Monday, January 03, 2005


I'm taking WRI 203, a course at University, and our first exercise is to write something called a 20 minute journal. What it is, is 20 minutes of non-stop writing, without pausing to correct either grammar or spelling. So here goes:

Ex 1

I've just thought for about two minutes to bring to my mind what I am going to write about. Its about 11 05pm and having not thought of anything meaningful to write, I have just started typing and as I type this very word, I have no idea where this is going to go. Anywho, I think I might as well start where I last left off, which is, after my second CSC407 assignment. A nightmare of an ordeal, where I not only did not finish it within the time it was due, but I also barely managed to finish it within the next whole week. Emad and I worked frantically all of the monday, the day it was due, and then proceeded to try and race downtown from Erindale. The time was 6 40pm and the time it was due: 7 10pm. Believe it or not, we made it from Erindale to the downtown campus in 30mins flat, and managed to hand in the assignments just as the TA was leaving the room with a burrow of 407 A2's. I know we have never done anything before time, but even by our standards, this was cutting it a bit fine.

The next week was the last week of school, and I had an ECE project, A3 from 407 and an exam to study for. I spent the next 3 or 4 days, trying to start on the ECE project. Our initial idea was an mp3 player, which our TA really seemed to like. We searched online for someone who had already done it, and one look at the various circuits and we decided to put that idea on the back burner. What we needed to do next was brainstorm something else that would be worthwhile doing as an ECE project. Our group of 5, at this point consisted of just three of us, fooling around more than actually doing work. As we looked through various projects done by students from previus years and even other universities we settled on two seemingly interesting ideas. The first one was a car that would run using stepper and servo motors and could be controlled remotely using sensors and what not. The second idea was to build a dot-matrix like printer.

We voted on trying the car thing since that seemed more feasible, at the time, and the three of us could at least visualize exactly how it would work if we could get it all assembled. So off we went to active surplus, looking for parts. We spent a good 3-4 hours rummaging through the store looking for bits and pieces that could be used to build the car. At the end of the 4th hour, all we had to show for our efforts was a toy car which we broke open for gears and wheels. A gear. Another gear whose teeth did not fit with this one's gear. A stepper motor, some wires.

One thing i've learned about workig on projects in groups, is that it is a friendship make or breaker. I for one was seething inside at one of my partners. He did not seem to focus on the task at hand - which was to find parts required to build the car - and at the end of the time there, just wanted to leave the place, with the illusion that we had accomplished what we had come there for, when in fact, it was like we had never started. Finally after a good half an hour of arguing in the store I agreed with to head back to school, which was a pleasant 30 minute walk in freezing temperatures.

Back at school, we played around with the car we bought. Hooked up the motors to the wheels, and plugged in some power. The wheels turned, and for a few minutes at BA 3200, all eyes were on us. Everyone wondering what in the world these geeks were up to. A few of them walked up to us, thinking we were working on some 'cool' robot project, and of course we obliged them with a bucket full of BS.

11: 25pm -- End of 20 min journal for today.


Post a Comment

<< Home