Life Changing Event

My life has changed thanks to Joe. Suddenly my tab key is more useful on my Macbook. I can now tab through my dialog option buttons. There's an obscure setting in the System Preferences > Keyboard and Mouse > Keyboard Shortcuts > Full Keyboard Access (set to All Controls). Or you can press ctrl-F7.

This makes so many things much easier to do with out having to constantly use the mouse to move to a button and click.

Love it!

A Goal, Yet So Much More.

What would you do if you had a goal that you could almost reach, but not quite. It's something that sits in front of you like a carrot on a stick. What steps would you take to reach it and how committed are you till the end?

This one goal has been a dream of mine, but I haven't achieved it; I'm just not strong enough. Since my freshmen year of college I've worked at it, yet never succeeded.

Now you might be wondering what that goal is, and I'll tell you. There are some things that I have a passion for in life, and it's goals like this one that really drive me. I can't explain it entirely, but I set my sights on it and I really give it my all. It's this same mentality that I want to carry into other areas in my life. And I do, but it's something I need to actively work at.

Brilliant people inspire me to set goals and to reach them. Recently I've adopted Steve Wozniak as my first hero. I really didn't know anything about him at the beginning of the quarter beyond being involved with Apple. I've never really had a hero or anyone that I really looked up to in life. After seeing him talk and reading his book, iWoz, I'm compelled to push myself. It's just amazing to get inside his head to see what he was thinking. He had the drive and the skills to go places. I want to be like him, while still being Paul Solt.

RIT's a challenging place and I've learned a lot. I've learned about leadership, time management, fitness, and communication. I've had amazing opportunities and I've had the chance to meet some very intelligent people. What I do with these skills and the connections will take me places; maybe some day I'll be able to inspire others like Steve Wozniak has done for me. It's important to give back to others, that's why I do a lot of what I do. I help people program computers, lift weights, fix things, cook, and the list goes on. It just comes natural. I have talent and I try to share it with the people I care about.

My problem is that it's sometimes hard to see where I'm going when I'm so busy at RIT. It really takes the end of the quarter to give me a shock and actually think about something bigger than projects and tests. Why am I doing what I'm doing? The reason is simple. I do it because I enjoy it. By becoming a better person and by striving for excellence I leave a path behind me. I'm not sure how pronounced that path is, but I know it has effected some people along the way. By making a difference in other peoples lives I reach goals that I didn't know I had.

When it comes down to the wire, whether it's academics or just a goal. I know I'll reach it and that's why I push myself. To do the impossible and to succeed makes the impossible possible. There wouldn't have been a Mission Impossible II if Ethan Hunt had failed. While I'm not ready for everything that's thrown at me, I'm ready to get ready. To push my limits and overcome barriers.

My goal is simple, yet so hard. 100 push-ups in 2 minutes. You might ask yourself "that's it?" And to that I'd reply "yes." It's been 4 years and I still haven't been able to do it. It's a commitment that many people aren't willing to make. It takes time, it takes discipline, and most importantly it takes motivation.

This brings back a memory from freshmen year when I was considering the Marines. After PT on a Saturday morning, the Sergeant talked to me in his office. He brought out cards with words on them like "Money", "Education", "Leadership", "Fitness", "Honor", "Courage", "Commitment", and many others. He asked me to pick out a few words and to tell him why they were important to me and how they would affect me in the Marines. At the time I wasn't quite sure, so I picked out a few and talked about them. I feel like I had to lie about my reasons. There was a drive I had that couldn't be expressed with these keywords and I felt like I didn't fit in. He told me that the Marines would allow me to accomplish those keywords, yet I've done that and more at RIT.

Maybe it's deeper than just reaching a goal, because once you get to the goal it's over. I might reach the goal this month, or I might reach it next year. I'm driving to reach it and it's the drive that is what I'm looking for. Picking a goal sets the mentality and it's something I need to do more often. It's a physical drive, but it's also a mental drive. I'm at 80 right now and it's a new quarter. I'm ready to learn new things and to do things that I've never done before.

Orientation 2007!!!

Orientation was a blast. I had the best and loudest group V-19! It was great to meet everyone and I look forward to hanging out into the future. RIT's keeping it real with classes starting on Labor day. I honestly forget holidays when I'm at school because we just don't celebrate them with days off. My classes are looking good and I know a lot of people in them, so it's good to see some friendly faces.

End of the Spring Quarter

Wow, these past few weeks have been flying by. This coming week is week 10 and then I have three finals on Saturday because RIT decided to start finals on Saturday for spring to avoid conflicts the graduation ceremonies. I have two papers to write, one on photon mapping and caustics for computer graphics II and one on DNA profiling for Truth and Consequences. I still have one more programming project to finish to demonstrate photon mapping. This weeks' going to be real busy and I hope I can finish everything and still have time to get to the gym. Check out my website with all the awesome pictures at Paul's RIT website

Spring Quarter

Wow, it's already week 2 of spring quarter and I've got a heavy load. Here's a link to my main RIT web page that I updated with current course work. RIT Webpage So far I have links for two of the classes I'm taking with graphical pictures, code, and possibly even some executable files. Work on the game project is being delayed because of all the course work, and I'm also working on a separate game project for the Game Developers Club, so I'm pulled in a lot of different programming directions.

Ultimate Frisbee starts next week and I'm also working on filling out my application packet for the Student Government GCCIS Senator position, so that could be interesting in the next few weeks.

Done Another Busy Quarter

Every quarter here at RIT is jam packed with things to do. Thankfully I finished winter quarter with a 4.0. Cryptography was enjoyable, but hard until I got a grasp on the different algorithms. Going to the theory tutoring center was the only thing that saved me in the class. Thankfully Joe was able to explain the concepts at a basic level.

My second class Spanish was easy. It was still a review from what I learned in high school in addition to the subjunctive tense. I'm going to have to practice during the spring/summer since I won't be taking the next class in sequence until the fall of next year.

My favorite class was Computer Graphics. I initially started developing a basic graphics library on the Game Boy Advance platform which could draw lines, anti-aliased lines, circles, polygons, filled polygons, clipped polygons, and the Mandelbrot fractal. The second part of the course dove into 2D/3D graphics in OpenGL using GLUT as a window/event handler. (I created a tutorial for setting up GLUT in Eclipse on Windows here) For the 3D project I created a "turret simulation," which you can find here: Turret Simulation It's not perfect by any means, but it gives you basic control over the turret. It allows you to shoot multiple projectiles, record, playback, watch a chase camera view, and play with the lighting, textures, and materials of the scene. I only had a weekend to really put it together, so I’m amazed at what I was able to do under that time crunch.

With that said, for "Spring Break" I'm currently working on taking a lot of the concepts from that simulation and I'm building the “Turret Game.” I'm rewriting everything from an object oriented approach in C++, since the simulation was written procedurally. I should have it finished in the next few days and I’ll be posting again once that is finished.

And now you all think I’m crazy because I’m programming over Spring Break, don’t lose hope. I’ve also started running and lifting again so I’m getting pumped for Ultimate Frisbee this spring!