Monday, December 18, 2006

Module 2 - Exercises

1. What information about a user's email, the origin of a message, and the path it took, can you glean from an email message?

You can easily see information such as the senders email address, origin ISP (through headers), and general content (through the subject), as well as priority.

2. In what cases would you find it useful to use the 'cc', 'bcc' and 'reply all functions of email?

The carbon copy function is useful when you want to send the same email to a group of people, who generally already know each other - such as within a workplace. The blind carbon copy function is more private, and can be used to send to many people, but you may not wish the recipients to know who else the letter was sent to. The Reply All function allows you to quickly reply to multiple e-mails, which for example may be asking you to attend a meeting/lunch etc...the reply might be "I can't make any appointments from 23/12-27/12, as I am on holidays." Etc...

3. In what ways can you ensure that an attachment you send will be easily opened by the receiver?

Ensure you know which systems/applications you are sending too, and what file type/format and encoding should be used. Also, provide alternative arrangements should the attachment not be accessible.

4. What sorts of filters or rules do you have set up, and for what purpose?

E-mail sent from myself, to myself automatically goes into a special archive folder. E-mail from known spam addresses goes to my spam folder -so I don't have to read it. E-mail from newsletters/mailing-lists I have signed up for goes to another folder so that I can read it at my leisure - all of this makes organization simpler, and saves my inbox from clutter.

5. How have you organised the folder structure of your email and why?

As above, folders for inbox, outbox, spam, archive, leisure etc. - Again this aids organization.

What are the pros and cons of email lists versus discussion boards, and are there certain kinds of communication or purposes more suited to one than the other?

E-Mail lists, from my perspective are much more of a one-way interaction. They are useful when you need to tell a lot of people something, and only expect minimal if any feedback. Forums are much more interactive, and facillitate more interaction and "discussion" - as the term "discussion board" suggests. It is more useful in situations where people want to bounce ideas of each other, or just have a chat.

Finally, I prefer IRC/MSN as an interactive tool for communication. - It provides real time responses in an easy to use, simple environment. IRC is best for group conversations, where one-on-one is good over chat programs such as MSN/Yahoo.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Update 15.12.06

I have finished the reading for module 2, and am ready to move into the tasks. I will complete these tasks early next week. I found the List information quite interesting, as I was aware of these lists and their function, but never really thought about the way in which the list actually operates. - Quite informative.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Module 2 - Reflections

Module 2:

Yes, I have been a little slack on updating this learning log - I must do it more often. I have been reading and keeping up to date with the course content, but I haven't really been reflecting on the material in a written form. I think that it will be more beneficial if I was to do this more often.

And now, on to the content. :-)

When I first saw module 2's readings I was a little annoyed. - I thought for a moment (rather ignorantly) that this was all going to be stuff I already knew, and would be boring and easily skimmable. - Not quite so! - In fact, I did learn quite a bit from the reading - particuarly with regards to attachment encoding. I was aware of MIME as a concept but never really understood what it was - now I think I do - which means *yay* I learned something! :D

The parts on style and management were already familiar to me, but the reading was good revision.

- In the next few days I hope to have the reading for module 2.2 fully complete, and then next week I can do that modules activities.

And I also need to make this blog look a bit more presentable : /

~Bye for now,

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nov 28 2006

Today I re-read over the module one topics, as I was a little concerned I had skimmed over them too fast, and may have missed something. I read them in a bit more detail this time and I do find the topics quite interesting, so reading up on them is far from a chore.

I'd forgotten exactly what TCP/IP was actually, so it was good to see a definition.

Overall I think that the open learning experience will be a good one, and I hope to get a start on the first assignment soon.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Learning Log

Today I started open university, and in particular the unit NET11.

I completed the welcome materials and have read over the information in Module 1.

So far module 1 is straight forward, as I have covered these concepts before, but it is still good to revisit some of the more advanced concepts such as TCP/IP. I also didn't realize that you could TELnet straight from IE, which was quite interesting.

For the record I used good old MS-DOS to FTP rather than using a WSYWIG application.

Results from the required TraceRoute are as follows:

TraceRoute to [] Hop (ms) (ms) (ms) IP Address Host name 1 1 0 0
2 0 0 0
3 0 0 0
4 1 1 1
5 1 14 1
6 1 1 1
7 37 37 37 8 37 37 37 9 199 198 198 10 195 195 195 11 207 207 207 12 216 216 216 13 243 243 243 14 243 243 243 15 243 243 244 16 244 243 243
17 244 243 243 18 243 243 243

Trace complete

It looks a little scattered at the moment, I might want to work on the format.

Ping times for the webct site, vs the zdnet site actually came in at similar results, (around 200ms avg). Although that was, - both hosts are likely located in the USA and have similar hops between them. If I ping something local on the other hand, such as, the ping drops significantly - with a latency of only 23ms.