Sunday, August 24, 2008


I've completed my first week of classes, which went fairly well aside from having one helluva panic attack in my Thursday night class. Thankfully, I'm doing a bit better now - I think I was just surprised about being essentially the least qualified of my classmates with regards to past work experience in technical and web development.

Unfortunately, I also found out late Thursday that there were six books I needed to purchase for that class - the teacher did not send the syllabus beforehand, so I was not able to order them before the class. I also was not able to go to the bookstore after class - it closed at 9, and the class let out at 9:15. Grrrr.

On Friday, I priced out the books at the store. Of the 6, only 4 were sold at the store, for a cost of $215. Blech.

Just so you know, here are the six books:

  • Web Application Architecture: Principles, Protocols and Practices
  • Ajax in Action
  • Core Servlets and Java Server Pages Volume 2: Advanced Technologies
  • Web Engineering
  • Internet and World Wide Web Programming
  • Build Your Own ASP.NET Website
That's going to be a lot of reading. But that wasn't the scary part.

Tee scary part was that, coming into the class, it was expected that we would already know:
  • the syntax of Java and J2EE OR any Microsoft .NET Object Oriented software development languages (C++, C#, VB.NET)
Now, I've done HTML programming and webpage building, but the last time I took a programming class in school was 1997, with C and C++. So, I'll have a lot of catching up to do over the first couple of weeks.

After sleeping on it a bit, and talking with the professor, I decided to keep the course. If it does work out, then I'll have gained a huge new array of skills that can be used in a lot of new career possibilities. So, I decided to keep the course.

So, I went to Amazon, and was able to find all six books for about $140. Much better than the bookstore's prices.

Now, I've said previously that I've been playing less poker. I had rakeback on Full Tilt Poker through Poker Source Online, and had a balance sitting in there which I didn't feel like rolling back in to play more poker - as I've been cutting down on online play.

So, thank you to rakeback and referrals for covering the cost of books for this extremely important semester which will either confirm my complete career change or force me to re-examine this choice of concentration.

As for my other two courses, neither requires a bookstore extortion. All I needed to get were notebooks, folders, and other small items. No $140 textbooks this term, thankfully, as many of us students have been clobbered with in the past.

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