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2009-07-01 Information processes (audio, image) + miscellany

posted Jul 1, 2009, 1:36 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 16, 2009, 11:49 PM by Eddie Woo ]
At around 7:45 AM this morning, I went to the maths staffroom to see Mr. Woo. He confirmed that it is fine to update old project register posts, as long as there is not a substantial increase of content. We also discussed the amount of detail that is expected on project register entries; I have been informed that the questions from Fuel for Project Registers were not essay questions.

Mr. Woo also gave me permission to take photographs of the second floor of the Cameron block, and arranged for me to interview Mr. Woodhouse at lunch. In preparation for this, he lent me an audio recorder (MP3 player):

Collecting image data

I subsequently took photographs of the Cameron block, from both the inside and the outside, using a digital camera mounted on a tripod in portrait mode. The purpose of this setup was to take many photographs from the same elevation, in order to use said photographs later in producing a "stitched" panoramic photograph.

Taking photographs is an example of collecting data. Light waves hit a sensor (in this case, a 9-megapixel CCD) which contains an matrix of millions of light-sensitive cells, each of which makes a measurement of the frequency and intensity of the light that is hitting it. This data was organised as a bitmap, and in this case, immediately processed by JPEG compression to produce a JPEG image approximately 4 megabytes in size.

Interview with Mr. Woodhouse

Finally, I went to the library to check what questions I planned to ask Mr. Woodhouse. I also devised a few extra questions to ask him (using somewhat messy handwriting):

During recess, I met Mr. Woodhouse outside the maths staffroom. After some quick introductions and liasing with Mr. Woo, I asked Mr. Woodhouse the following questions:
  • How long have you been teaching at Ruse?
  • What do you think of the school?
  • Why do you think Maths is an important subject for students to learn?
  • I've heard something about units, in that you can do 2 units, 3 units, or 4 units - could you please explain how we can distinguish between these units?
  • What kind of students would you recommend 4U maths to?
  • A lot of juniors have heard something about an enrichment program. What is this program? "
  • How would a junior student enter this enrichment program?
All of these questions were planned, either on yesterday's register post or in the library this morning. The preparation of questions was recommended by the HSC IPT textbook (Ware, Cheleski & Chivers, 2001. Information Processes and Technology: HSC Course, pg 5) The textbook further recommended that the purpose of an interview should always be explained to the interviewee, that the interviewee should be put at ease, and that active listening is to be used.

These additional recommendations were taken into account during the interview with Mr. Woodhouse, who had the purpose of the interview explained to him by Mr. Woo, was put at ease through a conversational tone used on my part during the interview, and whom I actively listened to (by paraphasing his words to indicate that he was being understood).

Audio recording of the interview

The entire interview was recorded using the audio recorder that is pictured far above. The device has an internal microphone, which is capable of recording a waveform.

As the interview was being recorded, the process of collecting was taking place in the device, which is a complete information system in itself. Sound waves were hitting the internal microphone, which sampled - many times a second - the frequency and intensity of the sound waves that were hitting it. This data was organised, by piecing the many samples together to create a waveform - a digital "map" of the final audio recording. However, this data was immediately processed through compression, creating a WMA (Windows Media Audio) file with a bit resolution of 16-bit:

The aforementioned audio recorder device identified itself as an iriver E100, a portable media player that uses Flash memory for storage. Storing and retrieving took place when the waveform was being compressed - the waveform data was most likely in a buffer in the device's central processing unit. Storing also took place as the WMA file was created on the device's filesystem.

Of course, the recording is of highly limited use if it remains on the device - it must be transmitted, via a USB connection, to another system - the laptop computer which I am currently using to type this register entry. Upon receiving the audio file, the laptop computer stores it on its own filesystem.

I then decided to review the file in order to determine its value, so I opened it in media playback software, which displayed the audio through a set of speakers. Furthermore, in order to identify the type of compression used, I used the media playback software to analyse its various properties, such as codec, channels, sample rate, and bit resolution.


As a result of successfully acquiring an audio recording of this interview, I will no longer be interviewing the senior students due to time restraints. I believe that this is reasonable as I had clearly stated in my entry from 2009-06-29 that it would be either an interview with seniors or, alternatively, an interview with a teacher.

Due to the short duration of recess, I was unable to film today. I will probably be unable to film tomorrow recess (as I have double PE immediately afterwards, which involves the peer teaching assessment that needs to be prepared for beforehand); however, I plan to avoid changing back to normal school uniform after this double-period of PE in order to allocate enough time to complete the filming component of my multimedia project.

While writing this major project register post on my laptop computer, I have been using my desktop computer to stitch together multiple photographs to create "panoramic" images. I will describe this in greater detail when the process is complete.
Eddie Woo,
Jul 1, 2009, 2:49 AM