Sliding towards insanity

The life (or lack thereof) of a UMD Computer Engineering major graduate
Saturday, August 06, 2005
My job has been, in short, insane so far. Shortly after my last post I was moved over to a development project where the core of the software had been outsourced to a development team out of India. The thing is this is the next generation of our core product, the thing that generates something like 70% of our revenue. It then turns out that overall, we have no idea what the previous-generation product did, or how it worked. What little documentation we had on it was flat-out wrong. Then to make matters even better we found out the Indian guys were really not competent to do this kind of thing, and had no sense of professionalism (deadlines, requests, everything was pretty much ignored). In any event, I've been working a lot of overtime trying to fix this thing up, and am planning on working right until my last semester starts at UMD.

Still, it's nice to have a significant income for once. One of the first things I went out and bought was a Mac mini, and it's quite possibly the best computer I've ever owned. It's not terribly fast by modern standards, but I really only use it for basic stuff (email, web browsing, instant messaging, watching videos) and it handles it like a champ. Mac OS X is really pretty nice once you get used to it, and the included development tools are pretty good. That's not to say I really plan on doing development on it, I'll probably just reformat my laptop and put a random Linux distribution on it (Not Gentoo this time, I just really don't feel like messing with everything to get it working. I think I'm past the point where everything has to be bleeding-edge.) for my last two programming courses.

This last semester is looking like it's going to be fairly programming-intensive, too. I'm taking both CMSC420 (Data Structures) and CMSC414 (Network Security). I've heard nothing but good things about 414, and it sound interesting, but I know 420 can get real insane real quick. It's a required class for CS majors though, and it sounds like it could be useful at some point. Still, I don't foresee myself doing any wired graph computations anytime soon.

Well, I better head out. I still have to pack things up for the Mark of Heroes game I'm running today. Mark of Heroes still confuses me sometimes, I can't tell if the RPGA guys running it are serious about the campaign or not. Sometimes things will be fine, mods will get released on time, and the content will be great. That's generally just long enough to lull you into a false sense of security when next week mods are missing, late, and out of order. We've put up with it thus far because the campaign is pretty interesting and the mods are fairly high quality, but if this keeps up much longer we're just going to finish out Living Spycraft before we convert over to Spycraft 2.0 rules and get as much Living Force in as we can before the campaign ends. I really want to get some more Living Force in, but scheduling around work has been pretty bad. As the campaign approaches the end of it's run (ends in January, at Winter Fantasy 2006) it keeps getting better and better, though. I just wish I had gotten in on it sooner.


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