Today has been a pretty boring day, reminiscent of times last semester where I would just sit in my room and do very little. Speaking of which, that reminds me I need to vaccum. I might also wash my sheets and towels today so they are pretty fresh when I come back to school after winter break. No sense carrying them in both directions if I can wash them here and leave them. I am confident they can survive the lowered temperatures and such.
Yesterday RPI TV had the final budgetting meeting for this year. I gave up towards the end of the meeting and just left. This year’s process was much more open than past years. Instead of simply asking at a business meeting “does anyone care what we buy?” like we might have done in the past, all were invited to the budgetting meetings… officier or not. My primary goal was to get a server for the club. As “Station Manager” I am responsible for broadcasting productions and managing the station. Broadcasting productions consists of me burning a DVD and dropping it off on someone’s desk. A task that is purely time consuming. A small robot could do that portion of my job. As for the “managing the station” component, I do very little in this regard. I complain when people fill up the hard drives, and complain when people take equiptment without telling me, or break stuff without telling me. My impression of “managing the station” has always been that I should be able to tell you the status of anything that the station owns. I cannot because there is this general belief that the person taking the equiptment is the person who needs to know, which is very counter intuitive when I go looking for X and its not there. I can hardly call RPI TV a station, so I’m not really sure what I do.
But I decided that we need a server to stream productions live online, better serve past productions online, and hold all the archives. RPI TV has poured large buckets of money into cameras, cables, tripods, and other “in-the-field” production equiptment but has poured less than a paper cup full of money into actually distributing what we do… and members ask why no one on-campus cares about us or knows about us. My ballpark figure for any decent server is $2000, for much less than that you aren’t getting anything that will perform well, nevermind have the capacity to handle growth. Realistically I would have liked to ask for a figure much higher, like the $3k or $4k range to get some better specs. I acknowledge that redundant power supplies, extra NICs, and more hard drives aren’t going to help the server perform better in the short term, they provide very useful redundancies and supports that can help make the investment last significantly longer. I’ve worked on servers with 3 power supplies that are >10 years old and still doing a great job. No, they can’t do things as fast as newer servers but you don’t have the downtime you might need to swap out a power supply and put a new one in. No one here really cares about uptime though, this server stuff is all a toy… it sounds very similiar to the approach the club has always taken to distributing their work. I conclude this paragraph the same way I did my component of the junkie meeting. To me it doesn’t matter what the club buys, I’ll work with a $1 server if I have to. My input only reflects what I feel is in the best interest of the group for the future.
I am halfway done with my finals. I have 2 this semester, and the first one finished up Wednesday night. I think I did OK on the MatSci final. There was an unanticipated large section on polymers, something that my class was poorly taught. I made up something about simple structures meaning something, so maybe the partial credit will kick in. Of course the problem on resistivity was junk. I get the impression the person responsible for the question was intentially trying to ask everything that wouldn’t be covered in an electricity or circuits class. Unfortunately this didn’t really reflect what we learned in class, in lab, or on the homework, which was mostly review material from my circuits class. Monday is my final for circuits. I’m feeling pretty comfortable with it. I have a pretty good idea what will be on it, and I know what problems I’ll get stuck on. Reminiscent of finals in high school, I feel that I actually know the material and will do decent on it. I’m certainly not going to get an A, but I won’t fail the thing either.
RPI got hit with a pretty bad ice storm thurday night/friday morning. As a result power and heat were out when I wokeup yesterday, so I quickly evaccuated to the Union. BARH seemed to have stable power by the time I got back to my dorm (10:30pm), but the apartment complexs on campus were still out. Those residents were told they couldn’t stay in their apartments. The union, armory, and a hotel were available for those needing a place to stay. I started to think to myself, where would I stay if I was told I couldn’t stay in my dorm. I certainly don’t have any friends that I would feel comfortable asking if I could crash at their places, and my general impression is that you couldn’t stay in a hotel room alone. That would leave crashing at the Armory or Union as most likely candidates. I’m no expert in spending the night in public places, but I am lucky I didn’t have to resort to either of those alternatives. I guess going home would have been the easiest way to avoid the situation, though I don’t see why I couldn’t sleep in my dorm. I do have my mummy bag here, and if it gets below freezing inside the building I suspect there are larger issues.
I think its time for me to get some dinner. I could really go for some Arby’s, but the closest one is not here.