36 Chambers – The Legendary Journeys: Execution to the max!

October 31, 2007

A Master Of BS

Filed under: Schooled! — Kevin Feasel @ 6:24 pm

I received my diploma in the mail today.  My final score overall was a 2,0, and I had a 1,7 on the thesis.  Given that my rule of thumb for translating American grades to German is to add one point to the German grade to make up for American grade inflation, I don’t think I could have asked for a better grade, as that would make this akin to an A overall.

Go team me!

October 30, 2007

I am no longer the internet’s most eligible bachelor…

Filed under: Kablooey!, Where's Poochy? — Tony Demchak @ 10:53 am

because my girlfriend has agreed to marry me. Now, we don’t have a ring yet, because I had to get it resized, but as far as we are concerned, it is official.

Also, I hate the Red Sox.

October 29, 2007

One Step Closer To Completion

Filed under: Programming & Work — Kevin Feasel @ 8:00 pm

I may even be 1.5 steps closer…  As I alluded to last time, we have 3 more pages to complete.  Today, we are pretty well on our way to completing two of them.  The other fellow was able to get his page working to the point that he could enter a record.  He can’t display it yet, but that’s good enough that I can work on the other page, as that jumps off of what he has.  I was also helping him with his page, as we were trying to put data grids inside a repeater and that’s not that easy of a thing to do, at least for somebody who’s never done anything like it before.  By tomorrow, though, we’re hoping that both pages will be done and maybe  one of us will get a chance to work on the third, which is itself about 30% complete.  Then it’s testing and writing reports, and we can present the project in just a couple of days.  After we present, I’m going to work on using stored procedures to speed up data collection, given just how many database hits our current structure requires (too many)…  But functionality before performance, that’s what I say.

October 28, 2007

Thesis Editing Started

Filed under: Schooled! — Kevin Feasel @ 5:42 pm

I started editing part of Jianhong’s thesis today.  So far, it’s really well-written, meaning that when she copied sections of papers wholesale, she did a good job…

October 27, 2007

Halo Beaten

Filed under: Video Games — Kevin Feasel @ 11:21 pm

I beat the single-player campaign for Halo today.  Granted, it was on easy mode, but I’ve definitely improved since the beginning of the game.  I think that chapters 4 and 5 were the best overall, as they involved a lot of different things and were a good mixture of challenging but fair.  Oh, heck, the reason I liked them so much was because I got to drive a Scorpion and blow the crap out of everything—that was plenty fun.  Chapter 6 was rather difficult for me, as an entire swarm of Flood come after you to begin the chapter and in my case, I had a plasma carbine with about 15 rounds and a gravity hammer with 5 swings left on me.  Throughout the entire mission, I was desperately trying to find weapons because I kept running out of ammo, and at one point, all I had was an Elite sword and a shotgun, which actually turns out to be a pretty good duo against the Flood.  The sword will take down pretty much every big guy in one or two blows, and the shotgun will take care of a swarm of little hooligans.  It took me a while, but lots of caution and not charging into battle allowed me to clear roomfuls of Flood…somehow…  The most pathetic death in this level was when a ship panel blew out and landed on me.

Level 7 started out fine, even though once again I had no ammo.  My weapons were limited to a half-powered Elite sword and a rocket launcher with 5 rockets in it.   I found a way to get through and get some more weapons, but if it weren’t for the fact that it was a wide-open field the Flood were dropping in on, things would have gone from touch-and-go to maddeningly frustrating.  Eventually, though, I got some good weapons, including a flame thrower.  That thing helped me out considerably against the hordes of Flood dropping down.  The last part of the level was probably the spot where I died more than every other place combined, as you have to drive a Warthog through a large portion of the map while avoiding either things falling on your head or floor panels falling out.  The enemies on the ground didn’t affect me much but that might just have been because I was on easy mode.

Achmed The Dead Terrorist

Filed under: Terrorism — Kevin Feasel @ 7:21 pm

The first five minutes of this are rather funny. The next five minutes drop in quality because they dropped into a lot of pop culture and cheap jokes. All in all, though, I can recomend this clip.

Thanks for the link, Jianhong.

October 25, 2007

Crunch Time

Filed under: Programming & Work — Kevin Feasel @ 8:35 pm

It’s now crunch time at work for our project.  We are most of the way done, but still have some important components to finish up.  Basically, here is a progress report from two standpoints:  first a conceptual overview, and second a layer-by-layer analysis.

The idea is fairly simple:  assets on one side, liabilities on another.  The top-level asset is a budget, which is made up of budget items.  A budget item is little more than a combination of a funding source (the actual money) and a funding code (how the money is referenced in their budgeting system).  All of this is done and has gone through unit and some system testing.  On the liabilities side, you take the values which exist in the budget and distribute them to divisions (departments in normal business-speak).  After that, break it down among different uses such as purchased services, training, computers, etc.  Finally, each bill or purchase order which comes in gets entered into the system in the form of a line item and tracked.  On this front, we just got the top level finished today.  Now we can allocate money among the divisions.  Tomorrow, I am going to work on entering in line items and hopefully will complete that one, since it’s not much more than a big form.  My co-worker is going to work on assigning money to the different categories, and if we both get done at about the same time, we’ll be able to test the system more thoroughly.  His task is probably a little bit harder than mine, but involves less data validation.

Now, in terms of layers, here is how it breaks down:
Database layer – complete.
Data object layer – complete.  In the first update to our program, I am going to incorporate stored procedures to speed things up, but because we don’t have much time and I would have to figure out how to use them correctly, it’ll have to wait.
Business objects – complete.  I generally have to do a couple of little tweaks with business objects for each page, but that’s fine by me.  With a data object rewrite, I might need to rewrite some of my business object logic, but probably not too much.  More importantly, I will need to use better error handling.  When I get an expected but “impossible” error, I have been trying to create message boxes to pop up, but that just won’t work, so I’ll need to redo that.  Again, this is something that I’ll take care of in an update.
Webpage and code-behinds – Incomplete.  This is where we still have to work.  I would estimate our current progress at about 66%.  I wish we were further along, but with about 3 more working days, we just might get this one finished.

October 24, 2007

This Just In: Halo Rocks

Filed under: Video Games — Kevin Feasel @ 11:53 pm

I played Halo in cooperative mode today, on a level higher than I’m used to (Normal instead of Easy) and coop mode is great.  It helps that I was playing with a guy who got through the game on Legendary mode, but I picked up a couple of tips and got a little better.  I’m not that big on first-person shooters, but this was worth missing two hours of sleep…

October 23, 2007

Hints From Herodotus

Filed under: Wacky Theories — Kevin Feasel @ 10:09 pm

When it’s dark outside, try driving with the rear-view mirror tilted up.  Then, whenever there are cars close behind, you too can experience Plato’s myth of the cavern for yourself!

October 22, 2007

I’m a sad panda.

Filed under: Sports — Tony Demchak @ 11:07 am

The Cleveland Indians were eliminated from the playoffs yesterday. Two men deserve the blame; Joel Skinner and Casey Blake. Let me set the stage for you.

It is 3-2 in the top of the seventh. Runners at 1st and 2nd, with Kennington Q. Loftington the lead runner. Now, earlier, he had been thrown out by former Indian Manny Ramirez stretching a single into a double. I was pissed at the time, but it was a brilliant play by Manny, as the ball shot off the Green Monster and he fired it into second. It is the kind of skill that comes from being at home. So Franklin Gutierrez drills a single that kicks fair, bounces off that weird angle along the third base line, and heads towards Manny. Manny is extremely unconvinced this play is important and is jogging towards the ball. Kenny is shooting around third, getting ready to head for home and…

Is held up by third base coach Joel Skinner.

Lofton is one of the fastest runners on either team, even at his advanced age, Manny didn’t even try to get the ball, AND Skinner held him up. The tying run. On third base. In Game 7! Tim McCarver even blasted him, as did Joe Buck, and for once they were right.

According to Skinner on Indians.com, “I’ve had plays where the ball kicks off and goes right to the shortstop,” Skinner said. “Where I’m at, I have to make a decision, and I did. From a higher vantage point, you might see the carom better, but from the ground level, it looked like it struck right behind shortstop.”


Now, Casey Blake, you get some blame here too.

First, you took the situation the Indians were in (still an excellent one), and eliminated it because, like most of the Indians last night, YOU WON’T TAKE A FUCKING PITCH. You swing at the first pitch you see and immediately ground into an easy double play. Then you take your shitty at-bat into the very next inning and blow an easy play to throw out Ellsbury. Next hitter, Dustin Pedroia, puts it over the wall, game over, and I turn off the TV (which I’m glad I did).

Wedge managed the game fairly well, Garko was amazing, and Westbrook was FAR better than Matsuzaka. Betancourt stunk, but he was put into a position to win by Blake and Skinner’s idiocy. I’m pretty sure we’ll be back there again next year, as no one had a career year that was out of their reach (although Carmona will regress). This one hurts, though.

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