Yes, I’m laughing at you html

So aside for watching tons of awful foreign films at University (that were mostly in German), I also spent many, many hours learning to code websites. I spent most of my day (I only had class 11 – 2 by my 3rd year, and I often left home at 5), in the dungeon basement lab, where all the macs are stored, coding. Squinting at the massive mac screen in front of me, trying to find a piece of off syntax for why my website isn’t doing what I want it to do. It became the bane of my existence.

I don’t regret it, as it gave me a great skill, but I can’t explain the frustration, the tears and all ’round turmoil that coding created in my soul while at University. I can’t complain either because I did really well and got class medal for 2 out of the 3 courses (well, there were only like 9 of us in this class).

In my day-to-day these days (2 years out of varsity) I sometimes come across the odd element of code when making Facebook apps, but now if we need something specifically styled – I’m likely to just send it to the Development guys. I came across these minimalist posters (now, I love minimal design) for how html tags can be used in real life. They’re classic. Especially the breakup one.

If you code, this will make your heart sing too.

<body> <html> <div> <em> colour: .class </html>

(source)

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Waking up to the Zombie apocalypse.

Waking up just after 6am, to shouting and noise coming from the streets. We’re used to noisy neighbours, but this wasn’t them. Clearly. Looking outside, and what do we see? Zombies. Oh right, it’s SAX Appeal day(!) we remembered. (A Zombie Apocalypse would have been cool though.)

For those who are unaware, SAX Appeal is an annual UCT run magazine who’s proceeds go to RAG’s (Remember and Give) primary beneficiary, SHAWCO. SHAWCO stands for Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation and it’s a student run NGO seeking to improve quality of life and support the health and education of man of Cape Town’s marginalised communities.

SAX

I remember SAX Appeal day when I was in school, and being accosted at robots all the way from Milnerton to Town. We had pre-ordered 10 copies to be delivered to work, for those who missed the first years at the robot. The theme this year was Zombies, so First Years were up at godly hours of the morning to dress up in their finest zombie attire.

I was so determined to buy one, that, having no cash on me and having forgotten to draw money yesterday, I took some money out of the cash we received from our wedding. Talk about dedication!I suppose I feel a sort of camaraderie being a past UCT student… It makes me feel a bit nostalgic for my days as a student (I’m not sure why when I think of all-nighters, crazy assignments, exams, the foreign films I had to watch, and the endless hours I spent in a frozen dungeon coding websites.)

Sadly I only had a R50 note, which didn’t help me when I needed change and the robots were green. I missed the only girl of the morning because the robot was green. I was quite sad, and surprised there were no students along beach road. I was also quite disappointed when I saw students not dressed up, I was just all like “for shame, man. What a waste.”

UCT Sax Appeal

I can’t (and don’t) take credit for this picture. I found it on twitter.

Anyway, a couple robots away from work, I finally saw a guy – the robot was red – I could get change – it was perfect! Alas, the robot turned green before he could find me any change. I was so sad! Luckily at the next robot (which was red – yay!) I called over the nearest girl… lo and behold, she’s someone I know and recently spent quite a bit of time with her family. She didn’t have the right change, but I took what she had, and left them with the rest. The money goes to a good cause anyway, and I’m looking forward to reading it 🙂

My MNovel

Because this blog started as  a University project, I had what was called my MNovel as a page at the top. Now that this assignment is a good 2 years old (and that I’ve graduated, gotten married and am now a working girl), I think it can dissolve into the archives of my posts. I don’t have the heart to delete it, so here it is once more.

For those who do not know, an MNovel is a story written for the cellphone platform. It was another assignment for my Digital Media Seminar where I had to write the first 3 Chapters of a story I had to make up. These chapters each have to be a maximum of 600 words. So without further a do, I present to you my MNovel entitled: My Life Is SUPER! Before you begin reading, lets introduce the characters:

CHARACTERS

Name: Liam

Age: 16

“Special Quality”: Telekinesis (he can move things with his mind!)

Hobbies: Chilling with friends, playing sport, still trying to be a “normal guy” – this new world is still, well, new.

More info: Liam is the new kid at this special school for super-hero kids in training! Well, “almost” new as he’s been there for half a term already. He is trust-worthy and a good friend, determined, and is clearly somewhat of a romantic.

Random: Went Elephant riding on holiday once in India. He fell off. His mom blames the whole holiday and his bump on the head for his ADHD.

Name: Bonghai

Age: 16

“Special Quality”: Invisibility.

Hobbies: Designing the coolest and funkiest t-shirts to wear. “Why say it if you can wear it?” she always says.

More info: Raised by her single mom she’s been brought up to speak her mind and be proud of who she is. Bonghai is not afraid to be different, in fact, she embraces it.

Random: Has snuck into the boys bathroom a number of times while invisible to give the boys a fright.

Name: Dylan

Age: 16 ½

“Special Quality”: mind communication.

Hobbies: using all forms of technology, is a tech whizz and can fix almost anything. His favourite new toy is his new blackberry making his new hobbie – BBMing.

More info: Dylan is the “jock” or at least thinks he is. Whenever he tries to control or speak to a girl with his mind, he usually fails and ends up flirting with her. Possibly that’s why he never gets much practice with his ability. Even with girls on his mind, he will always stay true to his friends.

Random: Had a dream once that his mom made him a chocolate cake. It was his biggest nightmare as someone who is lactose intolerant.

TEASER:

When your parents send you away to a “special” school halfway through term, you begin to wonder what the connotations of “special” really are. Following Liam, Dylan and Bonghai at their “special” school, we find out exactly what it is that makes them so “special”.

CHAPTER ONE – SPLASH!

“Pay attention Liam!” shouted the Professor as she walked past; hitting Liam firmly on the back of the head with her foot shaped fly swatter. She carried on talking as she walked past.

“Bru, you can’t keep staring at her like that, she’s sure to notice, get a grip,” whispered his best friend Dylan as Liam slowly rubbed his throbbing head, “she’s the hottest girl here, and you’re still ‘the new kid’.”

Now Dylan’s statement was only half true. True: Kate was the hottest girl at school. False: Liam couldn’t still be the new kid; he’d been at the school a whole term already, that couldn’t still make him ‘new’.

“What can I say,” said Liam, “my concentration wanes at the end of the day. Too many classes.”

“Well, you sure have kept yourself entertained,” Dylan laughed as the two packed up their books and headed off to dinner in the dining hall. “You know you have no shot with her,” Dylan said honestly.

“As if you thought you did,” said their friend Bonghai, rushing from her end of the class to meet them on their walk to dinner.

Of course, dinner wasn’t anywhere near ready so they sat around waiting for the food to be served. As usual Liam was doing was he did best; stare at Kate.

“There’s really nothing that special about her,” said Bonghai, “she just leads that stupid troupe of girls. They all look, act and dress the same. You’d think at a school like this people would be a little more individual as opposed to being like each other.” She was right, as usual. Bonghai was far from similar to anyone you’d ever met, she had that spunky, fun personality that everyone wished they had, not to mention a stylish dress sense. She was usually the voice of reason within the group, making up for Dylan and Liam’s boy-ish tendencies.

Dylan whipped out his blackberry while he waited and sat on BBM as he did most times while he had to wait for something (this includes while being on the toilet, but he’ll deny that).

“Oh, your stupid blackberry,” mumbled Bonghai.

“You’re just jealous,” muttered Dylan as his fingers zoomed across the keypad, not even looking, “you’re still stuck with Mxit. Who uses that even these days?”

“Stop staring!” exclaimed Bonghai laughing, hitting Liam again on the back of the head again, “you know she won’t say yes.”

“Yes to what?” asked Dylan, purposefully looking up from his blackberry, “you’re not seriously thinking of asking her to the dance are you?” The schools annual Winter Formal was coming up and none of the trio had a date.

“No…” said Liam as the kitchen staff brought out the food, “well, I don’t know, I was thinking, um… argh, I don’t know… um. Water anyone?” he quickly changed the topic.

“Thanks Liam but we’ll –“ began Bonghai, but before she was finished, Liam was already eyeing the water jug as it unsteadily lifted into the air and the water began to pour. SPLASH. It missed of course.

“Next time,” said Dylan hurrying to clean up the spreading water, “stick to moving pens across a desk when you’re practicing moving objects with your mind! Stick to the basics when you can’t yet control your super powers!”

CHAPTER TWO – ZAP! ZAP!

Perhaps you didn’t know about the nature of this school. Or how ‘special’ it and its students was. It’s a special school, for special kids who have a special range of powers. Super-human powers. This is the only school in the country catered for them, to handle their uniqueness. The only place they feel special, and not just “special”.

No one really laughed at Liam when he spilled the water everywhere. Very few people had mastered their powers, and people were often messing up; probably why the school was the safest place for these people to be. It kept everything under control.

The next night Liam, Dylan and Bonghai sat up around the fire in the boys’ dorm room as they often did. As winter was fast approaching they would sit as often as they could next to anything that could remotely radiate heat, Dylan claimed his blackberry worked wonders. The others thought he was talking crap.

“Your plan is seriously to ask her?” Bonghai asked Liam seriously. “You, Liam, want to ask Kate, to the Winter Formal?”

“C’mon Bonghai you know he’s been crushing on her for weeks –“

“ – ahem, you mean since he got here!”

“I resent that!” interrupted Liam.

“There’s not much to like about her,” said Bonghai, “her and the rest of them are really nothing special.”

“Yeah, no more special than the rest of us.”

‘The Fantastic Four’ as they named themselves were the hottest group of girls in their small school, lead by none other than Kate herself. Kate, Lindiwe, Mandy and Nathalie. Their powers had them controlling the elements; fire, earth, water and air respectively. It kind of added to the natural attraction that many boys in the school had for them. Though like many learners at the school, they messed up just like everyone else. (Kate often landed up setting things on fire unintentionally).

“Who on earth are you constantly talking to on that blackberry of yours?” Bonghai asked Dylan. Ever since he got the contraption a few weeks ago, it never left his hands.

“I though you can control and communicate with people through their minds, why on earth would you need to sit all day with a phone between your thumbs?” Liam asked.

“Some girls don’t like having their minds read,” answered Dylan slyly, “besides, it makes it look like I’m doing something rather than daydreaming.”

“Yeah,” laughed Bonghai, “you do get a dreamy look on your face when you talk to people through your head, or when you’re trying to control people. You need to get your game face a bit better than this,” said Bonghai as she scrunched up her face and mocked Dylan’s frequent expression.

“So who are you busy chatting up?” Liam asked Dylan as he quickly stretched to reach for the blackberry.

“No one!’ said Dylan anxiously, getting his beloved super-phone out of his friend’s reach.

“Oh really?” said Bonghai raising her eyebrows, his blackberry already in her hands, “lets have a look,” she giggled.

CHAPTER 3 – POOF!

<LilAriel> we shld chat again Dyl, had such a gud tym the other nyt.

<crocoDYL> ye bbz, totally keen.

<LilAriel> dnt go all ‘bbz’ on me, ur such a flirt, lol.

Liam and Bonghai laughed as they read the last messages off Dylan’s BBM (BlackBerry Messenger).

“I’ll kill you,” he said seriously as Bonghai gave it back to him, “unlucky for you, you didn’t get any of the juicy stuff,” Dylan just gave them a wink, “its more than you could ever get off Kate.”

“I’m debating if this date of yours was even in real life,” joked Bonghai, “it was probably on BBM going out on a date to your FarmVille.” Dylan blushed.

“Guys, I really wanna ask Kate to the formal. We’re friendly enough, we say hi in the corridors –“

“- you command the fire hydrant when she set her skirt alight by mistake… at least you were mentally stable and didn’t drop it on anyone!” Bonghai and Dylan laughed. “I’m actually surprised that none of those girls have dates, maybe they prefer to go as their clique. Can’t let anyone else be fantastic,” exclaimed Dylan.

“Guys, please help me! I even have an ingenious idea –“ began Liam before being interrupted by a knock at the door. As the door opened, Bonghai snapped her fingers and disappeared. It was one of the Prefects telling them to keep the noise down and that they better get to bed because the lights are going out.

A snap, and Bonghai reappeared. “I love invisibility,” she claimed with a huge smile on her face, “such a convenience, nothing really to mess up. So this ingenious plan of yours, does it involve a love potion of sorts?”

“Ermmm,” began Liam, “yes, and no. But Bonghai I need your help! At least for plan A.”

“Care to elaborate on plan A? And how many further plans to do you have, because bru,” said Dylan, “I really think you’re gonna need.”

“I have plans at least up to E,” said Liam while the other two snickered away. “For plan A, I need you both. Dyl, you need to persuade Annelie for one of those love capsules she’s been producing out of those Cupid arrows she has. And you Bonghai will need to make a special delivery to the girl’s dorms.”

“That’s it?” asked Dylan, “its lame.”

“That’s just phase one. C’mon the Formal is in under a week, you guys help me and I’ll help you. Deal?”

“Deal.”

The door burst open, Bonghai snapped and quickly went out the door before the Prefect shouted at the boys, again. But that was nothing new.

10 things I’d be doing right now, if it were a year ago.

This time last year, I was in my final semester of my final year at UCT. The hours were long, the work got tough, weekends were non-existant, and my social-life was limited to whoever I saw in lectures or bumped into in the library. Despite it all, it was fun. But I’m seriously surprised at how we all make it past University.

Well, lets just think about what exactly I’d be doing if it was around this time a year ago…

  1. Sitting in the freezing cold dungeon, that is the Mendi lab.
  2. Stressing over some assignment or other.
  3. Watching awful foreign films for my film course, mostly German, but also including Japanese, Korean and Mexican.
  4. I’d have Fridays off, and possibly Thursdays too.
  5. Sundays would not be counted as “weekend” and public holidays would be “exciting” only because you can get extra work done.
  6. I was probably stressing about he engagement party, let alone all the wedding stress that was still to come! (Thankfully, we pulled both of those events off, and rather well.)

    “Dude, I tried to call you, but you were engaged!”

  7. I’d be doing plenty more walking than I do these days. Lots more exercise walking across campus than sitting at my desk at work.
  8. I’d be gymming more, because I had the time.
  9. No matter what time I ended lectures, I’d always be on campus in the library/in the Mendi lab working, sometimes til as late at 7pm (makes ending work at 5pm a breeze.)
  10. I was probably counting down to graduation 🙂https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=61e47932ad&view=att&th=13953569e9df3aa6&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P-DebtnfxQmvY3nZbmVMpOk&sadet=1345723779025&sads=OjWSpCyG9GG3x6c885a8snAwots&sadssc=1

Explore Your Options: UCT Humanities

UCT Humanities: Explore Your OptionsApplying to University always seems like such a daunting task for High Schoolers. Those tables to calculate your points are troublesome, and further tables telling you for which courses your admission is probable or possible is even more confusing! So, we tried to make it easier.

For my Senior Research Project (SRP), marking the end of my time in UCTs Interactive Media Production Stream, my partner and I designed a(n unofficial) website and accompanying mobisite for the Humanities Faculty of UCT. The website aims to make the admission process simpler for prospective students, providing the basic information on how to apply.

As well as basic information there is a calculator feature, which prompts the user to input their matric results based on the table below with the current point system, and the calculator not only works out their point score but also tells them which courses they are elligible to study.

For now it is only a University project of two bright girls, but who knows, it seems like something any University could use, and would sure make the lives of potential students a lot easier!

*please note: The website & mobisite are only a project. Niether are endorsed by the University. Supervised by Marion Walton.*

My First Website.

I’ve been working on this website all semester. It consumed me of my time, my life, my happiness and my tears. By the time I handed it in to be marked I could not look at it for another second. Ever.

Yet today in my procrastination for exams, I decided to take a look at it again. In a way I kind of missed it. All those hours sitting in a freezing lab in the basement of a building, battling with a mac computer and endless amounts of code, McDreamweaver and I became very very close.

By the end of it all and looking at the final product I’m rather proud of what I have achieved. Those close (or even not-so-close) to me, perhaps even everyone on Facebook, knew how much I hated this course. I couldn’t stop complaining because it just killed me. But as I look back, its nice to have something a bit more tangible than just a good mark to show your progress and achievement.

Back in early August, we had white web pages scattered with boring Times New Roman. We got to grips with CSS, the coding language responsible for appearance on web pages, it really was a lot more difficult that you think! Especially when you are getting next to no help from your tutors, and having to work everything out on your own. Thank God for friends. We got each other through, and even with so little help at the end we came out on top with our marks. Something to be proud of.

I hope you like the site. Every little detail and element is placed where it is by code, you actually have to tell things where to go and what to do once they are there! What we were mainly working on this semester was a Photography website, where I focused on UCT. The layout may not be perfect on various monitor sizes, it was optimised for the Macs in the lab. In future I plan to think ahead for smaller monitor sizes.

Enjoy 🙂 Hopefully you’ll see more wonderful (and hopefully more advanced) websites from me in the future (: For now, I’m still learning.

Laduma! Vuvuzela! FIFA 2010.

So for my Digital Media Seminar (the same class that is to blame for the creation of this blog) I had to make a Digital Story on something of interest to tourists when they visit for the games. A digital story is kind of like a video, but it has narration and as it suggests – tells a story. I decided to do it on the Vuvuzela (as you might remember, I posted about it previously being used in Israel and had a laugh to myself) and I think it went quite well 🙂 Have a few issues of sound in the middle, so just keep quiet and listen hard lol. Take note of the song in the background, “Stand as One” used in the background, the video you can watch on youtube here.

So I cant find how to imbed the zoopy videos like I do with youtube ones =[ but please give my video a watch (and comment!) at this link, follow the digitalmediauct user to check out the videos of my classmates 🙂