Wednesday, 16 July 2008

M255 TMA03 and iPhone3G

I spent today out of the office working on TMA03 for M255. I got through the 3 questions in around 6 hours, I really shouldn't have left it so late before the deadline but at least it is done and submitted.

The first question was worth 40 marks saw me coding up a soundex class using arrays, which is a form of algorithm dreamt up during the late 19th century to help account for all the different spellings of names during the censuses. A soundex basically generates a code which begins with a letter followed by 3 numbers, and words which sound similar have soundex's which are very similar. E.g. Robert and roburt would have the same soundex R163. A web implementation of a soundex can be found here and more information can be found here.

The second question was worth 25 marks and revolved around building an implementation of a coin game called Nim, this was fairly straight forward and took the least amount of time.

The third question was worth 30 marks and required me to work on a fanbase using Sets and Maps to group information and determine the most popular bands. This was definitely the hardest to get my head around although found that if I took 10 minutes to think through the problems I could structure the solution in my head and get it down in BlueJ, but it took longer than I would have liked.

Hopefully I have done enough to keep the marks up!

I went into Carphone Warehouse on Friday 11th July (iPhone 3G launch day) and bought an iPhone 3G, unfortunately they were out of stock but I was assured it would be delivered Monday as they reserved one from the warehouse. Well Its getting onto Thursday and still no news, hopefully they get some customer service together and sort this out, I know I'm not the only one waiting.

I didn't post this as a moan though.... I posted because I am interested to see if there is anyway I can get the OU to sync all the course calendars with outlook or iCal so I can sync them with my iPhone without having to manually write them all in. It can't be that hard to put a file on the course website and let the students download it to there PC/mac/mobile so it can sync up with their calendars, I know it would help me out a lot. Does anyone know if this is possible? I don't even know who in the OU to pitch this too but I will send an e-mail off shortly and see what they come back with.

I'm also looking forward to blogger releasing an iPhone app so I can update the blog on the move!


Tim said...

Taking time off to do the TMAs sounds like luxury - I did the three units (8, 9 and 10) after work on Tuesday night and TMA03 last night (far closer to the wind than I'd like but at least the units were fresh in my over-tired mind!).

Tonight I'll be mostly catching up on sleep. I think I need to organise my study better...

I notice someone's getting some outside help. 10/10 for resourcefulness!

Simon said...


Hopefully you've signed up to get responses to your comments as I can't access your blogger profile.

Yes I am very lucky to have gotten the time off, otherwise I would be catching up on sleep just like you! Its a real shame to see people posting on java forums to get them through their TMA's, it is resourcefulness, but your not really learning anything if you don't try and debug it yourself, that was the whole point of unit 8.

I hope you achieve the grade you want, let me know how you get on.