Merry Christmas, Everyone

December 25, 2007

I haven’t posted here in a while. I really have meant too, but it’s just been one of those things I’ve been putting off.

I really do plan to write a real, content-laden post soon, but I really don’t have the urge to do it at the moment, which sounds awfully like the issue I’ve been having.

All I want to say, to everyone reading is, is to have a Merry Christmas. Or a happy Hanukkah. Or, to quote Krusty the clown, a “Crazy Kwanzaa”.

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, if any at all, have a happy one, as well as a Happy New Year.

With my co-op with Toyota ended, a thought came upon me: I’m not going to have a summer off until I retire.

And the odd part is, I’m fine with it.

Maybe it’s this whole “growing up” crap, but something about it reminds of when I entered middle school (grades 5-8 where I come from) and where recess did not exist. It seemed prior to that, everyone was all “What’re we going to do? No more recess!” but then we got to middle school, and our attitudes on it were “Meh.”

I know that’s probably a terrible comparison, but I think there’s some truth in there. You live with certain things for so long, and then sometimes when they’re gone, you couldn’t care less.

I mean, I worked during my summers. Maybe that was part of it. Also, maybe it is that I don’t find work as hard as school, and it seems like a vacation; at least from RIT. I honestly don’t know.

I know a lot of people from RIT, at least in my discipline and year level, are right now finishing up what I’d imagine will be their last summer vacation. I had a summer vacation slashed since I joined the RIT CE dual degree program, which forces students to start co-op a year earlier.

Any thoughts on this? I’m actually looking for some external input on this to see how people actually feel about it.

People looking at this on facebook, I highly encourage going to the actual site (gatacoma.wordpress.com) and posting any comments there. I’d appreciate it.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written an entry into this blog. Been quite a busy time for me at RIT. Quarter is coming to an end, assignments are coming due, and all other kinds of fun, fun stuff. A lot has happened, but I’ll keep it down to a few points to keep this entry (relatively) short.

First off: Ben Folds concert. Recently, the artist Ben Folds gave a concert at the Gordon Field House here at RIT. One word can describe his performance: Exceptional. I haven’t been to many concerts in my time, but this was a great time. Folds is funny, interesting, and incredibly talented at what he does. It was an awesome night of humor, random vulgarity, and great music. The openers weren’t that great for the show (The first one, a female vocalist, was fairly good. The second opener, hip hop artist “Black Violin” was awful), but Folds brought it back and the night was an incredible time. I could devote an entire entry to the concert, but that’s for another time.

Second: I finally found a co-op. Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has hired me for a summer and winter co-op (the second term is not sure yet, but it will be two terms). At the co-op I’ll be programming in Visual Basic .NET and SQL, two languages which I’m not horribly familiar with, but I feel I could learn very quickly. If anyone has any experience with either language, please feel free to give me some hints or tips in the comments or my e-mail.

Kentucky’s a far way off, but it’ll be fun to finally get off the East Coast (kinda) and live in a new place. Plus, the co-op is located in the town of Erlanger, KY, which is about a half hour from Cincinnati, Ohio. Maybe catch a Reds game or something over the summer.

I think a co-op will be a great change of pace from the normal term at school. Being able to focus on one or two topics that are (hopefully) closely related will be a lot better then focusing on the menagerie of topics I’m required to focus on during school. And plus, no homework. And also, getting paid.

That, my friends, is a true winning combination.

Finally, the last topic I will talk about will be trying to intimidate people. I’m not at liberty to mention any names and such, but one as myself and two friends were leaving class today, another student grabbed my friend by the shoulder and said “You better watching your [fornicating] mouth”

This was in response to said friend speaking to the prof. in class, and when being interrupted by this student, my friend more or less told him to shut up. Which was, of course, hilarious in its own right.

However

If you’re going to try to intimidate someone, you must meet a few criteria:
1. You must be physically imposing.
Do not try to intimidate someone if you are not either A) Very strong/muscular or B) Much larger then the other person. I don’t care if you know akido or karate or anything like that. If you don’t look intimidating, you can’t be intimidating (easily)

2. Don’t do it in front of their friends
Seriously. It makes you look stupid. And it also takes away any advantage you may have alone.

3. Don’t run away afterwards
Leaving the situation makes it look like you gave up. And it gives the other people/person time to laugh.

And most importantly, don’t do it at all. Trying to be intimidating or aggressive makes you look like a little child who just got his toy taken away. If you’re offended by something someone says, talk to the person or just cut your losses and live with it.

Don’t be an idiot. Period.

Gatacoma

April 9, 2007

It’s Easter, and I haven’t posted for a while, so I figured I’d do a nice, simple post. Just got back from a large dinner, and I’m feeling kinda tired as it is. Sleep is good, but that’s a completely different topic

I’ve been asked a bunch of times where I got my online handle “Gatacoma” from. If you never knew (or cared), here’s your chance to find out why I choose this name as my online persona. (Note: This is a different name from my AIM name, since Gatacoma came after it, and I don’t feel like getting all my friends to the new name)

A long time ago, prolly in about middle school, I played a lot of free online games. Games such as Subspace (Now called Continuum I believe) and one of my favorite all-time online games, Infantry. You can find more about this game from Wikipedia here. Infantry was a game that resembled Subspace a lot, except that it was on-foot fighting with weapons you had to buy yourself, tanks, and all sorts of fun stuff. I really, really liked the game. I’d still be playing it if Sony didn’t start charging for it. It’s a great game, but not great enough to warrant charging for it.

Anywho, when I started playing Infantry, it was a very popular game and I couldn’t find a name that I wanted to use. I tried some cliche-type names that I thought sounds cool (Things like Firestorm and the like) but they were all (expectedly) taken. In my frustration, I slammed on my keyboard (or fell asleep and nailed it, I don’t remember) and a string of letters appeared, something like “gasdwoma”. After playing a little with that, I came to the name “Gatacoma”. It means nothing, but it is me. I’ve never seen anyone with a name remotely close to it, which gives me a bit of a sense individuality online in the communities I’m in.

Ever since, I’ve used that name for all of my online screennames. Everything from the MMO’s I’ve played (like City of Heroes and The Matrix Online) to games like Subspace, and also on less gaming type areas, such as forums. If you see the handle “Gatacoma” online, smart money says that you’re looking at me.

I can never find a decent pronunciation for it. A text-to-speech synthesizer I used said “Guh-tak-oh-ma”, I say “Gah-tuh-co-ma”, but it really doesn’t matter. Anytime I’m online, it’s usually shortened by others to just “Gah-tuh” (gata).

I find it ironic that my online handle has as many syllables as my entire real-life name has….

Disclaimer: This entry is really about nothing. I’m just rambling.

Well, let’s see. It’s about 1 o’clock in the morning, I’ve got class at 8, and I honestly couldn’t care less. Even have that? Long day tomorrow too.

Super.

What can I muse on…. I dunno. Added a bunch of links to my blogroll on this site. Those of you viewing this on facebook, come on over to my official blog site at gatacoma.wordpress.com. I’ll be glad you did. Leave a comment or two.

No one ever comments. I wish they would. It’d be coo’.

I’ve been reading a lot of webcomics lately, things like XKCD. I’ll put a more formal list of places on the interblag (XKCD reference) later, in a dedicated post to it.

I don’t like the circuits 1 lab report format. It’s really long and painful to write. Took me most of Sunday afternoon to complete it. Maybe it was because it was two weeks worth of lab, or maybe it was just because I haven’t done one in the “Tech memo” format before. I dunno.

I still like C. I want to do more in it, I just don’t have the time. I kinda missed getting Segmentation faults, Bus Errors, and the Core Dumps that go along with them. I missed them in a sick, sadistic kinda way. But I still missed them.

I don’t really hate Java. I think it can be bloated, but I’m not experienced enough to really call it a “bad” language. I’ve worked with it for over a year now and am very familiar with it, and I think that kinda eschews my opinion of it.

I wonder if any of my potential employers look at this. That’d be interesting. I try to keep the topics at least a little interesting and techy and such. I’m a nerd, I don’t hide it.

Embrace who you are, whether it be nerd, jock, or whatever social group you are apart of. I like nerdy stuff, I admit it, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Seriously, go check out some of the other blogs on my blogroll. They’re all smart people (Except for John). Hear me John? I’m calling you out? What are you going to do about it?

I probably need to stop this. There’s a limit to how much unguided rambling I can do. I need to wake up in about six and a half hours anyway.

And, as always,

When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

And a new quarter begins

March 13, 2007

This is one of the things that I find to be a negative of going to RIT for school. Pretty much everyone I know from back home is now currently on break, while I get to start the third quarter of classes here. It kinda sucks.

Also, does the first week suck for anyone else? Not in a “holycraptoomuchworki’mgoingtodie” type of suck (that’ll happen plenty later” but more of a “i’mboredclassesareboringwhattodowhattodo”. I’m in the second state of mind right now, but maybe that’s just me. I’m not a big fan of idling, but I guess I just need to enjoy it while it’s here.

I wish I had a more technical topic to talk about. That keeps me from progressing into any emo-type downward spiral of blogging with I plan to avoid like the plague. Oh, I’ve got one.

I’ve been working on a Mac recently and have noticed a bunch of differences between the Windows environment and the Mac OSX environment. Most of these changes are large, but they’re fairly easy to get used too. I’m actually enjoying a good amount of the functionality that the OS provides. It does seem to do a good deal of things in a more power-user type way, whereas Windows (in my eyes) seems to want to hold your hand most of the way.

Also, after working with the Solaris machines in the CS department for so long, I really can’t seem to function on a computer well without a terminal. I understand the Windows now has some “Powershell” type program, but I have yet to use it. I hear it’s functionality resembles that of the Bourne-Again shell, which is wonderful, but again, I haven’t had the chance to use it. Anyone who has, feel free to comment and tell me what it’s like.

The little thing that bugs me about the Mac is that it seems that almost all of the functionality of the “control” key in windows is switched to the “Apple” key on the Mac. Now, mind you, there still is a “Control” key on the standard Mac keyboard. I can’t really think of a good reason for this, other then that since OSX is UNIX based, utilizing the “Control” key could get a bit hairy (Especially with using “Ctrl C” to copy, which is the UNIX command to kill a running process, for those who don’t know).

Oh, and to my knowledge Macs don’t have a real “Lock Screen” ability like Windows. I do enjoy being able to hit “Window – L” on my Windows machine and locking the screen and leaving. That’s nice. I can’t seem to find an equivalent function on the Mac, which makes me a tad upset. All of the Linux distros I’ve used (Well… Ubuntu) and also Solaris have this, so why can’t the Mac? Although, it could be a little hidden function that I’m completely missing.

Anyhow, that’s all I really got. Passed the second Amazon interview, and now I get a third and final Phone Interview (It’s final, the e-mail I got even said “Final phone interview”) which is kinda exciting. Wish me luck.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a hard time telling the difference between music by Sting and Phil Collins. I honestly have no idea what caused this, but I firmly believe that Sting and Phil Collins are the same person. I implore you, listen to “Desert Rose” and then listen to “You’ll be in my Heart” in quick succession. I hope you can tell the difference, because I sure can’t.

The more and more I think about this point, the more retarded I think it sounds and the more I doubt it myself. That doesn’t change the above stated observation.

Oh, and I passed my first Amazon.com interview and have a second tomorrow. I’ll post an article about that one as well. Can’t wait.