Monthly Archives: februarie 2008

CS Faculty Review: The School

Posted by on februarie 15, 2008
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I start my look back on my years at UPB by looking at how the main campus (the one between Regie and Iuliu Maniu) has changed from 2003.

When I first entered the campus (in February 2003) it seemed like a huge, abandoned city to me. The new library building looked as is if it was just started, the roads were full of potholes and there was nobody around. 😀 I later found out that the lack of people was caused by the exams, but at that time it was pretty scary.

I entered by the lower gate (near the Dâmboviţa river) and I had to work my way to the other side of the campus, were my future faculty was. There were some signs at every crossroads, but they were so vague they turned out to be an annoyance rather than helpful.

The first image of the faculty that I remember is pretty much like this one. As i neared the buildings, though, i started to see the signs of time on the building – rusty window profiles, broken windows, etc.

Later on that year, I had the opportunity to see the interiors. Not too impressive for a future student, I must say. Old paint jobs, water leaking from the roof of the top floor, broken chairs, blackboards that looked like they were bombarded with chalk, etc. All that hasn’t put me down and I soon became a student at the faculty I’ve always wanted to study at. 😀

Unfortunately, that was like opening Pandora’s box. I soon discovered that the much publicized labs were only used by students in their last year or by teachers. For newbies, there were some leftovers – Pentium 1 computers with as little as 16MB of RAM. The bottom of the pit was in the second year when we had an assembler lab that was made out of 286 IBM PC’s. Yes, that kind of stuff (minus the color screen). They didn’t even had they’re own hard-disks, but were just terminals connected to a mainframe computer. State of the art technology… from 20 years ago.

So has all this changed? Well, some of it has. The buildings are slowly being renovated. Unfortunately, the well-known habit of handing over the works to relatives of the men in charge of the projects has taken its toll: the roof of some newly painted labs is leaking, the linoleum has already peeled off, and so on.

However, there are now 2 course halls fitted with projectors, and the doorman has another one to be used in the other halls. The „minimum” requirements for a computer has (apparently) gone up to 64MB of RAM. Impressive compared with that old 286. 😛

Some expenses are less than useful: the faculty had 2 LCD TVs installed last year, and 2 more this year. To what purpose? They only showed informations that you could easily get from the website. After some break-ins last year, there was a new security system installed. Too bad it was installed to the dean’s office and not the labs. Perhaps some people were concerned they might loose their Solitaire high-scores, who knows? 😀

And because I mentioned the new library building, I must admit I was partially wrong about it – in the first year, I said it still won’t have walls when I would finish the faculty. Well, it now has walls and a roof. Actually, it seems pretty much done on the outside, probably needs some finishing touches on the interior.

Another thing that HAS changed about the campus are the cars – like everywhere in the city, there are a lot of cars, slowly taking over the green space. The solution? Put a barrier in the middle of the campus and don’t let anyone pass except the teachers. That was probably the dumbest idea I’ve seen in this University.

So, how much longer until we’ll (or rather you’ll) have a decent campus? I don’t know. I hope for the best, but expect something much worse. 🙂

CS Faculty Reviews

Posted by on februarie 11, 2008
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I just passed my last exam in the Computer Science Faculty of the Politehnica University of Bucharest. Inspired by Vlad, add and this thread on the Softpedia Forum, I decided to write about the last 5 years of my life. I divided my story in 4 parts; each part will appear on Friday evening (hopefully).

The 4 parts are (I’ll put the links as I write the articles):


Posted by on februarie 07, 2008
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N-am prins chiar tot ce vedeţi acolo, dar oricum mă simt 🙂

CoderTricks is now dead. Well, kindof…

Posted by on februarie 05, 2008
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Because of the lack of subjects and time, I decided to close one of my blogs, CoderTricks. The few of you that used to read it need not worry, you can find the posts on this blog, in the Programming category. Many thanks to DragoÅŸ, his articles were the most successful of the whole site.

One day Trip: Ploieşti

Posted by on februarie 05, 2008
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Versiunea română aici.

The Road

Ploieşti is just 60 km away from Bucureşti on DN1 (E60). The road is excellent. Depending on how crowded the road is, the trip should take between 45 minutes and an hour. If you choose to go by train, there are regular services (about half an hour to an hour apart). The trip takes 35 minutes with Rapid.



There are many restaurants in the city, each one has it’s specific food, but none of them stands out with something special.



There was one museum in particular that I remembered well – the Clock Museum which I had visited in a field trip with my primary school. My guide (which happened to be one of my colleagues) made me discover The County Museum and Halele (the old market), as well as the North Station, a railway station and historic monument.

I apologize for the quality of the photos, the light was fading and I lack a tripod.
Muzeul CeasuluiHalele PloiestiMuzeul CeasuluiGara de Nord, Ploiesti



If you don’t like Ploieşti or you finished visiting too early, you can try Vălenii de Munte or Târgovişte. They’re very close to each other and to Bucharest, so you don’t have to worry about transportation.