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xander
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Postby xander » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:08 am

Xocrates wrote:By default I had 6 different courses by semester,

At every US institution that I have had any involvement in, most courses are 3 hours per week (actually, 2.5 hours, as each "hour" runs only 50 minutes). Thus, 6 courses would be an 18 hour course load. This is beyond what is needed to be considered a full-time student, and would generally be considered a very heavy load.

Xocrates wrote:each with 4-6 hours of classes per week

That is interesting... how do you end up in class 4-6 hours per week per class? What kinds of classes were these? Most of the 4 hour classes that I know of here are intro level classes (calculus, for instance). Thus, while you might meet in class for 4 hours per week, the work is easier, and you spend less time outside of class.

Xocrates wrote:But we usually did had to deliver lab reports (often 2) every week or two,

Lab classes are generally handled differently here, and for good reason. A normal 3 hour course meets for 3 hours during the week. The expectation is that for every hour you spend in class, you will spend two or three hours outside of class getting homework done. Thus, a 12 hour course load is a full time job (12 credit hours * 2-3 hours outside of class + 1 hour in class = 36-48 hours per week = full-time job). Lab classes are generally only worth one credit hour, and are generally taken in conjunction with some other course, turning that three hour course into a four hour course. Thus, the course should occupy about 8-12 hours of your week. If you spend three hours in lecture, plus 3 hours in lab, you still have 2-6 hours for other homework, which will probably be plenty of time. Even if you aren't taking the course that goes along with the lab, it occupies three hours in class, pluse another two or three hours to write a lab report (maybe 6 if you are really, really slow, or the lab report is really, really in depth). Thus, lab classes need to be considered slightly differently when taking into account how much time a student actually spends working.

That being said, I am generally a pretty diligent student. I also keep logs of how much time I spend working (it keeps me from spending too much time on trivial things). Last semester, I had a 12 hour course load. That is four classes. For one class, I worked less than two hours outside of class each week. For the one math class that I was taking, I tended to spend about 6 hours outside of class each week, on a pretty consistent basis. Another class had a lot of work due at the beginning of the semester, and less toward the end. At the beginning of the semester, I was spending about 10 hours per week on this class, but by the end of the semester, it was down to less than three (most of which was reading). The last class required a lot of work, and I spent between 10 and 15 hours on it each week, only two or three of which were spent reading. All together, that is a 38-43 hour week. I've had heavier semesters, and I've had lighter semesters, but that is pretty typical of the semesters that I have had in the past (looking over the numbers, my average workload has been around 55 hours per week).

Another thing to think about: how long does it really take you to write a lab report, or finish a homework assignment? And how much time are you spending in front of a computer and actually doing it? One of the reasons that I started keeping logs was that I felt I was spending way too much time on homework. So, I started writing down when I was actually working. It turned out that I was generally only working for 15-30 minutes at a time, then allowing myself to get distracted by other things (the interwebs, television, whatever). But, because I never really got completely away from the work, it felt like I was still working. If nothing else, keeping logs kept me on track better. ;)

xander
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Postby Phelanpt » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:23 am

Mas Tnega wrote:Less than three, you and me, typing out my fantasy. Meet me here on IRC, L-O-L-O-L.

[size=0]"NR"? The hell? Swapping dots and dashes makes only slightly more sense...[/size]


I'm typing LOL
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Postby Xocrates » Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:46 am

xander wrote:
Xocrates wrote:each with 4-6 hours of classes per week

That is interesting... how do you end up in class 4-6 hours per week per class? What kinds of classes were these? Most of the 4 hour classes that I know of here are intro level classes (calculus, for instance). Thus, while you might meet in class for 4 hours per week, the work is easier, and you spend less time outside of class.


3 hours theory + usually 2 hours exercise class. Thing is we were not really expected to do much homework short of the mentioned lab reports and groups works.

So you get the idea, this is what first year, first semester looks like currently, and perhaps the closer I can get to a "standard" schedule (it didn't get any better until at least 4th year, and it only got worse until then).

Now, you only really have one of those morning classes once every week (it's a lab class), but when I entered it was a 4 hour class, not three. Also, you only need one exercise class per course despite the schedule showing more. Additionally it seems that currently exercise lessons are 1.5 hours instead of 2, so currently they have 21 hours a week and in my time I had several hours more (totaling at least 24 (adding in the two courses I was usually catching up with and the fact that in most semesters we had two lab classes and I'm pretty sure I personally managed 38 hours/week at some point)).

And by the way, there are no breaks between consecutive classes outside the time it takes moving from one room to another.


I'm also pretty sure that if I summed all the time I actually spent working the number wouldn't be that big, but that's part of the problem really: If I wasn't working I felt like I should be. Add in the fact you usually were working in more than one group work at a time (often different groups) and that you didn't want to let them down and the stress levels were pretty big.

Once I got to my internship it was amazing how ludicrously more relaxed it was.
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Postby Mas Tnega » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:55 am

So... anyone else find Game Damage depressingly bad?
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Postby Wasgood » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:18 am

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I do hope they get picked up by the ABC.
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Postby vanarbulax » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:51 am

Yeah Game Damage was pretty bad especially with the whole "help, give us money now please" feel it had which I guess was what it was supposed to do. Mainly people checked it out because of yahtzee and the problem with having the co-hosts is: 1. It breaks yahtzee's image of a completely anti-social hate filled misanthrope with too high expectations for everyone and everything, something a lot of his watchers (including me) can relate too and 2. he either spews out his usually pile of disdain for other peoples opinions making him look like a jerk or he goes along with what others are saying which means he loses his yahtzeeness.

But probably I think the main problem is that videogame shows in that format suck 99.9% of the time because they are usually a bad mix of rushed and superficial game reviews, in-jokes or incredibly obvious humor and news which anyone with an internet connection already knows. This problem has generally been rectified with copies amounts of boobs which is noticeably absent in Game Damage.
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Postby Wasgood » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:06 pm

I'm looking to buy a laptop, can someone analyse the specs on this one please?
ACER T8100
# Intel Core 2 Duo processor T8100 2.1GHz ( 3M cache, 667MHz)
# Genuine Microsoft® Windows® Vista Home Premium (add $99 for XP Pro)
# 4GB DDR2-667 RAM
# 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive with enhanced Acer DASP (Disk Anti-Shock Protection)
#

ATI Mobility Radeon™ X2400 with up to 1024 MB of HyperMemory™ (256 MB of dedicated DDR2

VRAM, up to 768 MB of shared system memory) supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 9 and PCI Express®
# 15.4" WXGA CrystalBrite(GLOSSY) widescreen with WXGA Resolution 1280x800
# 6 cell Long life Lithium Ion battery Up to 3.5-hour battery life
# DVD-Super Multi Dual Layer Burner.
# Built-In Webcam & Microphone
# 10/100/1000 LAN & Built-in 56Kbps international fax/modem
# 802.11a/b/g Wireless with SignalUp wireless technology
# 5-in-1 Card Reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS Pro/xD)
# Built-in Bluetooth® 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
# 4 x USB 2.0, 1x DVI Port, 1 x 1394 Firewire port, 1x S-Video, 1 x Microphone-in/Line-in port
1 x Ethernet (RJ-45) port, 1 x Modem (RJ-11) port


Its just under $1000
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Postby Montyphy » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:39 pm

Mas Tnega wrote:So... anyone else find Game Damage depressingly bad?


My god, that's shit
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Postby jelco » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:47 pm

I didn't find Game Damage all that bad really. I think most people think it's bad for Yahtzee to stray from his one-man-show formula hiding behind his trilby-wearing cartoon equivalent, but I praise him for trying something new and different. It might not be the best format to change to though, but that's a different story altogether. Also, with regards to it not being 'the best format', I'm not sure if there is any other possible format in the market that would be good.

The main glitch seems to be that Yahtzee stays in his ZP-role too much - look at the first news item he reads out and it's clear. It's one side of him which has become popular in the cartoony fast-talking style that is Zero Punctuation, and with this new setup he should probably change to something that fits the format better. Anyone remember the interlude during (I think) the Uncharted review? He was kind of enjoyable to listen to at that moment and didn't picture himself as a misanthropic social failure obsessed with games as he did during Game Damage.

However, that's mostly about Yahtzee's role in it. When it comes to the rest of the show, I think the set of hosts is varied enough to be entertaining, and while some of those humourously intended interludes are intended as funny, they're the standard dull scenes you'll find in many shows online and on the tube. The DNF developers part, and the personal rants of each of those hosts were quite funny though - mostly because they weren't very obviously trying to appeal to the giant dumbed down masses but wanted to be subtle and/or serious for a change.

Call me an idiot, but I think it has potential. That doesn't mean that it is perfect as it is, but I certainly wouldn't call it bad.

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Postby Mas Tnega » Fri Dec 19, 2008 5:54 pm

My opinion has been pretty much summarised for me here. Throughout the video I found myself doing something else, waiting for it to get... I don't know, interesting?


That news section at the beginning was... bad. When the other two started laughing, I couldn't help but feel like I was watching three guys borrowing their parents' camcorder. I don't know there was a sort of brain-dead "Hur hur, you just got owned" vibe, and the jokes being of about the same piss-poor quality, being - everyone will tell you - completely overdone.

All the scenes on the couch seemed to be trying to establish the following line up:
  • Ever-suffering Alan Rickman
  • That Guy in the Middle
  • The Gushing Nerd


The skits were all obvious jokes, though I think they at least managed to deliver the Duke Nukem ones well enough.

The episode needed more planning. "So... now we're going to do this bit, where we... do this" combined with "<Controversial statement!>" "<Improvised counter!>", way to look forced and ill-considered.

The Gushing Nerd's rant was especially bad, but that may have been my mind going "Oh, a rant on a theme of gameplay elements, claiming gameplay is being sacrificed for these gameplay elements. ...What?"


I'd rather not hear the "It's just a pilot" defence. It's a weak defence. Sure pilots will never be as good as the main thing, but pilots are meant to create interest, which this never did. Frankly, I think most of the support is "It's Yahtzee! I love Yahtzee!" and "It's those guys from that podcast going up in the world. Hope it goes well for them" while my opinions are "Noah Antwiler's funnier" and "I could barely get 4 minutes into any of their podcasts".
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Postby ynbniar » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:52 pm

So 2 weeks of festive holiday starts here...what shall I do? Finish decorating the spare room? Wash the mud and salt encrusted car? Play 2v2 Defcon for the first time? Read that "Accelerated C++" book in case I need a new skill in 2009 :?
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Postby Montyphy » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:47 pm

ynbniar wrote:So 2 weeks of festive holiday starts here...what shall I do? Finish decorating the spare room? Wash the mud and salt encrusted car? Play 2v2 Defcon for the first time? Read that "Accelerated C++" book in case I need a new skill in 2009 :?


...or, get plastered. :P
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Postby Lowell » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:08 pm

Wow...was that Game Damage show lame. ABC would never pickup a looser show like that...it would be dead before the first showing. :roll:
I give Game Damage two thumbs down.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:38 pm

Montyphy wrote:
ynbniar wrote:So 2 weeks of festive holiday starts here...what shall I do? Finish decorating the spare room? Wash the mud and salt encrusted car? Play 2v2 Defcon for the first time? Read that "Accelerated C++" book in case I need a new skill in 2009 :?


...or, get plastered. :P

Or, do them all, especially the 2v2 Defcon. :P
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast...
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Postby ynbniar » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:07 pm

Ace Rimmer wrote:
Montyphy wrote:...or, get plastered. :P

Or, ... the 2v2 Defcon. :P


Yes I need to do those things...

Seriously thinking about a console...old PC isn't up to the latest wizzo games and isn't really upgradable any more but is fine for everything else...XBOX is cheaper but I've always had a bit of a thing for Sony... :?

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