Monday, May 15, 2006

100 hours left

Its 1am on dark and stormy night here in baguio. Even though the storm has gone, its still gusting outside, coming and going as if it were ocean waves. I think it's 14 degrees outside, any person with a sane mind would be fast asleep curled up under the covers.

Not me. This morning i realized that i had exactly 100 hours left to finish my thesis. Just 4 days left...

You know in the movies, like those boxing-type movies, where its the final round and the hero remembers all the training that he went though to get to that point? I'm having that now. Looking back at the past year, all the stuff I've done up to now where I'm basically just running my thesis program now gathering metrics, it seems so unreal. Slowing building up the system, hammering over 10000 lines of code, bleeding over every word of my (currently) 39 page final paper (which looks soo good on latex XD ). Its just scary how, that after 5 years of masters, im almost done.

Not out of the woods yet. I still have 36 hours of test runs to do, still have to gather metrics, correlate results, write my conclusion... I remember two weeks ago, i was basically slacking off as my thesis program run on automated test data; i was simply waiting for the results to come. Then on Horrible Friday (May 6, 12 days before the deadline) i found out that for the last three days I was running the wrong program. And when I loaded the right one, it wasn't working.

It took all week last week to debug my program. The problem with debugging is that you can't give yourself a deadline to when the code is good enough. Your program just suddenly works, it could be today, it could be two years from now, you are never sure. And it feels extra bad, I was almost through, I could taste it in my mouth and it still wasnt there. It was only just this Friday when I managed to get reliable runs on my thesis. I've been gathering data non-stop since then, still have so many runs to do. I just might make it, or I might not.

The problem is the weather. Had a few power fluctuations today, and a 5 minute brownout (good thing the UPS's held the system together). Anything that can destroy UP Baguio will destroy my thesis too: my backups are in multiple computers, but all in a single building, its just too big (20MB) to back it up on a server far away. I'm also exausted from just sleeping less than 4 hours a day for more than 7 days. It's cold, Im exausted, Im afraid of getting sick. Im paranoid, I know, but I've grappled with Murphy's law before and when you're almost done, it becomes a whole lot more scarier. I feel bad too to have missed a friend's wedding.

Im really thankful for all the nice scripts that you can create linux. Most of my tests are automated now, all i have to do is to type the appropriate commands to start my thesis runs, and data gathering from multiple computers, collation and graphing (using gnuplot) all done effortlessly now. And Im actually thankful for Horrible Friday, because I thought my program was running correctly, I could concentrate on paper writing (which is exausting too, I typed for four whole days, and treated myself to a big juicy stake when it was over). Im really thankful for all that, I cant seem to think anymore. I feel like a marathon runner at the end of the race, you're just too tired for any coherent thoughts left. And that's all i really have to do now, mindlessly run tests. Once they're all in, i'd get myself a good night's sleep and finish my results and conclusion in a day.

That's just that. Everything's so last minute. Like the last round of the boxing movie, you fight for 12 rounds and you think you're winning, but a single punch could turn everything around.

Oh goodness, im just soo tired. I feel like crying. But its almost over. Just a little bit more...

I'll be taking a nap now, still an hour before a run finishes. Wish me luck. ^_^

1 Comments:

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Dominique said...

Go! Go! Go!

For great justice!

Launch all zig!

(See, the philosophy of the world can be summed up in the opening lines of Zero Wing. Good luck! You can do it!)

 

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