Week 1, Semester 4: The beginning, again.

19 January 2015

Another week 1 has passed. It is quite eventful, tiring, and yet time has passed just like that.

My semester started with lots hours of lectures on Monday and worst of all, they are spaced out throughout the day, i.e. lots of 1-hour space of doing nothing between the lectures. It started with CZ3001 Advanced Computer Architecture which was slow-paced, after a 3-hour of nothing-to-do, I went for CZ2007 Introduction to Database which was interesting enough, and another hour of nothing-to-do, then CM8003 From Alchemy to Chemistry, which was quite boring as we were told to listen to stories of how Chemistry started. After another hour of break, I had CZ3005 Artificial Intelligence lecture which was super slow-paced (wonder how 11 slides of minimum content and lots of pictures are dragged to 1-hour lecture). After all those lectures, I went to Canteen 17 for a dinner and then meeting with BAW team C discussing our progress and doing the prototype for the souvenirs.

The next day started with CZ2006 Software Engineering which was not that interesting. and that’s all the classes for the day! After this I went to update my passport number at OSSAC since I’ve been reminded a lot of times by ICA officials when I passed through the immigration counter at Changi airport since I renewed my passport at September 2014 (and I’ve travelled overseas like 3 times already: KL, Bangkok, and Medan). I then have lunch at Canteen B and tried out llaollao’s frozen yogurt (which was quite expensive) before I went back to my room. At my room, I revised my part on BAW team C, starting to do my solution for CEC PYP solution, and enquiring through email about the whereabouts of my packet which was delivered from US by USPS and through the tracking number, it was said to be delivered to my hall although the hall officers said that they no longer accept it on behalf of student; they asked me to check with Bumbox; Bumbox replied me to check again with hall officers or Singpost; Singpost said that they have delivered it; and finally, the hall officers check through again and found out that my packet has been put wrongly at someone else’s mailbox. Phew, finally I got my “Don’t Track Us” T-Shirt, which was a complimentary gift from DuckDuckGo affiliation program. (but the shipment was not free) Later at night, I went to hall 9 to celebrate Grace’s birthday.

Wednesday, I went to 2 Microsoft-affiliated places at a day. Firstly, I went to Microsoft Operations (Microsoft Singapore Office) at Raffles Place to collect my prize (Office 365 Home Subscription for 1 year) which I won from the #GetItDone contest, which was posted on their Facebook page. Well, this was my 2nd time winning a prize from Microsoft. (first one is the Surface Type Cover 2) The office is located at 22nd floor and when I used the lift, it was so fast and at a point I felt some dizziness. After I collected the prize, I went to Lavender at a mall called Aperia (which apparently is not in maps yet), and to Microsoft Devices Care Centre to get my speaker charger repaired. The centre was uncrowded at all and the “new furniture” smell was still there. After that, I went back to NTU, having lunch at KFC JP and went back to my hall, declaring my aircon and then went to CZ0002 Green Computing lecture which was boring and tiring. After that, I had dinner and then went to BU8401 Management Decision Tools seminar which was super interesting. This was my third Business module in NTU and all of them were very interesting. Reflecting back, once I was so clung to the idea that I will get admitted to NUS and be better off there, but if I was there, I will not have the opportunity to get lectured by those very good lecturers of NBS. Although most of SCE lectures were boring, at least I felt like there were so many projects to do and I think that this promotes self-learning instead of relying heavily on the lectures. And best of all, the lecture recording feature in case we missed the lecture unintentionally or intentionally. 🙂 Nevertheless, after the seminar finished, I went back and stumbled upon “Student Starcraft AI Tournament” which was quite interesting seeing that AIs controlling an old game fighting each other. It was later at midnight that I submitted my side project “c4 – Connect Four, with AI” to Hacker News and it gained some popularity, peaked at #2 for Show HN category and #6 at its Front Page (I track the ranking until I went to sleep around 1am). Their responses are generally positive, and from GitHub’s traffic, they actually went to the repo and open up the main JavaScript file (maybe reading how is the AI is build).

On Thursday, it’s a lot of lectures since 1030. I started another side-project which was a JavaScript application in answering quizzes in “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” style. The lectures have now started to talk about the real stuffs and not the admin stuffs: CZ2006 was quite abstract. I feel like what I learned from the MOOC CS169.1x Software as a Service offered by BerkeleyX on edx is better, although I did not complete the course, I feel like their first few lectures are talking mainly on Software Engineering and it’s interesting, as opposed to what this NTU course offered. CZ2007 also started talking about serious stuffs on database management system. CZ3005 is so boring and lengthy although the content is very few. Again, I felt what I learned from the MOOC CS188.1x Artificial Intelligence offered by BerkeleyX on edx is better and far more interesting (at least on the first few lectures). Now, the 2-hour lecture of CM8003 was quite okay: listening to lecturer telling story of history. After lecture, I rushed to NYH to meet Thiri who was just returning some stuffs to the cabinet. And then went to Hall 10 to join the anniversary night preparation (I was unexpected) for a while before having dinner at Canteen 11, collected projector from Evando (this was my real purpose going here), and went back to NYH to store the projector. Whew, I was really tired. I went back to my hall to take my laptop and then went to do part-time job (CITS) at SSLP until midnight.

On Friday, I continued developing my side-project and went for CZ3001 lecture in the afternoon. After that, I went back and rested for a while before going to NYH to prepare for NTUBS Dharma Class. After we prepared the class we went for dinner at Canteen B in which we were almost late for the class. The class talked about the Three Poison and I find it not that interesting as the venerable talked quite short and opened for longer question and answer. (and there were some technical issues with the microphone) After that, we went back to NYH storing the stuffs and I went back to my hall, resting for very short time before going for Jessica’s birthday.

On Saturday, I went for Buddhist Fellowship Youth’s Meditation Retreat conducted by Bhante Buddharakkhita. Well, I was really sleepy on this day and eventually I think that I slept through when we’re doing sitting meditation. I found out that walking meditation was quite nice since it was an active one and we can’t fell asleep. The program started at 10am and ended at 5pm but not all were for meditation. The meditation session was just around 1030-1200 and 1330-1500. The rest was resting time, lunch time, or a talk from bhante. Going back, I feel more energized since maybe I feel asleep during the meditation, and then I did some CodeHunt, answered some questions at ask.fm, and the rest of the time were just spent like that.

On Sunday, it was like competitive programming weekend where a lot of contest were held around this weekend. I spent the day for Facebook Hacker Cup Round 1 in which I only did some real coding in the afternoon but were unsure in some of my solutions. At 4 pm, I went to Dharma Camp 2015 debrief at Hall 12, giving feedback on how it can be better next year. After dinner at Canteen 14, I went to NYH, returning back some items that were borrowed long time ago. Going back to my hall, I started to stumble upon problems at Indonesian Wikipedia. Starting from the introduction of a new Copyright Law by Indonesian Government last year that have effects on many of the guidelines of our Indonesian Wikipedia. Also, there were new features being tested on the wiki and can’t be run with legacy JavaScript which are present on almost all of the scripts that are currently running at the wiki. I need to fix them, all of them. And just like that, my time has been consumed.

It was a long week but not that tiring, maybe it was just the start. Hope that I can survive this semester 🙂


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