Study Period 2 Assignments Online

I realised that I hadn’t posted any of my previous assignments, so here they are for your reading pleasure (or not!).

27.4Kb PDF Document
REA11 Assignment 3 – Revision of analytical structure diagrams about Objectivity and Blogging, and a re-write on assignment one

13.9Kb PDF Document
NET12 Assignment 2 – What Do We Think Of The Web We Weave. This essay talks about the key assumptions driving current views of the ‘Net

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NET12 Assignment 3 – The Internet can teach us about the relationshop between society and technology – I talk about it here in specific relation to the economic and business aspects of that relationship.

REA11 Assignment 1 Available

11Kb PDF Document (no password required)
I’ve decided that I will post a PDF copy of my essay submitted for assignment 1 in REA11.
The topic of the essay is Objectivity is Impossible. I don’t know what
mark I got for it yet, but should know within a couple days. For now, it is password
protected, but that may change in the future. Either way, it will remain secured against
printing, copy-pasting and modification. I don’t want to breach any sort of collaboration
or plagiarism rule with OLA, so if this is an issue, someone please let
me know
. Click the PDF icon if you have the password.

UPDATE 2003-09-11: Removed password for PDF access.

NET 23 Assignments

Well, I am finally posting my assignments from NET23 here, I just haven’t gotten around to it until now. See below for a short intro and click the icons to download the secured PDF versions of the assignments I submitted.

Download PDF of Assignment 1 (23Kb PDF)

Assignment One was supposed to be a research proposal for a topic relating to Internet governance. I chose to do mine on Cyber-Interception Capabilities: Legislation For Today and Beyond

Download PDF of Assignment 2 (56Kb PDF)

Assignment Two was a fleshed out, ‘completed’ version of the research which was proposed in assignment one. This was quite interesting, there was a lot to read about current legislation etc, the main problem being that most of it was legalese and heavily masked what it was really saying, so it was pretty slow reading.

First EBS Assignment

Here’s the assignment that I thought I might have totally messed up — but apparently I didn’t ๐Ÿ™‚

Download PDF of Assignment 1 (47Kb PDF)

Assignment One was to write something like a Project Plan for an e-business migration project, in my case for a share-trading company. I focussed on a company that was going to implement and extend an online service offered by E*Trade Australia to provide its clients with online trading and information services.

NET 26 Assignments

NET26 was a heavy assessment unit, with 4 assessments along the way, and one large final essay to round it all up. The assignments were relatively interesting, but since just about everything we did was for an assignment, it didn’t leave a lot of time for discussing things on the boards, so that part of the class was pretty quiet. Here they are in all their glory ๐Ÿ™‚

Download PDF of Assignment 1 (18Kb PDF)

Assignment One was about using online focus groups as a reasearch method and we had to propose to a ficticious client that we wanted to use this method to conduct some research for them.

Download ZIP file of Assignment 2 (13Kb ZIP)

Assignment Two was to create guidelines for an online survey, but I got a little carried away and created a prototype HTML survey for them as well, using all the usability and accessability ideas I was trying to include.

Download PDF of Assignment 3 (26Kb PDF)

Assignment Three was a simple analysis of web log data (web traffic, not blogs :P). Some people apparently found this quite difficult, but since it’s part of the business, I didn’t have too many problems.

Download PDF of Assignment 4 (20Kb PDF)

Assignment Four had me talking about ethnographic research, which I found quite interesting, especially in an Internet-setting, because it’s sometimes hard to know when you are a part of an online culture, and when you’re just there at the same time as one… if you know what I mean.

Download PDF of Assignment 5 (28Kb PDF)

Assignment Five was the final essay and was really an all-in look at the way that the Internet is affecting research, both in the ways that it’s conducted, and the things available to be researched. We had to focus on the previous 4 topics that we had covered, so it was a bit of a compilation assignment.

The Silence Is Deafening

Well, this unit (EBS11) is proving that online study can indeed be ‘isolated’, ‘lonely’ and ‘non-social’. In the 9 or 10 weeks that this study period has been going on, I think one other student has posted to the discussion list in the ‘online classroom’, and none replied to a group email that I sent out to my classmates.

It’s an interesting change from the other units that I’ve done (offered through Curtin), which have all had a pretty heavy online presence in discussion boards/forums. I think in this case it’s actually a matter of the discussion boards of the LMS that RMIT is using (SERF) being really poorly designed, so people try to avoid using them.

Whatever the reason, I’ll be glad to get back into Curtin units and have a little bit more contact with other people studying the unit with me ๐Ÿ™‚

Settling In At DreamHost

Well, things aren’t going too badly with DreamHost, I’m sorting out all my domains and CGI, databases, PHP etc and things are looking good. When I get across, then I will know things are good ๐Ÿ™‚

UPDATE: Things are looking very good – is transferred properly and appears to have propagated pretty much everywhere, judging by the traffic on my old account. I’ll leave it there for a couple days longer and make sure I’ve migrated everything properly, then close my account at

New Web Host Soon

Well, I think I’ve finally outgrown as my host, so I’ve started the process of setting up my new account with

The reasons that I have decided on DreamHost are along these lines:

  • UNIX Servers (personal requirement)
  • SSH/Shell Access (crucial)
  • .htaccess Editing (crucial)
  • CGI/PHP (crucial)
  • Ability to host multiple domains/subdomains (can only have 1 domain on phpwebhosting)
  • IMAP Mail server – good benefit, since I am switching to web-based mail
  • Good price – for me to host 10 domains there (6 properly + 4 mirroring) is $14.95 per month
  • Good reputation – checked around and only heard good things. The usual criticism of their support, but hopefully I won’t be using it much, so it won’t matter ๐Ÿ™‚
  • FTP – I can add users who will have FTP access to certain areas on my servers, which will be good for sharing some space with friends
  • crontabs – can edit them and set them when I want

So please bear with me over the next few days as things might get a little messy on this site (and related ones) while I am moving things around between this host and my new one.

Trialling webpad Personal Edition 3.0

I am posting this from webpad Personal Edition 3.0, which I am trialling in raw beta mode on my server at the moment (minus blogging functionality until I decide what to do about that).

Development is progressing well, and at this stage, I hope to release at least an official beta within a few weeks, pending more rigorous file and security tests, as well as some browser compatibility tests.

Useful JavaScript Snippet

One of the coolest things in the PHP programming language is its excellent handling of arrays. The same, sadly, cannot be said for JavaScript ๐Ÿ™‚

This small JavaScript function implements one of the cool functions available in PHP, making it easier to store things in an array, and then check to see if they’re in there later.

// Returns true or false based on whether the specified string is found
// in the array. This is based on the PHP function of the same name.
// Written by Beau Lebens
function in_array(stringToSearch, arrayToSearch) {
	for (s = 0; s < arrayToSearch.length; s++) {
		thisEntry = arrayToSearch[s].toString();
		if (thisEntry == stringToSearch) {
			return true;
	return false;

Assignment One… Owned

Well, after worrying that I had done something wrong or perhaps completely missed the point on my first assignment for EBS, I finally got my mark back…

Turns out there was nothing to worry about, and I actually got 91% for it! Now I can get into the second assignment, and hopefully keep it up to that standard.

The first one was about migrating a services-based company (I did it on a share-trading co.) onto the Internet, using E-Business in some way or another. It was specifically not about moving entirely online, just supplementing existing operations with online activity as well.

I’ll post a PDF copy of the assignment in a while, and I also have a bunch of assignments from the end of last study period that I haven’t posted as well.

webpad 3.0 Nearing Completion

Well, call me crazy, but I had some time off work, so I went ahead and worked on webpad Personal Edition 3.0. I got a lot done in the week or so that I was working on it, and it’s nearing a point that I will be happy with, barring one major hurdle: blog operations.

In version 3.0, I’ve decided to attempt to support 3 platforms for blogging, namely:

  1. blosxom (what I use)
  2. Blogger (what I used to use)
  3. MovableType (which I’ve never used)

This isn’t a problem in itself (apart from the complexity it adds to those operations :), but I don’t want to release anything for Blogger which is based on the current Blogger API, because they are planning on implementing the Atom API in the near future, which will be much better than what they’ve got now. In the meantime, blosxom is easy to support (filesystem-based, what could be better?) and I think MovableType is also going to be changing their API structure in the near future (as mentioned here).

I’m leaving all the blog operations until as late as possible in the development cycle for this version of webpad, but basically if the blog vendors don’t sort themselves out, I’ll just release this with blosxom support, and perhaps support for the existing APIs, then extend support and release a patch once Blogger and MT have implemented their new APIs.

This version also has some more advanced features like renaming and deleting files, creating new folders and XHTML compliance on all HTML that gets created directly by webpad. The interface has been updated as well to make it a little slicker, and hopefully load a little quicker (more reliance on CSS). The big news though, is that this version will be compatible with Mozilla browsers as well as IE (still working on some of the HTML tools for Mozilla though…). Coming along, coming along. Get on the mailing list at if you’re not already, because I’ll be sending an email to that list with notification when webpad Personal Edition 3.0 is released.