Week 14 Final Thoughts

Intro to Information technology was a wonderful class for me, and I’m not just writing that cause the instructor will be reading this later :D. This class gave me sort of an eye opener. Going into this I had previously worked for an IT company local to Knoxville and enjoyed it very much (hence me pursuing a degree in the field), but all I really knew was break fix. This class opened my eyes to the possibilities that are available in the IT world. Going over all the different areas of CSIT allowed me to really get a feel for what I want to do while I’m here at PSTCC as well as after I leave. I came into this class wanting to pursue a networking job. I still feel that this is the right path for me, but along our journey there were definitely different subjects that grabbed my interest and may be a sort of side project such as coding. Without this class I probably would have never even given coding a second look. In my head every programmer or person writing code was sitting at a desk with 20 empty coffee cups surrounding a keyboard with no other keys besides a 0 and a 1. Overall I think this class is great. I’m really glad that It is a prerequisite it will allow people who have no idea about CSIT the opportunity to learn about the field and where they fit in. It also affords people who may think they know where they are headed the chance to scratch the surface of other areas to see if maybe their initial plans might need a change.

 

This will be my last blog for awhile So farewell!

Thanks,

Kyle Palmer

Week 13: Alice

This week we explored a program called Alice 3.0 Very similar to the scratch program we visited earlier in the semester. While these two programs may be very similar there are some key differences between the two.

I liked scratch alot, it seemed to me the perfect beginner platform for doing some coding and seeing your results quickly and seeing how the changes you made effected the environment of your program. After using Alice this has not changed. I still highly prefer Scratch to Alice. This however is my personal preference. I look at these two programs as I look at iPhone vs Android. They are both good in their own rights for their own niche. Scratch however to me seems like the superior introduction program. Alice has a lot of cool features and you can do so much with it, however that is what turns me off as a beginner in something. Having too many features gets confusing. When i first started to use Alice I had trouble finding what I needed and getting things to do what I wanted. All in all both programs are awesome and FREE at that. I encourage you to take a look at both program. The link to scratch can be found in my scratch blog, and the download for Alice 3.0 can be found here.  Just chose your respective operating system and be on your way 🙂

Let us now take a look at some of the major differences between Scratch and Alice 3.0. As I already stated I personally believe that users will have a much more comprehensive and more enjoyable time starting out on Scratch. The graphics are lame and the sprites are rather boring, but were not making the next call of duty here. This is a starting point, I didn’t see a part to add your own “sprites” into Alice but even if you could draw your own like you can in scratch they would look very out of place compared to the complex sprites used in Alice. Alice is definitely the eye catcher of the two it has the wow factor, all of the objects are very well created and it could be very easy to create some type of short animation that many people wouldn’t have a hard time watching and actually enjoy. However Alice was really missing that feel for me, the “Create whatever you want” feel it seemed as though I could make whatever in Scratch and Alice just made me create a dialogue between two people. I felt sort of limited. Overall if you wanted to make a game, or just learn I think Scratch is the way to go, If you want to make something flashy with some premade really nice objects Alice 3.0 is a really nice option.

Anyhow I hope you enjoyed my brief overview and opinion of these two programs. I have taken some screenshots from the dialogue I created in Alice below.You will need to click on the pictures to read what each character is saying.

 

 

Until next week,

Kyle

 

 

 

 

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Week 12: A.I. More dangerous than nukes? I agree.

robotai

For our week 12 assignment we were to research an Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) topic. For my topic I chose to research a sort of danger that comes with A.I. In this day in age it seems we are moving towards automating everything, and its amazing! If I have the funds currently I could wake up in the morning, Start my coffee maker, adjust the thermostat for the house, start my car, open my garage door, and with a little DIY unlock a dog door that would let my dog out to use the bathroom all from my phone, without ever leaving my bed. Mind-blowing! But the topic of interest here isn’t automation, its artificial intelligence. Because the one thing that I have to do to complete all of these tasks from my bed is wake up and consciously do these things. What if I had a robot “maid” that thought for its self, did things that I had asked it to do at a specific time? Thats one step farther than where we currently are in the consumer industry of robotics and A.I. but perhaps its not that far off. Robots doing our dirty work isn’t really what concerns myself and some of the others out there, its what happens when these robots go rogue. A.I. robots are an advanced computer. Now I’m sure that I dont have to remind you of the last time that your computer did something that you didn’t want or ask it to do (for me it’s a BSOD in the middle of me writing this post (Thankful for auto draft saves at the moment)) But if we create these robot servants to do our bidding, what is to keep them from doing what we program them to do, continuous learning, and eventually outsmart us all. I know we have all seen at least one movie where this is the whole plot (Terminator series, iRobot etc).

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I know some people will rebutle with the laws of A.I. #1 A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. But the only way this can be achieved is through coding, you can code these robots to do no harm but what is there from stopping someone else with plans of world domination, or the robots themselves through learning and networking from changing this code and turning all robots ever made against the human race? A man by the name of Elon Musk,Tesla Chief Executive, believes that “with artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon” and that as all people playing with fire believe that we can control this demon that we are summoning. Check out a with some of Musk’s thoughts here But when dealing with things we build to be smarter, faster, stronger, and overall better than humans are any of you willing to take that risk? Perhaps we can control it but maybe we cant. Elon believes that we should have regulatory oversight at the national and international level to “make sure we dont do something very foolish” But I disagree I think that A.I. as amazing as the things we would be able to accomplish with them however I agree with Musk when he stated that A.I. could potentially be more dangerous that nukes. I think this is an area that is far too dangerous to dredge through, while we may not see this in my lifetime or yours, the movies I have seen make me weary for the generations of my family down the line. Let me know what you think by posting your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

Until next week,

Kyle Palmer

Week 11

Group Members: Kyle Palmer; Brooke Dills; Parker Loyd   This week in class we were given the opportunity to build our very own robot! Our group got off to a shaky start, I was not present and there was a lack of communication between other members of the group on what to do and how to do it. In class on Wednesday we re-formed our group ( now including myself) and scrapped the old project and set off on a new direction. We decided to make the shooter bot. This bot would feed colored balls down a tube and then use a make shift piston using a servo shoot the balls out of the hopper. Once we decided on a direction we got to work to see if we could finish in one class period. Parker took over building the hopper and the housing that connects it to our main unit. Brooke, built, wired, and got the main body of the robot ready to go, and I was in charge of programming the robot as well as documenting our journey.  Everything went pretty flawlessly for our group after we gathered our thoughts on Wednesday, except for one issue that we ran into with the piston connecting to the servo. It seemed no matter the rod we used it was either too short or too long. We tried a couple different methods to resolve this issue and finally realized that our hopper was sitting too low and was allowing our rod to slide too far back and thus not giving it enough pressure to force the ball out. After we re-positioned the hopper our robot was fully functional. it moved, shot balls, and flashed RGB lights while doing so. Check out our video here and pictures of it as well as the programming screenshot below!*   LegoMindstormProject1 BeFunky_IMAG0972.jpgunnamed This picture shows how we used the Lego Mindstorm software to program our robot to use its servo to shoot the balls, as well as move and flash some lights on top of the robot.     Thanks, Group “Robo Shooter”   *due to technical difficulties and conflicts all videos and pictures could not be obtained before the 12:01 am deadline. This will be updated with additional pictures and video at the beginning of class 11/10/14

Week 8: Are you a Phish?

This week was all about security in our technology world. We were instructed to take these two quizzes Here and Here. I got 13/14 on the open DNS quiz and 8 out of 10 on the Sonic wall quiz. I knew i was pretty good at detecting Phishing websites because I am very keen on making sure that web addresses are correct and making sure email addresses and websites look how they are suppose to. I think security is something that we are definitely making our way to increasing, with all of our data out there on the net there, there are an ever increasing amount of people looking to steal that information and take your identity or worse your funds, Try these quizzes for yourself and see how you score. Maybe one day it will help keep you off the Phishing Hook. I have attached my scores so you can see them below.

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Stay safe and off the phishing hook til next week

Kyle Palmer

 

Week:7 Database

This week was all about Databases. This has always been an interesting topic to me and now I got to see how a lot of our data is stored. I had a few problems getting to know the software at first but after I got the hang of it the basics were not too bad. I got to create a database of my own, and I also imported a pre-made database. Here is a screenshot of the database that I created. Capture

 

I had a hard time inserting data because it wasn’t exactly clear to me how it wanted it done, after i figured this out It was a lot easier.  I also experimented with exporting the files in different formats, this process was fairly straight forward, once you click export you can select which file type you would like to export as and it will prompt you with a save box. Here is a screenshot of what that looks like.

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overall I think that this tool is amazing to learn on. Especially since it is a free version of software that a lot of businesses use. This has definitely made it to my bookmarks so I can explore it further outside of class assignments and become familiar with it to further my education in hopes of landing the perfect job.

 

Until next week,

Kyle Palmer

 

Week 8: Scratch

This week we were tasked with creating a project in scratch, I decided that I was going to do an adventure game. Like HTML coding I have dabbled in this area once or twice before but not really in depth. So far I really like scratch it seems like an amazing tool that really helps people grasp the concept of programming. Sure its super simple but that’s exactly what it was designed for. Things are easy to find, and easy to understand. I can see how this would get the gears turning for people who want to be programmers, and maybe create a spark for people who didn’t know if they were interested in programming or not. So far my adventure game has come along nicely. But no spoilers for you guys you will have to wait until next week to see the final project ;). I think the designers of scratch have made an amazing program and my first impressions of scratch are that I cant believe how easy it is for someone who has little computer experience to pick this up and make whatever it is their heart desires. I think this is a good tool to use in schools to give kids a glimpse into the computer world a little earlier in life, and possible jump start a career for them, so to the creators I say Bravo! you have created something that has endless value and possibilities in this world and is a work of art you should be proud of! stay tuned as I will include a link to my completed project here after Its complete.

 

Until Next week,

Kyle Palmer out

Week 6: HTML

This week we had a project to design our own webpage about our hobbies or interest. This project was a fun one for me because I had more knowledge about html than I thought I did. Back in my myspace days I used HTML to change the looks of my profile. I did alot of research on how to do div layouts back when I was younger, and turns out it paid off. Coming up with content for my page and getting it to look like I wanted was a welcomed challenge. I had a lot of fun doing this project and I can only hope that our scratch project will be as fun as this one! until next time

 

 

Kyle Palmer

Week 4: ALS

This week we got to experience something new to me which as the Assembly Language Simulator. This simulator was designed so that we could see and understand how assembly language operates. I have to give mad props to whoever designed this nifty application because it was so helpful to me. I didn’t quite understand assembly language but after being shown how to use the simulator, as well completing our exercise using it I understand it a lot better. It was a little daunting at first but after using it, it helps a lot! I encourage anyone having trouble with under standing assembly language to check out the simulator here. Unfortunately you need a PSTCC login to access the simulator, so to all my outside readers Sorry!!

 

 

Until next time,

Kyle

Week 3: Ultimate Gaming Computer

When someone says to me I have unlimited funds to purchase and build a computer to my liking, the first thing that comes to my mind is an ultimate gaming machine. I’ve compiled a list below of the computer parts and accessories that I would purchase given unlimited funds to build my personalized gaming PC, as well as a brief reason as to why I have chosen that part.

1. GPU

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When I think of having an amazing gaming machine I think of having the best graphics possible. I set out to find the most expensive graphics card and found that Nvidia had released a $3,000 graphics card, and decided that I would use that, however after some research it seems this graphics card was out performed by the GTX 780 Ti. Instead of just buying it because it was better the research that I did helped me chose this graphics card because it is one of the best in the market at the moment. I would purchase 2 of these for a total of $1198 and run them in SLI for the best performance.

2. Case

case

 

A case is very important in my eyes as it is more that just a box to hold your component. The case I chose was a IN WIN GRone. This case I chose because of its massive options for cooling. Noise isnt an issue for me so the more fans to keep my precious machine cool the better. This case has options for 10 120 or 140mm fans, a 360mm Top fan, as well as a 240mm bottom radiator. Great looks as well as great cooling got me to add this one to my roster for a total of $99.

3.CPU

cpu

 

Now on to the brains of the operation, I chose intel’s core i7-4790k LGA1150. This is one of the latest releases from Intel and was compatible with my Motherboard and RAM.  At 4.0 Ghz and quad core this processor should contribute to my gaming experience nicely. This CPU added to my build cost me a pretty penny at $339.99

4.MotherBoard

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When it comes to the mother board it is important to make sure that all of your other components are going to play nicely with it. I wanted DDR4 RAM, as well as 2 GPU cards, So I chose the ASUS Maximus VII HERO. This motherboard offers me the CPU socket that I need as well as enough room for both of my GPUs and 4 slots for my DDR4 Ram. This motherboard clocked in at $204.99 from newegg.

5.Memory/RAM

ram

For my RAM I wanted up to date and the fasted. I chose GSKILL Ripjaws4  DDR4 RAM so that I would be able to  play my games seamlessly.  This ram is compatible with my motherboard as well as my CPU and has an up to date aluminum heat spreader design and ultra low voltage to keep the RAM cool and keep heat from building up inside my case. 4 stick of 8 GB brings my RAM count to 32 GB and cost me $479.99

6. CPU Cooling

cooling

For my cooling system I chose to go with the Enermax liqtech 240 All-in-One Liquid Cooler. My case is already designed for it and liquid cooling works extremely well for keeping your expensive CPU and optimal operating temperatures. This unit also has a variable speed control. While sound isn’t a problem for me having the option to adjust the fans speed is always a nice feature. I think this unit will keep my CPU at a nice temperature and for only $109.99 its well worth it.

7.Power Supply

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With great power comes great…… power needs! With a powerful rig like the one I am building a power supply able to pump electricity to all of you components is a must. I chose the Silverstone ST1500. This power supply offers me 1500W to please all of my components power needs. This unit is somewhat future proof as exceeds my current power needs, and extra wattage is something I have found in the past to come in handy. This unit is also a modular power supply so I only need to connect the adapters that I need to power my unit and will keep the inside of my case looking clean, fresh, and most of all as wire free as possible so if I was to have any issues my machine will be easier to troubleshoot. This power supply runs $299.99

8. Storage

SSD HDD

For my storage options I have chosen 2 different drives. I chose the Seagate NAS HDD3TB for $124.99  and the Samsung 840 Pro 512 GB for $499.99.  I chose 2 different drives so i could have the best of both worlds. I will use the Samsung SSD for my windows install, and game installs, with faster read write times this will let my OS and my games load and boot faster. I will use the Seagate HDD to store all of my documents, movies, and music on. Cost for the 2 $624.98.

8.Display

monitor

For my monitors I chose the Samsung UD590 28″. I chose this monitor as it offers a nice size to fit on almost any desk that I use, as well as its new UHD (ultra high definition) 4k 3840×2160 resolutions.  This monitor also has a low response time of 1ms which is key for me in my online gaming. With a 1 billion color range, my games will look the best that they can while I’m playing. I chose to purchase 2 of these at $599.99  because I’ve been using dual monitors for the last couple years and using a single monitor or 3 monitors is just painstaking for me.

9. Operating System

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For my operating system I chose windows 8.1. Windows 8 has caught alot of flack but I think for anyone not focused on using their mouse to navigate to everything it works just fine. ive not had an issue with the OS as I use my keyboard to search for what i want instead of clicking on 10 different menus to get to the same place that is listed in a search. Personal preference. Windows runs all of my games so OS brand was not a choice but the specific version of the OS was. This cost me $139.99.

 

Total Cost for the system: $4,696.99 USD

 

To put my system together I would start with the motherboard, I would install the CPU as well as the heatsink portion of my cooling system. Then I would install my  RAM. After I got the motherboard all ready to go I would install it into my case. Install my radiator into my case and hook it up to the heatsink. Next I would install my storage devices followed by my GPUs in SLI. After everything is installed and hook up to the motherboard i would install my Power supply and run all of the cables to my devices for power. After everything is installed I will check my system for a post code and once it all checks out set it in its final location. After it is setup I would hook up my monitors and install my OS via USB. After everything is install I will setup windows the way I like and start gaming!

 

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