Dazed and frustrated
I guess you could say it was bound to happen sometime: I stayed up all night working on a project. Specifically, a programming assignment due Monday evening. Of course, Monday evening I expect to be on a series of planes returning from Terre Haute, we’re leaving to go there this afternoon, and I’m not sure what kind of connectivity I’ll have there. (The library, I suppose, but maybe, like Tufts, they will have locked down that network by now.)
Somehow, I managed to work all night without any sense of progress. The idea is to optimize a particular operation against a randomized simulation (virtual memory paging in a resource-starved situation, if you’re in to that sort of thing,) and the grade is based on “performance:” the ratio of cycles spent blocked to cycles spent working, the smaller the better. Several of my classmates have posted results (in the anonymous, norm-setting, results-sharing tool,) and they’re down in the range of 0.5. The supplied example solution, which is deliberately bad, runs around 10 or 12. By 8 or so last night, I was reliably between 1.6 and 5, averaging around 2.4.
And despite several different approaches overnight, I haven’t managed to improve on that for the last twelve hours. I finally grabbed two hours of sleep after I found myself nodding off at the keyboard around 7 AM.
My best plan is to submit something today before we leave. If I happen to be able to improve it from Terre Haute, so much the better, but I can’t count on being able to do that. Also, I have another project due Tuesday (which I can work on without a network connection) which I’d counted on spending my free Indiana time on.
You can imagine that this is pretty frustrating for me. I mean, if you pull an all-nighter on a project, aren’t you supposed to see progress? My code looks a little better, but in terms of results, I would’ve been better off asleep. More to the point, if I’d been chipping away at this all week, I could’ve gone to the TA or my classmates and said, how is this working for you? What am I doing wrong? Now, everyone’s home for the weekend, and it’s pretty much my own problem that I’m only finding these roadblocks now.
Now Playing: Mouse Trap from Going Blank Again by Ride