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Big B

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  1. Big B

    Why does my computers clock keeps changing?

    Turn off the "Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server" since it doesn't work very well. I had a similar problem where the clock would get set forward by 18-30 minutes every day. Clicking the "Update Now" button works fine, but not the automatic version for some reason. As soon as I disabled it, the problem went away.
  2. Big B

    Dry eye

    I too have dry eyes. Its from the medication I'm on to keep my graft-versus-host disease in check. It also causes dry skin, muscle loss, bone loss, and fluid to gather or leave my eyes so its hard to focus on anything. The side effects of GVHD is dry mouth, dry skin, eye problems, and difficulty breathing. The reason I have GVHD is because I received a stem cell transplant to fight Hodgkin's disease (cancer). I went through chemo and radiation three times for that. The side effects for that are too many to name, but its like having the worst hangover of your life last for six months. Optometrists would have you putting drops in your eyes all day if people would do it. Its their version of drinking eight glasses of water a day. If you do great, if you don't you won't shrivel up and die. Once or twice a day will probably do it. Also try cleaning your eyes using no tear baby shampoo in the shower to keep your eyelids clean. And don't use Visine. It takes the red out, then promptly puts more in.
  3. Big B

    What qualifies someone to teach computer science?

    Sadly the qualifications for teaching at the University level don't include any sort of credentials in teaching (unless its in education). My University had a faculty of Education that offered teaching classes to professors, but those were completely optional, any few took the opportunity. Its more than likely that your professor knows her stuff, but can't convey it effectively to you students. Theres also a very good chance that her area of research is so far removed from basic programming and logic skills that she has to relearn it. Seeing as how its only your first semester, I can guarantee that you will have professors that are much worse. Like professor with an impenetrable accent, professor who switches course notes 3 times, professor than makes you buy their $150 textbook then doesn't use it, and professor with an impenetrable accent that switches course notes 3 times even though you bought their $150 textbook. The best thing you can do is to read the course material before the class, show up in case they say "this will be on the exam", and do the course work. Showing up for 80 minutes and hoping it all soaks in may not be enough for a pass.
  4. Big B

    GDNet at the Movies: I Am Legend

    Just finished watching this an hour ago. Overall I thought it was good but my wife and other people in the theater seemed to think it was better than I did. I'm probably also the only person in the theater who saw "The Omega Man", so I was trying to remember what happened in that one most of the time. The CG on the vampires was pretty bad. The producers probably saw Gollum and thought they could get away with it. I'm not sure that they would have been able use puppets for the close ups, but they could have made them a little more human looking by not having their jaws unhinged. Derelict New York looked amazing though. We did notice the product placement, but I chalked that up to it being New York and just being covered in ads, especially Times Square. While you may lament Will Smith being "Will Smith" in the last part of the movie, according to the Teen Tribute magazine we picked up beforehand the movie was originally written for Arnold Schwarzenegger. In light of this I am REALLY glad they went with Will Smith.
  5. I've been a professional contractor for the past 5 months or so. I had to set up my own company before I started but it actually wasn't that big of a deal. It was also mandatory since everyone around here only does business to business contracts. Its different in Canada, but the basic process was: - Fill out some forms online and pay $200 to get a numbered business. - Apply for a payroll and GST (Goods and Services Tax) account. For an extra $50 I could have done a name search if I wanted to call my company something other than 653496 Canada Inc, but that takes extra time and I needed to set up a business ASAP. I'm not sure about the UK, but the government of Canada has done a pretty good job of getting everything done online and having all of its documentation there. The biggest transition is budgeting to getting paid once a month and forking over income tax instead of having it deducted ahead of time. I haven't been through tax season yet so I can't comment on the savings, but I'm definitely making more than I ever would have working as a full time employee.
  6. Big B


    I beat Portal yesterday and while I was a little disappointed by the length, the end song made up for it. It gave me a craving for cake, then my wife brought home a cake about an hour later. Its chocolate and peanut butter. True story.
  7. Big B

    What University Program to Take?

    If Financial Management peaks your interest, are you sure you'd want to go into EE? These are two completely different areas of study. This wouldn't give you the same "mental training" as an engineering course because this would be training you more towards the financial and software side, whereas an (electrical) engineering course will mentally train you to be an engineer. As to how hard they would mentally train you, its probably pretty close (its not art history). Just because you don't get an iron ring at the end, it doesn't mean its easy. Since its the first year this is offered, you might be off the radar for some hiring managers, but in IT having the latest buzzword on your resume never really hurt anyone. When I started university, my school (Ottawa U) just launched Software Engineering and none of those guys had any trouble getting co-op placements. Getting jobs four years later was a bit different since we graduated in the middle of the tech slump. Things are turning around now though. Also its a degree from Waterloo, which would get you in the doors of most places.
  8. Big B

    Freeware HTML to PDF Converters?

    You might want to look at using XSLT and FOP. If you convert your HTML to XHTML, then you just have to come up with a stylesheet. Getting basic PDF isn't so hard, but getting something that looks decent takes a while.
  9. Big B

    Afraid to ask for a pay rise

    You should find out what other people with your experience are making in your area. monster.ca has a salary center where you can put in what your job is and where you live and it tells you what HR departments say they pay their workers. It gives the 25% to 75% range. monster.co.uk doesn't seem to have that, so you'll have to do a bit of digging. Don't ask your coworkers what they make since that just stirs up trouble. Next make a list of your work achievements. If your boss says "Why should I give you a raise?" you'll have a list of answers. It helps if you keep track as you go. I got this piece of advice from my Dad who would do performance reviews and a surprising number of people's first answer to "so what have you done in the past year" is "I don't know". If you know what you've done you are in a much better position than most other people. Finally, just go for it and ask your boss for a raise. You probably feel like that little kid in Oliver saying "Please sir, can I have some more?" (I know I do when it comes to money), but you'll never get a raise if you don't ask for it. They aren't going to bring it up if you don't. They worst they can say is "No", but it will probably be something along the lines of "we don't have enough to go around right now". If you haven't gotten a performance review in a while, nows the time to ask for one, and every week until they give you one. If they absolutely refuse to give you a raise, get ready to hand in your 2 weeks notice, and be ready to follow up on it. Either they will give you a raise on the spot, or they'll let you go. If they say "best of luck out there" then there was little chance of getting a raise anyway. This is a LOT easier said than done, but I got laid off a month ago (company ran out of money) where I wasn't even in the 25th percentile for salaries. Now they want me to work for them on a contract basis and suddenly my time got 50% for valuable. I also got another job where I'd be making more than what I'd ever ask for from the previous company.
  10. Big B

    Spiderman 3 ***SPOILERS***

    I thought it was better than 2, but not as good as the first one. For some reason I didn't think 2 was all that great. My nits: - How was Harry able to fly on his hoverboard and fight effectively with only 1 eye and no depth perception.? - The butler scene near the end was way too convenient. - The emo Peter Parker scenes were too long. We get it, he thinks hes hot crap. Could've trimmed some fat there. - This movie needed less Stan Lee (none would have been perfect) and more Bruce Campbell. Other than that it was exactly what I expected: the next installment of a franchise. If everyone leaves and they give the series over to a new director and cast, it could go the way of the Batman movies, so over-the-top that they need to reboot the series a few years later. Lets just hope it doesn't get it Joel Schumacher's hands.
  11. Big B

    Stanley Cup

    Senators FTW
  12. Big B

    Resume question

    Keep it on the resume as is. If you get an interview and they want you to write some Java code, just say "my Java is a bit rusty" before you start writing things down. The interviewer won't be expecting perfection unless you say you are the Java master. Chances are if you get an interview, you'll get a list of the qualifications and you can study up on those beforehand. More likely you will be asked questions on what you think of different technologies and to draw some UML or class diagrams.
  13. Big B

    Sony is slicker than I thought.

    Ok, so it wasn't as bad as the Daily Mail made it out to be. Nobody actually ate from the goat, and they brought it back to the butcher after they were done with it. From Kotaku: Quote:from Sony We recognise that the use of a dead goat was in poor taste and fell below the high standards of conduct we set ourselves. We are conducting an enquiry to establish the circumstances behind the event in order to ensure this does not happen again. We also apologise to anyone offended by the article in the OPSM (subscription copies were sent out ahead of street date). Maybe they should replace their mission statement banner in the marketing departments with a "No crazy shit" banner.
  14. Big B

    Sony is slicker than I thought.

    Where on the sliding scale of slick to not-slick would having a promotional party where guests could eat the still warm organs from a decapitated goat (LSFW) fit? I'm thinking its around not-slick, but it fits nicely into the insane category. In their defense, it wasn't the actual organs, just warmed over offal (organs) from the butcher. Also if anyone has that issue of OPM, you may want to hold onto it since they are being recalled.
  15. Big B

    CPU vs. GPU war!

    Does anyone else see this being used to replace traditional graphics rendering with Real time ray tracing? From the slides its easy to imagine the 4MB of shared cache holding your geometry and the small fixed function units handling ray intersections. The different cores each handle a different part of the screen. If it catches on, it could make the advances of everyone else moot. A lot of games would require an extra render path just for this architecture, but if its easy to do and your game looks like Toy story, why not?
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