Final CSIT 1101 Blog

I really enjoyed this class. The broad range of topics that were covered is expected in an introduction course, but we spent enough time on each topic to get a good idea of how much we enjoy that particular topic, and for me, it confirmed in full that this is the area I want to pursue for a career.

I thought the delivery method for the class was great, even though I missed some classes I was able to keep up online to the notes and information that was being presented. I also found the comics very helpful as well as entertaining. I learn better visually, and can better remember what I read when there is a picture that links to it.

The area which I think I most enjoyed in the class was the programming of the finch birds and the Lego robots. I’m a networking major and not a programming major because I’ve always liked the hardware interactions with computers better than the software. I’ve always felt a bit intimidated by programming before, but from working with those things I felt that I picked it up quickly and am much more comfortable with having to write or tinker with codes in the future.

The part of the class I least enjoyed was going over the history of computing. Although I think it is important to give credit where it is due to the first inventors, programmers, and innovators in the field, I feel like it could all be covered in part of one class period, and have more emphasis on technical aspects of the first computers over the people and dates they did things.

Robotics

I had a lot of fun messing with both the finch and the Lego robots. I don’t know much of anything about Java (which is what the finch robots are programmed in), but I was able to quickly pick up what the values were that I could change to get different effects. I was able to tell what the different variables were for the speed and direction of each wheel, the timing of actions, and the light colors. I also liked programming the Lego robots even though it wasn’t in a traditional programming language. I think the knowledge of how programs work with loops and variables will transfer over to other programming.

Last Lecture Thoughts

I thought Randy Pausch’s “last lecture” was an interesting idea. Not many people who are on their deathbeds (metaphorical or not) get to have their last thoughts or lessons listened to by any wide audience. In this way Randy had an opportunity most don’t. The main points I think Randy made was to have fun with what you do, take chances, and never give up on fulfilling your dreams. The ideas are things that are often heard in most college commencement speeches. I think Randy largely felt the need to sum up his live and give the wisdom he had as a way to sum up his life on a good note.

ALS Effectiveness

I think the ALS really helped me a lot to understand how assembly language works. It was really helpful to see how the commands are stored into machine code and then loaded to memory and registries to be used. Also it was really useful to see the the commands and steps going to the processor, and I’m glad I was able to practice it in a simulator that couldn’t possibly mess anything up.

Computer Build Lab

I’ve build and disassembled computers before so I was very comfortable going into the lab. The hardest part was going through all the pretty hardware on newegg and not buying anything I can’t afford. In the lab, we stripped the computer down completely including taking the CPU before reassembling it. I think my group learned some things from me and it was good to look at and older computer and review my knowledge.

CSIT 1110 Goals and Expectations

My goal in this class is to get an A or B and my expectations is to get a general knowledge of CSIT which I can apply to other classes. Like any class it is another step towards getting a degree and a job I actually enjoy.