TM257 Day school done and over with

I went to the day school today, I decided to go to the one in Godalming Surrey, the reason is that my mum lives in Surrey so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone.

I had to get up really early as Godalming is still about 40 minutes away from my mum's house and I've never been there so I wanted to get there in plenty of time.

I got to the college and it was an impressive building. I sat in my car for about 20 minutes or so just counting down the seconds before I had to go to class. I saw other people starting to walk to towards the entrance so, like a Lemming I started to follow.  I got into the class room where the tutors greeted me, the room was not a huge but had computers around the perimeter of the class room and there was loads of switches and routers next on the desks with the computers. I sat in by one of the computers and people were still coming in, two other guys sat either side of me, and they ended up being in my group.

When the class started we introduced our selves to our team mates and then started to set up the basic network. as a team we got on really well, one of the guys had a bad cold and was not feeling great but he got on with it. when the main tasks started we can still work as a group and we could use all the resources that were open to us such as our note books, internet, Cisco netacad site etc as well as ask the tutors, they could not give us the answer but that could steer us towards an answer.

At the end of each task, we got the tutor to mark us off and he would check our setup to make sure we have done it correctly. We ended up getting full marks on the tasks which was 30/30 which then is 30 marks towards our EMA score.

When that was over we then had to do the Cisco final exam, this was the part I was not looking forward to as I know I have not memorised everything I have learnt.  I just had to try my best and hope that I would do ok, I ended up getting 52.4% so just over half marks it was not as bad as I thought the score was going to be but I really did want better. With this exam if you scored over 75% then you would get a discount certificate from Cisco to do your CCNA exam. Unfortunately I will not be doing the exam it is quite expensive and I wont have time to study for it as my other modules will start again in October 2019.

I will start the EMA next week, as I think I may be able to get it done quite quickly and then I can concentrate on starting the EMA for TT284 which I feel quite sick when looking at what I am meant to do, I'll save that for another post.


Hope you have a good rest of the weekend! 🙂


TT284 TMA 03 Returned!

Hi, I have had TMA 3 back and I am fairly pleased to say that I scored 63, usually I would be mortified by this score but the amount of trouble I had with the programming aspect of the TMA was enough to drive me to drink!

Blocks 1 and 2 were ok and I could understand what was going on, but as soon as I hit block 3, the skill level went from 10 to 100 and it just left me standing, I was not the only one who had major issues with TMA 3 there were so many other students that were in the same boat as me.

I had to amend the code for a guest book and it had to be responsive, in other words the content had to resize and reposition its self when ever the screen size changed. Another thing we had to do is to get it to save data to the local storage section that is in the web browser, this is not usually good practice as this storage area can be looked at by the user or anyone that is using the computer. This is a temporary measure and that the local storage should be cleared and the data to be sent to the web server. I managed to get the storage key to stay in but it would not add the value of the data, this was really giving me a headache and it did not matter how my tutor or any of the moderators in the forums explained it I just could not understand it.

In the end I just lost the will to live and just handed in what i've done. I did all the other work i.e the reports etc otherwise I would have failed this TMA.




TM257 TMA 02 Returned!

Ive had TMA 02 returned and I am ecstatic to say that I scored 96, I am really enjoying this module, I'm not saying that I understand everything that I have read but if its really important then I'm sure I will come across it again! (thats how I look at it).

The thing I like about networking over programming is that with networking there is really only one way to do something so you learn that and thats that, whereas with programming there is loads of ways to accomplish a task and of course there is still a right way amongst the hard core programmers as well as developing good practices.

To be fair I have been finding the TMA's on this course really easy and I have been completing them in a few hours. I have been enjoying the Packet Tracer activities and they have been giving me some great insight into how networks work and what goes into setting them up and configuring them.

I have to attend a day school on April 6th, I'm worried about it because I have to work in groups and I can be a bit shy, we also have to complete the CCNA2 final exam but this time you are not allowed to look at your notes and it is done in exam conditions, this day school as well as the final exam will be part of  the EMA.

I have looked at the EMA and it looks ok, not too scary.


TT284 TMA 02 Returned

I received my TMA back today and I am pleased to say that I scored 82%. As with most of my TMA's I am surprised that I got a high mark I didn't think my report was that great and to be fair it was my report that dropped the most marks. I am one of  these people who constantly doubt my own abilities and then when I do well I'm surprised.

I don't think I will ever stop criticising my self I guess it's just how I am made!

I have started Block 3 now, I've just finished part 1 which was talking about mobile devices and their limitations in terms of mobile applications. I will start part 2 tomorrow evening

Cisco Networking

I have not added to this blog for a while and I thought its high time I did. as you know I had my TMA from TM257 back and scored 99%, I ended up completing the Introduction to Networking and passed that with merit!

I started Routing and Switching and to be honest it has been interesting and not boring as I predicted it would be. I needed to finish chapters 1 - 4 so I could answer question 1 on TMA2 it was just to calculate my average score for the chapter exams, that was the last question I had to do as I finished the rest of the TMA a while ago.

I have now submitted my TMA nearly 2 weeks early which will give me time to concentrate on TT284, I am a bit behind with that now as I've been concentrating on TM257, but should not take me long to catch up, I will also need to start the TMA number 3 as that needs to be handed in on the 14th March. I find TT284 harder than Cisco Networking, I really don't know why I have to do this course as art of my networking degree. I don't want to become a developer my brain does not really think that way. So I need to spend more time on the TMA's for TT284 as they are harder and involve a lot of coding, or to be honest just amending code the OU have written and I need to make it work.

I am still waiting for the result of TMA 2 for TT284, I hope I have done OK I was not impressed by my report to be fair, report writing is not my forte. I will of course let you know my score good or bad.

On a personal note, my partner, our friend and I have booked tickets to go to New York in July 2019, I can't wait and I'm really looking forward to it. it would have been the first time I have been out of the country in over 20 years! so I'm a bit apprehensive but excited at the same time.

TM257 TMA 01 Returned

I got my TMA returned before Christmas and I was so happy, I got 99% just one mark away from 100%, I made a silly mistake on question 1 where I had to calculate my average score for the first 6 chapter exams, I did the calculations correctly but for some reason I put down the wrong answer. Nevertheless I am still happy with the score I recieved it  is the highest grade I have ever had.

I am still enjoying TM257 and I was talking with my partner the other day and I said that these two modules I am doing I have not had any "boring" bits I have enjoyed all of it so far. I still find it challenging but I guess thats a good thing as it means it pushes me to do well and if I do not grasp the concept because of they way the material is written then I alway consult Google, and I do a little research of my own to try and fully understand the subject.

I will be going to the compulsary day school I think its about April this is where we can play with actual brand new Cisco equipment and set up scenarios I am looking forward to it but also a bit nervious as there is a test at the end. The other issue is that the closest day school to me is Wales which is about an 1 hour 40 minutes away.

TT284, TMA 01 returned

I have not written on my blog for a while, mainly due to the reason that stage two of my studies is a lot more in-depth (as it should be). I have been enjoying both modules, I may talk more about each module later, but for now, I would like to say that I got the first TMA back today with a score of 70/100, it's not my best score I have ever had, but it's most certainly not my worst!

My tutor has given me some great feedback, it's mainly that I have not used all the course material as I should have with my report. To be fair I'm not a report writer, but I know that I need to do it as if I get a job in the IT sector as a network administrator then report writing may be a reality as I would have to write reports on proposals for implementing new technology to the existing network etc. I'm not shying away from report writing but I am not jumping up and down either!

Picture of my HTML Home page file, that I wrote for my TMA
part of my HTML code for my TMA

I'm not a natural when it comes to writing HTML code, I don't have much experience and to think that I can understand what is going on the picture and what the element names mean and do is a bit step up for me.



As for TM257, I am progressing at a steady pace, I have already completed the first TMA, I have not submitted it yet just in case there is something I remember or I have to do as well before the cut off date of the 13th December.  I have learned more about networking in the last couple of months than I have in my entire life!. It is a lot to take in and I am making good use of Packet Tracer as well as the hardware I purchased, I bought two Cisco 3560 switches and Cisco 2851 router.

picture of my comms cabinet, with two cisco 3560 switches and a Cisco 2851 router.
My network switches and router, the cabinet was given to me by my boss at work.

Here is a picture of my little setup, they don't stay on all the time, mainly because they are noisy and secondly they eat electric! as the caption says, the comms cabinet was given to me by my boss, we had two of them both of which have been sitting in our warehouse for the best part of 8 years!


This is all I have to say right now, however, I am quietly confident that I have done well in TMA 01 for TM257. I completed the packet tracer activity and troubleshooting the network and got that working. and I have done all the other questions. the only question I'm a bit concerned by is question 2 where I have to draw a diagram showing an encapsulated packet being used to send a web page from a web server to a client. I have done the question but I'm not sure if it is correct. Time will tell!

Have a good week  🙂




TM257 Cisco Networking

I've spent most of today studying the Cisco networking module, and to be fair I am enjoying it, I have explored the netacad site and there are some useful resources that help me to learn. such as flash cards, and quiz's (which you can take as many times as you like) for me, it is such an invaluable teaching aid.

I did the practice quiz for Chapter 1 and I got 27/30 so I thought I would do the exam next, as there are online exams for each chapter. I went onto the exam page and it says that you have 1 hour to complete the examination, so I was thinking how hard is it going to be and how many questions are there?. I started the exam and to be honest, the questions were quite easy, I finished the exam in about 15 minutes and scored 93.9% so that's good news!

Screen shot on on my score!

I am going to spend the day tomorrow on TT284 and try and complete week 2 of that in one day!


My two modules started officially on Saturday, I have done some work over the last week as I have been able to access the module material. I have finished the first week on Web technologies and so far it has been ok, just a plethora of information and no practical work yet, so I can't say much about it yet. However, TM257 Cisco Networking is a lot to take in.

I am just over half way through chapter 1 and there is so much to do, The chapter sections are quite long and there are quite a few activities to do that takes a lot of time, also there are Lab sessions to do, the lab I am doing at the moment wants me to search the internet for ISP's that give a convergence service! I don't see why that is even relevant!

I know it may sound like I'm just bitching and whining about how much work I need to do, but on a more serious note, I can't see how I am going to fit it all in as well as work 5 and a half days week.

I have this week off thankfully,  so I am going to be concentrating on getting a good head start on both the modules, I will have to see how it goes and if needs must, I will have to defer one of the modules, I would prefer to add an extra year to my studies than to get bad marks in my assessments and overall module score. So if I have only one module to concentrate on it will take the stress off a bit.

Another plan would have been to start one module in October and then start the second one in February but then I would not next summer off from studying! If I start to get behind on one of the modules I will talk to my tutor and student support to find out what my options are.


The start of my studies

I haven't written anything on here for a month of so, I have been enjoying the summer, free from any study. It is coming to the end of September and the module website for the two modules I have enrolled in is open.

I have had a look at the Cisco Networking module and as I haven't been assigned a tutor yet I can't really access the learning material as it is on a separate site owned and run by Cisco its self. So in essence, nothing much to write about there!

However, with the module Web Technologies, I can access most, if not all of the learning material. I have read the module guide and I'm about part way through the introduction of the block. I am getting nervous with this module as it requires a lot of code especially HTML and CSS, I learned a bit about HTML in TU100 but it wasn't really in depth, I have enrolled in a free course that starts tomorrow (Saturday 22/09/18, this should hopefully brush up and give me a refresher course in programming.

I can also see and read what the first TMA is going to be for Web Technologies, by the looks of it I have to change some HTML code to work properly and to be able to produce a static webpage, I think that the 3 TMA's collectively will be to arrange and publish a new website for the OURC (Open University Running Club).

Cisco Networking has a compulsary day school which I have to attend in April, and as far as I can see we have a test at the end of that school! I really hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, for anyone who is actually keeping up with this blog will know that I am always full of self-doubt, I can't help it, I have always been like that and I can't see me changing any time soon.


I have realized that there is so much that goes into computer networking and its not just the case of getting a network switch and a few ethernet cables and computers and plugging them together. it is far more complicated than that, of course, it can also be that simple for, let us say, a home network setup. But for a corporate office setup there is more to consider like how many subnets you need, whether you will use static IP addresses, firewalls, network resources such as file server services and web server services, as well as managing the deployment of applications and software updates.

I think once I start the free programming course I will remember what I have done in terms of HTML and CSS and I am hoping it all comes flooding back to me.

I'm a member for Facebook groups for the Cisco Module and the Web Technologies module, I have also joined the Whatsapp groups as well so I will have plenty of support not forgetting the resources that the OU supply.