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Picture of Steven Wilkinson
by Steven Wilkinson - Sunday, 5 July 2015, 6:14 PM
Anyone in the world

Dismantle, clean, reassemble, and add new operating system to a sad dusty computer system.

Click on attachment for a full run down.

[ Modified: Sunday, 5 July 2015, 6:16 PM ]


    Picture of Bob Gilmore
    by Bob Gilmore - Thursday, 12 February 2015, 1:51 PM
    Anyone in the world


    Wikipedia is a useful tool, however it gets too much use as a research tool.  One of the biggest issues is its prominence in Google search results.  One site conducted a test by searching for 600 Wikipedia topics in Google.  The result;  98.5% of these subjects were in the first 10 results displayed on Google.  (, 2007).

    For whatever reason, Google ranks Wikipedia results very highly, frequently causing them to appear within the top 10 results on many topics.  This is a disservice to many other useful on-line resources.  
    Why does Google do this? There is some speculation, ranging from financial gain (Google donated $2 million to Wikipedia in 2010 (Walsh, 2010)) to the inability of Googles search to handle the huge influx of blog and microblog noise content on the web (Orlowski, 2009).  The actual reason could be either of these of something else entirely.

    Another question to ask is why do we care?  Wikipedia is a good source of information isn't it?  Unfortunately, the means by which Wikipedia articles are created, amended and updated is both its greatest benefit and its greatest curse.  Wikipedia can, in theory, be edited by anyone.  It is subject to review on each article by other Wikipedia members and readers, but opinion can often get in the way of fact.

    Some users have been black listed from editing Wikipedia articles. A good example is the banned editor list on the Bogdanov Affair article. From that page:

    "All user accounts used by participants in the external controversy are indefinitely banned from editing Bogdanov Affair [...] , it being presumed that if the vast majority of their edits are to the Bogdanov Affair they are not Wikipedia editors but persons involved in the external dispute." (Wikipedia, 2010)

    The article goes on to list specific editor user name names and states that edits to the article coming from anyone with no significant edit history on other articles will be presumed to be part of the controversy and banned also.

    Many other Wikipedia pages get involved in controversial edits, leading to heated debate in the articles talk pages. This can result in the page being locked for editing. A full list of currently locked pages is available here:

    Because Wikipedia is so easy to find and use, many on-line and even off-line references cite or copy directly from the site. If Wikipedia is wrong, then these other sources are wrong also. A good example is Sacha Cohen (Ali G) being cited as working for Goldman Sachs prior to his fame as an actor despite no evidence to support him working there. He himself has never made or refuted the claim. The only apparent source of this is an unknown editor changing Sacha's Wikipedia page and yet it was cited in numerous news articles. (Techdebug, 2009)

    When this happens, the result can sometimes be circular referencing. An undocumented Wikipedia edit is cited as the source for information in another publication. This publication is then cited as the source for the information on Wikipedia, despite Wikipedia being the source in the first place. The talk page for the Wikipedia entry on Sacha Cohen is a great example of this process.

    Talk and version history

    One of the best features of Wikipedia is that it keeps a full list of all the edits on a page as well as any discussion by editors about the page itself. At the top of every Wikipedia page are links to this content:

    Wikipedia editing links.

    • Talk provides article discussion.
    • View history shows all the edits on a page.

    This information allows us to see exactly how and why a page was edited and to judge the accuracy of the information. If you are actively engaged in research on a topic, these pages can be sources of highly valuable information and I recommend you check them out.

    Wikipedia Talk Page.

    Wikipedia History Page.

    Wikipedia vandalism

    Wikipedia articles are occasionally subject to deliberate vandalism, where an editor will deliberately insert offensive, humorous or otherwise incorrect information into an article to defame a person, put their own unsupported beliefs into the spotlight or just because they believe it is fun.

    You can actually see see the history of a previously vandalised page by looking at its revision history. Be warned, there is some profanity in the second image.

    One of my favourite entries is the Batman page below:

    Vandalism example 0ne - the Batman Page.

    Some vandalism is slightly more subtle:

    Vandalism example two - Bernie Madoff.

    There is a Tumblr archive of some more popular examples of Wikipedia vandalism:

    Arguments about page accuracy

    The talk pages often get into debates about the accuracy of the articles content. A good example is the page about Mike the headless chicken.

    From the Wikipedia page:

    Mike the Headless Chicken

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




    Mike the Headless Chicken struts.


    Other appellation(s)

    Mike the Headless Chicken, Miracle Mike


    Gallus gallus domesticus






    April 1945

    Fruita, Colorado, United States


    March 1947

    Phoenix, Arizona, United States

    Nation from

    United States of America


    Lloyd Olsen

    Mike the Headless Chicken (April 1945 - March 1947), also known as Miracle Mike,[1] was a Wyandotte chicken that lived for 18 months after his head had been cut off. Although the story was thought by many to be a hoax, the bird's owner took him to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to establish the facts of the story.[1]


    Pasted from <>

    Problem is, there is no actual evidence that Mike lived for 18 months after loosing his head in any of the references and some quite heated discussion over if Mike ever actually existed. This is not helped by the image supplied appearing to be of a hen, not a rooster.

    Here is a link to Mike the Headless Chickens talk page so you can see the discussion for yourself:


    Fortunately, Wikipedia maintains fairly rigorous standards about citing and referencing sources. Statements made in articles are expected to be cited with a link to a footnote in the article.  For example, from the Category 5 Cable page:

    Category 5 cable

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Cat5e Cable.


    Category 5 patch cable in T568B wiring


    Category 5 cable (Cat 5) is a twisted pair cable for carrying signals. This type of cable is used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. The cable standard provides performance of up to 100 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), and 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet). Cat 5 is also used to carry other signals such as telephony and video.

    The cable is commonly connected using punch-down blocks and modular connectors. Most Category 5 cables are unshielded, relying on the balanced line twisted pair design and differential signaling for noise rejection.

    Category 5 has been superseded by the Category 5e (enhanced) specification.[1]


    Pasted from <>

    You can see the [1] reference at the end of the text. This takes us to the following footnote:


    1. "Voice and Data Cabling & Wiring Installations". Retrieved 2013-05-12.


    A lot of the really useful information on Wikipedia can be found by going off the Wikipedia site and following these external links


    Easily found on-line articles, blog posts and social media entries can contain misleading, incorrectly understood and poorly sourced facts. Try your best to track the original sources for an article and to make sure the original sources are properly understood by the author. If there are no original sources, be wary of trusting the information. Try to make use of information that is sourced from several different locations with different authors so that you have plenty of evidence to back up any claims you make. If you can't do this, make sure you indicate that your facts are claims made or opinions by individuals, not necessarily true and accurate statements.

    Wikipedia is a great resource and a great place to start, but it it not the only place and using it as a sole referencing tool does a huge disservice to the vast amounts of original information available in the Internet. Follow the links to sources and cite those as well.


    Orlowski, A. (2009, 12 09). Google abandons Search. Retrieved 06 21, 2011, from (2007, 06 26). 96.6% of Wikipedia Pages Rank in Google's Top 10. Retrieved 06 21, 2011, from

    Walsh, J. (2010, 02 17). Press Release. Retrieved 06 21, 2011, from$2_million_grant_from_Google

    Techdebug (2009,04 19) Wikipedia Articles Create Circular References. Retreived 06 21, 2011,

    [ Modified: Monday, 23 February 2015, 12:46 PM ]


      Picture of Steve Nodwell
      by Steve Nodwell - Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 4:49 PM
      Anyone in the world

      Term has finished! Turns out I'm the only graduate wanting to work in Greymouth, so yay, less competition in the job market.

      DICT510, the DB assignment? Turns out I never had to do it in the first place. FFS.

      For the group report which was basically the last thing we did, I need to define a few issues here. so:


      • A student grading anothers work can be a bit iffy. A pair of slightly dishonest students could use each other for easy As, or allow one to sabotage another. This is offset by the tutor marking the gradings as well - but does introduce extra work for Bob.
      • The assessment allows for an imperfect marking schedule. Our own was very heavily weighted towards having lots of references - and I know I thought to exploit that. Was that ethical of me? We'd agreed to it, and I wanted a good mark.


      • As stated above, either the tutor gets a break from marking when students grade each other, or has extra work marking the students grades. 
      • CSER itself is an issue around professionalism. There's the business need to make a profit, and the social need for the community, and the environmental need for the planet we live on. Which is the most important need to fill?

      The assignment itself:

      • Leaving it til nearly the last minute was a dumb idea. Always is.
      • CSER is a ridiculously hard topic to find hard information on. 


      • Picture of Tom FlannaganTom Flannagan - Fri, 5 Dec 2014, 9:36 AM
        Hi Steve
        with the student grading anothers work as I understand it there is a very, and I stress very low weighting on the students grading.
      Picture of Steve Nodwell
      by Steve Nodwell - Monday, 24 November 2014, 1:25 PM
      Anyone in the world

      Blogging, such fun.

      Hell of a weekend I've just had. Jeans birthday on thursday, her car broke down on friday, her birthday dinner on saturday night (followed by a proposal, to which she said yes, so I guess I'm engaged now!) a 23km bike ride on sunday, and then MY car wouldn't start this morning!

      One week left! Two assignments left:

      Database. Fucking hell I hate Access. If it weren't for the time constraint I'd scrap everything and re-do it all in PHP and MySQL. PHP might not be the easiest language to learn but at least I know how to get it to do what the hell I want.

      Portfolio. Some pieces of the Wild Ruby website made it here, but I still don't think I'm going to get all 10 programs done. Shame really, as I quite enjoy programming little things like this.

      Back to it. Ciao-ciao


        Picture of Steven Wilkinson
        by Steven Wilkinson - Saturday, 22 November 2014, 10:07 PM
        Anyone in the world

        Where do I start ! What a roller coaster of a paper to get through, so many positives in regards to learning, tainted with some lows when you realize that what you have been working on for weeks, isn't really going to be up to scratch, and decide to delete it all and start again.........3 hindsight, it shows me that I have progressed through the different stages of learning to arrive at a point that I fine my self saying, " is this work the best I can produce, or can I do better " . As I go forward with more learning in web design, I no doubt will revisit this work and tweak it on a regular occasion, add new things, take out things that are redundant or shouldn't have been there to start with, there lays the beauty in why we want to learn, why we want to gain knowledge in not only Web design but in general........Self Improvement.

        [ Modified: Saturday, 22 November 2014, 10:08 PM ]


          Picture of Steven Wilkinson
          by Steven Wilkinson - Wednesday, 12 November 2014, 11:28 PM
          Anyone in the world

          Test time .........managed to get this one out the way......tip to all those still to sit it.........look at the marking schedule for each question........take 10 minutes to look over all the question...I ust have a quick reflection of the web design and build to go for this paper..... Time is definatly getting short.


            Picture of Steven Wilkinson
            by Steven Wilkinson - Thursday, 6 November 2014, 10:31 PM
            Anyone in the world

            well it has been a long few days, getting the finer points of Matts Web Design into a working unit, over the last month I has completely rebuilt this web site 3 times as I have strived for a desired outcome, today was the day !!! bit of advice for those still to get this done .....would be  use the validators as you go.




              Picture of Steven Wilkinson
              by Steven Wilkinson - Friday, 31 October 2014, 11:23 PM
              Anyone in the world

              I have been rather slack on the blogs this term, the web site assignment will be finished this weekend, it has been an enjoyable challenge, with so much more to learn. I am happy with where I am at with it at the moment, and with the web site I have created,. I have used mainly Internal CCS instead of external, I found it easier to change and alter the code having it all on the same page, rather than going to a separate style sheets folder, this may well change as I get more experienced with HTML.

              With only 4 weeks to go for the year, the pressure is starting to mount, planned weekends away  are likely to be cancelled. With this assignment coming to a close I will be left with only 2 more, the database build, and the programming assignment, the later being the main focus, lots still to go over.  


                Picture of Bob Gilmore
                by Bob Gilmore - Friday, 10 October 2014, 1:38 PM
                Anyone in the world

                By far the most important part of this years ITx Conference was the Mandatory Review of Qualification panels and discussions around NZ's sub-degree qualifications, along with the peer networking that came from those.

                Everything looks set to be in place to have the qualifications accepted and in place by November and that just leaves development of actual programmes of study and then their implementations within ITPs and PTEs around New Zealand.

                Qualification Landscape

                Above is the proposed landscape for the new qualifications. There have been a few changes since 2013 and one of the big ones has been the acceptance by NZQA over the embedded 60 credit NZ Cert in IT inside each of the other four Level 5 Diplomas. This is a huge about face from NZQA who have been suffering an allergic reaction to embedded qualifications for some years now.

                The actual qualification submissions are up on the NZQA website here. They are jointly owned by a consortium including IITP and NZQA with help from CITRENZ. There was some discussion in the 2013 conference about CITRENZ actually owning the qualifications, however for a variety of reasons this was dropped. What CITRENZ will do is develop a set of programmes of study for the qualifications which will be available to all member institutions and they will also continue on with their role regarding moderation and QA for their qualifications as they do with the current Blue Book. It is likely that NZQA will also develop courses of study for the qualifications based on Unit Standards.

                The diagram below is an (extremely rough) rendition of Sam's (Samuel Mann, Otago Polytechnic and chair of CITRENZ) explanation of how the layering between qualifications, programs of study and individual institutions will work:


                There is still some discussion about how exactly the consistency agreements between NZQA, CITRENZ and individual institutions will work. NZQA seems to want actual moderation from institutions, whereas CITRENZ believes that them being accredited to maintain a programme of study and helping moderate their members should be enough. More on this should come out in the next few weeks.

                CITRENZ is fighting to keep the programmes of study broad and not overly specific in both terms of content and assessment to allow for flexible and innovative delivery and to help keep the programmes relevant in the face of continual change which NZQA doesn't currently appear to support, as demonstrated with the inflexible and irritatingly specific Unit Standards, however they are coming around to our point of view.

                All member institutions will offer at least one of the qualifications and each of the qualifications will be used, so CITRENZ is now committed to developing programmes of study for each. There has been some discussion around how exactly institutions offering degrees will actually implement the courses since they see the diplomas as a means to feed students into their degrees.

                The proposed programmes of study in development by CITRENZ are listed below.

                Level 4 Certificates

                Cert Computing Advanced User Level 4

                • Note that this programme is from the IT as a tool stream, instead of the IT as a profession.
                • The Applied applications papers give additional flexibility to allow institutions to deliver programmes in  specific tools.

                Certificate in Information Technology Essentials Level 4

                Level 5 Certificates and Diplomas

                Certificate in Information Technology Core Papers Level 5

                • Note that these papers are also embedded inside each of the following two level 5 diplomas.

                Diploma in Information Technology Technical Support Level 5

                Diploma in Information Systems Level 5


                Level 6 Diplomas





                • Unlike the other diplomas, this is a full two year diploma at level 6 instead of two diplomas, one at level 5 and the second at level 6.


                There are some interesting points here too.

                • Industry wanted specialisation earlier and because of this there is no real generalist diploma.
                • There is a bigger push for project management, ethics and professionalism at all levels. The project management is completely new for us; we have not included any of this beyond core concepts in any of our current papers.
                • It was expected that each of the qualifications would have a path to employment as well as further education, however it is difficult to see this with the lower end (NZ Cert in IT Essentials L4 and NZ Cert in IT Level 5).
                • The Database management diploma was hard to develop as it can be led to from both the IS and IT level 5 diplomas, despite there being very little overlap in those two diplomas.
                • Industry wanted the software development diploma to be 2 years rather than one as (and I agree) it would be difficult to justify offering a qualification in this area after just a single year.
                • The practitioner level 6 cert has no ethics or professionalism at all. This was highlighted as a potential problem and the it was asked if this qualification should even be in the landscape.
                • Finally, there was significant overlap with the web development diploma and the review in the design qualifications. It is an odd disconnect to not see these quals linked in with the ICT qualifications. The lack of a level 6 diploma in this area is a result of this overlap, although there is room for movement here after the first review.

                So, the question is where does this leave TPP?

                We could potentially offer all the the certs and diplomas, however we simply do not have the resources to do so. Personally, I would like to be flexible enough so that students could pick and choose which papers they want to sit and therefore which diploma(s) they complete. If anything this current year has taught me is that we can be flexible in delivery of papers to smaller groups. Unfortunately there is very little overlap in each of the diplomas beyond the first 4 papers of the level 5 diplomas. We have to be careful where we put our resources.

                Outside of the Software Development diploma, there is very little programming. This is problematic for a couple of reasons, but the big one is that it makes it harder to stream into degree study. The positive is that the non programming diplomas, and especially the Networking and Systems and Software diplomas match nicely with the Cisco certifications Tom is currently working toward offering. However these diplomas contain very little in my area of expertise to offer.

                Ultimately, it is up to the PAC and management to decide where we want to go, however I would recommend that we, by beginning of 2016:

                • Pick up one of either the level 2 or 3 qualifications from the IT as a Tool streams (NZ Certificate in Computing) to act as a pathway into the diplomas, available to students as part time, casual or full time options.
                • Second semester in a year, offer the Certificate in Information Technology Essentials (Level 4) as a full time second term intake option. This could be an option for semester 2, 2015 if everything is available.
                • Offer one level 5 and one level 6 diploma at the start of each year from our core competencies.
                • Either recruit or up skill staff to cover additional diplomas as desired and offer those for extra flexibility.

                Our current core skill set completely covers:

                • Diploma in Information Technology Technical Support (Level 5).
                • Diploma in Web Design and Development (Level 5)
                • Diploma in Systems and Software Administration (Level 6)


                • If we decide to continue with Tom's Cisco training and complete CCNA1 and CCNA2, we will be able to offer the entirety of Diploma in Networking Level 6.
                • Many of the papers in both the Diploma in Database Administration (L6) and Diploma in Software Development are likely to be covered by Bob. However additional professional development will be required in some areas.

                All in all there were some good sessions and I think that most institutions are feeling positive about the process although there are still some unanswered questions. I'm sure I haven't covered everything and I'm sure there are questions, so please feel free to leave any in the comments or email them to me.

                [ Modified: Thursday, 23 October 2014, 8:41 AM ]


                Picture of Steve Nodwell
                by Steve Nodwell - Friday, 3 October 2014, 11:13 AM
                Anyone in the world

                So, term 3 complete. 

                Over the break what I've been working on most is a web design/build job Bob asked around for. Nearly complete, view it if you like at, and you may recognise the design Bob - Thought I'd save my time and therefore his money by simply colour replacing the design I did for the BCIS198 assignment. Run into a small roadblock tho: I'd like to add a database function for storing the recipes on the site; and no matter what I try I simply can't connect to the database from anything other than the phpMyAdmin page the host provides. Not great. I've emailed the hosts tech support about it, we'll see how we get on.

                Anyway when that's complete I'll be submitting several functions of the site as part of my DICT540 Portfolio. On that front, I've finally finished re-building Yahtzee for HTML5/JS, and have also done a calculator, a conversion table, a quiz, and a functioning chatroom. The chatroom code would be ideal as a side conversation for a web-based online game, which was my initial idea until realising that the portfolio was not allowed to be one big project, it had to be 10 small ones. Maybe if I can't find a job in the field I'll start that again as a side/home project.

                I've given a presentation to the class for BCIS206 Professional Practise - my topic was IT and Entertainment. I was hoping to get a lot more discussion going on, but the "first thing monday morning" got in the way; so the presentation ran a little short. Overall tho, I reckon it went pretty well. I'll hold off the detailed post about it until I've seen the video.

                My day in the service desk with David and Andrew was sadly very quiet. Got a few answers I needed for the documentation assignment, ghosted a few laptops, solved at least one very clearly staged job (fixed by plugging a USB into a different socket).

                Thats about all I can think to write right now. Ciao-ciao