Week 7 – Summary

Well, here we are, the final week. Even though the class felt really short, due to it only lasting two months, I still had some fun here and there. And I did learn a few things.

 

The first being HTML, which was interesting to see how websites are created. The hardest part, when it came to coding, was aligning the text around the images. I can’t imagine how hard the really advance stuff is if something as simple as aligning text gave me trouble. Only regret I have about that assignment was that I couldn’t do more to the page, such as embedding videos for each anime suggestion, or giving each interest it’s own web page. Might learn more about HTML after this class.

 

The second was understanding how truly important and fragile security is in this day and age. Especially after that whole NSA leak. Now that it’s getting harder and harder to maintain one’s security on the internet it might be best to start getting into the field of network security. Otherwise we might not have much defense against those that seek to cause a lot of damage to us.

 

I would have to say the most fun assignment would have to be the Robotics blog post. Reason I say that is that when I first started the assignment I played the first two Portal games and watch both 2001 and 2010 movies. But once the assignment didn’t give me all that much material to work with, I decided to try something else. The result being claiming that Rob the Robot from Forbidden Planet being the first robot to showcase the laws of robotics. It was interesting in learning which robot was he first to have the laws built into him, and the movie is also pretty good so that made it more fun.

 

Overall I say this was a fun and informative class, albeit very short. I hope my blogs do help out those that need it. I wish the best to Dr. Brown and the rest of the class. Take care.

Week 6 – Robotics

To be honest it took me a long time to figure out what topic to discuss when it came to robotics. There’s just too many good ones to talk about. My original idea was to make comparisons between HAL 9000 from 2001 and GlaDOS from the portal games. If you don’t know, GlaDOS was greatly influenced by HAL and is considered to be a female version of him. But I found out there were far too many differences and not many similarities. So I decided to talk about the three laws of robotics. More specifically, one of the first robots in motion picture history, if not the first, to display those particular laws. And what are these laws?

Three-Laws-of-Robotics

 

The robot that would be one of the first to show case these laws would be Robby the Robot from the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet.

Forbidden Planet Poster

Forbidden Planet Poster

He was essentially, the first robot in motion picture to be more than a tin can with legs attached. Robby had a very distinct personality and was treated as a supporting character. Here is the scene from the movie that first introduces Robby, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQI7OgieQeQ. You can tell from that scene he has bit of a dry wit.

Robbie_Forbidden_Planet

Later on in the film Robby was given a blaster that Dr. Morbius, his owner, had borrowed from one of the officers visiting the planet. Morbius had Robby test out the blaster on one of the trees outside the house in order for Robby to understand it’s function. Afterwards, Morbius ordered Robby to point the blaster at one of the officers. Right between the eyes to be exact. After Morbius ordered Robby to fire at the officer, Robby began to short out. As Morbius explains, “Locked in a sub-electronic dilemma between my direct orders and his basic inhibitions against harming rational beings.” This clearly personifies the first rule of robotics, that a robot must not harm a human. It could also illustrate a part of the second law, since his order from Mobius was in direct conflict with the first law. Here’s a video of the scene for you all to see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSPgjP3iqLs.

 

Now earlier in the same scene Robby was ordered by Morbius to stick his arm into the houses’ built-in disposal unit, a disintegrator. To which Robby went on to carry out the order until Mobius cancelled it. This also illustrates the second law, to obey any order given by a human as long as it doesn’t conflict with the first law.  Here is the video for this particular scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAqf_eOxPo.

 

Now this next scene is short, but I believe it illustrates the third law. In this scene Altaira, Morbius’ daughter, keeps beaming Robby so he can make her a new dress. The reason Robby took so long to respond to her was because he was giving himself an “oil-job”. This illustrates the third law, a robot must protect it’s own existence without conflicting with the first two laws. Here is the scene I just mentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq3cHTv_UTQ.

 

There are a few other examples in the movie that illustrates the laws of robotics. Such as the cook from the ship asking Robby for some bourbon for cooking purposes. After Forbidden Planet was released, Robby became an icon for years to come within the sci-fi genre. He’s been in other movies, TV shows, commercials with the robot from Lost in Space and several other places. Now during my research I did find an unofficial fourth law of robotics and I kind of like it.

tumblr_mit0vecAhB1qmoysoo1_500

Week 5 Security

 

Gollum Browsing History

Gollum Browsing History

 

There are many things in security that interest me. But the one subject I’m most interested is maintaining privacy on the internet. More to the point I’m interested in maintaining one’s personal privacy.

 

The reason why I’m interested in the subject of maintaining personal privacy on the internet stems from a number of reasons. The first being that it’s getting harder and harder to maintain it. For example, the leaks from the NSA have revealed the fact that the NSA has been collecting data on us from several companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Youtube, Skype, Google and most recently Apple which was added this past October. [1] Also just as the graph below indicates, they’ve been doing this since 2007.

Prism

 

Another reason would is that the U.S. has recently confirmed that it collects online data overseas[2]. The government has defended this practice by stating it “is authorized under a foreign intelligence law that was recently renewed by Congress, and maintained that it minimizes the collection and retention of information ‘incidentally acquired’ about Americans and permanent residents.” [2] The program, now known as Prism, came about from the NSA’s want to “begin addressing the agency’s need to keep up with the explosive grow of social media.” [2]

 

Of course this can affect me because they can steal my personal information such as my SSN, birthdate, name and use that to steal my identity. Another thing this can cause would be they can sell my personal information, such as my likes and dislikes for marketing purposes, just as facebook has done in the past. [3] And this can also affect the computer community at large. The reason I say that is because if they can steal all your information from cell phone calls, texts/emails, video calls, they can easily use the data to manipulate a large group of people for political gain.

 

This can also have a great deal of implication on the world, or at least I believe so. The reason I believe it can affect the world is the same as my previous stated reason. That if they steal your browsing history on what you read online, such as blog posts and news articles, they can alter the data to use the masses to get widespread political gain.

 

In short, I think we all need to be more careful on what we do when we’re on the internet. Otherwise it could come back to bite us.

 

 

Sources:

 

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

[2] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/us/nsa-verizon-calls.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/opinion/sunday/facebook-is-using-you.html?pagewanted=all

 

 

Links to the broken images:

 

Gollum Browsing History

http://clashdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/privacymemes1.jpg

 

Prism

http://media.theweek.com/img/generic/PRISMslide.gif

Week 5 Scratch project and Randy Pausch

To be honest, I was kind of surprised at how simple scratch is to use. At first I was put off by it but now I really enjoyed using it. I did have a few issues. To be honest it took me a long time to finally decide what I wanted my project to be on.

 

It was really fun learning how to make the project and looking at other people’s projects as examples. It’s really cool that you are able to make games from them but I couldn’t do it due to time. What I did for my project, was that I made a basic survival guide to the game of Minecraft. The game is really fun and addictive. It’s actually the most addictive game I’ve ever played, but it does seem like it would need a guide since you can easily get lost or screw up on the tiniest thing by the time night comes which can get you easily killed by the mobs (monsters of minecraft). Especially creepers.

 

The speech with Randy Pausch is interesting to say the least. The man seems very down to earth and real easy to talk too. And to be honest, he’s kind of influential. Just the way he talked and his tone can actually be uplifting. That he believes making peoples dreams come true makes him feel better than the sensation he gets when he’s fulfilled is own life dreams. I really enjoyed the speech and will definitely rewatch again once I get the chance.

Week 3

This week I learned about HTML and how to program it. It wasn’t all that hard to get into. There was one problem I had, which was getting the text to align with the images. But I was able to figure it out through trial and error. Plus google helps.

 

It took me awhile to decide on what my third interest should be, but overall I chose anime, video games and game of thrones as my interests. I think the third choice is stretching it a bit when it comes to interests. I recently just got into game of throne a couple of months ago and I love it.

 

The hardest part for me was deciding on which anime and games I should mention as my favorites and which ones I would recommend to those who are interested in trying them out. The reason for that is because there are simply to many great video games and animes to mention without making the page too long. I did enjoy learning about HTML, it was really fun.

Week 2

Parts:

 

  1. Case
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Guardian-Black-Steel-Chassis-921RB-BL/dp/B004351H9G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370823745&sr=8-1&keywords=computer+case

i.      Reason: good size, aesthetically pleasing, can be expanded upon for later.

  1. Power Supply
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Builder-Series-Watt-CX600/dp/B0092ML0OC/ref=pd_sim_e_3

i.      Reason: good standard power supply for what is needed.

  1. Motherboard
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-CrossFireX-DispayPort-Motherboard-GA-Z77X-UD3H/dp/B007R21JJK/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1370824568&sr=1-1&keywords=motherboard+i5+gigabyte

i.      Reason: good price, compatibility with the rest of the parts, trusted manufacturer.

  1. Hard Drive
    1. http://www.amazon.com/WD-Blue-Desktop-Hard-Drive/dp/B0088PUEPK/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_y

i.      Reason: good price for what you are getting.

  1. DVD-ROM
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Internal-Software-SH-224BB-BEBE/dp/B009654JW0/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1370825149&sr=1-2&keywords=dvd+rom

i.      Reason: good price.

  1. CPU
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-3470-Quad-Core-Processor/dp/B0087EVHVW/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1370824308&sr=1-1&keywords=I5+3470

i.      Reason:  Compatible with the motherboard, good price for what you are getting.

  1. RAM
    1. http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-240-Pin-Platforms-CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=pd_bxgy_e_text_z

i.      Reason: Compatible with the motherboard. And I have the same kind of memory in my personal machine.

  1. Video Card
    1. http://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-GeForce-PCI-Express-Graphics-GV-N65TOC-2GI/dp/B009L946II/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1370824847&sr=1-3&keywords=nvidia+geforce+gtx+650+ti

i.      Reason: compatible with the motherboard and is able to run the latest games for the next 3-4 years.

 

 

Building the system

 

  1. Read the appropriate manuals( motherboard, case, video card).
  2. Insert the power supply into the case and attach it with the screws provided.
  3. Install the CPU into your motherboard and lock it with the locking lever
  4. Put the CPU fan on top of the CPU and latch it into place.
  5. Plug the CPU fan power cable into the motherboard.
  6. Insert the RAM into the2 memory slots (make sure to line them up).
  7. Insert the motherboard connector faceplate inside the case push it into place (be careful not to cut yourself).
  8. Insert the motherboard into the case by sliding it into place and making sure it lines up with the holes in the faceplate.
  9. Attach the motherboard into place with the screws provided.
  10. Attach the 24 pin power connector from the power supply to the motherboard.
  11. Attach the case front panel connectors ( power switch, reset switch, etc. ) to the motherboard.
  12. Place the hard drive into one of internal the cages and tighten it into place with the screws provided. Then connect a power cable and connect a SATA cable from the hard drive to the motherboard.
  13. Place the dvd-rom into an internal drive cage. Then attach the power cable and connect a SATA from the dvd-rom to the motherboard.
  14. Place the video card in the adapter slot closest to the CPU
  15. Connect the keyboard and mouse.
  16. Connect a monitor.
  17. Connect the power cord.

 

Week 1

Hello, my name is William Thompson, but I prefer to be called Bill. I am 22 and currently pursuing my degree in Computer Networking. I chose computer networking because I love solving problems and the job security it provides. I usually visit sites like youtube.com, facebook.com, tomshardware.com, roosterteeth.com, and joystiq.com.

My experience with computers comes from the fact that I’ve been around computers most of my life. My first computer was a PC with Windows Millenium Edition as the operating system. Needless to say, it wasn’t that good overall, but for a starting computer it was alright.

I had already learned about binary a few years ago, but so far the material Dr. Brown provided is pretty good. It’s straight-forward and easy to remember. And I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Week 3 Blog Post

This week I did if else statements with the finch. It really wasn’t all that hard to do. I used what I did last week when I blew that second problem out of proportion. My blog was still down for a while but it’s back up and hopefully this post can be viewed.

Week 2 Blog Post

This week I learned how to do basic functions with the Finch with statements and how to assign variables. I did have trouble with the second portion of this week’s homework. I blew it way out of proportion by using if statements, do and do-while loops; though the rest of the stuff was easy. I did have trouble getting to my blog and posting, but hopefully this blog post can be seen.

Week 1

I’ve had this class before so I was familiar with some of the material. I only had one problem with the finch and that was testing the IR. A classmate told me in class that the Finch is waiting for its beak to be facing downward for the test.  Other than that everything worked perfectly. I think his class will be interesting in comparison to the previous time I’ve had this class.

Finch Robot Diagnostics Results

  1. Tested the LED and it glowed red to green to blue.
  2. Tested the Buzzer and it buzzed for a second or so.
  3. Tested the Motors and it moved back and forth a few inches.
  4. Tested the Sensors the diagnostics said the temperature, light and the Accelerometer were all working.
  5. Tested the IR (infrared) and tilted the robot to making its nose pointing down and it worked.