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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Tuesday 8 July 2003 (Day View)

08.07.2003Tuesday 8 July

I slept in and spent the overcast, wet and dismal morning online chatting, arguing and selecting my courses for next semester.
I’ve chosen Information Technology Project (COMP1800), Computer Organisation (COMP2302), Programming in the Large (COMP2500) and Intro to Information Systems (INFS1200).
The Information Technology Project will apparently introduce me to the discipline of computer based information technology, and I will become familiar with windows based interfaces and learn how to use different types of application packages. I will be prepared to tackle small information technology projects, and I will develop the skills required for analytical writing and argument with emphasis placed on writing, reading and speaking practice. This sounds rather awful to me and horribly like the pseudo confidence-English they’re teaching in place of real English in schools nowadays. It doesn’t sound too hard though, but I guess only time will tell.
Computer Organisation, also taught as Introduction to Computer Systems and Fundamentals of Computer Engineering depending on whether you’re an Information Technology, Engineering or Computer Science student (don’t ask why) is an introduction to how computers work at the lowest levels and will cover topics such as binary numbers, logic gates, assembly language and some basic C programming. I’m supposed to have a basic understanding of how computers work and be able to develop programs for a microcontroller based computer once I’m finished this. As the profile says, “In mind-numbing detail, it is expected that upon successful completion of the course, students will: [follows a list of 35 items detailing what I’m expected to learn, not one of which sounds pleasant and which I don’t understand]”. This doesn’t sound good at all, in fact it sounds positively horrible, but it’s what I need to learn and is a compulsory part (albeit second year) of my degree. The profile says it’s no longer current and changes are expected this coming semester but that I’m to wait until nearer to the semester before a new profile is made.
Programming in the Large, or Advanced Software Engineering as it’s known to the post-grad students, is a software engineering course aimed at developing the technical abilities needed for me to become an effective member of a large software development team. Apparently I’ll be introduced to the software life cycle and will focus on the design, implementation and testing phases of the aforementioned cycle. Java will be the programming language used to teach us by the sounds of it, and I’ll be introduced to the UNIX operating system and will develop my communications skills through group work and tutorial presentations. Oh dear, tutorial presentations... that sounds horribly like public speaking. I think this is the logical follow-on to the Introduction to Programming course I did last semester.
Introduction to Information Systems is a compulsory component of my degree that I’m supposed to do in the first year. It will hopefully introduce me to the area of computer based information systems including the basic concepts necessary to design and implement a small information system. It’s also a prerequisite to most (if not all) the more advanced information systems and database related subjects.
It’s just started raining again, but I might go inside and see if I can summon up the motivation to shower and eat. I’ve also just ordered an internal modem for this computer, as it currently has an external one and I’m planing to try and set it up for Mum when I leave. She’s currently computer illiterate as well as a card carrying member of the technophobia association and I don’t think a fancy external modem with all its leads, noises, switches and scary glowing screen that says such fearful things as “Carrier 31200, Network 6, SQ:029, LL:012” is what she needs to help her ease into the computer age.

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