Teaching at UCFV

Not just yet 😉

After a five year hiatus, one of my contacts at UCFV informed me that there may be another opportunity for me to teach at UCFV in the coming months. UCFV is keeping their lips sealed on the upcoming course’s content, but hopefully it’s something that interests me.

When I last taught at UCFV, I was given a week’s notice to prepare a third-year Computer Science course; however, this time around I was promised more advance notice. I recall being up until 5 or 6 AM several nights in a row preparing course outlines and the first week’s lecture material, only to start work at 9 AM. Believe me, it was a very stressful experience. It turned me into a hardcore workaholic 😉

For those of who you have taught while working full-time, you know the stress I’m referring to. I had never tasted coffee until then. Maybe a couple of Starbuck’s espresso beans during University, but that was it 😉 That said, the prospect of teaching at UCFV again is exciting, provided that I am given adequate notice :)

Car electrical efficiency

For those of you that followed my previous posts last year (before I became a power consumption reduction freak and trashed my old server ;)), you know that I added seven grounding wires to my car through trial-and-error (and the use of a multimeter) to yield some noticeable improvements.

A month ago, I decided to add a set of six grounding wires to Sukh’s Civic to see if I could witness any similar improvements. Sukh immediately noticed that the car’s low beams were brighter and that the stereo sounded better — the same improvements I witnessed with my car. I took several test drives and noticed increased low-end to mid-range torque, which was yet another improvement I witnessed with my car. So, there you have it. Adding several strategically placed grounding wires in the engine bay increases the overall effectiveness of a vehicle’s electrical system.

Hardware Advisory

That title caught your attention, didn’t it? (Well, it should have ;)).

I’m going to start writing little snippets such as this one to share some knowledge with the public, specifically on hardware price cuts.

If you’re like me, you hate purchasing computer hardware only to see the price drop significantly within a couple of months (or weeks, or even days). Then, you kick yourself for not waiting (or not knowing).

For those of you contemplating on purchasing new hardware in the next two months, it’s probably best to wait if you are deciding on a Core Duo notebook. On May 28, Intel will be issuing price cuts on their Core Duo chips. On a side note, I bought a Toshiba Satellite M100 last week to test it out and was impressed with the performance of the Core Duo chip — the Intel T2300 CPU performed on par with an AMD X2 3800+ CPU. It outperformed my P4 3.2 GHz HT system by more than 50% in some of my tests.

With Windows Vista around the corner (read: distant), it’s best to stick with the Intel Core Duo or AMD X2 (or AM2) processor for your next system. You might get a good deal on an AMD Turion or Pentium M 740 (single core) notebook today, but what’s the use if it runs Windows Vista like a slug after a service pack (read: Windows XP SP2)? Spend the extra couple hundred and save yourself some frustration in the future. Windows Vista will require some beefy hardware to run optimally — dual cores or processors and 128 MB dedicated video memory to name a couple.

On to the second advisory. AMD should be releasing their new AM2 processor in June (tentative), which supersedes the current Socket 939 CPUs. That means more price cuts on their current Socket 754 and Socket 939 desktop processors. That said, the AM2 processor is not pin compatible with the Socket 939 CPUs out there, so that means that your Socket 754 and Socket 939 motherboards will soon be obsolete.

Advisory three. Now is a good time to purchase flash memory (yes, those USB memory sticks and what not). Flash memory yields are doing very well at the present time, so expect to pay less than $40 CDN for a 1 GB USB thumb drive.

That’s all for now :)


NCIX is was selling the 1 GB OCZ flash drive for only $40 between April 28 and May 2.