Evil Project Is No More

Now that the evil networking project has been completed, I might actually have time to spend on my other various and sundry homework assignments.

The networking project sounds simple enough: it’s a fairly crude Internet phone program. You talk in one end and sound comes out the other. Just like a real phone. Over the Internet.

Anyway. In principle it’s not too hard: collect a bunch of samples, stick them in a UDP packet, send them to the other guy, and he plays the samples. But of course there are complications, mostly due to having to work in an unfamiliar environment. All projects from sophomore year up until now have been done on Solaris machines and have been text-mode-only programs. But this is a graphical program running on Windows, using DirectSound to handle the multimedia aspects. Which means we have to pretty much figure out the Windows “improvements” to the sockets layer, how Windows handles threading, the unholy beast that is MFC, and the strange world of DirectSound.

Nevertheless, it has been completed, and on time for the original due date! The professor, bowing to the demands of the rest of the students, extended the deadline to just before dead week, yielding two more weeks of working time. Of course, most people haven’t even started on the hard part of the project yet, judging from the lack of whiny questions on the newsgroup about DirectSound. The rest of the class is only at the point of asking whiny questions about MFC.

So now that I don’t have the networking project taking up several hours a day, I get to spend time on other fun things like my history reading, my history paper, the research project, my math test, and personal statements for grad school applications. Yay!

Even better, I managed to convince my security professor that, since by university policy he owes us two cancelled classes (due to having exams in the evenings), next Tuesday would make an excellent day for one of them. Not only is it the last class before Thanksgiving Break, but since security is my only class on Tuesday (and it lets out only at 5:45), that means I can head home a full day earlier than I could otherwise. Woohoo!

Said security professor, whose secret identity is the faculty advisor for our research project, also isn’t unhappy with the progress we’ve made this semester. Although we haven’t solved the problem, he didn’t exactly expect us to, and we’ve evaluated several possible modelling techniques and found their good and bad points, and have a couple of examples of each. Which will work well for the presentation we have to give on our research in December. Yay for finding-things-that-don’t-quite-work-still-counts-as-results!

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