My holiday experiencesWritten on October 5, 2009
Finally I've found some time to blog about my past holiday.
Meanwhile classes started again.
In this first semester I'm taking 4 courses: 2 related to computer sciences and 2 business related.
And if all goes well, it should be my final year.
Afterwards I should have obtained a master grade in computer sciences.
I'll also speak about my latest hardware experiences. That's because I've had some bad luck these last weeks.
Normally I should be studying Formal Systems Modelling right now. However I've catched a cold and my concentration isn't what it's supposed to be - due to headache. Blogging on the other hand is more pleasant at this time.
Rock the festival
In the first weekend of July, Rock Werchter was again on my agenda.
It was my fifth and most likely also my last one.
We didn't made the A1 or B0 campings because we arrived a bit late.
So this year camping A4 was the place to be.
The weather was barely viable.
It were four hot days that ended with a cloadburst and strong gusts of winds.
The results were a few flying party tents.
The line up was pretty good this year. I'll give a quick overview of the artists I've seen live, categorized by day.
- Thursday July 2:
Lily Allen, Fleet Foxes, Placebo, Oasis, The Prodigy
- Friday July 3:
Just Jack, White Lies, Elbow, Bloc Party, The Killers, Coldplay, Lady Gaga
- Saturday July 4:
Triggerfinger, Social Distortion, Limp Bizkit, Franz Ferdinand, Katy Perry, Kings Of Leon, 2ManyDJs
- Sunday July 5:
Metro Station, The Hickey Underworld, De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, Kaiser Chiefs, Nine Inch Nails, Milk Inc., Metallica
Just for the record, here's my top five: 1. Bloc Party - 2. Coldplay - 3. The Hickey Underworld - 4. Franz Ferdinand - 5. Placebo.
Making some money
Just like previous year I made some extra money as a hotdog and hamburger seller at local events. This was possible thanks to my family-in-law who own the business. I'll try to order these events chronologically:
- Gentse Feesten - 10 days of party in the city of Ghent
- GP Stad Zottegem - cycling in the streets of Zottegem
- Montmarte Feesten - party at Montmartre, a 10 square meter plaza in Zottegem
- RSC Anderlecht
- Natalia concert in Zelzate
- Jaarmarkt Jette
Holiday to Tunesia
A few weeks ago I went to Tunesia together with my girlfriend. We departed from Zaventem Airport, Brussels. After approximately two and a half hours, the plane landed safely at Monastir Airport. We stayed in Hotel Riu El Mansour in Mahdia, about 55 km from Monastir. It was a beautiful hotel. We booked a superior room, but instead we got ourselves a family room. Hence plenty of space. The most remarkable thing about this hotel was the friendliness and gentliness of the entire hotel staff. Everybody said hello without obtruding their events - such as camel rides for instance. After a week, we returned home without any problems. In fact we landed 30 minutes earlier than scheduled.
It's all about hardware these days
Within the year I've installed five entire computer systems for a little extra money. In doing so I've always used the same internal components. In what follows I'll give a short overview of them.
- Case: Antec Sonata III
Why? Because the Antec Sonata series are really silent and cool (in the meaning of 'not hot').
- Motherboard: Gigabyte P35/P43/P45 chipset
Why? Because Gigabyte motherboards have a much better layout than Asus motherboards - and they are more colorful. Gigabyte also has an express install function, in which all necessary drivers are automatically and sequentially installed.
- Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E8400/E8500
Why? I've never had issues with Intel. And the processors perform just as they should be.
- Memory: Kingston 800MHz DDR2 4GB/8GB
Why? Kingston offers lifetime warranty. DDR3 is more expensive and does not perform much better due to higher CAS latencies.
- Video card: NVIDIA 9600GT 1GB DDR3
Why? Again, I've never had any issues with NVIDIA. The 9600GT is a budget card, but ideal for most regular computer users, including myself.
- Hard disk: Samsung 1TB 7200rpm
Why? Samsung hardware is very cheap and of excellent quality.
- DVD-RW: Samsung SH-S223F 22x
Why? Idem, Samsung rocks.
The first four computer systems were assembled without any problems.
The fifth and last one took me about 2 weeks, thanks to the computer store where I usually buy all components.
All went well during assembling.
So I tried to boot this computer for the first time.
After approximately 2 minutes the entire system froze.
I've switched all components and wires with the ones from my own computer, until only the processor and motherboard remained.
To keep a very long story short, the processor was broken.
When I bought all components, the box of the Intel processor was dented.
But I made no problem about it because processors are normally well packaged.
So I brought this processor back to the store, and after about 2 weeks I've received a new one.
When I tried to reassemble the computer using the new processor, it was even worse. A blank screen and no speaker beep was the result. After another day of wasted time, I've replaced the motherboard with another one. And at last, this fifth computer system could be installed, meaning that the motherboard was also broken.
To conclude this article, my master thesis covers diversity for software protection. I'm working together with Wim Vander Schelden. Our research will focus on Java bytecode transformation techniques. And that's all you need to know for now.