Richie's spring2019 Journal
It's almost the end, t minus two weeks. I'm ready for it to be over. I've just started doing some work on Eoce, and it seems pretty challenging. I've got 0x0 almost done but i'm having an issue figuring out how to reverse the numeric order. I took a peek at 0x1 and i'm pretty lost. I miss puzzle-boxes, never thought i'd say that, everything else kind of sucks. Didn't do too well with Pwn0 unfortunately. The project was really tough and I've been having a rough couple weeks. Need to step up my effort if I want to do well with Eoce. I think I need to go back and do some serious review of past projects, I've seemed to forgotten a lot of stuff.
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Yikes, Pwn0 is hurting me. Every time i feel like i'm really getting the hang of things a project like this comes on. I'm pretty stressed right now. Professors sure like to pile work on at the end of the semester. Along with pwn0 and all my other class work i also have the end of course experience for this class. Which is literally 4 different projects in one. We took an entire class period ( 2 hours) to just go over it. I don't think i'm going to do very well with pwn0, I'm really running out of steam. This has most definitely the most challenging course I've taken thus far. I never left a class period feeling like i still didn't know what was going on until this class. I've done fairly well up to this point, but i'm spent. My grade in the course is high enough that even if i do poorly on pwn0 i will still pass the course, so long as i do OK with the Eoce. I did a lot of studying today, forums, videos, and tutorials on both if statements and printf syntax. Both of which are crucial to have a good understanding of for this project. I just feel like i'm really not going to be able to get the script fully working. I'll try my hardest though, i hope to meet with the tutor or Matt a couple times this week to get some guidance. Our group project spf1 is going very well though. I enjoy and understand this one much better than spf0. I'm really dreading the final projects, although we get a couple extra weeks to work on it, i'm still struggling really bad with pwn0 and i'm discouraged. This course has definitely taught me one thing, programming/scripting isn't for me. I'm very creative in other ways but writing code with abstract languages isn't for me. Anyhow I believe this is actually my last journal. So it's been real… Real difficult. Fun sometimes. Challenging always. Not sure if I will be taking another class from Matt but he was an excellent instructor, but never does hold your hand through the material but encourages exploration and figuring things out for yourself.
LETTER DIVISION…. That is division with letters. Its terrible. I guess it refines problem solving and deep thought. But my god is it hard. I worked through two practice problems and unfortunately both were incorrect. I'm finding it difficult to keep track of my thoughts when working through the problem. At least it seems he gives more credit for thought and work that correctness. So even if i can't get to a solution ill still get some points. Looked at my status in the class and i'm third in rank. I'm pretty happy with that, a lot of the challenges thrown at us seem impossible. I don't think i'm going to pull another 4.0 this semester, I've got too many health issues going on, its getting hard to focus on that and making sure i get all my work done. I'm sure ill still have a pretty good GPA this semester but school is just getting more and more difficult. Got my classes for next semester all set up. Almost just as bad as this one, I'll be on campus all day, everyday. ugh. I've got some pretty challenging classes as well. At least i have 3 months to recover from this one. Out of all the work I've done in my life, college has been the most demanding and difficult. College students don't get near enough credit in my opinion. I'm really fortunate i'm able to only work part time though. I couldn't imagine working every night and having to go home to do school work. I unfortunately didn't get selected to participate in Cisco live. It's a huge bummer but once i found out i was competing world wide, i lost a lot of hope. It was still an honor for my professor to nominate me. I'm still in the hat for the $1,000 grant though. You never know. I also reinstalled windows 10 on my pc because i was getting really confused with downloading stuff on Linux.
Finished up usr0 the other day, doing it a few more times for extra credit. Pretty easy project as long as you have discipline. Every time I sat down at a PC I did a set. I'm pretty good with stuff like that, it only takes a short time so its best to just get it done when you think about it. Getting close to the end of this semester and I'm more than ready. While i enjoy learning and im doing very well in school, it takes alot out of me and my relationships. Balancing work, school, and personal life isn't very easy. Wish i would have gone to college younger when i had less responsibilities. I just keep telling myself it will be worth it. Had a lot of fun last week working on spf0 with my group. Although i didn't really have much to contribute, they were very persistent about showing me what's going on. I feel like i learned quite a bit from it. It helped me a lot not only in that class but in my Structured Problem Solving class as well. Spring break is about over and i'm dreading going back, at least were at the final push till summer. I'm really looking forward to it, i hope to go camping as much as possible. We are already planning a few trips to northern NY and up to Boston for a long weekend with some friends.
Can't believe the semester is over halfway done, it's gone by pretty fast. Or at least it seemed to in hindsight, the weeks are long but the months are short. Just about finished up with upf1, struggling a little bit with the script but almost have it figured out. Also supposed to finish up the group project, spf0 today. I'm working with a really good group, they sort of make me feel behind thought. I mean they are computer science majors thought, and this is my first time ever doing any sort of coding. I guess progress is different for everyone. Although they are way ahead of my skill level, I am still make steady progress. I put a for-loop in my most recent script and I'm really proud of that because that's something i really didn't understand at all. The trick really is not being afraid to try things. I also put Linux mint onto my laptop, never seen that coming, but ever since i got it, it's been pretty slow because of Windows 10. So far i like it enough, there's a few things I'm not sure how to do, like to kill apps without using the terminal as there is not ctrl-alt-delete function. I'm also having issues installing chrome, and I'm really not a fan of Mozilla Thunderbird email client either. I'll have to see what my other options are as far as that goes. Downloaded steam, however I've yet to play anything on it but it seems like most of my library is compatible with Linux. I'm curious about Wine as well as i think ill need it for some functions on my laptop.
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Just finished up my web page adventure yesterday. This was my first time using html. I've got to say, it was a lot of fun. I think the fact that this project allowed so much creativity really made it interesting. Having the power to craft a world for the user is really interesting. I like the power. Maybe I should look into video game programming as a hobby, I've got a lot of stories i think would be fun to tell with that medium. Humble bundle often has deals on software and books, so that would probably be a good place to start. I hear unity is fairly easy to work with, though i don't know how you get the art for games. Surely someone doesn't draw everything by hand. Sounds like a lot of work, maybe ill just stick to playing video games. It's crazy to think about how much iv'e learned in 7 weeks. When i first started this class i was getting extremely frustrated because none of the commands or how a UNIX environment works made sense. It really seemed like it was unnecessarily complicated. Now here i am considering putting Linux on my laptop. Matt is an excellent teacher, encourages exploration and always throwing curve balls. He is also the only professor I've met that makes dead baby jokes. Overall, I've had a lot of fun in this class. I'm still ready for it to be over with. Ready for summer. One two three four five.
Just finished up upf0, gotta say it was pretty tough. The actual task was easy enough but the steps file had to made as a script. It took me a lot of time and a lot of frustration. I came and got some help from the tutor which helped a lot. This is the latest I've turned a project in. I heard whispers that the next project we do is even worse than this one, so I've got that to look forward to. I'm ready for another week off, i'm getting pretty burnt out between being at school and work. The days are starting to get longer so that's pretty cool, I'm ready for warmer weather and to go hiking. While i don't think my wife and I can afford a big vacation this year; i hope we can go do some new trails and some camping. My networking professor nominated me to go to a Cisco conference in San Diego this summer as well, hopefully i can do that. All expenses paid too, i just hope they give you time to explore, i'm sure there is lots to see and id hate to just be stuck in a hotel room.
Just finished up Pbx2 yesterday. I didn't spend as much time as I have in the past on this one. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. Id really like to know how often when this command line is actually used in the field. I am currently learning about 4 different command lines right now, they are all stating to blend together. I like how windows power shell lets you use a lot of the commands from Unix and from command prompt. I think companies should just make a standardized cli, why does every company need to make something proprietary? All it does is create a learning curve. Apple had the right idea when it came to using Unix I suppose free and somewhat user friendly. Anyway, I had a pretty awesome break week. Sold my old car for a couple bills and turned it into a new gpu and some ram for my gaming pc. My wife had gotten me the Oculus Rift for Christmas last year, I just finally got the touch controller for it and it's life changing. A lot of people say vr is fad, I disagree, it is in fact the future, it is just really early yet. From the games I've played, I can say it definitely helps you forget the problems of the world for a bit. The way things at going politically and quality of life wise, I think that can help a lot of people. I wrote an essay about VR/AR two years ago. Through my research I found a lot of people using the tech for very good things, like calming kids down in the doctors office and helping people with mental issues like phobias and PTSD. I think this technology has a ton of potential, my dream career would be to be involved with development of programs and games that can help people and expand their consciousness. Well that's probably 250 words now.
I've started on the second puzzle box and i'm getting really frustrated. I don't quite understand command expansions or variables or wildcards that well, and i'm sure that it is affecting my progress with this project. i'm probably going to need to seek some help for this one. I've looked up all the man pages for the commands in the toolbox and it hasn't been much help. Perhaps i need to cut the entire picture into quarters and reorder the entire thing, i already did that with the bottom half but now im seeing that the top should probably be snipped as well. Just looked at the readme that came with the file and it has hints, Top Row will be uppercase vowels, bottom lowercase and the left and right-most columns have a line count in octal from 000-31. Would have been good to have read that early on. So now i have the pieces properly labeled and seperated in to quarters. i need to figure out how to rotate the the pieces
The next project, pbx0 is now in full swing. I've made progress and have discovered 3 data files that have ascii text describing how to finish the project. I have come to a stand-still as one of the files is encoded or otherwise indecipherable and i'm not sure how to fix it. As always professor Haas's help is vague and confusing at best. I understand his teaching method as far as figuring things out yourself, in fact i enjoy the class because it is a challenges my problem solving skills. It is infuriating but i am constantly find myself logging into lab46 at every PC i sit down on and trying a few new things. The other day i found a command in /bin called True. The manual description of the command is “Do nothing, successfully.”. Talk about being unhelpful. Part of me wanted to smash my laptop, scream into the void and then call it the day, the other part of me was genuinely interested in its purpose. While typing this i came up with an idea, i know its possible to look at past classes journals, so maybe ill go investigate those for hints as to what i must do to unravel this puzzlebox. Ill probably just find more unhelpful information. Google hasn't been much help in figuring things out because i have no idea what I'm looking at or what exactly i need to do. I suppose ill get back to it now, just as my headache is starting to fade. Here we go. “Some people call me the space cowboy Some people call me the gangster of love Some people call me Maurice”
I think I am finally starting to get a grasp on how to mover around and do basic tasks within the UNIX terminal. I've gotten extremely frustrated more than a few times because a lot of the commands don't seem like common sense as they are with Cisco and in command prompt. Like “touch” to create a file? How is someone supposed to remember that? Anyhow ive gotten to a point where i feel like i can learn this. But I cant help but ask myself, why? Why would someone choose to use this operating system? I understand it is light weight, reliable,fast, and i see where its use could be beneficial in things like servers and code makers maybe. But to have it as the only os on my primary machine seems ridiculous. Simple things that can be done with a couple clicks in windows require a lot of typing in UNIX. I would possibly give Ubuntu a shot, i do like the fact that most Linux distributions are free and open source. I do also really like Android which i know is Linux based. So maybe id like Ubuntu or mint. I also learned a little fun fact today while reading for another class, Mac OS X is actually a true UNIX operating system. I am historically anti-MAC but now i can sort of understand why some professionals might prefer it. Apple also limits alot of customization and options that are available in windows or android. It is also very possible I don't like apple because i'm a hipster and try not to like the things most people like. Somebody once told me the world was gonna roll me I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed She was looking kind of dumb with a finger and her thumb in the shape of an L on her forehead WELL…….
Im not sure i understand any of this.