Monday, January 29, 2007

Microsoft - BlueJ Patent Update

It appears that Microsoft are dropping their patent application for "Object Test Bench". See here Movement - The Latest on The Microsoft Patent Application. This is most excellent news!

Bad News: Microsoft Applies for a Patent

Although I use Microsoft product quiet extensively I have never entered into the Windows vs Linux vs OSX war as I believe each OS has its own merits, and I most certainly have never used the term Micro$oft. Well until now.

Why? Because Micro$oft could potentially stop the development and distribution of BlueJ.

BlueJ is a fantastic IDE for the teaching of object-oriented programming using Java and is used extensively by educational establishments, including the OU (see M255). One of its key benefits is that enables you to create instances of objects, examine these instances and invoke methods on them, without having to run the whole program that is being developed.

Micro$oft has incorporated into Visual Studio a feature called “Object Test Bench” which appears to be a straight BlueJ copy, and Micro$oft have now made a patent application for “Object Test Bench”.

For the full story see here Microsoft patents BlueJ

And for a follow-up see here More on the Microsoft / BlueJ patent case

Monday, January 22, 2007

M359: Missing Materials

According to the course news there are some materials missing from the supplied course CD, due to timing issues. The missing materials are 5 pdf's and can be found on the course website via the "copies of CD-ROM files" section.

M359: Course Materials Received

Received the first set (there are 3 sets in total with the other 2 being dispatched later) of course materials for M359 on Friday. This is what I received...

  • 2 x block books
    • Block 1 - Databases in context
    • Block 2 - Introducing relational theory
  • M359 Course Guide
  • M359 Software Guide
  • Using the Electronic TMA System - A Student Guide
  • Course News
  • M359 Software CD
  • Database Cards Pack
  • M359 Errata 1 - Block 1 Replacement Pages
Missing was (apparently due to dispatch issues)...
  • Online Application CD-Rom v.8
The supplied errata replaces pages 14-17 of Block 1 as they were incorrectly printed during production.

The M359 software is easy to install and I have not experienced any problems with it after installing it onto 2 desktop PC's and a laptop.

Both the FirstClass conferences (well 1 conference area so far) and the course website are now accessible as well.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

M359: Course Materials

Getting a bit nervous as I haven't as yet received any course materials and M359 is supposed to start on 3rd Feb. With this in mind I have just contacted the OU's materials dispatch centre and they informed me that there has been a delay in them receiving the materials over the Christmas period. They reckon that the materials will be dispatched by Thursday of this week (18.Jan.07) and that I should then receive them within the next 5 working days. Lets wait and see!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

OU: Dip Comp (Open)

I have just received a letter from the OU confirming that I have passed the "Diploma in Computing". So now apart from being able to put "Cert IT & Comp (Open)" after my name I can now also put "Dip Comp (Open)" as well.

ref: Certificate in Information Technology and Computing
ref: Diploma in Computing