it’s been a while since i’ve written here. i’m not sure why i find it so difficult to write blog posts when i know there’s only 2 people who read this (including me). anyway, i thought it would be appropriate to write something now because it’s january and it’s a new year.
2018 was tough and a lot of it was my fault. i failed a lot, didn’t try hard enough, and didn’t do enough to make things better. i got rejected by so many companies for summer 2018 internships (namely microsoft and IBM, both of which i had a lot of hope for). i did terribly in many of my classes, did a lot of damage to my health through bad nutrition, and felt unfulfilled. but i also did manage to quit my job at starbucks and have more time to myself. i learned how to drive after 3 years of putting it off. i got a new job as a TA, and later as an instructor, for coding classes for middle school students. i also had another job in the fall where i mentored middle school students and helped them build an android game (but mostly just had fun joking around with them and learning about middle school culture). and later i got a few interviews/coding challenges for summer 2019 internships–ending in an internship offer given to me just last week.
lots of ups and downs. i’m not special in saying that. i know it happens to everyone and this isn’t anything new or exciting to read. it’s hard for me to write down my accomplishments without thinking about the better things others have done. i don’t want to be like this anymore.
in 2019 i want to use my bullet journal more and use my time as best as i can–i want to do things with intention. i want to rest because it’s good for me and i want to work on coding projects because it’s fun. i want to go to more places, floss my teeth more, probably lose 5 pounds, write in a diary again, and just feel better about myself. i want to not care about what others do or how they may or may not be better than i am because it!! does!! not!! matter!! i will eat food and not feel guilty and not work more hours a week than i am comfortable with. i do not want to be scared or unprepared when i live in nyc for the summer. i want to be better.
today is the first day of my new job! i’m going to be a teaching assistant for a class teaching scratch to elementary school kids web development to middle school kids over the summer. i’m finally doing adult things and actually putting myself out there! what a surprise!
also, i don’t think i ever posted about my old job on here. i worked at a starbucks on campus for about six months starting last summer and ending in february. it was fun, but really stressful. classes got hard and i didn’t have enough time for myself, so everything kind of snowballed and didn’t go too well. but i think i came out a better and more outgoing person.
anyway, onto my new job–
i thought i would be doing an internship this summer at some big company, but clearly i’m not. it was kind of like in high school where i was so concerned with going to a “smart” school that people would be impressed with. and like in high school, i didn’t get accepted where i wanted. but i’ve come to realize that it doesn’t!! matter!! and maybe an internship isn’t even what i want or need right now…
teaching has always been a big interest of mine and if you know me personally, you know that i won’t shut up about it. i wanted to work under a fancy company in the tech industry for so long, but as of late i’ve been thinking about teaching. i love it, i have experience in it, why not just do it?
so i searched for teaching jobs, researched teaching credential programs, even considering grad school during my (shallow) google searches. and i now have my summer teaching job and several other programming education jobs/internships i’m waiting on hearing back from. i’m thinking this is a better fit for what i want to do with my life. i hope so.
maybe i’ll change my mind about it later but i’m feeling so good about it now. i can’t wait to make an impact, make a difference, change even one kid’s life, + other inspirational “teacher” things, etc.
i realize i haven’t posted here in a while. actually, i have–i’ve just deleted a lot of my old posts because i didn’t like them anymore.
i am a computer science major at school now. i think i was a math major at the time of my last post? actually, i think i was still in high school in my last post, lol.
i have been drawing a lot less lately. i’m not sure if it’s because i don’t enjoy it as much, or because i don’t have enough time–i work part time at an on-campus starbucks. and i guess because a lot of my time is spent studying, doing homework, or working, i’m both uninspired and drained if i ever do get free time.
speaking of lacking free time–i also feel like there’s a lot of pressure for me to spend a lot of my free time programming, and that without a few side projects i won’t be successful in gaining an internship/job/etc. i have an idea in mind, and hopefully, by the end of 2017, i will have a working demo on my website for it : – )
i have also gotten into writing poetry. i don’t think i will post it on here because i feel like a lot of the posts on this blog are either tech or just life updates? so be on the look out for something on that too.
i should be studying, goodbye and thanks 4 reading!
i think it would help if i tried to write my ideas down, otherwise i’ll probably forget them.
also, i don’t want to forget this blog.
habits i want to pick up before summer session
use duolingo at least four times a week
will i ever need my knowledge of high school french? maybe not, but i’d like to try and preserve it as much as possible. i’ve got this fear of losing my memory (in general, not just french) and i don’t want it to happen, so practicing something often would help out with stopping that (i think).
run at least once every two weeks
once every two weeks isn’t really a lot at all but i don’t really expect myself to do any better than that, anyway. i’m kind of really unfit and my weight has been the same since starting school last fall and i’m kinda bummed, so starting this habit might help to start losing some of that weight.
do something with my godamned website
i have no idea what i’m doing but i want to do something cool
study once a week for each class i have
whether it be re-reading some text or creating some sort of study guide or chart, i want to get into the habit of studying early. i didn’t exactly study last-minute during winter quarter but i feel like the concepts i’m learning in spring quarter will be very important to the rest of college for me and i’d like the stuff to stick for a while.
two days ago, at around 12:00 midnight, i restored windows 10 on my surface pro 3 after having tried 4 linux distros over the course of a year. i love free software and linux and the amount of customization it had but i just couldn’t live without photoshop for much longer. krita and mypaint are nice, but the workflow of using just photoshop was so comfy. not only that, but having a completely touch-friendly interface was amazing. i will probably install another linux distro within virtualbox in a while after school starts, which i’m looking forward to. i miss all of my keybinds and programs already.
edit (2016-07-18): i’ve updated the art software portion of this guide to talk about krita 3.0
there’s probably a bunch of existing guides on linux on the surface pro 3 out there (most of which i’ve read) but i decided to make my own. each guide was helpful, of course, but i still had to rely on many outside resources to make my linux experience worthwile.
to use this guide, you don’t need much linux experience but you should get a bit familiar with the command line and terminals
i’m not an expert at this stuff but i’ve done quite a bit of research on linux and the surface pro 3 and have had a single boot since september 2015
i use the surface pro 3 i3 64gb model but this should ofc work on any sp3 device
i used ubuntu and xubuntu from september 2015 to around december 2015 so my info on those distros may not be as accurate but should still suffice
i currently use arch linux
starting out: *ubuntu – if you’re new to linux or want an easy to use distro
getting fancy: arch linux – if you’ve got a bit of free time and have more experience with linux
general reccomendations – post-install stuff you may want to consider
starting out: *ubuntu
if you’ve no experience with linux or want the most useable linux experience, go for any of the ubuntu derivatives or plain old ubuntu.
issues i had with a plain install:
no battery status (ubuntu and xubuntu)
no touchpad support (ubuntu and xubuntu)
network issues – could not connect to certain networks (xubuntu)
restarting the computer
the first two issues were fixed by simply installing the neoreeps kernels.
if you don’t know how to install these kernels, follow the instructions below:
go to the google drive link and download just one of the folders — as of writing this the folders are 4.2.0, 4.3.0, and latest (torvalds tree). i went with 4.3.0.
open a terminal emulator and cd into the directory where the downloaded folder is (eg cd Downloads/4.3.0)
run sudo dpkg -i *.deb. this will install the kernels, which are in deb packages. to use these kernels, restart your computer and choose the kernel you just installed at boot.
(optional) change the order of the grub entries with grub customizer. in my case, i moved them to the top and reduced grub’s timeout so that startup would be slightly faster.
as for the 3rd issue of networks, i could not connect to my home network with the built in sp3 wifi and had to use a d-link adapter. however, i could connect to my school’s network without the adapter. i never solved this problem when under xubuntu but later had the same issue under arch. unfortunately i can’t remember what the solution was but it involved the fact that more than one connection manager was running at once and i had to disable one of them.
the 4th issue of not being able to restart the computer is something i could never fix. “restarting” the computer would shut it down and make it start up again, only to be stuck at the “Surface” screen that would never go away. instead, just shutdown and manually power up your computer again.
for more info on ubuntu on the surface pro 3, check the following links, which will be updated soon:
do you have a lot of free time on your hands? are you done with ubuntu? do you want some mad internet creds? try arch linux on your sp3!
moving on from that horrible intro, i’d first like to say that my first non-ubuntu distro was antergos and it’s a great arch-based distro. i enjoyed it much more than ubuntu, and if you’re too afraid to try installing arch, then i reccomend you try it. and plus, you get to still follow this guide!
as for installing arch, i cannot say much other than follow the installation guide and the beginner’s guide. and if you find the task a bit too daunting, you can easily find scripts to install arch linux online, as well as video tutorials.
stuff to do after installing
get the appropriate kernel
i use matthew wardrop’s linux-surfacepro3 kernel, and it works pretty well. unfortunately, whenever i attempt to install it via the aur or mkpkg, i always get a kernel panic at boot. but fear not, there’s still a way to install the kernel! the following steps will walk you through it. (and i’m sorry if it sounds very babby-like, but i just want to be as clear as possible)
download the repo or clone it: git clone https://github.com/matthewwardrop/linux-surfacepro3.git
import the kernel maintainer keys, which may take a while. enter these commands into your terminal. (taken from the README):
apply the patches that the repo provides while in the linux-surfacepro3 directory. you will find the appropriate commands within the PKGBUILD
this is the part where i stopped following the PKGBUILD and went on my own. i then followed this guide–How-to: patch, compile and install a working kernel for the Surface Pro 3 starting from step 3 (“The actual compiling”) on. just in case that link ever gets taken down, i’ll write the relevant steps here. do these while still in the repo’s directory. and you may or may not want to read the “more info” links on some of the steps.
copy the current kernel config
zcat /proc/config.gz > .config
open the menuconfig. i highly reccomend changing the name of the kernel within this menu so that it’s easily identifiable from your other installed kernels.
start the actual kernel compilation. as stated earlier, i have the i3 1.5ghz 4gb ram sp3 model. i never recorded the exact time it took me to compile the kernel, but it was < 2 hours every time i did it. and every time i compiled, the fan turned on and the temperature went up to around 60 degrees celsius. i also used firefox the whole time lol.
install the kernel modules. note: during one of the next 3 steps, the name of the kernel will be displayed at the end of the output. take note of this, it’s tres important.
check if your kernel has installed by heading over to /boot and looking at each of the vmlinuz. usually, you’ll want to check the file just labeled vmlinuz and use the file command to see its name. if it matches the name of the kernel that you noted in one of the earlier steps, change its name to vmlinuz-[INSERT NAME OF KERNEL] without the brackets.
generate the ram disk file with your kernel name. note: during one of the next two steps you may get an error about fstab if you have use a btrfs filesystem but it can be ignored.
i am currently on arch linux with the previously mentioned kernel and have little to no problems with my touchscreen. at times, it may stop working, but this can be fixed easily.
find your touchscreen’s id (the touchscreen should be called NTRG0001:01 1B96:1B05
disable and enable the device. replace “15” with the id you found earlier.
xinput disable 15; \ xinput enable 15
just in case this ever happens while my keyboard is unattached, i mapped the previous commands to the super button + volume down. (i use sxhkd to do this)
i also use the onboard keyboard when i use my sp3 as a tablet. since i use bspwm, i use rule -a Onboard state=floating flag=sticky
so that it is on all desktops and is on top of all windows. on my lemonbar panel i also have an keyboard icon that when clicked, brings up onboard. pretty handy when i’m not using the type cover.
the sp3 pen
by default, the pen is recognized as another mouse pointer. i suggest you install the xf86-input-wacom drivers to get the most out of your pen.
then, the wacom configurations from this repo to get more options recognized for you pen in xinput. as of version 0.33.0-1 of the wacom drivers, you’ll need to copy the contents of 50-wacom.conf into the new file 70-wacom.conf for it to work. (these files are located in /usr/share/x11/xorg.conf.d/.
what i miss the most about windows is how amazing adobe photoshop cc was with the surface pro 3. i’ve tried my best to find an alternative to this with programs in linux, but nothing comes close.
krita is always recommended as the best painting software, but i’m not sure if i agree.
(this section has been edited to account for krita 3.0 as of 2016-07-18, or the release with animation)
pen pressure is extremely weak with the sp3 pen (even with tweaking and the above configurations). i don’t have this problem anymore with the new krita.
it detects your hand as input while you’re using the pen so you must disable the touchscreen to make it useable.
the display is not helpful at all to hidpi users. and there is not much you can do to fix it, even when enabling larger icons.
as of the new krita version, i still have an issue with this. see screenshots below for reference.
this isn’t really the fault of krita itself, but you must install a lot of kde stuff for it to work, which really doesn’t fit my philosophy of having modular programs and minimal installs.
some screenshots of krita:
has many more painting-specific features than any other linux painting program.
i really love the reference image window.
(3.0+) has support for creating animations
(3.0+) some hidpi compatibility — it doesn’t work in my case, however.
unfortunately, i really can’t reccomend you use krita. it’s really not worth the trouble at the moment, but i do intend to keep up on its progress (or even try to contribute to it) because it has so much potential.
i enjoy mypaint much more than krita for many reasons.
not as resource intensive as krita, which would always turn my sp3’s fans on.
undo and redo buttons are on screen and not hidden behind a menu, which is useful for when the keyboard is detached.
slightly larger interface and incorporates your gtk2 theme.
simple and easy to use. you could use it as an ms paint alternative if you really wanted to do so.
despite having a menu to disable the touchscreen so that your hand doesn’t get in the way, it doesn’t always work. like krita, you must disable the touchscreen via xinput to make sure that there will be no interference.
not as many features as krita, such as selection tools.
no tabs, so you can only have one thing open at a time 🙁
altogether, using gnu/linux on your sp3 may seem much more work than it’s worth, but i enjoy it so much better than windows. it is much more modular and does not waste as much disk space. in addition, the terminal and easy to install compilers make writing code so much easier, as a hobbyist programmer.
the only thing i really want windows for is adobe photoshop cc for art-related tasks, and if i get a new surface model, i may keep windows on it for that sole reason. other than that, i think linux is great, and i think that whether or not you are a programmer or try it on your sp3, you should look into linux!
thanks for reading and you can email me at email@example.com with any questions or suggestions about this article.
edited on 2016-07-13: added a link to the art software section of this site with html.
i graduated high school yesterday. like all of the other senior events, i didn’t really… feel it. i just wanted to leave. nevertheless, i guess this is a good time to reflect on what my high school life was like.
things i liked
making friends in robotics
learning in apcs (not being in apcs though)
learning physics for the first time (s/o to mr. cook for congratulating me last night)
HL MATH was really fun and difficult but that made it more fun. also really cool people in the class. this includes the other students, haha.
teaching at grl developers every friday
going to math team in the 11th grade
sitting alone at lunch doing math when i didn’t have friends
things i won’t miss
having bad grades all of the time!!
PE — the bane of my existence
not having friends
history notebook checks
feeling dumb in all of my classes (especially physics haha)
despite everyone saying it does, i don’t think high school will really prepare me for what’s next. i think maybe it’s because i didn’t take advantage of it as much and i’m plagued with this feeling with regret about high school. i’m afraid that it will repeat itself–that i’ll start off well and maybe not have any friends, then later i’ll be doing horribly and be barely able to save myself.
i can’t make predictions about it though, and i’d rather not think about school starting again in september. i’m not going to school today (i went yesterday though i wasn’t supposed to do so) and i’ve decided that this is my first day of summer break. i think i’m going to work on that programming stuff i’ve always wanted now.
goodbye high school, you kind of sucked sometimes but i guess you were okay a few times.