Final Blog…Sad to see it end.

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

I can honestly say that I have never been so excited to start a class as I was the intro to CSITwith Dr. Brown. It was a little intimidating being that I’m older than most students and also I’m not a “technical genius” as some others are in the class. I was so afraid that I was in over my head. I have a love for computers and technology that has guide me to this field but the exposure and knowledge has been limited so now that it’s said and done, this class has helped me tremendously. If you are reading this and are in the same boat as me, please know that Dr. Brown is very willing to help you and you do not have to be fluent in all computer aspects to enjoy and learn from this class.

My favorite sections have been HTML and security. I had no experience in HTML but it came amazingly easy to me. It takes patience as the tags must be correct but it’s not by any means difficult. There is also a lot of hints on the web that can help.  I think my web-page was my proudest moment in this class. I tried to do all that was required but I also wanted to keep it simple. Stuck to the theory that the more bells and whistles you have, the more opportunity for problems…Also, too many graphics are distracting so keep that in mind when working on this project. Security is what I would really like to get in to in the workforce so this section also fascinated me. It’s a long-shot but homeland security would be my dream. Some students are too young to remember 9/11. It had a huge impact on me being that my cousin was working in the Pentagon and we spent hours not knowing if he was safe or not. Working to prevent future terrorism would be an honor! Nothing is impossible unless I refuse to try so well just see how that pans out. I had not thought much about  hacking and the dark side of it. Obviously we hear about worms, viruses and Trojan horses but I learned of a new level of evil regarding those that use hacking to cause harm to others. I’m not talking about just mischievous acts, I’m talking about draining bank accounts, identity theft and fraud. This is also what I would like to work to prevent along with the threat to our national security.

My least favorite part of the class was the Assembly language (simulator). I know beyond a doubt that I will never be a programer. I don’t have the concentration for it but this thing really kicked my butt. It was not from a lack of effort…I just could not grasp it. I truly wish  I could have taken some time to work w/Dr. Brown on this one.

Other sections that were very enlightening were virtual reality and building a computer. I never thought I would have the ability to actually build one but after working on this, it’s not nearly as hard as it seems. I’m sure my project was not perfect but it gives you a great foundation on hardware that you can use if you ever decide to build or repair your own p.c. Virtual Reality was a little concerning and there was a lot I had not realized about this topic. Parts of it are very dark and twisted. This is a very interesting section so i would recommend watching the videos Dr. Brown offers.

We also learned about many people that have influenced the world of computers. I believe one of my favorite ones was Alan Turing. His contributions were not as well known as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates but they were significant none the less. I thought his life was a bit sad and his influence on ww2 was huge. He should have been deemed a hero!

Well, I’m sad to say I guess this is it. I have throughly enjoyed this class and I hate to see it end. My advise to anyone reading this is always attend class and take good notes. There is so much interesting content so take advantage of it! Dr. Brown treats you like an adult and simply expects you to do what is required so  absorbe all this is made available to you and enjoy the adventure!

Virtual Reality

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

I’m a little uneasy regarding some aspects of virtual reality. I enjoy the “just for fun” aspects of it but knowing that some get so involved that it consumes their life is a little concerning being that I have computer savy children. I don’t want that to happen to either of them! The technology end of it amazes me. The graphics and the abilityof customizing these world are nothing short of mind boggling. Being a completely “non creative” person, it’s nice to be able to explore the creativity of others and experience different worlds we otherwise may  never see. All in all, it’s just another amazing advancement made possible by technology that adds to the enjoyment of computers.

Virtual worlds and games

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

This week we watched a video one night about gaming. I have to admit, I was shocked. It focused on “gamers” that were obsessed with World of Warcraft and Everquest. I remember several…several years ago, I was given “The legend of Zelda”. I could not stop playing. I did no housework and just forcing myself to cook dinner was a challenge. I know what it’s like to become a game zombie but I can’t understand the ability these people have to shrug major responsibilities such as work and family. It was almost sickening to see these people trying to justify their need to play vs going to work. On the other hand, I can see the benefit of these games in relation to certain handicapped people. It offers them a chance to be, or feel normal. I have problems with virtual relationships though. I know they are actually real friendships because there is communication between people but to meet and fall in love online seems desperate and dangerous. How about the physical attraction? Is that just supposed to come later, after they meet? And also I think this is extremely damaging to kids. How to they learn to cope in society and adapt to being around people they don’t necessarily like when they are so used to choosing who they associate with in the virtual world. This was definitely an eye opening experience for me but at the same time, it was sick and twisted in a very dark way.

Robots and AI

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

I really enjoyed working on the Lego robots the past couple of weeks. It was a less intense project than some of the previous ones so we got to have a little bit of relaxed fun. On the subject of Artificial Intelligence, I’m a little uneasy about it. On some level, I believe we have come too far too fast. The repercussions of our need to continuously advance might eventually bite us in the butt. I feel that some things just aren’t meant to happen. Creating something equal to a human, I feel is impossible. Creating a conscious, guilt or sadness just cannot occur. If it ever does, humans will become expendable. I don’t support advancing to that level.

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

This week was definitely a twist from the usual workings of a computer. We worked on the Lego Robots and I actually enjoyed it. We worked in teams (thankfully) and we had to rebuild ours from scratch. I don’t quite understand why it was completely broke apart but our “team lego expert” came to the rescue. This is another example of programing being that we also have to create the actions the robot has to perform on an online program. It’s not too difficult. The amusing part of this subject is watching the “guys” play with these th

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Ok, this week we had a test but our Scratch project was due and I’m just not feeling good about it at all. It seemed like the more I worked on it, the more things went wrong. I even lost my character a few times and had to create another one and his script from scratch. I can’t explain my way out of a box much less tell something what to do step by step. That is what scratch is. We are basicaly telling this program what we want it to do but if you forget one thing, it’s not going to work. This has reinforced that I do not have what it takes to be a programmer. I love the program…I’m evidently just not very good at using it. It would be fun to play with when I could come up with something better to create. That’s another one of my problems. Creativity is not my strong asset.  Anyway, next week is robots. I’m great with transformers…I doubt this gives me any advantage!

Security! My Favorite!

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Each week I think I’m working on what I enjoy the most (except assembly language) but the following week always seems to get me even more excited. This week was security and this is my home. I honestly hated to see class end. Could have probably listened to Dr. Brown all day on this subject. It is truly fascinating to me to listen to those that have the ability to hack. I want to be on the other end of hacking…security. I’m hoping I can obtain my goal through my classes here since it seems to be almost a natural ability to some while I will have to learn these skills.

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

This week we are working with the M.I.T. Scratch program and it is pretty amazing to me. I’m still discovering it’s capabilities but I’m excited about actually creating something. My problem is that I’m not very creative so I don’t know yet what I will do but my goal is the same as my HTML assignment…keep it simple without any glitches.  Learning to tell a computer exactly what to do sounded much easier than it actually is. Dr. Brown’s comparison to telling a robot to walk made a whole lot of sense. One action can take a multitude of instructions even for a simple task. This is a very eye opening assignment as Scratch is made up of so many details and instructions.

My daughter had three Dr. Appts. Wednesday due to an Ankle injury at her track meet so I missed class and I deeply hate that. I’m learning so much in this class so I feel I can’t afford to miss out on any information. I hope it doesn’t hurt my understanding of the project.

HTML-Finished Project!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Well, I finally have my site completed and I enjoyed this assignment to the fullest. My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to do a couple of other things. I wanted to keep it simple just to make sure everything opened correctly so I avoided adding too many bells and whistles but I wish I had added an e-mail link and maybe a table somewhere. This is something I would definitely like to learn more about in the future!

Databases and SQL seem a little complicated to me but I think with a little patience and understanding, I would feel more comfortable with it. It’s just a matter of learning the “language” Well, it’s spring break now so I’m going to get some much needed rest this week…I hope.

HTML-Much funner than expected!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

This week has been so much fun that I’ve uncontrollably neglected my other three classes…not good! This was my first experience with HTML…actually a lot of what I am learning is new to me but I’m loving it! HTML is much easier than I would have ever thought and the options seem endless. I’m finding that even when I can’t get something to work as planned, I can review my tags and always find my mistake. It’s amazing to me to see what I’ve created even in it’s simplest form. The tables are a little challenging but I’ll work through it.

 I am not very creative/artistic person so it helps to look at the sources of other websites and notice what they do to enhance their layout. I generally don’t pay much attention to a site…I just expect it to function properly so I hope at the very least my end product is able to please the user and not make them want to hunt me down!