24 June 2007

NET12 First assignment

A pleasant surprise this morning when I started pulling materials together for my essay. The due date is actually Mon 2nd July, not 29 June as I've been thinking. I'm not sure why I had the date wrong, but it is nice to realise I have a couple extra more days than I thought.

My copy of Weaving the Web by Tim Berners Lee arrived last week. Haven't had time to start reading it yet, but had a quick scan. It looks set to become another one of my favourites.

Dropped into the local library the other day and re-borrowed the John Naughton book, Brief History of the Future. The first time I read this book was not for any particular study requirements, it was just out of interest and I could not put the book down!.

As it turns out, I am not required to do extra research outside the supplied unit materials for this essay, so if I am pressed for time I shall probably not reference Naughton.

UPDATE 4 July 2007: Well it was done and handed in on time, after much thought and a change of tack. I decided to support the opposing view, with a major BUT..

Here it is: Internet a product of the U.S. military? [PDF]

I didn't reference Naughton - space was the issue, but some useful material was sourced from DARPA itself. It is interesting that despite being so heavily involved early on, DARPA is quite matter of fact about the Internet - it's like "yeah, we did it, so what.. we've done all this other cool stuff too..".

15 June 2007

NET12 Additional reading

YES! I managed to find an inexpensive second hand copy of Tim Berner-Lee's Weaving the Web on eBay!

I would also love to find John Naughton's Brief History of the Future but not having much luck. Shall nip down to the local library to see if I can borrow it again.

7 June 2007

NET12 Technology & Politics

Langdon Winner. " Do Artifacts Have Politics?" The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.) pp. 19-39

"The things we call technologies are ways of building order in our world."
- (Mumford) two types of technologies: one authoritarian, the other democratic
- structuring decisions are made either consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or inadvertently
- different people are situated differently and possess unequal levels of power/awareness
- choices quickly become firmly fixed in material equipment, economic investment, social habit

Some light reading: Who Woulda Thought. Famous last quotes about technology!

6 June 2007

Looking at SP3

SP2 has just started but I've been looking at the units available for next SP. I'm thinking of taking these two from Curtin:

NET23 The Internet: Policy, Regulation and Governance
NED12 Internet Design - Advanced

I suppose I should also register with Curtin for this degree, it is recommended by the third or fourth unit, which I am studying now.

UPDATE 6 July: I've decided to take just one unit next SP and have enrolled in NED12. None of my level 1 NET units are available in SP4 so shall look at a VIS unit later this year.

5 June 2007

Week two of studies

Two subjects, and I seem to be ploughing ahead through one and falling behind in the other!

NET12 I'm having difficulty with, due to some kind of performance anxiety I think! There is a requirement to participate in online discussions which isn't normally a problem, but it's been specified that for each topic there must be at least two posts - one has to be a substantial answer to one of the discussion questions (150 words minimum).

It is not difficult to respond to other people's posts, but it is difficult to construct two or three paragraphs with coherent and relevant thoughts on every single topic of the unit. I'm worried about being left behind.

NED11 has been pretty easy so far. I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into some of the meatier parts. I'm wondering what to do for my project web site. The local Chamber of Commerce asked me to put forward a proposal for a Web site, perhaps I might turn it into my project.

REA11 Results

Results in today, couldn't be happier.. 84 (HD).

My marks dipped in both assessments where I had to produce an analytical structure document, but picked up in narrative forms. Earlier I credited the analytical structure exercises with improving my essay structure. Go figure!

4 June 2007

NED11 Module 1

Hobbes' Internet Timeline - http://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline/

We have to select 5 milestones most relevant to the World Wide Web, screen design, and multimedia design issues – along with the time they happened.

Bit distracted by all the funnies! in particular RFCs like the following:
RFC 1149: A Standard for the Transmission of IP Datagrams on Avian Carriers
RFC 1178: Choosing a Name for Your Computer

3 June 2007

NET12 Module 1

Just read Rob Kitchin's "Introducing Cyberspace" from Cyberspace World in the Wires. Excellent material there. I wouldn't mind getting hold of the entire text. Next reading is from http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/20quests/hownet.htm

Other useful readings:
How Internet Infrastructure Works from How Stuff Works
Living Internet (re-visit from NET11!)
Primer on Internet Technology by Roger Clarke