From graduand to graduate

Well, I am no longer a student. I graduated on Wednesday and shook Bill Bryson’s hand. The ceremony was interesting and there are a number of photos available on facebook (click here to view). There will be more appearing there and on my photo gallery when I get round to uploading them.

The day wasn’t without issue however. Things kept going wrong:

  • I upset Kate – I’m very sorry
  • I lost both graduation tickets for my parents
  • I forgot my pink slip to collect my robes with
  • I upset Kate again – see above

None of the hurt was meant to be there but it has now happened and there is nothing more I can do about it. After much chat with the University secretariat I managed to get 3 nave seats for the ceremony (you are only supposed to have 2 – tee hee heee) and I talked to Kate and we are still friends.

I am now back home and very much unsure what to do. Job hunting doesn’t start until post Kenya and I will hopefully get myself a job in IT support at some point.

Right… off to fit my new heatsink to my computer.

Degree Complete

Well after 3 years and lots of boring modules and work my degree programme is completed. ASAM exam officially ends in 5 minutes but I left early as I had done all i could do.

Now all I need to do is wait for the AUT stuff to be resolved so I can get a mark for the year!

Overall i am HAPPY!!! that the degree is over and bring on 3 weeks of pissed drunkenness

Revision & Degree

Having paid the ITS £66.16 I am now +929 printer credits which seems a lot but.. I need to print off my lecture notes for the past term/year so that i can revise and pass my exams.

I had a meeting with the director of undergraduate studies in the department and he told me that at todays Senate there may be the possibility that I am allowed to graduate with honours. The system will definately be in place for next year and it is currently undecided as to whether or not to bring it in a year  early – lets hope they do!

Now I have that printing has finished (and I still have 671 printer credits) the task of actually doing some work before exams start in 9 days is on!

It’s Over

1st October to 2nd May was the official timeframe for my dissertation and project… The actual amount of time really spent on it was probably 20 march – 2 may!!!

Its done though and there is nothing that i can do to change that any more! i am now -850 printer credits with the ITS so I need to get that paid back before i graduate otherwise i wont graduate!

If you want to read the dissertation then its at

Dissertation deadline looming

It seems that all I am currently doing is writing up my dissertation and nothing else. I have spent the last week in the Techno Cafe in the Engineering Building. It’s a nice room to work in with little booths, laptops, tablets, smartboards and lots of spare network sockets and power to plug into. It has been my home from 9am – 5pm each day and has allowed me to actually get some work done.

I have now (i think) finished coding the system. Any further implementation just wont happen because I don’t have the time to finish the writeup as well as implement more stuff before 4:00pm tomorrow!

I have written chapter 1, most of chapter 3 and chapter 4. This does leave me with a Literature Survey which I am finding it increasingly hard to find anything useful for; a results/testing report and then conclusion and further work.

Once those are all written I still need to compile the whole report and hope that Microsoft Word doesnt want to fuck me about because that would possisbly be the most irritating thing possible.

For anyone who is interested in trying out the code feel free to download by default it extracts to c:Program Filesdissertation and then it runs Javaw -jar Dissertation.jar but feel free to do this however you feel. Don’t try to run it on a PDA because at the moment it is just raping memory and I have had errors throughout testing but it does run fine on my desktop machine.

Right – back to writing up the project – I will however post a pdf with all the writeup in it for you to read

Dissertation is now more cheery but still poo

OK… after a load of help from the Java legend that is Dave i have managed to get my dissertation back on track.

After last nights rage and almost complete destruction of all things electrical I have discovered that my JVM will not run JDOM as there are some bits and pieces in the SAXBuilder that are not supported on JRE 1.4.2 so I will have to find the older version and see if i can get this to work. However this is currently not a major issue as I can demonstrate working code on the tablet PC’s in the new Techno Cafe.

Over the course of the last 24 hrs I have managed to get not only the initial category displayed but also got the system to change between categories and start to display words. Tomorrow will hopefully see the system start to play different sounds to the user.

Dissertation in “Death March”


I think its finally time to admit that my dissertation is royally fucked. After spending this evening getting the first few bits of GUI working properly I have found that it is simply not running on the pda properly. It will run happily in eclipse but i receive lots of runtime errors on the PDA. I’m fairly sure its the VM and not the code but at the moment i may have to demo the software on the tablet pc’s in the techno cafe.

If someone can help me now is the time i need it most!


Why, oh why do gui’s have to be so difficult to write… or more to the point why can I not find the motivation to either do it properly or get a gui builder to create exactly what I want it to???

I wouldnt mind so much but my PDA’s JVM wont accept swing which seems to make making the GUI harder.

I may have just found a plugin for eclipse that does it for me…. Let’s see what happens!

Dissertation Fun

Well here is something else that I can successfully say is nothing to do with my dissertation. I have not long left until I have to submit my final report and at the moment I am really not feeling motivated enough to get on with it and complete it. Who would have thought that a small java application for a pda would be soo boring.

It has however made me realise that under no circumstances do i *EVER* want to become a software developer – hats off to those guys who enjoy it but it really isnt what I am looking for. I have decided that I would much rather work in IT support to begin with, get my MCSE and other qualifications and go from there to become a Network Admin or something similar.

I am still contemplating however the option of trying to get into theatre and doing something there. However going to my local theatre to see a comedy night made me realise just how little was going on there and that it really didnt seem a challenge to work in a nasty concrete building with lanterns and equipment that has been there since the building was constructed. We’ll see what happens – whether or not I decide to do that as a career is still under consideration. I will definately be doing some form of am-dram as that is brilliant fun and having done all the different shows in Durham I wouldnt want to stop. If anyone from Durham wants to see the shows I have been in then look here (you must be a DST member thought) At the time of writing I appear 21 times which isnt bad over 3 years!

Anyways.. I should probably be geting back to work as I have lots of writing to do and this has served as a welcome distraction from all my dissertation madness!