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University

SQL Database Test Result

Today I took a test for the IT and Professional Skills Module based around SQL. SQL stands for Structured Query Language and is the industry standard language for interacting with databases including Creating, reading, updating and deleting data — collectively known as CRUD interactions.

Due to it being an electronic test we got instant feedback and I was pleased to discover I got 88%.

I feel that I’m continuing to do well with my course, and I’m enjoying every moment of uni, so I’m happy! ūüėÄ

Danny

Categories
Oracle ThinkQuest University

Maths & Windows Phone Development

(Showing off a few of the UI enhancments you can achieve using the Silverlight Toolbox — Most of which I think should be native to Windows Phone…)

Today wasn’t nearly as productive as yesterday, but I still think that I got quite a lot done in the end. I started my day off by improving my score of 41% in my ACW1 for Quantitative Methods for Computing to 56% — quite a good boost after just one extra night of revision I think. Its also worth noting that I’ve more than doubled my original score of 27% in under a month. ūüôā

After this I wrote up notes on the subject of Software Infringement for IT and Professionalism and wrote up notes on the subject of Files and File Systems for Computer Systems, both of which are simple concepts to understand.

Today was also the start of our group “Micro-Project” which is worth 40% of our module grade for Computer Systems. My group has to do a 10 – 15 minute presentation on the Fetch Cycle. According to my Computer Science Operating Systems Lecturer we need to:

The fetch-cycle is a vital concept.  Why?  Illustrate your project presentation including a discussion of registers, cache memory (at various levels), RAM, and other memory options.

Though it may sound complicated I think this will actually be quite a simple topic to cover. The fetch cycle is simply the amount of time it takes for data to get to the CPU from the memory it is in — the shorter the better.

After attempting (and failing) to find any of my group colleges on Facebook I moved on to writing some more code for my Oracle ThinkQuest team, through which I stumpled across the single best resource for Windows Phone 7¬†I¬†have found to date — The Silverlight Toolkit — this¬†tool kit¬†allows custom user interface¬†elements¬†such as the date picker and toggle switch you can see above in my application. These UI elements are used heavily in the¬†Microsoft¬†apps which come with Windows Phone, so it is a surprise to me that they are not included by default in visual studios toolbox, but seen as they’re not if you develop for Windows Phone you should¬†definitely download and use the toolkit.

Whilst i found this what I was actually doing was attempting to get a local database to work in my application… still no luck there however ūüė¶ Maybe tomorrow ill work it out! ūüôā

Thats all for now
Danny

Categories
Oracle ThinkQuest University

Oracle ThinkQuest

Today was pretty good, and set me off on hopefully a very fruitful project!

The day started as most days do for me, with a mad rush to catch the bus to get to my first period lecture on time, which today was an IT and Professionalism Module Test, unfortunately that proved to be a waste of time as a design fault in the IT system (somewhat ironically…) stopped us from being able to log into the test page we needed on eBridge, so after 30 minutes of twiddling our thumbs the test was abandoned.

I then had an hours wait till an entertaining¬†programming¬†lecture with Rob Miles, followed by a Operating Systems lectures, followed by IT and professionalism — a busy 3 hour stretch.

After another hours wait in Sanctuary (the Hull Student Union bar) I headed to meeting room 4 of Student House for a seminar provided by the Oracle Education Foundation. Oracle is a huge multinational software company which owns a 42% share of the database market around the world. It is estimated that 80% of working people will have used at least 1 Oracle product today, a massive figure!

I don’t usually look favourably upon Oracle for the issues that have¬†occurred¬†with MySQL since Oracle aquired MySQL AB,¬†however¬†this seminar was absolutely fantastic and gave great insight into the technology sector job market and globalisation as a whole. Essentially due to previously undeveloped countries, such as¬†India, suddenly becoming big in the¬†technology¬†coupled with remote employment (people working from home, anywhere in the world, with some “teams” spanning multiple continents) the amount of people applying for each Computer Science role has increased, meaning more competition — because of this each of us has to have as strong a list of skills and CV as possible.

Oracle therefore offer a competition to allow people to¬†acquire¬†and hone their skills and add to their CV, its called ThinkQuest as you may have assumed from the title. The outline of the competition is that you have a team of 1 – 6 as well as an adult (usually lecturer) team leader to guide you and you outline an issue that you feel needs solving, e.g. “children’s¬†rights” and then¬†develop¬†a solution (either an application or website). The team who last year chose “children’s¬†rights” as an issue created a website and games to raise¬†awareness¬†of the issue and came in second place.

Its a competition so it has prizes! These include

  • Trips to San¬†Francisco¬†to meet top Oracle Developers for a week
  • Laptops
  • Money for your uni
  • Chance to apply for a PAID internship
Pretty good!
Tonight I arranged a team by sending a Facebook message to some of my fellow CS students and we asked Rob Miles to be our team leader, so hopefully I’m on my way to a cool prize! Even if it doesn’t work out that way it’ll be an awesome experiance to add to the CV.
Thanks for Reading
Danny
Categories
University

IT, Professionalism, Operating Systems & Annoyances

(After only 7 minutes waiting at the Cottingham railway crossing “A Wild Train Appears…!” )

Today has been a good day on the whole, It started with our first ever Information Technology and Professionalism lecture in The Wilberforce building — the one that doesn’t look like a boat. The basic overview of the IT part of the course involves;

  • Word Processing Skills
  • Spreadsheet Skills
  • Database Skills
  • Enterprise Computing
  • Information (Management, Systems and the Internet)
  • Understanding the costs to business / business use of IT
Furthermore the professionalism side of the course covers;
  • The Concept of professionalism
  • Professional Ethics and good practice
  • The Law and Computing
  • Technical Writing Skills

It looks to be an interesting course, and I am looking especially forward to the group work in semester two, which involes creating a database running on a Microsoft SQL Server back-end and presenting a Powerpoint presentation to the year.

After this I grabbed a Bacon and Sausage sandwich from the Student Union and checked my emails… which brings me to my first annoyance of the day. Student Finance England have managed to cock up my student loan, by attempting to give me a¬†Maintenance¬†loan¬†I¬†neither want nor need and not paying my university — which¬†I¬†both want and need. This all stems from literally months of mis-communication on their behalf. I’ve never heard a good word said about the company.

After spending what seems like an hour trying to get through and solve the issue it was time for our second Computer Systems lecture, this time it was on the operating systems side of the topic and gave us a very interesting insight into what Operating Systems do and it was asked of us to make our own definition of an operating system by mixing the best parts of 5 definitions shown to us. I came up with;

An operating system is a software interface between hardware and the user; it is responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources of a computer (such as memory, CPU time, disk space and input/output devices). It acts as a host for computing applications.

After the lecture finished I went to catch the bus back to my flat at The Lawns which brings me to my second (joke of an) annoyance. Cottingham Village Railway Crossing. I swear to god it always closes when I’m either on the way to or on the way back from Uni! Lol.

Anyway, thats all for now,

Danny