I’m back! My FYP overview

Yes I’ve found time to write. At long last! It’s been an intense few weeks. I can safely say I had no idea that would be as tough as it would be. I’ve time to do things for just me again.

I am of course talking about what every 4th year at my University must take part in. A two semester long, put 3 years of teaching into practice, give it everything you have, all out, Final Year Project. The project we spend from the first semester of first year thinking about, right up to even after we’ve started. It’s a project that defines our worth of ability and where our curiosity¬†has buried it’s face. All is our own work and for the vast majority of us, are ideas we picked from our own weird factory of imagination.

For my FYP, I built a secure Peer to peer money transaction system that used NFC, QR and SMS to make transactions happen. The project consisted of an app and 2 servers written in android and php.

Users could opt to sell and item. They would fill out a form and add an image of the item. The app then sent the encrypted information via HTTPS post where a server saves the item information (only enough to preform a transaction later) and have an SMS code generated and sent back to the user. The the user could display the item and anyone wishing to buy the item. They can then scan the device using NFC, scan an encrypted QR code or, text an SMS code to the server. All of those methods are just ways of connecting buyer and seller and the three will preform the transaction in the same way regardless of method.

The project included an SMS server, QR reading in threads, my own design patterns and lots of scripts and small concept classes to show off. A lot was learned in Android and PHP and as always I just want to take that code out, class by class and break it down here.

It was an amazing push and really took a lot of time and effort. It was a journey and race that made the degree feel earned in one year alone. It taxed in as many places as it could and made project management a delicate thing.

While the year isn’t over, there is time to check in and write a small blog to talk about it. It was bursting with features, some Android, some PHP, both will be talked about in their own posts as there’s quite a lot to most of them. It was a project that made a lot to share with you

There is a great temptation among people starting to learn programming to use the computer far too early….

There is a great temptation among people starting to learn programming to use the computer far too early…. Occasionally this works, but the resultant program is usually very badly constructed and hard to understand. — How to Think Like a Programmer: Problem Solving for the Bewildered [Paul Vickers], opening of chapter 2, A strategy for problem solving

This quote is the grounds of it all. This is formed from the idea that made me want to take the route into computer science that I’m taking, problem solving. I’ve seen many potentially good programmers quit or waste too much time learning things the wrong way. I know it takes a lot of time but doing it right can cut that time down.

 

One of the biggest problems I see is not understanding the problem and how to solve it. This is how my blog will work. Looking at problem solving techniques, how to break a problem down, how to program to prevent problems from being coded into a program and how to understand problems and how to solve them, not just in programming, but in maths, logic and anywhere else lines can be drawn between these subjects

Back to the blog

Seems I just could not keep away.

Hello again world of readers. I’ve decided that I’m going to take up blogging again. Strange time as I’m in the middle of study for exams this week but if any of you have ever had to study and found weird things to distract you, this kind of procrastination should make sense to you.

It’s just that I’ve been doing a lot lately and things have changed so much in the tech and programming world that I just wanted to get back and talk about it.

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When I started with my first blog, infoturtle.ie, it was all java, android, bash, linux and news as filler. Now I’ve come to love python, perl, C++, software architecture, and really just want to share some of the new things I’ve learned with people who are interested in programming too.

The blog will be different this time as I won’t be hosting on my home server myself and it will be much looser about computer science but will always have some tie.

So if you’re intrested in computer science, cryptography, software architecture, software patterns, or all forms of programming, I hope you can stick around!