Mobile Application Development University

Exams, Downloads and Development

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but at least that shows I’ve been busy :).

Last Monday I had my exam for Quantitative Methods for Computing, having spent the previous weekend solidly revising I think it went pretty well. Not as badly as I’d expected, not as well as I’d hoped but good enough to get me a good grade in the module overall I think.

Since then I’ve been working on some of my applications. I’ve implemented Photo Highscores into Sweepy Cleaner and Evil Squash 2 and got a lot of the features working in my Hull Computer Science Blog application which displays the blogs of all the computer scientists at my university as well as shows off some featured applications by students in a random order and allows users to go directly to their Marketplace page to download them.

Speaking of the marketplace I’m very happy to announce that Sweepy Cleaner has had over 200 downloads already — 218 to be precise — and has been enjoyed and reviewed by people as far away as America and Australia. ūüôā

Tomorrow I have my programming 2 examination, having looked over the previous 3 years’ past papers I don’t think I have anything to worry about. Programming the apps I just mentioned has almost been like revision —¬†there’s¬†nothing quite like doing something in order to revise it.

Thats all for now,



A productive day

Today was a good day. It started with my first Quantitative methods for Computing Lecture with Dr. Li which was an introduction to Vectors and Matrices, two totally foreign concepts to me. However, I found them pretty easy to understand at the basic level at which we looked at them this morning.

After the QMfC lecture I had 3 hours of free time so I decided I would use it productively rather than go home and therefore I spent some time on my ACW1 and ACW2 for QMfC. ACW1 is a¬†mathematics¬†diagnostics test of a¬†piece¬†of software called Diagnosys (I see what they did there) — ¬†to pass the module we need a pass mark of at least 40% in it by the end of the first 11 weeks of the semester. Today I finally beat that with a mammoth 41% :P. After this I then submitted my ACW2 which is a serious of logic questions we have been set over the past 3 weeks, starting off simple and ending in some pretty complex theories. (I still not sure I fully understand Logical Validity if I’m honest, choosing the premises is hard) I hope to get over 60% in both ACW’s by the end of week 11. For the remainder of the 3 hours I continued work on my Windows Phone 7 Application for Oracles ThinkQuest Competition which is coming along nicely.

My next lecture of the day was Computer Systems with Dr. Breyshaw, this was all about using logic to perform arthritic, finite state machines and the manufacture of registers on a modern Central Processing Unit. Dr. Breyshaw also took my last lecture of the day which was Programming 1 (Algorithms) which taught us about HEAPS and using them to sort as well as another sorting method called KY Merge which is used to sort two sorted lists into one in an efficient manner.

Since the end of my University day I have spoken to my family on Skype, ¬†been¬†practising¬†mathematics with Jess’ help, registered to give blood and been working on my Windows Phone 7 Application for my Oracle ThinkQuest team. I have been having some difficulty in implementing a Database for which to hold data about the users purchases, however I hope to find out how to do this tomorrow at an event which is being hosted by Microsoft for University of Hull Computer Scientists interested in Windows Phone 7 Application Development, such as myself. Exciting Stuff.¬†I shall post about how that goes tomorrow.

Thats all for now,


A Busy Tuesday

(My Desk — Where I Spent Most of My Day Yesterday)

Yesterday was so busy I didn’t manage to fit any blogging in, so I shall do it now!

My day started around noon when I had finished taking advantage of my one day without a 9:15 start at which point I made Pizza bread for brunch, I’ve become¬†reasonable¬†at cooking since coming to uni — especially after cooking each day¬†Friday¬†–¬†Monday¬†this weekend with Jess.

Pizza Bread - Its basically toast with BBQ sauce and Cheese on, I'm a Culinary genius.
Pizza Bread - Its basically toast with BBQ sauce and Cheese on, I'm a Culinary genius.

Shortly after this I paid for my¬†accommodation¬†online, ¬£1180.62 well spent I think, I have enjoyed the¬†independence¬†of living on my own in my own place. I then filled out my student finance forms asking them to remove my¬†Maintenance¬†loan (which I didn’t want in the first place).

I spent much of the rest of the day doing my¬†Quantitive¬†Methods for Computing Coursework, writing up lecture notes and reading one of my new books – “William Stallings Computer Systems – Internals and Design Principles” – which as you can imagine is…¬†exciting¬†stuff. Fortunately I only have another 380 pages to read ūüėõ Speaking of books my book shelf is now actually starting to look full and student like.

My Bookshelf
My Bookshelf

From left to write I have

  1. A folder of University and Student Finance Documents
  2. A folder of Misc. Documents I felt I would need
  3. A reem of paper
  4. University of Hull Computer Science Department Student Handbook (full of useful stuff)
  5. Computer Systems Architecture by R. Newman, E. Gaura and D. Hibbs
  6. Computer Organization & Architecture  РDesigning for Performance by William Stallings
  7. Code Complete 2 by McConnell
  8. Operating Systems Internals and Design Principles by William Stallings
  9. University of Hull Student Pages (essentially a planner)
  10. Vernon GODLittle by DCB Pierre (we got this for free on registration)
Thats everything about tuesday anyway,
Thanks for Reading

Professionalism, Operating System Structure & My First ComSoc Fragfest

Back to 9.15 starts as of today I’m afraid, but at least its a day closer to see Jess and The Specials! The day started with a professionalism lecture which essentially gave us an overview of who and what a professional is and gave us some information on what chartered & professional bodies are: the ones of particular interest to Computer Science being the¬†IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)¬†and the BCS (British Computer Society) of which I, like all Hull CS Students, am a member.

After this¬†lecture¬†Rob and I had 2 hours to kill, so naturally we went and got some food, once we were done I thought it would be a good idea to go and have our second goes on Diagnosys (the maths diagnostics test). One of my issues with diagnosys is that it isn’t ever very clear how it wants its answers and often it will mark you wrong for an answer which is technically right but not set out how it expects it, but even bearing this in mind both Rob and I improved our scores — In just over a week I’d improved by 6%. Good progress I think, thanks in part to excellent tuition for the girlfriend!

As 12:15 rolled in we made our way over to Applied Sciences 3 for a lecture on the structure of an Operating System which was very interesting, particularly the bit about how process queues are managed.

After this I headed over to the Robert Blackburn building to take part in the Computer Societies first Fragfest of the year — essentially a bi-weekly¬†opportunity¬†to play games with¬†like-minded¬†people and shout abuse at¬†each other¬†whilst doing so. Great fun, as you can imagine! Whilst there it was nice to meet up with Adam (aka Insomnia) and have a chat about many things including the viability of Linux ever overtaking Windows in terms of market and mindshare, he also told me some things I¬†didn’t¬†know about or were simply misinformed about. (I thought you could only release open source software for¬†Linux¬†– this is false, though Canonical cannot package closed source components with its Ubuntu Operating System). It was also great to have a chat to the ComSoc organisers as well as fellow gamers, hopefully I’ve made some new friends! You can see some of the¬†attendees in the photo above showing just some of the lab.

I spent much of the evening talking to Jess, which was nice, before heading off out to meet up with some friends at the pub.

All in all its been a great day and I can’t wait for the weekend!

Thanks for Reading,


Maths, maths and more maths!

(The two A4 sheets which have taken up much of my night, and have helped me learn interesting subjects such as  Scientific Notation, Significant Figures, Decimal Places, Rounding, Percentages, Modular Arithmetic, Logarithms, Expand, Factorise & Prime Factorisation)

Today was the start of my first full week of proper lectures and it started with a 9:15 lecture on¬†Quantitive¬†Methods for Computing — which as the name suggests is all about the mathematics behind computer programming. The lecture was an introduction to the module and touched on some basics such as Number systems (including a brief history of integers from Roman Numerals (and why its not such a great system due to the lack of a 0) to the modern day system we use originally thought up by¬†Arabic¬†people).

2 hours later, around lunch time, I also had my first computer systems lecture which explained the course. Essentially we will be looking into computer architectures and hardware as well as the function of Operating Systems. This sounds like it will be an enjoyable module, and many CS students will probably agree with me judging by the amount of people who raised their hand to say they had built their own computer — well over 90%.

About 3:15 we had our first QMfC¬†Tutorial, where Dr Gordon provided additional support and gave us some works sheets to go through to be marked against model answers later in the week as well as our scores to¬†Fridays¬†diagnostics test — since then I have been working hard to go through the sheet as I need to work really hard to get my maths up to the level that is required for my CS degree.

Directly after the tutorial I had a Programming Lecture which was an introduction to what computers are (technically) and¬†algorithms, both of which also look to be pretty interesting.¬†Unfortunately¬†Rob Miles¬†couldn’t¬†be there as he is in Berlin for some Windows Phone 7 conferences, however the lecture was still quite¬†humorous¬†— which is good as that helps me learn.

When I got back to the lawns I immediately had dinner as it was almost 6 and¬†I¬†hadn’t¬†eaten since my Jacket Potato and Cheese at 11:30, chilled for about 45 minutes and then left for my compulsory 1 hour lecture on Fire safety, very kindly presented by Humberside Fire Brigade, whilst in student housing, which was both full of interesting facts and somewhat unnerving. ¬†Since then the lovely Jessica has been helping me with my mathematics as she got an A at AS and is currently in the process of taking A2, which is the time when many of the theories and methods are taught.

Im exhausted after today so thats all for now, thanks for reading!