Weeks 2-3 OMSCS

These two weeks have been very trying on me, and it has been a roller coaster ride to say the least.

I submitted my first project for HPCA, and after waiting like a week for the grade, I found out that I did rather poorly on it. While it was a passing grade, it was not what I was shooting for.  This is not how I envisioned starting off this journey… in the hole.

However on the upside, I am getting some of the concepts. My biggest problem I think is that I have been a bit rushed. I am hoping that things will mellow out a bit now that I sort of have a routine figured out and the two side projects (not college related) are almost complete. There is also the fact that I probably should have waited on taking this class until I could rehash some old school stuff.

Comnet, has been really, really frustrating. It is turning out to be more of a coding class in Python than an actually network class. This makes me punch happy for two reasons. First, I did not want to take a coding class. Second, the intro video, prerequisites, basically stated that you did not need to be fluent in Python. I don’t want to say “LIES” but I will say I might have been sold a false bill of goods.

Since I missed two weeks, I guess I owe you two Georgia Tech facts. Well here they are.

  1. Georgia Tech maybe the first thing I actually lose money on and not see it through to the end. If this doesn’t kill me, it will make me broke.
  2. Georgia Tech is apparently the 35th ranked public university. There are some other rankings there that I don’t understand and I don’t want to understand now because I am tired. However for comparison, Iowa and Iowa State are 71 and 106 respectively.
    Iowa is tied with Baylor, American, Virginia Tech and Minnesota. Iowa State is tied with Loyola, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, USF, and Tennesee. (http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/georgia-institute-of-technology-139755/overall-rankings)

Week 1 Done… Sorta

Well week 1 of 17 for the Fall term is now behind me. I certainly can tell that I won’t be able to breeze through this. This was a very challenging week, mostly because of distractions.

I thought I would combat that by going into work early and do my studying there, to avoid a six and two year old. It really doesn’t work well when it is inventory and half of the office is in at 5 AM as well. Oh and top of that, I thought I’d sneak some studying in over lunch, yea that wasn’t going to happen either. We’ve been getting a new roof on our buildings and, well the roofers, I swear were dropping a screw gun and letting it vibrate on the roof for fun or something. It was a good effort.

The one class I have been spending most of my time on; High Performance Computer Architecture (herein after known as “HPCA”) has been interesting yet challenging. I am one module behind per the schedule but I am hoping I can make that up over the course of this coming week.

I mentioned in my previous post that it would be beneficial if I recalled more from my Assembly Language and Operating Systems classes I had at Marshalltown Community College (herein after known as “MCC” and/or Buena Vista University (herein after known as “BVU” or the “$ pit”).  I am positive that Operating Systems was at BVU, I am not sure on Assembly. Either way I had started to re-read Operating Systems prior to classes starting, I have not had a chance to pick it back up.  I cannot bring myself to get to Assembly, I’d like to avoid that if possible.

HPCA has math, which I like.  However I have found that I understand it if I long hand it, literally as if I was in sixth grade.  I have found a lot of my problems thanks to showing my work (I guess I have every single math teacher from Mrs. Quick (more on her later) to Mrs. Carlson.

The other class Computer Networking (herein after known as “ComNet” (hey why not)) has been weird.  It hasn’t officially started but it has. The materials was still from the summer term so some of the answers were wrong and there was not a lot of info from the staff. Luckily, the schedule for this one is a bit more forgiving than HPCA.

ComNet will be challenging too, I will be learning Python, which looks oddly like Java, C and C++ (which I will need to relearn for HPCA). I guess I am glad I took the VMware class last October so I am also a bit fluent in VI, something that I’ll need to code in Python.

Enough on that though, I thought it would be fun to also add a fun fact about Georgia Tech as well. While I wasn’t able to do real studying  over lunch, I can do trivia reading and retain it (it is a weird curse I guess).

So let’s talk about about the fact that Georgia Tech is actually shorter for “The Georgia Institute of Technology”. Georgia Tech is one of just five other Division I NCAA football programs with out “University” in the name of the school. The others are Boston College (also in the ACC), The United States Air Force Academy, The United States Naval Academy, and The United States Military Academy (a.k.a West Point).

Football starts soon, Go Jackets!

OMSCS – Day 1 of…

Day one is officially done, and the end is one day closer!

I guess I should probably start by saying, please don’t expect a daily update regarding my schooling. I will try to post more often but there is a lot more going on this time around than the first time.

Obviously, the first time around I was not married, there were no kids, there was no house to upkeep, etc. With all of those things added in this time, I think I understand why I am a bit scared/nervous about the whole situation.

No doubt the stakes are high but the reward will be great. High stakes, really? Yep, I need to pass each of my classes with a B or better just to remain in the program. One of my classes might be ten times easier (somewhat of an assumption since I am not even ankle deep yet) if I remembered some of those classes I had 11 years ago. Who knew that Assembly Language, Operating Systems, and Discrete Math would be truly applicable later! Lucky for me, I saved my books (spoiler alert, this might be a reoccurring theme in subsequent posts).

Overall, the key will be balancing job, school, family, and any other thing(s) that come my way.

Ready for Day two!