Application of Number and ICT Project

  • My Project

The topic I chose for my project was ‘Is it worth upgrading my hardware to play online computer games?

I chose this topic as I play online computer games regularly and it is a subject that I enjoy.

To create my project I used various pieces of software. I used Microsoft Word 2010 to display the information. I used HeavyLoad to test the virtual machines I had created. I used Windows Performance Monitor to make graphs and visually appealing data on the abilities of the virtual computers.

Within the software I used various features. I used the Text Formatting tools within Microsoft Word, such as changing the font used, making font italic (CTRL + I), underlined (CTRL + U), and bold (CTRL + B). I also inserted some of the images using the copy and paste functions (CTRL + C) (CTRL + V). Additionally, I used the ‘Test’ feature of HeavyLoad in order to begin creating a real-time graph of the virtual machine’s performance.

  • Research

I used some of the information in my project from internet websites. I used the website http://www.runescape.com, http://www.wikipedia.com and http://www.google.com (as a search engine).

The website http://www.runescape.com was a good website to use as it is the official website of the game that was used to test the virtual machines in my project. It stores lots of totally reliable information as it is the only official website for Runescape. Furthermore, http://www.wikipedia.com has a page specifically for Runescape and I used some information from the articles collected on this page. I should mention that it is relatively easy to create and edit Wikipedia pages, and should be noted that because of this information on Wikipedia may not be one hundred percent reliable, but from playing the game and checking other external sources, the information used in my project holds true.

When browsing webpages for content for my project, I regularly used the Find tool included in my web browser of choice – Google Chrome. This tool essentially searches the webpage being viewed for any words you input into the tool. This function greatly aided me during research periods.

The only images used in my project were screenshots of the game that I had taken myself using the Snipping Tool program included in Windows. Therefore, I did not need to worry about copyright issues, as the game’s publisher Jagex promote taking screenshots of the game and have even included a feature into the game for doing so. All text used was mostly my own with small snippets from websites that allow users to display their information elsewhere.

  • Review

When using technical resources and equipment during the project I believe that the majority of periods went well. I faced some minor problems that I resolved, such as Runescape not loading due to requiring a more recent version of Adobe Flash that was then installed. I recorded helpful online resources using the Google Chrome extension named Diigo, which is especially useful for portraying collected information by using the feature to tag saved content for easy viewing and organising – this went very well. Also, including images (screenshots) into my project went well due to the fact that I had saved them all in order (and named them correctly) in a specific folder. This allowed me to insert the images with ease instead of opening them all and scrawling through them hoping to include the correct one. Something that did not go so well during my project was the Windows Performance Monitor data collection, as I created the graphs and starting documenting the information from the wrong data collection sets. I then had to go back, record the information all over again under the same test conditions and re-write everything regarding this section of the project. Next time I would ensure that I date my data collections and name them appropriately, rather than purely numeric names.

I made many corrections and improvements between my draft project and my final project. For example, my draft project did not contain such appealing text formatting, and the headings were not very clear. I inserted more information from websites, and used more screenshots with more in-depth and precise conclusions on the data I had collected. I also made some images larger so that they could be read easier. I adjusted some minor spelling mistakes that I had not noticed in my draft project too.

I made these changes because they made my project more professional and easier to view. It is now much easier to see where a certain section of my project begins and ends, rather than a mass of words. Also, making these changes made the project more appealing for a wide audience, so that anybody could read it, which was one of the original goals of the project.

If I had more time I would further improve my project by testing another online game that used more computer resources, and put the computer under more strain, for example the online game ‘World of Warcraft’. Runescape is a great online game but is a very small download and does not put a computer under a great deal of stress, whereas World of Warcraft is a nearly 30 gigabyte download and uses far more resources than Runescape does. I believe doing this would again more a more accurate answer to the original project name, rather than testing only one game with other software too.

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