01 Dec 2005

tales of being dirty, bike-challenged and leeching from recruiters

been a bit slow on the update side because i've just been pretty busy. that itself isn't a bad thing because it means i know what i'm doing and i'm just needing to spend time doing it.

things that have happened in real life that is worth taking note:

1. the shower hose in my house broke ...

... so i haven't had a proper shower for a couple of days. normally this wouldn't be much of a problem except our landlord has some fancy (and maybe foreign) shower system that has an odd sized outlet. all the shower hoses in uk seem to be a 1/2" outlet, but this one is a 3/4" outlet. i've been to all sorts of hardware stores and plumbing shops and still haven't found the right one. but i'm going to try ridgeons in cambridge tomorrow on the advice of a carpenter (hahaha) and a really tall guy in the lab. (btw, damn those brits are all tall -- so why the hell did they invent the mini?)

anyway, i've resorted to taking showers in the lab, which is great because i like wasting other people's hot water -- and i actually found you become more awake after you take a shower, increasing productivity greatly!

2. my bike has started to die ...

..on me since the sub zero temperatures started hitting cambridge. so right now i'm just using patricia's bike until i give in and get it fixed, or buy my house mate's bike. things that are wrong with it? my front brakes have given up and fallen off (literally), my gear thingy is stuck to the back wheel so it will not disengage when it stop pedaling and the back wheel is still moving.

3. there was a recruitment fair in the computer lab today.

i managed to snag a few goodies. heaps of ibanks there on display (no, they are not mac related banks, thank you very much), and the only place i would work for if i really was desperate to work at an ibank is morgan stanley. why? because they had the best swag in their tree-hating paper laden recruitment brochure: 5 free uk itunes music store songs. yeah baby! these guys get it. no need for any bloody mugs or pens which seemed to be the staple freebies, but proper things that poor students would die to get.

i went around asking basically three questions to each of the recruiters, 1. how well do you pay?, 2. do you have special programs for phd graduates and 3. is there a chance to transfer to other countries in your multi-national firm? most of them except for goldman sachs and morgan stanley seem to say no to 3. not many except for tech companies had anything that would satisfy 2 and no one would answer question 1 properly.

just to reassure everyone, i'm not going to work for an ibank unless they start giving away powerbooks at these fairs. altera did quite well with having some sort of raffle for an ipod mini nano. broadcom was there today claiming that they made the chip that does video decoding for the ipod video, but they wouldn't even let me touch the ipod video. sony apparently has three development labs for playstation games in uk, one of them is actually in cambridge.

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