All entries for Tuesday 03 May 2005

May 03, 2005

The Law of Deadlines strikes again

So with 12 and a half hours to my double-deadline, I thought I'd be clever. My work was finished so I could print it ahead of time and avoid the stress that tomorrow (or rather later today) would inevitably bring. Easy. First task – convert Word documents to PDF so they can be read on the DCS computers where I have a fairly meagre amount of free print credits. Not as easy as it sounds. After trying various free trials of converting programs I gave up in frustration and emailed a friend who has the full version of Acrobat. I got the PDFs back after a short delay (the 1.2MB of my final project report was nearly too much for his PC to cope with). Everything's looking good. Except it's not. On page 14, one of my formulas has magically disappeared. Well, not a problem. I can print all the other pages in DCS and then use Word elsewhere to print the final page. So off I go to DCS

For once, getting in was easy. See, DCS doesn't like us minorities, and provides us with only office-hours access to the building, along with about only 1/10th of the print credits of our CS peers. Anyway, someone was nice enough to let me in. However, it soon turned out that whatever hope I had was false. Topaz had died, taking the entire DCS network with it. Grumpily I stomped down to the library, with the thought of at least getting the cover sheet to my report printed, to make sure it lines up with the window in the rather un-flashy "folders" (read two pieces of card and a binder) that physics provide. No luck – all the printers seem to be mysteriously broken.

The library shuts and I head over to the computing centre. Same story there. In a final desperate attempt to save at least some time before the morning, I try transferring my philosophy essay to disc – one of the many hoops the two pieces require you to jump through involve handing in the philosophy essay on disc along with 2 paper copies (other requirements range from being docked 10% if you give the paper submissions in with your left hand to having to electronically send your final report to Mexico. And no, I'm not kidding about that last one). But once again the Deadline Gods conspired against me. It seems that all my discs are faulty and of course there's no where to get new ones from at this time of night.

So I trudged home, only vaguely aware that I appeared to be living in both the past and present tense at the same time. That's what 12 hours of editing will do to you. Look…now I'm living in the future tense too!

To summarise, I have been unable to beat a deadline yet again, and yet again it is not my fault. Sometimes I really hate this university. I think I'm going to pass out now. Gotta be up early if I want to beat the rush…


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