I was a couple of minutes late for class because I stopped off at a 7-11 on my way through the city and purchased a DP. Amusingly enough, it was the last one they had. I figured I'd need the caffeine because of my early start. As it turned out, I didn't need it as much as I thought and held off drinking it until mid-afternoon.
The scheduled 2-hour tutorial was cut in half because the School had booked the room from 9 till 1. Probably not a bad thing because it was a revision of combinatorial logic (which, admittedly, I did need). Logic circuit for a vending machine that gives change.
The following two hours were spent in the Sunray lab setting up KDE, reading newsgroups and chatting online. I think I did a token amount of research for my thesis too. That brings me to the next hour, and I'm glad I showed up at 11am for the 4th year welcome rather than at noon as my supervisor had advertised. DOH! He DID tell us 11am. :b Heh, it's a good thing I went then and not followed my dodgy memory. :D
The talk was fairly interesting too, surprisingly. The usual administrative stuff: introducing staff, blurb about misconduct (plagurism), a warning about 60 days of work experience not being an option (ACK!), a few things about the labs, including the swipe card deposits (what a can of worms that is!), a fair bit of stuff about how the thesis is organised this year...don't think there was much else. Membership for the IEEE, who also offer a thesis prize at the end of the year. Might be worth joining up.
The room mostly cleared out at the end of the meeting and I met up with my thesis supervisor and the 16 other students who will be under his supervision this year (although there were 3 in doubt). Interestingly enough, James Cooper (whom I know from QUGS) is also doing one of the JOC projects. So I got to meet the other students and in particular the ones who will be doing something very similar to or who are working on NetVend. I also got to absorb some of Richard's wisdom again...but I suppose that goes without saying now. He has a lot of useful tips, thoughts, stories and ideas to impart. He spent some time getting everyone organised with their project selections and pretty much gave me mine almost straight away once he got to me. WOOT! :D Speaking of which, I really ought to get a better feel for my project tomorrow...
Probably the most important lesson today is that there's a learning curve at the start of anything new, which might seem really obvious but it's quite an important concept.
After that I went back to the Sunray lab. Signed up for tutorials and dropped the Compilers course. Because I did that, I don't have any classes on Thursdays either. WOOHOO!! Spent some time comforting a friend as well.
Around 5pm I caught a bus back into the city for a meeting of ESIG (whatever that stands for). Here was the blurb from my supervisor:
This is an industry group of local professional who meet once per month for updates on embedded system issues. Rick Stevenson for SnapGear will be there so anyone interested in a project using snapgear product or embedded Linux has the chance to meet the manufactures and principle players for the Coldfire port of micro linux.
It was at the SEAQ office in Quay St. Unfortunately, I had no idea where Quay St was, and I ended up going to the tourist information and asking there. The lady at the desk checked the street map and pointed it out to me, and gave me a map to follow as well. Very helpful. It was a fifteen minute walk though and the "drinks and nibbles" had already started. Whoops! :D If I'd known where to go then I would've taken an express bus instead of a rocket and gotten off at a closer stop. No matter - I could use the exercise.
Richard and a fellow student named Brad (I think) were waiting just outside, which is fortunate because I'm not sure I would have done so well entering the building myself. We stood around chatting (errrm...well, those two were chatting anyway. I was in my usual mode), waiting for others to show before going inside. Only James showed up a little later. There were two RSVPed students unaccounted for.
There was pizza and coke to be had before the talk itself. The talk was on QNX, and I'm ashamed to admit that I did nearly nod off a few times. I really ought to be getting more sleep. :b Or more caffeine. :D After the talk (which lasted maybe an hour or so) there was some general conversation. Again the point was reinforced that there are learning curves everywhere, and apparently Linux has a higher learning curve than QNX. Not that I know QNX. Apparently, James should be talking to disability services on campus or something like that, because Richard told me some very interesting information that really should have been told to James instead. I guess he hasn't had a chance to learn everyone's projects yet, but it was useful anyway.
I had a bit of a chat with Brad on the walk back into town afterwards. Apparently he's in the same boat as me regarding work experience. He's only worked 3 days and he had some work lined up before the break but it fell through. Funfun. He wanted to know if I had any ideas for getting through it. We'll figure it out somehow.
And I got called a "human" when I was crossing the Brisbane River to the bus stop by Southbank. A group of about 2 dozen or so skaters swarmed around me from the other direction. I thought it was quite funny. :D "Pedestrian! Human!"