Hull Blogs

Aggregated posts from University of Hull students

Dead Led

This is a little of a public service announcement as I didn’t follow the instructions and have now killed my NeoPixel ring leds.…
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Smiler!

I have finally got the various bolts required to assemble the electronics in to the PixelBot chassis. So here she is. I felt that I couldn’t just keep calling the PixelBot “the PixelBot”. So her new name is Smiler.…
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It's Alive!

The other day I started my HullPixelBot journey (http://goparker.com/post/2018-05-25-plastic-parts-printed/) and I have made some progress since then.…
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Open to Discussion

In one of my previous posts on the value of blogging (http://goparker.com/post/2018-04-23-csblogs-and-blogging/) I remarked on how once a random internet stranger had left a comment that substantially improved the performance of the eGPU setup that I was blogging about. That was awesome, and I really think of it warmly. It also occured to me as I wrote this that the way I had the blog currently setup, using static site generator Hugo (http://goparker.com/post/2018-05-08-github-pages-and-hugo/) I did not have the capability for people to leave comments. This is where Staticman comes in.…
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Plastic Parts Printed

I finally decided that I should have a crack at building one of Rob Mile’s Hull Pixel Bots (http://hullpixelbot.com/) I have completed the first step by printing out the plastic parts.…
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What have I been up to this Semester?

This semester I’ve studied three modules: Programming 2, Sustainable Computing and Software Engineering and Human Computer Interaction. In Programming 2, I’ve worked on creating a local management application for a hair salon in C# which allows customers and stylists to register (and are validated before) joining the company, book chairs on available days and book appointments in available slots too. The system manages appointments to ensure conflicts can’t happen, adjusting available appointments slots based off the length of previous appointments. You can read more about this here. In Sustainable Computing, we were tasked with creating something interactive to promote a topic that we were interested in, after surveying friends, family and other non-computer scientist students we decided to focus on Cybersecurity and good online practices. For this I worked with a teammate to collaborate on a a node.js project using Git, the project used the HaveIBeenPwned API and How Secure is My Password to help people assess their online security. We also served them a certificate to print after they completed their training. Want to know more about this on this project? Read here! In Software Engineering and HCI, we learned about algorithmic efficiency and how do develop the most effective algorithm, and refine it over different iterations. We also worked on the human understanding of design to ensure that what we designed matched what the user actually wanted, and not what they’re told they want. We also covered design planning and how to effectively plan software development and the different models of development, building on the training that I did with QA on effective software design and testing in January. Working in the SIS Team, I’ve been testing the Clearing and Fees, Funds and Finance strands of development. I’ve been working since January testing independently from home through JIRA, but lately I’ve been working in the office allowing me to get more familiar with the team. You can read more about this in a post I’ve wrote here. I’ve got a backlog of posts I’ve been working on, from visiting Sensor City in Liverpool in March to learn about Liverpool City Region 4.0 (LCR4.0) and the work they’ve been doing to make Liverpool a smart city, as well as meeting HullDevs to learn about the potentials for JavaScript which I’m hoping to get published after the end of exams next week! …
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Even More Ultimate King Domino

So yesterday I talked about Kingdomino and what the maximum possible score is in two player 7 x 7 grid mode is (http://goparker.com/post/2018-05-14-ultimate-king-domino/). I showed a possible contender (267 points) and asked whether you could do better, throwing down the gauntlet. Well I picked the gauntlet back up again and did better myself.…
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Ultimate King Domino

Just a few days before last Christmas I began belatedly thinking about what sort of things I could do with my family during the holiday period. A little while ago, one of my buddies had introduced me to Kingdomino (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/204583/kingdomino) which is a fun tile placement game for up to 4 players. It was on ‘the list’ of games that I had put together after perusing a number of sources on the internet for games that play well with three players. This is because my immediate family unit is made up of me, my wife, and our (currently) 9 year old son. I mentioned that I was belatedly thinking about it because I started after even Amazon’s Christmas delivery cut off. This might be an obstacle for your average fellow, but armed with my 3D printer I was not deterred.…
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Working in the SIS Office

Over the last few weeks I’ve been invited to work in the SIS office on the Fees, Funds and Finance integration for the SITS suite at the University of Hull. Before starting at the office, we met up for a Quiz Night with the team which was great, allowing me to put names to faces and meet different people before I came in. After previously working remotely with the team, this week it’s been great working with them more. My work so far has focussed around Clearing and ensuring the system is ready to go live and includes all the Business Functionality for one of the University’s busiest admissions periods in late August. Clearing Enquiries as a system encompasses everything from managing calls and creating enquiries to following students through and converting enquirers to undergraduate students and managing them up until enrolment in September. It has also included the Fees, Funds and Finance System which comes into service on the 31st July 2018 to manage all student incoming funds for tuition and accommodation payments from next year onwards. This is moving over from our legacy system, and will ensure our students get their bursaries, loan payments correctly and can make payments to the University efficiently. Working through user stories - which are what end users would do with the system, an example being “as a Finance Administrator I would like to see all application deposit payments and sponsored applicants that are awaiting review, and be able to mark them as accepted once offline payment has been received or if a valid sponsor letter has been provided”, I need to go through the story and test if the functionality works and gives the outcome that is expected so it’s ready to use for the end user. If the tests pass and I get the expected outcome, I can mark the project as ready to be deployed (introduced to the Live environment) and assign it back to the product owner (person who takes responsibility for that part of the development) who ensures it is sent out. If the tests however fail, I document what errors have happened, how to reproduce and the development team correct them and return the project to me to retest. It’s been great with the responsibility I’ve got in this role and it feels like I’m making a real difference to students with the work I do as I know everything I test is used for my own academic progression and management and as a student I see the other side of what I’m testing and experience as an end user. I’ve enjoyed working with the team in the office and it’s been especially beneficial to be able to communicate with people and discuss the intricacies of the system by just popping to speak to a developer or product owner at their desk. As someone who focusses mostly on time developing software, it has been invaluable seeing development from the user’s perspective and it has helped me to develop my own software more intuitively and think more about the user’s experience moving through. …
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Damn Dirty Apes

So Three Thing Game (http://threethinggame.com/post/2018-05-05-the-event/) took place last weekend and much fun was had by all. That link was an article I wrote chronicling the event including all the winners. There were a number of other great games made that didn’t place and hopefully they will all make their own blog posts about it because this is my blog so I want to talk about the great game that I made.…
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Using Github Pages with Hugo

In a recent post about blogging and CSBlogs (http://goparker.com/post/2018-04-23-csblogs-and-blogging/) I mentioned that I have been playing around with using the static site generation tool Hugo (https://gohugo.io/) with GitHub Pages (https://pages.github.com/) as a means of hosting various websites at no cost. Here I explain how it is done.…
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Three Thing Game award

Yesterday, it was nice for the Three Thing Game and the Bored? Games! events to get some official recognition for the benefits that they provide to the student experience.…
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Adding files to source control

Today I have been frustrated by a perennial problem of mine which is forgetting to add a crucial file to source control. Consequently, a program that I had wanted to show off today won’t build.…
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CSBlogs and Blogging as an employability tool

This is a post to proselytise the virtues of blogging with respect to getting your first job (and possibly ones to follow). I also want to reintroduce CSBlogs http://csblogs.com/ to the Hull Computer Science students. More on both below. The picture is unrelated but begs the question, Who’s a pretty tabby tiger?…
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