First/Second Days of Classes, Spring 2004

The first day of class passed pretty well and I’m almost done with my second. I am very grateful this semester to not really have to get up that early. The earliest I have to get up this semester is around 7am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Monday I get up at 8am and on Wednesday and Friday I get up at 9am.

The best thing about this semester is that I am only taking 3 classes and that they are all in my field of study. That means I’ll be doing only things that explicitly interest me ;)
I wouldn’t say that this semester will be easier due to the reduction in class #, in fact I forrsee this semester being the most difficult I’ve had so far. All three classes are 4 hour courses.

The first class I had on Monday was the lab section for ECET 359 (PC Interfacing and Applications). This lab was a bit disappointing. The class sounds cool, we’ll be writing software in VB.NET to interface with electronics. The lab I had on monday was identifying stuff on the exterior and interior of computer systems. While it was fun to sit around and bullshit while drawing pictures of motherboards, I would’ve rather done something more interesting ;)

The real problem I foresee with this class is our Professor. I’m sure he knows a lot about stuff, but he seem to keep from exclaiming his disappointment with how the computer industry is doing every 5 minutes. I think I personally offended him when I told him that no one uses serial ports anymore :P

He doesn’t understand why people need big hard drives, more memory, or USB ports. I mean… uh?

Anyways, my second class yesterday was the lab section of ECET 396. This class is a senior projects class. We’re given a task involving a robot and accompanying devices. We’re put into groups and we have to design, plan, and build the devices and robot to meet the specifications of the project.

This semester’s project consists of three seperate parts. The main component is the mobile robot. This robot has two DC motors attached to wheels and a free-rotating front wheel. Our objective is to search a 6’ x 6’ area for four black dots. When a dot is found a count is incremented and displayed somewhere on the robot. In addition, that count is transmitted to a wireless tower which will also display the count. That information will also be sent to a receiver connected to a computer which will display the total # of found dots at any given time.

The other specification is that the robot must keep track of how long its been searching. The maximum amount of time that it can spend searching is 5 minutes. If it doesn’t find all of the dots within 5 minutes, it must quit. If it finds all 4 in less than 5 minutes, it quits looking.

The final thing that must be possible is that the robot must be remotely controllable via the computer’s wireless link.

All in all it sounds like a really cool and doable project. The two guys in my group seems really cool and motivated to do the project. Man, I love senior classes ;)

The final class on Monday was the lecture portion of ECET 359. This was “OK” but seeing as I had the same progress-phobic professor, I didn’t expect to be blown away ;)

The first class I had this morning was the lecture portion of ECET 357, or Real-Time Discrete-Signal Processing. This class will probably be the hardest of them all. We’ll be dealing with a lot of the advanced concepts from 307 (Transient Analysis) to implements realtime DSP effects and filters in ASM on specialized hardware boards.

I am about to leave right now and head on over to my final class of the day. This class is the lecture portion of ECET 396 and should be pretty interesting.

That’s all for now, I’ll try to keep everyone abreast of my classes in the upcoming days ;)