All over…for now!

So, I finished uni for first year completely last Wednesday at 10:30am when my exam finished! And yet, I have still been on campus most days! As you can probably guess from that, there have been a few things going on here since classes and exams have finished:

  • First Year Transition Meeting

This was a meeting which the Computing Department held straight after our exam to talk to us about what we should expect from second year and need to do over the summer to prepare. I know you might not expect to have “summer homework” from university, but its not really that…its more just things to practice really…like not stopping programming for 4 months!!

  • New York Trip!

Its now less than a week until I go to New York with the university too, which is no doubt going to be an amazing trip! Its still going to be running next year as far as I know, so I’ll post again about it when I get back, but so far I’d definitely say if you get the chance to go, do it!

  • Peter Tatchell Event

As you might have seen from my post a while ago, Peter Tatchell came in to give a talk titled “The Unfinished Battle For LGBT Rights”. This went really well, and we had about 100 people who attended!

LGBT+ Society_Peter Tatchell Event

Some of the LGBT+ Society at the Peter Tatchell Event

  • IDAHO

This is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, which is today. At the moment, I’m sitting in the Hub with others from the LGBT+ society here at Edge Hill, encouraging people to submit “Post Secrets” to us (give it a search if you don’t know what it is) and generally raising awareness 🙂 I’ll probably post some pictures from this once I have some 🙂

Well, that’s it for now. Good luck with exams if you have any this week, and don’t panic too much!

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.

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!!

Robots!

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

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!

 

Applicant Visit Days

Just a quick one today to anyone who has been invited to one of our Applicant Visit Days. The next Open Day at Edge Hill isn’t until summer, so if you’ve been invited to a Visit Day I would really recommend that you go. If you haven’t seen the campus before then you will get to have a look around and get a feel for what it will be like to study here; and even if you have seen the campus, there’ll be opportunities to meet teaching staff and see the types of equipment you’ll have access to as part of your degree.

The first one of these for computing is this Wednesday, 15th February. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there 🙂

Exam time!

So here we are, back at uni after christmas and very much thrown straight back in!

I got back to Ormskirk on Saturday night, and pretty much came straight to the LINC (the building which gives us 24 hour computer access) to finish off the Systems Analysis assignment that was due on Monday. We had the assignment set back in October, so it seems like I’ve been working on it forever when I finally got it submitted on Saturday night, just about 48 hours ahead of the deadline. Now, you might ask why I went to all that trouble of getting it done on Saturday night when I still had 48 hours to go, and I don’t honestly know! I just always prefer to get things in a bit early…at least it means when facebook is inundated with people panicking that its not going to go through Turnitin (that’s the software Edge Hill uses to make sure you haven’t plagiarised) because its so busy on the day of the deadline!

With that out of the way, I’m currently sat in the library taking a break from exam revision. I only have one exam this semester, and thats for Web Site Development. The exam is only worth 30% of the module, so even if you hate exams, don’t panic! As always, I’ve cleverly left my revision until pretty much the last minute, which I wouldn’t recommend usually, but it seems to work for me! Even though when I started on Monday I did initally panic that I’d never remember everything in time, after 2 days of concentrating solely on the exam and no other work (lectures don’t start again until Tuesday, so I have the option to do that), and one session in the library last night with other people from the course; it doesn’t seem quite so daunting now!

Revision technique is something that I’m sure everyone is hearing a lot about at the moment, whether its for GCSEs, A Levels or uni exams…or anything else for that matter! Its not really something that can be taught in my opinion, you just have to work it out for yourself. My last post had some tips I found on another blog, but here’s a few of my own if you don’t know where to start:

  • If reading doesn’t work, write it down! – Just reading over notes doesn’t work for everyone, it definitely doesn’t work for me, as much as I wish it did! If you find that just sitting and reading your notes isn’t getting you anywhere fast, then try re-writing (or typing) them with just the key points – this might make them stick more 🙂
  • Use colour! – Revision doesn’t have to be boring! Try having a different colour for each section of content – use post it notes, make posters, highlight in different colours – anything! If all the colours distract you, use codes so that the colours actually mean something.
  • Make your notes visible – Stick post it notes of key facts or definitions in places where you’ll see them all the time. On the mirror, on the back of the bathroom door, on the kitchen cupboard, around your computer monitor; anywhere you can. Yes, it may drive everyone you live with mad for a while, but hey, they might learn something too!

and finally:

  • Don’t panic! Panicking about the exam and thinking you’re going to fail is NOT going to help! Stay relaxed, make time to do other things like chat to friends, play games or watch TV, and make sure you think positive. If you get into the exam and don’t know one question, thats fine – you don’t need to get 100%!!

Good luck to anyone with exams this week! I’m off back to revision….

Should auld acquaintance be forgot…

Happy New Year everyone 🙂 Hope it was a good night for everyone and that you’re all looking forward to 2012…I think its going to be an eventful year for me, which if you keep reading my blogs I’m sure you’ll find out!

New Year

I’m over all the excitement of the holidays now and I’ve been back to work today, revising for my web development exam which I have on the 11th, even though the majority of my revision will be done once I get back to uni on Saturday. I know everyone has their own revision styles…which is an important thing to remember whether is AS, A Level or university exams that you have looming!…and mine has always been to use lots of colour codes (and I mean highlighters, writing pens, post it notes, note pads…the lot!) but I found this blog which has a good post on revision tips, and some free e-books and things with tips about uni life aswell, which has given me some good ideas…its http://theuniversityblog.co.uk/. I think this is the best tip on there, because I know blocking everything out and over-focusing on exams is something I’ve been guilty of in the past, but as it says, it is important to remember that you still have a life outside of exams:

Sleep, eat, relax, enjoy yourself…LIVE YOUR LIFE! – It’s easy to forget to do the simple, everyday things while you’re in revision mode. This is a mistake. Do what you usually do otherwise you’ll be less motivated to revise.

That’s all from me for now, enjoy the rest of the holiday, speak to you when I’m back in Ormskirk 🙂