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salimma's Journal: Current goings-on in life 16

Journal by salimma

Did my GRE General Test last Monday, and was pleasantly surprised to receive a double-800 for Verbal and Quantitative. Currently preparing my applications - writing curriculum vitae certainly does not get much easier, especially not after a hiatus of several years, but what must get done, shall get done.

Still waiting for my Linux programming books to arrive too. Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd ed. by Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati in particular. Can't wait starting to port NTFS' transparent encryption to ext3/xa. Funny how I did not manage to set aside the time for serious hacking projects while doing my undergraduate studies. Ah well.

In preparation for this, I started playing around with BitKeeper. It's much more impressive once one starts using it, rest assured. Even for a bleeding-edge Linux user, BK's distributed nature lets you easily track more than one Linux kernel trees. It certainly has its critics, but well... it's free (as in beer) for open source development, and while the situation is superficially similar to the pre-millenial Qt licensing debacle, one could certainly migrate from BK to some other source management system (e.g. SubVersion or Arch) with much more ease than one could replace a toolkit.

Do find the BK Kernel Hacking Howto here. Excellent outline by Jeff Garzik from Mandrake. Note to self, need to start using my Advogato diary...

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Current goings-on in life

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  • Thinking of doing the GRE General Test myself; any particular preparation technique you'd recommend?

    Funny, I seem to be surrounded by test-geniuses; just the other day, was speaking with this freshie who claimed to have gotten a perfect 800 on 800 in SAT (both verbal and math)...:-|

    • Hi Cydonian :)

      Thanks. I went into the exam room aiming for a Verbal score in the 700s, actually, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the final score. Especially after close to three grueling hours of staring at the computer screen!

      I was using Kaplan GRE Exam 2004 [amazon.com] in my preparations - quite a good read; most of the suggestions are just common-sensical but having them all laid out in front of you does help a lot. There are three practice computer-adaptive tests (CATs) on CD, and appendices listing common
      • Great, that was useful, thanks! Puts GRE into a strategy frame of mind, if you know what I mean.

        The Subject GRE thing is, excuse my French, known here to be extremely fucked up; but then, let's face it, you're into kernel programming and all, so you're probably not the kind of guy to stumble on technical questions.

        Still in Singapore, but back in college [nus.edu.sg] after a three month stint in the industry. You can find out all about me if you know my full name [google.com]. ;-)

        • The Subject GRE thing is, excuse my French, known here to be extremely fucked up

          It's still multiple-choice :) One does not participate in the Indonesian education system for long without picking up a trick or two about managing such 'exams'. I did pick up the GRE CS sample book, and the questions are not too bad, overall. Probably fortunate that in the scant 3 years of my B.Eng my modules actually cover most of the material.

          I would have thought NUS brainiacs would scoff at the test, surely?

          • One does not participate in the Indonesian education system for long without picking up a trick or two about managing such 'exams'
            Heheh, same with the Indian education system too. The manner in which it screws up your brain is truly shocking. :-D
            I would have thought NUS brainiacs would scoff at the test, surely?
            NUS? Brainiacs? Huh?
            • NUS? Brainiacs? Huh?

              Oh, me bad. I mean extremely hardworking people. A friend of mine lasted two months in their EE department before hightailing it back to the UK.. to a top university at that :)

              Most Singaporeans would probably adapt to MCQ testing in the future though. I believe 10% of the weighting in the new university admission system rests on SAT I scores.

  • by Tet (2721) *
    Still waiting for my Linux programming books to arrive too. Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd ed. by Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati in particular.

    Hmmmm. I'm not too sure about this. I've got the first edition, and found it to be a bit painful in places. Not the content (although it's certainly a lot to try and take in), but more the way it was presented. I just don't think they're particularly good at communicating concepts to others. The information's all there, but it takes more effort than I'd like

    • Thanks :). GRE stands for Graduate Records Examination, the graduate school equivalent of SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Similar to SAT (I - general, II - subject-based), though instead of taking 3 subjects for SAT II you take only one for GRE Subject Test. Oh, if you're off to law school, medical school or business school there are LSAT, MCAT and GMAT instead.

      Thanks for your opinion on the book too. I have not received it, and the sample chapter at O'Reilly has the bottom parts of the pages cut so as to

    • I'll point out, since salimma didn't, double 800s is the highest score you can get. That's probably harder than double 800s on the SATs (also the highest score) because you're competing with folks that are going to grad school rather than folks going to college.

      My SATs were 800 in math, and 760 or so for verbal. Everyone is very impressed by my scores if they ever come up. Which is nice, because then they take me seriously when I say that they don't mean a damn thing. It's not sour grapes.

      So, salimma has
      • Which is nice, because then they take me seriously when I say that they don't mean a damn thing. It's not sour grapes.

        I only really care if it does what it's supposed to do - get me to a good graduate school. Quite true, scoring high on a test means exactly that - you're good at the test.

        FWIW, I did not go to a US college, but on my single attempt at an SAT sample test I did not get higher than a mid-700 verbal score. Did not even get a full 800 on math, but I distincly recall there were some questions

        • I've never researched grad schools, so my opinion would probably mirror the US News - based on name recognition alone.

          I'd say that you should base your search on whatever schools are both well regarded, and participating in research that you're particularly interested in. I'd focus more on the research that they're doing than their name recognition. Don't be fooled by the bullshit they spout to get grants.

          I guess that's all obvious. I really don't have any insights for you.

          Although if you come to a schoo
          • Although if you come to a school in the San Francisco Bay Area (UC Berkeley and Stanford leap to mind) send me an email and I'll buy you dinner.

            You're on :) Good sushi, I heard. Which uni do you go to right now, actually, or are you working already?
            • I got my BS and I'm living and working in San Francisco. I do rudimentary VB/SQL/Access "programming" for a real estate company.

              The work environment is great. And our next project will be in C#. So I might even learn something.
              • I do rudimentary VB/SQL/Access "programming" for a real estate company.

                Having SQL programming skill is nothing to scoff at really - and most business programming are done in VB anyway. What scares me is the rumor that some Irish universities actually teach their IT undergrads VB as their main language.. I only hope it's VB.Net, at least.

                C# is an interesting language, though I'm even more interested in the .NET platform it runs on. Basically what Java could have been had Sun not been hell-bent on control

                • Yes, my SQL skills are pretty decent. And I'm kindof proud of that. I just wish everyone would use the same damn SQL syntax. 'Till my skills are perfectly portable, I just can't take it seriously.

                  And I don't work from home. At all. Sometimes it sucks, but usually it's fabulous. If I had an emergency, and I couldn't take the 25 minute train to work, I guess I'd use Citrix remote desktop.

                  Since I'll need something to play with if I'm going to learn C#, I'm probably going to buy a PC sometime soon. I can affo
                  • If someone made Eclipse#, MS would probably wet their pants.

                    Perhaps they already had [osnews.com], since Eclipse already runs on the IKVM [ikvm.net] .NET JVM.

                    And of course, with Eclipse adding support for a new language just requires writing a plugin for it...

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