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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

Comments

Might be worth shooting your TA an email… you never know…and you might be able to get the email in IN…

Good thinking - I actually did, once I’d submitted the program on the server, let the TA know it was there and ask him to take a look if he had a chance, because we can submit multiple times. (Only the last one gets graded.)

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