Techman: Tekkies have a hunger for Raspberry Pi

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

TechMan has always been fascinated by small toys.

Even before the days of Matchbox cars, TechKid had a set of cheap, tiny, plastic Civil War figures bought from the pages of a comic book that afforded endless hours of fun.

Now TechMan has a new little toy, although it has the potential to be far more than a plaything.

(Warning: High nerd factor material ahead.)

In the spring, the news was full of the Raspberry Pi, a $35 credit-card-sized computer being brought onto the market by the British Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. a $25 model also is available.

You could pre-order one of these little machines, which TechMan did and immediately forgot about it.

About a week ago, a package arrived bearing the little computer.

The first thing you notice about the Raspberry Pi is what it doesn't have: a monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply, operating system or even a case — it is just a bare circuit board about the size of the serving of meat you should eat if you are on a healthy diet.

However it has connections for all kinds of peripherals. two USB ports allow a keyboard and mouse to be connected.

The Raspberry Pi site allows you to download a version of the free operating system Linux onto an SD storage card that fits into a slot on the motherboard. the computer will boot from the card.

A mini-USB port allows you to use a 5V cell phone charger as a power supply. an HDMI out plug allows you to connect to a television, or in TechMan's case, to an HDMI-to-DVI cable hooked to a monitor with DVI in. there are also ports for sound out and other video out.

TechMan was able to cadge a monitor and keyboard by whining to the friendly systems guys at work. He had a phone charger. He had to go online to buy an HDMI-DVI cable for $5.99 and a 16GB SD card for $10.69. so total out-of-pocket for peripherals was $16.68.

A friend downloaded the Linux software onto the card and we plugged in an ethernet connection to the Internet. all was ready for launch.

After hooking up the monitor and keyboard then plugging in the SD card and the power supply, the little LED lights on the circuit board started to flash and screens of Linux setup gobbledygook flew by.

After logging on and starting the graphical user interface, we were faced with a desktop sporting a big raspberry.

Finding the included browser we were able to surf to post-gazette.com. Our $35 digital mite looked like one of the big boys.

At this price and size, there are things the Pi can't do. With a 700 Mhz processor and only 256 MB of RAM and 16GB of storage on the card (although for more moola I could boost that with a more capacious card) it is not the fastest horse in the race.

About 4,000 Pis are being built per day and the foundation just lifted its one-per-person rule.

A “Raspberry Jam” held recently in Cambridge, England, drew 300 and filled the local pubs with networking Pi owners. (What should we call the Pi community? Pi-ites? Pi-Faces? wPi-sters? Pi-kers?)

Dave Akerman hooked a Raspberry Pi with a webcam and GPS up to a hydrogen balloon. it transmitted live images from nearly 25 miles aloft before the balloon burst. the Pi returned unharmed and was recovered. Inevitably it was referred to as Pi in the Sky. the FishPi project is a Pi owner's dream to use a solar-powered Raspberry Pi to pilot a tiny craft across the ocean.

The Raspberry Foundation plans to make a number of accoutrements available. it just announced a new operating system called Raspbian that it says runs 40 percent faster.

At the Raspberry Jam, founder Eben Upton revealed that a tiny 5-megapixel camera module that attaches to the Raspberry Pi via a ribbon cable will be available soon and is expected to cost between $20 and $25.

And there are already a number of cases for the little circuit board available on the Internet. At digikey.com, the rectangular one is called the Pi Sandwich and the circular one the Pi Plate.

If you have a hunger for Pi, it can be ordered at element14.com or rs-components.com.

Fix a Slow Running Computer – Tips

August 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

So you may be trying to fix a slow running computer, well many people are struggling with the same issue. It’s the same old story, you buy a new computer, a few months go by and then it seems like over night the computer decides to take it’s dear old time to load up any program. This is a very frustrating thing indeed, but there are solutions and trying to fix a slow running computer doesn’t require a degree in computer science.

To fix a slow running computer you just need a little know how and patience. there are some basic things you can do to dramatically speed up your pc. here are some to help you get on your way to a much quicker stress free computing experience.

First, consistently delete your temporary internet files. these internet files can add up very fast as you surf the web and too many of these files can slow down your computer’s performance. you can delete these files easily through Disk Cleanup.

Secondly, to fix a slow running computer remove unnecessary start-up programs. these programs come up every time you start your computer, wasting valuable time waiting for Windows to completely load. This process can take 5 to 15 minutes but if you turn off a few unnecessary programs when the computer boots up, the time that it takes for Windows to load can reduce drastically.

Something you can do to help with computer speed issues is to check and correct any disk errors. through everyday computer use errors on your hard disk can accumulate negatively affecting your computer’s performance. just go to my computer and right click on the C drive. Then click on choose properties and then tools. Then click on the check now button to start the process. This dramatically improves performance.

These are just some tips that can help you fix a slow running computer.

Night Time Computer Re-opens As Prodigy One With A New Location and More Services

July 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Night Time Computers has done an upgrade! They have revamped their business, including a new name, new location, new hours, and more services. while a busy time, I spoke to owner Fred Long about all the exciting changes taking place.

“I wanted to explode the business into what I had always envisioned it to be”, says Fred who has owned the business since 2010. with a degree in Computer Science, and having worked in the computer world for over 15 years, he said there were several things he had wanted to change. first the name, “The name confused people. many customers thought we were only opened at night.” second, parking was very frustrating. the space itself was small and had less availability for marketing. as of July 2, Night Time computers flipped the switch and has been operating as Prodigy One Computers.

They have expanded into a larger facility allowing them more space. this has also given them the ability to offer retail. They now sell a full line of both new and used PC’s and laptops, accessories, parts, and software.

While many things have changed their commitment to excellent customer satisfaction has not. They still offer top notch services including computer repairs, virus removal, hardware and software upgrades and installation, data and pictures backup and recovery, and even PC cleanup, which removes dust and dirt from your computer. They can work on any brand, and offer a free consultation to discuss your computer problems and talk about the steps necessary to resolve it. for anyone not able to come to the store, such as businesses or residents with several computers, or problems involving a network, Prodigy One will come to you. They give on-site service visits for issues relating to connection to the internet or server problems.

“This community has made this business what it is today,” says Fred. Over the years he has received feedback from customers and the community and he says he has heard them and is excited to be able to offer even more in computer service to the Kent Island area.

The new Prodigy One store is located in the Rainbow Plaza at 1549 Postal Road in Chester. They have new hours, M-F 9am-7pm and Saturday 10am-3pm. You can reach them at 1-800-278-4616.

Mobile technology could help police predict future locations of crime

July 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Police may be able to predict the future locations of crime – echoing science fiction film Minority Report – according to computer scientists at the University of Birmingham.

A smart phone may soon be able to predict, down to 20 metres, where its user might be going, according to researchers who have devised an algorithm which can capture a users movement patterns.

The researchers now hope to use the algorithm to support the development of mobile apps for personalised information retrieval and marketing.

This new data could be also by used by the police, advertisers and retailers, the university said.

Dr Mirco Musolesi, from the university’s School of Computer Science, who led the study, said: “Information extracted from the usage of a mobile phone is an intriguing source of data about people behaviour.

“we have shown that the accuracy of the prediction of an individual’s future locations could be improved if his or her previous movement and the mobility information of his or her social group are taken into account.”

Dr Manlio de Domenico, who took part in the research, said: “in a world dominated by social networks and always-connected mobile devices, the potential applications of our study are many, in particular for marketing, advertising, and personalised services.

“If a system is able to predict with reasonable accuracy where the user is directed, it could provide geo-localised and personalised recommendations based on his or her future movement.

“for example, a user might receive meal offers related to restaurants in the area they are moving towards.”

Antonio Lima, a PhD student of the School of Computer Science, added: “in order to predict movements of people accurately, this study leverages their synchronicity and correlation.

“for example, friends John and Emily usually have lunch together either at a Chinese restaurant close to John’s office.

“sometimes, though, they like to go a little farther to an Italian restaurant.

“when Emily is heading to the Italian place, this algorithm uses this information to predict that John is very likely to go there soon as well.”

The research has won the Nokia Mobile Data Open Challenge, in the area of ‘big data mining’, where participants analysed a large dataset containing various information about 200 mobile users over more than a year.

The authors of the study will continue to work on the underlying questions related to the modelling and understanding of human behaviour, such as ‘why do we move in the geographic space in the way we do?’

The most influential women in UK IT

July 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Computer Weekly is pleased to announced our first ever list of the most influential women in UKIT.

Ouraim was to focus on the role of women in IT, to recognise the most influential role models anddiscuss the vital part that female IT leaders will take in making a difference to the future of theUK’s high-tech economy.

The winners were announced at aspecial event yesterday in London, and selected by a judging panel of employers and IT leadersfrom across the industry and by our readers.

Industry employment surveys suggest that less than 18% of the UK IT workforce is female, and atsenior IT leadership levels that falls below 10%. The 25 inspirational women who made it onto ourlist represent the role models that will be so important to the future diversity and success of thetech community.

1. Jane Moran, global CIO, Thomson Reuters

As global CIO for Thomson Reuters, Jane Moran brings over 25 years of financial services andinformation technology expertise to the organisation. She manages a centralised global staff of1,200. During her career, Jane has held a number of senior leadership roles including CIO ofThomson Financial and of CCBN. Jane actively participates in women in IT initiatives, such as theThomson Reuters Women’s Network, Women in Technology International, the Anita Borg Institute andthe National Center for Women in Technology.

Readan interview with Jane Moran on women in IT and diversity in the workplace.

2. Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at University of Southampton

Wendy Hall is founding director, along with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, andDaniel J. Weitzner, of the Web Science Research Initiative, which was launched in 2006 as long-termresearch collaboration between the University of Southampton and MIT. She is a Fellow of the BCS,the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Engineering and Technology, and the RoyalSociety. She became a Dame Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 UK new Year’s Honours list.She was also awarded a CBE in June 2000.

3. Lesley Cowley, CEO, Nominet

Lesley Cowley has been chief executive of Nominet since 2002, and is responsible for leading theUK internet registrar and for the development and implementation of strategy. In 2007, she won theCBI First Women Award for Technology. In 2006, she was a top five finalist in Britain’s best Bossawards and received a special commendation. Cowley is an elected Council Member of the Country CodeNames Supporting Organisation and is a Fellow of the BCS.

4. Kate Craig-Wood, managing director, Memset; Intellect board member

Kate Craig-Wood founded Memset with her brother, Nick, in late 2002, leading the firm to becomeone of the UK’s top cloud and hosting providers. She chairs Intellect’s climate change group, aswell as sitting on the trade body’s main and operations boards. recently she also co-led thetechnical strand of phase two of the Cabinet Office’s G-Cloud and App Store project. 

5. Jennifer Rigby, CIO, Department of Energy and Climate Change

Following an IT career at organisations such as the BBC, The National Archives and the HomeOffice, Jennifer Rigby became the CIO at the Department for Energy and Climate Change in January2011. The sustainability team that Rigby leads delivered a reduction of more than 21% in carbonemissions. In January Rigby became chair of the Green Delivery Unit responsible for leading thedelivery of the Government Green ICT strategy.

6. Martha Lane Fox, UK government digital champion

Martha Lane Fox is the UK’s Digital Champion and the founder of Go ON UK, which she chairs. Sheis also chair of the Government Digital Service’s advisory board and sits on the Cabinet OfficeEfficiency and Reform board. Lane Fox co-founded Lastminute.com in 1998 and sold the business toSabre Holdings in 2005.

7. Sue Black, founder, <GoTo> Foundation; Bletchley Park campaigner; senior researchassociate, University College London

Sue Black is a senior research associate in the Department of Computer Science at UniversityCollege London, and has been widely acclaimed for her role in campaigning to save Bletchley Park,the home of the UK’s secret codebreakers in World War 2. She founded BCSWomen in 2001, which nowhas over 1200 members. Black also set up The <GoTo> Foundation, a non-profit organisationwhich aims to make computer science more meaningful to the public.

8. Catherine Doran, CIO, Royal Mail Group

As the third Royal Mail CIO in less than 18 months, Doran inherited a controversial ITtransformation programme, as well as the likelihood of splitting off the Post Office as part of thereorganisation of the UK postal service. She is responsible for devising and delivering the ITstrategy to transform the technology estate. She joined Royal Mail from Network Rail where she leda company-wide transformation programme.

9. Ailsa Beaton, director of information, Metropolitan Police

Ailsa Beaton is director of information and CIO on the Metropolitan Police Service’s managementboard. her Directorate of Information provides ICT services to the 51,000 police officers and staffof the Metropolitan Police across 750 locations. The directorate is also responsible for thestrategic development of the role of IT in policing in London.

10. Bernadette Wightman, managing director, partner organisation, emerging markets,Cisco

Bernadette Wightman led the largest channel sales operation for Cisco outside the US with over2,000 registered partners transacting more than 90% of Cisco’s UK and Irish business. Since joiningCisco in 1999, Wightman has held various positions including leading the UK and Ireland small andmedium business organisation. She is executive sponsor for Cisco’s Connected Women Network, set upto attract the best female talent into the IT industry.

11. Joanna Shields, managing director, Facebook Europe

Joanna Shields is responsible for building Facebook’s revenue and developing strategicpartnerships across the region. She was a former executive vice president for people networks atAOL until may, 2009, responsible for extending the global reach of AOL’s social networks. Beforejoining AOL, Shields was president of Bebo, prior to which she was managing director for GoogleEurope.

12. Christine Ashton, CIO, BG Group

Christine Ashton is regional CIO for BG Group, responsible for IT strategies across this globalenergy company. Prior to joining BG Group in 2010, she was group strategy and technology directorat Transport for London. from 2001 to 2008, Ashton held senior IT positions at BP. She is aChartered Fellow of the BCS.

13. Denise McDonagh, IT director, Home Office; director of G-Cloud programme

Denise McDonagh has worked in government IT for 31 years, beginning her career at a junior levelto eventually take one of the top Whitehall IT roles. During the last 10 years she has been focusedon dealing with big suppliers – one of her key roles was director of outsourcing at the Departmentfor Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. In April she took over the government’s G-Cloudprogramme.

14. Susan Cooklin, CIO, Network Rail

Susan Cooklin is CIO at Network Rail. She has experience of dealing with higher educationinstitutions during her career, specifically with the universities of Nottingham and Warwick. Hercareer has spanned over 20 years in financial services leading business, technology and operationalteams across global organisations.

Judging the most influential women in UK IT

The list of the 25 most influential women in UK IT was selected by a judging panel of employersand IT leaders from across the industry, including:

  • Maggie Berry, managing director, Womenintechnology.co.uk
  • India Gary-Martin, managing director of investment banking technology and operations,JPMorgan
  • Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer of IT services firm FDM Group
  • Gary Bullard, Logica UK CEO

…and by a reader vote on our website.

15. Lucy Dimes, CEO, Alcatel Lucent UK

Lucy Dimes was appointed CEO, Alcatel-Lucent UK & Ireland, in April 2011. Previously, shewas managing director of Group & Openreach Service Operations at BT. She was also a member ofthe BT Operate executive board and BT Group equality & diversity board.

16. Ursula Morgenstern, CEO at Atos UK & Ireland

Ursula Morgenstern has been the CEO at Atos UK and Ireland since January, having previously heldthe role of chief operating officer. She joined Atos Origin in August 2004 as head of enterprisesolutions and worked her way up. She was a partner at KPMG for four years and general manager atK&V Information Systems.

17. Yasmin Hilton, CIO, Shell

Yasmin Hilton left Mumbai to go to school in London and finished education with a PhD ingenetics from Nottingham University. Hilton joined Shell in 1979 and has been there since. Laterthis year, she returns to her home country to run Shell’s Indian operations.

18. Lesley Sewell, CIO, Post Office

Lesley Sewell joined the Post Office in April 2010 from Northern Rock where she had beenmanaging director for IT since 2005. She is responsible for the development and delivery of ITstrategy in support of the business transformation plans, delivering a transformed IT estate andoperating model.

19. Katie Davis, director general and managing director, NHS Informatics

Katie Davis is interim managing director of NHS Infomatics and as such is the most senior ITleader in the NHS. Davis was previously executive director of operational excellence in the CabinetOffice Efficiency and Reform Group. Before that, she was executive director of strategy at theIdentity and Passport Service, and director of the government IT profession.

20. Angela Morrison, CIO of RBS Insurance / Direct Line Group

Angela Morrison has been CIO of Direct Line Group (formerly known as RBS Insurance) for twoyears. She previously spent over 18 years in food retailing and IT, including being a member ofSainsbury’s operating board. She spent seven years in IT/business consulting before joining Asda,eventually becoming CIO.

21. Polly Gowers, CEO and Founder of Everyclick

Polly Gowers launched Everyclick in 2005 as a fundraising technology company enabling people todonate to any UK charity through online activity. With over 1,500 leading retailers engaged and £2mraised to date, expansion plans into the US are in the pipeline.

22. Elizabeth Varley, chief executive, TechHub

Entrepreneur Elizabeth Varley is co-founder and CEO of TechHub, a physical space for technologystart-ups. Based in the emerging tech start-up scene of the old Street/Shoreditch area of Londonknown as Silicon Roundabout, future plans are to expand TechHub around the world.

23. Karin Cook, COO, HSBC Private Bank

Karin Cook is the chief operating officer for HSBC’s global private banking business, and isresponsible for providing operations, technology and infrastructure services to the business.

24. Emer Timmons, president, BT Global Services UK

Emer Timmons has held key roles at large telecoms and professional services firms for over 17years and is now president of BT Global Services UK. She joined BT in 2006.

25. Laura Barrowman, Managing Director at Credit Suisse

Laura Barrowman has been at Credit Suisse since 1994. She is responsible for 350 staff at sixsites in Europe and was central to the replacement of the bank’s ageing market data platform earlyin 2007.

Read More

Information Technology Experts – Tools You Can Use To Enhance Your Career

June 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Information technology experts are professionals who work primarily with computer hardware and software systems. They bear many similarities to system maintenance workers only that information technology experts can actually design and create software systems while maintenance workers can only repair or update the systems but cannot come up with better versions or even create a software system.

Now that we’re through with the definition let us look at how one can become an expert in this field. Unlike other professions, the process of becoming an expert in this field is not very tedious. a Bachelors degree in Computer Science or any other related computer courses can be a good way to start. for one to obtain such a degree, the interested candidate must enroll in a university for a period of not less than four years to pursue this degree program or any other relevant degree programs. it is usually advisable to attend a University that is accredited or has a well established reputation for producing graduates as this will give you a boost when applying for job openings in the future.

Once the candidate has achieved a degree in Computer Science he is advised to get some working experience. Professions dealing with computers can are very delicate as one mishap can send an organisation’s data worth millions down the drain. for this reason companies choose not to employ fresh graduates as they can become detrimental to their organisations and workforce. Degree holders are advised to undergo an apprenticeship program to help them get some real life working experience. it goes without saying that the time spent in these programs will be documented and the candidate can use it as supporting proof that he has been in a real working environment for a couple of years.

That said; the aim of this article is to help information technology experts to learn about the different tools that they can use to enhance their career. The target of the article is mainly freelance experts although other experts can also benefit from the information provided here although not on such a large magnitude.

While there are different tools that these professionals can use, the most effective of them all and the most relevant in today’s era are online booking systems. Sometimes referred to as online appointment scheduling systems, online booking systems are simply systems that help professionals to schedule appointments and communicate with their clients by using the internet as a medium. If you’re an expert in the field of technology then you probably know about these systems and you’ve been shrugging them off. If so, then here are two ways that these systems can actually help you advance your career.

To begin with, they will help you save a lot of time. Once you have integrated these systems into your official website with special web based scheduling software, the systems can help you to communicate effectively with serious potential clients since the appointment software used helps to keep spammers at bay by requesting individuals to verify their identities.

The second way that online appointment scheduling systems can help you grow your career is by enhancing your image or how clients perceive you. Generally, clients perceive contractors with scheduling systems as being very knowledgeable and in very high demand. This factor alone can help you acquire more clients and help you keep your current client base.

Student sets sights on national computer competition

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

having heard of a competition for students with similar interests, Nathan Rowe has decided to try to put together a team to compete.

Rowe, a computer science major, is very interested in network security and acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this field.

To that end, Rowe has picked up the mantle of the now defunct group, Parkland College Student Computing Solutions. His ambition is put together a team capable of competing in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition.

the competition, which has come to be known as the CCDC, on its website describes itself by stating, “CCDC is a three day event and the first competition that specifically focuses on the operational aspect of managing and protecting an existing ‘commercial’ network infrastructure.”

Rowe explained the competition by saying, “What you have are students who must maintain both clients and servers on a network and keep essential services running while under attack.”

As companies’ reliance on computer networking increases, the ability to maintain these connections safely becomes crucial. this puts those with the knowledge and skills to ensure this security in an excellent position.

Competitions such as the CCDC help students to stand out in a very competitive field and build relationships with the very companies looking for employees with these skills.

As the CCDC itself puts it, “CCDC not only benefits the students involved, but will also benefit corporations as these graduates will be bringing a more experienced skill set to their jobs upon beginning their employment. CCDC also provides direct feedback for schools to exercise, reinforce, and examine their security and information technology curriculum.”

in Illinois, teams have competed from universities such as DePaul University, Southern Illinois University, Illinois State University and University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana.

Parkland would not be the first community college to enter the competition, however, as in past years teams representing both Moraine Valley Community College and Lake Land College have entered.

the competition itself consists of a number of different teams. amongst them are the following.

the Gold or Operations Team is comprised of the officials for the competition who manage, run and organize event.

the White Team consists of other officials who observe the competing teams, measuring their performance and adherence to the event rules.

the Red Team plays the role of hackers. their job is to try to penetrate and gain unauthorized access to the competitors’ systems.

the Black Team provides support to competitors. they offer technical and administrative assistance and provide delivery and pick-up of communications.

the Blue Team or Competition Team is the team made up of an institution’s competitors. Each Blue Team will have of a Team Captain, who provides liaison between his team and the White Team and a Team Co-Captain, who acts as back-up for the Captain.

the team is also required to have a Team representative, which will be a faculty or staff member of the team’s institution which will serve to liaise between the Blue Team and the competition’s officials.

the competition is usually held in April, which would give Rowe and his team a little over a year to prepare. Rowe plans on holding meetings to cover the core topics in small doses over time.

Meetings would focus on topics such as computer networking, cryptography, Linux and Windows systems administration and a host of network penetration tools such as iNmap, airCrack-ng, Nessus and a variety of malware applications.

Rowe stated, “This should be a learning experience for me too. it should be fun.”

the CCDC is the world’s largest college-level cyber defense competition. it is held annually at the Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Winning the competition carries the level of prestige for computer science students of that of winning the NCAA tournament in basketball or the BCS championship in football.

Rowe has been getting help facilitating the informational meetings from Jonas Dees, Program Director of the Computer Science and Information Technology.

Rowe now just needs students for the group. If you are interested in joining, you can attend an informational meeting today at noon or 4 p.m. in room B-129.

The Daily Pennsylvanian :: 'Brogrammer' shirt launches sexism debate

March 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Is the term “brogrammer” sexist?

This was the key question in an open forum on sexism in computer science hosted Wednesday evening by Dining Philosophers and Women in Computer Science.

About 25 people attended the discussion.

The event was formed in response to a Computer and Information Science@Penn Facebook discussion thread that occurred the week before spring break. The thread drew heated responses because of a suggestion to create Spring Fling shirts that featured the word “Brogrammers.”

In the more than 200 comments on the thread, students were divided over whether the shirts were espousing sexism or were merely lighthearted Fling-spirited joking. The shirt idea was ultimately declined.

“Brogrammer” is a slang term that is intended to humorously contrast the “nerdy boy” stereotype of a programmer with the “party boy” stereotype of a fraternity member. a brogrammer is a male who embodies the two personas comfortably despite the clash.

“The problem with the term is that it leaves women out of the picture entirely. It takes the most masculine traits of an already masculine profession and emphasizes it, excluding women entirely,” Engineering freshman Tess Rinearson said. “Whether it is a joke or not, the important issue is that there were enough women saying it’s offensive for it to be.”

In addition to talking about the term and its connotations for women, the discussion also centered around the right to be offended.

“At a certain point, there is the issue of hypersensitivity,” Engineering and Wharton junior Nonie Sethi said. “The more you react, the more you are giving the idea credence and a negative perspective that it did not originally have.”

The discussion also touched upon the issue of intent.

2005 Engineering graduate Gayle Laakmann McDowell, who was the first to raise an objection to the sexist implications of the proposed Fling shirt, pointed out that, while the shirt did not have a malicious intent, “it is being viewed by a whole bunch of people who may feel excluded by it.”

“I reacted negatively to it before I even realized it could be offensive,” added Engineering senior Zach Wasserman. “We should be careful about the images we promote because reality will always eventually come to reflect that.”

Regardless of whether the term brogrammer is sexist, a unifying theme throughout the evening was the minority status of women in Penn’s CIS Department.

Originally formed in 2003, WiCS, one of the hosts of Wednesday night’s event, has served as a community for female CIS students. Engineering junior and WiCS President Sandy Sun explained that the group was not formed due to sexism or discrimination, but rather as a way to recognize that women are underrepresented in the computer science field.

Males and females in CIS “are all very good friends and comfortable with one another,” Sun said. “It’s nice to have a community of just girls.”

Sun added that WiCS is often contacted by large companies like Google or Microsoft that are looking to recruit more women. thus, the club often organizes professional networking events alongside social community-building events like study breaks.

The recognition of women as a minority in CIS was also addressed through the creation of a new residential program — called Women in Computer Science — in Kings Court/English House for next semester.

Engineering junior and residential program co-creator Gabriela Moreno-Cesar said “sometimes I have troubles specific to me as a girl in computer science, and while the guys are supportive, they don’t relate to it as much as other girls would.”

Engineering and Wharton sophomore and Dining Philosophers President Pulak Mittal said he hoped Wednesday’s discussion shed more light on situations like these.

“People needed the opportunity to listen to what other people have to say,” he said. “It’s a big topic to understand, and this discussion is a learning opportunity to help us understand.”

The headline and subhead of this article have been updated to more accurately reflect the nature of Wednesday evening’s discussion.

Introduction to Computer Science – Terms and Concepts

March 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

Today I won’t present you exactly a tutorial, but we will define some terms that will help us to hit the road, long and difficult, that of programming.Who said programming can be learned by heart, it was so wrong! To get a good programmer, you need to know the basis. In this article we will rigorously define some terms that you can not master them so well. are basic terms, without which we can’t start the trip. without these terms, we can not schedule, believe me!

Computer – a system that is capable of processing information on a method/procedure defined.

Information – a message (any kind) that has a certain relevance in a given context (which makes a statement on a problem with a certain degree of uncertainty).

Data – information processed by a computer.

Information technology – (the English Computer Science) – disciplinarian activity, aimed at developing methods and devices for automated data processing technical and scientific currently pursuing the development of techniques that would facilitate transmission of information of any kind, such as multimedia, text, etc.

Information Technology - IT for short is the necessary technology for creating, storing, processing, distribution and use of information of any kind. it includes the technologies related to computer systems, but also the conversion, transmission, communication, transport and distribution.

Bit – the unit for the amount of information. A bit is the amount of information necessary to reduce to half of the uncertainty. Time is short for binary digit combination of English words (binary digits). A bit has a meaning and a computer memory cell can contain only one of two possible options, 0 or 1. Therefore the amount of information stored in a bit is just a bit.

Algorithm – ordered set, finite, executable steps, described unequivocally necessary for solving a class of problems.

Computer Science

March 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Every thing you Need to Know

In the 19th century, the term computer referred to people who performed mathematical computations. but mechanical tabulating machines and calculators began to appear in the late 19th century and early 20th century, and in 1946, engineers J. Presper Eckert (1919-95) and John Mauchly (1907-80) built one of the first modern electronic computers, known as the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). ENIAC was an important advance but had some disadvantages – it was the size of a room, ran slowly, and often suffered failures in its electrical components. but since the 1940s, computers have evolved into fast and efficient machines that fill almost every niche in today’s society.

The expanding role of computers has begun to encroach on tasks that require substantial thought – at least for a person. For example, in 1997, a computer called Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov, the reigning World Chess Champion at the time, in a chess match. Chess-playing computer programs have been routinely defeating novice chess players since the 1970s, but Deep Blue beat one of the best.

No one is certain how much more powerful – and possibly intelligent – computers will become in the 21st century. Computer Science, one volume of the multivolume Frontiers of Science set, explores six prominent topics in computer science research that address issues concerning the capacity of computers and their applications.

Although a computer may perform intelligent tasks, the performance of most machines today reflects the skill of computer engineers and programmers. None of the applications mentioned above would have been possible without the efforts of computer engineers who design the machines, and computer programmers who write the programs to provide the necessary instructions. most computers today perform a series of simple steps, and must be told exactly which steps to perform and in what order. Deep Blue, for example, did not think as a person does, but instead ran a program to search for the best move, as determined by complicated formulas. A fast computer such as Deep Blue can zip through these instructions so quickly that it is capable of impressive feats of intelligence.

But some computer scientists are working on making computers smarter – and more like humans. The human brain consists of complex neural networks that process sensory information, extract important features, and solve problems.

Speedy computations are essential in many of these operations, and fast computers can find solutions to complicated problems. Deep Blue’s program, for instance, churned through millions of instructions every second to find the optimal chess move. but certain kinds of problems have remained intractable, even with the fastest computers. many of these problems, such as factoring integers or finding the shortest distances in certain routes, have important practical applications for engineering and science, as well as for computer networks and economics. People can program computers to address these problems on a small scale – factoring a small number such as 20, or finding a route with only three cities to visit – but problems involving larger numbers require too much time.

An efficient method to solve these problems, if one is ever found, would have a tremendous impact, especially on the Internet. Personal and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, gets passed from computer to computer every day on the Internet. This information must be protected by making the information unreadable to all except the intended recipient. The science of writing and reading secret messages is called cryptology, and many techniques today could be broken – and their secrets exposed.

One of the most important human senses is vision. Images provide a wealth of information that is difficult or cumbersome to put into words. These days, images are often processed in digital form – arrays of numbers that computers can store and process. As computers become faster and smarter, people have started using these machines to perform functions similar to human vision, such as reading.

Searching for patterns is an integral part of many computer appli- cations – for example, looking for clues to crack a secret message, or sifting through the features of an image to find a specific object. Biologists have recently amassed a huge quantity of data involving genetics. Patterns in this kind of information contain vital clues about how organisms develop, what traits they have, and how certain diseases arise and progress. Overwhelmed by the sheer size of these data, which is the equivalent of thousands of encyclopedia volumes, biologists have turned to computer science for help.

Computers have made life easier in many ways, relieving people of boring and time-consuming tasks, but computers have also made life more complicated, forcing people to keep up with technological developments.

A fundamental element of research in computer science is the computer itself. Despite the efficiency of today’s machines, the computer remains a frontier of science. The reason for this is the same as it was during the early years of computational technology.

In 1790, marshals of the newly formed government of the United States set out on horseback to perform the important mission of counting the country’s population. Taking an accurate census was essential in order to apportion the number of congressional delegates for each district, as specified by the U.S. Constitution. according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the census-takers manually compiled a list of 3,929,214 people in less than a year. Officials took another census each decade, and by 1880 the population had grown to 50,155,783. but census-takers had reached the breaking point – it took them almost the whole decade to finish tabulating the 1880 census, and the country continued to grow at an astonishing rate. Government officials feared that the 1890 census would not be completed before they had to begin the 1900 census.

The solution to this problem was automation. In response to a competition sponsored by the Bureau of the Census, Herman Hollerith (1860-1929), a young engineer, designed an automatic census counting machine. Census personnel collected data – the plural of a Latin word, datum, meaning information – and encoded the information in the positions of holes punched in cards. These cards were the same size as dollar bills of the time, meaning that a stack of cards conveniently fit into boxes used by the Treasury Department. When operators inserted the cards into the machine, an electromechanical process automatically tabulated the population figures. Using Hollerith’s machines, the 1890 census of 62,979,766 people was counted within a few months, and the statistical tables were completed two years later.

Hollerith formed a company, the Tabulating Machine Company, in 1896. The company changed its name in 1924 to International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation. IBM thrived, and is presently one of the world’s largest companies.

Computational machines have also thrived. The need for speed and efficiency – the same needs of the 1890 census – motivated the development of computers into the ubiquitous machines they are today. Computers are in homes, offices, cars, and even spacecraft, and people carry portable computers known as notebooks or laptops whenever they travel. Yet the evolution of computers is by no means finished. one of the most active frontiers of computer science is the development of faster and more efficient computers, which may eventually transform the world as drastically as their predecessors did.

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