net comments edit

Okay, well technically speaking it’s not the end of the day today yet, but I’m going to post now because it’s lunchtime and I have time to do it.

The class is still pretty boring, but now we’re into the “how to design your database” section of things and, having already taken the SQL Server classes and having designed several databases myself, we’re into familiar territory. Not only that, but the teacher and the rest of the students seem to be more engaged, which brings the energy of the room up a few notches.

I went to Jenn’s VA Christmas Party last night and had an okay time. There were about 20 people from her pharmacy group that showed up, but she only knew a few of them. I spoke to the head of the VA pharmacy stuff for a while about Krispy Kreme donuts and apparently I had a longer conversation with him than Jenn has ever had with him. He seemed nice.

I talked to my dad last night and he says he wants to sign up to be on the next Survivor show, so I have to help him come up with ideas for his tryout video. I don’t know what the guy’s thinking; he’s got a bad back, he can’t see without his glasses, and he’s got terrible pollen allergies so bad he can’t mow the lawn. I’m not sure how far he thinks he’s going to get on the thing, but you know what? I hope he goes all the way (assuming he can get on the show). He’s been wanting to get on one of these reality shows for the longest time. More power to him.

At least I know he’ll be entertaining to watch on TV, right?

net comments edit

God damn this class is boring!

The most frustrating thing I’m running into is a distinct lack of quality assurance on the coursework for the class. We have labs (more like essay questions) at the end of each chapter that we go through, but they all end up like this:

Q: Company X is releasing a web site for online ordering. They want it secure and reliable. They want to make sure only registered users can purchase things. What are the user requirements?

Now, for those who haven’t sat through this, “user requirements” are essentially “requirements for what the end user will see.” The end user doesn’t necessarily see “security” or “reliability” - those are “operational requirements.” So the answer in the real world to this question is, “There are no user requirements specified.”

The real answer?

A: Web site users should be able to complete their orders in five minutes or less.


Where did that five minute requirement come from? You didn’t see it either? Fuckin’ A.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. It’s boring, nothing else to say. Moving on.

net comments edit

I didn’t do a play by play for this class because… ugh. It’s a dry class. I’m bored, so I can only assume anyone reading would be bored. It’s sort of like taking an advanced calculus class if you’re an art major; it might be interesting (not) but you’ll probably never use it in real life.

It doesn’t help that the teacher sidetracks a lot, usually onto the topic of venture capitalists and startup companies. Which, of course, ends up having nothing to do with the concept we’re learning. Presumedly he’s showing us all this stuff so we know why the steps the book outlines are important to do… but I’m failing to see the connection. He starts out okay, but… well, it goes a lot like this:

“Class, the important thing in this step is that you document the requirements very clearly. The reason is, if you’re doing work for someone else, this set of requirements is going to be part of your contract, and there’s usually a clause in the contract that says something to the effect of ‘delivered product must match documentation.’ So they don’t have to pay you if you don’t stick to the requirements.”

So far, so good, right? Then he continues:

“I was working just the other day on a contract for TransCorp [or something like that] because, you know, Step is one of the most respected contractors in the area. And I was working on this contract that had some interesting requirements to it involving security terminology we were unfamiliar with and so we ended up solving the problem by…”

Whoa. We’re already heading away from the point here. Actually, here’s a better scenario:

“A vision statement is important because it helps the team focus on what the overall goal is. It includes a goal, a timeline, and usually something involving a restriction. Like ‘We’ll double sales by the end of the year without increasing budget.’ This is also sort of like an elevator pitch. Does everyone here know what an elevator pitch is?

“There’s this conference, SomeCon [I don’t remember the name], that’s really a great place to get venture capital. Only the top investors are there, and only 100 different companies get invited. So if you’re in the elevator at this conference, you’re going to want to pitch your company to the investor in there with you, so you can get to your Mezzanine round of funding.

“See, there are four rounds of funding in a company before you can go public. First there’s your seed round, where you get usually Angel money because investors don’t want to invest in this market. Then comes your first and second rounds of investors, usually certified venture capitalists since the SEC doesn’t want grandma losing her money so now they have everyone register if they want to invest. Finally comes your Mezzanine round, which is typically the hardest round to get to because it involves a LOT of money. After that, you try to go public.

“My company didn’t have the ability to get to the Mezzanine round because…”

I think you get the point. We’re on company funding from… vision statements? Gimme a break.

So that’s what I’m sitting through. Ugh. If there wasn’t a test on this shit, there’s no way I’d be here. I sincerely hope the test is as “easy” as a couple of my coworkers have made it out to be, because if I actually have to know this project management bull from front to back, I’m hosed.

gaming, playstation comments edit

I played around with my PS2 some more last night and it turns out I’m not only having trouble with Time Crisis 3, but also SSX3 and SSX Tricky (among others). So while the console plays DVD movies now, it plays fewer games than it did before I sent it in.

I called Sony and I’m going to send them back my console and they’re going to send me a new, working unit. Postage paid and all! So while it’s been a pain to have to deal with it, Sony seems to have done their best to make things right, which, again, is better than I can say for most technical support situations I’ve been in. No fighting, no hassle.

Unfortunately, I think that means I’m going to be PS2-less for the holiday season unless they can get their shipping on. I suppose that’s okay. It’ll give me a chance to catch up on movies and reading, and maybe even install a *gasp* PC game or three. I have a load I’ve been wanting to try, I just haven’t gotten to it. Now that I have a new PC, there’s no reason not to.

gaming, playstation comments edit

I got home on Friday night to find that FedEx had dropped my Playstation off… with my neighbors. And not just any neighbors, but the ones who park in the fucking fire lane.

Jenn tried to get them to answer the door twice, but had no luck. Their TV was on far too loud for anyone to hear the door.

I got home, rang their doorbell (they’ve installed one themselves; our apartments don’t come with doorbells) and a few minutes later the door opened and I was accosted by the stench of freshly pissed pants. I have no idea how they live in that, but it almost knocked me out. Only my dire need for my Playstation kept me conscious.

The lady of the house gave me my package (it took her a second to remember that, yes, just a few hours ago she did, in fact, sign for a package) and, after making sure it wasn’t going to pollute the air supply in my apartment, I returned upstairs to unpack my console.

I took it straight into my room and opened the box. I pulled out the work order description and it seems Sony saw fit to replace the entire laser component in the unit. Fine with me, man. I hooked it up and put in Time Crisis 3, the game I was having trouble with in the first place.

It still doesn’t work.

I tried it all different ways, but it doesn’t work. Other games work, and I even watched a movie on it (which didn’t work too well before), and that works. Everything works except this game.

What’s puzzling me now is that the game worked for me for a while, but stopped. It worked for my friend/boss Greg (on his newer hardware version of the PS2). So is it a disc problem or a hardware problem? I have to assume it’s the disc now, since everything else works and it’s been freshly repaired.

I’ve now sent a note to Namco support to see if I can package up my disc and send it in for a replacement. Hopefully I can get my replacement disc and try that out before my 90 day limited warranty on the console repair runs out. If the replacement disc doesn’t work, then it’ll be confirmed a problem with the console. If it works… well, at least I have a new laser component in my console, right?