massive fail today

July 24, 2008 – 11:00 pm

Well, my entire internship couldn’t be all good news.

I had the intern poster session today where I was supposed to make a poster out of my project and present it to whomever wanted to see it. Normally I love making pretty things but I was a bit grumpy about the whole matter…

They’ve been playing up this poster session the whole summer about how the top N posters (for what N I forget) will get to go to VMworld and present there… thing is I have no allusions about my project—it was fun, made be learn a bit of stuff, and makes the user’s life a bit easier but it’s not enough to justify sending me to present at VMworld—so I was a slack-ass when it came to the poster. I did a half-hearted job with the design (not horrible but not touching my best work) and about a three-eighths-hearted (1/2 * 3/4) job on actually putting it on the poster board. The final result was an embarrassment to me as an intern. I can totally live with that as I think that I fairly well represented myself when actually dealing with the viewers (and, you know, I’m mostly comfortable with making a fool of myself). The depressing bit came about when I started thinking about the fact that I was representing my team there as well as myself… and I really should’ve done a better job than I did out of respect for them… particularly my mentor.

So it goes, even I make stupid decisions sometimes. But regret would be pointless, just learn and move on… and maybe send a note to David apologizing, ’cause I really do feel bad for being such a jerk =/

iPhone Apps, GRAs, and Internships oh my!

July 21, 2008 – 11:40 pm

We submitted our app a while back to Apple, I have no idea what the turn-around time is until they approve it for release in the AppStore, I’m already impatient though. It’s for the best that it’s not live yet though, I still need to proof read the website we built for it and get ride of the most horrible of my sleep deprived typos. There are a few areas where we Really needed more time to polish/rewrite but I think we’re going to be able to devote a 9 hour class to working on it next semester so hopefully we’ll be able to fix it up pretty quickly.

Speaking of next semester: my GRA is basically going to be me being a TA for about 50 students that are doing mobile (and converged) app development which is exciting, I’ve really missed working with students. I’m hoping that we get some that actually get excited about it ’cause this is a class that could result in some really nifty things. If writing awesome software for cell phones with complex services supporting <obnoxious buzzwording>from the cloud </obnoxious buzzwording> sounds interesting it’s CRN 86326, 8803 IMS or CRN 86325 4803 IMS with Russ Clark. Both sections are full but let me know and I can probably get an override for you.

I’ve got two weeks left at VMware and it’s killing me. I’ve gotten to where I’m really really enjoying the folks I work with and the environment—I still can’t get over the fact that I enjoy spending time with these people outside of work. I was considering cutting my masters short and just hiring on but that idea has been shelved for the time being. My project is all but done, I have one occasional bug that I can’t repro so I have to pound on it a bit more. I really would rather my mentor not have to do any bug fixing on it after I leave and before it goes to production.

mrm. I think that’s the state of the world for the time being.

Magic button

July 11, 2008 – 7:56 pm

I’m not sure what magic button I pressed but I’m getting lots of comment spam here of late. I should probably get around to turning captchas on for this thing.

Anyway, other than that my project at work is winding down and I think I’ve done a fairly good job with it. I’m not sure it’ll get completely done (despite being practically there now) as everybody on my team is racing towards deadlines and super busy and I’m basically completely against a brick wall until I can get a few hours of their time.

As far as the iPhone project goes we missed the appStore launch date today by finding two serious bugs three nights ago. They’ve been fixed but it forced us to push some of the wrap up work back. We should be launching soon though. Of course this is only a small relief as that’s when the work really gets going.

Scheduling SNAFU…

June 29, 2008 – 2:48 am

I have royally fucked up my schedule. I mean, I could blame it on any number of things… I could blame the fact that the CoC overworks and understaffs the master’s academic advisors such that I never had a chance to sit down and talk with them, I could blame the pitifully low number of classes that they offer, I could blame the fact that it’s impossible to schedule most classes as they only open 20 seats for 500 students.

That being said I knew how the CoC worked—that it takes a sadistic glee at making my progression through the program as painful as possible. My only valid excuse is that they simply didn’t offer anything I was interested in taking semester1 and my desired specialization class semester2 had a time conflict with the class I was taking for my tuition waiver which didn’t make for much of a choice… so it goes.

You might wonder what kind of scheduling screwup could get a normally cheery person like me this bothered? Well, here’s my next two semesters:

Fall 2008:

  • 3 hours – Special Problems
  • 3 hours – Theory
  • 3 hours – GRA
  • 3 hours – Network Security (assuming I can get in)

All in all it’s going to be a rough semester but not too bad, so where’s the problem? Well, take a look at Spring 2008(9?):

  • 12 hours – Masters project
  • 3 hours – Distributed Systems
  • 3 hours – GRA

That’s right, my last semester is going to be 18 hours of coursework, 12 hours of which will be a grueling project that will eat up an infinite amount of my time and kill me to death. Distributed Systems is hardly an easy class involving many papers and terrifying tests, it’s also a project class. To top it all off I need to do 3 hours of GRA work so that I can get paid to go to school and my GRA is killer—we do awesome things but it eats time like nobody’s business.

The way I see it I have three options (only the first two of which really count)

  1. See if VMware will make me a full-time offer at the end of my internship and just go to work
  2. Kill myself next fall so I the spring semester never comes for me
  3. Drop the systems specialization for AI (which I suck at) or Software Engineering (which basically only has classes that are devoid of new material for me and typically have me want to murder my groupmates)

It’s that time of the year!!

June 27, 2008 – 9:43 pm

That’s right boys and girls, it’s time for the ICFP Programming Contest!

I’m trying to get a team together from the folks I know / interested parties at VMware. The plan will be to hack at somebody’s house here in PA and have the remote folks hooked in via IRC or somesuch.

if you want to play e-mail me (richard at here) and let me know, I’ll add you to the list once I get around to making it.