TM129 says “Hello Linux”

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

It is with a sigh of relief that I say goodbye to robotics and hello to Linux and operating systems generally. Certainly, I have never been happier to hand in and see the back of a TMA.

I did manage to come up with something for the question on the practical activities for the robotics block. Only time will tell how that goes. Reassuringly, both Python programs I had to come up with did work. This is usually a good sign.

Overall, I had high hopes for robotics but, somehow, it did not quite live up to my admittedly high expectations. Nevertheless, I can say that it did not put me off robotics or programming. And I did appreciate the challenge presented by the robotics block.

Onto Linux and, at first glance, the reading can appear quite dry. However, I am finding it fascinating learning how computers work ‘under the hood’ so to speak. There is also a practical element, using the Linux command line interface (CLI).

There is a lot of material to cover. Each week is divided into two or three sections of reading and practical activities. All of this is provided online. Sadly, there are no books. So, I have created my own by printing out each section and organising it in a folder. It really does make a difference. I had difficulty trying to do this with the practical activities for the robotics block; the Juptyer notebooks were a formatting nightmare!

I have had some experience of using the command line interface from the networking block. However, the Linux block takes this further, and I get to create my own, albeit them simple, programs. There is also a bit of maths thrown in for good measure, mainly binary maths. If you have studied TM111 and TM112, then this should not be a problem. I would recommend hanging onto the Using Maths booklet they give you for those earlier modules; it comes in very handy for a quick reminder.

As it is early days yet for the Linux block, I have not much to say about TMA 3. The format seems like TMA 2. There are short questions on the theoretical content, one on the practical activities, an essay writing question and the reflective e-Portfolio questions. As usual, I wonder how I am ever going to answer these questions. Yet, from experience, this tends to become clearer as I get more familiar with the course material.

Next month, it will be decision time. TM129 is my final stage one module. I will need to choose the first two of the four modules I will need to study in stage two. I am on the broad route through the Q62 Computing and IT degree, with a computer science focus. Thus, I will have to study M250 Object-oriented Java programming and M269 Algorithms, data structures and computability.

Registration for modules starting in October opens around the middle of March (date to be confirmed). I like to book early. Especially now, given the growing popularity of remote learning and studying at the Open University over the last year.

It looks like some new stage two and three modules will be debuting. For stage two, this includes TM256 Cybersecurity (starting February 2022). For stage three, this includes TM358 Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (starting October 2021) and TM359 Systems Penetration Testing (starting February 2023). There are scant details at the time of writing, but I expect these to become available when module registration opens.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.