I had my last exam May 5th! I have now officially finished school and will be graduating in Computer Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal. This semester was pretty rough as I had an appendicitis in February. I was operated on February 18th, and thus delayed all the work I needed to do this last semester. I am now feeling fine, nothing to worry about! Most of the work I have done this semester concerned my final project, named HumanLocator. You can read all about it on the following page! It is in French, I am sorry.
Voir le projet de fin d'études: HumanLocator
Image -> Duo Maxwell and his Deathscythe Hell in Gundam Wing
I also composed a small personal essay, of which I am quite proud, for one of my courses entitled "Éthique appliquée à l'ingénierie". Read it if you can read French!
Voir le travail d'éthique: La protection de la copie numérique de musique et de vidéo (PDF: 39 kB)
I'm back in Montréal (or more precisely Laval) since April 27, 2002. For those who can read French and did not take a look at my online diary of my trip in Japan, take a look now!! Since I came back, I have worked at PGCI Security during the summer, and have started my last year in school before graduating with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I will graduate in May 2003.
In the end, the experience in Japan was well worth it, and eventhough is was very difficult to adapt to the Japanese life, especially for me for various personal reasons, I had a lot of fun in the end, and really liked the experience. My computer setup has also changed. I bought a Sony VAIO PCG-FX11G/BP notebook in Japan. I will update the diagram below later... I am thinking about going back to live in Japan in a year in a half, but I do not have any plans yet. I like living in Japan (especially Tokyo) and learning about the culture and the language. I might even do the same thing with other countries in the future. Before that, this summer, I have plans to upgrade pm123, but OS/2 being quite dead these days (not even any rumors of a 64 bit version), it will most likely be my last OS/2 software release.
During this last year, in parallel to my usual courses and my Japanese courses, I am working on my final project. It consists of an "interactive painting". In museums where paintings are exposed, one can leave intentional blank spots on the paintings, and those blanks spots can be completed with an overhead projector. The goal of the project is to also place a camera with a view of the scene, and have a computer analyze the images coming from the camera, in order to have the animations displayed by the projector vary according to the position, the movements and maybe even the gestures of the observants. I work on the image analysis portion and I find this project quite interesting!! Signal and image processing/analysis are my favorite subjects in computer science.
Also, at school, with some of my friends, I have started to build a group where people interested in computer programming can develop open source software together, polySoft. However, having no references on how to make such a group work, I find it hard to interest students in team programming, and it is also hard to convince donators to invest money in our project for hardware, books, etc. Eventhough I am also busy with my final project, and my social life, I still hope to get polySoft on the rails.
I recently finished my third year at École Polytechnique de Montréal and eventhough this semester I had the three most horrible courses of the Computer Engineering program at Polytechnique (which are INF3300 Computer Project Management, INF3700 Software Analysis and Design, and INF3401 Computer Networks) all is well that ends well! They could be useful courses if only they were prepared properly. In any case, I'm off to Japan for a year, working for Sony PNC! I'm leaving town May 13 for a few weeks of immersion in Vancouver at Co-op Japan, and getting to Japan June 2. I will be working on the development of a music program for VAIO computers that needs to interact with an Internet music distribution system and with their proprietary hardware. Stay tuned for a lot more!!
Image -> Tenchi Masaki
On other news, I must say, I really enjoyed the last semester at Poly-Théâtre. It was really cool!!! Theatre and theatre technique are really captivating, although my passion will always remain computers. :) I'm looking forward to my return in Montréal to participate in the making of a drama play as part of Poly-Théâtre!!
Furthermore, Trance music really kicks serious ass. I discovered this style of music only recently a few months ago listening to Digitially Imported Radio. Since then, I have been listening to Trance almost 24 hours a day!!
Hurray! A new millenium! My last semester at Poly-Théâtre was ... interesting and educative. I am definitevaly not an artist, but I like to hang around these kind of people. So I will continue making technical things like the web site for the troupe!
Image -> Miaka Yuuki playing her role as Suzaku no Miko in Fushigi Yuugi (Mysterious Play)
On another subject, I got four A* for my courses at Polytechnique last
semester, and an A+ for my Japanese course. It is kind of interesting
to see that on your transcript. Japanese course? Yes! I am going to
Japan this summer (May 2001) for a year and am going to work at Sony PNC.
Another year at École Polytechnique de Montréal has started! This year I will be starting to participe in Poly-Théâtre, a school committee whose main objective is to build and present drama plays! This ought to be interesting and be different from everything I have done in the past few years. I plan to do some technique and occupy a management post later on.
My summer work at Matrox
Imaging was also very interesting. Is is the only division of the
enterprise (because it is not yet a company) where software engineering
is used since all other divisions are mostly hardware. We were 18
students (!!) in the small MIL Core and Processing section, that was
pretty damn impressive. Work at Matrox was a lot less stressful that I
thought it would be.
I recently finished (summer 2000) my second year at École Polytechnique de Montréal and I finished the common core courses! Oh my god this semester was rough. We had a 4 credits electronic circuits course with 10 labs, a 4 credits user interface programming which took well over 75 hours of programming, and not so trivial applied analysis math course, thermodynamics and electronic logic.
Image -> Kyosuke Kasuga running the marathon
Nonetheless, I still found some time to play a few games of badminton at
the beginning of the semester! The semester before, autumn 1999, was not
any easier with courses like material resistance. It's only getting
harder and harder... I only recently taken some time to finish Disk
Indexer and update PM123, check them out!
I just finished my first year at École Polytechnique de Montréal which almost finishes the common core courses. I have started program specific courses for Computer Engineering this session. The first year, I must say, was a success. I got great grades and I made great friends. The school has a lot of internal committees run by students which is great, but I didn't try to participate, yet. I'm sure it would be a wonderful experience, but I decided to fool around with computer stuff instead. There is also a gym on the campus, but I didn't try it either. I would really like to find a partner for badminton this session, and take the time to play.
Nonetheless, the great sadness with engineering schools is that they are
not populated with a lot of girls, especially in the computer departement.
École Polytechnique de Montréal is no exception as only 20%
of the students are female, last time I checked, and it drops to
14% in the computer departement.
I then received a 386DX-40 AMD, 100 megs HD, 4 megs RAM with a Gravis Ultrasound 2.4 in summer 1993 as a gift from my uncle Jean-Louis Boisvert. I purchased an expensive 14.4kbit/s modem with it also as I was already much into BBSing by then. And this is when it all really started...
Afterwards, I made various update for the CPU, HDs, CD-ROM drives, RAM, sound cards, video cards and modem. I still have the floppy disk, the 14" monitor and the GUS 2.4 (collecting dust) from the 386 computer. I've yet to see a better monitor than that Royal CX-1469. Although it can't do over 800x600 without interlacing and only has analog controls, I've never seen it blink, twitch, make noise, draw a line, burn up and it exhibits practically no distortion.
For operating systems, I started with the very bad DOS 4.0 on the PS/1 which was quickly upgraded to DOS 5.0. On the 386, I tried Windows 3.1, as it was the only thing I knew about until I found DESQView 386 which did the very impressive work of multitasking my communication program while doing some word processing, or reading my mail which Windows 3.1 could not do. I eventually had to go back to Windows 3.1 in 1994 to use Internet software but since it was as bad as ever, I quickly found the OS/2 Warp 3 alternative as IBM advertized it on all the roofs. Since then, I've been running OS/2 and I'm now running OS/2 Warp Server for e-business (really OS/2 Warp 4.5) as my main OS. I also run Windows NT 4.0 and 2000 as my secondary OS since IBM dropped support for OS/2 as a consumer OS in 1998. This disinterestment had the effect of losing support of some great companies which now do not update their softwares or hardware drivers for OS/2 anymore. However, OS/2 still being the best operating system out there, I continue to use it with the software that still exists for it. I also have SuSE Linux and BeOS hanging around on my computer at times just to see if they got any better or when I need them.
I also bought an old Compaq 486 box in summer 1998 which runs FreeBSD 4.1 to share the Internet Connection with the computers in the house. More on this in the next section.
Dual Intel Celery 400 (450 overclocked1)
ABIT BP6 motherboard
128 megs 100MHz SDRAM
Creative Labs Graphic Blaster Riva TNT (16 megs SDRAM)
Gravis Ultrasound PnP 2 megs DRAM
Sound Blaster 32 2 megs DRAM
13.5 gig ATA IBM Deskstar 14GXP 7200RPM
6.4 gig ATA Quantum SE HD 5400 RPM
Western Digital 7193 PCI SCSI controller
40x ATAPI Asus CD-ROM
Teac CD-R55S SCSI CD-R
OS/2 Warp Server for e-business
AMD Duron 600 (700 overclocked2)
Asus A7V motherboard
128 megs 133MHz SDRAM
Asus V3800 TVR (Riva TNT2 with 32 megs SGRAM)
Diamond MX300 (Aureal Vortex 2)
Yamaha WaveForce 192XG
30.7 gig ATA Maxtor 5400 RPM
50x ATAPI CD-ROM drive
10X/40x Pioneer DVD-ROM drive
Windows 2000 Pro
|Compaq DeskPro 433S:
some sort of motherboard
16 megs Parity RAM
QVision 1 meg DRAM video card
Business Audio (WSS) sound card
500 megs ATA Conner HD
8X ATAPI Samsung CD-ROM
D-Link ISA DE-220PT NIC
RealTek ISA 8019 NIC
Those computers share:
Note to overclockers: Increasing the voltage of your CPUs by 2 to 10% might help you run the CPU at higher frequencies, but usually you can even decrease it so it can run cooler! I'm running my Celerons at 1.85V and it works great at 492. I can't run them reliably at 550 event at 2.3V. It seems like the L2 cache is not good enough. Reducing AGP bus speed to 2/3 also helps and most video cards do not use full bandwidth of the AGP bus anyway. Be very careful when trying to use bus speeds between 83 and 92 MHz, it might corrupt your hard drive partition since your drive controller might be running too fast!!
The 1 meg modem (ie.: 960 kbit/s d/l and 120 kbit/s u/l) from Nortel works great except I'm a bit too far from Bell Canada's central (Sympatico only supports up to 4,5km and I'm at 4,8km), so I usually connect at 640kbit/s and sometimes even 80kbit/s, but for a permanent link and unrestricted transfers for CAN$40 a month, I'll stay.
The Gateway is setup to use NATD, SOCKS5 and Samba on the house side. The other computers also have TCP/IP and NetBIOS installed. I plan on moving the gateway in another room so it would make less noise in my bedroom and plug it into the HP Laserjet 2100M (has PostScript Level 2 emulation!!) to make the printer available 24 hours a day on the network.