12:52 AM on a schoolday that starts at 10:30 AM is probably not the
best time to write an S-Files, but what the heck. I haven’t been
writing. Stories have backed up, and the resulting chaos in my mind
appears to have edged out important details like the names of people
I’m supposed to know and the details of where I’m supposed to be.
Time to defrag.
I am all the more unusually loquacious because I have just finished
writing a lab exercise for the introductory computer science course
for which I am a teaching assistant. My pitiful effort at making
“Hello, World!” fun and exciting can be found at
http://courses.ateneo.edu/cs21a/lab1.html , with no guarantee that
it’ll actually even be used in today’s CS session. I’m banking on the
fact that Dr. Sarmenta probably hasn’t prepared materials as detailed
as this, as I haven’t seen anything like it from, well, any of my CS
teachers. I’m _hoping_ that he’ll let me deliver the class, which is
a far-out possibility but still worth considering. I also hope I’ll be
awake enough to do so with wit and style.
I love the project submission system I wrote last semester. After
editing the postgresql start script so that the postmaster would
accept TCP connections, I simply had to set up the database and run
a script that obligingly extracted and included all the students in
the student data files that the department forwarded to me. All 222
students of CS21A in 9 sections have been set up. How nice.
Teaching. Hmm. I had dinner with Mario Carreon (an old friend from
high school competitions) the other night. He teaches at UP and is
considering moving to the industry because of the pay. We talked about
teaching, mainly, and in the course of our conversation I found myself
declaring that yes, this is it – I cannot imagine myself in any other
profession except teaching. Especially college level introductory
computer science. That’s it.
Naturally teaching doesn’t stand on its own – I must be teaching
_something_, and teaching also offers ample time for research. Enter
wearable computing. I’ll be getting my gear on the 23rd, if all goes
well. Expect lots of files going on and on about how cool it all is.
Speaking of cool, I also find myself getting interested by game
development. Eric, Diane and a few of my other friends are getting
together and starting a game company. As the insane computer science
student that I am (and hope never to stop being), I have decided that
the challenge of breaking into a new field (at least one I’d never
been in before) and learning enough to not only understand what Eric
talks about when he enthusiastically describes his latest engine but
also to offer suggestions and whip up a demo on my Linux box is
somewhat comparable to the feat of… well, _something._ I’m crazy
enough to think that it’s possible, and it should give me something
new to learn.
To that end I have been playing around with small OpenGL programs here
on my Linux laptop. Not that my hardware can easily handle the demands
of 3d graphics programming, but I manage to squeak by with Emacs, gcc,
a Makefile and lots of Googling. I have to confess that what excites
me about games is not the funky graphical effects but rather the
gameplay and the character and setting development – witness the
sudden explosion of Inform text adventures in my ~/notebook/games
Nonetheless, I will climb Mount Everest just because it’s
there. <impish grin>
Oh, school’s been fun. My teachers are nice.
I yawn, and I must sleep.