A Master Of BS

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!

One Step Closer To Completion

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.

Halo Beaten

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.

Crunch Time

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.