31 May 2007

NET12 The Machine is Us/ing Us

This is an excellent movie produced by Professor Wesch, it has been used to describe Web 2.0 technologies and the semantic Web. It demonstrates how we, the users both drive and fuel the Web.

It lead to an interesting discussion on WebCT with Helen, about how computers were expected to create a paperless society, but we are instead inundated with more paper. I made the comment that the faster technology helps us to work, the more work we seem to do - who is the slave, us or our technology?

26 May 2007

REA11 is over!

Well I managed to get my final assignments handed in on time last night (just), and I'm very pleased that the aggravation is now over. In hindsight it has been a very useful unit, but it just about wore out my brain!

I don't want (and don't expect) to top the class, I just want to pass. I am kind of pleased with my final topic-of-choice essay Web Accessibility and Developers though, considering this final version was dashed off in the space of two or three hours. Even I can see it's a huge improvement on the version I submitted for my first assignment.

Those analytical structures really do work! That sucker took the best part of a day (it helped to have previously worked on the topic in other assignments), while the other analytical structure exercise we had to do must have taken me all week. Worth the effort, although it would have been less stressful if I had allowed myself a more leisurely pace (ie. not wasted so much bloody time with texts that weren't required reading!)

13 May 2007

REA11 Universal knowledge

One of the fiery debates at REA11 has been about the existence of a universal knowledge which holds true for all.

The modernist take is that universal truth exists once you screen out elements of bias and get to a purely objective view.

The post-modernist belief is that it is impossible to be completely objective, there is no one truth, but that truth exists in many forms according to social context.

Some students felt this challenged certain religious beliefs, but it doesn't need to be so. If one holds that knowledge is but a perception of reality, one can still believe in an absolute reality yet hold that knowledge exists in context.

12 May 2007

Prepare for SP2

Doing two units next SP:
  • NET12 The Internet: A Socio-technological Introduction
  • NED11 Internet Design - Introduction.
Looking forward to doing NET12 with a couple of the students from this SP, REA11 class. Just checked the unit outline and it has a couple of essays to write, and 30% final mark is based on discussion board participation.

Have heard a lot of good feedback on NED11, students from my NET11 class last SP LOVED it.

According to somewhere I was reading (OUA site I think) it was recommended to have Photoshop and Dreamweaver for NED11. I ended up getting a pretty good deal ($235) on the student edition of Adobe Creative Suite 2.3 from a software dealer Berlin Wall. Getting the serial number from Adobe was a bit of a pain. I had to send them a claim with a copy of my student ID to prove I was a student. It took about a month with a few phone calls and emails to finally get anything from them.

The only set text I have to worry about next SP is for NED11 - HTML, XHTML, and CSS, Sixth Edition: Visual QuickStart Guide by Elizabeth Castro. The publisher, Peach Pit Press has an e-book version which offers a quick and inexpensive way to buy it. I'll shop around a little more and come back and get this if I can't find it anywhere cheaper. At least with the e-book I wont have to wait for it to arrive in the mail.

REA11 coming to an end

Well there are two weeks left of this unit and it looks like I'll be busting a gut again to hand in assignments on time!

So much reading in this unit. Thank goodness I only took the one unit this SP (study period) or I'd be going crazy.

This SP has been SO different to the last one when I did NET11; not everyone has been enjoying the subject, and there has been disappointment with marks on our assignments. There have been some very opposed views expressed on the discussion board which have become heated to the point where our tutor had to shut it down and delete threads.

Despite this, I think the course is well designed and interesting. The amount of material we are getting through, it seems too much is compacted into the time we have. Feeling a bit stressed.

Couple of students I've spoken to all agree - will be glad to have REA11 behind us!

3 May 2007

Free domain/hosting for students

Here are details of this offer I found from Hostess Web Hosting. Only available to uni students (you must register with email address ending in .edu.au) it includes a free .au.com domain name and free web hosting. Check it out on the Hostess web site (click "Uni Students" from the menu).

No php support but does offer a cgi-bin for perl scripts. My free site? http://www.mja.au.com/