Last Blog for Fall 2010

I originally decided to take this class online for the convenience. It would allow more flexibility in my schedule, and it has. Having said that, I wished I had taken it in class. I would have been able to do the labs and network with future I.T. people.

As far as smaller cites attracting high tech jobs–I think it boils down to how receptive the community is, business taxes, personal state income tax (if applicable), cost of living and schools. Whether it is high tech or manufacturing those are key factors.

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Assignment 11

As far as games and virtual worlds go, I was introduced when Nintendo came out with Legend of Zelda in the mid to late eighties. I had video games before that. The first one I can’t remember the name but it had ping-pong and so forth, and that was in the late seventies. But, the first game/virtual world I played in was legend of Zelda. Well, I can’t forget Mario Brothers either. As the years went on and I began to work more, video games took a back seat. The kids played with them but I had pretty much lost interest. Now, fast forward to today. Because of this class I have been introduced to Alice which I enjoy playing and creating with, that is when I get the chance. That is something that I don’t have much of these days is free time. So, I really don’t have many current experiences either in gaming or virtual worlds.

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Robotics

Actually I have been exposed to robots. I was in the quartz and granite counter top business until my back finally gave out. We did not have one in our shop, but I saw several at trade events and saw one in use at another shop one day. It is a CNC machine. It is a programmable machine, you insert your slab of granite and it will cut and profile the piece for you. It is a fairly costly machine (that’s why we fabricated with hand routers and large table saws in our shop) They are available for other applications like metal work etc. I have also saw robots perform painting and welding in factories. I hate to see people be put out of work, but robots are the way to go in mass manufacturing. Never have to eat, go to the bathroom, and as long as proper maintenance and calibrations are checked, they are virtually flawless. Now, in the case of granite /quartz applications (which I am familiar with) you will get to the millimeter accuracy, but the finished product sometimes isn’t up to the quality of hand work. Especially if you have a difficult profile, then polishing by hand looks much better.

I believe not so long in the distant future robots will be in every home performing manual tasks. For example, lawn care, vacuuming, etc. What concerns me about the future of robotics is when they are used for military applications. I am sure the government has robotic soldiers under development. What is frightening about that is all human aspect is gone. For example, if you are on a ship navigating a drone in enemy territory and decide to bomb a town, or village where bad guys are hanging out, it makes it too easy because you are not there to receive the full impact of the destruction. It would almost be the equivalent of playing a video game. When we reach that point that we are fighting with robots, it’ll be too easy to go to war, emotion will be taken out of it, and that will be a scary thing.

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Hacking

It was really interesting learning about the history of hacking and how the name has changed in meaning. I have always saw it from more of a modern phenomenon. I picture some smart kid trying to prove something or some genius gone rogue getting paid in cash to perform corporate espionage. I had no idea it started out as phone freaking, which really was some harmless fun at the expense of the phone company. Somewhat a sign of the times, the little guy standing up to “The Man”. It really was stealing though, just the same with the home brew club. They saw it as a way to interact and share ideas, all open source. Things changed though when ideas were equal to dollars, as the home computing revolution took off. Even Steve Wozniak broke from the group as Apple began to form and take shape. Fast forward to today, things have changed greatly. I believe hacking for any purpose other then national security is wrong. It is stealing from others intellectual property. Just like there are non profit organizations, there is open source software where those who don’t mind to share their ideas for free are available. Bottom line stealing and breaking in somewhere, whether real or virtual is wrong. I had mentioned national security above, and I believe it is necessary ,basically as a modern form of spying. I saw something online yesterday that I have linked to. Check it out.

Technical woes halt some Iran nuclear machines

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Assignment 7

This was a pretty interesting and fun assignment. I’ve said this before and I’ll probably say it a lot more, but I am a complete novice. I never heard of either one of these programs. Those being Scratch and Alice. From my point of view, if I had to choose one it would be Alice hands down. I’ll explain a little why I feel this way.

I downloaded Scratch and started playing around. Now, it’s straight forward and I had the first sprite( the cat) doing some simple movements etc. I started to wonder if it was moving correctly as far as the steps go. I also had problems with the music loop, I could not get it to continually play, even though there is a command to do that. I started looking through the tutorial and even joined the forum. I found when I started asking questions in the tutorial, it made matters worse.Iwould get all kinds of info except what I had asked for. That’s when I decided to check out Alice.

And what a difference between the two. Alice is so easy, and the guided tutorial makes it exceptionally easy. I love the three dimensional worlds. I’ve actually gotten my fiance interested in it and when we get a chance play around in it. The truth is you really don’t realise that you are programming something because it is so much fun.

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HTML

Well this was the first time I had done anything like this before. That is producing a web page in HTML format. I had a blast. It took me forever to figure some things out. For example, you can write your code then pull it up in your web browser to view your page. I had made a mistake and it was a simple one. When I first saved my code, I overlooked clicking the drop down menu “All Files” and I couldn’t pull it up in my browser. I sought assistance, but it didn’t really help. Eventually I caught my mistake and I was off and running. By the time I had gotten to my third example I was on a roll. I didn’t have to keep going back to the tutorial. If I can make some spare time, I am going to continue and make a web page on my ISP account.

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Building My PC

I enjoyed this assignment. I had taken a class similar to this one, but it has been YEARS ago. We actually dismantled a desktop unit, sort of reverse engineering for dummies. Truth is, I had forgotten most of it over time. That’s why this assignment was enjoyable for me, it kind of refreshed the ol’brain a bit.

A detailed list of parts that would be used, will follow after assembly instructions. Just click on the part name, and you will be linked to the site from which it will be ordered. Also, product descriptions can be found.

I did not factor in price at all for this project. I may have been able to purchase some items together for a discount, but again I did not consider it. I kept the focus on quality, customer satisfaction rates, and what my needs will be in the future.  For example, the case itself, a Cooler Master Centurion 590. This case has lots of room for expansion in the future, and plenty of fan ports for optimal cooling. I kept that same mentality throughout the process of choosing parts. All of them will be able to suit our home computing needs for many years into the future. I used ratings from PC world, trustedreviews.com, and test freaks.com. Also, almost all of the parts were purchased from Amazon.com. I took into consideration their “what do customers buy after viewing this item “, which was a great help in guiding me in the right direction, then being able to compare and review each component.

The work begins:  Install the CPU onto the motherboard. Install the CPU fan  to CPU and memory to motherboard. Install motherboard into case. Install hard drive and optical drive or drives. Install the power source . Install serial, printer, video,usb, Ethernet, sound, and T.V. cards to board. Connect cables, and install Windows (or operations system of choice) and all necessary drivers.

Parts List

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C’mon everybody it’s binary time

Well, I guess by the title you guessed we covered binary numbers in week two- Information and Binary. The binary wasn’t difficult at all. I have done it before a long long time ago. So most of it was a refresher. I had to investigate the hexadecimal and octal(base 8), but no problem .Now for the comic book $%@*! I hope I don’t come off looking like an idiot, but I find it hard to follow. Actually, I don’t care for that at all. Maybe I’m a dinosaur, but I prefer I get my info concerning class material and quizzes from a book. But, for the most part that was refresher material too. Anyway, it all ended well and life goes on. Gotta roll with the changes…. keep on rolling…. keep on rolling……..

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A little more….

about myself. I am a 43 year old man who has decided to further my education. I have a lovely fiance who had put up with me for almost five years. She has two sons, one in college and another a senior in High School.I am a very private person and have always been that way. I am familiar with blogs, Tweeter, Facebook, etc. I just never have chosen to participate. To tell you the truth, I almost hate carrying a cell phone.  The times they are a changing. I suffered an injury a few years ago at work ( which was the catalyst for me enrolling at Pellissippi) and that has curtailed a lot of my old hobbies. I still love music and art. (even though I know nothing about art, if you ask I can tell a funny story about one time I visited the Knoxville Museum of Art) I like photography, but really just a novice. (I took the pic above last fall) I am looking forward to what is offered in CSIT1110 and hopefully it’ll  broaden my horizons.

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Getting Started

Looking forward to this class. I’m getting an early start because it’ll be real busy these upcoming weeks with two jobs and a full time schedule. It’s not anything I can’t handle though.

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