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.

New Modules! starting in October 2017

I thought I would right about my new modules I have just enrolled in, the first is Technologies in Practice I am really looking forward to this module as it focuses on the subjects I find most interesting which are robotics, networking and Linux operating systems. below is the full module description...

Technologies in practice

This module provides an opportunity to sample some of the key areas in computing and information technology. You will be introduced to three topics as tasters for your future studies and career: robotics, networking, and Linux. Studying these topics will enable you to develop essential skills for future employment in the computing and IT industry. You will be applying what you learn by developing a portfolio to demonstrate your skills and understanding in these areas. By studying this OU level 1 module you can begin to explore where your future career ambitions or interests might lie.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code TM129
Credits 30
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

The module is structured into three study blocks, each based upon a key area in computing and IT, and the development of a portfolio which forms part of your final assessment.

You will study both OU materials and third party materials that support your learning in the three key topics. The module is practical and activity-based, and much of the study material is delivered online. You will therefore be working at your computer for significant periods of time.

Block 1 – Robotics and the meaning of life

This first block will introduce you to robotics and the design of intelligent machines. Robots are no longer the stuff of fiction; they are found in factories, on the battlefield and in our homes. You will learn how robots work and how to program and control robots using the specially written software we provide. You will also examine the relationships between humans and robots, the impact robots will have on our lives, and the ethical issues surrounding the use of robots.

Block 2 – Introduction to computer networking

Networking computers provides a sound grounding in the basic principles of computer networks and the challenges in setting these up and maintaining them. Topics covered include protocol models and layering; IP addressing; basic network design and network devices. A third party book will be used to introduce these concepts and your learning will be supported through computer-based practical exercises.

Block 3 – Introduction to Linux

Finally, this block introduces you to one of the most extensively used operating systems worldwide. You will examine the many similarities that exist between Linux and other popular operating systems and also the diverse technology available in the Linux community. You will be provided with tools to use free versions of Linux on your computer to carry out practical activities.

As you progress through the module, you will develop a portfolio of your work for the various practical activities which relate to each block. This will help demonstrate your skills and understanding in the areas you have studied. The portfolio will also be a significant component of the end-of-module assessment. Working on the portfolio will help you to think about your future career interests and will inform decisions you need to make on your future areas of study.

I think that this module will get my brain working towards learning more about networking as that is the career I want to pursue.

Technologies in Practice is a 30 credit module so I have to enrol in another one which is also 30 credits, unfortunately it is a mathematics module called "Discovering Mathematics" as I have said in my last post, I am not looking forward to this as I have not got any confidence in my mathematical abilities, I find the subject very difficult. below is the full module description...

Discovering mathematics

This key introductory OU level 1 module provides a gentle start to the study of mathematics. It will help you to integrate mathematical ideas into your everyday thinking and build your confidence in using and learning mathematics. You'll cover statistical, graphical, algebraic, trigonometric and numerical concepts and techniques, and be introduced to mathematical modelling. Formal calculus is not included and you are not expected to have any previous knowledge of algebra. The skills introduced will be ideal if you plan to study more mathematics modules, such as Essential mathematics 1 (MST124). It is also suitable for users of mathematics in other areas, such as computing, science, technology, social science, humanities, business and education.

Course facts
About this course:
Course code MU123
Credits 30
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
5 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

What you will study

In order to study this module successfully you should expect to be actively doing mathematics, rather than just reading it. You will also be encouraged to develop skills in interpreting and explaining mathematics, and this aspect will be assessed in some of the assignment questions.

Samples of the study materials, including example assessment questions, are available from our MathsChoices website.

Providing you have the appropriate background knowledge, you should expect to study for about eight hours a week. Many of the topics covered in the module depend on your understanding of topics in earlier units. So, if you have not fully understood earlier material, you may find later material more difficult and time consuming. This is particularly true of graphs, formulas and algebra. Naturally, the study time required for the module tends to increase before an assignment deadline.

You will learn

Successful study of this module should begin to develop your skills in working with mathematical concepts and using them to solve problems.

You will learn about:

  • key ideas in mathematics, including some statistics, algebra, geometry and trigonometry
  • mathematical vocabulary and notation introduced and developed in the module
  • selection and use of mathematical techniques for solving problems
  • interpretation of results in the context of real life situations
  • simple mathematical arguments
  • how to explain mathematical ideas from the module in writing
  • development of skills in learning mathematics
  • use of relevant ICT tools for learning and for working on mathematical problems
  • describing problems mathematically
  • analysing mathematical reasoning.

The module contains many real world contexts such as journey planning, glaciers, supply and demand, depreciation, poverty levels, chance events, and medical conditions (such as cancer), to help illustrate mathematical topics.

Entry

This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to modules at level 2.

You are advised to have previous experience in mathematics, before commencing this module. In particular, you should be confident with the following topics:

  • arithmetic of numbers, including negative numbers and fractions
  • scientific notation for numbers (sometimes known as standard form)
  • powers of numbers including square roots
  • using your scientific calculator effectively for the above topics, and for working with brackets and π
  • using simple word formulas
  • drawing and interpreting simple charts and graphs.

You are not expected to have any skills in algebra before the module starts.

It is essential that you establish whether or not your background and experience give you a sound basis on which to tackle this module, since students who are appropriately prepared have the best chance of completing their studies successfully and get the most enjoyment out of it. You are strongly advised to follow the recommendations given in the Preparatory work section below.

There are two mathematics entry-level modules, this one and Essential mathematics 1 (MST124). Your choice of which one to start with depends on your mathematical knowledge, experience and on the qualification you have in mind.

For advice about where to begin your study in maths please look at our MathsChoices website. The website also contains a self-assessment quiz to help you decide if this is the right module for you.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Preparatory work

It is recommended that you work through some of the free and open educational resources from the Maths Help website, where there is a module to help you to refresh your knowledge of each of the following topics:

  • Numbers, units and arithmetic
  • Rounding and estimation
  • Ratio, proportion and percentages
  • Squares, roots and powers
  • Diagrams, charts and graphs
  • Language, notation and formulas
  • Geometry.

Alternatively, you could study any textbook that covers the same topics.

I know this is only a 30 credit module but it still scares me, I know that Richard is really good at maths and he has a way of explaining to me in a way I understand, but I still am not looking forward to it. Looking at the list above it seems really difficult - I will come back to this section of this blog and add to this and tell you (or me as no one else reads this blog!) if I have been worrying about nothing, or, my worrying has been justified. Watch this space!!

 

 

End of the first chapter

It has been a struggle, a steep learning curve and a challenging task, but I have completed TU100. I submitted my end of module assignment (which is now called TMA06 - I don't know why the decided to change the name !)

Over the last two months I have had a lot on my plate, my father who lives in the Philippines was ill and decided to come back home, it turned out he had terminal cancer of the bowel which has spread to his liver, stomach and lungs. He is getting weaker by the day he is now bed bound and we think he has days left, he is on palliative care. So with all this going on I have been trying to do TU100 and also complete the TMA, I of course let my tutor know what was going on and I also filled out a special circumstances form for the university just so they know why my work may be shite!!

I really thought that I might of had to submit my TMA without completing it, at the time of telling my tutor about my situation I had already completed tasks 2,3 and 4 she said that if I had completed those tasks then the Likelihood would be that I would have passed the module, I only need to get 30% to pass. I really wanted to complete it for my sake more than anything. I have had to travel down to Surrey most weekends to be with my father, so my work has been suffering a bit.

I  came back from Sarah's yesterday (being bank holiday Monday) and I got home in the adternoon I then went up stairs and it took me a while to get into Task 5 which was about argument mapping - which I found boring when we were studying it in the block, but I tried to get dad out of my mind and before I knew it I had completed it.

I had a quick look through my work and for me it read fine and was well laid out, I'm not sure how task one is going to be as I have come a bit short of the word count which should be no more than 1100 words but I have done 936.

Anyway I have submitted it and I should get my result in July. I hope I have past otherwise I will have to resist it in September.

I have applied for more student finance and I have enrolled in my next two modules the first of which is "Technologies in Practice" this incorporates robotics, networking and Linux which I am really looking forward to. The other module I have had to enrol is "Discovering Mathematics" I am not really looking forward to this as me and maths are not the best of friends but luckily Richard is really good st it so he can help me. I will be back in October to start my new chapter, see you then!

Block 6 Part 1 Session 1 Activity 4 (Exploratory)

internet_income_Data

By looking at the graph shown in the link above there seems to be a link or correlation between the nations internet access and the countries wealth. With the scatter chart as the points are clumped together will usually suggest a correlation with the data. if there was no correlation the data would be sporadically spaced on the chart.

 

Activity 17 (self-assessment) Data Protection Act (DPA)

The ICO produces lots of guidance on how the DPA should be interpreted in different situations. Follow the links below to a selection of these guidance documents and read the advice given. Once you are happy that you have understood the guidelines, consider each scenario and write a couple of sentences in response, as directed.

Scenario 1

You attend a school production and take some photographs of the children on stage. The school’s head teacher hears that you have some good photographs and contacts you to ask if they can be used on the school website. Flattered by the request, you supply three photos, which are uploaded to the website along with details of the budding performers.

Explain whether or not you have complied with the Data Protection Act.

As long as the children and/or their parents/guardians have given their permission then this would not be covered by the act, if the permission has not been sought then this would affect the act.

Scenario 2

Your mother is taken into hospital and will have to stay for several days. When you go to visit, you ask her if there is anything you can do to help. She is concerned about paying her credit card bill and asks you to contact the bank to find out what her outstanding balance is. At the end of visiting hours you leave, taking her credit card details with you. You phone the helpline number, explain the situation and request her balance.

Explain whether, within the rules of the DPA, the bank can tell you her balance.

Under the data protection act the bank would not be allowed to tell your her balance even if you have all the necessary information for them, as you could have got the information fraudulently.

Scenario 3

You work for an organisation that holds personal information about children. You have a work deadline approaching, so you decide to copy some data onto a memory stick. You will not be sharing the data with anyone else – it is for your personal use so that you can complete your work at home.

Explain whether putting this data on your memory stick complies with the DPA.

Under the DPA you if you copy information that contains personal details onto a memory stick, the DPA requires that data to still be secure, so you should password protect the files just in case you lose it. as soon as you have finished with the data, it should be destroyed immediately.

Scenario 4

You are helping a friend to sort out the estate of a recently deceased relative. One of the tasks you have taken on is to arrange cancellation of the deceased’s mobile phone contract. You contact the phone company, only to be told that they are unable to discuss customer accounts with anyone other than the customer unless previously authorised. You explain that the customer is unable to give authorisation, but they continue to state that they are unable to discuss the matter with you.

According to the DPA, is the phone company correct to withhold the information?

If the person is deceased, the DPA does not come into effect in this case and the information can be released, however the phone company will need proof that the person in question is in fact deceased. they will need a death certificate or something like that for them to release the information. If they release the information without making sure that the person in question is in fact dead, they would then be in breach of the DPA.

 

 

 

 

 

Update!

I haven't post on here for a while, I have been busy dong my 5th TMA which I am glad to say I have finished. I am going to read through it again over the weekend and probably submit it tomorrow evening.

I am a bit behind on block 4 Part 5, each session on this part is long, I had every intent to do a lot last night, but I had something to eat and then fell asleep on the sofa! I will continue with the studying when I get home from work today and power through the rest of this part so I can move on to Block 5.

 


In block 4 I am learning about virtual worlds and how they can be useful in the real world applications, such as training military people, it was a game
simulation called America's Army which as all the weapons, and strategies of real life combat situations, it is now available world wide through steam, I have downloaded it but not played it yet.

TMA 04 Marked!

TMA 04 Result

 

I have just had my 4th TMA marked and sent back I got 75/100 I am really pleased with this score, Shena said that if my work carries on the way it is then I will pass the module comfortably.  My assessment summary is below. This score has given me a confidence boost, and it turns out I'm not as stupid as I think I am.

It goes to show that if I apply myself I can achieve my goals, I just wish I thought of this when I was at school.

Preserving Data

In Block 3 Part 4 Session 1 and 2, I have learnt the importance of preserving data. By preserving data I don't just mean backing up my own personal files, I mean the bigger picture for preserving our digital world for many generations to see and appreciate.

Imagine if we never preserved and protected our many material historical documents and works, we never kept records of important events, such as the World Wars or kept hold of now, world famous painting such as the Mona Lisa which is in The Louvre, France which has been hanging there since 1757. The same goes with our digital data, everything is on some kind of digital medium in the 21st century, this is why it is so important to look after it.

Digital storage medium all have life spans, ZDnet made up a lifespan of such medium devices which is very interesting to see.

  • Hard Disks - 3 - 6 years (computer hard disk)
  • Magnetic tape - 10 -20 years (computer data backup)
  • Magnetic disks - 1 -5 years (floppy disks)
  • Optical Disks - 10 - 100 years (DVD)
  • Static memory - 50 - 100  years (digital camera memory card)

These results are very intriguing, of course there are other factors that need to be considered such as how the medium is stored, used and how it is looked after. I have had hard drives that are still going strong after 10 years, they are not used everyday which also keeps the hard disk in better shape which in turn will last longer.

It goes to show that static memory is the way forward and we now have solid state drives which run and access data at ridiculously fast speeds, and of course they don't have moving parts so less wear and tear and a lot less heat.