sharan: (Symphony X)
One day after my summer class already started, but they're finally here. I'm just glad the semester is over. It was a particularly rough one:

Course IDAttemptedEarnedGradesUnitsPointsCourse Title
ENGL-3034.04.0B+4.013.20Introduction to Fiction Writing
EE-4523.03.0A-3.011.10Game Hardware Architectures
EE-3220.00.0W0.00.00Introduction to Digital Audio
CSCI-4863.03.0B-3.08.10Serious Games Development
CSCI-4803.03.0B+3.09.90Computer Graphics


May. 18th, 2008 08:05 pm
sharan: (John Wetton)
There's been a lot of stuff going on lately that I haven't posted about here, so I thought maybe it was time for an update. I just finished a serious Semester From Hell. So bad, in fact, that I have decided not to go for the masters at USC. I'm really fed up with the whole student group projects thing, and the masters is very project heavy. Besides, I've realized I probably don't even need the masters to get a game programming job. If I do anything (and I suspect I'll take some time off first) I will probably do something more on the music/audio side, since I really do want to specialize in game audio.

Things outside of class haven't been so great either. As I posted the Universal job ended, and I've had some promising leads but so far I'm still unemployed (breaking my record of being unemployed for 1 month in the middle of the dot com crash). I had an interview at a game company on Friday, and I have a phone interview for contract work tomorrow, so hopefully something will happen.

On top of everything, a couple of months ago Justin announced that he was moving out. After being roommates for over 6 years I'm understandably not too happy, and I miss him and the cats (he took 3 of them, including Kitty Cat, who had decided he was my cat and was sleeping on my bed every night (I really miss him:(). Also having my rent double just when I lost my job did not exactly help matters at all. I don't want another roommate, though, and I couldn't anyway because we cleared out the storage locker so this place is pretty full. It's going to take a while to get things straightened out even now that classes are over.

Also, Kitty's been diagnosed with a bunch of medical problems lately. He spent a week at an emergency hospital and was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. Then more recently the doctor was worried about him breathing heavily and they thought he had heart problems. They did tests and his heart was in the normal range but he had a lump in his lung. He's been on antibiotics and he seems to be breathing better, so it may just have been an infection. But his heart was still beating really fast so the doctor gave him heart medication to slow his heart down, and it seems to have done wonders, since he's more active and alert than I've seen him in years (if ever). Fortunately he's adjusted well to the other cats leaving. He seems to like having the place to himself. The other cats, on the other hand, were totally traumatized by the move.

With all this chaos and some unrelated crap going on I can't really talk about it's really starting to look like Baycon probably won't be happening. I don't even know if Justin's going and if he doesn't go I definitely can't afford it. Plus, finding a pet sitter to deal with all Kitty's medical needs at the last minute would not be easy.

Yesterday I decided to get out of the house and went to a meeting of the Greater Los Angeles Writer's Society, which was nice. They were talking about Writers of the Future and showed a DVD which featured an interview with [ profile] edgreen86, among other people. I even got a copy of the dvd.

I did also get to go see Asia again at the Canyon Club a couple of weeks ago, which was nice. Another great show! But I also had to unfortunately miss Symphony X for financial reasons. I already had the Asia tickets at least.

So there's been a lot going on, including a lot of stuff that hasn't been fun. But I'll get through it eventually. *sigh* At least I survived another semester. And unless I decide to take a full time game job and cut back my classes I'll actually be graduating in December! At this point I'm really looking forward to this being over with.
sharan: (bill the cat)
And if it had a license plate I couldn't find it. But then I haven't really slept in over 24 hours now. Demo Day is over, and the game hardware architectures homework, well it's submitted, but if I couldn't find the bus error after staring at the code for so many hours it probably wasn't going to suddenly appear and wave at me. And it was due at 11:59pm. Even though other people were still working when I left I submitted what I had.

I REALLY hate submitting broken code. I'd rather get it in late working but since the deadline to get grades in is tomorrow it was kind of a hard deadline, unfortunately. And it was painfully obvious I needed a fresh set of eyes to look at the code because no matter how long I stared at it it looked just like the code that worked fine on the last project.

The good news is, this means the semester is finally over!
sharan: (bill the cat)
I just thought I'd post a quick update. Kitty came home Friday night and is doing well. I was really worried when he went nuts when they were trying to show me how to do the subcutaneous fluids at the vet, but it turns out that as long as I warm the fluids first and he gets lots of petting and attention while it happens he's actually really good about it. *whew!* He goes in to my regular vet Friday morning, so I'll know more then.

Classes also started this week and are looking good so far. Today I actually had my first class in "Intro to Fiction Writing" (since I finally decided to FORCE myself back into writing). It turns out the teacher likes SF too (William Gibson and Roger Zelazny), so that's nice!

I'm also telling all my teachers that I'll be in San Francisco at the Game Developer's Conference. My roommate and most of the rest of Infinite Monkey Factory are flying up Tuesday afternoon, but I really can't afford to miss 2 of my Game Hardware Architectures classes (which should be interesting, since it looks like we'll be learning how to program for the PS3/cell processor!). So I'm flying up first thing Wednesday morning instead.

I've also done some work on another New Years Resolution, trying to do something about getting over the long time fear of singing in public (it goes back to a bad experience with a lousy sound system at my brother's bar mitzvah - before that I was in chorus for 8 years, even made all county chorus once, and always LOVED to sing). I finally tried out Karaoke Revolution, Rock Band, and now Singstar (although I think I prefer Karaoke Revolution - it's more "fun"), and found a game that I not only enjoy, but it's the only game (other than maybe puzzle games) I've ever been able to BEAT on expert mode, and even get platinum on. I can still do the singing even if I am badly out of practice. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll either take a singing class at USC or maybe just take private singing lessons.

I also got this cool little GPS when I realized that it just might help me navigate rush hour traffic when I'm trying to get to my 6:30pm or 5pm classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. This thing's nice, and so tiny it's actually smaller than my Palm Z22. It even works for walking or bicycling.

Oh, and I'm writing on my new laptop, a Thinkpad X61 tablet convertible. I was hoping to wait until the summer to upgrade but my 3 1/2 year old Thinkpad R50p decided to force the issue a few weeks ago when the network card died. This one's going to be MUCH nicer for taking notes in class with, though. It's been an expensive year.

Of course I've discovered the joy of Vista (yeah, I know, but apparently XP tablet edition sucks even worse). Apparently I can't open a popup window without Firefox crashing, so no preview for me here. (UPDATE: problem solved! It was the Thinkpad Password Manager Firefox extension that just got installed crashing Firefox. I disabled it and popups work again!)

Well, I have to go get some stuff done, take care of Kitty, and get to sleep, since I have a 1pm class tomorrow and can't afford to oversleep or I'll have NO time to work.
sharan: (bill the cat)
I just printed out the last take-home final and just have to get it in to the Anthropology office by 10am tomorrow morning and I'm all done! *WHEW!* I am SO glad this semester's over!

I'll post more updates later, although I'm also going to be putting in a lot of overtime at work over the next 3 or so weeks until it all starts over again. It's been an insane past few months!
sharan: (Default)
For me anyway. The Shrek game is still winding down but Justin told me they don't need me now, since there aren't too many bugs left so they can handle them without me. It's actually a relief with next week the last week of classes and finals after that. I'll be contacting ISI and letting them know I can come back, but I'm seriously tempted to take the next 2 weeks "off" and concentrate on making it through the semester. I think I could really use a break:).
sharan: (bill the cat)
The license plate of the mack truck that hit me was something like SPR07@USC. Between that and work I wouldn't expect to see much of me until May.

In fact this semester's so busy I've had to decide I can't really afford the time to go to NY for spring break, and will stay home and work full time that week instead. Which means I'll miss Lunacon, unfortunately:(. I will be at GDC the week before that, though.

I actually had to drop my Advanced Writing class, and the semester's still going to be rough even without that.
sharan: (Default)
Yesterday I found out that it looks like I'm getting a B+ in my MIDI class, and today all the guitar class grades are up and I have a total of 93.05%, which sounds like an A to me!

Unfortunately I probably won't know any of my other grades until the final official grades go up, which I suspect won't be until sometime late next week. In fact for a couple of my classes I haven't seen any actual grades all semester, so I just have to hope people complimenting my work is a good sign! I just hope I did well enough to drag my cumulative GPA back above 3.5 (it's 3.38 now due to 2 lousy math classes) so I can actually be eligible for more scholarships!

It was a weird semester, and next semester's looking even weirder.
sharan: (Default)
Thursday night was my last final, so the semester's all over with. The one that was tonight turned out to be a mistake, and was actually last Wednesday. At least now I don't have to worry about being late for the ISI holiday party tonight.

This weekend I actually had time to do some cleaning up and managed to find the power supply for my laptop! That's a relief, since I just bought this one a few weeks ago when my old one died and it wasn't cheap, and I was worried I might have left it on campus and need to buy another one. I also actually managed to practice guitar just because I felt like it, which is good, since I won't be taking a guitar class next semester and I really do want to stick to it! Knowing how lousy I am at getting around to things like that I'm glad I'm actually doing it. I did some things from class, and then since I can play whatever I want now I spent some time practicing "Heat of the Moment" and then switched to finally learning the beginning of "More Than A Feeling" (that song is so much fun on Guitar Hero I just had to learn it for real guitar!:))

I also finished a book Friday night (Laurell K. Hamilton's "Strange Candy") so all in all it was a constructive weekend. Although some side-work I was waiting on got delayed so I couldn't work on it, but at least that wasn't my fault.

BTW, in case anyone's been wondering, the party sometime in October which became the one sometime in November, is now going to happen sometime next year, but we still don't have a date for it. My roommate just hasn't been in the mood to plan a party. It'll happen eventually, though!:)
sharan: (Default)
That's the sound of me falling over from exhaustion after the last week of classes. Finals start next week, but by some really bizarre stroke of luck I only have 2 finals coming up, one for 3d modeling/Maya and one for my MIDI class, both practical type finals that don't require studying. Don't ask me how I got off so easily when I'm taking 17 credits!

It's been a rough week, though. My guitar final was Tuesday (and the final quiz for my game design class). Plus it got really cold here and I still had an air conditioner in my window and got cold and have felt sick for the past few days. I may leave work and head home soon since I feeling like I'd fading pretty fast now. I get to work a lot more hours next week at least!

Also, Astrology Meme )
sharan: (bill the cat)
Damn, I don't check in here for a few days and one friend's mother dies and another posts that she's moving across the country. I need to check in here more.

The good thing is there are 2 weeks of classes left and then finals. It'll be a relief when this semester's over. I don't know how next semester will be, since I'm registered for 16 credits but it's 7 classes since I'm taking so many 2 credit classes.

I also finally did 2 long-overdue petitions, and got the lower division writing requirement waived, but not the global cultures requirement I'd hoped my Latin American Politics class would fill. Oh, well. They do have some interesting classes I could take to fill that one, so I'm not too upset.

For some reason I have a nasty headache, which is finally starting to go away.

You know

Nov. 3rd, 2006 04:45 pm
sharan: (Default)
I really wish I had time to check in here more than about once a week. It takes a while to catch up this way! Well, only 4 more weeks of classes left before finals at least. I can't believe how fast this semester's going! I just registered for next semester today, although I have to get some requirements waived so I can register for other classes, so my final schedule is still very up in the air.

It looks like I will survive with 17 credits this semester, and next semester should be another interesting one. I even managed to save our XBox 360 game from turning into a straight PC game by faking realistic swimming in the Torque Shader Engine with a flying vehicle.

Oh, and I came up with a REALLY cool game idea in my Game Design Workshop class that I actually want to do, but I'd need to talk to someone over at a company I know a couple of people on here have worked for in the past and I think one of them still does consulting work for them. Maybe I can talk to them about it at Loscon, since at this rate I don't know if we'll actually make it to LASFS or the Coral Cafe anytime before then.

On campus

Aug. 21st, 2006 03:30 pm
sharan: (Ack!)
Well, that didn't get off to a good start. I was low on gas and there was LITERALLY no parking available (I've never seen it this bad), and I drove around for so long I finally had to go get gas and come back. Fortunately, I found a spot right away when I got back, but then I realized I forgot to print out a map, and went on (faulty) memory and wound up on the wrong side of campus and had to find a map and walk back. *sigh* So all in all I was close to an hour late for a class. I'm not actually registered for it either, although I will probably have to register for it if the class I am registered for later today gets canceled or merged into another class as seems likely to happen. Hopefully I will find out for sure later today, since the uncertainty is really driving me nuts!
sharan: (Default)
Damn, I am SO not ready for this.


Aug. 17th, 2006 12:09 pm
sharan: (stress)
When it comes to registering for classes, I'm always rushing to check the schedule and plan everything out as soon as it's released. So right now, with classes starting on Monday and my schedule still up in the air I'm starting to get REALLY stressed out. I had everything planned out, but my entire schedule changed drastically when 1. I was lucky enough to get into the MIDI class I really wanted and that I expected to be full and not have room for me (a good thing), and 2. My AI For Video Games class got canceled because only 3 people were registered for it, and I had to drop the regular AI class too.

I just managed to register for an advanced Game projects class where they'll be doing XBox 360 programming on actual official devkits, but the only catch is only 6 people are registered for the class right now including me. On top of this, another class I'm registered for, Pipelines for Games and Interactives, ALSO has 6 people registered for it (there were 8 yesterday morning, but 2 people dropped it). They're both very cool classes, and all I can think is too many people are perfectly happy getting boring web jobs or something. I don't know why the game classes are having trouble getting people, but the new degree just got approved so hopefully it'll start bringing in more people so I'll actually be able to take the classes I need to graduate without them getting canceled constantly.

So now I'm registered for 2 classes in danger of being canceled, and with classes starting on Monday it's not going to be easy if I have to switch classes after they've already started. I'm already planning on going to one on Monday that I'm no longer registered for in case I need to switch back to it. The Computer Science adviser thinks they'll let the Pipelines class go on because it's a new class, but the other one still needs 4 people to happen. I'll feel so much better once this all gets worked out! I just hope that happens before classes start, not after. I've been so stressed out over this I actually needed a couple of extra-strength Tums this morning.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
*whew!* Another week is just about done. My parents were in town until Wednesday morning, and between that and being up late every night they were here because I wanted to get some work done on Rockers Online it was a crazy week. But it's just about over and it looks like my goal of actually launching things this weekend are pretty much on track. I have 3 bands pretty much ready to go live in the new format, and I'm hoping to get at least 1 or 2 more ready before it launches.

It definitely needs to be this weekend, because there's only 1 week left until classes start, and next weekend is the Def Leppard/Journey show. It's hard to believe classes are coming up so fast! The insanity has already started! At the beginning of this week I managed to get myself into the MIDI class I really wanted to take (if I do want to go into game audio like I'm considering it'll really help, and my adviser said he can work with it for my degree), and no more than 5 minutes after registering I found out another class I really wanted, AI for Video Games, was canceled because only 3 people registered for it.:( Of course that meant I had to drop the regular AI class too (I'm not taking one without the other) and I've spent all week juggling and re-juggling my schedule to try to come up with something that works. I think I'm close now, but I'm registered for another class, Pipelines for Games and Interactives, that only has 5 people registered for it now, so that might be canceled, too. (believe me, the lack of enthusiasm for the classes for my new major has me a little worried. I guess they all want to go out and get boring web jobs after they graduate.) The good news is, if that IS canceled I'll be able to arrange my schedule so I only have classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I'd have 2 full days to work, and 4 whole days to prepare for the next week of classes. I really like that idea! I'm half tempted to drop the class now for that, but I'll at least wait and give it a chance to be offered. Even with it that means my only class on Thursdays isn't until 5.

The great thing about the no class on Thursdays is, it'll make a few things much easier: no driving up to USC for the day during Worldcon, and I won't have to worry about the Asia Long Beach show (on a Wednesday night, so I can see them twice - I already got tickets for the Canyon Club show), or the Stratovarius show at House of Blues on Wednesday, October 4th (the day before Queensryche show at the Gibson Amphitheater I already ordered fan club tickets to, so it'll be a busy week!).

Well, I'm pretty much done here (I was waiting for things to get pushed live) so I'm going to head home so I can spend the weekend getting Rockers Online launched (and other things I want to get out of the way before classes start)!


May. 10th, 2006 10:40 pm
sharan: (Default)
Well, I finally survived finals, and have 3 whole months of no classes to look forward to, so I may finally have time to post/read here again so I figured I'd post an update. I still don't have most of my grades (although I did get an A- in my Electrical Engineering class), but once I do I'll post them here again. I'm just glad it's over, because I was getting pretty burned out after 2 years of no real break (that summer Calculus class was a mistake I WON'T be making again!).

This week is also E3, and I kind of got a taste of what an E3 deadline is for my Mobile Game Programming class, since I had to finish my Nintendo DS game in time for the Monday deadline, and wound up pulling an all-nighter to get it done. But I'm really happy with the results, and if you want to see it in action the site for it is here. Unfortunately I never did get it working on the DS hardware (just an emulator), but I'll probably get my own hardware to be able to do that and see if I can get it working sometime this summer while I still have time. I also volunteered at E3 today, but didn't think to bring suntan lotion, and after being out in the sunlight for 5 hours straight without a break I got pretty badly sunburnt. My roommate met me there for lunch, and after that he brought me over to the people in charge and got them to let me go early because of that. I would have been happy with some suntan lotion, but it was nice to be able to go home and relax, and I wound up staying home and watching a lot of TV instead of heading back for a party I was supposed to go to tonight. I did go to the IGDA party last night, which was fun and good networking.

In other news, a lot happened that I just didn't have time to post about here over the past couple of months. My car got rear ended a few weeks ago and was almost totaled by the insurance company, but fortunately they fixed it. I was fine, at least. We also added another cat to the household. And in reference to a certain other situation I mentioned previously I've already had a few promising leads that might get me out of a sticky situation.;)

I'm actually waiting to hear if there's any fallout from an e-mail sent yesterday at work basically refusing to take a 50% pay cut. I'm going in there tomorrow so I suspect I'll know more then. If I do wind up only working for them part time at my regular rate it'll at least give me time to find other contract work and work on Rockers Online. But we'll see what happens, since everything is up in the air right now.

Friday I'm taking off to actually GO to E3, which is why I volunteered for it.
sharan: (Default)
Course IDAttemptedEarnedGradesUnitsPointsCourse Title
CTIN-4890.00.0W0.00.00Intermediate Game Design Workshop
MATH-2264.04.0C-4.06.80Calculus III
EE-2012.02.0A-2.07.40Introduction to Digital Circuits
ITP-4854.04.0A-4.014.80Programming Game Engines
CSCI-2014.04.0A-4.014.80Principles of Software Development

Not bad considering how much trouble I had this semester.
sharan: (Default)
Since finals are the week after next and I'm not going to have much time to read here much less post, I might as well post that update I've been meaning to do. 2 weeks ago today I wound up spending several hours in a hospital emergency room. I've been running low on contact lenses and won't be able to get to NY to see my good friend/optometrist until March, so I was trying to stretch my disposable contact lenses but using enzymatic solution. I'd done that the Friday before and didn't wear them all weekend (my roommate has a thing for girls in glasses;).) and when I put them in Monday morning my left eye was bothering me but I took the contact lens out and put it back in and didn't think anything of it until I was driving home that night and the lights looked blurry.

I took them out as soon as I got home but my eye was killing me that night, so the next day I didn't want to risk driving (and my roommate couldn't drive me to the USC health center) so I found a hospital about a mile away I could walk to. It turned out I had an ulcer (2 actually but one was small) in that eye. The good thing is it was out of my field of vision so it didn't effect that at all, and when I last saw the opthamologist they referred me to (a week ago) she said it was pretty much gone. I probably could wear my contact lenses again but my eye was bothering me when we went to see the new Harry Potter this weekend so I decided to wait longer. At this point I'm seriously considering wearing my glasses until March. It's not like my roommate would complain;).

This of course made me miss a lot of classes and then the Computer Science homework due Saturday night didn't get done until Monday night (there were other issues involved but I'll leave that whole rant for another time), and I had to skip most of my classes Monday to finish an Electrical Engineering homework I'd forgotten about because of the Computer Science hw taking so long. *sigh*

Speaking of Harry Potter, I'm not going to get into any spoilers but damn, what a hack job. I was only about 1/4 of the way through the book and I was glad I hadn't finished it or I would have been even more annoyed with it. As it was there were story holes so big you could drive huge fleets of trucks through them. And it was painfully obvious even if you HAVEN'T read the book. They did the same thing with the last one. Yeah, I know, the books were longer, but I think Lord of the Rings proved that it's possible to condense a long book into a movie without it feeling like a hack job! It's not that I didn't enjoy it, but after the 1st 2 movies were done so well the last 2 have been a real disappointment in comparison. And there's no sense of time passing in the movie, so it feels like the entire school year takes place in about a week.

Well, now I want to finish the book to know what REALLY happened.;)

Well, the good news is I heard from people who already saw it that they got the new Narnia movie right! Now THAT I'm really looking forward to!

Then all we need it for someone to make movies out of The Dark Is Rising books by Susan Cooper:).

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