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  🙂





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.


TM129 Complete

I completed and submitted my EMA for TM129 on Saturday evening. I'm not overly confident that I have done well, the EMA was a bit laborious and rather tedious, I think I should have passed as long as I get 40% then that is a pass. Of course, I would like to get a higher score.

With this EMA, for me, it didn't seem to test us on the knowledge we should have learned over the last nine months. instead, the questions were along the lines of, having to read an article and then for us to write a short document about the article along with other references. Also, the only real element that was testing us was with the Section 2 question for Question B (the networking question) where we have to set up 12 subnets and were given the address this was really the only part where I had to think about it and find out how to set up 12 subnets.

Again I am not very hopeful with this EMA as long as I pass that would be a job well done.

I will be starting stage 2 in October, I have been looking at the modules and they look rather interesting, I am a bit worried about the module TM254 - Managing IT: the why, the what and the how. The only reason why I'm worried about this is that there is an actual examination at the end of it. I don't do well in exams and that word just terrifies me, at least with an EMA if you can't understand the question or you don't really know the answer you can always look for help and guidance online with fellow students of indeed Google. Anyway, I was worried about MU123 before I started it, and I've completed that so I guess I have to start telling my self that if I can do that, I can do anything and that I should just take it in my stride.

I'm going to have a few months off now and enjoy the summer in between going to work!


Have a good summer! 🙂


Final thoughts on MU123

I have finished my EMA and submitted it, studying MU123 has been somewhat bittersweet for me, there have been lots of aspects that I have not understood whatsoever, and others that I found easy. I'm glad that I have finished the course and I'm quietly confident that I have passed.

This module was 30 credits, I would have thought it should have been 60 credits. I spent more time with MU123 than I did with my other module TM129. MU123 had 4 TMA's and 4 iCMA's plus the EMA it was a lot of work to do especially in conjunction with TM129 which only had 3 TMA's plus the EMA (Which I am still doing now, I need to submit it on Tuesday 5th June) also I work long hours as well so for the last nine months I have been going to work, coming home and then going up to my study and that where I have been until I went to bed.

I know this may sound like I'm bitching, but I just want to make it known for anyone who is wanting to do this degree, do so only if you really think you have enough spare time. I was thinking, when stage 2 starts I was going to start the first module in October and then start the other module in February, at least then it would be staggered. The more I thought about this, the more I'm thinking this is not a wise choice, at least with studying two modules at the same time, I will finish the end of may or beginning of June thus having the summer off to enjoy myself. With staggering the modules I will not have any time off studying.

Stage 2 is a big jump up from stage 1 and I think I will need to prepare myself, I need to study four modules altogether and one of which has an examination at the end instead of an End of Module Assignment. Historically I have not done well in exams and I am starting to hyperventilate just thinking about it.

On a lighter note, I am going to finish the EMA for TM129 today with any luck and then submit that and tomorrow my partner, Richard our friend Nathan and myself are either going to the botanical gardens in Bristol or we are going to for a cycle ride to Bath, weather permitting.

Have a good weekend!


MU123 TMA 04 Returned!

I haven't posted much on here recently as I've had nothing that interesting to say (not saying that I say any interesting in the first place!)

I'm pleased with the score I got for TMA 04 - 85%. I found this TMA easier than TMA 03  and so I zoomed through it, to be honest, I wasn't expecting a result like this.

I know that no one reads this blog and it's not really intended for anyone to read, however, if you are reading this and thinking of doing an Open University degree, and you are concerned that you are not smart enough, then look at me. I did dreadfully in school and failed all of my exams because I never applied myself. Don't get me wrong I have to work hard to understand the concepts, especially in MU123 but I can do it, also I'm now paying for it so if you're like me then you will force your self to concentrate and do well.

Even now, when I am nearly at the end of stage one, I still think whether I am making the right decision and moving forward onto stage two, as this is when it gets much harder. I still have to do two modules concurrently which makes it hard to juggle things around and to hand in TMA's on time, I  stop and really think whether I should move on to doing the degree. I soon snap myself out of it and tell myself that I can do it. when I start my new modules in October I will soon let you know how I'm getting on! What this space.



MU123 TMA 01 returned and thoughts on TMA 01 for TM129

TMA 1 returned!

I received my first TMA back for MU123 (Discovering mathematics), I am so pleased that I got 94%. I was quite confident that I did well, I re-read it and re-read it again before I submitted it and made any alterations with it. My tutor gave me some constructive criticism which I will take on board.

What's next?

Well I need to continue on with the study material, obviously, MU123 gives you about 2 weeks to do one unit, so it has taken me a while to juggle my time with studying this module as well as TM129, I have noticed that TM129 isn't really as heavy as MU123 in terms of the amount of time I need to put aside to study, I can complete a whole unit in TM129 in a day straight.

I am doing TMA 01 for TM129 at the moment and I have had a bit of trouble with it, it seems to be more in depth than TMA 01 for MU123 was. I have only got question 4 and 5 to do. Question 4 wants me to write a short report on the use of robots in the logistics industry mainly warehouses. This has proved more difficult that I first thought. I will let you know how I get on when I get my results in.

Personal note

I must say that I don't find robotics that interesting, and I'm not really sure why this block is included in TM129, I understand that the module is "technologies in practice"  however, after this block there is nothing else to do with robotics in the entire course i.e in Stage two or stage three. so by the time I go on to the next stage which should be next October, I would of forgotten everything I have learnt.

I have nearly finished iCMA for MU123 as well, this needs to be finished and submitted by 5th December. The TMA 01 for TM129 needs to be submitted by 7th December and then TMA 02 for MU123 needs to be finished and submitted by 19th December (which I have not even started yet!)






Personal update 2

We had dad's funeral yesterday and it was a joyous but also a sad, upsetting and long hard day. We wanted it to be fun as that was what dad was like he always made me laugh and the rest of the family and his friends, he was such a kind and gentle man with a heart of pure gold. Even as I write this post I can't believe he has gone and I will never get to see him again, Sarah, Novi, Richard, Colin and I went to his grave this morning to take a couple of flowers from his wreath so we could press them and preserve them. we also sprinkled some wild flowers over his plot as well, they should hopefully start to come up this year although it may be to late but they will come up next year.

Colin took a photo of Sarah Novi and I at the grave side which I think is ok to put on this post, I don't think it is a morbid thing to do, where dad is, is in a place of natural beauty and I don't see it as a generic grave yard as there are no head stones and no imposing church, we are basically in a wild flower meadow.

I think dad would of liked the service he had some of the music he enjoyed listening to and his friends and family including cousins I have never seen before where there to see him off and to pay their respects. I wrote the eulogy from Sarah and myself which Stephen (The celebrant) read out and it came across really well which I was very pleased about I will add it to the bottom of this post. He also read out pieces from Rosie Mac (his Sister) where she told everyone what a horrid sister she was! and that he still loved her and her him as well which was very touching its not  very often that Rosie gets emotional but she did then.

We had the wake at Sarah's and most of the people went, that part was fun for everyone and it was nice to get to know dad's cousins, Shaun, Paddy and Michelle as well as seeing my cousin Alister who I have not seen since 2000.

below is the eulogy I wrote for dad on behalf of Sarah and myself

We have so many fond memories of dad; we would love to tell them all but you might get a tad bored.


Dad was a very kind, caring, funny man who loved music, he could play the Drums, Guitar and Harmonica – some may say not very well but we enjoyed listening to him, we have great memories of us all playing together in the front room of our home in Earlswood; Sarah on the recorder, Mum and James on the Piano and dad on the Guitar I think we liked to see ourselves as the next Von-Trap’s - Sarah and James


Dad being so kind and caring to everything that crossed his path in life, he particularly loved animals and nature. Now, Dad being a big 6’3” trucker thundering down the small country lanes in his 19 ton tipper lorry (you would of assumed that he would be big and butch – how wrong you would be) he was traveling down the lane when he saw this little baby bunny on the side of the grass verge, so he stopped his truck which held up all the other road users but he didn’t care he just wanted to rescue this poor defenseless animal. He scooped up the little bunny with his shovel-sized hands and put him in his lunch box to protect him, he came back home and tried to nurse it back to health. However, nature can be cruel and unfortunately the little bunny rabbit died during the night. Sarah went to dad and asked him how the bunny was doing to which he turned round and picked up the rabbit by one foot and said in a very serious voice with somber look “It’s stiff!” Sarah couldn’t help but roar with laughter while at the same time dad had a tear in his eye. - Sarah


We really enjoyed going out for day trips in dads lorry, we got excited that we had to wake up at 4am to get to his work by 5 but within 20 minutes of us being in his lorry we used to be asleep on the bunk bed! He was a very generous man – some will say too generous and he used to buy us lots of food from the snack vans dotted around the run he made delivering sand or top soil. He used to let us drive the truck a little bit as well in the yard (I’m not sure health and safety would of liked that though!) – Sarah and James


Travelling back to 1983, Mum, Dad, Sarah, James, and dear family friends Carol, Peter & Andy, and our grandparents went to Italy for a camping holiday, I don’t remember too much about the holiday as I was only 3 at the time but I was told by dad on numerous occasions that once I got lost and Mum, Dad and everyone else was searching for me – they obviously wasn’t searching to far away from the alcohol because they didn’t find me, instead these two topless sunbathers found me and brought me back. Dad told me that he wasn’t sure weather to thank the ladies for bringing me back or to thank me for bringing the ladies back! – James


As we have said above Dad loved music and he could play several musical instruments he played drums in a band back in the 90’s, we used to always go to them and watch him play, we always felt very proud of him when he was playing, I’m not sure our mother liked it when he used to practice in the house!


These are just a very small selection of memories we have, we are going to miss dad more than words can say and his passing has left a great big hole in our lives that nothing will ever be able to fill. Sleep tight dad.

Personal Update

I know this post isn't about OU study but this has happened since I've been studying so I think it needs to be said on here.

I decided to post on here just to keep my blog going and to say what is going on in my life away from the OU. I think I wrote on my last update the my father was terminally Ill with bowel cancer which then spread into is liver, stomach and lungs. He ended up coming back from the Philippines which in it's self was an horrendous journey I'm so shocked that he actually made it over here. He spent the first month or so at his sisters in Cuckfield, we all visited him but his wife Novi wanted to come over to be with him, she managed to sell some stuff to raise the funds for the flight. John (my uncle) did not want novi to stay with them, he is an 83 year old man who does not cope with strangers very well.

Anyway Sarah said that dad and novi can stay with her in the spare room, we all hurried around to try and get a bed for him etc the bed it turned out was too low but it did for now. the first day that dad came to Sarah's we all had to go out for Lee's 50th birthday dinner in Reigate, we asked him if he would be ok and he said yes. We left him on the sofa with his curry he wanted to eat, about halfway through dinner Sarah text dad to see if he was ok, he then text back saying he could not get off the sofa, she asked him if he needed to go the toilet and he said no. Long story short we got back to Sarah's at about midnight, and we saw dad lying on the sofa looking very unwell we managed to wake him up and he was desperate for water so I got him a glass. Sarah and I got him to his feet and took him to bed he almost collapsed on me and I grabs him just before he did, the next Morning Sarah and I had to wake up really early at about 0400 to collect Novi from Heathrow airport.

When we were driving back with Novi to the house she was very excited that she had made it to England, when we got back to the house, we showed Novi where dad was in the front room and she burst into tears and wrapped her arms around dad, we were always suspicious of Novis intentions and this reaction out our minds at rest some what.

Dad was getting weaker by the week then by the day, he didn't want to end up in a hospice and he wanted to die at Sarah's so we did everything in our power to make that happen. We had the hospice to provide an proper hospital bed that adjusted at a touch of a button and he had a mattress that stopped bed sores towards the end he was completely bed-bound, so this was a great thing to have. Moving forward and couple of weeks Sarah rang me on Friday 16th June, at around 10:00 I was at work she then told me that the nurses have rang her to get home, so Caroline at work told me to take the loan car from with in the wear house and go, which I did I got to Sarah's at around 1300 to which I had Sarah and mum come up to me crying their eyes out they hadn't told me to has happened so I assumed that dad had already died. Sarah said that he has hours left and that he can still hear us. I went into the room and there was dad unconscious breathing heavily, he stayed like this for a couple of hours and we all told him that he can go if he's ready, he died about thirty minutes later with Sarah, mum, Novi and I hold his hand and stroking his forehead, it was such a weird and upsetting, traumatic experience one of which I do not want to repeat. He stayed in the house for a few hours afterwards and we were all crying and supporting eachother, as I'm typing this I can remember how I was feeling it was dreadful, I feel that if I write down all this then I have emptied my head of it, I am writing this on my iPad on a train going to Surrey as we are burning dad tomorrow at an natural burial ground called Clandon Wood it is so beautiful and tranquil dad would of liked it he liked nature and animals and we have chosen a nice stop for him.

The funeral is at 1300 tomorrow afternoon we are having the service by the grave side as well this is mainly due to expense, dad had no money and had no life insurance so we have to pay for the funeral. We are still making it nice for him and it shouldn't look cheap, (I hope it doesn't).

I am feeling very apprehensive and I have been feeling that since yesterday, I don't know what it is maybe this is how I am moaning dads death - who knows? I have t cried much since a few days after it happened, I'm putting. That down to the fact that he has not been a major part in our lives for the last ten years, he chose to moved to the Philippines.