A Very Busy Week

I’ve had a reasonable week I suppose, lots of work plus college 2 nights. I may even get around to becoming the Union Rep at work next week. I’ve been thinking about writing a program that I might even one day be able to sell. Basically it would generate Mental Arithmetic Tests (like the current KS3 ones) either at random or according to some user entered criteria. It would generate 4 files for each run:-

The audio file.
The pupils’ answer paper.
The teacher’s answer paper.
A transcript of the test questions.

I think the second part will be quite difficult. As will any actually generating the questions.

For my Information Systems module, we’ve received the second assignment. It involves using something called SSADM tools to analyse a business, and produce a simple database. I couldn’t actually decide if he wanted us to use a specific tool to generate our diagrams or whether we can just do it from scratch.

Got to go, will write about this in more detail tomorrow.

Programming Course

All afternoon on Sunday and from 2.30 until 11pm yesterday I was working on two C++ programs for my course. I went to college this evening only to find the lecture cancelled because the lecturer was off ill. What a pain that was, basically I could have taken my time and handed them in next week and all would have been fine.

It does mean that I’ll be able to rework part of the first program which traps and deals with errors in the input(this is only a first year programming course so we haven’t got on to anything complicated like exception handling yet). But its still a pain having worked so hard on it in such a short space of time to suddenly find that it didn’t have to be done until next week after all.

I have handed in the other Assignment on Access.

Night, night.

Access 2003 Database

I spent all day yesterday completing an Assignment for my course using Access 2003, what a pain it is to use! I’ve used most of the other common elements of Microsoft Office on a fairly regular basis, but until I started this module I’d had no reason to try Access.

The Help files are awful, they tell you next to nothing about how to do stuff its all “Function X has failed to work because Gizmo Y is not Z, please make Y have Z before trying to use X” (ok that may be a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean). Generating Reports was a pain, there doesn’t seem to be a way of saving the Report in the format its generated in, every time you open what appears to be a saved Report it regenerates the contents on the fly wiping anything you’d tried to save.

Trying to make anything but the simplest of Reports is a nightmare, the formatting (lines etc) are awful working out whether the data you’re going to show is Left Aligned, Centered or Right Aligned isn’t obvious. Text Boxes and Labels which are LINKED aren’t aligned properly! It reminded me of all of the bad things about early versions of Windows and other systems like the Amiga, where simple things were hard to do, for god’s sake how hard is it to draw a horizontal line?

Anyway rant over, today I’ve got another asignment to do, this ones in C++ and I’m using Visual C++.net 2003 version which is an example of how to do something reasonably right (it’s a damn site more intuitive to use than Access).

Time to go, as I need to get cracking, its due in on Tuesday so it might be worth actually starting it.



Some basic details about myself.

Amos is not my real name.

I’m a Maths Teacher in Manchester, UK.

I got married last summer to Karen.

We had a baby boy (Connor) at the start of February, here’s a picture:

I’m currently studying part-time for a degree in Computing from the University Of Bolton.

Music playing: Tank by Asian Dub Foundation

Computing Book: Professional C++ by Nicholas Solter & Scott Kleper

Non-fiction Book: Rifles by Mark Urban

Fiction Book: The Confusion by Neal Stephenson