At College Again Waiting for my Lecture to Start

I’m sat in the coffee shop again, getting ready for yet another HCI lecture.

This is most definitely not my favourite module. In fact I’m struggling to work out which module would get that honour.

Unlike some of the other contenders for the worst, there’s little wrong with the course or the lecturer it just doesn’t make me feel good, as it’s just too wishy-washy. There isn’t any tangible thing which I need to do/know, its just some airy fairy concepts I need to apply.

I may be getting somewhere with the HCI website assignment, but that means I’ve had to leave the project stuff for now. If I can finish the website and the write up this week then I should be able to move on next week.

Today I’ve been Moodling all day. I managed to upload all of the students onto the site and I’m just working on a script to massage the SIMS output into the correct format. It’s lecture time.

Joy.
 

Not Quite as Useless This Time

Well it’s only been five and a half months this time. I’m currently up to my eyes in it with college work. In the next month and a bit I have…

1. A Project Management review to do, with respect to my Final Year Project.

2. An Interim Research Project to write, again for my Final Year Project.

3. A concept map for the whole of my HCI course.

4. A website to design and implement (without the actual functionality) for the HCI course.

5. The exam for HCI. Unfortunately I haven’t known where to start with the Website design until this evenings lecture. Although I have a bit more now, Jackson Structured Diagrams et al.

Time to go back now.
 

Even More Useless Than Previously Mentioned

Yet again, how useless am I? I’m actually typing this entry on my phone, maybe if I use my phone I might manage to keep up-to-date more.

I’m currently off work with a stinking cold that shows no sign of disappearing soon. I’ve finished one assignment for College whilst I’ve been off, and I was trying to get on with my Advanced Databases one but I’ve had problems today.

I thought I’d managed to install Oracle 9i and Oracle Forms 6i and got them to talk to each other. So I set up a user, and started creating tables and constraints in SQL*/Plus. Then when I tried to connect using the user I set up using Forms Builder, I get an error message about invalid username and password. So then I log in to SQL*/Plus using scott/tiger run the scripts to set up the Db and constraints, then I log out of SQL*/Plus log in as scott/tiger in Forms Builder and discover that I can’t see the tables I just created only the example, default tables. I went backwards and forwards a few times (think 2 hours) but got nowhere, so I’ve uninstalled both of them and reinstalled Forms 6i. On the grounds that they’re obviously not seeing the same database.

Now I’m going to try just using SQL*/Plus 8, which Forms installed but first I need to reconfigure the listeners etc so that I can actually log in.
 

I’m Useless At Keeping A Blog

Six months and yet again I’ve not really posted.

I am however busier than ever.

I’m currently:

1. Teaching full time.
2. Writing a database program in Visual C++.net to store test results for all of our classes.
3. Doing the School website from scratch with a bit of PHP.
4. Setting up the School Moodle site.
5. Looking after my son who will soon be 2 1/2.
6. Finishing my last year and a half of my part time degree in computing.
7. Barely having time to eat, drink and sleep.
8. Last week I took 750 odd photos for Sports Day, lots of which came out really well.
9. I’ve just downloaded and am trying out akelos to see if I can use it to help generate the site at work.

Time to sleep I think.

Bye for now. See you in another six months :-p

Even Longer This Time?

Yet again I can’t believe it’s been this long since I posted anything. I’m still doing my part-time degree at Bolton, including the current Semester I’ve got two years left to do so it finally feels like I’m getting somewhere.

Since my last post I’ve moved job, so I’m now teaching at K’s school, much nicer kids, much better management (not that I’m biased or anything) and just a general feeling of niceness most of the time as opposed to the stress inducing horror that my last place was becoming. This time next week I’ll be getting drunk at the Maths Conference again, with Paula, excellent!!!

The course is going well, still totally on the way to a First, although this Semester’s Courses may scupper that. Software Engineering isn’t bad, the Assignment is very doable, but it’s group work, and you just never know if someone’s going to let you down. I also have to give a Seminar as part of the assessment on one of a number of papers we’ve been given (mine’s to do with Test Driven Development), a bit of a busman’s holiday really for me. On Monday we’ve to participate in a Seminar given by AC and grade him using the criteria we’re going to be using in the actual sessions.

I’ve just realised that I actually need to sort out my Seminar this week as I’m delivering it a week on Monday and I’m away next Friday-Saturday at the Maths conference. Unfortunately my other module this Semester is Professional Issues in Computing which seems to be one of those amorphous courses with nothing to get your teeth into, just a series of one off lectures which we have to write reports on and and submit. Plus another presentation, this time as a group (me, John C and Phil) on RFID.

For myself I’ve been playing with Common Lisp, it was just about starting to make sense, but I’ve got no time to carry on playing so I’ll have to save that for the summer, along with sorting out a data entry system for TestAnalyser2. I also started thinking about what I’m going to do for my "Final Year" project, there are various things on the list related to GCSE Maths, plus a SIMS-alike system, and various Mathematical goodies (but with Gerard). At the moment I’m thinking along the lines of the GCSE Maths ones (it suggests using openGL although I might look to temper that with something like Qt4 or SDL) but I’ve still got another 12 months before I need to be starting that. But if I am doing something with that then that’s another thing I can be playing with over the summer. Other possibilities for my project are to come up with something myself along the lines of a computerized mark book/planner (think TPIM in Visual C++.net 2005 Edition), or possibly the Mental Test Generator I was thinking of the other year.

Things I want to do:

Learn Common Lisp more thoroughly to the extent where I can produce something usable in it.

Learn C# (maybe Mono) and write some stuff in it.

Write the Test Database thing for School either in VC++.net 2005 or C#, connecting to an Access Database or an SQLite one. (The project we’re doing for Software Engineering should be useful as it’s quite similar in nature)

Write some form of Interactive Whiteboard/display tool so that I don’t have to use Lynx anymore. I’m getting a Clever Board in my classroom at Easter apparently so I could do with having a go at this over the sunmmer if I don’t want to be driven mad by Sahara Lynx constantly crashing.

Write a Tetris clone using SDL.

Write a Planner program using SQLite.

Even if I don’t end up doing any of the above projects, there were still plenty of others to whet my fancy.

I’ve still to do Networking and Visual Programming 2 from my Level 2s, plus I want to do Advanced Databases and OOM2 at Level 3 although OOM2 only runs occasionally and knowing my luck they’ll have moved it to Java.

Anyway I’m going to go now.

Bye

Wow, has it been that long since I last posted?

I can’t believe its been so long since I actually made a post here. Admittedly I’ve been a bit busy what with having a baby son, doing a part time degree and being a full time Maths Teacher. So basically I’ve been flat out at it for the last year apart from all of those hours spent playing Call Of Duty 2 Multiplayer games. My son is growing up fast, he’s walking and almost talking now, soon he’ll be learning to program whether he wants to or not :-p . I’ve resigned from my current job and finish next week (although they still pay me until the end of August) and I start at a new school in September. Plus after 2 years of my part time degree I’ve still yet to get a mark lower than 70%!!! 😀 If my head gets any bigger I won’t be able to get out of the door to get another beer.

I’ve been playing with Visual C++.net 2005 Express Edition for the last 6 months or so and have managed to write at least one program I’ve used in a classroom. But I was playing with it as a front end to a MySQL database to use as a Markbook/Planner for work (MySQL may be a slight case of overkill for something like this) and I tried to define some default parameters for a constructor and it threw a wobbler refusing to compile. Apparently default parameters are not allowed in managed reference classes(?) or something like that. So as I’ve to hand in my laptop at work and I’ll have only my Linux Laptop with me over the summer I thought I’d play with Qt again. To be specific Qt4 which I can also use for windows. I think that I’m going to try and get my head round the new way you go about getting "base" and "implementation" files sorted. Then I might try and write it up so that I’ve got it here! I might also describe what I’ve had to do to get KDevelop and Qt4 playing nicely with Slackware-Current (which is some derivative of the 10.2 version).

Or alternatively I might do none of these things and instead just not post again for another year. :-p

Anyway I need to go and wake up Karen.

Cheers
Amos

So Tired

Have been incredibly busy over the last two weeks. So haven’t posted for ages. First of all, it was my birthday on the 28th of April, so I got lots of nice presents etc. Then on the 29th I went to the Water Park, an Activity Centre at the Southern tip of Coniston, where we did various things like Ghyll scrambling:
then we canoed out to an island and did a bit of clambering round on the rocks:

On the Sunday we went scrambling and hill walking near Old Man of Coniston, and then came home. I spent most of last week in a knackered haze and didn’t start coming round until the weekend when I got lots of sleep.

I’ve picked up a copy of SELECT SSADM Case tool from college so that I can do my Information Systems Assignment this weekend from home (it was only a fiver), as the weekend after its Spud’s christening and we’ll be rammed with relatives and friends all weekend long, not actually very conducive to study.

Have decided to have a new type of entry entitled “coding” as part of the blog so that I can keep the other bits separate.

See you.

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.
 

Hello

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

Cheers

Amos