ZAAAAAAAARQUON. My third year computing project is taking me for EVER. I've been working flat out for about the last week and a half and I managed to polish off another 8-unit project, which makes 16 in total of the 30 I need to submit for best results. It's due in on the 5th of May and I have the date marked on my calendar. Can I do the remaining work in time? Probably. Hopefully. It'll be a close thing though. And stressful, I dare say.

The main reason computing projects seem to take so long is that they are completed entirely in your "spare time", instead of during designated lectures or supervisions or in preparation for said supervisions. I don't know whether the amount of work and time you put in is disproportionately large compared to the amount of marks you get towards your final grade, but it certainly seems like an awful lot of work for very little payoff.

This is not to mention the software you end up using. Have you ever actually tried to USE LaTeX? Seriously? Marking up pages in LaTeX is relatively straightforward, if you can FIND the information you want on the web, but getting that markup converted to a legible page of maths? It's an nightmare! You need like four different programs, and you have to use command lines, and all sorts of gibberish. This is not to mention how stupidly hard it is to find any information which actually TELLS you any of this. There are a thousand different programs which all work differently - so any information you can find on the web is instantly in contradiction of other information elsewhere. The entire system is broken, I tell you. Why can't you just have a page of markup on the left, and a page of output, on the right - or maybe in two different windows - and every time you change the markup, just hit Refresh to see the new output? Is that really so hard? Evidently yes. I can't find a single, simple installable executable which does this.

This point I'm at now is the hardest part of a computing project, really - I've finished one of the sub-projects, done and dusted, and now I have to start all over again from scratch and do it all again. And at least once more before the due date. It's a pretty miserable feeling to be honest.


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