Tag Archives: birthday

Thank you


Thank you…

Blogging every year on my birthday has become a bit of a tradition (last year being the exception). I think it’s just about the only time I actually blog – something I have to change this over the coming year. This past year has been a bit of a whirlwind but I think the theme of the past year has been the support from all the amazing people around me. So this time I am going to do something a little different. Instead of a list of things I achieved, I am going to pay tribute to all the people who have supported me during the past year.

There were many bumps in the road during my last few months at Bristol. My late-grandfather fell really ill sometime in early 2012 and his health deteriorated steadily until his passing on 3 June 2012. Bristol were very supportive throughout and were kind enough to allow me to defer 2 papers so I could attend the funeral. Once again, a big thank you to Dr. Walterio Mayol-Cuevas and everyone at the Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol.

As I mentioned, my late-grandfather passed away in June 2012. At times like these you tend to regret living 10,000 miles away from home. Thankfully I have amazing friends who dropped everything that they were doing and travelled back to Kajang to support me and my family through that rough patch. Even though we see each less and less as the years go by, I think we are probably closer now than we ever were. So cheers guys, for all the support over the years.

In the midst of all this I somehow managed to gain admission to the MSc Machine Learning at UCL. The admissions process got very messy as I wanted to start in October 2012 but didn’t get my final transcript until late September 2012. It was literally touch-and-go but I definitely would not have been able to start my masters this year if not for the amazing staff at UCL who went out of their way to help me enrol in time.

Then there’s the masters itself. The past 8 months have been the longest of my life! Or it would have been if not for the amazing people doing the MSc alongside me at UCL. We somehow pulled each other through the seemingly endless stream of coursework (and then exams) to get through two semesters at UCL. Here’s to more of the same during final semester…perhaps without the all-nighters this time!

And finally, my family. The past year has been tough for all of us but you have never failed to be there for me throughout with moral support and lots of prayers. I think the greatest sacrifice on your part was putting up with my absence over the past few months, all the missed family dinners and other events. I haven’t yet reached the finish line but I wouldn’t have got this far without you.

I know I am extremely blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people. At every bump in the road, there has been someone amazing who has stepped in to support me, to lift me back up and help me carry on. For that, I am truly grateful.

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Gonna keep it short and sweet this time (cos I have an exam tomorrow!). Here’s a list of things I’ve managed to do since my 21st birthday…

  1. Grown my hair out. I never realised how curly my hair is, probably cos it is usually always very short. I’ve got a mini-afro thing going on now and I kinda like it 🙂
  2. Did a marketing internship at Fujitsu (Malaysia) last summer and I really enjoyed it. It was outside my comfort zone but I guess that’s part of the reason I took it in the first place.
  3. Applied for internships for this summer but wasn’t really successful at first. Got rejected by Bloomberg after the worst interview of my life (worst in the sense I’ve never done so badly in an interview) but I managed to get one at Parker Hannifin (UK) for this summer (yay!)
  4. Switched to a Mac. Got quite fed-up with my Compaq and I wanted something that is Unix-based but could still perform very well so it was a no-brainer really. Ubuntu was good but I probably spent less time working on it and more time getting it working!!!

No new theme this time cos I’ve been quite busy with the exams but if I find a new one that’s better than the current one I’ll update.


21st trip around the sun

…and so another year of my life goes by on this little rock we call Earth. It’s been a tough year but I did achieve a lot of things.

  1. First, and probably most importantly, I made it into the University of Bristol to study Computer Science. Not that I had any doubts but still it’s kind of a relief to finally be here.
  2. I dumped Windows Vista!!! Not as important or hard to do as the previous one (especially given what a great job Microsoft did with it!) but Compaq (or HP rather) sure as hell didn’t make it easy to switch.
  3. I have gone Open Source. After years of putting it off I finally decided, with the help of Vista, to switch over to Ubuntu. Not the best Linux distro out there but hey, it’s a start.
  4. I grew a box beard. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while and finally did it last year. It didn’t last very long though. I had to get rid of it before I flew back for Christmas.
  5. I went to see Manchester United vs Everton in the English Premier League at Old Trafford with Shaun and GaPs.
  6. I took 6 whole months (Nov 2009 – April 2010) off all forms of sport to let my knee heal properly, something which I should have done 2 years ago although I still don’t know what the hell was wrong with it in the first place!
  7. I’m 21 years old! Not really an achievement but now I don’t have to worry about age limits for clubs and pubs any more and THAT is something 😀

Not a very impressive list but all relatively important to me. So kudos to everyone who helped me through this year, both family and friends. I couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to another 21 years of excitement…but hopefully with a lot less drama. I think I have had enough of that to last me a lifetime!!! Oh and of course, to mark another birthday, a new design for the site. Hope you like it!

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Joe Jacobs v20

Another year, another birthday…

To mark my turning another year older (and unfortunately another year bigger as well..literally) I’ve decided to give the blog a little redesign. The design was getting a bit too blue for my liking so I thought something a little brighter this time would be nice. I was going to call this post Joe Jacobs v2.0 but then I realised that I’ve probably redesigned this site about 20 times so version 20 is probably not that far off. So time to come out of your RSS readers guys! Here’s a little glimpse for those of you who are just too lazy 😉

Joe Jacobs 19 vs Joe Jacobs 20

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