Category Archives: MT262

Smarty Pants

I got my OU results back last night.  I passed MT262: Putting computer systems to work with a reasonable grade.  Of course I’m so clever that the result was hardly in doubt.  *Ahem*  What to do next though?  Urgh, too many courses to choose from and a mistake at this stage could be disastrous.  Disastrous, I tell you!

I’m thinking of doing Ebusiness technologies: foundations and practice which starts in May and will give me time to rest my weary brain.  Alternatively I could do The information and communication technologies project but I’d better hurry up and register.

Can someone please choose for me.

In related news The Hildy passed her course and now has enough points for a degree in Social Policy Something or Other.  She’s very clever and gets to put BA (Hons) (Open) after her name…once she gets the official letter anyway.

Yay The Hildy.  Yay!


Filed under MT262


EggsYesterday I had an eggsam for my OU course.  I must say that I felt scrambled by the time it was over.  I was even tempted to poach some answers from the guy in front.  I worked eggtra hard to get my answers down in the three hours and I even took regular breaks to ensure that I didn’t crack. I was eggstatic when the invigilator said we should put down out pens.  My poor finger had a blister from all my writing.  It was eggstruciating. 

No, seriously I had the exam for my MT262: Putting computer systems to work course yesterday.  It went reasonably well I think.  I’m sure that I’ve got enough to pass but I ran out of time so I didn’t do my usual self check to estimate my score.

After the exam I wandered round Pompey for a few hours waiting for The Hildy to finish work and meet me for a very late lunch.  Sadly I gave up and purchased some food from Spud Lady in Commercial Road.  This was a good plan except that it made me sleepy and I then had to look at DVDs to keep myself awake.  Hence the six new DVDs that I brought home.

Speaking of which, don’t bother watching Ghost Rider.  Nicolas Cage used up all his acting skill in Leaving Los Vegas but persists on working.  The story is full of holes, the comic book nature of which is taken just that step too far to be entertaining.  Sadly the special effects don’t make up for a bad film.  It should either have been darker and had a decent moral message to it to it or lighter and played for laughs.  Of course the former would require an actor with talent and that man isn’t Nicolas Cage.

I also picked up a copy of Hairspray, not the new version but the 1988 version with Ricki Lake in the lead role.  As with most things that John Waters writes this film is a bit off the wall but there is a deeper message behind all the silliness. 

Anyway, it’s half term next week and I’m on holiday.  Have fun and try not to miss me too much.


Filed under MT262, Reasons to be cheerful, Shitbiscuits


Every day at 12 o’clock Mrs Stressed in Finance reads the horoscopes out.

Not only do I find this interruption to my work irritating in the extreme but pandering to such superstitious nonsense really bugs me.  It really isn’t the case that Uranus is controlling me, no matter what you read on the walls of public toilets.

Anyway, I’m irritable today because I had to finish my TMA last night by 11 but didn’t have enough time to get those last 3 or 4 marks on the final question.  This has put me out of sorts as I have had plenty of time.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a lovely, calming day with plenty of good luck.  If the moon is shining on Uranus that may well be the case.


Filed under Bad things happen, Cull, MT262, You decide



Do not work on your TMA (Tutor Marked Assignment) until late at night.  It leaves you tired but unable to sleep.

Today’s message was brought to you by the letters H and F and the number 3.

I’m going to try sleeping again.  Good night all.


Filed under Bad things happen, MT262, van de graaf

hoverFrog’s Law of TMA Apathy

Here’s the thing about my continuous study with the Open University:

I cannot do any work on a unit, other than the first one, until I have received the grade for the last TMA.

For a complete explanation of the high jinks involved with working on and submitting a TMA (Tutor Marked Assignment) read AnotherBlogger.

I submitted TMA02 on the 24th May.  Clearly there is no reason in the world for my tutor not to download it, mark it, make comments on it and submit it back to me by now.  Just because I’m one of twenty students he has on this course, just because he may be running other courses, just because it’s the weekend. 

I’m being unfair, I know, but I am totally unable to open the next unit and start my reading until I’ve got the mark back.

Or is it just an excuse to spend a few days sitting round doing nothing?

Gah! I’m so lazy.  At this rate I’ll never finish.


Filed under MT262

Don’t panic, don’t panic Mister Mainwaring

I’m at the new office today.  The director of the new firm is panicking like a crazy panicker at a seminar for the easily panicked when a fire breaks out.  Basically I’ve had a week to set up the entire office’s IT systems and email is naturally reliant on a number of preceding factors.  Consequently it’s one of the last things to get sorted out.

Slaine mac RothThe very last thing I need is ten phone calls an hour asking me how it’s going.  I may have to go all Berserker on him.  I mean I’ve updated the MX records, I’ve configured the router to do it’s job and route outgoing mail to the ADSL’s IP address so the ISP can pick it up.  Routing of mail in the office is working fine.  Just getting it from t’Internet to the office and back again doesn’t seem to be working.  I’m sure it’ll be fine soon.  I’m just waiting for a support call when my chap gets back from lunch.

Hang on!  Phones ringing!

One more call and he can kiss my axe.

Hopefully I can finish by 4 so I can see the squeaky clean and wonderfully fragranced Slytherin Head Girl who will undoubtedly show me many of the delights that The Bright Town has to offer.

In other, less stressful news, I got my TMA back from my tutor.  I was a bit disappointed at the low mark.  I only got 96%.  I must be getting stupid in my old age.

Also The Hildy is cross with me.  It’s half term and she is eager to complete the many DIY jobs that are required to get our house ready to sell.  Rather than do this I have invited my little brother and his family to stay.  This may not have been the most diplomatic thing to do but I haven’t seen them in over a year and I really hate DIY.

However I get to make up.  Which is always good.

Finally, the girl opposite me keeps adjusting her boobs.  I don’t mind but it is very distracting. 


4 hours later.  Now waiting on a different phone call.  Things are not going well.  Apparently it’s a NAT entry that is causing the problem.  All they need to do is open port 25 for incoming and outgoing traffic.  Tsk!


Nearly 6 hours later.  I’m not having fun anymore.  I may start swearing soon.  Grr!


Filed under Bad things happen, Keen Scimitar +2, MT262

TMA 01

The Hildy suggested treating our adorable children to an hour or so of physical exercise at the Horizone playcentre. This was not entirely without a certain degree of selfish motivation.  I’m reliably informed that the ambient noise level of the Horizone is sufficiently high to prevent conversation and the lack of adult entertainment (or rather entertainment for aduts) acts as a focus for the mind.  This certainly seems to be the case because I shot through the last of my TMA in under an hour. 

After getting home and proofreading it I’ve submitted it on the eTMA system.  It’s not due until the 29th.  I suppose I’ll have to get on with some work now.


In other news: I bought new shoes today.  They’re green.  The fact that I’m secretly pleased about this says something about me as a person.  I’m just not sure what.


Filed under MT262

Does a clean house indicate that there is a broken computer in it?

My laptop died on the train today.

It just froze and wouldn’t respond.  When I restarted it I got a blue screen of death and then nothing.  Just disk error, replace disk and restart.  It’s kaput. 

Obviously I didn’t have a backup to my completed TMA.  That would make sense.

Ho hum.  Time to start again.  That is assuming I can’t get it going at work tomorrow.


Filed under MT262

Thoughts on TMA01

First of all I’m not putting my answers here.  It would encourage plagiarism and probably get me kicked of the course.  If you see anything that is too close to giving away an answer please tell me and I’ll delete it.

Secondly, never underestimate the power of cutting and pasting.  As a programmer I would have to say that cut and paste is the single greatest time saver ever invented when it comes to programming.  Ever!

As usual it is important to ready all the submission rules at the beginning of the TMA booklet as well as anything that your tutor may have in the way of personal preference.  Fortunately this course has an eTMA option to submit the TMAs online so that effectively gives me an extra two days to get them finished.  I usually need these extra days by the end of the course because of my time management skills (or lack thereof)

Question 1

Question 1 is actually part 1 of the TMA and needs to be submitted as TMA00 by 15th February.  The swot that I am, I submitted it on the 18th January when the eTMA system was opened.  Note that the eTMA system allows for me to overwrite this if something comes up during a discussion or I have a revelation.

Essentially Question 1 tests whether or not I have read the first unit, if I’ve picked up on some key terms and if I can find my way around a simple C++ program.  I have, did and can so I’m expecting a great mark for TMA00. 😉

Question 2

Based on Unit 2 it provides a typical OU made up example where some programming would be useful.  In this case a program to record and display the results of lots of interviews with students.  The top level design is fairly straightforward and, if this were the real world, I would have already coded it.  However the question is testing my ability to revise and refine a design and not my coding skills.  Having said that, part (b) of the question looks at my ability to straight from the refined design.  The answer is similar enough to the worked example in Unit 2 as to not be a problem.

Remember to take screen shots of the working program.

Part (c) asks for a further refinement of the program design.  I’m afraid that I couldn’t stop myself from using a different method than the one explained in Unit 2.  My method was neater and did the job more efficiently that using nested if statements.  Sadly the question didn’t want my enhanced code, just the top level design.


Question 3

Based on Unit 3 this question essentially asks you to write code to trim extra spaces out of a given piece of text.  A cheaty person could just google this and arrive at a final answer but that would be no fun at all.

Again we’re asked to capture screen shots as well as code listings and tehn to modify the design slightly.  It’s fairly basic stuff really.

Question 4

Watch out, this question only carries half the marks of the previous two questions and it does not actually require any coding.  Reading through Unit 4 should enable you to answer the question not only correctly but using the methodology outlined in the unit.

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Filed under MT262

Pesky technology

Stupidly I have installed all the course software form MT262 on my laptop and not on my PC.  I intended to set up a wireless network at home so that I could have access to the course website and FirstClass conference from my comfy chair.  My comfy chair is where I read the course material and it seems logical to extend this functionality to other parts of my study regime.

I have therefore purchased a Netgear DG834G ADSL Modem Router with super whizzy firewall and a jolly WG111 dongle for The Hildy’s old laptop.  I set it up last night and was about 3/4 the way through the installation when I was prompted for my IP address.  “What?”, thought I.  My ISP is Tiscali and they provide a dynamic IP address every time I connect to t’Internet.  Best I ring them up and ask for a static IP address.

You’d think it would be easy to do this.  You’d be so wrong that I’d need to sing the Wrong Song at you.  An obviously very busy lady from the call centre informed me that Tiscali don’t provide static IP addresses except to businesses.  “Arse”, thought I as I began my quest for a new ISP.  She was very polite though and her English was impeccable. 

Having commented on the quality of her English I should point out that my assumption here is that she was Indian and that Tiscali have an Indian call centre.  She could well have been sitting in a call centre in Dublin.  Anyway, I’ve always disliked call centres but she was so enthusiastic that I just had to smile.

After undoing all the changes involved in setting up my super whizzy new Netgear rocket propelled ADSL router I finally got back onto t’Internet and started my research.  Rather than change over to BT (yuck), AOL (ha ha), or someone similar I decided to keep my existing email address and upgrade to a business account.  A business account has the option for a static IP address and is exactly the same price as a consumer account but with double the bandwidth.

Now I’m waiting for them to send me the details.

*twiddles thumbs*

Why didn’t I sort this out weeks ago before my course started?


Filed under MT262