Sunday, January 29, 2006

Unrelated Ramblings

I hadn't even begun to breathe and yet, I have gotten more assignments after the ones I handed in last week. This weekend has mostly been spent procastinating or just fooling around but one assignment is due next week and the other, the week after. I am beginning to call assignments "ass ignments" more and more recently. The good thing is that, at least you learn something and it keeps your mind off other, less favorable and appealing thoughts.

My parents are safely over in Pakistan right now. Was trying to get a hold of dad but the internet connections in dear old Pakistan, plainly, suck. When I used to live there, in the brief time that I did, I wished I had a faster connection. Boy, did that wish come true. Now I feel for my brethern back home. Good luck chums. One day you will find out what a T3 is, hopefully sooner than later.

I was thinking on writing a novel piece by piece, post by post online. Don't know who would read it. Problem is, where do I get the time. Maybe when i'm done with my MS and am working and single, I will have enough time to write a fairly decent one. It would most probably be a horror or fantasy novel. Romance and all that bullshit, I will leave for the romantic and love dovey of you.

My digital camera shipped today. Can't wait for the thing to be in my hands. I only hope it arrives with no defects cuz returning items bought from the internet is a pain in the proverbial ass. Repack it, reship it at your own cost, and then wait for the seller to accept it, wait for them to send you a replacement/refund. Depressing state of affairs there.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Whats wrong with me?

I don't know what's wrong with me. Something is horribly wrong. I am thinking very different than I normally do. I am feeling down and depressed lately, when I shoudn't be. I have everything I could possibly ever want. Well almost everything. But still I feel as if life is just something you have to endure and keep on living because so many people depend on you not because you want to.

I've come to realize that fair weather friends are the ones I normally befriend and then I get depressed when they just abscond and make a mockery of my trust. They run away when you need them the most. I used to really feel that before, now, I just want to know why?

The biggest change in me now is that I am beginning to develop suicidal tendancies. Not suicide as in the act. Tendancies such as not caring what happens to me anymore, doing what I want even when the risks are far too great and having not a care for myself. It is all a whole scheme to make me change I bet. Fate is taking a hand in changing me.

I am sorry my friends (yet to see if your fair weather or not), but it seems the friend you made is changing and if you don't like what you see, I regretfully inform you to pack your bags and leave. Don't stick around because you believe I need you or won't be able to live without you. Trust me, now I know, I will be able to do anything I want. Stick around because you want to, not because of its consequences on me.

Maybe, in the end, Nothing is wrong with me *Smile*. I am finally becoming what I was always meant to be.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Dreaded Software Architecture Assignment

This post might be a little technical for some of you, but what the heck.

Geek/Nerd/CS Talk:

I have to turn in a "Software Architectures" assignment on Thursday, two days from now. The assignment requires extensive and rigorous thinking. The goal of the assignment is to first research a complex software system on the internet, one that each student chooses himself/herself. After that, it has to be analyzed by each student seperately and the following is to be submitted:

1. Write out its requirements, architecture/design, test cases/scenarios, and get its source code.

2. The requirements have to deal with first, a set functional requirements and then non-functional requirements for each product quality.

3. We are to specify further, what requirements have global impacts and which have local impacts, from the superset requirements described in point 2.

Time to get cracking on the assignment. I have 48 hours to complete it. Never think of it as 2 days.*Wink*.

Wish Dispenser:

I will be adding a short section under each of my new posts about wishes I want to give out to my friends and loved ones. Here goes the first part. This might not be a regular feature, because I am such a miser handing out wishes.*Cough*.

Samar: I hope you have fun at your Uni and start liking it soon.

P.S: If I missed any of you out, it's cuz I forgot and not cuz I wanted to, so be sure to remind me.
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Monday, January 23, 2006

I-20 Fixed And Template Fiddling

Got my I-20 fixed today along with my brother's. The error was not hard to fix at all. Instead of 4 weeks, all it took was 4 minutes for the SEVIS coordinator to correct it. I don't what the story was with the previous error taking 4 weeks, but oh well, everything is fine and our I-20s are fixed.

The weather was unusually hot today and it felt good to be out and about in shorts and a t-shirt. The weather is slowly going to go warmer and warmer and I am waiting for it to be just that. Warmer.

I fiddled around with the template today. For some reason, the colours were looking mighty off again at the lab. The middle and left and right column colours are going to be a little different for some of you. Some of you might not notice the change at all. But the colours, now, would be what I always wanted them to be. So Enjoy.

On the other note, life is slowly settling down. Being 25 is no different from being 24, so far that is. Maybe down the road things will change. Somethings have already changed. I feel as if now I have crossed the threshold where, I can stop thinking of myself as young and competing with the younger guys. It is time to compete with another league of people and I think I am up for it. Now to graduate with Honours and get a Top Job. That will be my first competition and boy, AM I looking forward to it. Somehow, I feel, right now, I can rule the world if I wanted to.
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Assignments and more Assignments

I am swamped with assignments from my "Computer Networking" and "Software Architecture" classes. Just one week into classes and I have already gotten em. That is what USC is like. Ah well, that was expected going into the 7th ranked Engineering and Sciences school in the US. They aren't overly hard assignments and should not be a problem. I am already halfway done for one of them while I still have to do the other one.

On other note, the weather in Los Angeles has been fantastic. Wearing shorts when most other people are wearing pull overs is kind of weird but considering I came from Michigan, the cold in LA is a joke compared to Michigan. Loving the weather over here. Not hard to see why so many people fall in love with California.

USC told me my new I-20s were ready after the data entry error they made. But guess what? They made another error on the new ones and it will take another 4 weeks to correct that. So back to the drawing board for the USC Office of International Services. I hope the Department of Homeland security doesn't give me flak over this. I should be alright, since the error was not my fault.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Semester Picking Up Speed

The semester is starting to pick up speed now. I have already gotten assingments to hand in for next thursday. They are not overly hard but still require a little bit of brain to do. I will most definately try finishing them over the weekend. I finally picked up "Computer Networks" instead of either "Computer Graphics" or "Analysis of Algorithms". This way I intend to lessen the course load on me during my first semester at USC and still get all As, inshAllah.

I went to the Health Center and got myself bloodtests for vaccines, that are required by the University. Why should I get a live vaccine when I don't need it? Better to be safe. I will get to know the results by Friday and then, I can see if I need the vaccines.

My birthday passed well and I recevied a lot of well wishes and happy returns of the day. Thanks all you guys.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Happy Birthday and Good Luck

On 17th January 1981, I was born into this world a healthy baby. In a few hours time, I will be 25 years old. 24 years of my life are over, and I start the 25th year with immense and innumerable challenges. I start anew today as I started anew 25 years ago. I start fresh, as I make a quest to spend, god knows how many more years, in this world. I plan on making myself a better human being. I intend to slay my demons, and lay them to rest once and for all. I intend to be a better son, a better brother and a better friend and a good husband, father when the times comes, but the most, I want to be a better muslim. Good luck to me and may the remaining years of my life be as beautiful and wonderful as the first 25 were. May Allah grant me strength, courage and resolve. Ameen.
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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Course Doldrums

The semester is going into second gear next week and things are speeding up. I will be busier than usual. I am finally settling to Los Angeles and I love the weather out here. It is almost the same as Saudi Arabia where I lived almost all my life. The weather gets a little warmer when the sun is shining for a while but as the sun sets, the temperature drops significantly. While most of the US has snow dropping right now, Los Angeles has pleasent temperature.

I went and tried to register for my "Analysis of Algorithm" course and was told it is full and I will have to join the waiting list for the couse. So I did that. Now I will find out if I got the course or not by Wednesday. The advisor said I have a 99% chance of getting it. It remains to be seen if I will. Pray that I do, because, I love the couse.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Template corrections

I made a few changes to the template colors and now they should be working fine on ALL computers. I did a little trickery to the way how colors are shown. Let me know if it looks all preety to you now.

On the other front, classes have been going ok but I will probably change one course for another one with "Computer Graphics" going out the window and "Analysis of Algorithms" coming into its place. I have to meet my advisor tomorrow for that and get departmental clearence. I am going towards more of a Software Engineering lean in my course selection and "Computer Graphics" doesn't really fit into that. Analysis of Algortihms, is much better with SE.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Consensus and Feedback

I opened my webpage today at one of the many labs at USC, and for some reason, the computer was displaying my colors all wrong. The background was dirty yellow instead of the creamish colours I have originally envisioned. So I want some of you guys to please give me feedback on how they look on your individual PCs. I would appreciate that. Below I am writing the colors as I envisioned them (as how I see them on my own PC and a lot of others, including my dad's and my brother's), and what I saw today at the lab. You tell me which one is closest to what you are seeing based on those two.

Originally Envisioned Background: Creamish Khakhi
Viewed Color at Lab: Dirty Yellow

Orignally Envisioned Heading color: Yellow
Viewed Color at Lab: Yellow ( No difference here, I believe it looked the same).

Originally Envisioned Side and Main Column Colours: Beige OffWhitish
Viewed Color at Lab: Dirty Yellow shade.

Thanks for doing this for me in advance.
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Monday, January 09, 2006

Eid Mubarak

عيد مُبارک

Happy Eid / Eid Mubarak to all of you guys. I hope you guys have loads of fun frolicking with your families and stuff. I am stuck alone in the US without my family, so not much of an eid for me. You guys have a good one now and remember to not party too much now.. No wait, thats for me, not for you.

Party on!
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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Slow Weekend

The weekend before classes on monday is passing slower than I expected. It is like the silence before the storm. Everything is quiet. The storm will surely start on monday though and I am all prepared, ready and buckled up for it. I've been looking forward to classes starting for a long time now. Been mozeying around and doing nothing worthwhile for a few months now. Finally some direction in my life again.

I managed to correct the problem with my glasses today, to some extent. All is well in spectacle land today and I hope it stays that way. I might not have time to update everyday after classes start, so if you intend to continue coming to my blog, by all means I would love that. If you will stop coming because I can't update everyday, then I wish you farewell in advance, my friends. But don't worry, if something interesting happens, you will surely hear about it and I most probably will update every second day to every third day anyway.

As the USC Slogan goes: Fight on!
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Friday, January 06, 2006

Moved and Settled (Somewhat)

So here I am back again. The delay between posting was mainly due to the fact that, USC Residental Network was not available to me since of class registration issues and stuff. Then it takes 2 days after you register your classes for you to use the residential network. One thing I would like to say is, the wait was worth it. The net at USC is blazingly fast compared to the one I had at WMU. To put things into prespective for you guys, I downloaded at peaks of 700kb/sec at WMU. Do the math.

The apartment was pretty much ok once I moved in. Minor problems that are in every apartment cropped up. The carpet was messy, so got that cleaned up. Other assorted things were broken and/or missing. Had them repaired/replaced. All in all a quaint living place right in the heart of Los Angeles, about 10 minutes away from the USC campus, in downtown LA.

Now onto the roommates. One of my roommates is from China and the other is an American. The Chinese roommate is doing his Masters in Civil Engineering while my American roommate is doing his Masters in Synthesis Engineering. Me and my brother are in one bedroom and those two in the other.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

King Kong and Random Stuff

Been busy as usual over here in Los Angeles. It was raining here for the last 2 days and today it was nice and sunny LA weather. Went out and saw King Kong today. I must say, this has got to be one of my favorite films of all time now. It makes you cry, smile, jump with joy and shreik with terror all in the same movie. If you haven't yet watched King Kong, do yourself a favor and go watch it. Trust me, you will love you did.

My glasses are giving me random problems which I wont go into the details here. I need to go to an optimeterist tomorrow and sort em out. Hopefully its nothing serious and can be resolved pretty straightforwardly and easily.

Tomorrow International Student Orientation starts at USC. The checkin time is 7:30 AM. Now when I read that time, I was like, whaaa... Well 7:30 onwards is what it meant and I think, I will run down there to check myself in around 8:15ish. Hopefully, I can find some time in between to run to the optimetrist...

Stay tuned.
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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year + Travel Tales and Other Assorted Conveys

First of all, before I start my rambling, let me wish you all a Happy New Year. I hope you all have this year as the year you get some of your wishes. Hope its a happy year for all of you as well. For me, it will be a tough year, I already know that. It is an year where I start out on a very tough note and I have a lot to prove, not to a lot of people connected with me, somehow or the other, but to myself as well. Let us hope I am successful and so are all of you.

So I finally am in LA. In the hotel room right now and finally got my net working to post. So where do I start my musings? Lets start with the travel tales then.

Well the travel experience getting here, if you could sum it up in one word, would amount to "sucked". My flight from Chicago to Los Angeles was delayed by 7 hours. So what do you do when your flight is delayed for that long? You buy yourself some snacks, buy yourself a novel and start reading and eating. And that is pretty much what I did. Ofcourse I was fortunate enough to have amicable and social people around me, in the times I wasn't reading, I was conversing with them. Funny and pleasent thing is I met some USC students, waiting for the same flight as mine and that helped. So finally we are told we can board. Great you might say right? Well so did I. Little did I know that, we would have to wait aboard the plane for another one and a half hour so they could de-ice the hunk of metal.

So once I arrive in LA, things work smoothly and I am at the hotel room by midnight, WAY past when I shoulda originally arrived. Ah well, I arrived here in one piece and safe and sound, so I should sound thankful and indeed I am.

On the end note, Thankyou to all of you who still remembered me in my absence and gave me New Year Wishes. It brightened up my day coming on after a bit and seeing so many New Year messages. Thankyou.
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