Today was our first shift of demonstrating in an SE15 lab. Myself, Kieran, Sarann and George [Helyar] were the first up at 2pm.

The session went well, I was able to answer most peoples questions without any difficulty, although I did need Kieran’s help with one Linux question. There were several first years who were asking lots of general programming questions, giving me a chance to shine. I really get a kick out of explaining concepts to people. It keeps me reminded why I consider going into teaching after my degree.

I am looking forward to our next session next Thursday already :)

Its that time of year when new students get their first exposure to the Java programming language and we get to drink lots of coffee and ready ourselves to be asked a load of questions about it. Its good though, we’re getting paid £12 an hour for the privilage and also get the chance to continue chatting to the folk we met in freshers week. Dr. Java is still the IDE of choice for the SE15 java course so we are likely to be asked more about why its just crashed than any actual programming.

Our own experience of Java is also being given a kick start back into life in the form of the SE20 course, using Eclipse as the IDE. The IDE experience should be much better, but trying to remember how to write in Java after a whole summer of doing nothing or writing in other languages in my case might cause a bit of an issue. Noses to the grindstone pronto I feel!

On Friday the School of Computing had their induction week party. A gathering in the School where the freshers could come along, get free food and drink and chat with each other, 2nd and 3rd years, and members of staff. It was a fun affair and a number of non-computing folk we know came along as well.

Tony Jenkins ordered in several kegs of ale and we got rather merry sampling it all. Tony himself had a tankard which he kept getting refilled, it was a good laugh and made me wish I’d brought my own pewter tankard along as well.

After the gathering folk from CompSoc got a group of people together and headed off into town. We went round a fair few bars in town, accumulating drinks and losing freshers. It was just one of those comic moments when every change of bar would see us lose some people; either through going home due to drunkenness or sticking around in the bar we were leaving because they liked it.

Drew had some classic drunken moments, the best one being where he played a stripy ball in a game of pool thinking it was the white. The look on his face when I pointed out what he had done was priceless :D

I’m rather proud of the fact that I was the last member of CompSoc to go home, in fact I only went home when the last few folk decided to call it a night. The bar we ended up in last was Bourbon, huge thanks to Nicci for pointing out its existance as we were trying to find another place to go. Its free entry all night and you can always find a seat. I will most certainly be going back there at somepoint.

All in all it was a fab night and I’m so looking forward to the coming year and socialising with all the new people I have met over the course of the week. It’s going to be an awesome year in the computing :)

To encourage new computing students at Leeds to adopt the wonderful operating system that is, CompSoc will be running a Linux install-fest on the 3rd of October. This is basically where all students who want Linux on their machines or want to learn more about it and why they should want it on their machines can come along with their PCs and have it installed for them and be shown how to use and maintain their installation. The local Linux users group will be there too, allowing people to sign up for membership and there will also be a few talks going on from a number of studnets about using Linux and how it can improve your computing experience.

I will be putting myself forward to give a talk so all interested computing students who want to come along and hear me talk about using Linux for beginners and a few tweaks and tips for existing and advanced users that you probably didn’t know about, come along. At the very least it will be a chance to chat with other Linux users and enthusiasts and of course grab a few beers afterwards.

Yesterday saw the arrival of new students to the school of computing and with that the responsibility for myself and a selection of others in the school to show them around, make them feel at home and get them started on the computing ladder that is Linux. The two groups I got assigned to were a pleasure to meet and all seemed to be very keen on things and clued up about the course and the freshers week assignments given to them. I’m meeting them later this week to check how they are getting on and if they need help with anything. It feels good to be able to give people a helping hand in a new environment.

Unfortunately I’m going to have to end the post on a bit of a downer though. A friend who is also helping out had a little problem with someone in their group, and its a really stupid thing, but I was just so amazed to hear about it that I just have to post something. Everyone helping was supposed to give their mobile phone number and e-mail address out to everyone in their group(s) so that they had a point of contact for the first week or so in case they had any problems with anything. One un-named girl however got it into her head that accepting the phone number from my friend, despite it having been given to everyone else in her group, implied he was “giving her his number” in “that way” and refused to take it, and indeed was fairly shirty to him for the rest of the group meeting.

To me this is the height of immaturity and if it continues is certainly not going to get her anywhere at uni. If you are soon to go to uni or have just started my advice is to leave the child back at your old school gates and grow up a bit. After all you’ve only got 3 years until you’re in the work place and if you think your collegues and employers will take that kind of crap you’ve got another thing coming. Not to mention of course the chances of getting any help from those around you when you most need it being severely diminished.

Yes, I know, I’m publishing Leeds school of computing stuff on my public blog, but hey, enough people from the school read my site to make it worth doing. The timetable (provisonal, but unlikely to change much apart from room numbers) is now available on SIS. It looks like Wednesdays is free from scheduled contact time and that Monday and Tuesday have late starts. Less could be said for Thursday and Friday which both have lectures (yes, actual lectures not tutorials) starting at 9am. Not a problem for me but I can see some people finding making those a little difficult ;)

I guess the whole reason I posted this really was to say how much I’m looking forward to the new term. I’ve just had a browse through the lists of course content for the first semester and there is some really interesting stuff coming up for me over the next 3 months. Combine that with living with and near lots of good friends, it looks set to be a great laugh. See you all next week!

A warm welcome to SoC Gossip, the place where Leeds School of Computing students talk. Its full of bias, humour and the occasional scrap of useful information but we promise it will be a hoot to read for the most part!