Thursday, June 28, 2007

Smooth Sailing

I just got home from a fantastic dinner with Amy and Kym, my two closest friends from high school, and I just got to thinking how nice things have been these holidays. We had great food and great wine at Villa Da Vinci (a local restaurant in Ballajura). It was really nice to catch up since Kym has been studying in Ireland and Amy and I have both had a hard semester at uni, so we'd been craving a nice night out for a long time. I topped off the night by watching an episode of Cowboy Bebop with Matt, over a warm tea. What a nice end to the week :)

My game's coming along smoothly; I've just worked on being able to drag things between the pen components, and I'm planning on adding a timer next. It's getting to the point where it's almost a real game! I'm really excited that I've finally seen something through, as opposed to having an idea and then getting distracted and completely forgetting about it. I'm really looking forward to putting up a prototype to see what people think, so at the moment I'm hacking a lot of things up, but I'll sit down and redesign the whole thing when it's all operational. Matt's been working on some more graphics which is awesome, so we'll have something complete in no time :)

I'm trying to line up some vacation work for the summer holidays, and I've got my fingers crossed about getting a placement at an engineering company. I'd really like to get some experience in that area of my degree since I'm pretty confident on the software side of things, but am really clueless when it comes to engineering stuff in practice. So hopefully I get some good news from Raytheon!

My cousin Simona is about 11 days off from giving birth to my... I guess second nephew? Bah I'm not sure how that works but I'm gonna call my self an aunty anyways :) She'll be coming over to Perth sometime in August and I can't wait to meet my nephew! It's funny... I'm an only child, and none of my friends have had young siblings, so I've really only seen about 3 babies (apart from the ones you see in strollers in shops), and I've never actually held one! I can't wait to hold him!

Our house hunting has been going pretty well, and Matt's put an offer down on a house we're really interested in. Hopefully that goes well because it'd be fantastic to finally get our foot in the real estate door. Plus it's pretty much now or never cause house prices are apparently on the rise again pretty soon :|

So that's what's been going on for me, lots of nice things to think about :) I'm really enjoying my holidays and I'm taking it REALLY easy. I might be tutoring Kym's bro at some math, and I may be helping out Amy with some work at Video Ezy, but apart from that and my game, it's been smooth sailing for me these holidays :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pet Shop

I've recently started making a game. I don't actually know why I started, but I just thought of a cute little idea and realised that I'd probably be able to make it if I put my mind to it. It's still in the VERY early stages, and is just a prototype at the moment, but I can already tell that it's gonna be fun to play just from what I've got working right now.

Pet ShopThe game's gonna be called something along the lines of Pet Shop, and it's all about putting together pet bundles. An attribute will appear in the middle of the board, and then you have to place it in a pen. The point will be to get all the attributes of a pet (so the animal, the house, the toy, and the food) together in a pen (each blue area is a pen), which will then get you money (or points I guess). There's also stuff you can't do, like put a bird and a cat together, in which case you'll loose everything that's in the pen with the conflicting animals.

I'm still trying to figure out the game play exactly, but there'll be a time delay that lets you move the conflicting animals away from each other before they fight. I'm also trying to figure out some other details like how the points will work, when and how you loose lives, how you can flush the pens etc. Hopefully that'll all fall into place :)

Matt's been doing the graphics as I've been going along, and we've got a fish and a steak so far :) I really like what he's done and I think it's gonna look really cute when we're done with it. Please ignore the ugliness of the title and the white background etc, it's still a working progress!

So I'll keep posting about my progress and hopefully I'll have a prototype to put on here pretty soon. Watch this space :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Exams... are... OVER!!! YAY!!!

Just had my last exam yesterday and it feels so good to be finished :) I was really happy with how AI, Communication Systems and Circuits and Electronic Systems went, but I'm really worried about my Embedded Systems exam (which was a 2nd year, open book exam, so that was unexpected!). I'll post about my results, which should come out in about a month.

So that's it for the semester :) Although I'm still trying to figure out my stupid enrollment. The uni canceled a unit I was enrolled in (Neural Computation, which I'm actually really upset about), and so now I have to re enroll with either Functional Programming, Concurrent Programming (which is also probably canceled, thus no unit web page), and Human Computer Interaction (which sounds like a slack off unit). Please feel free to give me any suggestions. I'm hoping to pick concurrent, but I'm not getting my hopes up since I'm pretty sure it's not going to be run *sigh*. I need to organise a meeting with a course adviser about the whole mess.

So I've just had a relaxing day cleaning up my study, going for my run (I've been slacking off lately!), shopping (bought some nice speakers for Matt's new LCD tv), and going out to dinner with a few friends. Tomorrow I'm gonna go pay off my enrollment for polemoves intermediate (starting Saturday woohoo!), do a bit more shopping (I've been deprived, OK?), get my hair cut/coloured (so overdue - my colour is about half way down my head), and start on my game!

It's nice to actually be able to think about all this stuff without feeling guilty about not studying for exams!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Optical Switching Tute

Just got an email from one of the CUDOS committee letting me know that I'm one of the 30 students from 3rd and 4th year engineering, physics and science being flown to Sydney for a workshop on optical switching. Yay! It's in September so it's yonks away but it's definitely something I'll be looking forward to next semester.

I really have no idea what it's going to be about, but I guess that's the point. I'm sure it'll be all about how what we've learned in uni is going to be redundant quite soon - but I'm pretty used to getting told that given that I'm doing computer science aswell :| But I'm really interested to find out what it's all about because I've just done a unit called Circuits and Electronic Systems 3 (my exam for that is this Friday... AHH!). I've just spent the whole semester learning about MOSFET's (and to a lesser extent bipolar) transistors, so I'm full bottle on the current uses, speed limitations, etc. This workshop is about the research being done into optical switching which is faster than current technology. How exciting! (look - it's exciting for me, OK?)

As an added bonus the retreat is in Coogee beach in Sydney, which is the next beach up from Bondi, so I can't wait for that :)

Anyway back to exam study :)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I'll Never Get Used To Exams

It's just reaching the end of study week, and exams are fast approaching. I've actually been working really hard all week, but I'm not at all confident this year. I guess it's because this semester it's been 3x Engineering + 1x Computer Science, and the computer science unit (AI and Logic Programming) has been EXTREMELY hard. It's been completely unlike any other computer science unit - mostly theory, completely abstract, and the only programming has been in Prolog which isn't quite programming at all. Also I usually have one maths unit to balance out the engineering units, but this semester it's been full on with the hard core eng. I guess I'll just have to take it as it comes and do my best, and hope it'll aaaalll work out (eeek!).

To keep up my spirits I've been coming up with some Fun Things(TM) to look forward to during and after exams. Helps keep my eyes on the horizon and makes the impending exam doom seem less doomy. I'm looking forward to:

  1. Seeing Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End - just watched the first two on Matt's new LCD tv... so nice!
  2. Getting my hair cut - for some reason during semester I never get my hair cut and it ends up being all gross by the end of semester
  3. Teaching Penny some new tricks - she's already learned how to walk vertically down a ladder (!) but that's about it so far
  4. Putting up my Space Doggy print - I've had it for about a month now and I still haven't got around to putting up a hook
  5. Starting Polemoves Intermediate - I've been slacking off with the exercise so it'll be great to start classes again
  6. Washing my car - YESSS my car is finally back with a brand-new second-hand (haha) gear box, but it's all dirty and I really need to clean it up (the car, not the gear box)
  7. Working on my game - I've come up with a really cute idea for a little game that I have no idea how to make, so I'm gonna make an effort to try and learn how to do it!
  8. Organizing my 21st - it's not that far off (August 6th) so I should start thinking about what I'm gonna do
  9. Playing Psychonauts - yep I completely stopped that when my units got scary
  10. Looking for vacation work - I really need to find some engineering work experience so I should get my resume together
  11. Catching up with friends - I've been completely antisocial this whole semester so I've got a lot of catching up to do
So that's a nice little list of things to look forward to, but still there's SOO much study and stressing before it's all over. It's always the same thing every year since high school but yet I'll never get used to the whole ordeal. Oh well, come June 18th at 5.15pm, I'll be a free girl! (at least until next semester...)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Meet Penny

I only had Morris for a little while, but I really liked him! I'd actually wanted a mouse for a while when Elissa caught Morris, so when he died I thought I'd go get a pet mouse like I'd planned.

Getting PatsThe pet shop had a variety of mice, but none of them white! I really wanted a little white mouse, but the brown ones were so cute that I sort of didn't mind that much any more. Then the pet shop lady decided to lift up the little house all the mice were hiding in, and there she was - a little beige mouse that I fell in love with straight away! She had dark burgundy eyes and a little white tip on the end of her tail. I named her Penny the mouse and bought her straight away, taking her to her new home :)

Penny In the SkyShe's a sweet little thing, but very slow and lazy! She sleeps a lot, and when she runs on the wheel it's like slow motion compared to Morris. I've been handling her a lot so she doesn't mind people at all. All in all it's been a great distraction from all my exam study, so I'm really glad I got her now.

So welcome to the Manea family Penny the Mouse!

In the Palm of my Hand