If there is a lecturer in TCD’s CS department that doesn’t know of the problems and issues Joel just raised in his Capstone Projects post, they’re a rare bird indeed. But what Joel hasn’t mentioned — and what those lecturers can tell you because they’ve been debating it for decades, writing papers on it, holding conferences and have published peer-reviewed journals on the topic, as opposed to Joel’s one blog post — are that there are very specific and very good reasons why CS and CEng undergraduate courses don’t get to cover all the industry tools Joel uses. Continue reading →
Like many people these days, I use facebook to track what’s going on with friends and family I don’t get to see as often as I would have done in years past. Long work days, large numbers of balls in the air and general “stuff” prevents actual face time far too often, but while it’s not the same as a night spent laughing over a beer, it’s better to note that a friend has a new job or that there’s a new baby en route or whatever over facebook than not at all.
And of course, facebook has games. Which is handy sometimes, for those moments when you have literally six or seven minutes to fill – too much time to sit still and be bored, too little to get anything real started. Personally, I play bejewelled on facebook for those moments. It’s been set up rather nicely there – blitz games of one minute, with scores being tracked so that friends compete in weekly rankings and little medals at various scores and scores being classed as being in the top X% globally and so on. The thing about this is that now you have a large community of people (over five million within six months of its launch according to Popcap, who wrote the game), all competing against one another – so now it’s important that it be fair or it feels like it’s not worth playing. Unfortunately tonight I noticed that someone’s been too clever.
So when they gave me the CS7004 course to teach in college this year, I went a little mad for an hour there, and after I got back up off the floor and cleaned the froth off the keyboard, it turned out I’d ordered this, Logitech’s top-of-the-line presenter remote/laser pointer gizmo. It arrived last Tuesday, just in time to not be around for the largest presentation I’ve done for a few years, but I’ve been using it since for lectures in CS7004. And I have to say, it’s very nice indeed.