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 netacad.com on my score!

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

Module results are in!

I've been worrying about my module results since I submitted my EMA's over a month ago. I am pleased to say that I have passed so I can now relax and enjoy the rest of the summer!

My results weren't high but they where I thought they might be I was, of course, hoping for a better score. In MU123 (maths)I got a score of 76 which is a good pass rate, and ironically for TM129 (Technologies in Practice) I got a score of 66, which again isn't bad but I was hoping for better. I am rather concerned that my performance record for the EMA in TM129 my lowest scale was in networking, and this is the career I want to get into, I'm not sure at this stage weather that networking may get to hard for me to understand (but I guess I wont know unless I do it) - I'm very good at worrying about things that have not happened yet.

To be honest, I was concentrating more on MU123 and sort of rushed the EMA for TM129, it wasn't my best work but I have passed stage one of my studies and I can now move on to stage two in October. the results I get for stage one do not count towards my final degree but from stage two onwards it does.

 

I have been studying the program, Cisco Packet Tracer as I'll be using that in TM257, it has been fun and quite a bit of work.

 

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 192.168.60.0 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.

 

 

Update

I haven't written on here for a few weeks, these two modules (mainly MU123) are keeping me busy, thankfully I am at a place in the module material that I understand. This puts me in a good mood and does not make me want to throw my books, and my calculator out of the window, go out into the garden and stamp on them, pour petrol over them and then carelessly drop a match on them (too far?).

I am enjoying TU129, I have submitted my TMA for it, well, for the networking block anyway. I have one more block to do which is Linux, I started it the other day, but didn't get far as I needed to concentrate on TMA03 for MU123 (which I am still in the middle of doing and it needs to be handed in by the 6th March) I think I have done ok I won't really know until I get the TMA back marked. It was quite a short assignment with only 4 questions. one of which was to work out what the network address is if you have an IPv4 address of 192.100.50.200, with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.240. There was a section in the textbook "Microsoft Windows Networking Essentials" where it told you and showed you how to work that out, it wasn't the easiest thing to get my head around but I think I have done it correctly.

I, as you all know (if anyone has actually found this blog and decided to read it) find mathematics a big headache I really find it hard, it makes me wonder why I'm doing it sometimes. All the other people on this module seems to get exactly what they are doing and understand the key concepts. I, on the other hand really have to study hard to understand it and even then I don't always get it. A prime example is on TMA03. Question 3 asks us to make a variable the subject of the equation! this question is only 5 marks which is nothing with some of the other questions which are 18 to 25 or even 30 marks. For some reason I have cannot get my head around making a variable the subject of the equation I won't write down what the equation is on here as I know what to get accused of some sort of collusion. I can't understand why you would need to change where one of the variables go, so what I mean is if the equation is. 10r=12e/13-21 so if I want to make e the subject of the equation then I have to get e on its own on the left-hand side where 10r is. It is driving me mad, I have looked online and I appear to be doing it right however if I make the variable the subject, I can then substitute a value for let's say, e is now the subject so, e=3 I then substitute that value into the right-hand side of the first equation and whatever the answer is, would be the value for r in the second equation, if I then sub in that value for r the what the answer is should be the original value for e.

It is all very confusing I should be speaking with my tutor tomorrow and hopefully I will have a better understanding and will be able to sort that question out.

I think I have gone on long enough! I'm off to bed.

 

 

 

TM129 and MU123!

A New Term!

I know that this post is a bit late as I’ve already started my next two modules, MU123 and TM129, unfortunately life always tends to get in the way! I am currently working on MU123 (Mathematical module) it seems to be more or a work load that TM129.

I was so apprehensive and nervous about studying mathematics but the way the text books are written, they seem to ‘dumb them down’ which is good for me, they don’t chuck you in at the deep end, they ease you in slowly with very good easy to follow and understand examples – which was a god send to me. I had my first face to face tutorial last Tuesday, I felt stupid as the only questions I could answer were the ones about rounding to a certain number of significant figures or decimal places. Everyone in the class seemed to be able to get the answers before I even thought about the question being asked by the tutor – who by the way is very friendly and approachable.

I am starting to do TMA 01 for MU123, I have completed 2 questions so far, when I say two questions they had about 4 parts to them but I’m glad I have made a start, TMA 01 doesn’t have to be handed in until 14th November, so I have a little while.

TM129, I’m finding very interesting, we are learning about Robots and the meaning of life (I know, very deep and philosophical!) I am really looking forward to doing the networking and Linux sections on the module. TMA 01 for this module must be handed in by the 7th December.

TMA 06 Marked! Module Results are in!

I've Passed!

I have been worried about my module result as I thought that my EMA was rather rushed due to the circumstances I found my self in. I am pleased to say that I past the module comfortably.

You don't get much in the way of feedback but they tell you if you have done something wrong they just don't really say what! I will of course most my module result letter and the feedback as well as my completed EMA or for some reason they called this EMA TMA06, god knows why it was and End of Module assignment so why not call it what it is?

This result has given me a confidence boost as I know, now, that I can accomplish anything even if I have a load of crap coming at me from different angles.

My overall task score was set as "Value A' which means a score of 85 -100% I got a couple of value B's which is 70 - 85% i think but overall I am so pleased and proud of myself.

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.