Enrollment Mishaps

Yesterday was our enrollment and it was very disorganized… as usual.

As early as Sunday, I already had my partial schedule. Initially my class would start at 10:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm. There wasn\’t a break in between classes and I didn\’t want to bypass my lunch so I decided to move my Cisco class on early morning at 7:30 am then have my lunch break between 10:30 am to 12:00 noon to resume classes after. I didn\’t have my load on specialization yet. I just left it empty for the meantime because that was the case on our previous enrollment.

Some students had emailed the registrar in order to add the load to their current curriculum. I was not aware that the registrar actually does something responsible like this (since when???). Now, Tuesday evening and I emailed the registrar. I thought I was already late. Tomorrow would be our enrollment, so I was not hopeful at all that I would be able to add my load on Java, my specialization.

Now, Wednesday arrived and the enrollment was quite a rush in the beginning. I was just behind a few slots from my friends; I was surprised that the schedule on Saturday afternoon for Java was already filled up. There was a Friday morning schedule, but it conflicts my existing schedule on Cisco. Neither did I like the schedule on Saturday evening because it was too late! Therefore, I decided I would request to create a new section for Java.

A few moments later, I gathered some friends who didn\’t have a load or schedule on Java yet. It was clear that there were more than a dozen students who didn\’t have a schedule on Java. Hours passed and we hunted the Head of Java specialization in order to open a new section. There was very little chance to open a new section at a convenient schedule for all of us. Most probably the new section would conflict our schedules but in the end, the light of hope brightens as a new section on Monday evening was readied for reservation. That\’s more convenient since all of us have several classes ahead of it.

Ironically, the section would only be activated after 1 pm, so we were ordered to wait until 1 pm to get reservations and finalize our subject load. And so I waited, together with 2 other friends. Take note that these friends I stayed with during the break didn\’t eat lunch just to wait in front of the encoding center. I didn\’t eat, too, so that I would be able to gatecrash the encoding center first.

It was 1 o\’clock and the encoding center was already opened. The unfortunate events came next: Those who were scheduled on morning would not be entertained until those people scheduled on afternoon were done. Now, that was total BS! Last term, those people scheduled in the morning was prioritized before the students scheduled in afternoon. This term, the exact opposite happened. For instance, one of my friends who were scheduled on morning argued that he was summoned to come back after 1 pm, only to find out that he will be overtaken by people scheduled in the afternoon. It was really unfair because it was not his fault why he has not yet finalized his subject load.

Now, going back to my own problem — I was the one who initiated the new section, some people supported it, then in the end I was the one NOT benefiting from it! Come on, there\’s only a limited number of slots per section. Some students would be taking the newly opened slots on Monday nights already. My friends and I couldn\’t do anything because of the crappy security measures that was imposed. These guards were only dogs, doing only what was told by their master. Geez, I\’m nearly at wits\’ end.

Most of us who were scheduled on morning enrollment were all frustrated. Who wouldn\’t? I tried to keep calm… but who cares? No one seems to care — even the registrars and administrators. They are just following orders and policies, and they never considered my effort to create that new section for Java. I was thankful that the Head of Java specialization sympathized on our situation and he excused the 3 of us to get into the encoding center, bypassing the imposed crappy security policies that were feed to the dogs.

I really appreciated that I made it inside the encoding center much earlier than my worst-case scenario; however, by the time I was revising my schedule, all the slots for Monday evening was already taken.

In the end, I paved the way for my friends to get a more convenient schedule yet I was the one left out. Perhaps I must be thankful. I didn\’t have to suffer acute schedule conflicts. I also have enrolled all possible subject load this term, in other words, I am still regular. I should be blessed after all. My schedule just sucks on Saturday evening. (We don\’t know, perhaps it\’s just a blessing in disguise)

Sure, life is unfair… but the overly unnecessary security measures make our college life not only unfair, but also twisted.

Read more

Ending Microsoft’s Cowboy Spaghetti Code

\'WindowsHaving studied Total Quality Management this quarter, I\’m aware that Microsoft is notorious for not implementing the processes that would produce the best quality output. Problems could be always patched over anyway. Microsoft\’s softwares, let alone Windows, are historically known to be vulnerable to plethora of bugs. So what gives? One remarkable person stirred several changes in Microsoft for good. His name is Jim Allchin, senior Microsoft Corp. executive.

In the past, Microsoft let thousands of software engineers create their own code. As the chief architect, what Bill Gates does is filter those programs that produce the least bugs to get into the base code of Windows. Engineers would stitch those chunks of codes to create the intended program afterwards; hence, inadvertently creating spaghetti codes. Programmers literally browse thousand lines of codes if a bug pops up, making bug hunting a nightmare.

Google, Apple, and other open-source companies impose threat to Microsoft\’s monopoly in software market. For instance, Google introduced its Gmail service out of the blue, competing with Microsoft\’s Hotmail service. Mozilla Foundation introduced Firefox with features that Microsoft planned for Longhorn, reducing Internet Explorer\’s popularity. There are many more companies that produce quality softwares and compete directly with Microsoft products. As these companies continue to grow, Microsoft had to continuously improve to catch up with the pace of development.

Jim Allchin proposed a change to the way Microsoft create codes. Microsoft should stop doing the same practice it had used in building old versions of Windows. The company must create software that would function like Lego blocks — having a single function and were designed to be connected onto a bigger piece. Microsoft had to be rebuilt from scratch in order to make it work. To make Allchin\’s plans successful he had to get Brian Valentine and Amitabh Srivastava for help. Before the team proceeded with the plan, they gathered different opinions about the challenge and most engineers were willing to change. It was a good sign.

The team of Mr. Srivastava automated the testing that had used to be done by manually. If a feature had too many bugs, it would be rejected. If engineers had earned too many bug counts in his codes, they are put to \”bug jail\” and banned from writing new code. After all, the goal was to get engineers to do it right the first time.

Mr. Valentine is the enforcer of the challenge. Sometimes engineers would resist the new methods of coding. He said to one coder, \”Is your code perfect? Are you perfect? If not, you should shut up and support this effort.\” In any case, good coding practice needs enforcement.

Windows Vista beta 1 (codename: Longhorn) was announced on June but it was rescheduled on July to make Longhorn more like Lego blocks. From experience, the programmers expected tens of thousands of bug reports from Windows Vista beta 1 but they got a couple thousand bug reports only. It was a sign of improvement.

Provided that the new processes would be followed religiously by all Microsoft software engineers, Windows Vista should be able to exhibit a leap of improved level of quality.

Based on: The Wall Street Journal

Read more

Seminar Woes

P4 discussed the misfortune of my friend Jeremiah in our seminar in LaCo. Well, it was an equal trade after all. ;) Discover why…

Link: The P4tal — Whew. Whoa. Wakokok.

Read more

Lougee, Ricci and Ali

They are collectively known as Mojofly and it was the highlight of the day. The band performed some neat indie music down our school lobby, which was temporarily transformed into a music stage, thanks to freshmen week programme. The stage set has 2 decent sets of loudspeaker cabinets, typically found in concerts, and they\’re huge, connected to several music gears, amplifiers and equilizers.

The synths were quite good because even if the music stage was inside the school lobby, echoes were minimal. The sound coming from the loudspeakers were solid, you could feel the trembling deep bass. And when the drummers hit the cymbals you\’ll cringe because of the crisp sound.

Anyway, I was not able to watch all of the jamming because I have classes but I think the programme was great. It was hosted by Joey and Miles of Magic 89.9 and they even gave away some cool freebies (bring me\’s). :)

It\’s really a rarity to see these events going on in our school and I really appreciate it amidst the looming pressure of case studies and exams.

Read more

Welcoming September…

It\’s only the first week of September and I\’m already feeling so stressed up. Today I didn\’t sleep because I have to finish our CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) Case Study. It\’s a bit of a rush because, as I have blogged earlier, we didn\’t have a planned collaboration with our group project.

In addition, I had to complete another case study for tomorrow\’s Quality Consciousness, Habits and Processes subject. It may sound weird that I really enjoy doing the case studies, even if I don\’t like that subject much.

Also this September, our final departmental exams will commence. All my exams for this term is scheduled under one long day… to tell you the truth, I am not enthusiastic about it but I am happy that every exam can be finished in one day, so that I can have my vacation as soon as possible! :D

During this busy week… the last thing I want to hear from people is \”do this.. do that… blah blah\” because I\’m already so busy. I\’d be happier if some people understand it\’s not easy being a student and an entrepreneur at the same time. I know it\’s disappointing to turn down a favor (or anything similar)… but I have to take care of my tight schedule first. :(

Read more

CCNA2 Case Study

I\’m in the middle of completing our case study in Cisco but it seems that I\’m the only one working on it… I am hopeful that they are doing some reading about ACLs so that they can double check my work.

The only reason why { I | we } didn\’t schedule an online collaboration is because I let someone else assign a date for the collaboration since I will not be able to get online due to certain circumstances. Apparently my internet connection is back and I am left doing this project.

I used Visio to draw our diagram and it\’s looking good. :) Check it out…


Read more

Reformatted My L4R

I have reformatted my Asus L4500R (L4R) because it was getting slow. I also had to bring it to Asus World service center in order to fix the recent problems that I experience on my laptop. The hinge started to produce crackling noise, which caused by the accumulation of dirt as told by the technician. Moreover, my laptop couldn\’t differentiate AC from Battery mode lately. Apparently, it was caused by the hinge grounding the AC unit as well. After 3 days of technical assestment and fixing, the technician released my laptop and now, it\’s back to its initial configuration. (I know… installing OS, programs, etc could be tedious… but I have to other option)

Well, my L4R recovery CD features Windows XP Home and the original drivers and programs. Windows XP Home is set to FAT32 by default… it\’s rather dull so I have to convert my current FAT32 partition to NTFS because I\’m tired of the scandisk checks. Recently, I just researched about the conversion tool that ships with Windows and so I used CONVERT command to convert my FAT32 partition to NTFS. The result was successful!

This is the simple syntax I used:


Read more