Archives: March 30th, 2009

Blog Movements, Reslife Tours, F1, CounterStrike, Rock Band, Hall Band, and Lottery

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Blog Movements
I spent most of Saturday Morning moving things between my two blogs. My favorite part about blogging is reading old entries, and this was a wonderful excuse to do so. Some highlights of merged posts for me include coming out in high school, telling someone via the internet, a random picture, coming out to my parents, and why I’m gay. All posts from my old blog are tagged with the x-posted category.

Reslife Tour
After working on some homework Saturday morning, it was time for a tour of all the upperclassmen housing options RPI has to offer. First up was Warren hall: identical in shape to my current dorm, yet with a completely different configuration inside. Rooms are quite a bit larger than my current double, and they are split in half with a privacy barrier. Each room also has its own bathroom. Warren also apparently has a reputation for gamers, anime fans, and sci-fan fans. Supposedly it’s one of the more social dorms. If I were looking for a double, Warren would probably be on top of my list.

After Warren was Nugent. Nugent features the Ground Zero music club in its basement. As such, its home to a lot of musicians. Nugent had a similar room setup to Nugent (doubles with privacy wall), but the building and its interior look a lot older, 70s style. After Nugent was Sharp. From what I’ve heard, Sharp is one of the hardest halls to get in to, due to a high rate of squatting and high demand. Sharp has the most desirable setup for our group: 6 bedrooms, a bathroom, and a common area per suite! It was also recently renovated.

After finishing the on-campus portion, it was time for the far-from-campus portion. This required an approximatley 20 minute walk down Burdett avenue to the Colonie Apartments. Colonie has three different setups. We got to see Colonie B, which features large (330 sq ft) singles divided into a sleeping room and a living area. Apart from their distance from campus, these looked like highly desirable singles. After Colonie we walked up the hill to the Stackwyck apartments. Each of the 5 buildings contains 12 suite style apartments with 4 bedrooms. I was impressed with the size of the living area, however the size of the individual bedrooms was rather small. I also believe these are rather highly squatted, in fact one entire building is being squatted by a sorority. These are our backup plan if our Polytech aspirations fall through. More on that later.

The tour concluded with a brief look at the RAHPs. While the housing style is similar to Stackwyck, the buildings are not. These are double story units, with each suite occupying two floors. The ground foor features a common area and kitchen, and the second floor has 4 singles. These felt really small, and I’ve only heard bad things about them. Our last resort.

Formula 1
After sleeping and eating, it was time for the opening race of the Formula 1 season, the Australian Grand Prix! The race started off with a bang! Barrichello’s extremely slow start resulted in a clusterfuck as the field approached the first corner. Barrichello, Webber, Kovalainen, and Sutil were damaged. All continued but Kovalainen. Button ran away with it from the poll. There was much quabbling behind him. I’ve never seen a non-wet race so up-in-the-air. Mid-race, Nakajima crashed (FIRE HIM ALREADY). Safety car. Massa ran 3rd most of the race before something died. Raikkonen spun off into a wall, but continued until something else died. With 3 laps to go, the fucking moron Kubica tried to pass Vettel on the outside of a right-left corner. While he was alongside Vettel, he left Vettel nowhere to go. The resulting collision damage all sorts of bodywork and suspension. They both attempted to continue, but both spun out again. This we terminal for Kubica. Vettel continued under the safety car with a completely broken left front, wheel dragging along the ground, until it came to a halt a lap and a half later. The race ended under safety car, with Barrichello taking second thanks to Raikkonen, Massa, Vettel, and Kubica’s fail. Brawn 1-2 on their debut…

Jeff, Ryan, and I played CounterStrike for the first time this year early Sunday morning. We played on a pub server, some 24/7 de_dust2. Twas good fun. I went rougly 1.1:1, using almost exclusively the FAMAS as CT and Dualies as T.

Rock Band
Sunday evening I played guitar a bit by myself. I tested out some of the newer DLC that I hadn’t played on Guitar before, and filled in some gaps in scores from RB1 songs I’d never played in RB2. Nothing too hard, nice and relaxing.

Hall Band
At some point, I decided that a longer headphone cable would give me more mobility about the room. I attached a couple cables together, and quickly I was able to play guitar from the hall way, and even in Joe’s room! When Peter returned and saw the nonsense, he decided to join in. A couple 3.5mm to RCA adapters and some RCA lesbians later, we had a cable that stretched down the entire length of our hallway. However, since the screen was in my room, the headphone long cable proved pointless. Besides, the wireless on the guitar couldn’t reach anyway. 4 USB extender cables daisy-chained together allowed the wireless receiver to be placed in the hall way. This didn’t solve the screen problem, however. No matter, I can play songs by ear no problem! The song: Blitzkrieg Bop, which mostly consists of GY chords intersperesed with some YB and YO. Unfortunately, I failed when the song did some unexpected stuff with some RB chords…

Of course, I didn’t intend to give up! A small crowd was going, and we discussed methods to get the screen into the hall. Mirrors? No one could find one. What about a couple of zoomed in video cameras? We only had one. What about the video camera connected to a laptop? So crazy, it might just work! And it did. With ~600ms of video lag. Unfortunatley, Rock Band only allows calibration of 300ms of lag, leaving the other 300 ms to screw with us. Oh well, it was worth a shot. Once camera and laptop were positioned properly, I attempted to avenge my fail on Blitzkrieg Bop. And I did! With a paltry 3 stars 88% notes hit! 300ms of video lag is a bit much for anyone! Hungry for more, I attempted to complete That’s What You Get, however that ended badly about 80% of the way through the song. Hoping to prove that it was really hard, I offered my guitar to Kevin. Kevin accepted the challenge, but not before I decided to bring the drums out in the hallway as well!

Now, there were two of us, struggling with 300ms of lag. Since we didn’t have a headphone splitter, I turned up my speakers. This, however, introduced a bunch of audio lag, as I sound travels at 1 ms per foot, the game was callibrated for headphones, and we were ~50 feet away from my speakers around a corner. Thus, our venture on Maps went poorly. I failed on drums at about 30% the first time. Unfazed, I adjusted for the perceived audio lag, and we made it much further: 55%. A song with less drum notes would’ve probably helped things. Due to the advent of quiet hours, and complaints from the RA, we packed everything up, and most of us went to Fathers. Peter took some pictures of the setup, which I’ll link when they become available.

Campus Housing Lottery
Upon return from Fathers, the hall was in an uproar. Lottery numbers had been posted a bit early, and everyone was checking them. Quickly, a whiteboard with everyones names and numbers was produced. Things didn’t look good; our top 3 were #122, #225, and #231 (out of 767). After several more visits from the RA, we moved headquarters to a vacant study room. The mood was fererent. I haven’t seen so much action and excitement of out Crock 3 before. I began spreadsheeting away. Turns out that while our first three numbers were much higher than a statistical average, the remaining 8 numbers fared far better than statistics and probability would predict. Unfortunately, it’s only the top 3 that really matter for us. More spreadsheeting produced the number of occupants of each of the Suite style housing options: Sharp, Polytech, Stackwyck, and RAHP. Estimates of the current number of squatters were produced (from my ass), resulting in the approximate number of open suites available. More spreadshetting, more voodoo math, and more estimates resulted in an approximate total number of rooms available on campus of all varieties. From this, I produced a breakdown of what would happen next Monday, on the room choosing day. The last Polytech apartment would be chosen by number 258. Since our top 3 numbers were below this, I declared our chance of getting 3 polytechs to be “workable”.

Now that a bit of our concern had diminished, we turned to the Roommate problem. 11 people to be split between 3 rooms. First problem: we needed a 12th. No one could think of anyone right away. People will be asked throughout the week if they’d like to join in our coop. Then, the actual roommate choosing. I rigged up a little graphical tool to drag-and-drop people into rooms in Fireworks. Initial configurations were selected by the room “captains”; those with the lowest numbers. Swaps and adjustments were made. People’s futures were converted into pixels and molested by the cursor. I was rather unsatisified with the result, but nothing was declared anywhere near final. The brouhaha wound down, and people we to bed. Afterward, I printed “Create your own housing setup” forms to gather more input from the denizens of Crockett 3.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m quite excited about next year, and the opportunity to live together once again. The thought of Polytech still excites me. Hopefully it’ll become a reality.