November 2016

November was the month of another endings:

  • Final goodie bags from CEC, NTUSU, hall, NTUBS.
  • Another FYP deadline, though not as important as the one in October
  • The final final exam in NTU

Some other events:

  • Signed work contract. It’s a 14-page long terms where wordings seem repetitive yet extraordinarily comprehensive. A sentence might contain tens of adjectives. :P
  • Collected room key. That day I travelled to Serangoon to collect the room key from my aunt. The trip was quite productive as I make use of the long travel time to read the novel So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
  • Won ice-skating tickets (again) and I didn’t use it (again) since the expiry date was very soon (like 1-2 weeks after my collection, and it was nearing exam)

Realized that I have free Starbucks drink so I go and claim one. Turns out that I could claim any drink of any size (so I claimed the Venti size :P )

Regarding coursework:

  • Meeting with Prof Miao again where she offered me to consider taking PhD with her (though I expect the meeting was talking about my FYP report, in the end, but she said it was already okay)
  • Submitted CZ4042 Project 2. This project was actually run multiple and sufficient experiments such that you discover the best parameter that produces the best accuracy. Not quite fun, as I would just tune the parameters of a pre-written Matlab program, gather the result, and spend a lot of time doing the report. The report part was really not fun.
  • Submitted CZ4032 Project. Yeah, like finally, after too much meeting and too much demands from the boss.
  • Submitted CZ4073 Assignment 3.

The day of big spending

There was one day, after I bought my flight tickets, I spent a lot of money for various stuffs: paying flight tickets, collected micro SD card, and bought new earphone from Challenger JP, bought lots of groceries from JP in preparation for reading week. In total, there were around $200 was spent.

November was also the month where I really submitted FYP Amended Final Report. Good thing is that the examiners and my prof asked for softcopy. Saved paper & money :)

Just before the reading week started, I joined JCU GameJam with Dian, Pentium, and Aristo. It was a game jam, mainly using Unity, but every one of us except Aristo had any experience with it. So, on the day, we went there by MRT and a 10-minute walk. The school itself felt quite new though quite ulu. One thing I realized is that the area was around the Singapore’s Zika outbreak area. Oops.

The Gamejam started at 6 pm. But Pentium came in late, and Aristo is still rushing his assignment report during that time, where me and Dian supposed to follow Unity’s tutorial. Few hours passed by and we finally get started for real, being guided by Aristo. By daylight, we had somewhat slept for a while and finished our own stuffs. Meanwhile, I was waiting for other people to finish their part.

In the morning, when Aristo finally integrated the main character to the game, we were amazed :P He implemented objects orbiting around the main character. Woah. No wonder it took a long time. In the afternoon, progress was still slow and the level were badly designed by me. In the final 2 hours, something terrible happened. Somehow, the synchronization with GitHub failed to update the configurations of Unity. (hint: we included the “meta” file to gitignore; do not do this) After we realized our mistake, the atmosphere became very intense. Basically, we rushed in the final hours to integrate and also build the game. We submitted it in the final minutes and the gamejam was over.

One strange thing about the game jam is that the showcase was on the day after. So we need to wake up early in the morning and came to the place again to “showcase” our games. There was a Pac-Man challenge too, essentially playing the real Pac-Man at the old consoles located in their library. After lunch, we were relocated to a public lecure and then the announcement. We didn’t win anything, even from the lucky draw. So yeah, we went home afterwards.

Anyway, few days afterwards, Coldplay’s concert in Singapore was announced! EXCITED EXCITED EXCITED. I BOUGHT CAT-1 TICKET AT THE FIRST PRE-SALE! 1st row 2nd seat, see how much NTU’s STARS Wars have prepared me for this kind of first-come first-serve (read: kiasu) online situations.

In first half of November too, I continued implemented some requirements for LILY Silver Testbed platform. Now they told me to write documentation. Duh. Luckily they let me see the old documents and I adapted my documentation from that one.

In the reading week, I started to play Tropico 5. Basically becoming a dictator of an island. Building houses, industries, and services. Not as exciting as Simcity but still nice. Though after unlocking every buildings and advancing to the latest era, the game feels dull.

And then there were exams.

  • CZ4073 exam. S/U option is ticked. Not because it was difficult, just because I have S/U left, so why not put effort on others and let this be S/U-ed. Energy saved. I left the exam hall in around 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • CZ4032 exam. More difficult than expected. I suspect a lot of people did not finish the paper.

Then I have around 6 days of nothingness before my last final exam. Started by playing Steam games: Tropico 5. Continued by reading Douglas Adam’s book. Now on 2nd half of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish. It was hilarious: after some Arthur’s love story, the author looks tired of writing and dedicated a single chapter to suggest reader to just skip to the end.

Then I continued studying for the CZ4042 exam on 2 December.

Wikipedia Asian Month 2016. Oh yeah, November was also the Wikipedia Asian Month, for the 2nd time. Since I was not involved in building the tool, essentially I am not really useful this time. I helped the idwiki admins sending mass messages to participants, and I participated by creating 4 articles (to be eligible to the lowest reward).

c4bot

15 October 2016.

It was two days before my FYP report submission. That whole day was spent on proofreading my report. It was very tedious and boring task. To recharge myself, I decided to went up to “the spot” and did a lot of self-talk. “The spot” is basically a laundry drying spot at level 5 in my block where almost no one was ever here.

21

It’s the time of year where I apply kaizen: To stop, reflect, and continuously improve.

I’m scared of the future. It seemed so uncertain and scary out there. Meanwhile, my days in university is numbered. I couldn’t start it with positivism and optimism like what I did in my 17th, where after reading it back, I laughed at myself 😃 Many things have changed but some things will not. I saw my wishes from my 18th birthday, I felt that I did fulfilled all of them already by this age: improved designing skill (check; hey, back then, my designing skill was really bad); improved public speaking (partial check; I think co-presented a presentation during international conference counts? hahaha); built personal website (check; it was a mini-resume now, with few side projects hosted on it).

Week 13, Semester 4

This is the final week of semester 4 with classes! The week after is study week and then came exam that will mark the half-way of my university life. Time flies so fast.

Week 8, Semester 4: FOSSASIA 2015

16 March 2015

Week 8 was a busy week. Catching up during Week 7 and Recess week may have relieved the business, but still I was pretty busy. In total, the number current project that I was involved in is around 5 (including secret and private projects).

I started the week skipping CZ3001 lecture as I slept quite late the day before. Going for CZ2007 lab which have no submission, we fixed the E/R diagram and wrote down the FDs. After lunch, I attended all lecture until the end of the day (watched 2x CZ2007 e-learning lecture recording; attended CM8003 and CZ3005; also a part-time project meeting which was quite demanding). At night, the part-time center set up a remote server for me to test out the project and I spent lots of time setting up the project on this remote server (including setting up a git server so I can just directly push without accessing via SSH). For making my summer internship registered as IO, I did some admin stuffs that night, preparing documents needed to be submitted to CAO. Also reading the contract from my the company, basically the main points are common sense (e.g. work stuffs belong to company; non-work related still belongs to you; work stuffs are confidential and must be deleted after work termination; you may not work for competitor after 1 year stopping working there). I also revised for CZ2007 quiz the next day.

The next day, I started by skipping CZ2006 lecture and revising for CZ2007 before having lunch and then CZ2007 quiz during the tutorial hours. After that, I went to LWN Library, printed the IO documents and went to submit it to CAO. Then I went back to LWN, did some lecture recording before going for CZ3001 tutorial and then dinner. Going back, I did some coding for a secret project and other stuffs.

Wednesday, I actually woke up at 8 but decided to continue sleeping since the CZ2006 tutorial is not really valuable to attend. I attended CZ3001 lab session which we started doing the project to make a datapath CPU by continuing our lab 3 codes. After that I went to LWN Library for CZ2006 group project meeting and then watched CZ2007 lecture recording before going for BU8401 seminar. After the seminar, I continued playing around with the server for my part-time project and broke it, oops. Yes I broke “sudo” command and I can’t “sudo” anymore.

On Thursday, again I skipped CZ2006 since I haven’t caught up with it. I did some coding in the morning and went for CZ3005 lecture which the prof assigned me as his timekeeper (so this means I need to attend his lecture? oh no) and then CM8003 lecture. I like to attend CM8003 lecture since it was entertaining as the lecturer like to tell interesting stories and sometimes funny stories. Besides that, it gave clearer idea on how Chemistry originates also the inventor’s society overview (which high school Chemistry lack of). After that I went to meet someone for my part-time project, which he helped me in setting up the environment in my laptop. After that, I went for dinner and then BU8401 quiz which I went out slightly earlier than the end time since I got part-time work right after the end of quiz. At this part-time work, I planned for my attendance on FOSSASIA and watched some lecture recordings.

On Friday, I skipped all the classes to attend FOSSASIA 2015. Early morning, I went to NYH meeting Thiri who took some stuffs there and then went directly to Matrix Auditorium at Biopolis, around Buona Vista/one-north, to attend FOSSASIA which start later than stated in the program flow. There were talks on Open Source Laptop (Novena Project); system-d (in which I have really no idea what it is); Around 1045, I went out from the area and walked to Healint (at Blk71 Ayer Rajah, around one-north) which was not that far, the distance was like from my hall to North Spine, only there is no steep slope. I went to Healint to sign my contract and have short conversation with my would-be IO supervisor. (by the way this self-sourced IO is still subject to school approval) Next I went back to the auditorium and continued to listen to the talks. I had the chance to listen to the end of talk on Maria DB; then the most anticipated talk on Firefox OS (which I did not find it really amazing as I have already amazed when the guy from Mozilla talk about it during the Mozilla Bootcamp). Then we had lunch which I had very fast and I walked around the lunch area, hoping to approach and talk to some Mozillians or some Wikipedian, but I observed that they almost are always occupied with conversations with some other people. I found it really hard to start conversation but deep down I wanted to have it! Then near the end of lunch time, I was asked to join a conversation nearby by the conference moderator. I introduced myself and joined in to the circle and tried my best of not backing out of the circle. Turned out that my circle that time, I was talking to a Mozilla rep, Chee Aun (which I have followed at GitHub as he had lots of stars in JS category and listed at GitHub unofficial ranking app; and by the way, he looked like Chin Chee Kai, my BU8401 tutor), and Kah Wee. (Well I recognized them since the participants have to write their name in a sticker and stick it to their own clothes). I talked about Nokia (as seemed like I was the only one using Windows Phone and Nokia there :P ) and about Firefox OS, trying it out from the Mozilla reps.

The afternoon talk started with topic on Loklak, a Twitter feed data collector; then on oVirt; Icinga; and then on Open Data of Government (by Singapore Minister of Environment and Water Resources, who amazingly speaks JavaScript!) By the way he is a very political person, I can feel that the way he talked is charismatic and influential. After that, the talk talks on JanOS, making IoT out of Firefox OS phones, which was really interesting. Next talk was on Open Data at Chinese Government; on Python; on the history and progress of VLC Media player by the largest contributor of the project (which talk was hard to catch and not that interesting); and finally on Yahi (the crowdsourcing project on measuring Haze in Singapore). After this talk I went off back to NTU as I had to meet my subcoms for dinner and then prepare for NTUBS Dharma Class 6. This Dharma Class was conducted by Bhante CK and after the end of the class, we had a book discussion which was conducted by Marcellino and I can say that it was a success as the book that we promoted was borrowed!

Saturday, I attended the ICPC training and NTUBS Dharma Circle; and not joining FOSSASIA at all. After the training and lunch, I went to join NTUBS Dharma Circle that took us to Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore via a chartered bus. We had a temple tour there, guided by one of their staffs. Well, I was not impressed by all those luxury that they had. I think it’s okay to venerate The Buddha that way but then it may give rise to misconception that one need lots of money to be a good Buddhist. Besides that, the relics are quite hard to see and we are not supposed to take photo of them. Well, I can tell you that in Buddhist Fellowship, some Buddha’s disciples relics are being displayed at the Dharma hall and there are no restrictions at all. I also didn’t even know that it is relics before I join a meditation retreat there and accidentally walked and observed the display. Back to Dharma Circle, after a quite tiring tour (well, I was carrying my laptop because after the ICPC training I did not have time to go back and put down my laptop). Next, we took MRT and bus to West Coast Park. We started by playing around with kites that turned out cannot be flown at all because there is no wind. I also had a chance to join the others climbing pyramid to the top. Too bad the weather does not support our activities. After that, we have to be sheltered and had a very rough journey (and I also need to protect my laptop being wet) to West Coast Plaza. I had Subway there. Going back, I was really tired and rested.

I dedicated the whole Sunday for FOSSASIA 2015 day 3. Mornings were nice but afternoon session ended in breaking my heart. The venue are spread across Blk71 and Blk79 Ayer Rajah area (area where a lot of start-ups were located, at one-north). I attended the Mozilla track and got attention by the speaker since I’m wearing my “Don’t Track Us” T-Shirt that I got from DuckDuckGo. The talks were on Firefox OS app coding, Mozilla Webmaker, and OWASP ZAP Security Testing. After that, I went to 2nd floor where lots of people gathered and I saw some demonstration of a hardware that helps reading a digital text. Quite a good idea although if I may suggest, to put a camera and use OCR instead of just reading digital text (so that it can read text on the fly). After that, the organizer “chased us away” from the room stating “that area is for speakers only, participants should have lunch at 1st floor”. I went to first floor then, and saw that there are still talks going on talking about how Haskell is way better than JavaScript (note: in some situations). After the talk ended, we were handed packet lunch and then I went to attend workshop on MediaWiki gadget coding. Well, it was not too hard, although I feel that the JS library that can be called in MediaWiki is not really well-documented and there are a lot of deprecated codes around. Next I went back to the Mozilla track, joining in the middle of the talk of MDN (Mozilla Developer Network) wiki which I don’t really pay attention, and then Hacking on Gaia! I anticipated this talk a lot (they demonstrated Firefox WebIDE and Firefox OS) but then turned out that most of the time were spent on just setting up Gaia on our laptop. After much trouble waiting in downloading/copying Gaia, turned out that it is not “make”-able in Windows. And when I asked for help, the speakers were just looking at me with the “I can’t help but pity on you” face. Well, I was left with no solution and even no suggestion on what to do. Then I remembered that this laptop is Dual OS, and I switched to Ubuntu and successfully build Gaia on that OS, but then time has been up and FOSSAsia has ended (the participants on this track were even skipping the closing ceremony and yet they “broke” my heart :'( ) I went back to NTU with Aswin, an Indonesian senior that is active on NTU Open Source Society that I met earlier that day. Arriving at my room, I felt very exhausted and little bit “wasted”. I did some coding for my software engineering project and ended the day by watching CZ3001 lecture recording.