Category Archives: Your starter for 10

OU stuff. I’m addicted to knowledge. Probably because I forget so much.

Lots of questions

Hemant asks which questions in your life go unanswered?

Here are my questions.  If anyone has any answers can you let me know.  Otherwise do you have any questions?

  1. What will replace humans as the dominant species on the planet when we’re all gone (if anything)?
  2. Why can’t we humans create a government that is able to plan for longer than 3 years ahead?
  3. When you die all your brain functions cease.  Where does the energy go when this happens?  Is it just emitted as heat or electromagnetic radiation?  How much energy is involved?
  4. Why do living things die?
  5. Is it possible to build the Matrix or something similar where a virtual environment is indistinguishable from a real environment?
  6. When you look in a mirror and see your reflection is that how people see you (only in reverse) or do they see you differently?
  7. Is it possible to build a tower that goes into space?
  8. Could we colonise Mars or one of the moons in our solar system?
  9. How close to the speed of light can we travel and survive?
  10. What sort of crops should I grow in my pokey little garden?
  11. Why do some people seem to need religion?
  12. Is there anything smaller than a quark?  I’ve heard of superstrings but the idea is too strange for my mammal brain.
  13. What’s it like to be a pond skater, a bird or a mole?
  14. What colour was a T-Rex?

Not thirteen questions but fourteen.


Filed under Thursday Thirteen, Your starter for 10

Smug Mode

I’ve just been told that people need a dictionary to understand what I say.

If I could possibly be described as insufferable smug before this statement, it is doubly so now.  I am a genius compared to the people that I share an office with.  Mine is an evil laugh.

An alternate theory is that compared to the people that I share an office with a retarded chipmunk would be considered a genius.

I’m going for the former but I strongly suspect the latter.


Filed under I am, Reasons to be cheerful, Your starter for 10

Work work busy busy chop chop

D’you remember how I said that I’d got ahead of my OU timetable?

Well I did.

Now I’m behind and need to submit my TMA in under twoweeks and I’ve done jack shit.  Can I borrow a time machine or could someone clone me so that I can get it finished in time?  Please.

No?  OK.  In that case I shall curse you with a picture of the new patch cabinet that I’m buying and have to go to Uckfield to take delivery of on Saturday morning.  Saturday morning mind!  A day when I should be sleeping, spending quality time with The Hildy to keep our relationship vibrant and shopping for Mother’s Day pressies.  Instead I’m sitting in an empty office with a car full of cable boxes and equipment running a cable plant and waiting for a delivery.


Have I mentioned that my TMA is due in two weeks?


Filed under Your starter for 10

Work\Study\Life balance

As I am not or “independently wealthy” I need to work for a living.

As I enjoy learning, wish to improve myself and my career options I need to study.

As I have a loving girlfriend, three daughters and a son who I want to have around I need to spend some time with them.

“How do I manage this feat of time management?”, I hear you cry.

Well, quite often I don’t.  At the moment I’m making some repairs to my house that take a lot of time.  Changing light fittings, switches and sockets is fairly straightforward but it is time consuming.  Plus the company I work for are buying this other firm so I’ve got the fun of developing the systems for them.  So OU study has taken a back seat for the last week or two. 

It’s a good thing I took the time to get ahead.

I tend to spend a week solidly working on OU stuff in the evenings after the kids are in bed and then do nothing for another week.  This is probably not as effective as spending an hour each day going through the course materials but sometimes the kids want cuddles or Hil wants a snog.  Frankly, if I have to choose I’ll spend time being a good father or boyfriend rather than getting even cleverer than I am now.


Filed under Your starter for 10


I’ve been allocated a tutor for MT262.

*does a froggy dance of joy*

Sadly Dr P lives 100 miles away in Oxford and my tutorials (both of them) are 50 miles away in Reading.  And there’s me with no car and a pathological hatred of Reading.  It all stems from two and a half years of living there as a kid.


I suppose I should just get used to working alone and talking to the tutor online.

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Filed under MT262, Your starter for 10

MT262 Block 1 Unit 1 – Beginnings

Unit 1 is fairly straightforward,  There’s an introduction to the course that gives an overview as to what’s involved in the course.  There’s some handy objectives:

  • develop a systematic approach to designing computer-based solutions to problems;
  • translate designs for solutions into computer programs;
  • acquire basic skills in the use of C++ for writing programs;
  • understand these concepts in C++ that are common to all similar programming languages;
  • acquire experience of using a modern programming environment;
  • acquire skills in ensuring that programs actually perform as they are intended to perform

Thee are broader aims that include:

  • developing an understanding of the problems involved in getting a computer system to carry out useful tasks;
  • developing an awareness of some of the difficult areas to which computer programming is applied;
  • developing an awareness of the different environments in which computer programs run, and the consequences or the programmer;
  • appreciating the relationships between the computer, its software, you as a computer programmer, and the person who uses the programs that you write.

There is a whole section of unit one that deals with installation of the course software.  It is well worth spending time looking at this even if you’re an experienced programmer.  All future units refer to the methods laid down in this unit so skipping it will leave you at a disadvantage.   There really isn’t anything that you can skip.

Section 4 looks at embedded systems and non-embedded systems and it is vital that you understand, not only the differences between the two, bu the limitations of each.

This leads directy on to TMA00 aka Question 1 of TMA01…


Filed under Your starter for 10