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PClassic Experience

PClassic is a programming competition hosted by the Dining Philosophers at the University of Pennsylvania.East Brunswick High School sent 4 teams of 4 people each to compete against other schools and clubs. Unfortunately, we don’t have a club or any practice for the event since the computer science program in the school isn’t t the best. We were against schools who code as part of their curriculum and probably practiced for hours for the event.
I believe Thomas Jefferson High School (From Virginia) won the competition and did all 8 programs… with one hour to spare.

Anyhow, it was really fun! I set up java and eclipse on my BackTrack linux based laptop the day before and it was working perfectly! But, we were only allowed one laptop per team, so I used my friend’s macbook (which was much faster anyway). On the way to UPenn, Ross, my friend, and I tried some practice problems. I coded the Roman Numerals to Integer and vice versa in around an hour. It was good practice.

We got there at around 10:30 AM, around when the competition started. However, there was a lecture hall session at the time and we decided to sit in for it. The professor had a very strange accent and was difficult to understand at first, but after adjusting to his speech pattern, I understood it. He seemed like a really cool teacher. The actual programming started at 11:15. We had four hours to code.

I started off with a boxing program. I had to compare two boxers, which were given inputs on health, multipliers on the damage of Jabs, Hooks, and Uppercuts. Then I had to run the program and display the winner. At first, I had to no idea that there were preset .java files that we needed to use. So, I raw coded everything from scratch. The funny part was that it worked perfectly… and even funnier was that they said I couldn’t use it since I didn’t use the preset .java class.
So, I had to code everything again on the preset class. It didn’t take that long to put the fundamentals down again since I raw coded it, but there were a few bugs. I fixed all the bugs around 30 seconds before submission time was over. That was the only submission that worked and was accepted. 1/8 programs.

Though we didn’t win, it was a really cool experience. Hopefully, later on as my programming knowledge expands, I can code them all quicker and more efficiently. Otherwise, congratulations to Thomas Jefferson High School!

League of Legends Tournaments

So I’ve been pairing up with the East Brunswick Public Library to host League of Legends Tournaments! I am so excited to host the next one, and hopefully more to come!
After talking with the library and the librarians for other reasons, they told me about a League of Legends tournament they wanted to host. I reached out and told them I would help. And since then, I have been helping host their tournaments!

The first tournament went really well during the day of. However, the registration process and contacting was chaotic, as we forgot to ask for contact information. But luckily, we were able to connect with them via the Facebook page and event! During the event, we recieved a warm welcome from the President of the Library, which waas awesome. Afterwards, the chaos began 🙂

I decided to split the teams into different rooms to remove screen looking. It just required more walking around for me to keep track of things. EBTV was there and recorded the event, but I don’t think they made a public video about it… Oh well.There was a 3 minute delay though for spectating. We’re fixing that this tournament.

The winning teams were heavily unbalanced though. They just steamrolled their games to victory. Hopefully, teams are much more prepared this time! But I remember one game, the game with Team Stargate and Team I Eat Pies that was really intense. Check out the brackets here: http://challonge.com/ebpl

This tournament, we’re switching things up.
We are allowing people to bring their own perihperals such as mice, keyboards, and headsets since they were complaining about them a lot. Had to negotiate with Librarian Jess about that though.
We are requiring a tournament fee, mostly because of the food and drinks we have to buy. The prizes are amazing though! Luckily, Riot decided to help us out.
We are allowing spectators this time, so hopefully things won’t get too crowded… I’m worried about that part.
My favorite addition: Shoutcasters! I talked with EBTV’s Producer, Mr. Pagliuco to have shoutcasters for this tournament. I am very excited to see how this plays out!

Other than that, we will have registration forms for both participants and spectators soon! So stay tuned!
OH. And the tournament’s date will be May 9th, from 5:30-9:00 PM

New Computer!

newcompThe computer that I built early December!

Why build a new one?

For the past four or five years, I owned a laptop. This laptop is very reliable, I must say, but it isn’t the best. It only ran League of Legends on very low settings with 30 FPS (on a good day). Also, I own many more games from the Humble Bundle or just people gifting me games, but couldn’t run them. Thus, I needed a new computer.

Specifications?

Computer Processor (CPU) AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz Six-Core
Motherboard MSI-970A-G43 ATX AMD Motherboard
Graphics Card (GPU) MSI Radeon HD 7870 2GB GHz Edition
Random Access Memory (RAM) G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8 GB (1600 Timing)
Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Western Digital 1 TB 7200 RPM
Power Supply (PSU) Rosewill 600W Power Supply
Computer Case Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Case

Building Process

unboxed
Building the computer was really fun. I told my friend, Daven Wu, to come over and help out though. Two people helping each other build is much faster and more efficient than one person taking 5 hours building it. The first thing we did was put on the CPU onto the motherboard outside the case. The only problem I had was with the heatsink fan. I had no clue how to put that on. Luckily, Daven built an AMD build before and put it on pretty well. Next, we put the dual channel RAM onto the motherboard. We had to put a lot of pressure to put them in though. The prebuild motherboard was then completed.
After that, we opened up the case and set up the internal build. I decided to put in the power supply first. The reason for that is to route all the cables to their designated locations. Cable management is very important in building the computer, for it affects airflow (and the design element for those who like cleanliness).
Routing the cables was pretty annoying, but we did the job. After that, we had to place the motherboard onto the case. Easy enough. Then, we put all other components on the motherboard. The Graphics Card just slid into the slot, so that was a relief. After every component was in, we plugged in the Pin connectors from the PSU. That didn’t take too long, but plugging the two 6 Pin into the Graphics card took a bit of cable management. I also recycled an optical drive from my old broken down Vista computer. I also found a 640 GB hard drive on it! It was a good thing that I didn’t throw it out.

Finally, the moment of through came. I plugged in the speaker into the motherboard and plugged in the power supply to the outlet. After pressing the power button, I heard the “beep” (One beep is a good sign) and checked the monitor. The screen that popped up meant that it was running fine (The BIOS).

computerRun

Final Thoughts

I am extremely happy with the outcome of the build. I bought it for $542 during Black Friday. Every single item was on sale, so I got a very good deal out of it. I believe I saved $250. I am now waiting on a few rebates to come back to me.
Otherwise, it runs perfectly fine. It barely gets hot (so far, the top fan exhausted warm air when I ran multiple programs and games at once). It’s very quiet regardless of its six fans inside and outside the case, or quieter than my laptop at least. It runs League of Legends on 100+ FPS, and Battlefield 3 on 60 FPS on High Settings. And that’s about it! Thank you Daven, for helping me build it in under 2 hours!
But for now, I wish you all a Merry Christmas (If you celebrate it) and Happy Holidays!

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