Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MU120: Where am I?

Last Wednesday I attended my second tutorial for MU120, with the main theme for the evening being statistics.  I also handed my TMA01 part1 into my tutor.  Although this was just over a week early, as the cut-off date is the 25.Oct, I didn't want to have to worry about it being delayed due to the recent postal strikes.

Having completed unit 2 "Prices" I started unit 3  "Earnings" today.  With the next tutorial being the 31.Oct I am planning to hand in my TMA01 part2 then.  At present I am enjoying the course, with it not being too taxing and am on schedule to finish it by the beginning of Feb 08.    We will have to see if I can keep to my planned schedule.  Why the rush?  Well I want to minimize the overlap with M450 which officially starts in Feb 08.

MU120: Course Text

Last night at 8pm DHL delivered units 6 - 9 of the course text.  2 things impressed me about this:

1.  My student homepage said that this material was not going to be dispatched until 16.Nov.
2.  DHL delivered the package in the evening.

The one improvement the OU could now make with their dispatching of materials is too not pack them so tight.  When I unpacked the package last night I discovered that the audio cd cover had broken, and this is the second time this has happened in as many deliveries.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Lewis Who?

On Sunday 7th October a certain Mr. Lewis Hamilton did not finish the Chinese F1 Grand Prix, thus failing to secure the Formula One championship.  Yet on the same date in another part of the world [Magny-Cours France], a Britain did win a motorsport championship.  James Toseland won the World Superbike (WSBK) championship, and this was his second time with the first being in 2004.

The point is that although Lewis's failure in China was extensively covered in the media, James winning the WSBK championship had no television news coverage and only warranted a couple of small paragraphs in some of the daily newspapers.

World Superbikes is a far more entertaining motorsport than F1, with plenty of drama, lots of overtaking and races not decided upon by pit strategy.  Plus in the UK we have the added advantage of having 3 championship rounds ,  Donington, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.

ref: JamesToseland.com
ref: BBC Sport
ref: Motorcycle News
ref: SBK - Official Site

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

M359: Exam

Tuesday last week (9.Oct) I took the M359 exam.  I haven't written about it until now as I came away from the exam very unhappy.

The reason for this was the layout of the exam paper.  Although I was aware that for the 12 short questions we had to place our answers in the exam booklet itself in spaces provided directly after each question, I did not appreciate what a pain this would be.  Each question tended to be a piece of description followed by 2 or 3 sub-questions, and the problem lay in if the question stretched over more than one page.  This meant that I had to keep flipping backwards and forwards between pages, which was very time consuming.  The worst culprits were questions 6, 7 and 8, as each of these questions referred to an appendix at the end of the exam booklet.

I am not the only one who feels this way about the exam paper, as there has been a general outcry from a lot of students concerning the layout, with a number of us making official complaints.

In conclusion the layout of the exam paper made a stressful situation even more stressful, wasted time and has cost me marks.  I now just have to wait until the 14.Dec to find out what my final grade will be.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


We must be mad, it is 4:40am and we are up watching the qualifying for the Australian round of MotoGP.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

MU120: First Tutorial

Attended my first tutorial for MU120 last night.  In total there were 5 of us (including the tutor).  The evening was split into 2, with the first half covering course admin aspects, such as TMA's and support, and the second half we had to answer 6 puzzles, some of them being quiet fiendish.  From now until Christmas the tutorials are every other week and it is my intention to attend them all unless something unforeseen turns up.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gingerbread Haka

According to today's Metro this video "has been branded culturally insensitive".  Yet I think it is a very good and amusing piece of animation from Kangoo Animation, an animation studio in New Zealand.

Monday, October 01, 2007

M450: And so it begins

The M450 Computing project course website is now accessible, although at present it's content is very limited.  1 piece of new and 2 downloadable documents (study calendar and tutor allocation form).  It is the tutor allocation form that was of particular interest to me as it states...

"Please indicate below the single course that most closely relates to your chosen project topic"

Now my understanding was that with the amalgamation of the various computing project courses into a single course, a student could base their project around several 3rd level courses as opposed to having to choose 1 specific 3rd level course.  With this in mind I contacted OU and got the following reply from the M450 course manager...

"Yes it is possible for you to choose a project based on more than one of the level 3 computing courses and indeed we hope that people will do this, so your idea of basing a project on M301 and M359 seems excellent."

This for me is really good news.