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Archived entry | Matt Wilcox .net

Christmas is coming

Oh yes indeed, Christmas is on its way, and it’s getting here far too fast. Some of us have already had or are in the process of waiting for shiny presents because we couldn’t wait till Christmas. I’ve had my new bed, PC and video card. Chris is as we speak waiting for his brand new PC to be delivered (we’ll be putting it together later on today, if all goes to plan), and Mike has had a new phone. Microsoft SPV E200, which has windows on it. It’s a very kick ass phone, and he can even browse my site on it, and apart from an odd egg yellow creeping in, it all looks bang on perfect. Of course, being a Microsoft phone, listening to an MP3 made it crash. I tell not a word of a lie. He was trying to listen to my audio diary and it crashed. Incidentally, mission accomplished with the audio entry - it made people laugh, and thus the self inflicted humiliation is justified. :lol

The volume of uni work needing to be done in the next few weeks has shot up remarkably thanks to our useful as ever tutors. Yes, only now do we discover we have to do a website, a CV, a presentation, and a press pack before Christmas. And as soon as we get back after christmas hand in a 7000 word essay. And another website.
There was a lot of bitching about our course after our last lecture. Everyone is in agreement that the course itself is utter rubbish, we’ve been taught nothing, the lecturers are largely out of date in their ideas about what the web should be like, and for £12k it’s a very very large waste of money. We are not a happy group of people us Staffs Uni MMG students. smiley icon: sad
Were i an employer knowing what getting that degree entails, i would not value the degree for the paper it’s written on. I certainly wouldn’t use it in determining if someone is good for a job in the MMG sector. On the other hand, while i personally think it’s a waste of time and trees, it supposedly gets your foot in the door, at which point i can ignor the fact the degree exists and just get on with presenting my real work. Uni has been good in that it’s given me three years to learn things on my own. What designs work, what don’t, PHP, MySQL, XHTML, CSS - they’ve all been learnt in the time off uni has given me. So it’s a bit catch 22 - the course itself is pretty worthless and teaches you nothing you need to know, but it gives you the time to go and learn what you want yourself.
Oh, and if you’re a budding MMG student thinking thats fine, you already know your stuff, you’ll breeze it - what that course decides is ‘good design’ is not usually good design. If you do -everything- in flash, they’ll love you. If you have dancing icons and distracting intro’s, they’ll love you. If your website project doesn’t actually work, but shows what it should do in the form of screenshots, they’ll hand you a degree. Staffs uni could well turn you into designers they’ll love, but the rest of the internet will hate you. If you, like myself, go there expecting to be shown what is good design, what isn’t, how to code for the web with reguard to the latest web standards, be shown how people look at websites in order to make better websites - don’t go. You won’t be shown any of that. You’ll be shown a flash interface and told to go buy a flash book.
Well that turned into a good sized rant didn’t it? Damn but i hate that place. :lol More stuff later on.

Well, 2pm arrived and so had Chris’s PC bits, so i went over to help get his machine a working whole instead of a not working not whole. Sadly, it took us 7hrs before we got it even mostly working. A dud power switch, none-communicative PC speaker and uncooperative video card were the initial problems, and after the first install of Windows a blue screen of death and an inability to reboot due to a corrupt system file made our day. While this was going on Pies phoned in to tell us he’d just killed the Astra, NOS-ing it along the A50 resulted in some serious smoke billowing out, and a suspected head gastket write off. Oil was drenching the engine bay. Come 9pm, we’d had enough and appeared to have got the PC semi-stable with suspected faulty RAM, so we left for the pub. Chris very kindly drove, allowing me to get semi drunk. smiley icon: smile It was pleasant, and Pies had us in stitches talking about his TAX rebate. You had to be there.

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