computer science

justin scawful • 15 jan 2021

so i've started my first semester at uic. now that i've been through a week of it i can say i'm pretty happy with how things are going. obviously it'd be nicer to be on campus but there's enough structure with the online format that it feels engaging enough with my time. my programming class has been pretty easy so far. the first project is very similar to a personal exercise project i was doing on my own over winter break, which is pretty funny that i was just doing it for fun and now it's my assignment. calculus 3 seems pretty simple so far, with the vector operations and whatnot. that class is a little decentralized in terms of how some of the material is given out. it has a coordinator for the whole course, students get their own instructor for lectures, and there's a discussion session with a TA once a week as well. i'm going to make sure to study and stay ahead in that class since i can already tell the lectures won't be enough on their own. discrete mathematics is interesting so far. it started with propositional logic and i've studied that in the past before on my own time. i believe it was spring of 2019 when i read a book on logic. apparently the class has a bit of a reputation for being difficult but i like solving abstract problems and i wasn't terrible at proofs in geometry so i think i can do it.

happy new year

justin scawful • 1 jan 2021

the year 2020 is finally over. not that it really means that much but ceremoniously it has some weight. i'm hoping that this year will be better as a whole since there's the potential of the pandemic winding down in intensity by the end of the year if the vaccine is rolled out properly. i'm optimistic about the future. not exactly sure why since things are still so bleak and depressing but it really serves me no good getting bummed out over it. at least in terms of my life personally things are going really well. i'm probably just feeling good right now because my sisters are here to visit for the holidays and it's made me really happy spending time with them and talking to them. i'm happy i have a nicer car now so i can drive to them more often. i don't much care for the four hour drive but it wasn't bad when i went to pick them up. mostly just exhausted cause i drove back with them literally the day after driving out there, rather than staying for a few days. i need to sell my minivan soon though. i don't want to keep paying for the insurance on that thing. between selling the car and the stimulus money i'm gonna be pretty comfortable for a bit. i'll definitely be investing some of that money, making a car payment with it, and then putting the rest into savings. i think that's a pretty equitable distribution of the funds. i bought some bitcoin like a month ago and it's already returned like 60% which is pretty great. i thought we'd have to wait til like the end of 2021 to see 30k and now it's probably gonna happen in the next few days. i don't want to get too ahead of myself, but i may buy more and hold for awhile.

i'm enjoying my new computer a lot. i'm going to try and make a point to code more this year. considering i'll be in a programming class this semester that won't be hard to keep up with. since i've got my windows workspace readily available now i'm going to work on my rom hack more as well. before it was a bit of a pain to close out all my school work on macOS and then boot into windows and get started. now i can leave my hacking stuff open and periodically work on it. i ordered a vertical holder for my macbook so i can position it next to my new beast of a computer and then it's as simple as plugging in the hdmi, the keyboard, and the mouse. i still prefer macOS in a lot of ways especially for school work and i can't use logic pro on windows so it's still going to be used a lot. there's just a lot of benefits to having a ready windows machine for programming and gaming. i've played a lot of cyberpunk this week. i've been enjoying exploring the world a lot. the constant phone calls and sense of urgency with the quests can be a bit overbearing at times if you're just looking to do some side quests and explore the world but i've noticed that's a problem with a lot of modern open world games. they definitely want to keep your attention. i appreciated breath of the wild cause it never really forced you to move through the story it was all completed at your leisure. with the spiderman ps4 games i definitely felt like i was pushed along in the main story a lot.

the link to the past prototype hack was released yesterday. i'm very excited about it. i've been bug testing it a bit the last week so i've already seen a lot of it but it's still really fun to play through and see all the gigaleak content used in real time. i made a mirror of it here. the gigaleak and the prototype have inspired me to work on my rom hack a lot more and try to get it finished. it's going to be hard still with school but i want to find a way to fit it into my schedule. i think now that i'm used to the online format i'll find ways to balance my time better. there's really not that much work left on it relatively speaking. i've gotta tie up some loose ends in the overworld design, finish the 5th and 6th dungeon and then create the 7th and 8th dungeons. then i'll have to change up a lot of the caves since they're all pretty much vanilla aside from a few. it can just be overwhelming since i'm doing it all by myself and i get distracted easily. staying on one task at a time can be very difficult, especially when hacking zelda doesn't really contribute anything major to my future and my career so there's a bit of guilt if i'm not actively programming. i think it will be better since i have my program design class this semester i won't feel guilty about doing it in my spare time.