I am a horrible person with no images for you! Okay, maybe like 1 or two images.
Jokes aside, this is the first week in ALP where the work really begins to ramp up rapidly – unfortunately, that’s also accompanied by a cascade of other ZJU-related tasks. The latest of these surprises comes in the form of our TAs, who have very nicely decided to give us the steep hill.
There’s many things that people say about programming, about how hard it is, etc. I used to think that that meant that actually coding would be hard, and that I would be dying of syntax, etc.
Oh, how wrong I was.
You see, the real problem when it comes to the making of a program isn’t the code. It isn’t even the syntax. It is, and I say this without irony, the environment setup. Windows, while pleasant to game on and all, has one horrific crippling weakness – it’s a nightmare to get clean installations on.
I think I spent my entire last weekend just troubleshooting my OpenCV installation. I didn’t count the number of times that I did a rebuild of the OpenCV libraries, but I’m pretty sure it’s more than 10. Also, I even re-downloaded the packages, something that was particularly annoying when SourceForge limited my connection to 50kb/s… for a 250 MB file. This dropped to like 5kb/s while I watched… sure is fun and exciting.
Thanks to that, and some particularly horribly written documentation and tutorials, I think I spent more of this week troubleshooting my builds and trying to get test code to work and actually produce something than I did debugging my code – something I didn’t expect to have to do.
This wasn’t helped by the particular annoyance that is the Blue Screen Of Death, the oh-so-familiar enemy of all Windows users. It turns out that on my particular PC type, the Synaptics TouchPad driver is a complete crapshoot, causing an incredible amount of frustration and angst whenever it suddenly decides to declare that it can’t find something in the driver, causing a straight up crash.
This is not how I expected to be spending my time here. Granted, I’m here to work, but I rather expected… y’know… more actual work and less time trying to troubleshoot a development workspace. Next time, I’m going to get a low-power working device solely for the sake of doing all this.
Other than that, the week itself has been going… poorly. Spotty internet connections because of [REDACTED] reasons and a particularly annoying Windows Update that just happened to coincide with a time when I’d planned to use my computer was… not very helpful for my mood, to say the least. On top of that, having told my computer to update itself multiple times, it’s really annoying that it decided to ignore what I told it to do and chose to update itself and restart repeatedly… right as I was about to relax and watch a show. Yeah. Not cool, Microsoft.
Oh, and another thing – Thankfully, the TAs and our Chinese professors have been just wonderful. We’re going berry-picking and mountain climbing tomorrow, and I’m very excited to go. Unfortunately, the camera on my phone is garbage so no images, but hopefully someone with a better camera will be there and I can steal theirs.