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One Week

Today marks just one week until I leave for Reading University to start the next phase of my education.

I’m sure most of my regular readers will know the details, but if not, I’m off to Reading Uni to do three years of Computer Science.

I am looking forward to getting started – not only is this a major step forward academically, but it is also a transition in that I will be living away from homes in university halls.

Over this last week, I’ll be putting together my final preparations, both in terms of things to take and mentally getting myself ready for what’s ahead.

So, this time next week I’ll be there. A little frightening, a lot exciting, but most of all, I really am looking forward keenly to the new opportunities.

HP DeskJet F2180

I got a new printer today. Actually, it’s a printer and scanner and copier, All-in-One sort of device. It is the HP DeskJet F2180, found for £30.

It’s replacing my ageing and rather incompatible Lexmark Z45. The Z45 was bought a very long time ago, back even before I started using Linux. Back then, compatibility with alternative operating systems wasn’t a priority and ever since I have been dogged with issues printing from my own machine.

HP DeskJet F2180

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Andover College 2008 Principal’s Award

I’ve just got back from my college‘s Celebration of Achievement Awards Ceremony.*

The general idea is to give awards to selected students from the past academic year for various achievements.

I was nominated for the Principal’s Award, described by the college as:

… [to be] presented to a student who has demonstrated an outstanding achievement or contribution to the college.

I’m delighted to say that I won the award!

Andover College 2008 Principal's Award

Unfortunately, the official photos from the event I won’t likely be able to republish here on the blog, due to good old copyright being held by the professional photographers.

I should of course take this opportunity to thank everyone at the college for the nomination and selection for the award and for letting me work with them.

This is the citation I get for why I was nominated (link added by myself):

Peter has a mature attitude to his studies in IT and college life. He consistently demonstrates a willingness to contribute his learned skills within the Department. One example was the support he provided during the configuration of hardware and software in a new Networking room. He was nominated as a mentor in the Aimhigher Mentors pilot and successfully raised the grades of the learners he supported. An outstanding achievement that must be identified is his development of a software program that support the Aimhigher Mentors pilot. The intention is to use this program throughout the college, providing managed mentoring web portal for all mentors and lecturing staff, thus allowing access to a learner support e-portfolio.

The reference to the ‘software program’ and ‘managed mentoring web portal’ is a web application I built to help organise and automate the reporting and feedback elements of the Mentoring Scheme that was running.

I will likely share more details on exactly what it is and what it does in the future and with any luck it should be implemented in Andover College for the future participants in the scheme. What I will say is that Django is awesome.

Anyway, I am again delighted to receive the award!

* Shameless self promotion alert.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome logo

There has been a considerable traffic spike here, since Google announced their new web browser, Google Chrome.

Not because I’ve spoken about it until now, but because it sparked interest in my thoughts on Gecko vs WebKit.

Google Chrome is considerably ‘buzz’-y at the moment, so I thought I would fire up an internet-connected Windows machine and give it a try.

My website in Google Chrome

While from a technical point of view much of the browser seems very interesting – and a very good idea (separating each tab into its own individual process, the new V8 JavaScript engine), at the moment I can’t see it offers much unique user-visible functionality.

Regardless of whether something is technically awesome or not, you won’t get the masses to use it unless they can see a killer feature – something that is visible to them and benefits them.

There are some unique elements to Chrome’s interface – specifically the single address/search bar (Omnibar), but I can’t help feeling underwhelmed at the lack of ‘killer-ness’ about the browser at the current time.

It is early days, though – and Chrome does show some promise.