So, I'm back in College Park (and have been for the last two weeks or so) and things seem to be back to their normal levels of hecticness and insanity. The apartment turned out to be pretty cool, aside from a few glaring problems for a while (no phone, no internet connection, broken cold water faucet). Those have all been resolved or worked around for the moment, though. It would be perfect if it wasn't so far away from campus, and the Greenbelt UMD shuttle doesn't run on the weekends.
Classes are already looking crazy. On Wednesday the first assignment for my Networks class is due, and from the messages bouncing around the newsgroup it seems like the CS department's server isn't working right. I've got my code done, but I can't really debug it since the client I wrote doesn't want to connect to the server. There's a lot of strange things going on with the project, and I'm sure some of them are the result of me trying to connect from offcampus, but even running locally I'm getting a lot of unexplained issues that doesn't seem to be problems with my code. Fun Fun.
It seems like ENEE445 and ENEE440 are going to be revolving around the Xilinx P14X prototyping board. I'd provide a link, but I really haven't been able to find any info on it online. We can buy the boards for about $100, but they aren't going to be available for at least a week, they take 8 hours to assemble, and the first lab is on Friday. The ENEE445 lab is open 24 hours, and I got keycard access, but seeing as I have no way of getting to campus most of the time, buying a board seems prudent. I've got a spare Dell Optiplex GX150 my girlfriend picked up for me a work (Thanks again!) that I plan on using for design work. I put that on a USB KVM switch with my Linux box (a must for Networking), so I've got a pretty nice setup here at the moment. I'm still using my Inspiron 5150 as my primary machine, and the 802.11G wireless router means that I can mess around from anywhere in the apartment (I'm posting from the couch at the moment). I've been looking at picking up a PCI based Sun Ultra 10 workstation and putting it on the KVM switch, and having it either run Solaris 10 or some sort of BSD distribution.
The Xbox is now nice and happy sitting on the cable modem connection. Xbox Live is actually pretty cool, and it takes almost all the hassle out of online gaming. Crimson Skies is the shit, and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is amazing, although it has a really
steep learning curve. I've already got Halo 2 on preorder, and may be taking a slight sabbatical from the Engineering department sometime around November 9th....
Well, better be getting back to work. Problem sets to be crunched and impossible projects to be completed, and all that.