Classes have officially ended for my fifth semester here at RPI. I have 2 finals in coming days, one in Material Science this Wendesday, and one in Electric Circuits the following Monday. I am concerned for the Mat Sci final, whereas I think I can pull my weight in circuits when that final comes along. Both classes involve some challenging material, but I’ve found that my circuits professor (Don Millard – Take him for any class if possible) has done a good job teaching the material, and teaching how the material will get used. In Mat Sci the material is taught well, but the applications are not. There are labs and stuff, but those poorly reflect the quiz material.
It snowed this morning. I was lucky enough to wake up in time to catch the the tail end of if coming down. I would estimate we got between .5 and 1.5 inches. The roads and everything have melted, but some of the sidewalks are covered with ice. I haven’t been down to the main part of campus today, but I can assume similiar conditions exist there.
Speaking of conditions, the RPI TV elections were last week. I will be remainind as Station Manager another year. I will blog in detail about this at a later point in time, but I could use some suggestions from anyone who is a video compression expert out there. What format should the “Archive” copy of produtions be stored in? The full resolution quicktime export is a bit large, but clearly the flash web streaming copy won’t cut it. Does anyone have any suggestions for a fair balance between quality (something that could be edited again if needed) and file size? Please comment or email me with you suggestions!
MSN needs to do more to block spammers. I have recieved hundreds of spam IM’s over the past few weeks. Maybe they could disallow links from being sent to someone unless they are your friend OR you have said something back to them. I hate these “We need to chat ASAP” messages with a link to some foreign website. I haven’t tested what is on these websites, but I hardly think it is material we need to talk ASAP about. And for those of you “Using my work account, IM at …” I wonder why can I not IM you at work if you can IM me. And shouldn’t you just use your personal account to contact me if thats where you expect to respond. Dear Microsoft, please fix.
As I eneded another semester of classes, I recieved 0 good parting words from any of my professors. Millard set the bar high by saying something (Given it was about three guys and their dogs), but most other professors ended by discussing the final or saying “thanks for coming”. That advice will definately get me somewhere in life, I will make sure to always thank people for coming, and give them a good briefing of any futher activities I’ll require of them.
I do some of my best work when I’m facing a challenge or a problem. Right now there aren’t a ton of challenges on my to tackle list, and as a result I’m finding myself generally unmotivated. I want to do stuff, and I know what I have to do, but the drive to do it isn’t always there. Throughout middle school and high school, I was always challenged by the latest problem with computers and technology that needed solving. Almost as importantly as the solving was the time requirement, things needed to get done in a certain time block because another assignment required it. In college I can’t say I find myself frequently charged with such tasks. Look at the start of Concerto. Initially I was writing tons of code. I was challenged by the fact that nothing else existed like it, and we weren’t sure if it was going to take off. Fast forward a few months, Concerto is stable and working. While there are still tasks on the todo list, none of them have strictly bound time requirements that others are depending on, and none of them are peticularly rewarding to me. [Given I question how rewarding the Concerto project as a whole has been to me on a regular basis.] There are an abundance of challenges I’d like to take on, but I’m constantly told by others I don’t have the time to do so, or that it is pointless. I understand that, but that has rarely stopped me in the past.
I’d like to get a lot done this winter break, but I’m less than confident I will. I know other things will come up requiring my attention. A balance would be nice. For example I would like balance the paper I have to write for my Tech Writing class with the work I want to do on other projects during the study days. Unfortunatly the paper doesn’t really care what other tasks I personally want to do, it just wants me to do it because that is what I am suppose to do as a good author. I don’t like writing when directed, I like writing with a purpose and a passion.
I wanted to end on that note, but I should put out an offer… I’ll be in the Western Mass area for around 4 week starting next week if anyone has any challeges they’d like me to look at in person. I volunteer most of the time, but will take money if you insist.