Gaming at Edge Hill – 3 Reasons to join the Video Game Society


Gaming is becoming a bigger and bigger entertainment source. With the explosion in recent years of E-Sports and Virtual Reality based gaming the entertainment industry has estimated that by 2021 gaming will make up a whopping $29 billion. So if you enjoy your gaming, on any platform from PC to tabletop the Edge Hill Video Game Society have you covered, and here’s why:


1. The people

The VGS is full of interesting characters of all backgrounds but what brings them together is the common interest of all things gaming. You will meet friends here and everyone has a laugh. Everyone is open for a chat and you don’t have to worry about showing up alone, someone will spark up a conversation.


2. The games

There is never a dull moment at VGS when it comes to games, a plethora of both classic and modern games are played every night at VGS. Nintendo is usually on the big screen with classic fighting games but expect others like Rocket League, Halo, Call of Duty, CS:GO, and more. There is something there for every type of gamer.


3. The Events

Finally in this list is the events. VGS meets twice a week but on so many other occasions they have special events like gameathons and charity fundraisers. One example is the recent 72 hour game jam ran in aid of children in need that raised over £700 for the worthy cause. The 2018 game jam took place on campus and lasted from Friday night to Monday morning with LAN parties and classic gaming. Trust me you don’t want to miss the next one.


If you want to find out more about the EHU VGS check out their page on the official EHU SU website here!

And if you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

First Blog – The Christmas Lights Turn On

Hey guys! For my first blog post I was going to do a bit about myself, but since I’ve just been to it, I thought I would do one on the Christmas lights switch on in Ormskirk town centre.

While Ormskirk is a pretty small town, there is usually something going on and this weekend was no exception. To be honest, I’m not one to get over-excited about Christmas, in fact I compare myself more to the Grinch then your typical Whovillian (someone who really likes christmas). But I thought it was time I actually went to a ‘switch on’ since I had never actually gone to one before, ( I know right).

Christmas Lights
Christmas Lights

Anyways, to my surprise I was actually pretty impressed by what I saw, for a small town the event sure was popular with the locals, the main square was packed, music was playing and even though it was proper Baltic (freezing) out everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were various stalls of food and drink, doughnuts, sweets, pizzas, pies, and Candy Floss as well as your usual christmas staples like Mince pies. To my dismay, the Gingerbread stall was already gone when I got there which I was proper gutted about considering I had recently found a new interest for the stuff, it’s got quite the history and popularity in Ormskirk.

Ice Sculpture
Ice Sculpture

As well as the various food stands there were also different knick knacks to buy if that’s your sort of thing, if you like Christmas it definitely would be. The countdown was then done by the Town Crier, who when I saw instantly made me think of Homer Simpson yelling HEAR YE HEAR YE. After some dazzling lights switching on, we were treated to a performance from the definitely legitimate Tom Jones, who did a few stone cold classics.

Finally me and my girlfriend grabbed some Candy Floss for the road to satisfy our inner child. All in all a pretty enjoyable mini trip, part of Ormskirk if any prospective students choose to come here, is it’s typical small town charm that you just don’t get in the big cities, which is one of the reasons I chose Edge Hill. Anyways I hope you enjoyed my random segment and see you soon!

Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree

 

Top 3 Things to do at EHU – Killing time, feeling fine

Killing time at EHU


Coming to University is great, and you will probably be so overwhelmed that you won’t ever need to ‘look’ for something to do but if you’re like me and have some space between your classes you may want to consider these three things to pass the time and generally relax, destress and chill over the course of a busy day.


Go for a walk

The EHU campus is massive, you probably will take the same path across it to the same buildings every day of every week. Why not go exploring? There are many hidden gems like the scenic allotment garden or the historic hale hall. Take a walk and enjoy the campus for all it has to offer.


Relax in a rooftop garden

EHU has some of the most beautiful rooftop gardens out there. Creative Edge, Business school and Catalyst are just some of the buildings featuring amazing views from the rooftop gardens that are usually open to come and relax in. Take in the sites of the campus as students and staff move around on the ground.


Have a look through the Library 

The new catalyst library is brimming with books and modern relaxation areas to chill out and take a break in. The new pods also have large screen televisions with speakers so you might throw on some Netflix while you wait for your next class or just to pass time in general.


Thanks for reading these are my top three tips for relaxing on campus. If you want to find out more about the campus why not book an open day here?

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Working at Edge Hill – Let’s get this bread.


Getting a job at University is important in more than the obvious ways. Sure you could look at it as just a means of getting cash but don’t. When you come to university it is important to make it worth your while and having a part time job can really help you ensure that you are getting the most out of your university experience. So here are three ways that working at Edge Hill University ensures that you are making the most out of your time.


Experience. 

You may have had a part time job before University and if so, that’s great. But if you haven’t that’s OK too. Getting out there and actually working is a great way to not only gain experience in the field of your work but in life. Its a common quote that ‘Everyone should work in retail for at least a month’  the idea being that when you’re on the other side of the angry person screaming about how they’re right you might appreciate the cashier the next time you walk into a shop annoyed about something you bought.


A Sense of Purpose

This one might sound silly, but hear me out. When you start university you will most likely have a lot of free time. You can fill a lot of this by meeting friends and going out but after a while you might start to find yourself looking for something to do. A job is the perfect way to fill this void. By having an outlet and a sense of purpose you will find your days go by much faster and you get all the other benefits of working.


The cash

Alright, can’t ignore it anymore. The cash. It’s the big one. Having that extra cash to do things like go on trips or maybe insure your car. Working is a great way to make that extra cash, and honestly there is nothing better than having your own money and your own independence. Knowing that you don’t have to rely on anyone and being able to spend your own money on what you want without feeling guilty is a great feeling, only topped by the feeling that your time is valuable to someone.


Hopefully this blog answered all your questions about parking on campus. If you want to read more you can check out the EHU careers center here.

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Setting up your Console in Halls – Gaming at Edge Hill University [Part 1]

Connecting your console at EHU


Connecting your console at Edge Hill can seem complicated. The number one question that I hear is how to make X work with the network. So this blog hopefully will clear some information up on getting your Xbox, Wii, or PlayStation connected to the network. Before I continue I have to include this disclaimer:

I do not work for IT Services. If you break or use their network in any way that is against the terms and conditions they will be mad. Keep it fair and fast for all.


What halls can connect?

At the moment, not all halls across campus have access to the Ethernet network. This applies to older halls. For example Back, Main and Forest, you’re out of luck for a wired connection, we’ll discuss wireless options later.

Halls that are currently supported:

  • Chancellors Court
  • Founders Court
  • Graduates Court
  • Palatine Court
  • Woodland Court

You will also need an Ethernet cable the cheapest one will suffice, check these out.


Information you need before applying

It’s important to gather all the information you need before you submit your application, there are two pieces that are essential to apply to register your games console on campus: the MAC and the port number.

The port number can be found on the Ethernet ports in your room. Like this:

As for your mac address this is where it gets complex. Luckily the great people over at IT services have a guide for the most common systems, you can check it out here!


The final steps

Once you have your information and you are ready to apply you can follow the form here: https://servicedesk.edgehill.ac.uk/wssp/DetailWebFormNew.aspx?Webform=RegisterWiredConsole

Once submitted you should get an email about a new case being opened. They aim to register the console within 10 days but it is usually a lot sooner.

Once registered you can plug your console and start to play! Some ports may be locked down but in my experience it isn’t many. For technical minds the blocked ports I found were 25 (SMTP) and most of the Microsoft Remote Desktop ports.


A few more tips for wired connections:

  • Your bandwidth gets limited to 100mb/s, you wont notice it
  • You are on a different network from the regular network, things like Microsoft glass might not like this.
  • Don’t register your Computer as a Console. IT will be unhappy.
  • The console registration lasts for a year, that means you will need to do it again if you move back on campus.

That’s all I have for you on this blog but please stay tuned.

Part two will cover connecting consoles to WiFi and Gaming on a PC.

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!


 

Sean’s Random Encounters – Welcome Sunday 2018


Working on Welcome Sunday 2018 as a member of the Campus Life team gave me the opportunity to talk to many of the incoming first years at the university. You would think that this blog would be about freshers moving into halls. Or even a 3rd year returning to a new style townhouse in Woodland Court. But I have a much more interesting person in mind for this month’s edition of random encounters. Michael the student helper.


Image result for edge hill welcome sundayOn Welcome Sunday you will see about 40 or so students running around wearing yellow high visibility vests. Michael was one of these ‘student helpers’. He had given up the last Sunday of his summer to help students move into their on campus accommodation. I had the chance to ask him why.


Image result for edge hill welcome sunday‘I like helping people and I know it was hard for me to start out, so I want to put a smile on someone’s face.’ was the reply when asked why he wanted to work on this stress filled day. He also had no complaints about helping move boxes up and down stairs. ‘Someone did it for me, and i’m doing for them. Circle of life!’


As I thought about the day itself I realised that the student helpers around me were not tired, stressed or burnt out. They were smiling. These people had just spent a full day helping people move into their new homes and it gave most of them a sense of good karma. People like to help other people, and I honestly can say that the people that study, work and volunteer at Edge Hill University are some of the most helpful that I have ever met. The people make the place.


If you want to read more about Welcome Sunday check out my other blog here:

3 Tips for moving to Edge Hill University – Getting ready for Welcome Sunday



That’s all I have for you on this edition of random encounters but if you want to find out more about what to expect on campus you can check out Campus Life at EHU here. And please leave any questions you have for moving in below. You will get a personal response, fast.

And if you want more free and great information email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Parking at Edge Hill University- Yellow tickets don’t add power


Parking at Edge Hill can be a tricky one for new students and sometimes existing. Due to a lack of parking space available on and around campus parking permits are as rare as a sober first year in Alpine. With this in mind if you need to park and have a good reason to do so the university will try to accommodate you as much as possible. So here are 3 great tips to get your car in a space in or around the University.


Get a parking permit.

The best way to get your car near your classes is to register for an official EHU parking permit. These are rare because parking is so scarce on campus due to limited space. To get your permit you can fill out a form here: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/services/parking/ . Be aware that you might not get one if you live close to the University.


Find parking in Ormskirk.

If you live in Ormskirk it may be possible to find on street parking outside your house. Usually streets are signposted with times that you can park on the road, however if you live on a ‘permit’ road you can, just like on campus, register for a permit here: https://www.westlancs.gov.uk/more/your-community/roads-and-travel/parking-permits.aspx . Again be aware that you might not qualify for a parking permit but it is worth a try. You can also try and find off street parking. Ormskirk Co-Op offers this for a set fee and you can find out more here: https://horizonparking.co.uk/ .


Car share or take the bus!

The only way to guarantee parking on campus every day is to book a car share parking space. With two people and two permits on display you are 100% sure to take a space on campus. Edge Hill is proud of its excellent transport links and offers a free bus service from Ormskirk town centre to both sides of the University. I would encourage all of you to consider taking the bus or other public transport to save on costs when trying to get to University. Parking is cool but trust me the bus is just easier.


Hopefully this blog answered all your questions about parking on campus. If you want to read more you can check out the university page here. The only other advice I can give you is this:

Don’t park on St. Helens road. You will be ticketed, clamped and possibly towed. 

If you want more free and great advice email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Flight Delays and Replacement Buses – Arriving by Plane to Edge Hill University


Arriving by plane to University can be daunting. I’ve been traveling back and forth from Ormskirk to Ireland for the last two years and although I have taken all manner of transport (Planes, Trains and Automobiles!), I can say with confidence that traveling by plane is the fastest, cheapest (Usually) and most comfortable. So here are three things to consider when flying to the University and check out the blog at the end for how to book and not miss your flight. This blog is going to focus on those of you with flights booked for Welcome Sunday.


1. Getting to the airport

Anyone can book a flight and pack suitcases but can you predict how long a security que will take to pass? Probably not. And trust me, missing your flight isn’t like the American movies where they will ‘rebook you in the morning’. Oh no, no, no. Ryanair wont give you a cabin bag so don’t expect another flight. Make sure you arrive on time and at least a full hour before the flight time to get through security, get to the gate and get on the plane. Check with your local airport and see if they have a security tracker online for the latest que numbers.


2. Taking the right luggage

Make sure you pay attention to what your flight will let you take with you. If you have booked hold luggage make sure you drop it off at the right time and pack everything correctly so it doesn’t break. If you are flying, like me usually, with RyanAir then read the cabin bag policy. The will take the big bags into the hold and smaller ones might be allowed on depending on the flight. Don’t be afraid to ditch luggage altogether and look at shipping to your new home. DHL offer next day service for a reasonable fee and as a regular customer I must say they never fail to deliver.


3. Plan your route from the airport

Don’t rely on google maps or Merseytravel guides to direct you to busses and trains. Plan ahead. This is especially important when the rail service is in upgrades or disputes as rail replacement busses might make you sad and confused. Also ensure you factor in the possibility of a delayed flight. It happens all the time and can cause chaos if you miss the last bus or train. Lucily I have an entire blog about this and you can click the link below to read more about planning your route.


Getting between home and Edge Hill University – Or how not to miss your flight


So that’s all there is to it. Get your flights, plan out your day around it and make backups in case the trains decide to go on strike. It isn’t as hard as you might think and you can do it with the right mind-set and preparation. And remember if you do miss your flight it isn’t the end of the world. You might have to pay for it, but you can always try and book another flight.

For other travel queries about getting to the university and for free advice about life at Edge Hill email think@edgehill.ac.uk

Linking Education and Life – 5 Real Skills from EHU Computing


With the summer coming to a close, and a week before I move back to Ormskirk, I thought it might be a good idea to share 5 skills that my first year in computing have taught me. Before coming to university I had run m9Networks for about 4 years. I have always had an interest in computing, all aspects of it. Finally starting a specialised course really gave me some skills that I had been overlooking and EHU have influenced my professional career even before graduating. So here are 5 skills that 1st year computing at EHU have taught me and how I used them this summer.


Organization

In my first year of computing, and university in general, I was exposed to a need for organization. I have always been a mixed bag when it came to being well prepared. I have two modes, 100% ready for anything and absolutely nothing done. For the most part I would be the latter. University gave me a chance to really explore my organizational style and see how it makes life easier for me. This summer while working I was able to use this when working on projects with deadlines.


Determination

Something I pride my work on is my determination to get the job done. If I don’t know the answer to a question I will go out of my way to find the answer. Once again, starting university has helped me improve this skill massively. While working at one client site this summer I faced several serious problems that resulted in setbacks. The determination that I had gained while doing reports and attempting to understand more complex coursework in first year gave me the confidence to push through and surpass these problems that came in my way.


Planning and Drafting

One of my modules in my first year of computing was Digital World: Information Systems and Design. The code for this course if you want to check it out is CIS1108. This course focused around designing and implementing IT systems for businesses and customers. One of our tasks included designing a database and network system for a local business. During the summer I was tasked with something similar and was able to almost replay the design process piece for piece.


Networking

Networking is one of my main fields of interest and study. This summer I was involved in some large networking projects with several ISP’s in Ireland that I had previously been involved with. My first year module named Computer Architecture and Networks gave me some valuable information regarding standards and implementation of networks. While some of the information presented to me in this course was not new it does mean that other students who have not experienced networking before we’re covered. So if you’re worried about it being too complicated, don’t.


Security

Finally, the last skill that I was able to take away from University and apply it to my work in the real world this summer was Security. Being security conscious in the every more connected world is important. Very important. In my first year I was taught about basic security and how it relates to threats in the real world. While it is easy to understand and implement very secure passwords, encryptions and physical security the basics are often overlooked. In one of my installs this summer I thought back to my lectures regarding security and included a pamphlet regarding social engineering to the client.


These five skills; Organization, Determination, Planning and Design, Networking and Security that I learned in my first year and I can honestly say they have been a great help.

If you want to check out some of my work you can read about a UniFi network install at a large home in Donegal, Ireland here:

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/UniFi-Stories/UniFi-and-FTTH-Rethinking-LAN-s-in-Ireland/cns-p/2473683

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!

Walking out the door – Getting ready to leave home for Edge Hill University

Walking out the door


Getting ready to leave home can be a daunting experience. Trust me, I am about to do it for the second time. University is a big step, not just for your education but for your life and independence too. An important part of getting yourself ready is thinking about how walking out the door of your house is going to affect yourself and those around you. It’s easy to think it will be easy to take that step but trust me it never is.


Related imagePacking is important. You cant really afford to arrive to your new home forgetting all your socks. Taking the time to figure out what you will need and what you can get in the shops will give you a lighter load on your back. Remember to plan according to your transport. You wont be able to take a lot of your essential liquids.


Image result for irish transportTransport is another aspect that you need to spend time planning and organising well in advance of leaving. I have wrote extensively about this in a blog that I will link down below. It is worth spending time deciding what is the best method of getting there. It could be plane or train, so check the link below.


Image result for goodbye waveGoodbyes are the hardest thing to prepare for. You can’t really get ready to say ‘see ya’ to someone you’ve spent most of your life with. And it’s not going to just be your family, but your friends. The best way I have found to help with this is to plan your first trip home before you leave.


Related Blogs:

Getting between home and Edge Hill University – Or how not to miss your flight

How to deal with missing home at Edge Hill – The awkward ‘goodbye’ hugs


So that’s all there is to it. If you plan and prepare you can make moving out as easy as possible for yourself.

And if you want more free and great information on any topic email think@edgehill.ac.uk or leave a comment below and I will get back to you. If you want to suggest something to write about or want to be interviewed leave a comment below also and I will get back to you personally!