Around this time last year I came across a web site, ClacksNet looking for volunteers. ClacksNet is a local charity with the aim of helping local community groups get online and to be able to design and maintain their own web sites. I went along to the AGM in 2003 and signed up. I thought I’d learn a few things myself whilst helping others. Little did I know that by the 2004 AGM the chairperson and founder, along with another long standing member were going to resign, and that I’d be elected chairperson. The aims of ClacksNet are to promote local community use of the Internet, and to provide assistance for community groups to get on-line and have a web presence. I hope I can follow the example of the previous chairperson and help Clacksnet go from strength to strength.
Although my first degrees are in chemistry I’ve been getting heavily into computing for a few years now, so I took advantage of working at a university to do a part time degree in computing science. It’s pretty good actually as the university pays. I am only allowed to take one unit per semester usually on a Tuesday and Wednesday evening. It’s a bit intense at times juggling a full time job and a degree but I enjoy it. This semester there wasn’t an evening unit available so I enrolled on a daytime unit ‘Database Principles and Applications’. Each unit normally has two assignments and an exam, the first assignment wasn’t too bad, I had to take a description of a bookshop, translate it into an ER diagram then generate a series of relations from the diagram. But, the second assignment was a killer for me, I really though it was going to be the first assignment I wasn’t able to hand in. The task was to decompose a relation in 1NF into a set of relations in 3NF then design some queeries. In the end I think I was reading more complexity into the task than was actually there so I really struggled. Once I’d got over the first part it all seemed a bit clearer. Unfortunataly the deadline was 17:00 on Fri 19th and things only started clarity only occured around 15:00 so I was franticaly trying to get the SQL statements to work and write a report for the dealine. In the end I didn’t quite finish but I managed most of it and hopefully have done enough to pass. In hindsight I should have started earlier but, I’ve always been like that, never starting things early enough and just making the deadline, suppose it’s too late to change at the age of 45. Ho Hum!
Just finished upgrading all my machines to Firefox 1.o and Thunderbird 0.9. The long awaited release of Firefox 1.0 was well worth the wait. Previous releases had not been the easiest to ugrade to and on one occassion I lost my profile and had to start from scratch. But the upgrade to v 1.0 went like a dream. Not only was it fast and efficient it checked all my plugins, extensions and themes for compatabiity and checked for upgrades.