The Books Have Arrived!

August 24, 2012 1 comment

My S207 books arrived yesterday! They are quite a colourful set I must say. There are eight of them, but the first one does not really count as it is more on an introduction booklet rather than actual learning material. It still is an interesting read though. I have only very briefly leafed though some of the other ones.

At around 200-250 pages per book the eight stacked do make a solid block. For a 60 credit module i’d expect nothing less (the combined 60 credits from MST121 & MS221 are actually around the same height when stacked next to each other).

I have already worked my way through most of book 1 and and am itching in anticipation to get stuck in and start book 2 (which is about motion). But I had better finish my SXR103 EMA first I guess.

The OUSBA forms for SXP288 Mallorca arrived a few days ago. I just need to fill them in tonight and send it off this weekend. Yippee. Lancaster University is not looking so far away now! 😛



***Edit: I do realise that there has been some rather large gaps between posting my “spurts”. I’ll try to post more often and not leave gaps.***

Start of a New Year!

August 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, I passed MST121 with a semi-respectable 70% and MS221 with a much lower mark (due to exam stress helping me get a low mark in the exam). My TMA average for MS221 however was also a semi-respectable 70% (so i’ll just count that and leave the exam as a lesson learnt).

I am busy working off the SXR103 EMA at the moment and should have it done within a week or so. I am a bit behind everyone else with it, but I had some issues that needed attending to. But I am confident that I will do alright in this one.

Signed up for S207 and SXP288 already and just waiting for the OUSBA forms in the mail (hate that feeling when the mail comes and it’s nothing you want). I will however be dedicating MUCH more time to S207 as I felt that I did not work at all to my potential with MST121 and MS221. I believe should have easily pulled 80-85% or higher on both of those if I had better study habits (which I hope have now corrected). But we will see how it hold.

Good luck to all whom are studying!

Just F.Y.I.

June 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I have not written recently due to me studying 100!% (yes, that’s factorial). No time for anything else other than the occasional Fringe episode to cool the mind down.

After my exam (15th of this month) i’ll be able to write more things. Perhaps more interesting things too.


See you soon!

Categories: Uncategorized

I’m back!

May 10, 2012 Leave a comment

I have been studying and not studying since my last post.

Copious amounts of World of Warcraft, Dungeon Keeper and Final Fantasy VII has been played. I realise now that I may have played a little too much and studied too little.

My last assignments for MST121 TMA04 & CMA42 are coming up in a couple of weeks (this assignment covers the whole course), quickly followed by the final assignment for MS221 TMA04 (which also covers the whole course). So within the space of a month, I have to ensure that I know ALL the material from BOTH modules. And considering that right now I do not, I guess have a lot of work ahead of me.

I do not think that this will be a problem, as I generally know my stuff. I just need to do a little catching up and revising really.

I also had a surprise module come up, so I will also be doing SXP103 on the 21st of July. I thought it could be done next year, but it seems I cannot postpone it as it is being discontinued after this year. I NEED this module to enter Lancaster, meaning my only choice is to take it now.

So… lots to do and little time to do it. What’s new 😉

Categories: university Tags: , , , , ,

OpenPlus Fees

November 30, 2011 2 comments

Well I have just recently found out about how the fee system will work for OpenPlus students.

If you started before 2012 at The Open University, fees will stay the same and not increase (for The Open University). If you start in/after 2012 then you will start with the new fees by default.

However, once you transfer to your full-time university you will start paying the new higher fees regardless of whichever fee system you were in. This is because they claim that you are changing from part-time studies to full-time and are classified as a “new student”.

This is official and can be found here:

So, this is one piece of news that I wish were different. Now I will be stuck with a damn debt nearing £50,000.00 at the end of my studies… great.

Categories: university Tags: , , ,

A Straight Line Through a Circle

November 19, 2011 1 comment

To find the coordinates where a straight line passes through a circle in four steps.

First: Get the straight line and circle equations.

Second: Replace the “y” variable in the circle equation with the straight line (remember to move r^2 to the other side of the equals sign).
y=mx+c and (x-a)^2+(y-b)^2=r^2

Third: Multiply out and factorise.
The factorised equation will give you one or two “x” values. These values are the x coordinates of where the line intercepts the circle.

Fourth: To find the corresponding y coordinate(s), plug the “x” value(s) into the original straight line equation.

Categories: Uncategorized

Useful Windows 7 Applications

November 18, 2011 2 comments

I thought I might as well write one up for the benefit of everyone. Who knows you may actually find one or two of these useful! (These are ALL FREE APPLICATIONS!!!) In no particular order:

1. Firefox (website)
Not much to say here really. This is usually at the top of most peoples list. I like it for the sheer amount of plugins available. I use DownloadThemAll! and Download Helper. I must admit though that I am not a fan of their new release system.

2. Dexpot (website)
After switching to Ubuntu for a while I got used to having virtual desktops. For those of you who do not know what this is, it’s like having many computer screens that  you can switch to with just a click of your mouse. I find this is useful if you are the kind of person who has lots of applications open. Also, I would like to mention Dexclock which comes with Dexpot, it is a desktop wallpaper clock which is a very nice feature in my opinion. Has a very nice taskbar mode called “pager” which I would suggest using.

3. Fences (website)
Lots and lots of icons and folders on your desktop? Fences can help you organise and tidy up without removing a single one. What it does is it creates “boxes” that you can put your icons into. These boxes can be scaled and positioned. Should more icons go into a box than can fit it will create a scrollbar (do not worry, the scrollbar only shows when you hover over the box). You can also name these boxes and have more than one as well as a very friendly colour and transparency customiser. A small feature I found useful is if you double click on your desktop it hides all your icons and boxes (giving you a clean desktop) and re-double click to show them again!

4. Open Hardware Monitor (website)
While I was testing my machine I was wondering that temperatures I was getting inside my computer (as I was worried that the thermal paste was getting too old). Open Hardware Monitor was the only application that was simple and to the point. Lots of temperatures and statistics in an easy to read manner.

5. NetWorx (website)
A very nice bandwidth monitoring utility. It has a very nifty feature that it can place a usage graph on your taskbar. Very nice and clear to read usage statistics.

6. Eraser (website)
When you erase things from your hard drive in the traditional way they are not really being removed from your hard drive. Eraser fixes that with professional grade (think military intelligence “professional”) file erasing techniques, so that when they are deleted they are gone for good with no hope at all of recovery. Very nifty for sensitive data.

7. BOINC (website)
Why not use some CPU cycles for the greater good. Help find the cure for cancer, look for E.T. with SETI or as I am doing; helping CERN with their test4theory (there are many more causes to join so look it up!).

8. MusikCube (website)
Now here is where I differ from the mainstream a little. Most will say use one of the four giants (WinAmp, Foobar2000, iTunes or Songbird). If you had to use one of those I would say Foobar2000 and here is the reason. I have always liked simple music players. I have a dislike of all these “buy music this through the player” or “watch movies in your music player”. I want my music player to only play music as I have other applications to take care of those other bits. MusikCube is VERY lightweight and does what I need (Foobar2000 is pretty much the same). Check it out. Although it is a little lacking in the internet radio department.

9. Media Player Classic – Home Cinema (website)
A lot of people will refer to to VLC. I won’t. I will share with you a little secret; how to get the best out of your player (quality wise). madVR. I really do not have time to write a full guide on how to get it running so I will post a link here that shows you how. You can thank me (and the writer of the guide) later 🙂
Hi10P Info / Guide | Haruhichan

10. LibreOffice (website)
A fully featured office suite born from OpenOffice (it actually has the same development team). This is one of the many free alternatives to Microsoft Office (but in my opinion the best). They are getting the program to run smoother and lighter (and relying less on Java). They have some big dreams, i’m on board.

11. Defraggler (website)
A free hard drive defragmenting application that does what it says on the tin. Lightweight, fast and constantly updated. What more could you ask for? There are a few great alternatives out there but I found this one suits my tastes better.

12. dispcalGUI (website)
This bit may not be useful to many of you. This is the GUI for Argyll Colour Management System (hardware based). Very very good software, you will not find better I promise. Lots of very advanced features so you may need a guide to use it to it’s potential.

13. Notepad++ (website)
A great for programmers. Has almost every programming language you can think of and more! Lots of features and constantly updated. Very lightweight and funky (the logo just plain rocks). Also has a few plugins so if you feel there is a missing feature I suggest you check them out too before dismissing it.

14. CCleaner (website)
A very simple tool that cleans useless rubbish from you computer with the click of a button. Also has the ability to fix some errors with the registry. As with everything else from Piriform; Lightweight, fast and constantly updated.

15. Recuva (website)
Another Piriform treat. This time a file deletion recovery tool (keep in mind that if you deleted the file with Eraser then don’t even bother trying… it’s gone for good). Very nice interface (most others are no so tasty).

Finding the Circle Through Three Points

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment

I have decided to occasionally write some notes on this blog.

You must first find the perpendicular bisectors (a perpendicular line at the midpoint between two points) for both lines (“AB” and “BC” in this case). Where these two perpendicular bisectors intersect is the centre point of the circle (labelled “D” in this case).

Note: The equation to find the midpoint of a line is:
(\frac{1}{2}(x_1+x_2) , \frac{1}{2}(y_1+y_2)) or (\frac{x_1+x_2}{2} , \frac{y_1+y_2}{2})

Procrastination Deluxe

October 31, 2011 1 comment

Well, the past week and a half I have not even opened a book. Epic fail I know.

It started out with the feeling that I need a game to play in my spare time (you know to relax) as I was getting bored with films and series. Now I usually prefer offline adventure type games. Ones that require more thought and imagination rather than reflexes (like one of my favourite games; Neverwinter Nights). However I decided to play an online one that I haven’t touched in some-time. I bet you can guess the game…

Now that I think back on it, there were some very familiar signs of a game’s “charm” beginning to take hold:

It started out with the innocent “I feel like playing an interesting game that does not take up too much of my time”.
A few days later this slowly changed into “Oh, I’ll just do one more level… what can it hurt?” and “I just need this one staff and I’ll stop for a bit”.
Soon after followed by the tell-tale “I need to get higher level so that I am in the top half of my guild”.
Finally you find yourself in bed thinking (perhaps even dreaming) “I’m going to do this quest and that quest tomorrow so I can get that epic looking shoulder armour”.

I looked at the calendar nearly needed a new change of pants! Low and behold nearly two whole weeks had passed! Shock and horror!

So now I find myself needing to do a lot more work just to catch up yet alone getting slightly ahead. All this because of games… Looks like I have my work cut-out for me for quite sometime… great… 😐

***Edit: I forgot to update from the previous post. I have uninstalled Ubuntu and installed Windows 7. Haven’t looked back yet. Might even post next about some useful applications that I have found 🙂 ***

Linux or Windows?

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

This is a question that I have been asking myself recently.

A few weeks ago I made the switch from Windows 7 to Ubuntu (10.10 as I am still unsure about Unity). The one of the main reasons was that Windows 7 got so much slower over time (no matter how well you looked after your hard drive) and I just generally was tired of it and wanted a change. Oh how I miss XP.

I found Linux to be a surprisingly good replacement. In fact it was much better than I had previously thought. A lot of the applications that I use on Windows can also be found on Linux:

  • Skype
  • Thunderbird
  • Firefox
  • VLC
  • uTorrent
  • LyX (LaTeX editor)
  • VirtualBox

Along with a host of new Linux-only applications that I have already grown very attached to, and anything windows only (Mathcad, Photoshop, etc.) I would run through Windows 7 on VirtualBox. It all seemed like a perfect setup (and it was pretty damn close to this statement too)! Although I would be telling porky-pies if I said that I did not miss playing games.

However there is a single, constantly nagging point for me; screen tearing (at first I thought it was VLC, but after a while I found it was the ATI graphics card drivers). There is a fix/workaround but it appears to only last for a single reboot then I have to apply the changes all over again (and even then the fix/workaround is not all that great). As I watch a lot of movies / TV series / lectures / etc. this is not at all acceptable. My friend does not even notice the tearing but unfortunately I do.

My friends suggest that I dual boot. While this is a perfectly sound idea, I know myself better (I usually end up only using a single OS and the other just collects dust).


So which is it? Linux or Windows? I’ll let you know when I know, although I am leaning more toward switching back to Windows at this moment.