FYP is fun and exciting =D

Well I could be just me but I find it so exciting that I do not know where to start off haha. Conflicting interests of report writing and programming. I so much want to program but need to do the report and program flow to make sure things turn out properly and smoothly ;-)
‘Finished’ a report last night and started spring cleaning my computer.
For everybody who doesnt know, last week both the computers I have died on me. Friday evening I came back from the Alpha course just to find out my laptop couldnt switch on. On Saturday evening after church found out the Nirun’s desktop (which I have since he’s gone for NOC for a year =D :p) didnt display anything on screen. After a bit of debugging I think the problem was both the graphics card and motherboard.. AAAAHHHHHHHHH
Tried the graphics card on a friend’s working computer, no output to screen. Tried friend’s working graphics card on Nirun’s motherboard, switches on with the BIOS beep code that something is wrong with the graphics card. So I suspect both the graphics card and the motherboard AGP slot were screwed. Sigh.. life.
So brought it to Sim Lim on Sunday before the Brunei gang gathering, which is a first I think :P The guy showed me blown capacitors on the motherboard so that I guess would also explain the fact that when I connect the power cable to the computer sometimes it would just switch on without me pressing the power button. Also when I was putting in a new ethernet card, I was just pushing it into the PCI slot when the computer just switched on by itself. aaahhhhh
Anyway got a new motherboard and graphics card for S$175, cheapo graphics card replacing a cheapo graphics card :P From a GeForce 440 MX to an ATI 9250. The motherboard is an MSI 848P Neo-V which I have to say is a pretty nice motherboard, but then I havent seen many :P, but still I found it nice except for the fact that the IDE and floppy connectors on the motherboard are too crammed up. The motherboard has 2 SATA connectors, 2 IDE connectors, a floppy connector, integrated ethernet (100Mbps though), integrated sound and 4 USB 2.0 on the back and 2 connectors on the motherboard for more USB 2.0 connections. Only 2 RAM slots though, but all in all a nice CHEAP motherboard :P haha cheap :P
Anyway got the hardware installed on Sunday night but then Windows couldn’t boot up. I heard it’s because when you install Windows XP its hardware depenedant so you cant simply take an hard drive with WinXP installed and use it on another different system. I’m not too sure how hardware dependant it is because I’m sure if you change just the graphics card or RAM or CD/DVD drives it shouldn’t be a problem. Perhaps its just the motherboard. But anyway had to go get an WinXP install cd. Borrowed one off a friend but it couldnt boot… aaaaahhhhhhh
I tried something else. Because I realised I didnt have enough free space in the hard drive to install anything so I had to try move files from 1 hard drive to another. But I didnt have any OS installed. Luckily I found my Gnoppix live CD thus I could boot into Linux from the CD and transfer files. Here comes 1 of the most annoying and limiting factor of trying to go to a Linux world from a Windows 1. Linux can read NTFS (the file system most current Windows systems have) BUT it cannot write to it. At least not reliably. There were NTFS writing tools for Linux but I’ve read that it can screw up things thus I dont dare take the risk. Also read that it can modify files but cannot create new files. This is just a way too much an incoveniece. Windows seems to have a read-write driver for Ext2 (a file system Linux can use)
here. Haven’t tested it so cant be sure though. Anyway finally found a way to install Linux via the net install. NUS Linux mirror site :D YAY!!!! Found it throught the forum for EE4214 Real Time Embedded Systems which is another real killer course :| We just start the course and they expect us to come up with an idea for the project that has to incoorportate real time deadlines. We just started the course wanting to find out what they really are and they expect us to know already. Thats not the worse part, we try to consult the lectures or lab assistants and then we get an email saying, and I quote, “please understand that we will not be able to help you to define and scope your project or provide technical support.” And I’m like what the heck!??!?! Then what are they there for? Its just crap that they expect us to come up with and idea and implement it. And if it doesnt satisfy the requirements we dont even know because they cant provide technical support…. A friend of mine said his friend did the same module and submitted their proposal and carried on with their project. 1 or 2 weeks before the deadline they were wondering why they couldnt get something to work. Only then did the lab assistant say that the processor is not powerful enough to handle it. I mean like WHAT THE HECK!?!?!?! Perhaps if they were told that earlier they could have done a feasible project. Just seem to things more and more modules are screwed up. Admin is screwed up.
Anyway back to FYP stuff. I should start programming today :D 5 straight hours of programming hopefully :D And hope to get something tangible working today.
But first a few links :P
Massachusetts dumps Microsoft Office: “The state government has decided that all electronic documents saved and created by state employees have to use open formats from the beginning of 2007.” Hooray!!!! Been using OpenOffice lately, love the export to PDF feature :D
For those fans of the MythBusters
An Interview with Adam Savage Part 1
An Interview with Adam Savage Part 2

Have a nice weekend people!
Work well! Work hard and play hard ;-)

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