A great new entry at Pellissippi State blogs

Well this is the final blog for class. All I have left is this blog and my test on Monday.  For the most part I’ve enjoyed the class and learned a lot. My only issue is there was a lot more programing than I was ready for. That area was never an interest for me. I’m more of a puzzle problem solver than an imaginative person.  Still it was interesting to learn the basics. You never know when something like that will come in handy.  My biggest concern was how disappointed I was with my performance. I really hated how I did on my quizzes. Carelessness really sunk my grades. I’d like to post some thoughts I have about how the class went.  I’ll skip week one since it was mostly an overview about what we would be covering.

Week #2 Information

This week we learned about the way information is stored and about Binary. Binary was much easier than I expected. I knew basically how it worked and I understood what the T-shirt about how there are 10 types of people in the world.  Actually using it though was amusing and I’m glad I learned.  My understand of how information was stored was rudimentary at best so the class lecture and comic filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge.

Week #3 Hardware

I really enjoyed this week. Hardware is more along my interests. This is the puzzle type stuff I enjoy.  The lab was bad though because it made me start wanting to get a new computer. I would love to have the one I put together for class but it would cost way too much.  On the other hand the pseudo-computer really confused me.  I still don’t much understand how it works and hope I don’t have to see it again for awhile. I am part to blame because I skipped the first lab where we started learning about it. I never was able to get caught up.

Week #4 Software

The week about software was more familiarto me than some of the others. I have self taught myself how to use a number of programs. Excel and some other lesser known programs.  I liked the idea that programs were “spells”. It was an amusing slant on the whole concept but I can see how it is also accurate. On the other hand I dread learning things such as kobal. I hope I don’t have to go through that.

Week #5 Networks

This week was of a particular interest to me. I’ve always wanted to learn more about networks given all the time I have spent setting them up for where I used to work. That was more plug everything in and go stuff rather than the actual principles behind them.  I also enjoyed setting up my own web page. I had done it once before back in 1998 but most of those lessons have dissappeared from my memory. I hope I will get to learn more about this as my schooling goes along.

Week # 6 Data Bases

I have a lot of experience with a variety of databases. I worked with POST, COPS, BOCRIS, ORACLE, ACRM, etc.  I don’t know the name of the shell that POST and BOCRIS used but I have seen them other places. ACRM was the easiest to use though. It was more like using the internet. Anyway since this was more familiar territory I was much more comfortable with the lessons. Granted that still didn’t stop me from messing up on the test when the time came.

Week # 7 Programming

Another week where I wasn’t entirely sure what the heck I was doing. I understood the basic principles of how programming works. The if/then loop is understandable enough. I also recognized the names of a  number of the program languages that were mentioned. I remember when my uncles was in school and how big a deal he made of the fact he was learning kobal and I think fortran.  I’ve also some experience with ASCII but mainly from watching movies that people have done in it. I think this is also about the time we were finishing up the Scratch project.  Scratch was fun but I had a hard time coming up with something to do. I feel like my stick figure band was no where near as good as some of the others but I still enjoyed doing it. I wish I had more time to work on it though. This was also the week we watched the “Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch.  I thought it was a great video and really admire everything he was able to accomplish in his short life.  I sometimes wonder what would have happened if he had not died. What else would he have accomplished?

Week #8 Security

This is one of the weeks I was most looking forward to… Since it is more in line with my major. I am not a hacker and I think what they do is wrong. But learning about the hackers that came before was interesting. I knew about Captain Crunch and phone phreaking from somewhere. I have a habit of picking up bits of knowledge in the strangest places. The video we watched with Draper, Wozniac and Mitnick was a little over dramatic but still interesting. I am interested in learning more about worms, viruses, and malware in general and how to protect computers from them. I’ve mostly been able to keep my computers clean but I have been hit more than once. I do believe that hackers will, in the future, cause a great many problems. I just hope that it is nothing truly catastrophic.

Week #9 Robotics

This was a fun week. I was amazed at how advanced the Sony robot was. I believe in the future robots will become a part of our everyday life. I just worry that they will take over all the labor jobs leaving people behind. I can see a possible future were mankind dies off through inactivity due to being supported by robots. This was the week we also started playing with the Lego Mindstorms. They were a lot of fun and very frustrating at the same time.  The loops to make them work seemed simple enough but it took a long time to tweak everything just right to make them run the required program.  I don’t envy the people that do this for a living at all. I think I would become extremely frustrated.

Week # 10  AI

I believe that AI is going to become an extremely sticky situation.  Will robots have rights once they develop intelligence?  I know we have the Turing test but is that reliable enough to prove intelligence?  I thought the story about the computer identify tanks was amusing and I can see things like that will make people believe that the computer is intelligent when in reality it is doing something completely different. All in all this lesson is about things that will effect mankind most in the future. Will robots control things for us? Personally I think we will have something similar to WALL-E where the robots take care of everything and mankind doesn’t even make an effort to get out of their chair.  We will be done as a race if that happens.

Week #11 Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is amazing to me. I think once things really get going, beyond what we see in video games, life will be interesting. I think the advances we have made into 3D and the WII is really going to spur this movement on. Wearing a pair of glasses and probably wearing gloves will be the new reality. A lot of people can do their jobs without leaving home. Using VR and making robots move will enable people to do hazardous jobs from safety. At least some of them.  Imagine a guy sitting at home wearing gloves and building a car by hand.  Plus it will enable the physically handicapped to do jobs they never have before.  As far as entertainment goes once someone devises a VR porn the industry will really take off.  After all Porn spurs more developments than anything else.  I didn’t care for the movie we watched this week.  “Second Skin” felt really slanted towards piting the people that play these games.  Except for the guy and girl that got married I feel sorry for everyone of these people, including the guy that gave up games considering his rant on IMDB.  Oh and the books listed. I have read several of William Gibson’s books. I enjoyed them for the most part and keep meaning to buy more. I may  pick up Snow Crash sometime if I can remember.

Well thats basically it for the class. The only other thing we did was a quick wrap up and watch a short video about Kurzweil.  My impression of him is that he is smart.. and an ass. I hope some of the things he believes will happen to not. 

I had fun in this class for the most part. The only parts I didn’t enjoy was that damned Pseudo Computer. I hope to never see that again. I did learn a lot though and I believe that it will help me in the future. I am looking forward to continuing my education in computers and i think this was an important first step.

Good luck everyone!


This weeks topic was about virtual reality. We watched a movie called Second Skin that, to me, was mostly negative about playing MMOs.  I checked it out on IMDB and one of the people interviewed was very angry about how he was portrayed in the film. In any case it really shed some light on some of my own activities. I admit I do play World of Warcraft.  Probably more than I should. After watching the film I’ve seriously been thinking a bout quitting. In fact I probably will once my month’s subscription expires.  I do know since I started playing the year it came out I’ve gained almost 30 lbs and don’t hang out with my friends as much as I used to. I can see how this is negativly impacting my life. On the positive side though I can honestly say I’ve never skipped work to play. I haven’t quite hit rock bottem there.

I don’t think I am a typical player though. I like the interactivity of having other players but I really don’t want to talk to most of them. I see most players as morons in waiting.  I have run across some though that were great and I enjoyed talking to them.  They just are few and far between.

Currently though I am playing a warrior. http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Velen&cn=Eraman In case you are curious.  I guess we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.



Filed Under CSIT1110

This week we covered artifical intelligence. If we are every able to deveople A.I. it is going to open many legal and moral complications. Will the A.I.s have rights or will they be no better than slaves.  How much fear will it cause. A lot of people seem to believe that we will end up in a situation like in Terminator or The Matrix. Personally I believe it will be more something like out of WALL-E.  People will become dependent on the machines to take care of them and will have no ambitions. I think I could be the fall of society but not because of a hostile take over.

It will be interesting to see what exactly happens if we ever do finally create a machine that can think for itself.  The actual science of developing AI is very interesting too. It seems to have caused many breakthroughs in computers and the programs that we use everyday.  I know I have an addiction to various games and it can only make them better… as long as it doesn’t become the only way people react to each other.

All in all if it ever happens it will change the face of mankind. The question is whether or not it will be an actual benefit to mankind or the first sign of out downfall.


This week was our introduction to robotics.  We watched several shorts about robots and a longer one about the great robot race in the desert.  The movies were fine but I’ve always been fond of the battle bots style of robots.  You can’t beat one robot tearing huge hunks out of another one. 

Anyway we got to start playing with the robots this week. Unfortunatly I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have to the programing instructions. I was too busy actually playing with the legos.  I always have an urge to play with blocks I guess.  Our project is supposed to continue next week. I’m not entirely sure what we are supposed to do but it should be fun either way.

Sorry about the short post. I spent most of the day in Crossville packing up my grandparents house for sale.  And now I am going to bed.


This week in class we went over security and the history of hacking. I actually new a bit about the history of hacking so much as I had heard of Captain Crunch and Kevin Mitnick. I wasn’t aware of how big a manhunt there was for him though.  In the dim recesses of my mind I seem to remember hearing on the news how they caught him but I can’t swear to that. I have had some experience with the various types of spyware, malware and viruses. One of my computers was hit pretty hard with all of it at one point. I ended up just reformatting that computer and giving it away. It was pretty old at the time and I didn’t think it was worth recovering.

The video on hacking into some one’s network was interesting. I have been known to “borrow” some one’s open access but never went as far as hacking into a network though. It was scary how easy it was to do.  I am just hoping that no one around here is that sophisticated.  Plus I am not broadcasting my network name so hopefully that is helping.

I finally came up with an idea for my scratch project. I like how my video turned out for the most part. I never did get the timing right for the part where Jim Morrison quit singing though.  All in all given the videos that I saw others doing with the stick figure bands I am happy though. At this time though I am having trouble getting to play on the website.  It loads up to the end but never starts playing. I wonder if my sound file is just too big or something.  Anyway here’s to hoping a I get a good grade on it.


This week we started learning about programming.  The last time I did anything even remotley like this was back when I was in the 7th grade.  My math teacher of all people taught us some stuff using DOS.  That was so long ago don’t even really remember much of what we did.  In any case most of what we went over was over my head. I guess I’ve never been particularly interested in learning to program. I don’t have the imagination for it. 

Scratch was interesting and I see how we can have fun playing with it.  But I am worried about the project. I’ve been wracking my brain for two days trying to think of something to do but so far I’ve got nothing.  I thought about trying to do some sort of game but when I looked through some of the sample games I realized that they are WAAAY beyond my understanding.  I might be able to rig up some sort of pong game but that’s been done.  I figure I have about three more days to figure out what I want to do before I have to actually start doing something…  I guess we’ll see.

I’m kind of pissed off at myself today though. When I took the test I read two of the questions wrong and so answered them wrong. I’d swear I read visible not verbal on the one question.  Anyway here’s to the next week of classes and we’ll see if I can learn more.


This week’s class was a really short one about data bases. I’ve been using Data bases at work for years so I knew something about the top end of how they are used.  The lesson went further into depth about things I didn’t know though. I think several of our databases use the flatfile format such SPARTAN.  Primarily though we used data bases based on the Relational format.  Most of ours you just typed in what you wanted to search for in the appropriate field.  For example if I wanted to search for a specific phone number I would just type the number into the phone number field.  it dupicates the select command I think.  Anyway it was interesting but mostly this week I played with my HTML project.  I had knew a little about html codes from a class I had 10 years ago and some playing around on message boards but this was a lot more in depth.

Honestly I spent way too much time messing with this. First writing out what I wanted to put on the website.  It felt like there wasn’t enough text even though I wasn’t sure what else to say about my topics.  Then came the tags. I know I listened in class but it still took me time to get everything right.  I kept having problems with the text alignment around the pictures.  The first one kept wanting to put one line of text beside the pic and then the rest underneath. I finally figured that out and then figured out how to bracket the text with a second picture.  I like how that part turned out.  Course later on I went back and addes links to my flickr account where the larger sized images are located.  That was one of the problems I had… I kept going back and changing things.

Columns turned out to be easier than i expected. I found a great website that explained it really well.  I may have used too many links in this section.  But since they ARE my interestes i figured links to the actual sites would be helpful. 

I am concerned about one part of the assigment though. We were supposed to link 10 times or so inside the text. I did that with my links at the bottom but those links aren’t really in the paragraphs themselves… I just hope I made up for that lack by linking all of my pictures.  All in all thought I thought this was an enjoyable assigment. Much better than the asymbly program. I think I am going to have nightmares about that one.

And of course while I am typing this I have been going back and tweaking the site even more. I need Sunday to get here so I will quit playing with it. I have other homework to do.

And lastly I owe a thanks to Jacob Manar for hooking me up with Notebook ++. I think it made things much easier to keep track of.  I would suggest using this program for any future classes setting up websites.

My website http://pstcc11.pstcc.edu/~c1110b12/

This week’s post is going to be a quick one. I’ve spent the last two days on the couch dosed up on sinus meds so I’m only semi-coherent.

This week we started learning about the web itself and designing websites.  During class Doc Brown showed us a video of Senator Ted Stephens. It was amusingly scatered and illustrates the point that the people that do the voting in goverment often have no idea what is actually going on. I find this extremly depressing and I wonder if there should be an upper age limit on elected offices.  We also covered the structure of the interenet and how it works.  This was mostly something I already knew but it settled in place better in my mind.

The part of class I enjoyed most was the part at designing web pages. I had actually learned how to do this like… 10 years ago but had mostly forgotten everything. I still new what tags were and how to use them but no longer remembered what the tags actually were. I’ve been turning over in my head what I wanted to include. I am thinking maybe my fondness for old cars and include some pics of the two I have owned.  Maybe some of my recipes since I love to cook.  And since I am a bit of a WOW addict maybe a little about that and a link to my long term characters.  I’ll have to think about it some more.  One of the things I am confused about though is columns.  I understand how you make the column but at what point do you put in the text and pics..  I’ll have to ask tuesday in lab.

Well since this was such a short post I’ll include some more links to comics I enjoy.

Control-Alt-Delete                               http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/

Something Positive                             http://www.somethingpositive.net/

PVP Online                                              http://www.pvponline.com/

Questionable Content                        http://www.questionablecontent.net/

Neurotically Yours                            http://www.illwillpress.com/

Till next week


This week was a lot more difficult for me. I get the basic ideas of software and everything. I even understand how OS’s work and can even remember playing in DOS.  Where I start running into problems is the simulator and machine code in general.  I was able to do some of the problems on the home work but the last three questions..  Those were beyond me so far. I plan on making another shot at it and hopfully get my homework turned in on time but I am not sure it’s going to happen.  I’m really frustrated by the fact I can’t seem to find any info online about how to make the simulator count down.  I blame myself though for not attending class Thursday night but I was worried about being able to drive home.  I had mostly lost the vision out of my left eye by 5 o’clock.

Anyway writing the code seems easy enough if you can remember what you are doing. I just have to remember read, read, load, add/sub, store, write, and stop.  and keeping all my lines straight. The rest of the thing we covered in the Tuesday class I was on top of to.  I am rather unimpressed with Google’s OS.  In theory it would be great but I don’t see how anyone could really trust it though.  No matter how protected it is right now someone will hack it eventually.  It just seems like you are begging to give out your personal info.

Anyway thats about all I have for this week. Next week we are starting the stuff and I am really interested in.  Networks, databases, and security.  And the robots seem like they will be fun.

The computer I picked parts out for would in theory be an all purpose computer.. School work, Inet browsing and what not.  Mainly though I want to be able to play games. I am a bit of a gaming addict and spend too much time in front of my screen.  This one is a bit of an overkill for World of Warcraft but would put me in a good position for when the next gen games start coming out.  I should be able to efficently run most if not everything that comes out for the next few years. 

On to the list:

Computer Case Thermaltake XPRESSAR RCS100 Micro Refrigeration Case $699


Power Supply – SilverStone Stider 1000w Modular Power Supply $257


Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 Motherboard $289


CPU – INTEL Core i7 975 extreme Edition 3.3GHZ Quad-Cord Processor $1,000


CPU Cooler – Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler $65


Hard Drive – Hitachi Dekstar 7K1000.C Hard Drive 7200 RPM SATA 1TB $90


Back Up Hard Drive – Intel X-25 Solid State Drive 40GB SATA $130


Video Card – XFX Radeon HD 5870 Video Card 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2.0 $410


RAM – Corsair i7 Dominator tri Channel PC15000 DDR3 RAM 6GB $310


Optic drive – Sony BR-5100S-0B Optiarc SATA Blu-Ray Dr $102


Sound card – Creative Labs SB X-FI Titanium PCIe Sound Card $90


Keyboard – Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard $100


Mouse – Razer Mamba Wireless Gaming Mouse $130


Monitor – Dell UltraSharp 2408WFP –LCD display 24” widescreen Monitor $430


Speakers – Logitech X-540 Surround Sound Speakers $85


Operating System – Windows 7 Home Premium Edition $180


 Total Price $4367

As far as setup these are the steps I would take. 

First I would ground myself and avoid touching any of the pins and gold parts.

I would then lock in my CPU to the motherboard. 

I would then attach the CPU cooler to the CPU by screwing it into the motherboard on top the CPU and plugging it in.

Next I would plug in all three RAM sets and attach the RAM fan.  I would plug that in next.

The motherboard case plate would be attached next.

After that the motherboard itself would need to be screwed in making sure all the screw holes and back plate plugs match up.

Next is the Hard Drives. I would remove the front fan so that I could remove the drive cage. Next screw in the primary and back up hard drives.

Next is the optical drive.   You have to remove one of the plates on the front of the case to slide the optical drive.  Once it is in and lined up I would screw it in.

Now on to the power switches for the case itself.  You plug the connectors into the multi-block and plug in the power switch, reset switch, and HD lights.  Then you plug in the multi-block on to the motherboard.

Next you have to plug in all the cables that are attached to your case into the motherboard being careful to plug everything into the correct ports.

Next I will slide in the power supply into the case and screwing it in.  The various cables that run power to the motherboard, videocard , fans, etc into the power supply.

Next is the videocard.  It is plugged into the appropriate slot on the motherboard.  Then I would screw it into the motherboard.

Now I would plug in the sound card just as I did the video card.

Now the cables from the powersupply are plugged into the motherboard, video card, and the SATA cables making sure that I am using PCIe cables for the video card.

Once everything is plugged in correctly and the cables are zip tied together I would screw the side panel back on to the case.

The last hardware step is to plug in the monitor, key board, mouse, speakers and any other periphial devices I needed.

Finally I would install windows and start updating all my drivers from the windows driver website.

The main thing I left out is the water cooling in the case. I’m not positive what the steps are to set it up. I would follow the instruction booklet that comes with it and do those steps in the appropriate order.

I hope I haven’t forgotten anything but I would look forward to using the computer..  you know if I had the money to buy it.

***credit to the video How to build a PC http://www.vimeo.com/5685229 ***

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