Class Experience

This class has been rather more enjoyable this semester. I came into this class saying over and over to myself, oh crap, oh crap! I thought I wasnt going to have a chance in the world to pass the class because of me having no prior knowledge of computers. After the first day of class, I was blown away at peoples prior knowledge before coming into the class. Im a country boy so I stuck out like a sore thumb. Once Dr. Brown started into the lessons and started explaining things, it wasnt bad at all.

From coming into the class with no knowledge of computers, I am walking out of this class knowing alot about computers. Alot more than I ever expected to get out of this class. So I was definitely shocked about that. It was not a hard class at all. Dr. Brown made it challenging but at the same time made it fun! All of the assignments we did applied to things we were studying at the time so it just furthered our education on it.

I would reccommend this class to anyone not only because it is a fun class but because you will learn loads of information that you never thought u would. I absolutely loved the class and I can say that at the begining I never thought I would have. There was things that we did, that I never even knew existed! So if anyone is looking for a fun, challenging, and a class you will learn LOADS of information in, I highly recommend CSIT 1110 with Dr. Brown!!

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Virtual Worlds and Games

This whole virtual worlds inside games is new to me. I have never been big into gaming and all thats incorporated with it. The video that we saw in class really freaked me out. That people would spend days upon days and hours upon hours playing a game. They get so involved in it, that they cant walk away from it. It just amazes me that someone can get that deeply involved into just a game. And the people meeting on the game and falling in love with one another even after not seeing someone face to face. Then they end up getting married and it all originated from playing a game. That is just way out in left field to me. I could never see myself getting married to someone let alone dating someone that I met on an online game. I mean I can see someone getting to know someone through an online game but not knowing them well enough to date them. I mean the pros of games is getting to know someone but the cons are that you dont get to know them face to face on a more personal level. I couldnt ever see myself as one who gets immersed in a game for days even just for a couple of hours.

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Artificial Intelligence

This weeks topic of artificial intelligence really perked my interest. Because we all encounter AI in our everyday lives and we don’t realize it. From typing this computer and it wanting to do auto-complete because it thinks that it knows what I’m going to say to sitting at this computer playing a game against a robot. Its amazing what all computers can do but the one thing they are still lacking on is trying to communicate intelligently enough with a human being to fool the human that its not really a computer. You would think this would be a simple task to do but in reality its near impossible. Computers don’t have the real life experience that humans do. It lacks common sense which gets human beings through their day to day life. As humans we don’t think about this, but it makes a big difference in our lives! Some games are nothing but strategy and a series of steps but real life and interacting with a human isn’t. You actually have to think about what your gonna do next instead of just running down through a list of responses and selecting one. I don’t know how or when we will accomplish this task but the day we do, it will be an amazing feat!!!

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Robotics is something very new to me. I’m not one who keeps up with all the latest and greatest technology so robotics haven’t really interested me. My dad works at Denso in Maryville and they use robots on some of their assembly lines but that’s about my extent of knowledge about them. I see the commercials that have robots in them and all the things they can make them do and it just amazes me. A good movie that I like is I Robot and is how robots incorporate themselves into humans everyday life. It just amazes me that this is not the distant future.

So far working with the Lego Mindstorm robot has been fairly cool. Everyone else kept their robot the same as the last people to build it but my group tore ours apart and is making a new design. I don’t know yet if this was a smart or a dumb move but only time will tell. Hopefully I don’t get too aggravated with it and give up, so we will see what the next week or two brings with it.

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Hacking really scares the crap outta me. You think something that you type into a secure web page or site ain’t gonna get into the wrong hands but you never know anymore. Hacking used to be something that was rarely talked about but now a days its all you hear about. Even someones online games are getting hacked into because people get bored and need things to do. I can see how hacking can be used in good and positive ways but all we ever hear about is the bad side of it.

Viruses and other security-related issues are bigger than you can expect. People sit around all day thinking of new viruses and worms to to create to somehow shut your computer down or screw it up somehow. These people are stupid. I mean really. If your that smart why don’t you use your knowledge for good and try to prevent people from creating viruses and worms. I had a virus infiltrate my home computer and before I could get it removed it completely shut my computer down. I had to take it and get it fixed. I was very mad and told the guy who fixed it about it. Now I run a security scan every chance I get and I am very cautious.

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Scratch Programming

My overall first impression of Scratch is that it seemed to pretty simple. Once I started messing around with it though it was harder than it appeared. Dr. Brown said it was for younger kids and they could use it great to program things, so this made me feel kinda stupid. Also one guy in class said that his kids used it and loved it and had little animations going in no time so it didn’t boost my confidence any. We will just have to see where this week leads me and see if I can get a grasp on it.

The Randy Pausch talk was great. It was a very insperational one and for a man who knew he was dying, he was very confident in himself. His life story really made me feel like I havent accomplished anything in life and I need to step it up to even come close to him. The class he got started was amazing. What one guy can do just with hope and aspirations is amazing. If I ever come near as successful in life I will have exceeded my goals by a long shot. Computers is not my major so I cant compare what I’m going to do, to what he did.

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My view has changed completely on HTML. At work there is one guy who designs our web page and at first I thought to myself, that cant be too hard to do but I was wrong. I will be the first one to admit it. I took for granite what he did on a day to day basis and kinda laughed at him when he said that he had to change the web site. Now I think I would hate to be him to have to code all of it in. And I asked him one day if he used a program or anything and he said there wasn’t a program to set it up how our boss wanted it so he had to do it all by hand. My jaw dropped when he said that. I always joked with him that I would take his job so I could have it easy but in reality now, I wouldn’t trade him for anything. Just hand coding mine was a challenge for me and our web site didn’t have to be near as complex as my works. Uploading it to the web site was the simple part about it and I didn’t find it challenging at all.

SQL is right over my head. The whole time Dr. Brown was explaining it I had no clue what he was talking about and I still don’t have any clue what SQL is. To me its all a big blur about SQL. Databases were pretty easy to understand to me. I was able to grasp the concept of it but don’t understand it fully. If you asked me to describe it in detail, you might as well be asking me to jump to the moon because it ain’t gonna happen.

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Hand Coding HTML

When I first found out that we were going to have to hand code a web site I was not excited at all. I had no clue even where to start and it seemed like everyone in the class knew exactly what they were talking about. I though I was doomed from the start. But when I went to the lab the first day and Dr. Brown started explaining what all it involved, I thought to myself, this might not be as hard as you think. Turns out, it wasn’t hard at all. I went home that night and messed around with some of the codes and figured out pretty much how everything worked. The next day I was read to start my web site. By this point my brain was already processing all the things possible I could do to make my web site unique and to make it represent me. I started at 12 and by 3 had the basic lay out of my page done. All I had to do was go back in and put specifics. Once I got that done, I was excited that something I had typed in turned out to be this amazing site that I had designed all on my own. It amazed me. I had a few errors here and there but it wass mainly trial and error. If I tried one thing and it didn’t work, I wouldn’t get frustrated, I would just go back and try again. I tried many different layouts and colors until I got exactly what I wanted and I was happy with it. I showed it to a few people and they were amazed what I was able to do. I kept tweaking it until I got it just right and by Wednesday I was done with the whole thing and very satisfied with it. I would have to say that the overall experience with it was GREAT! The way Dr. Brown explained everything made it extremely simple. If I would have tried to teach myself how to do it, I would still me trying to figure out how to even start the page.

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Assembly Language Blog

At first I was definitely confused with the whole using machine code, assembly language, and assembly language simulator.  When Dr. Brown first showed us in class it seem hard but once I got to using it, I understood it better. I struggled with it some and there at first had no clue what I was doing. But once I slowed down and actually looked at it closer I started to understand it. It did take me a couple of tries to reall get the hang of it, but once I did I understood it. I know its not how a real computer works but I think it is a very good simulator of it. Dr. Brown did an awesome job of creating it! I could never create something like this and wouldnt even attempt it. For some of the people in the class they already know all of what we are learning but for me it’s all new. And when we get off topic talking about things, I get so lost because everything that everyone is talking about is way over my head.

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Computer Build-Up

List of parts

  • case
  • motherboard
  • optical drive
  • CPU (cooling fan)
  • RAM
  • hard-drive
  • power supply
  • video card
  • audio card
  • monitor
  • speakers
  • mouse
  • keyboard
  • external hard-drive

Since money was not an option I decided to go all out on this build-up. (Only if I really had this kind of money would i be set!) For a monitor case I went with an Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower because first of all it looked pretty sweet and second it was a huge case so I could keep expanding if I wanted to.

Next I went with a combo pack for my motherboard, CPU, hard-drive, and memory because it was a good deal and was all compatible together.

Then for my optical drive I went with an Lite-on black 18x because it was fast and quiet.

For my power supply I went with an Antec because it was compatible with my case and it also has a super quiet fan and also i has many connections for power so I can hook up many connections to it.

For my video card I went with an XFX HD card because it was a good card for gaming graphics.

For my monitor I wanted the biggest I could find so what I found was an HP 30″.

For speakers I wanted wireless and also good sound so what I found was a Bose set up.

For my mouse and keyboard set I wanted a matching set and plus it was blue so it matched my case.

I also bought extra memory to put in the motherboard for more speed. It was the new DDR3 instead of the DDR2.

I also wanted more external memory to put music a on so I went with 2 TB memory. Its more than I would ever need but money isn’t an option so go big or go home.

Also i got a sound card just to make sure because I wasn’t for sure if my motherboard had audio hook ups and thew sound card can always be returned.

How to build a computer

First you need to make sure you have all the parts you need to build a computer. Once you have all the parts the first thing you do is open up the case and lay it on its side. You first install the CPU on the motherboard. Then you install the CPU cooler over the CPU and plug into the motherboard for power. Next you install your memory cards into the motherboard and make sure you install them the right way. Then you install the back-plate connector in the back of the case, snapping it into place. Next you install the motherboard in the case (making sure it lines up) and then you screw the motherboard into case using wide thread screws not narrow thread. Then you install the hard-drive. You first gotta punch the fan out of the front of the case and then remove the drive case. You put the drive in the drive case from the back and screw it into place. Slide it all back in from the front of the case and pop the fan back into place and screw the drive case into the computer case. You pop out a cover for where the optical drive goes and install it from the front and screw it to the case. Next you connect the front panel connectors to the motherboard. Next you plug in the USB, audio,(Esata), and fire-wire to the motherboard. Next you install the power supply and screw into place. Then you plug in all your power supply cables to your components. Then install your video card into PCI express slot and put the screws in to hold the card into place. Then you plug it into the motherboard and power supply. Next you tidy up the wiring, and put the case back together. Plug the monitor into the computer, plug keyboard and mouse in, plug the speakers in and plug power in the outlet or preferably into a surge protector. Then turn it on and see if all is working right and if not tear it all back apart and make sure everything is working right and plugged into the right place. If working right you can install Windows or whatever programs you want and then try it out!

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