Archive for December, 2007

Simon, Scott and Dara

December 18, 2007

Wow. I asked Simon, Scott and Dara to come up with a post for the blog about something in IT that they thought was interesting and this is what I got back…..

I am a visual learner so I particularly like the diagram flow.jpg. Clearly we want flow (being so absorbed in something that time disappears) in our lessons!

Well done guys. 🙂

To see Simon’s post read on, Scott’s is here ->  scott-blog-post.jpg

“Flow” and DDA in games

DDA: The Basics

DDA (Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment) is becoming increasingly popular in games. The idea of it is to alter the difficulty of a game in accordance to the apparent skill level of the player. This is all done to attempt to access the player’s “Flow”

Flow: What is it?

Flow is the name given to that feeling of total immersion and time not existing when partaking in an activity. This could be reading, watching a film, going for a jog or playing a video game. There is ongoing thorough research into this idea, how to initiate it and how it can be applied to the world.



Higher Coursework and Zombies

December 17, 2007

It is worth noting in the coursework that you have to test and evaluate your program for being robust. In order to test it for beign robust I recommend that you use normal, boundary and out of range data. It is the BMI that has to be normal, boundary etc so you will need to think about the weight and the height to make this happen!

Then you have to evaluate your program for “robustness”. Some advice: you do not get marks for trying to convince the marker that your program is the most robust program in the world ever. You do get marks for showing you know what robust means, and showing that you have thought about how robust your program is. Have I said enough?

If you are bored of programming have a go on this (at home, it does not work in school (thanks Scott…)….



December 13, 2007

We have started the Higher Computing project so all I hear now in lessons is the sound of fingers hitting keys as code is typed up! This is the sound of heaven to computing teachers 🙂

While I don’t have any new “material” to post to the blog I didn’t want to miss the chance to put up some new stuff (all of which I have found from reading other peoples’ blogs).


Students 2.0 is a global group of students blogging about education and the schooling system (with some Scottish content!) which is well worth a read. The quality of their writing is amazing! Do you think you could do something like this?

Compilers and Interpreters

December 5, 2007

I think this is a hard bit of the course to understand (and explain) but here goes:

All high level language (HLL) programs need to be translated into machine code (aka 1’s and 0’s/binary). There are two forms of translators to make this happen; Compilers and Interpreters.

Compilers – These turn the whole HLL program into machine code in one go. This results in a file (object code) that can then be run on any computer system (is very portable) and runs very quickly (as it does not need to be translated again). Unfortunately if you have made a mistake (called a syntax error) in your program then it won’t run at all.

Interpreters – These turn the HLL program into binary each time you try and run it. An interpreter will go through each line of your program each time it translates it. This means that it is slow to translate your program.

Here are the Powerpoints below:


Standard Algorithms 3 & 4

December 3, 2007

So these two find the highest number in a list or the lowest number in a list.  The way they work is this:  look at the first item in the list and make it the maximum, then look at every other item and see if it is more.  Quite simple when you think of it like that.

Here is the pseudocode for finding max:

1.1  set the first item to be the maximum


1.2  for each item (starting with the second)


1.3  if the current item is more than the maximum


1.4  set the current item to be the maximum


1.5  end if


1.6  end loop


1.7 print out the maximum


 Finding the minimum is exactly the same only change more than to read less than (and every maximum to minimum).