Where have I got to?

It’s been a long time since I did anything new here – there is a reason.

Last year I started on a degree course – BSc Computer Science – a brave choice perhaps, but I have a number of years experience working in IT, so it’s not all new! Writing about things in an academic manner is new to me though, so it’s not all straight forward.

As I prepare to start my second year (apparently this where the hard work really starts), I’m looking back at what I covered in year 1:

Architecture and Operating Systems – we learnt about binary and hexadecimal, and truth tables. There was a test. Then we designed a gaming PC on a limited budget.

Computing and Society – ethics, laws, usage, etc. An exam that had to be done in handwriting from memory – we are computer students, when did I last write a sentence? An essay on mandatory and voluntary legislation, much of which came from my previous experience

Principals of Programming – Python, Java, C#, Visual Studio – an app for kids to play on to improve their reading and spelling and to surf the web. Fun with interfaces for KS1 level. A test was also involved.

Building for the Web – HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, MYSQL, AJAX. Design methods. Resulting in a website that lets you register as a user and submit items for sale. No functionality for selling though. Maybe next time…

Computational Thinking – Conjunction, Disjunction, Truth, Negation, Implication, Antecedent, Consequent, Tautologies, Contradiction. I just hope I can remember what it all means! Glad I made copious notes. There was a test. Plus pseudo code. And we got to play with lego robots.

Developing Quality Software and Systems – Working in groups. Many powerpoint presentations were made (including one via skype to Greece). An app was thought of (with help from a client) that we then analysed and produced design documentation. If we had more time we might have developed something but we found that building a multi platform app was just a bit too much in the given time. Never over-estimate capabilities and available time…

Well, I passed my year – in fact I passed quite well. Hopefully the next 2 years will fly by. Maybe there will be something new on this website before then…

Cardiff Met Uni

It’s been a while, but here’s some video

It is a long time since I posted here. Life gets in the way and I haven’t even taken many photographs recently. I have, however, managed to have a go at videography. Using the same equipment that I use to take photographs with only the addition of a reasonably priced microphone, I went to the Upton Upon Severn Folk Festival where a number of Morris Teams were to be found dancing in the streets.
I have also found that Adobe Photoshop has the ability to do basic editing and rendering of video, so I have been able to produce these without any additional software. Convert the time line into a smart object and you can do lots with it.
So, my fellow photographers, there really is no excuse for switching over to that video mode we all have on our cameras. Just remember to switch off auto focus and stabilisation as the noise they make will be jolly annoying in your video…
I set the lens to F10/11 and manually focussed to an approximate distance. Just remember to check through the day that you haven’t messed this up by accidentally twisting the focus ring. On a bright sunny day its hard to see much detail in the view finder.
I held the camera on a gorrilla pod, although a monopod will also suffice, this makes it easier to hold the camera upright. Try not to move around too much unless you can actually afford a steadicam.

…and, yes, some of the videos are a little over saturated. This was a deliberate decision on my part. 😀

The Tailors Handbook – Where do the materials to make clothes come from – part two

This is the eighth, and final, article taken from “The Tailor’s Handbook of Useful Information” by W.D.F. Vincent published in c1905. 

It is taken from the sixteenth part of the the handbook looking at the where the materials to make clothes come from – in this part, from animal products. 

“…By far the largest quantity of our wool now comes from Australia and New Zealand, and in 1898 Australia alone exported 660,000,000 pounds, the value of which was nearly £30,000,000…”

“There are few tailors of mature years who have not had more or less experience of the depredations caused by the moth, and it is a difficult question to decide whether to look upon this little insect as the tailor’s friend or foe, for under different circumstances it may be both…”

A fire at Wargrave Church June 1914

This is taken from the Wokingham Fire Brigade diaries which were in the possession of my father for a while before we passed them onto the Berkshire Records Office. These covered the call outs made by the Wokingham Fire Brigade during the first half of the 20th century – a small detail of each fire, which crew members attended, and the cost to the brigade.

The Tailors Handbook – Where do the materials to make clothes come from – part one

This is the seventh article taken from “The Tailor’s Handbook of Useful Information” by W.D.F. Vincent published in c1905

It is taken from the fourteenth and fifteenth parts of the the handbook looking at the where the materials to make clothes come from – in this part, from minerals and vegetation. 

In a former article I told you clothing was made from the products of the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, and the animal kingdom. I now want to direct your attention to each of these in turn.

Cardiff from Top to Bottom

I’ve been toying with the idea of a walk through Cardiff for a while, starting at the highest point on Garth Mountain* down to a lowest point on the Cardiff Bay Barrage. The idea was to keep within the boundary of the City and County of Cardiff. The shortest route measures at just under 11 miles but would be spent mainly walking along the A470, a very busy major road leading from Cardiff and the M4 to Merthyr Tydfil. This would clearly not be much fun, nor would it be particularly healthy. An alternative route, much of which follows the Taff Trail, would be just over 12 miles, however I discounted this as much of the Taff Trail isn’t particularly interesting once you’ve walked it through the City a few times. So, a compromise route was chosen at just under 12 miles – partly along the Taff Trail but missing out some bends in the river and then going through the town centre rather than along the river.