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4. May

Well important things will happen tomorrow and I'll report it after I have seen how things shake out, but right now I am only posting here to tell people that I've managed over the last few hours to get the 3rd chapter of Stepping into the Light done. It is a chapter that is mainly about moving the story along (as will the next one be). I am signing off for the day to get a little relaxation before what will probably be one of the most difficult days in my recent life tomorrow.

5. May

So what did I mean this day was to be the most difficult in my recent life. Well, to be perfectly honest it was all about the commercial project I've been slaving on for months now. It turned out that my so-called partner was doing absolutely squat on both this project and the semester project we're collaborating on. So I went to a meeting with the customer today and told them that I couldn't be apart of this project again until sometime in August due to vacationing and certain other things and that I was feeling very unappreciated when it came to the amount of effort for the amount of payback I'm getting. They said that it wasn't a problem and they very well understood my problems. We discussed for a while and finally it was decided to bring me back in August and that the timetable was to be changed accordingly. The problems with my partner is something that they will handle as he works for them just like I do. We don't work as a group for them but as two individuals according to a contract. Tomorrow will be another crunch time as we'll have a talk with one of our teachers about the semester project. It seems that I've rattled my partner enough to get through to him though as I've just received proof that he is actually working on something meaningful on both projects.

8. May

Exams are around the corner! That is what I hear in my head and every where else right now. While I am busy preparing for that and the presentation of the system I've been developing on Wednesday, my computer is busying itself with reencoding some of my music collection from Ogg Vorbis and MP3s over to FLAC which is a lossless format meaning CD quality sound at about half the size of the original. It eats up alot of Harddisk space but that really is cheap these days so why should I care at all. Both my Linux and Windows player apps works with it and I am very happy with the results (The Lord of the Rings CDs have never sounded better). I celebrated the coming release of the new Radiohead CD (Hail to the Thief) of which I am a huge fan by reencoding all my Radiohead CDs first.

Oh and I've already spent a little of the money I'm getting for the project, while looking for presents for my parents 50th birthdays I noticed that I was rather wealthy (more than my student status allows) so I went out and bought some DVDs that will come along with my Buffy 6th season collection, which I am only buying as a landmark moving towards the much better final 7th season. So both my Dark Angel and Stargate SG-1 collection will as complete as they can be by early June. I also took the chance and bought a collection of the Taken miniseries which was cheaper than usual.

Oh and if you haven't. Go see X-Men 2 if there is even remotely a chance you'd enjoy a superhero movie. Now I know people are waiting but I am quite sure that I won't be writing much for Stepping into the Light this weekend so don't expect a new chapter until sometime next wednesday evening (CET) or so.

11. May

For those wondering no I haven't finished another chapter of Stepping into the Light and I probably won't for another couple of days. With that out of the way I must admit I have been enjoying myself these last few nights I just got a major shipment of DVDs home and each day after working or studying I catch a few episodes of Stargate (and from Monday of Buffy's 6th season). But my main focus has been a new and brilliant series called Taken. Now that one is just great with some of the best acting I've seen on a scifi mini-series ever. It avoids many pitfalls of the type of story the show is telling and while the sheer scope of the show (it deals with 4 generations of 3 families) sometimes drowns out some details that would've been interesting to see it is still well above anything Sci-fi I've seen since Babylon 5's 4th season.

It has been a busy weekend and although I don't feel too productive I have been making HTML templates and examples for a presentation next Wednesday. Man that is a lot more work than I thought and I am beginning to doubt how much I can get done by Wednesday anyhow. Still I can't spend much more time of the software project as my exams are about a week away and I feel way unprepared for that massacre. The exams are brutal this semester and if I get through without a hitch I'll be amazed. Still I am hopeful that all will be well this year as well.

18. May

Whew, what a week. First I had the spend all my time to prepare for my big presentation for the expert group from all over the EU that has hired us. Nice people and what a great day. Everything went perfectly in my opinion and everyone seemed to love the project. Then there was the last day of the semester which was kind of dull, but which led to a major party Friday (including me leaving home at 10 in the morning and getting back to fall into my bed 3 hours after midnight...

I am still captivated by Dakota Fanning's performance in Taken and Taken might actually be the thing that finally clinches what genre my first outing into original fiction in English will be in. I have the idea for a megasized fiction project ghosting around in my head (yet another one I now have four of them each fundamentally different). The second I am finished with the Darkness and the Light I will begin writing something original. As always over time I find fanfiction profoundly unsatisfying to write, because while you get a lot previous history and a complete cast of characters dropped in your lap you're also limited by that, because all good fanfiction sticks as close as possible to the original series or fails. It is also a trap if you want to develop as a writer because you don't learn to create characters of your own and give life to them and their world.

I know a few faithful are still looking in and I can tell you that I've finished another chapter of Stepping into the Light. Stepping actually looks to be a lot longer than I originally thought coming in just under False Dragon in length if my current calculations are right. It's amazing to me to think that I've written somewhere around 200000 words in this series already. Anyway for those who read my stories. Enjoy :)

20. May

Several months of preparation led up to this day. Today I've been to my first exam of this semester. It was a written test in mathematics (LaPlace transformations/Fourier series). And damn it was hard. I am not even sure I passed, but then again I am usually scared of that and so far I haven't failed a single exam to date... ever. Now I have just plowed my way through several hundred pages of Electronic circuit theory for the next written exam this Thursday. The funny thing is that I am actually more scared of some of the verbal exams (the one on Language and Compiler theory in particular). But we'll see. I usually do much better on verbal exams, because of my excellent memory and lack of nerves once I am actually at it.

Now I am back at writing more of Stepping before I settle down to enjoy my only remaining TV night. Hmm over the years I have found that there is produced less and less entertainment programs that actually has any appeal. Most are either extremely derivative and boring or even worse some kind of Reality TV (which I loathe). I miss the times, when there actually was a choice between watching Deep Space Nine on one channel and Babylon 5 on another (B5 winning of course).

22. May

I finished my second written exam and I think I'll pass this one as well. Electrical circuit analysis and the like was the subject of the day (not my favorite course, it's mandatory). I seem to have all the methods down pat and as far as I can see from the suggested solution (which is handed out after you hand in your test) I have made all the right choices along the way.

Now the embedded programming course verbal test is next. It should be okay, in fact the only thing I am worrying about at this point is if I'll finish the presentations for the language and compiler course in time. It is this semester's hardest subject and the one exam I have the least preparation time for (only one and a half days). My current plan is to make the embedded programming presentations and half the language and compiler presentations over the weekend. If that succeeds I won't have any problems as the final test in Computer Architecture is about 4 days after the language and compiler test giving me alot of time to prepare. This all in all means that I won't be able to write more for Stepping into the Light this next few days, but expect the 5th and 6th rather action driven chapters to come soon.

29. May

YAY! I passed both the embedded programming and the compiler design course with fine grades. I am slowly beginning preparations for the computer architecture exam on Monday and then all I have to do is finish the Compiler/CPU simulator project before the 26th of June. Both exams were slightly nervewracking because I haven't made such a 10 minute presentation without preparation for the exact question before. Now I have lost any sense of fear so that only anticipation is left.

As I predicted I haven't been able to find time to write and I won't have more than a few lines done, but as I can't focus on a software project 100% at a time, I'll get a lot done in June and the plan is still to finish Stepping into the Light before I leave for my much needed vacation in July.