Assistance with an Open University Project

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longhaireddavid
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 4:47 pm
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
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Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by longhaireddavid » Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:16 pm

Hi there.
I am currently completing the last couple of course for my OU Hons degree in Computing. The main one of these is the TM470 Computing and IT Project. For this, I have to develop a project that incorporates much of what I have learned at the OU.

Background: I am 72 years of age and started my OU course in 1974 but dropped out in 1982 as a hectic job in the City, four kids and a dog all got in the way. Since 1985 I have worked as a programmer both for myself and others so I have many years coding and project management under my belt.

In 1956 I was given a Triang Transcontinental train set for Christmas and since then I have been a dedicated model railroader.

My project for the OU is entitled "Freight Car Routing for US Outline Model Railroads".

The intention is to develop a specification, detailed analysis and working prototype for a system that would be:
* Internet based
* multi-user
* operated by a tablet/phone
* data stored "in the cloud"

The software will deliver (after configuration for your specific railroad) the next train to run and its composition, taking into account a large number of parameters to decide on individual car routing (and on-line collection at stations en route).

I have a long experience of running my own model railroad and a good knowledge of how freight cars are routed and the decisions required but my course requires that I have some outside "clients" that can comment and advise. I have to say that this is set up for younger people to obtain more experienced mentors but I am what I am - smile.

If you feel that you could be interested in the project please let me know and I will give you a more detailed description.

It will not become a commercial product as I am too old to get into that game so there is not bait and switch in this at all.

I need two or three kind people to give me just a few hours reading over the next few months - the project has to be completed by late September.

I hope to hear from you.

David
Main man on the Sunset and North Eastern R.R.

deanobeano
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by deanobeano » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:32 pm

Hi David,

Just read your post and also noted your based in Ipswich?

For my sins I'm just down the road in Felixstowe and having just retired and only now setting off on a long awaited model building career I'd certainly be interested in helping out if at all possible in your quest.

I'm contactable on deanobeano57@gmail.com if that helps.

Kind regards

Dean
Dean Halls

longhaireddavid
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Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
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Re: Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by longhaireddavid » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:51 pm

Thanks Dean. I will be in touch shortly. I will send you my initial outline so you know where this is going.

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brianc
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm
Location: Bedford, UK

Re: Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by brianc » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:25 pm

Hello David

We at A5 Railroaders are just starting to set up our Operations system and would be interested in using your system in "real life".

We are based in Northampton so not too far away maybe.

You can contact me direct on freyweslian@sky.com if necessary.

Brian Clark
Bedford
UK

PeterLJ
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by PeterLJ » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:23 pm

Hi

I was wondering what tools you will use to model and analyse the existing system, perhaps ULM?

Peter

longhaireddavid
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Location: Ipswich, Suffolk
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Re: Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by longhaireddavid » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:11 pm

Do you mean UML? Partially. However, I use an iteration process with a working prototype at every step. I also test at every step so the prototype always runs as expected. There will be three iterations of the system building up to the final 10,000 report. The module does not require that the system even exists in that I only get marked on the written report and not the software. In fact, the markers would probably not have access to my development environment seeing that it is Smalltalk based (You may need to look up Smalltalk as a programming language as it is a bit geeky).

PeterLJ
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Re: Assistance with an Open University Project

Post by PeterLJ » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:10 pm

Hi

Actually I have never formally used UML, but I have been instructed in and used SSADM (Sadism!) Nor actually have I ever used Smalltalk but assume it is just another language. I think however UML was "invented" to help visualise and develop object orientated programs.

However reading your letter again you are not looking for a co conspirator but for someone who can play the part of a client. (I am not sure if the client is ment to be a real railroad employee or a model railroader). If he is a model railroader I have a little experience of model railroad operations. (Well spent last weekend helping dispatch at Southern Freemo, have my Chief Dispatcher (http://www.nmra.org/dispatcher and have experience of car forwarding using various methods).

I am also retired so have time to help out if required.

Peter

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