Cool Engineering

Info on some cool engineering projects

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Team ROV!

The last two months have seen me very busy writing lectures, assignments, laboratories and tutorials for a new second year subject in Microprocessors and Digital Design (ELE2MDD). As a result work on the ROV has been slow of late.
One really positive development is that three students have now signed on to complete the project as their final year engineering project. Our first meeting on Wednesday was an excellent brainstorming session with the guys coming up with some super ideas. I'm looking forward to some excellent results and the guys creating a super ROV project that will be the project of the year!

Naughty little firewalls

As someone with a computer/engineering background I often get requests to fix computers and questions on how to fix them (I actually got one from a dental nurse yesterday just before the dentist went to work).
The last two house calls that I have done in the last week had similar symptoms and the same root cause. Internet access was either not-existent or program dependent. I have come to suspect 3rd party anti-virus and firewall software when these sorts of problems occur - if only I relied on my first instincts every time.
The first job I quickly uninstalled the anti-virus and firewall package. I then installed AVG Free Anti-virus and enabled the Windows firewall. Problem fixed completely and all over in under half an hour.
The second job had about 5 different things going wrong including wireless printers and messages popping up left, right and centre. Though the anti-virus and firewall software was different, it was still the root cause - sneakily blocking all internet access and locking out the computer from accessing the wireless printer. So once again the solution was the same, but I'd only came to this realisation after about 3.5 hours and two visits.