• Life

Welcome to Newark, Part 2

Well, today was certainly exciting.. it started out pretty normal. We left the apartment at around 12:30 to get an x-ray of jayyy‘s lung that’s been hurting him for the past week. When we were done, we went to shoprite and it started snowing. Hard. And then it stopped. So we’re putting the groceries in his car, and it thunders! Sky is cloudy with a bit of blue, it’s still kinda snowing, and it’s thundering. I said to Jay, “Wow, you must have pissed someone off..”. But apparently that wasn’t the end of our bad omen..

We come back home as usual around 3, unpack groceries, and jump to our computers for the usual chatting. First person I jump on is Sohail, ’cause he owes me money and I’m broke.

(15:51:18) Sam Steele: think you could mail me a money order or something? I really need that money..

Timestamp is here for future reference if I need it.. anyway back to the story. So I’m waiting for him to reply, and I glance around my room, and stop at the heating vent / window sill. On this sill sits part of my collection of stuffed animals, my clock radio, and an old laptop I was planning on turning into a digital picture frame. At least, it used to. Sitting there now, however, is just the frame.. no laptop.

So I look at the floor next to me, where Kento’s laptop was charging.. it’s gone too! I’m thinking.. ok, maybe Jay wanted to use Kento’s laptop and ended up taking mine by mistake, and not wanting to wake me, just took both of them. So I walk into Jay’s room and ask him “Hey, you wouldn’t happen to have my Compaq laptop, would you?”.. he glances around.. notices the laptop Scott gave him is missing, and says “hey yeah, where is it?”. At this point I realize what happens, and think “fuck!”. I walk into the living room.. my personal laptop is gone too! We’ve been robbed! We start looking around for anything else that’s missing, and I tell Jay I’m gonna go talk to the security desk while he looks.

I get to the desk, and the guard tells me someone else got hit last night, and he calls the police. I get tired of waiting, go back upstairs to talk to Jay. He tells me that they emptied his change jar (which is a freaking huge glass jar) and took all the change off his desk. Luckely my change jar was safe, apparently my desk is too messy for crooks to consider stealing from πŸ™‚ Anyway we go back downstairs and wait some more, get tired of waiting, and decide to wait in our apartment.

Finally the police officer arrives, asks questions, fills out a report, etc. We think there might be some prints on jay’s jar since it’s glass, so we wait around for the fingerprint guy. Apparently, there’s only 1 person in the entire city of Newark that can do fingerprinting, so we had to wait a few hours. He finally gets here while I’m making spaghetti, so he and Jay do their fingerprint thing, doens’t turn up anything. But he does notice the poster of two guys hugging on Jay’s wall, so as he’s leaving, he referrs to me as Jay’s “partner”. Hah! Jay’s already taken by codymah πŸ™

Anyway, we get a call on the intercom from the front desk asking of the police were still there, apparently another apartment on the 22nd floor also got hit. Apparently this guy has keys to the entire building, ’cause there’s no signs of forceful entry, and our door was locked when we left.

It’s not so bad I guess. Luckely they didn’t take my desktop computer, which has a very very very large amount of important stuff on it, like code, and code, and more code. Most of my code is stored on my server at home, but both DreamZZT and the e-commerce project we’re working on are stored up here for quicker access. I guess it’s time for another backup, eh?

Anyway, as I said to Jay as I realised what had happened.. “Welcome to Newark: You’ve been Robbed!”

  • Life


Dear Sam,

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to consider you for employment. It was a pleasure meeting you at the interview for the position of Lab Consultant for Academic Computing. I regret to inform you that you have not been selected for the above position mentioned. We appreciate your interest in Academic Computing and we wish you success in your job search.


Liz Abraham
Assistant Manager, PC Labs

Wow. Thanks. I may not have a job, but at least I’ve been “wished success” in my job search. You know what would wish me even more success? Hiring me!

Also, a half hour later, NJIT Public Safety felt they needed to inform me of this:

Today, Friday, January 9, 2004, Homeland Security announced national threat level has been lowered from High (Orange) to Elevated (Yellow). As always, you are encouraged to report any suspicious activity to NJIT Public Safety at x3111. As in the past, we will keep you advised of any changes.

Chief Michael Kirk, Director of Public Safety

Wow. Yellow. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind when I’m sitting at home not caring.


  • Life

You’ve got Rejection!

Well, I didn’t get the job that I interviewed for on the 6th. They
said, “If you recieve an email tomorrow, congradulations. If you don’t,
well, don’t give up hope..” Well, I didn’t.

How do they not hire someone with over 4 years of past experience
(doing a lot more than they wanted me to do, I might add)?
The website says there are 15 openings available, so that’s pretty sad
that I didn’t get one of them. I didn’t even see 15 people there for
the interview, but I suppose the lucky people got there late.

Perhaps next time I should show up an hour late for my interview, too.
Anyway, NJIT Federal Work Study = teh suck. Now I have to find another
job. Financial aid refund checks don’t get mailed ’till February, so
I’m stuck for rent again this month.. I suppose I’ll have to sell more
of my stuff πŸ™

In better news, DreamZZT can now save your game. The save files are
almost compatible with real ZZT, except I’m too lazy to calculate some
values that DreamZZT ignores and real ZZT requires (for the technical
users out there (probably just Kev), I’m ignoring the “size of board”
value, because I don’t know whether it represents just the RLE data, or
the entire board + info + objects), so ZZT just gives you a nice
runtime error πŸ™ Oh well. DreamZZT can load real ZZT saves just fine,
so at least it works 1 way. A new release will be out eventually, but I
have to write a file browser first, ’cause not everyone wants to save
to “town.sav” every time..

  • Life


Ok, I was browsing an uber-expensive japanese import site (hey, just ’cause I’m broke doesn’t mean I can’t window shop!) and I found the CUTEST thing ever:


Yep, it’s the iDuck, fresh from Japan! Not only is it a 16MB USB mass-storage device, BUT IT’S A FREAKIN’ DUCK! And it lights up! And comes in multiple colors!

I want one, but it costs too much. Damn expensive japanese imports.


It seems there was a bug in the Dreamcast network driver. I’ve uploaded a new build of DreamZZT for the Dreamcast to the DreamZZT download page. Enjoy!

  • Life

Alas poor Zaurey, I knew him well..

Well, my Zaurus is gone. Someone bid on him yesterday, and I shipped him out today.

I had to go down to East Windsor today to clean spyware off someone’s computer. At least I finally got the picture of the Twin Rivers shopping center I wanted:

I should have gotten a haircut too, but I was lazy and broke, so I didn’t. Hair Lords, the place I get my hair done, is a few doors down from Getronics Wang.

After almost two years of hibernation, I’m proud to announce the first new release of DreamZZT! Head on over to the DreamZZT homepage and check out DreamZZT 3.0.31226 for the Sega Dreamcast, Microsoft(R) Windows(TM), and Linux!

Please be aware that DreamZZT 3.0.31226 is a beta release and may still have some bugs. It has been tested with and will only play the Town of ZZT and any other tested games available from the DZZT.NET homepage. It does not currently support game saves, and may not be suitable for new users at this time.

Happy holidays!

  • Life

Christmas Pics

Yay picture time omgomgomg!!

Ok, so I get up all early to go have “brunch” with my family at home. There was like noone on the turnpike, which made getting there easy. Anyway, my parents got one of those new fiber-optic trees. It looks kinda pretty, but I still don’t like the laziness factor. Anyway, here’s a pic of my cat in front of the tree:

So we do the whole brunch thing, I had a bagel. They had cream cheese with lox already in it, again with the lazy… anyway, it was good, some people I didn’t know came over, as did my mom’s boyfriend and his kids.

We opened our presents, I got money from my mom and my grandma, so now I can pay rent! Yay! My sister got me an Iron Chef calendar, which r0x0rz times ten. I also got a new toothbrush, and a little FM radio w/ builtin flashlight. My sister got a Brak sing-along radio, which was pretty cool.

Afterwards, I had to go to cranbury to help a lady with her computer. It was just little things like “why does this happen?” “because it’s microsoft” kinds of things, and plugging in her scanner and stuff.

Next, I was off to Brian’s. He got the same phone I did (he’s such a drone…) and we played around with our phones for a while (we’re such geeks). Anyway, here’s a pic of Brian trying to get a picture of his dog:

Aren’t they cute? Afterwards, I came back to newark exhausted (getting up at 9am! crazyness I tell you!) and collapse on my bed.

I wake up the next morning to someone hammering. I was dreaming about looking for a job in Newark, but the scenery was all pretty, unlike the real newark. We were riding in a maglev (or some other kind of raised-track) train around the city, and I spotted a place I hadn’t applied to yet, so I got off at the next station. I was apparently supposed to show the security guard my ticket but I forgot, so he chased me down, and took me to his supervisor’s office. because the whole train thing was raised, the building was up high, and the view from the supervisor’s office was so pretty. I could see my apartment building, and lots of other tall towers, and the ground was a red cobblestone kind of thing with gardens in it. Perhaps I’ll break out Bryce3D sometime and do a mockup, it was very nice. It was at this point that I was rudely awaken at 9:30AM. So I drag myself to my computer and check my IMs and notice that sohail has been desperatly trying to contact me, ’cause his server got hacked and he’s stuck.

So I drag myself back down to East Windsor again, on the condition that he give me money for gas. Now, most of you haven’t seen what I’m like when I don’t get enough sleep, but Jay has, and he can verify that I’m a little “weird” to say the least. So, while we’re trying to reinstall the OS on his server, I’m looking through everything on all his bookshelves. One of the things I found was a book (duh!):

Now, this isn’t just an ordinary book. From the cover, which has farsi on it, you’d think that the whole book was written in Farsi, right? Wrong!

It’s completly in english! I thought this was the funniest thing ever, probably because of the lack of sleep.

I also found a disk for MS-DOS, and a picture of the AOL running man:

After that, I found a cd that was labeled in yellow highlighter on white paper:

I asked sohail, “Why would someone use yellow highlighter on white paper?” and his reply was “Because she’s pregnant”. That was funnier than the book.

After failing miserably with his server (the disk head crashed or melted or something else equally unhealthy for a harddrive) we went to Scotto’s Risteronte Italiano, which is my uber-favorite pizza place in east windsor. On the way in, I noticed that Wang Labs, which has a building at the intersection of 571 and old trenton rd., has moved into the twin rivers shopping center, and has a huge sign up that says “WANG”. Sadly it was a back-lit sign and the contrast was too much for my phone, so I couldn’t get a good shot. Sohail promised to get a picture with his digital camera at some point for me, but I felt I had to share this important piece of information now, because it says “wang”.

Ok, so I finally finish up with sohail, and Brian invites me to spend the night at his place ’cause I’m really tired and probably wouldn’t make it back to Newark in once piece. So Brian, Caroline, Stephi (sorry if I misspelled it, she’s foreign), and I watched Pirates of the Carribean and went to sleep. Yet again, I’m rudely awaken by Brian’s mom kicking me! She thought I was brian, and she wanted him to be awake and spend time with his family that decided to visit that morning.

After several more rude awakenings by members of Brian’s family (no more kicks, thankfully), Brian and I got up so we could go ride his family’s ATVs. Many of you are not familiar with the ruralness of East Windsor, but we have plenty of forest, and apparently straight people have fun by riding around in them really fast. It was fun, but it was also very wet and muddy. Since my pants were all muddy and eww, Brian gave me a pair of his jeans to wear. I guess Jay’s right, it really is easy to get into Brian’s pants πŸ˜› Anyway, I’m surprised the fit since he’s much skinnier than me, but they did and all was well again. By then, Caroline and Stephi had woken up and cleaned Brian’s room for him (so that’s what female friends are for! We should get some for our apartment, too!), we all talked for a while, got food, and went to the mall. It was boring, so I wont go into it. We got back and raided brian’s fridge. I ate almost all of their ham, and Caroline made me chicken parmesan with these frozen chicken patty things + american cheese (again, we need a chixx0r friend). It was good. We talked more, played with the dog, and I came home. Yay, Christmas is over!! gg no re, Santa!

DreamZZT 3.0.31226

After almost two years of hibernation, I’m proud to announce the first new release of DreamZZT! Head on over to the DreamZZT section and check out DreamZZT 3.0.31226!

  • Life

Happy Holidays

Well, I missed out on decorating the family christmas tree this year, so I decorated my website instead. Drawing a candy cane pixel-by-pixel is almost as fun as untangling lights! Happy holidays!

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