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Archive for April, 2006

Silent Hill is awesome

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Ok, I’ll start off by admitting it may not be the best storyline in the world but it’s decent and the visuals make up for it 1000 fold. It’s like a world straight out of Hellraiser. It’s so perfect. Gothic and brutal and disgusting and perfect.

I also have no clue why the movie is only 13+ here in Quebec. It’s 18+ everywhere else and rightfully so. Poor un-desensitited 11-13 year old that goes too see that movie. He’s not going to be sleeping.

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April 30th, 2006 at 1:05 am

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Good food and beer is the best way to relax

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Just before an exam.

It’s notoriously hard to find somewhere decent to eat around the Loyola campus. I’ve been here all day more or less (mostly less) studying for my OS exam which is at 7 (in a little over an hour.. I never study in the hour coming up to an exam, it just serves to freak you out). I decided to take some time off and find some decent food which wasn’t the greek or fast food place right next to the campus. (There’s the cafeteria also but it’s twice as expensive as food at a normal restaurant and not anywhere near as good. Yay Chartwells.) I took the bus down Sherbrooke looking for an interesting place and saw a place called Bratwurst nearly on the corner of Sherbrook and Hingston. I’ve haven’t had german food very often in my life so I got off and walked in.

The guy at the counter saw me looking around and asked me if it was the first time I was there. I said yes and asked what he reccommended. He said their specialty was grilling german sausages and serving it in a sandwich with saurkraut (sorry if I spelled that wrong) and dijon mustard. I told him I’d have that and he had me pick between lamb, pork, beef, beef & pork and something else. I choose the beef & pork. It was pretty good but Skrud would probably need at least 2 sandwiches. =)

I also tried the beer they had on tap, a beer called BitBurger that was actually _very_ good. If I see that around again I’ll definitely have more.

I also had an interesting conversation about the media blowing things out of whack without every giving any facts and Chernobyl with a couple of random guys that were regulars there. Not that I was really stressed before but now, coming up to exam, I’m nice and calm and comfortable. Hopefully I’ll still be this way once I’ve read the question list.

Written by Smokinn

April 26th, 2006 at 4:35 pm

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Today was one of those days

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Ever have one of those days where, at the end, you’re just praying that people stop talking to you because all you’re getting is bad news? Today was one of those days. The awesome comp348 – Principles of Programming Languages is no longer being taught by Dr. Constantinides (at least not in the fall, he’s still teaching the winter section), so in all likelihood I won’t be tutoring it (in the fall, I’ll be tutoring it in the winter).

Then there was other bad news too.

It’s all over now. Time for sleep.

Written by Smokinn

April 26th, 2006 at 12:08 am

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Iouri pointed something out that’s definitely good to know:

Concordia is a memeber of MSDN Academic Alliance Software Cente. You can get:
Project Professional 2003 for $10,
Visio Professional 2003 for $10,
Windows XP Professional for $12,
Visual Studio 2003 Professional for $17,
Visual Studio 6 Professional for free,
Windows 2003 Enterprise for free
Windows 2003 Standard for free.

So before you go buy microsoft software you just _might_ want to check this out!

Written by Smokinn

April 20th, 2006 at 11:50 pm

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Treemaps are amazing

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Whoever came up with the idea of treemaps is much smarter than I am.

[...] when comparing the performance of thousands of books, it helps to have a good visualization tool. A treemap, originally developed at the University of Maryland, is a great way to look at a huge data set that is organized into hierarchical categories. In this type of visualization, the size of a square shows the magnitude of a category, while the color shows the rate of change. Red is down, and green is up, with the intensity of the color representing the magnitude of the change.

O’ Reilly article

You should check out that link along with this one. It’s an analysis of technical book sales and while that itself is actually quite interesting, there are amazing images that give you such great, quick and clear information about the trends.

There’s also a third article, but that one is by publisher so I didn’t really care about that one.

Yes, I should be studying and yes, I’m procrastinating.

Written by Smokinn

April 20th, 2006 at 2:45 pm

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Databases project

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For anyone that’s interested you can see it here. In the end it was over 12 500 lines of code. Ouch.

The username is roc343_4 and the password is MH4RK3 (case sensitive).

To log in as an administrator use username: admin password: admin

Have fun.

EDIT: It’s a waste of time to try “hacking” our system. You’ll probably manage _extremely_ easily. There’s very minimal security involved. =)

Written by Smokinn

April 18th, 2006 at 11:54 pm

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Conservatives suck

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I honestly thought it was a Good Thing that the conservatives got in with a minority government. They promised to clean up government and fix our god-awful senate which is basically just an excuse to give the PM’s friends high-paying jobs for doing nothing. Then they went and basically bribed a liberal into their party. Great first step.

Now I hear they’re just as bad as the Americans, censoring an environmentalist who wrote a science-fiction book about global warming. These guys are going to be bad news.

Written by Smokinn

April 16th, 2006 at 1:14 pm

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Why are you an idiot?

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That’s what my legs were telling my brain this evening.

Why were they saying that? Simple. You see, when you don’t skate for a LONG time and then go out for nearly an hour and a half, some of it extremely steep (I forgot how steep Guy is), there’s this thing called Lactic Acid that builds up in your muscles. EDIT: According to Wikipedia this has since been disproven and seems it’s simply from the tearing.

Then, the next day, when you get off the metro at night and notice that the bus is going to be there in 2 mins it usually isn’t a good idea to tell yourself, hey, it takes me about 2 mins to get my skates on anyway so I’ll be ready at the same time the bus arrives and I can race it! Stupid.

About 3/4 of the way through I started slowing a lot because my legs were telling me to slow down pretty much since I’d started. The bus then passed me and made it to my apartment 2 mins before I did. Damn.

I’ll try again when I’m in better shape.

Written by Smokinn

April 10th, 2006 at 10:51 pm

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Beautiful day

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It was such a nice day today. I actually grabbed my skates for the first time and used those to get to school. I made pretty good time too considering I haven’t skated in a while. It takes 25-30 mins to get to school by bus/metro and it took me a little under 40 mins on my skates. Not bad.

The evening was even better than the afternoon though. Cool breeze and the wind had died down a lot so it was really enjoyable. I think I’ll be using my skates a lot this summer.

Written by Smokinn

April 9th, 2006 at 10:40 pm

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What a great idea

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In a previous post I had mentioned how much I hated Captchas. Now obviously I’m not alone in this and someone decided to do something about it.

He calls it KittenAuth. The basic idea is that since computers are getting better and better at recognizing letters forcing the Captchas to become more and more distorted, computers still suck at recognizing the content of photos. As he says:

“Kittens are the answer to all this. Sure you can teach a computer what a cat looks like, and it will probably have a fair shot at picking kittens from alligators but what about when you put it up against other similarly cute animals?”

So what he made as a system on his blog to allow posts is a 3×3 grid of photos and you have to click on the 3 that contain kittens. Look at the bottom of the page to see.

Again, what a great idea. I’d choose picking out the kittens out of other cute animals over squinting at making out distorted characters any day.

Written by Smokinn

April 7th, 2006 at 2:04 pm

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