Friday, May 30, 2003
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Monday, May 26, 2003
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Saturday, May 24, 2003
I really need to get my readings organised, they are becoming too numerous and on too many different subjects (simulation, research methods, psychology of learning, programming, semantic errors, teaching statistics, etc). One suggestion was to use a system like End-Note (which is windows only), but this doesn't really translate well into BiBTeX, which is what I use when writing. Seeing as so far all of my references are in BiBTeX, and all of the project readings have been reviewed in the logbook, it should not be too hard to go through and create a 'readings' database, with comments, notes, date last looked at, categories (search terms), references needing to be followed etc.
I think it's time to start another new blog, just for research readings for my various subjects and projects, and I need to buy a filing cabinet or something to store these darned things!
Friday, May 23, 2003
Thursday, May 22, 2003
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Monday, May 19, 2003
I've learnt more about CSS style sheets today, and have been thinking about different ways to re-implement my site (yet again). I will probably change the look/feel of the sub-sites first (tutors, work, health, personal etc) before doing a full redesign. I found heaps of CSS resources, joined a CSS mailing list, and hopefully I can absorb some of the graphical creativity displayed by some of those sites to improve this site (I can at least wish this!)
I also tried to find some information on which DVD release of Farscape is better - Region 4 (AU), Region 2 (UK) or Region 1 (US). Meaning better in the sense of better cuts (preferably no cuts), better quality video and sound, better extra features and lower in price. Currently it seems for season 2, the US Region 1 releases seem to beat the UK Region 2 ones - they are cheaper and contain more episodes, despite some of them being in the wrong order. Season 3 is currently being released in the US, and is more expensive. The Region 4 (AU) Farscape DVDs are the worst of the lot with audio dropouts, MPEG errors, and few special features. I couldn't find any definitive comparison using Google, so if you have a different opinion, please let me know. I have currently collected until the middle of Season 2 (UK releases).
In my information gathering spree, I also collected a huge bunch of health related links which will eventually find a home in me health section, but again, that will take more time than I can justify wasting.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
Saturday, May 17, 2003
J. Gregory Keyes Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps (Babylon 5)
This book was well written and well entwined with the history of Bester and the Psi Corp as seen in the series Babylon 5. The pace was good with enough twists to keep the readers interest. The writing style was more mature than the Passing of the Technomages series. It's interesting to see the history of the ancestors of the characters in B5 (Bester, Lyta and Talia). Unfortunately because so much is packed into the storyline, character development is lacking.
J. Gregory Keyes Deadly Relations: Bester Ascendant (Babylon 5)
More professionally written than the previous book in this series - Dark Genesis, Deadly Relations covers most of the life of Bester, interweaving more closely with the Bablyon 5 series storyline. There is more character development (easier as it focuses on one main character), and the pace is kept up throughout. This story also shows some of the history of Lyta and Byron, but not of Talia. An interesting read, but I would have liked to know what happened in the gap between this and the first book, (and read more history on Lyta/Talia).
J. Gregory Keyes Final Reckoning: The Fate of Bester (Babylon 5)
Unfortunately there is a huge gap where the shadow war happened, and the story picks up when Bester is being chased as a fugitive by the new 'Psi Corp' reformed after the war and the Drakh Plague. I was looking forward to reading what happened in the interim, but was disappointed when there were even any flashbacks. This could be read as a stand-alone story about Bester at the end of his life. Unfortunately the Bester character portrayed here is completely at odds with all previous characterisations (in books and the TV series), the story is based in Paris, hardly touching on the rest of the B5 universe. This book was quite disappointing after the first two in this series. I hope the writer returns to create the missing book between this and the previous - Deadly Relations
Friday, May 16, 2003
Jeanne Cavelos The Shadow Within (Babylon 5, Book 7) (Prequel - The Passing of the Technomages)
This book was too simply written, with no surprises. It felt more like it was re-hashing the Babylon 5 storyline in simpler terms, and really did not introduce anything new or surprising. Although it did contain some background information on Anna Sheridan and Mr Morden, it lacked the drive that the Passing of the Technomages trilogy had. I was quite disappointed with this story.
Jeanne Cavelos - Casting Shadows (Babylon 5: The Passing of the Technomages, Book 1)
This was quite interesting, and I had been meaning to read it for some time, having received a duplicate from a friend a couple of years ago. Seeing as I was house-sitting for that friend, I had access to the rest of the trilogy. I found the writing style annoyingly simple, but I had been reading Tolkien for months prior. The storyline was engaging nonetheless and explained a lot about the technomages, the characters who had fascinated me since they appeared in the original Babylon 5 series, and then again in Crusade.
This series gets more and more interesting, with unexpected twists being introduced. The development of the storyline, although fairly slow at the start, seemed much more mature in this book than in the first, and was more engaging. Galen and the other technomage characters are engaging and deeper than they seem.
The final in the trilogy, and by far the best book in the set. Well written with a fast storyline that showed depth and complexity. This is a great conclusion to the Technomage series, and readies Galen for the start of Crusade. Unfortunately, there is no information about Galen in the Crusade universe, which is what I was hoping for, but the complete background of the technomages, and Galen specifically, told in this series means I will never watch Crusade the same way again.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
Now that the draft CSE467 paper is out of the way, and I've collected another 8 references for it to somehow be worked in, I find I've lost the motivation to keep going on my other subjects and project. (Feeling sick from the all-powerful sinusitis antibiotics (they are working this time) doesn't help). I'm not well enough to go and procrastinate by gardening or cleaning, and typing lots (HTML) has lost it's appeal (it's bad for a touch typist when even one finger is hurt). I could play Myst Exile again, but the vertigo I get does not interact well with nausea.
There is a huge backlog of sewing and other craft stuff, but I'm feeling decidedly impatient. My head is hurting so reading is not an option. I would like to watch SG1 or Xena, but am watching them with Bernie, and he is not available. *sigh*
Complaints have started rolling in about the marking deduction for using illegal tags (not in the specified allowed tagset) for an assignment in CSE1304. Nearly everyone used a generator, and even those that didn't, used <b>, <i> and <u>, which are illegal according to the HTML 4.01 standard. All the generators seem to use those tags, so even if the meta generator line was taken out, they still lost marks for illegal tags. We had to change the penalty from last year (-5 for each illegal tag) to -5 for use of any number of illegal tags, because about 70% of students would have failed.
Hardly any of them followed the assignment instructions and now they are complaining because they got penalised for it. I'm worried what sort of mess this will make for CSE1303 next semester.
Anyhow... off to find something to procrastinate... sleep sounds good (and warm!)
Tuesday, May 13, 2003
Sunday, May 11, 2003
Friday, May 9, 2003
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
For some reason, I have been suffering repeated and long-term sinus infections. I can't put it down to weather, air-conditioning, heating, dust, pollen, chemicals, or anything else! This time I am ingesting a lot of blood, my face wants to explode around my eyes, have been running a fever on and off, and I am extremely nauseous (the nausea is new). I am running my ventilator constantly (probably not good for it) as it seems to be the only thing that helps. If I'm away from it for even a few hours, my symptoms get worse. :-\
This does mean work, honours and thinking in general really just isn't happening. And it must happen - I have too many things due! I absolutely must get my project finished this year.... On a kind of related note (well health wise), I'm always cold. The things that used to warm me up - food, super-heating the room, shower, baths, heat packs are no longer working. I stopped exercising to recover from the last operation, and it could be due to this. But it's getting annoying, and so cold!