Footnotes Galore

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Footnotes Galore!

When I was a young, moist behind the ears A-level student, examining choices for university, I looked at the website for the School of Electronics and Computer Science, and saw that there were student blogs, written for the people, by the people. People in this instance [1], meaning students.

So, I will quickly write what my past self [2] wanted to know.

Computer Science is a broad subject with multiple different areas. It’s not just hacking away at code, although that is a large part of it. There are also mathematical, and more fundamental underpinnings that must be studied first, like discrete and engineering mathematics, and NAND gates in digital electronics.

More specifically, the first semester focuses on Java, but is trying to teach the broader principles, although there are enough organisations to extend [3] your use. SOWN (Southampton Open Wireless Network) uses a lot of Perl, and Ruby, CSLIB has a large amount of C++, and there are large collections [4]people good at PHP in the department.

There is coursework, which in this first term (three terms, two semesters, one year, it gets confusing sometimes) has consisted of building a personal website (that balances formality, with street cred [5], ahem… I mean informality), and extension of a graphical library, in Java.

Socially, it’s exactly what you would expect. Lots of fun-loving young people, doing British things [6], around British places [7]. You will probably find lots of people into the same stuff as you, it’s university, there are over 25,000 people here.

Technically, the school is impressive. We have our own /16 IP block [8], and thanks to its pioneering work, there is IPv6, which means Google dances for you [9]. Halls internet is also impressive. The upload speeds are insane, unless you’ve been living in the Internet backbone. I am not sure if that is actually possible. There is lots of WIFI on campus, bar a few dry zones.

For cycling, the city is very good, by British standards. If you’re Dutch, you’re going to have to adjust though. I certainly did. [10]

Anyway, now that’s I’ve outlined that, I can tell you all about the past month.

I went to university. [11]

(Footnote: Footnotes follow.)
[1] instance variable, each object has its own.
[2] “self” is Python convention; Java uses: “this” officially
[3] an abstract class, extension… get it?
[4] import java.util.Collections;
[5] if (this.student instanceof cool) // returns false
[6] Britain does lots of things
[7] It is difficult not to do things in British places, considering your location.
[8] 152.78
[9] but only if you’re IPv6 capable.
[10] Cycling paths do tend to randomly disappear.
[11] Technically, I’m in halls, meaning you could argue that I lived in university.

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