I'm currently in my first year of Web Systems Development at Edge Hill University. I live about 10 minutes off campus in Ormskirk. As well as doing Web this year I study all other aspects of computing :) I also play Gaelic Football for the university, and I'm thinking about starting Rugby after Christmas :)

Robot: Done!

A few weeks ago I posted about my latest programming assignment which required me and my group to programme a robot we built to carry out a series of levels. This basically meant it would have to be able to detect a box and move it into a specified position. Well, we did it! The assignment is finished and submitted and hopefully we’ve passed!

For any of you that want to know exactly what we do, here are the videos of my groups’ final demonstrations of the project:

Don’t lose it!

So here we are, heading into the last week of first year teaching for me, and for all of you in 6th form or college, no doubt fast approaching a pile of deadlines and exams. So, what could be the worst thing that could possibly happen on the day of a coursework deadline? I think we’d all agree that a corrupt memory stick or other external storage device, a few hours before a deadline, would be possibly the worst thing to happen…and this did indeed happen to a group in my class on Friday, leaving them with a good few hours of extra work to make up for the lost progress!

I’ve had this happen to me a few times before, and I’ve had not only memory sticks, but internal and external hard drives fail, losing all the data on them…so since just before I started university I’ve been using online storage websites to back up my work. I started with box.net, but found it wasn’t the most user friendly site – you have to physically go to the site and upload the work to be backed up, and let’s face it, no one is going to always remember to do that. So now I use a combination of dropbox and sugarsync to store just about every important file I have, and these two have the added advantage of including applications which automatically back up files as they are saved from your main computer.

With DropBox, you get a 2GB account free at this link: http://db.tt/LBwjqyDq and then a bonus if you use a college or university account, and further 500MB bonuses every time you invite someone to the site.

With Sugar Sync you get a 5GB account free at this link: https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=eo58y06nxxoat&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=referral&sn=tw&shareEvent=54943 and then again a 500MB bonus for any friend you invite.

Peter Tatchell

This might be of interest to any of you that live near to Edge Hill, or are going to be around visiting at the start of May.

I’m part of the LGBT society at Edge Hill, and recently we’ve been trying to organise a few events to raise our profile around the uni. This started with a bake sale to raise money, but we’ve managed to arrange for Peter Tatchell (a human rights campaigner) to come and give a public lecture for us on the 9th of May.

Peter Tatchell Lecture Poster

Peter Tatchell Lecture

If anyone is interested in attending then book a place (for free!) at surveys.edgehill.ac.uk/tatchell_lgbt

Decisions, decisions….

Well, that’s it, I’ve officially chosen which modules I’ve taken next year and have my provisional timetable!

I know a lot of you might have chosen a specific pathway when you’ve applied through UCAS, and that would mean that you won’t have a huge amount of choice when it comes to module choices this time next year, which is exactly what I thought when I applied for Web Systems Development. But, because of the way the course at Edge Hill is set out, everyone does the same work in first year, which means you can still pick any modules or pathway you want at the end of 1st year, even if its different to the one you first applied for.

So, I’ve decided to transfer from Web Systems Development to Computing (which is really easy – just one form!) and I’m taking these modules:

  • Graduate Enterprise
  • Research and Development Methods
  • Introduction to Databases
  • Computer Systems Architecture
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Physical Computing – Input and Output

This means that I can still carry on with some Programming, which I have been enjoying this semester, but also cover other topics at the same time, as I am still not sure what I want to actually do after my degree!!

Easter Already!

So that’s it, university is finished for the 3 week Easter break! This term has definitely gone quickly, and I’ve just submitted my module choices for second year! I can’t believe I’m almost through my first year already – and I’m sure a few of you are feeling the same about leaving college/6th form.

Time does fly, so if you are off for Easter now then don’t waste it! I know that you don’t want to be working during holidays, but trust me, if you leave any coursework/exam revision to the last minute you’ll regret it! (I’m speaking from experience on this one…) So enjoy your last few weeks of college/6th form, and don’t panic about exams, they’ll be fine, and before you know it you’ll be moving out!

SU Elections

Last week saw the university campus covered in posters encouraging students to vote in the Students’ Union Elections. As this is my first year at university, I had no idea what it was all about at first, but I got involved in the campaign team for one of the candidates for Vice President of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. All of the canditates have gone out of their way to publisise themselves and to find out what students want from the SU next year.

The elections allow students to vote for a new Students’ Union President, Vice Presidents of each of the three faculties – Education, Health and Arts & Sciences; as well as for NUS Delegates and Student Governors.

After a week of intense campaigning the positions have now been filled with what should be very capable candidates, which will no doubt mean an even better Students’ Union for next year!

Decision time

Its getting to that time of year now when you’ll be deciding which universities and courses to choose as your firm and insurance choices, which is no doubt going to be a difficult decision. I know that when I was doing this I was really worried about choosing a university where I wasn’t going to know anyone at all – but don’t worry! That doesn’t last long!

Here at Edge Hill it is really easy to make friends, even before Fresher’ Week. When I found out I was coming here, I joined the “Edge Hill Uni Friends Group” on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/groups/EdgeHillFreshers/), which was set up by someone who is now in second year to help new students to meet people in the same halls/courses before enrollment. Since I’m not in halls, I found this really useful as it meant that I met a few people from my course, that I’m now really good friends with.

As well as that, in Freshers’ Week everyone is really friendly, and the main thing I can say is don’t be afraid to talk to people.

So, basically, don’t let the universities your friends are going to influence your decision – make sure you choose the uni you think is going to be best for you! 🙂


Last week we started building a robot in our programming module! For someone like me who before was having a bit of trouble getting used to Java, its definitely made me a lot more enthusiastic about it! I’ll keep you updated about how the assignment goes, but for now, here’s a picture of the first design of our robot:

The Robot

Our First Robot

Almost results time….

So its getting near to that time of year again, when exam and assignment results are about to be released. I got an e-mail last week to say my semester 1 results are ready to collect from my module leaders, and I know that its around now, if not in the next few weeks that A Level and equivalent results will be out. Just remember, no matter what you think the results are going to be, don’t panic! Just stay calm, exams never go as bad as you think they have, so its probably going to be fine! Concentrate on the last couple of months of your courses that you have left instead, you can’t do anything about the exams you’ve already sat, or assignments you’ve already submitted – but the results aren’t final until August and you can still change them with anything you have left to do!

Applicant Visit Day

Yesterday was the first Applicant Visit Day for Business and Computing students. We had a really good turn out, and everyone there seemed to enjoy the day.

Since I didn’t come to a visit day when I applied, this was my first experience of them, and I as I had expected, they seem to be a really useful experience for applicants to help decide if Edge Hill is where you want to go.

If anyone has been invited to a visit day and hasn’t booked yet, I’d really advise you to because it is a great chance to see the facilities you’ll be using when you start your course, and to meet some of the tutors too!