May 13th, 2006

chromatic self

Grades and Notes

A habit of mine, as y'all know, is to brag (or cringe) at my semester grades on my LiveJournal. I'll get that out of the way first: Abnormal Psychology B+, Embedded Systems A, Selected Topics in Space Engineering (Independent Research 3.0cr) A, Switching Theory A+. Last semester's Computer Architecture changed from an Incomplete to a B as well, despite the fact that my final project didn't actually work. I think I impressed Dr. Bayazit by not whining for a grade (the e-mail I sent had more of an "I didn't make this work, here's why, here's what I shouldn't have done; what is my score for this?" flavor to it, rather than a "please give me a good mark" flavor) and going to the trouble of analyzing what went wrong so despite failing in my task to build a working CPU, I still learned a lot.

Less bragging and more comedy, you say? Okay. Well, another habit of mine: Posting highlights from my notebooks at the end of the semester. Now that I take notes electronically, that's even easier to paste in!

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And if anybody's curious about where any particular line came from, I'll be glad to tell you the context, I just don't feel like pasting my entire semester of notes in!
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chromatic self

Squirting a screaming watermelon out of your crotch

My cousin Melissa gave birth to her daughter today. She seems reasonably healthy by all reports, and Melissa is doing fine. How well she adapts to unplanned parenthood, of course, is yet to be seen. (There's wide suspicion, of course, that this was one of those intentional sorts of "oops" situations in which she went off her birth control pills without telling her boyfriend husband about it to lock him into marrying her.) And how well my family adapts to all the impending drama is also yet to be seen.

At least I'm moving away from it. In one week and eleven hours, I will be on an airplane to Seattle, Washington to begin a summer internship with Microsoft. I'll be out of my family's reach, and I'm going to actually be fending for myself... it's going to be a very interesting summer, and I'm definitely looking forward to it. My step-grandmother is holding my birthday party tomorrow night, because I'll actually turn 20 when I'm in Seattle and they'd rather give me stuff now because it's stuff that might be useful to have when I'm out there.

I've spent the day getting stuff and packing for this trip. ("Stuff" translates to a spare GameCube memory card on to which I backed up my save files in case one of my randomly-selected roommates accidentally or deliberately deletes or overwrites a save file on my card.) At least I've been getting to relax a bit- I've got a week off, although I'm not going to have much in the way of relaxation time beyond that! I'm also backing up the entire drive image for my desktop computer. I was planning on trying to ship it to Seattle, but it's not worth the trouble- just because it's a lot of trouble, because this laptop isn't strong enough for my purposes. It might be fine for most people, but not for what I need to do with it- due to my tendency to push multitasking to dramatic extremes, I need higher performance than it's got. Add its occasional overheating problems and an unreliable battery that either lasts an hour or drains as soon as you unplug the computer from the wall and you have a laptop that is only really usable as an underpowered desktop machine with a 1024x768 monitor because I don't have enough desk space to plug in another monitor to the back and use it.

I figure Microsoft will issue me with a computer I can do work on, though, and as for games, that's why I've got a GameCube (which I do intend to ship), a Nintendo DS, and a Game Boy Advance. And a load of Magic: The Gatheirng cards, not to mention a few board games. If I figured I'd have to make do with my laptop all summer if I didn't, I'd probably ship the desktop computer. But I'll assume for now that Microsoft will actually provide me with the resources I need (high-resolution monitor isn't a "want", it's a "need" for doing major debugging work) and plan accordingly. Of course, if they don't, I'm stuck with this computer... until I save up a few paychecks to buy one that actually does what I need in a portable computer, now that I've been doing serious (college) work long enough to figure out what I actually need.
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