Spring Semester CAs

Donnerstag, 07. Mai 2009, 23:15 Uhr von Felix

While this entry might be a rather boring for the average reader, it might be of value for future or potential ITT Dublin students. You have been warned.

In Advanced Databases there was one practical CA in one of the labs and one theory test in class. In the former we had to create DDL and DQL statements using Oracle’s object-relational features. The in-class test was about indexes (including some calculations) and the architecture of Oracle instances. Both CAs were not too hard if you had put in some work before and I am contended with my results.

USB Key

Wow, 64MB of flash storage! The three best students in this semester’s first CA in Economics were rewarded with an unbelievably huge flash drive. I achieved 100%, so I got one. If anyone has a creative idea what to do with merely 64MB, tell me via the comments.
Needless to say that I did not really make friends in class with that result. “Does lightning strike twice?” they asked me cheeky before the second CA. Well, I did not crack the 100% again, but still, I had a very good result and was the best in class. I’m somewhat proud of that (would I tell you otherwise?), because I was able to answer macroeconomic questions that are rather heavy on theory, despite the fact that my command of the English language is far from perfect. I’m confident and don’t have a reason to be afraid of the upcoming exam.

For International Business I had to research the reasons for Ireland’s success in attracting Foreign Direct Investment and argue what should be done in order to maintain the current level of FDI or at least minimise reductions. I had a bit of a hard time to finish it, because of all the travelling during the Easter break. Actually, I wrote some bits of it while waiting for my flights at the airports of Dublin and Frankfurt. All in all a very interesting assignment; I am not too happy with the result, though.

This semester’s Management and Organisational Behaviour CA was very different from last semester’s, in which I had worked together with Immanuel. The two Irish girls that had joined us disappeared even before our first meeting. So I was prepared to do it all on my own this time. However, three Irish lads invited me to join their group. I happily accepted as they seemed to be nice and, in comparison to others in the class, showed some motivation. What a misconception!
The assignment was to carry out a literature review on one of three proposed topics. We had all the time in the world for that: from the beginning of the semester until the first week after the Easter break. When after some weeks the others still had not done the necessary readings in order to get into the topic, we had some kind of “crisis meeting”. It turned out, they did not even know what we were working on:
“Aren’t we working on Corporate Culture?” one guy asked.
“No!? Organisation Development. We decided that ages ago.” I replied and could not believe what I had heard.
That was the moment I should have pulled out and do it all myself. I did not; I was too nice, too patient. Instead, I worked and send them updates about my progress via mail including the latest version and some ideas what they could work on. No reply. In the end, after a lot of to and fro the inevitable came: I “fired” my team after the Easter break, because they hadn’t done anything at all. I then completed everything including their parts in the remaining days: 21 pages. It was the right decision and absolutely worth it: I got a really good mark that I probably would not have gotten if I had stayed with a dysfunctional team. However, I was a bit angry at myself, because I could have saved myself a lot of stress if I had trusted my feelings earlier. A lesson learned.

For Distributed and Mobile Computing we had to analyse an interactive, secure website of our choice from an HTTP perspective. I decided to work on Bank of Ireland’s 365 online and found out that they should work on their use of Caching-related headers.
The other assignment was to develop a simple inter-active website targeted at low-end mobile devices and defend all the design decisions made in a separate document. Using very basic php5 and SQLite I built “PubTracker”, a web app that facilitates spontaneous meetings while you’re out, in one evening and wrote the document in another afternoon. The reason for all these short times? The above outlined MOB project. However, sometimes constraints can be a very positive thing: although the application is really not special at all, I’m a bit proud of it as I believe that the code is clean, concise and very elegant. Maybe, I am going to publish it for others to poke around with it if I find the time and quiet.
I had my presentation this Tuesday and the results are not yet published, but Jeremy said that the lecturer seemed impressed. Let’s see.

Easter Break

Sonntag, 19. April 2009, 20:22 Uhr von Felix

I do not know about you, but I had a really awesome Easter break. The first week my family came over and we travelled a bit. When they left I packed my bags for a one week trip to lovely Bamberg where I met friends I haven’t seen in months and enjoyed a first preview of the coming summer. Leaving this morning was a bit of a pain – not just, because I had to get up at ungodly 03:45am.

After hours of waiting and travelling by train, plane and bus I’m finally back in Dublin. The bad news: quite a lot of CAs await me and the next seven days are going to be horrible. I’d really love to pick some nice photos from the last two weeks and write a line or two about them, but I am afraid that I cannot. Hopefully, I will find the time and quiet soon.

Work, Work, Work

Mittwoch, 18. März 2009, 18:56 Uhr von Felix

Some people might think that we’re here on a holiday and party all the time. Unfortunately, this is not true. There is quite some work to do. Coffee helps, though.

Workin' in our kitchen

Picture taken last Thursday in our kitchen.

Bye Bye

Sonntag, 01. Februar 2009, 14:30 Uhr von Felix

Last weekend was another weekend of saying goodbye. Sunday, Chris and I went into town in order to do one last time what we did in the beginning of the semester: ramblin’ through Dublin.

We meandered through the streets, had a snack or two and went into the usual shops (HMV, Tower Records etc.). Later, after a lot of to and fro, we met Lena and a German friend of her. We repeated the whole story, but this time we blended in some culture and visited Dublin City Gallery. There we sneaked a peek Francis Bacon’s studio – a perfect mess. If you think your office is messy, think again.

In the evening I had to say goodbye to Chris and Lena. A goodbye in the LUAS; it was somehow unreal. Both of them left Ireland last week and I really hope that I will meet them again. From the very first day Chris and I had a great time. Bye, Chris! I got to know Lena during our work on our CA in CSR and have the impression that we should have spent more time doing fun stuff together. Maybe we can still do that back in Germany?! Bye, Lena!
After a nice day in town, I had to pack my bags for my next adventure.

Free!

Sonntag, 07. Dezember 2008, 01:25 Uhr von Felix

After the presentations I met Manon and Lena, because we wanted to finish our CA in Corporate Social Responsibility. While the girls added content to the conclusion and recommendations, I built the document in LaTeX, which was not too easy, because Manon used a rather complex multi-row and multi-column table. I stayed up until about four o’clock and got up pretty early in order to correct some mistakes, reword some awkward sounding lines and polish the layout. I think it was worth it. The result looks great!

On Friday at half past eleven we went to the reprographics centre to print our 33 (!) pages project on the CSR approaches of five major companies in the Irish economy and get a binding. The monotonous sound of the printer was so nice; like music in our ears!

After handing in our project, we all went to Starbuck’s in Tallaght to get a big mug of cappucino and a sweet, tasty muffin. We deserved it! Now, I’m done with all my CAs for this semester. Finally, I’m free. Whopee!