The Domain of Steven Pinnacle of Paperless Perfection


Perhaps not two whole months, but…

Work visa has been processed. I'll be leaving next weekend and starting next Monday.

It'll be one long flight.


Two months of making perfection perfect

Microsoft came to campus some time ago for a recruiting drive. I knew that my odds were low but I wanted the experience, and no matter what the odds are, there is still a chance. Talking to the recruiter went very smoothly; I liked talking to him and he liked talking to me. He made notes on my resume before dropping it in and I walked away happy.

The actual first-round interview was not so smooth. It was not so much an interview as an interrogation. To be fair, the interviewer single-handedly had to deal with two dozen people over the course of two days, and as I was the penultimate, I was going to get the short end of the cordiality stick. I tried to establish a casual talking environment, picked up on every cue that was dropped in order to promote talking and build a rapport, but he was not interested in a rapport. He was there to weed out candidates and that is exactly what he did.

I felt confident that I did well where it counted, but it was not enough. I was not invited to a second-round interview, the multi-day affair where Microsoft flies you over to Washington and pays for everything so that they can subject you to a day-long interview gauntlet.

However, I am completely fine with not moving onto the second round. And that is because I already have plans.

The plans looked a bit like this, hastily scribbled onto a piece of paper with an old Spanish homework. They was spurred into being by Chris, and dreamed up and laid out during one of my classes. It was the roadmap to an essay that, with Shelly's help, won me a scholarship.

My benefactor was a UK-based software testing company that was moving into Burlington, Massachusetts. They recently started a program that offered scholarships to BU computer science students, the winners receiving a lump sum as well as an internship.

The money was definitely enticing, but the internship was the much more valuable prize. Being very young and having so little experience, I would cherish any opportunity to build up my resume and gain momentum. The internship was originally scheduled to be in Burlington. Its actual status was up in the air for a few months until I was notified that no, there was in fact no place for me at their Burlington office, but they would remain true to their word and offer me an internship.

In England.

Exeter, England to be more specific. For two months I am going to be staying at the University of Exeter and working for a company generous enough to provide me this opportunity. I'll have two months to see whether the sky looks any different in Europe than it does in America and whether cars driving on the wrong side will faze me. Two months to collect as much foreign currency as I can, since it seems to be the most popular souvenir requested so far. Two months of a five-hour time difference from my friends. Two months alone being somewhere I never thought I would be compelled to be by myself.

But for you, my readers, it will be two months of posts and pictures, of pining and preaching. And for me, at the very least, two months of preparing for off-campus life next school year.


Navigator’s melange effect – L’Arc En …l, and then word.substring(0, 4) + word.substring(6), needless to say

Total readership isn't above five, so this isn't as much of a race as you might think.

from Yoli:

-For the first three people that reply to this post, and who re-post this challenge: you win.

-For your prize, I will send you a gift.

-It might be something I've made, or something cool from my hidden stash of pure amazing. It might be a mix CD, or a rubber duck, or a book I think you might enjoy. A love letter, a useful object, or something else that is awesome or maybe just taking up room in my house.

-Whatever it is, I promise I will get it to you in 365 days of your posted comment or less, and I will need your snail mail. (Send it to my email, which you can find on Facebook.)

-The only thing you need to do to receive your gift is PARTICIPATE.

-Be one of the first three journalers to reply to this, and post this very same thing in your journal, and YOU are the lucky giftee.


Bee Arr Bee

Off to New York for the weekend for Digital Life. Will be playing Halo 3 with two linked 360s 😀 .



I'm back where the heart is.

Filed under: Announcements, Life 4 Comments

Wondering who would have placed after the hairy chest/treasure chest/fancy vest/failing test

From Boston University's Show Us Your Blogs competition:

The 16 finalists are listed below, in no particular order:

1. This Be My (B)log
A student discusses her ongoing treatment for leukemia.

2. Alliteration Abound
Video game aficionado posts on gaming and life.

No, I did not win, and that's perfectly fine. To be honest, if I won I would've been a little ashamed for beating out the third-place leukemia blogger. Or the first-place obscure foreign film blogger, or second-place science translation blogger. Their blogs have purpose, have meaning. Whoever wrote up my ditty was very good at putting a name on what is essentially randomness. Sometimes I'm emo and blog about being emo. Sometimes I'm Elmo and blog about being Elmo. Sometimes I'm E/Mo and blog about being E/Mo.

But like when I landed my computer tech support job, which I thought I was equally unqualified for, I'm wondering what the competition was like. Did my exuberant, exhilarating, enthralling eloquence beat out blogs with purpose, or just Myspace junkies? Were there only sixteen applicants?

And then I actually read the article. There were 150 entries in the competition. I don't know which of my posts the judges read, but my blog beat out at least 134 other blogs, each with a blogger that had the cojones to put their work under scrutiny. Possibly using an anonymous email through an anonymous proxy on an anonymous public terminal wearing gloves, a mask, and a trenchcoat after making sure he wasn't followed, but that's beside the point: seeing my name up there on the list made me blush for the first time in a long while. I barely blush anymore when my girlfriend tells me I'm cute!

All I can hope is that if someone new does happen upon my blog, they look beyond the first page of posts. Because this is a personal journal, there's a wild variety of content out there, everything from short updates to music video discussions to analyses of my memories and dreams to short stories and essays. Most posts have some reference in the title, with cryptic references sneaking in if I have to obscure a detail or strong point. And true to my blog's description, there are gaming references!

Filed under: Announcements 2 Comments

Yuki 雪

First snow, and it looks like it's coming down hard.

Filed under: Announcements 3 Comments

Webhost switch

In case you've noticed some funniness on AlliterationAbound over the past couple days, it's because I've been a lazy ass. A totally lazy ass. AlliterationAbound's original host was LifelessPeople (LLP), which provided webhosting in exchange for a posting on their forum enough to meet a quota. While it was a wonderful system for those who wanted free, reliable, and supportive webhosting (plus a decent forum to boot) I would always find myself waiting until the last minute to start posting, and either spend a lot of time on the last couple days cranking out monster posts or have my webhosting revoked until I met my quota a day or two later.

Now that I'm in college, I don't have the time to crank out that many posts. It was while I was checking out the deals at Fatwallet that I found out that GoDaddy, the wonderful company that lets this site be instead of, had hosting. Cheap hosting. Hosting that costs less than three dollars a month and offers way more space and bandwidth than LLP did. Even if I worked at a minimum wage job, I'd be able to pay for many months worth of webhosting in the time I spent on the LLP forum.

And besides, I'm a lazy ass. So here I am.

It took a couple days to get everything working properly, but I was able to transfer everything but the photo gallery (working on it) and the post categories (meh...).


GD offers a one-click installation of WordPress, but it hides the mysql database that WordPress runs off of so I couldn't import the tables I exported from LLP. I created my own, except the handling of mysql databases by GD is really, really funky. I can only access a database at a time, and the table name cannot be different than the username used to access it. Not to mention that the host is different...making GD the 1% for which I can't specify the host as localhost.

But that's cool. I backed up everything using myphpadmin, but LLP and GD must have been using different versions of it, so I couldn't find the Import tab. I researched other methods to import my posts, and ended up changing the RSS feed to display 9999 posts and then saving the entire feed to be sent through WordPress's importer. Problem was that the comments were lost since they were in a separate feed, and the post urls were in reverse order.

I eventually sucked it up and emailed tech support, which answered in like, five seconds. It was scary. It was as if tech support knew my problem and had their hands over Ctrl-V, just waiting for my email. I was led to the Import tab, which was tucked away, and found that my database was four megs, way over the two meg import limit. I looked inside to see what was taking up all the space (since I have less than 120 posts) and I found hundreds upon hundreds of spam comments. It seems like Spam Karma didn't actually remove them from the table, it just prevented WordPress from displaying them. So I manually went through and deleted enough comments to drop it from four megs to about 1.5 megs and imported the file. I ftp'ed the theme and plugins, tweaked the layout to include the time of day (as per Cristen's request), and voila, you have the site you see before you.

Filed under: Announcements 5 Comments

“My Spanish teacher told me that if I went to Mexico, I only needed to know two words: cerveza and baño.”

-Random subway rider detailing the importance of beer and bathrooms

Boston University Orientation from Wednesday to Friday. Forbidden to bring my laptop (and I should try to explore, anyway...) so I'm going to be listening to my recently rediscovered iPod Nano (its case made my parents unknowingly displace it, but also made it easier to find), occasionally asking my brother if I can play Brain Age on his Nintendo DS while we're on the 4-5 hour bus ride, plan my schedule, and maybe knock another chapter off of The Unix Programming Environment.

Fourth of July fireworks were pretty cool. I'll be back on Friday with more.


Commenting fixed

I've updated WordPress and SpamKarma 2, so commenting should work properly now.

From what I recall, when you posted a comment it would lead you to a blank page. It would end up not posting your comment; instead, it left it in the trash bin (mine too! traitor!). I've taken the liberty of digging through that trash to pull out all the legit comments in the past few days.

Filed under: Announcements 2 Comments