October 21st, 2005

chromatic self


So now that the dust has settled, I'm home for the weekend, with only a Computer Architecture assignment due in the particularly near future. It's nice to have a weekend at home to relax, but what's better about it is monetary considerations.

Firstly, because I've been staying on campus for the weekend and doing my own laundry, my parents have decided to give me a raise in my allowance (from $20/wk to $25/wk) to counter for my having to drop quarters into the laundry machines. Not bad, considering that I'm sinking about $3.00/wk in them, not $5. That's small, however, compared to my attempt to do actual work. Because I've been spending myself into oblivion outfitting my PDA with its useful software, I'm wanting some extra work for pay- a project my father was planning on starting me on over the winter, but since I've finished the relevant unit in class, there's no reason for me not to go for it now, especially as I have nothing better to do. I'm going to be rewriting one of his software manuals, or at least violently attacking it with a red pen, from what I've learned in Technical Writing. I'm not a professional by any means and make no claims of such, but I am claiming to be better at it than my father- given what I've seen of his software manuals, I don't think it's an unreasonable claim to make. So I'll be negotiating some rate for the job with him- some nontrivial hourly pay- and working on that tomorrow, hopefully to undo some of the damage. And the TopCoder Open is now over, so the $225 I got there should come in eventually.

I also think I did well in the job interview. I don't know if I got the position or not, but I do know I didn't do any too badly. I did have to admit to knowing almost nothing about database or Web programming, but noted that these are classes I'm intending to take next semester; I think it's pretty much locked in now that I'm taking them! The interviewerst noted that they're good classes to take for any real job, because they're what most jobs in the industry require. It was my plan anyway, and I think they've locked this in to my schedule now...

The fun part was when I said I knew nothing about Web programming, but they went on to ask me theory questions anyway and then find it amusing that despite my lack of training in the matter, I got them right anyway. I couldn't do it for the questions about Visual Basic, but I blazed the theory questions, the Object-Oriented Programming questions, the C++, questions, the C question, the Java questions... I was informed that it's very rare that they run out of questions in those categories, as they ask such questions only until the person being interviewed misses one. I didn't.

Near the end of the interview, when things were winding down, one more question was thrown at me: the definitions of early and late binding. I was informed that they were considering dropping the question, and it's low-pressure, just extra credit- nobody they'd interviewed so far- not just at WU- had gotten it right.

I got it right. They were impressed.

So my odds? I don't know, probably not that great; it's a very competitive position and they can't have been impressed with my database and VB answers. But I think I do have a chance... I'll find out eventually!

And because I'm back on my laptop computer (Windows, not Linux- the wireless network got reconfigured and Linux is not using it gracefully), I have re-discovered the merits of minature fonts and icons. I have good mouse control, I can hit six-pixel caption buttons- and I can read title and menu bars in Small Font 5. It's amazing how much screen space I can recover just by shrinking the window decorations.
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Flushed Out Flushed Out

So there's a reason I've been staying on-campus for most weekends this semester: rennovation at home. Everything got moved out of my bedroom, and my bathroom is getting totally rebuilt for mold concerns. This is what my bedroom is currently like- and why I'm sleeping in the guest room.

It seems artistic, somehow.

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