The Pellissippi Blogs are down WAAAY too much for me to deal with this semester, so I am using my personal blog for CSIT 1510. I am attempting to insert my Blogger feed here….
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This class totally exceeded my expectations of a typical “Intro” class. I recommend this class for anyone that uses a computer. Dr. Brown is very organized and covers a vast amount of information quickly. This isn’t some BS class where you have to memorize lessons from a textbook that you’ll never use again. I appreciate his effort to include information on technology that is REALLY being used in the world, by companies, by labs, and by our government. I am actually shocked at the amount of insanely advanced research that is going on right now that I had no idea even existed. It reminds me of how I felt the first time I saw the videos on PETA… “How did I not know this?” Only, in a more positive way.
The class is broken up into 3 sections: Introduction to Computers, Programming Computers, and Advanced Computer Topics. The Introduction section covers the history of computers and basic knowledge on hardware and software. This section was very informative… but the way Dr. Brown presented the material, I actually stayed interested. After the first test, the class gets really fun, so tough it out the first few weeks. The Programming section has the best projects. This section is what convinced me I needed to change my plan and pursue the 2 year degree in programming. The last section is on Advanced Computer Topics, and by advanced, it does not mean difficult. It’s more about pushing the limits on what computers can do and will do in the future. Gaming is also covered in this section, which seemed to be an exciting topic for most of the guys. Read my other blog posts if you want to know more about what goes on in Dr. Brown’s class. One piece of advice – don’t be late to class.
Since this is our last blog, I will admit my secret, selfish motive for pursuing a Computer Science degree… I think smart guys are really hot. Ha ha, but besides that, I think knowing how to work, program, or fix a computer can give me power. It’s like a secret knowledge. It might even be more valuable than money itself. Nobody wants to piss off a person that can fix their computer – or hack their computer. Most people don’t know how a computer works beyond Windows, yet they need computers to function in daily life. As I learn more, I plan on using my power to help as many people as possible and only sometimes use it for personal gain. ♥
Like Google says,
“Don’t be evil”
Some parts of virtual reality creep me out a little bit. I can imagine that in the near future, we will be able to interact in a virtual world that is so much like the real world, there won’t really be a difference. That freaks me out, so I don’t feel like talking about it.
Virtual reality at the current moment in time is very cool! I think it’s great when companies can use games to train people. The flight simulators and military type games are pretty amazing. Actually, my kids play a dog game on the iPad that I would consider training them for how to care for a real dog. You seriously have to pet it and wash it and take it places. It is very time consuming to keep the dog happy, just like in real life (which is why I will never own a dog). I spent an hour on the stupid game one day trying to get my daughter’s dog a boyfriend so it would have puppies. I was unsuccessful, which is not surprising. There have been a few iPad games that I played, like Paradise Island and Angry Birds, but I get bored with them so easily.
I prefer to learn things by playing a game over reading a text book, but my ultimate choice is to learn things by doing them in real life. I like people and their personalities and their stories. Computer games, Facebook, TV… none of those things fulfill me. I feel like that makes me a little weird. I think our society is moving towards a much more virtual world, where people can create strong relationships/friendships with people they play games with online (through the computer, Xbox, etc). I think if I ever decide to play a game, I would probably pick Minecraft. From all the games we looked at, I think I would have the most fun with it. Plus, I read that the creator of the game earned $3 million in profits last year and gave almost all of it back to his employees. That’s awesome.
It is interesting to me to think about the relationship of our body and brain and how we use them to experience life. The way we experience life seems to be what makes us different from other living things. I think we will be able to create a computer that operates like a human brain, but I don’t understand how it will ever experience life like we do, even if it has a body. How can it be programmed to have emotions or feelings, when feelings are not facts?
One of my favorite questions to think about is “where do our thoughts come from?” This week’s topic unexpectedly made me think about that question a lot. I knew our thoughts came from our experiences, but I never broke it down much further than that. We learned in class that we get information through our 5 senses and that is what creates our experiences in life, which create our thoughts about life. But, I think our thoughts kind of cycle back around and also contribute to how we experience life. I understand that a neural network can do that – get results and use them to modify the choice for the next decision– but we can’t say if a feeling is wrong or right. So, how can that ever work to create a brain like computer?
And, what about our dreams? Do they count as thoughts or experiences? Just the other night, I had this awesome dream about Russell Crowe. He was my boss and he totally started making out with me at work and it was amazing. I woke up in the best mood ever!! So, even though it was just thoughts in my head, it still made me feel happy when I woke up. So, is a dream an experience and would a computer brain be able to dream? Seriously, I think too much.
Random Thought From The Video This Week:
Why is that guy wearing a cell phone around his neck?
This was also week 2 of programming our robots.
Some of the robots in our class were kick ass. I love being around smart people and I can’t wait to take Java so I’ll be smart too
I’ve actually had a lot of experience working with robots. I’m pretty sure most of the men in my life are robots… same basic program, different shells. The communication software that is installed on my robots does not seem to be compatible with their EGO operating system. Just last week, I kept getting an error called, “STFU” (aka, this is a conversation not a monologue). If I knew what language my robots were programmed in, I could create a patch for this error. All I need to do is put a pause between every 5 sentences the robots speak, which would allow time for another person to contribute to the conversation. My ex-robot has communication issues too, but it is mainly caused by a nasty virus he has called BEER.EXE. The virus causes him to forget any conversation he had the day before. Maybe one day I’ll be able to create my own robot that doesn’t have these issues. <3
All of the robots that I saw in the videos were awesome, even though some of the ideas were strange. I love the idea of robots being able to help people. I wasn’t convinced that a robot can “help fight the obesity problem”, but it was a cool alternative as a personal trainer. After watching these videos and the videos last week about the drones, I can see how the use of robots is going to bring up some interesting questions about life.
I didn’t realize there were so many ways to define a hacker until this class. I guess I can say I’ve been a hacker since high school. I hacked my boyfriend’s voice mail for 4 years and he never knew. I mean, his password was “pimp”, how easy was that to break? Hacking my ex-fiancé’s Android phone was amazingly easy, but I won’t go into all the fun things I did… because I found out it was illegal to hack someone’s phone – even if you are married to them! I thought I was being clever, not a criminal.
I also didn’t realize it was considered hacking if you mess with someone’s FB account when they leave it open on your computer. I love messing with people’s FB pages. Immature, I know. I guess that’s why I can totally relate to why someone would want to create a non-destructive virus. I get a serious case of the giggles when people are confused. I would write a virus that made someone’s disk drive open every 2 hours or that made a little man run across their screen, screaming.
The only thing I really don’t get is why anyone would want to create a virus to mess up some average person’s computer. It seems so hateful. I don’t have many virus issues anymore. I have found that as long as I don’t share a computer with a male, I don’t get any viruses. Funny, how that works.
Favorite quote this week:
“Never phreak from home.”
Overall, I enjoyed the Pausch speech, but it was not my favorite, for a couple of reasons. For the first time in my life, I realized that I didn’t have any childhood dreams – that I can remember. That seems weird and a little depressing… like, wtf does that mean? Is something wrong with me? I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I never cared about meeting a celebrity. All my friends wanted to marry Jonathon Taylor Thomas, and even at age 9, I thought that was ridiculous. I never dreamed about being married at all, or having kids, or being rich or famous. The only reason I can think of, is that I just had a really happy childhood. I loved every minute of every day and I didn’t want to change anything. It’s not that I don’t dream at all…. I think I just dream different than other people.
Favorite Quote This Week:
“Just ignore everything they say, and only pay attention to what they do.”
For my scratch project, I changed my mind at the last minute (as usual) and did a spot the difference game. There were a couple spot the difference games already on scratch, so I downloaded their programs to get ideas on how to make it work. They all seemed very inefficient to me, so I came up with my own idea. (And, personally, 🙂 I think mine is the best.) I had to get some help from Dr. Brown on setting up new variables, but as soon as he showed me the first one, I got it. I find it interesting and very awkard to transfer an idea into programming language. When I read it, I can understand it, but I have trouble coming up with it on my own. I feel like you have to be naturally smart to write good programs and figure out algorithms. I have a new admiration for programmers. And I think I need to take some more math classes. :-/
Here’s my Scratch Link: http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/eturp/2413315
I thought transitioning from interior design to graphic/web design would be really easy. I figured once I knew how to use Photoshop and how to create a web page, that I would just be awesome at it. (Seriously, lol.) But I’m not and it’s really frustrating. I know I have only been using Photoshop for 6 weeks and I have only done one web page in my life, but I feel like I should be so much better at it than I am. I mean, a web page is almost EXACTLY like a design board. I guess I thought since I spent 3 years of my life creating design boards (which, for the most part was a big waste of time and money)–I should already be half way there to making beautiful websites. It’s really hard to make the screen look like the picture I have in my head. Style sheets are so much more complicated than I imagined!
SQL seemed kind of fun to me. I know we just touched on the very basics, but it felt like organizing. I love to organize. I think I would be good at that. I am very interested in finding out more about that field. I can see how SQL can be used in all kinds of applications… software for companies, web sites, everything important.
Moving on to HTML part 2: I am so excited about this website, it’s ridiculous. I really want to make more pages and play with linking them together and figure out how to make better backgrounds and cool buttons, but I decided I just need to calm down. I think it will be a better use of my time to go ahead and start practicing style sheets so I can continue on to learn the rest of the web design tools. Although, after this class is over, I don’t even know if I ‘ll want to do web design. I’m trying so hard to keep my mind open so I can make a clear decision about where to go after this, but I am feeling so much pressure to have a plan. The thing is, I had a plan the first time I went to college. I had a lot of plans about my life, and none of them worked out. I don’t want a plan this time, I just want to learn and work hard. I think it’s all going to work out. I think after this semester I will know.
I can’t wait to see everyone’s websites!!
Here’s the link to my website: http://pstcc11.pstcc.edu/~c1110a03/