Revision Week + Exam Week (1), Semester 4

30 April 2015

It’s the end of April. It’s the end of my 5-paper-in-3-day suffering.

So in this two-week I’ve been studying* all day# for the papers happening this week and it has been paid off well, sort of.

*: studying + other stuffs like checking Facebook, e-mail, WhatsApp, playing game, some coding, wild project ideas appearing.
#: yeah, I took rest now and then although sometimes rest time can extend so much that finally I decided not to study.

Reading Week

My reading week started with me doing a study plan. My exams are centered in two points: next week (5 in 3 days) and the subsequent week (2 in 2 days). I started by preparing the summary of CM8003 From Alchemy to Chemistry, CZ3001 Advanced Computer Architecture, CZ2006 Software Engineering, and CZ0002 Green Computing. (I’ve done one for CZ2007 Introduction to Databases during my preparation for its second quiz.) These processes took around 2-3 days. In the mean time, I realized that my sleep time was broken, I started to find it difficult to sleep, even if it was 2 am already. And when I wake up around 8-9, I just felt sleepy and tired. This goes on till now. I should and must “fix” it.

One more thing is that I’ve finished watching all videos that is uploaded by LastWeekTonight for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show. Well, it was informative yet funny.

On Monday, I joined dinner with NTUBS MC peeps at Greendot at Westgate, Jurong East. Greendot is a vegetarian restaurant which Thiri endorsed a lot. I found the food just normal. Well, this dinner was time-consuming but it was worth the entertainment.

On Tuesday, the dinner was spent with Awaken Challenge peeps and a short meeting after that.

On Wednesday, I felt quite sick and rested a lot. This affects my PYP progress quite much. I think that this is not a real sickness as my usual symptom of having sickness is that my dream was very lengthy. 😛 It was since this day that I’ve been feeling difficult to sleep at night and when daybreak comes, I felt just semi-sleep: eyes closed but not really resting.

On Thursday, I felt better but still resting every now and then. And on Friday, I felt normal again.

On Saturday, I escaped the whole studying by attending Global Azure Bootcamp 2015 at Microsoft Singapore. The event started early at 0830 (and I woke up at 0600 to make sure that I went there on time) in which the early participants were awarded with T-shirts. After the keynote talk describing what Azure is, what you can do with it, I joined the developer track to see what it really does. I was given an Azure Pass, US$100 credit of Azure account for a month. I tried it out right away. The talks there was just so-so: on IoT and Azure, live streaming and Azure; webapp and Azure; Azure Lifecycle management; and mobile apps and Azure. For me the best talk was on video live streaming using Azure. But I find it quite troublesome as it require a much more expensive service in Azure to support live streaming (and the cost excludes storage) Well, I think it will be fine for corporate users, but not for me yet. This event has a lot of lucky draw prizes (around 20) with Surface Pro 3 as its grand prize, too bad I didn’t get any of these prizes. After the event ended with lucky draw prize drawing and photo taking, I went back and had KFC as my dinner.

I find that you can host a website free on Azure (there is a Free Tier on Azure Webapps which uses very limited amount of CPU and RAM, and only 20MB of database) but I think it will be enough for hosting my personal website. And one more thing that struck me was: although it can run PHP and Node.js, it hosted on a Windows Server. Well, so far all my websites has been hosted on Linux machine and it may be difficult for me to change especially the obsolete projects. Although I can host a Linux virtual machine and host my website there, it was not free and cost much more than standard website fees. I think I may explore options to go for OpenShift since it provides free tier for hosting PHP sites in Linux machine.

On Sunday, I felt tired yet having this rush of doing PYPs. The rest of the day was spent on doing PYPs slowly.

Exam Week (1)

The whole Monday was spent between doing PYPs for CZ3001 and CZ2007. They were expected to be the most difficult courses in this semester yet their exam day was the same.

On Tuesday, it was the first day of the 3-day-5-exam period, I woke up at 0715 and had my first examination for this semester starting at 0900. It was on CZ2007 Introduction to Databases. I found the examination difficult as expected from the PYPs and tutorials (yeah, even the tutorial question difficulty level was quite high). What surprises me was the part that’s expected to be the most challenging one (the one where there is a database schema and we are asked to write SQL for a given English query) turns out to be quite simple (although at first I thought it was scary as the question spans one full-page and it worth 10 marks). I think that this exam is now more diversified on the materials tested. Here it was first tested on creating a relation table, and creating trigger. (the past few PYPs does not have this kind of question). After the exam ended at 1100, I found some mistakes that I did but there is no time to regret nor celebrate.

There was another exam coming up at 1300. It was on CZ3001 Advanced Computer Architecture. The examination was not that difficult (difficulty level was around the same as PYPs) but this time round, it was more time-consuming. One more thing was the imbalanced mark distribution: on one question where the answer was short and simple the mark was high; yet on another where much time was required to derive the answer, the mark awarded was quite low. After the exam ended at 1500, I was really tired and I realizes some mistakes I did in the exam. I went back having a nap for a while before dinner and continuing revision for the next day, CZ2006 Software Engineering.

Wednesday, the second day of this 3-day-5-exam period was either open book examination or pass/fail examination. I woke up around the same time but I felt very sleepy. The examination was conducted in Hall 8 Function Hall and it was my first time having exam there. The exam was open book and hence I brought in every resources that I had for the exam. The paper itself was very time-consuming. I finished the first two question in an hour! This never happened when I revised (as I can finish the whole paper in an hour during my revision, but maybe this was because I was lazy to write the full solution during my revision). The examination tested our documentation skill. We were given a software requirement and then we were asked for the use case diagram, use case descriptions, class diagram, sequence diagram, project management, and testing. The first two questions were more subjective than objective as everyone can draw different diagrams for the same requirements. Overall, I finished the exam on time and then went back, stopping by Giant for restocking, and having a nap before revision for CZ0002 Green Computing for a while. Just around 1430 that I started revision for CM8003 From Alchemy to Chemistry that was going to be tested at 1700. I calculated that I only need 25.33 marks from the final exam to pass the course. And hence the final paper was easy, although if graded, it will be damn hard. There was question asking for year of some events, nationality of some scientist, even very unrelated question like who co-founded London zoo. (well the lecturer mentioned it in the lectures, but who expect it to appear on exams?) I finished the exam in an hour and then went back, having dinner, and then started revision on CZ0002 Green Computing.

That night, there was Build 2015 event live streamed across the internet starting around 2330 and I followed it until around 0230 where I was too tired to watch and then went to sleep. It was a Microsoft event for developers in San Francisco where usually new stuffs were unveiled. The event was great! It started with Nadella introducing the event. And then a VP talking on Azure, boring stuffs, and then on Office, and finally what we’re all waiting: Windows. Now, to make Windows Store application, you can use your current website, your Win32 application, your Android Java code, or your iOS Objective-C code. I personally think that this will seriously hit Firefox OS market share since developing for Firefox OS was really simple, you just need to pack your website + a manifest file into a zip and then you can send it to the Firefox Marketplace. Firefox OS’s market share was less than that of Windows Phone (since they only release it in certain countries, and mostly to those with low smart phone penetration). I think Microsoft ambition for 1 billion Windows device in 2-3 years was quite reasonable (since they offered free upgrade too for the first year of Windows 10 release), and I think this will in turn hit Firefox OS low market share since “1 billion device” is quite a big market, and even you can code once and run anywhere across multiple screen sizes. Another thing is Microsoft Edge, it was a great name: imagine the websites are vertices, what connects vertices are edges. And this new browser may hit Firefox market share even more done by Google Chrome. Lastly, there was a HoloLens showcase which was pretty cool. Imagine you have one and you can watch a movie in front of you no matter where you are.

On Thursday, I woke up quite late and felt very tired and sleepy the whole day. I struggled to study for CZ0002 Green Computing and then went for the exam starting at 1700. This was the final course offering and we must take the course in order to fulfill the degree requirements. The exam was moderate-hard level. I’ve experience exams where I write and write and write from the beginning till the end of exam almost without stopping (CZ0001 Engineers and Society; and BU8301 Fundamentals of Business Law) and this time round was not really that much writing. The paper was split into 4 questions, in which each lecturer set one question. Prof Douglas’ part was the hardest as there were lots of writing for very few marks (greenhouse effect, wind energy, solar energy). Prof Dusit’s part was still the same: lots of writing on green business case and work practices. Prof Bingsheng’s part was the easiest for me (green manufacturing and green use), and Prof Syin’s part was quite  hard too (data center metrics, life cycle analysis, IT asset disposal). Nevertheless after the exam ended, I went to have my dinner and then had cendhol at Canteen B. After that I went for part-time work at CITS, SSLP. It was empty! At most the number of humans in the room was only three (including me)! There I did install some stuff to the CITS computer (Git and Visual Studio Code) to do some rough coding for implementing Raun in TypeScript.

On Friday, I wake up quite early and started to write this. I think that my “insomnia” has subsided. At some points, I played Jetpack Joyride for fun. At other points, I watched YouTube videos for fun also. Basically, I only started my revision for BU8401 Management Decision Tools later. At night, out of a sudden, the Indonesian Wikipedia community Wiki-ID started a Google Hangouts in which I joined and chatted for quite some time (around half an hour). It was my first time “meeting” them since the meetups were always around Jakarta and I can’t join because of my location.

On Saturday, I continued making the revision cheat sheet for BU8401 and started for CZ3005 Artificial Intelligence while interleaved by watching YouTube videos. Lots of time were spent for a nap too. At night, I went to join the celebration for Benedita’s birthday after which I was trapped there since it rained heavily. Hence we played games till very very late. I left around 3 am although it still showered.

On Sunday, I woke up late, very late (around 11), and I directly went for lunch. After that I struggled in keeping awake and studying (but I felt so sleepy throughout the day and I was distracted by YouTube videos a lot of times). At night around midnight, I spent my time patrolling Indonesian Wikipedia (using Raun) while listening to the Official Chart on BBC Radio 1 (and I listened it till the end at 2 am) before sleep. This time, I felt again the “high” of volunteering in Wikipedia. There was just “something” that hooks you up. Maybe it was the feeling of “there is just one more edit to check” again and again.

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