James Cassell's Blog

Sunday, July 16, 2006

NYLF/tech Day 8 (evening)

My group's Future Solutions project didn't make it to the finals. One group's in my Tech Talk did make it to finals, but the final winner hasn't yet been announced. They finally opened up the Network Security Challenge Lab, and I finished all the challenges. At one point I was third on the list, but I sank as people with bonus points were higher on it than I was. I did have a lot of assistance on one challenge called Tantalus. It took some work on my part also, but I eventually solved it.

When we were in Tech Talk this evening, my FA (Faculty Advisor) told us that there will be no more NYLF/tech. He said that it was because the enrollment shrank. Last year, they had 1800 students, and this year, they only had 1200. They wish the enrollment to rise each year. My FA says that he doesn't think they will ever have a NYLF/tech forum again. It makes me sad because I would really enjoy coming back and doing it again as an alumnus. The idea was put out to start a petition to have NYLF/tech again, but its success is very doubtful. :(


NYLF/tech Day 8

I go home tomorrow. It is sad, but I have had a generally good week. I went to several seminars, and listened to speeches by people who work in the technology industry. Meal times have been the only free time, but there is always at least an hour for every meal. During my free time, I have been doing challenges in the Network Security Challenge Lab. The computers have a version of Ubuntu, a variation of Linux. I have almost no experience with Linux except for doing SSH to my web server. I have learned much that I didn't know about Linux, and even made it onto the "Wall of Fame" which shows the top 15 people in terms of score. I would be in that lab right now, except that they aren't allowing anyone to enter. I hope they open it again because there are a few challenges that I haven't figured out yet. I have been working on them for several days.

My group has been working on a Future Solutions project over the week, which consisted of taking a problem and attempting to solve it with technology. My group was initially split between Airport Security and Voting. When we took a vote, Airport Security won, but I and another teammate convinced the others to go with Voting. We came up with a solution that involved using touch screen terminals for people to vote on, and a thumbprint scanner to identify that no one votes twice. We had several servers, and a central server that published the election results on the web. We just finished presenting to the judges, but won't find out if we made it into finals until 1:30 or 2:00 this afternoon. Right now, I am attempting to entertain myself with my laptop plugged in right outside of the Network Security Challenge Lab. I'm wishing that they would open it up so that I can work on the challenges. I'll try to, if I have time post if my group made it into the finals.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

NYLF/tech Day 1

Today, I am in San Jose, California, known by some to be capital of Silicon Valley. I am here for the National Youth Leadership Forum on Technology. It is explained best on the NYLF/tech website, but I will try to briefly explain it here. Basically, it is a Forum where students come to learn about technology, and meet industry leaders. There was a pre-registration for which sites we wanted to visit and other things, and it was on a first-come first-served basis. I was there the moment it opened, but they sent me the wrong password in the email, and I didn't get to register until today, and most of the things were full. So far, I have met my roommate, and may have another who hasn't shown up yet. We are at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. I slept for about an hour or so in my room, and missed some of the afternoon's events such as the University Fair, and the Curriculum Review. I hope those weren't too important, though I was told that I should attend the Curriculum Review.