After careful consideration, I’ve decided to take the FE/EIT Engineering exam in April in lieu of obtaining my Masters Degree (for now) in Computer Engineering. The FE/EIT is a vital and necessary component in the ultimate goal of pursuing a professional license in the field of engineering.
The eight-hour comprehensive exam covers material from all years of one’s undergraduate experience and includes the following topics: chemistry, computers, dynamics, electric circuits, engineering economics, fluid mechanics, material science, mathematics, mechanics of materials, statics, thermodynamics, and ethics. That is, one must be proficient in all fields of engineering in order to successfully pass this exam.
In the October 2003 examination, only 68% of electrical engineers passed the general exam. But I’ve never been one to turn down a good challenge. As the months progress, more information will be posted on the dedicated Fundamentals of Engineering Exam page wiki page in preparation for this long-term goal.
Added an autoresponder for [email protected] to automatically reply with my PGP key. After reading several usability studies by Jakob Nielson, I made some changes to the topbar interface on the website. First, the topbar no longer links to the current page. Second, title tags have been added to the topbar links.
Read an interesting essay by Georgia Tech graduate Bill Manofsky on his experiences in the work force in engineering. One particular paragraph struck a cord with me:
Something has to be amiss when more often than not, I see new grads with 4.0 grade point averages come in new to the job and fall flat on their face. From what I have seen, a 4.0 grade point average indicates mastery at taking tests and doing homework. It gives no indication of the person’s creativity or ability to put that knowledge to good use.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. So I spent most of today figuring out how to get rotating signatures in slrn. Found my answer in the slrn FAQ. I also wrote a random signature generator in Python; you’ll have to e-mail me to see its effect. I’ll wait a few more days before trying to write a comments system for the journal – I can’t seem to figure out the proper SQL syntax.
Added a login table and comments table to the mySQL database. Now I have to hash out the details of how a user should login, as well as how the comments system should operate. But to get this right, I first need to catch up on my SQL join syntax. I’ve also been converting the PHP source code to an object-oriented model; this requires a major re-write of large portions of the code.
I didn’t get a single thing for Christmas, and that’s the way it should be. I had an opportunity to put up a stock page for barik.net. Note that barik.net and www.barik.net are hosted on two different machines, and therefore have two different web sites. Finally, my mugshot has been relegated to the about me page, where it more appropriately belongs.
I met with Ryan in the afternoon at VoipAge, a voice over IP Internet phone service company. Had a late lunch at Wings Sports Grille, a neat little restaurant that offers the NTN Interactive Trivia game. It’s just geeky enough to where I like it. And fortunately, there are several locations in Smyrna and Atlanta offering this game as well. We concluded the evening at Ryan’s house and completed the second DVD of Family Guy.
Doh! The wiki database is lost because I accidentely dropped the database. All wiki pages are gone, so if you had a page, please make it again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I spent a large part of the day adding a photograph gallery to the Montessori World web site. I spent the remainder of the day regretfully examining educational operating systems.
The first batch of operating systems that I considered are really operating system simulators. The first, Nachos 4.0, is written in C++, and unfortunately only works well on little endian architectures. Further searching revealed a Java version, Nachos 5.0j, used in the Operating Systems and System Programming (CS162) course at the University of California, Berkeley. I actually managed to get this to run, though it fails horribly under the newest 1.4.2 JDK. Much more annoying is that fact that it would take me just as much time to learn how to use this simulated operating system as it would to just hack around with a real one!
So I did. After some research, I stumbled upon the MINIX operating system, a free UNIX clone designed to teach operating system internals. I was eventually able to get a MINIX virtual system running using Bochs and a corresponding Bochs system image (also from the SourceForge repository).
Lastly, I downloaded the MINIX source code in an attempt to compile from source. Unfortunately, I’m unable to compile the MINIX source using gcc. It looks like I’m stuck for today. I’ll make a post to comp.os.minix tomorrow to see if anyone can help. Until then, I’m convinced that computers are stupid.
A web robot is a program that recursively traverses web sites to collect information. For example, Googlebot is a web robot that traverses web sites in order to build a searchable index for Google. However, there may be certain directories or pages of a web site that robots should not access. I therefore added a robots.txt file to the root of the website, as indicated by the Robots Exclusion Standard. I used the Robots.txt Checker to validate the file.
Date with Sarah in the afternoon. We went to watch Elf, a cheesy but tolerable Christmas comedy, followed by a nice dinner at Ruby Tuesday.