Saturday, September 15, 2007

M359: M500 Revision Weekend

The M500 revision weekend is proving very useful. Our tutor is Stuart Hutchison of region 9. Stuart over a period of time has compiled a long list a questions and solutions to aid in revision for M359, and is using extracts from this list to aid in our revision (see below). I am finding them very useful as they are helping me identify my weak areas.

If you want to get hold of Stuart for further details on his questions and solutions he can be contacted on stuart.hutchison at


Friday 14th

Well here we are Aston Uni for the start of the M500 revision weekend. There’s 16 students taking the M359 strand and our tutor is Stuart Hutchison. This evening’s session covered Block 1, with Stuart doing some lecturing and then passing out some questions (which were a selection from a long list of questions he has compiled). These questions are proving very useful and informative. For me they are certainly highlighting areas where I need to pay extra attention.

The sorts of questions being:
Q3. Data Storage
List some fundamental problems associated with file-based data storage.

Q7. Database Concepts & Terminology
Complete each of the following boxes – which represent the 3-tier architecture of a typical DBMS.

After the evening session we spent a couple of hours at the “Sack of Potatoes”, the local public house, followed by a couple more drinks at the ABS bar, to drown our sorrows over England being whitewashed by South Africa.

Saturday 15th

The day panned out as Session 2, lunch and then session 3.

Session 2 covered:
CDM basics
ERD basics
Relational structure
Relational operations
Relational constraints

Session 3 covered:
Normal forms
Functional dependency
Design considerations
Normalization concepts
Complex data

Once again Stuart used questions from the long list of questions that he has compiled, to aid in getting across the essence of the subject.

The primary thing I learnt today was to not speed read the questions, but to read them and then read them again. For example I kept mistaking the word "data" for "database".

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