spudtater: (Default)
( Jun. 10th, 2008 12:42 pm)
Just survived an MSc viva (defense of my dissertation). It went well. Managed to give sufficiently knowledgeable-sounding answers to each of the questions, and at the end I was informed that while the exact mark still had to be ironed out, it would definitely be a distinction. As I did fairly well on the coursework/exams, this means that I will have a distinction overall for my MSc.

*Happy happy happy happy dance*

This also means that I am officially no longer a filthy layabout student.

[livejournal.com profile] galaxy_girl00 has bought me an appropriate T-shirt, which I can now feel justified in wearing.

*Happy happy happy happy dance*

From the Cisco network security material:

The group-object command is used to construct hierarchical, or nested, object groups. The group-object command, which is not to be confused with the object-group command, places one object group into another.

The difference in object groups and group objects is as follows:

  • An object group is group consisting of objects.
  • A group object is an object in a nested group and is itself a group.

If they hadn't written those paragraphs, I would actually be less confused.   8^P

"I'm not going to hand back your assignments yet, because then you'll spend all lecture reading through them rather than paying attention. I know this very well, as I've been doing this job for twenty-five... thirty... thirty-fi... oh my God!"
  1. Have been battling meeces recently. Like any Edinburgh tenement, the place is full of holes that mice can get through. I went to B&Q to buy expanding foam, but an employee advised me that mice just get a taste for that and chew through it. So, as per his advice, I've been stuffing holes with wire wool instead. (It is a well-known fact that sheep that give us wire wool have no natural enemies.)
  2. It struck me this morning that, presumably, Richard Dawkins has a godparent. Worst. Failure. Ever.   8^)
  3. I've just been told by my MSc dissertation supervisor that there is the possibility of getting access to a Lego Mindstorms kit, with a Java interpreter installed on the brain brick. It seems my Braitenberg vehicles project might not end up being purely simulated after all...

Excerpt from the assignment given as part of the "server-side programming" module:

If the username and password are not correct, open a window, displaying “The login failed!”. Also display whether username or password is incorrect.

To all non-programmers on my friends list: can you figure out why this would be a bad and wrong thing to do?   8^]

spudtater: (Default)
( Mar. 15th, 2007 10:02 pm)
Yesterday I managed to laze around all bloody day, which was not impressive. And consequently I woke up this morning with a mixture of dread, guilt and good old-fashioned stress.

However, today I have been working at university from 9:00 to 6:00 (no lectures, just programming.) I also cooked dinner (home-made burgers, and rather tasty if I do say so myself), made muffin mix for tomorrow, hung out all the washing, and checked the appointments page of the newspaper for jobs (there were none). In fact, this is pretty much the first time today I've been able to slack off, so I think I bloody well deserve it, for a change.

My life seems to go in cycles, from (balanced workload) -> (slacking) -> (working like a maniac).

Here's hoping that I'll eventually learn how to stay in the first of those stages!   8^P

Via [livejournal.com profile] brucec.

A 1986 promotional video shown to prospective students of the Computer Science department of Edinburgh University. Worth watching for a bit of giggling about old tech.

  • "...with gateways to other networks in the UK, Europe and beyond!"
  • Computer science seemed to be all about solder in those days. (Could be worse; could be vacuum tubes.)
  • I like plotters. Far cooler than printers.
  • No disrespect, but is it really wise to be punching a hole in that wire when it's lying on your knee?
  • I call it an "ethernet".
  • Look at the refresh rate on that screen of text! Stunning.
  • EdUni people will notice that the shop in the King's Buildings Centre appears to have not changed its layout in over twenty years — except for a slight downsizing of the shelves of cigarettes!
  • This is my "OMG its teh eighties" cardigan...
spudtater: (Default)
( Feb. 10th, 2007 03:04 pm)
I've been learning Groovy for one of my university modules this term. Is interesting. It compiles to java byte code, and uses Java class libraries, but is dynamic, flexible, and generally completely unlike Java itself. And it has closures, which I've never really used before, but which I can see myself really growing to like.

The lecturer claims that Groovy is going to be built in to Java 1.7 (or should that be 7.0?), though I can't find anything on t'internet to back this up.

Of course, Groovy isn't the first scripting language that compiles to Java byte code. We've already got Jython, Jruby, BeanShell... etc. Groovy's developers say that it's "more similar to Java syntax" than other scripting languages, but I'm not so sure — to me, it looks more Python-like than anything else. (Albeit with braces).   8^)

Here's a bit of Groovy (from this page on the Groovy main site):

class Employee {
    def salary
def highPaid(emps) {
    def threshold = 150
    return emps.findAll{ e -> e.salary > threshold }

def emps = [180, 140, 160].collect{ val -> new Employee(salary:val) }

println emps.size()
println highPaid(emps).size()

Anyone else come across Groovy before?
...is getting barraged with spam. Woo, spam!
*Spam song*

(For some reason I find this reassuring. The spammers like my project, at least!)
My assignment here asks about data security; it poses the question of how to store data on a server in a secure manner. This perplexes me somewhat. Say we use some fancy-schmancy data encryption algorithm to encrypt all the data files on the server. Then we need a key to decrypt them back again when we need them, and... where do we store that? It doesn't seem any more secure than just leaving the data plaintext; the key file could just as well be stolen by some attacker as any other file. (Or if we hard-code the key into the program, then the object code could be stolen and reverse-engineered.)

So: is it a stupid question? Is there any way of securing data on a server, or should we concentrate on not giving the attacker access to the file system in the first place?
spudtater: (Default)
( Jan. 10th, 2007 10:48 am)
Next trimester I have to do a group programming project with three other people. It should be manageable. The only thing is, none of us can think of any ideas as to what to program!

I was thinking of some sort of client-server application; a program runs on your computer, which connects over the internet to some server in order to do something. Something like a chat program, although that's been done to death, and the world really doesn't need another one!

Maybe an online version of a board game? Catan's been done pretty thoroughly... maybe something a little more obscure?

...reading the PMBOK Guide.

"For example, an organization that views managers as "coaches" is likely to have documentation on how the role of "coach" is to be performed."

No, because an organization that views managers as "coaches" is likely to be talking out of its collective arse.

Edit: struggling with this bloody coursework I have to get finished by next monday. Current word count: 1550. Target: 4500 words. 2950 words still to write.

My assignment this year for the Web Technologies module is to create a website with some sort of blog-like nature. I have created a blog with a moderate amount of functionality, although it is somewhat lacking in posts/comments at the moment!

So please pop along and leave a bunch of comments, explore the different bits of the site, and see what you can break. (Hopefully nothing!)

(Nothing too rude in the comments, please; this has to be demonstrated to the lecturer!)
spudtater: (arrrcon)
( Sep. 19th, 2006 05:11 pm)
  1. I have a letter of acceptance from Napier
    I have a letter of fundingness from SAAS

    I am going back to university. Woo!

  2. I have not read much livejournal recently. If anything particularly significant has happened to you recently, an executive summary in the comments would be much appreciated! Otherwise I'll have to wait until I see you in person, and, like, ask you and stuff. *Melodramatic sigh*

  3. ARRRRR!!!

  • I graduated
  • in a kilt
  • and got hit on the head with a hat made of trousers
  • photos soon
spudtater: (Default)
( Jun. 7th, 2005 04:23 pm)
Well, some of you might be a little surprised to hear it, but I've got a 2:2 degree. I'm not particularly surprised myself; I barely scraped through many of my fourth year modules. I'm just happy that I didn't get a third. And that I can write "BSc (Hons)".

Hopefully I can get a job now.

Edit: Thanks for all the congratulatory comments, everybody!   8^)
spudtater: (Default)
( May. 23rd, 2005 07:50 pm)
Have been prepping the flocci.org email to become my main email address, as I don't know how much longer my uni account will be active for. If you wish to change your address books, you can now mail me at alex @ the aforementioned domain.

On email programs: Thunderbird is teh crap. Evolution is okay.
spudtater: (Default)
( Apr. 29th, 2005 04:35 pm)
...went better than I thought it would. Refreshingly free of bollox methodologies and buzzwords, and heavy on the common sense and creativity. Surprisingly, less like the course material itself and more like the stuff I scribbled in the margins of all my notes in an attempt not to fall asleep.

Special bonus points (maybe) for mocking Clippy The Paperclip in an exam. Ph34r.

I also used the entire answer booklet down to the very last line. My fingers hurt. They require booze therapy! Wheee!

Enough babble.
spudtater: (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2005 02:04 pm)
Project presentation )
Oh, and anybody want to go to the zoo on Saturday?


spudtater: (Default)


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