here we are

Taking people's suggestions, I've installed Firefox. I told it to import my bookmarks and it didn't, so already we're off on the wrong foot. It did fill my toolbar with Opera links I've never even looked at, so I don't know if that was supposed to happen or not.

So far I'm less than impressed. Looks like a long night of typing in addresses and then bookmarking them, but that'll have to wait until the current deluge of deadlines has passed. Lousy assignments, think they're so good.


Edit: But it does let me post. Feels so weird though.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Okay Blogger, you've made the list

If this text appears, I'm officially pissed off.

I am an Opera user. It's my default browser, and I love it to pieces.

I'm using Internet Explorer right now, and not only does Blogger suddenly give me a lot more options for my post, it'll probably actually post what I'm writing.

See that blank post below this one? That was a fairly detailed account of stuff going on. Right when I hit Publish, the window went blank, and magically nothing got posted.

For over a year now, this site has worked perfectly with Opera. See my previous 200-whatever posts for proof of that. Now, all of a sudden, it doesn't work.

Breaking compatibility with a browser is not a good way to get people to come back to your site. It's been happening more often these days, sites that have worked just fine in the past suddenly one day decide that I'm not worthy to look at them. As a result, I stop going there.

Got any recommendations for blogging services that aren't run by douchebags?

Is this working now?

Friday, November 04, 2005


MSN hasn't been working all day. I can't connect with Trillian, can't connect with MSN. I looked the problem up on the Trillian message board, and apparently it's happened to people in the past, and starts working again before too long. Still annoying though.

Mat called me earlier asking if I'd be up for a poker game. Naturally I said yes, and he said he'd find more people to play and then call me back. He never called me back, so I guess nobody else wanted to play.

School is getting annoying, but I'm working ahead now. I'm getting a major thing out of the way so I can work on other major things, and hopefully I'll get everything done before it overwhelms me. I may need to spend Saturday or Sunday in the lab, but I'll survive. Somehow.