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Network Emulators
CNDS site

cnds module comments

comments from the past (2002/2003) 

This course beat all the others hands down...


A very interesting class and very relevant in todays communications driven age.


I found this module very interesting and feel that I have learned a lot, more than I normally do from modules


I do not see the need in changing the module as it is clearly organised in a much better way than the other modules I have taken. In fact, I think that other modules should run in the same way, such as the Q&A section for exams and the online help with MSN etc.


Finally someone who can actually use multmedia and who does not just talk about it like other lecturers


I thought this module was in general well organised and taught. However, I thought it was a bit strange that us multimedia students had to study networking to that level of knowledge. On the whole, it was still a good module to be taught.


honestly this is for me this is how a module should be run. it allows many different way to study the mdule with the best web support i have ever seen. the multimedia is way better than on our multimeda modules


The module was a challenge to study every week to perform knowledge. But sometimes I found it hard, the teaching pack should explain in detail the most interesting points. In general the module was very enjoyable and very good structure


It would have been good to know, what questions we got wroung on the Exams, so we know what problems we were having I feel this module had a lack in feedback on exams. Fair and stricly covered LA's and topics.


I was expecting it to also have a bit of a practical side to it...but quite good and interesting overall.


Overall very organised and taught module, though volume of e-mails causes a problem.


Enjoyed the course.... was a lot to learn yet the pressure never seem on (well it was but never that much)


This has been one of the most challenging modules yet, but because it was consistently interesting and relevant to the course i have really enjoyed it.


The module was a bit technical for me


The help and support Dr.Buchanan offered really was outstanding and his passion for the subject unrivaled. All of the material on his web site was most informative and pertinent, the tests were very, very good and truly served to lodge quite complex concepts well and truly in my mind.


i would like more hands on stuff like configuriing routers or setting up a small network with about 4 computers


Dr Buchanan is a credit to the univeristy. Why aren't other lecturers following his online repository & teaching method? I enjoyed the module immensely, the content was vast, I had to work hard to get the benefit. Id do it again in an instant.


the best teacher we ever had in network computing....


Bill was always approachable and you could ask him questions on virtually any subject and he would try to give you an answer. The use of MSN was amazing and help to clear up any questions that we had.


Bill's website was always up to date and very helpful in helping you to prepare for an upcoming exam, definetly well above the standards of other websites in other modules, other websites seemed to be there because they had to be as a pre-requisite of the module but were never updated and never held any useful information at all. This was not the case with the CNDS site.


Very interesting topic for hardware engineers. We have to deal more and more with networking and software in the systems we design, so it was good to understand the basic principles behind CNDS.


Best module Ive studied at napier so far. The online web page was absolutely superb, not had any other module where it was that well organised. Its good to see a lecturer which actually takes an interest in what he is talking about and has such a good knowledge of it. The availability of the help with using messenger for quick questions is brilliant. And then posting the questions on the web page truly helps to think more about the work. If only half the modules were as well done as this one, it would be far better.


high quality of teaching, just one thing, thank you. Espacialy, the project, search by myself new information was very interesting more then write exam. The subject was also very well chose, the Wireless is so the next step of networks


While most WWW site have icons and the notes this one actually allowed me to study better.


Definitely, the best network teaching we have ever received.


Bill, I couldn't study too much last months, because I've been ill for a couple of months this semester. I've passed all modules but I've got a fair marks. In any case, I've enjoy your module so much. Things have been change on my head: Networks and Distributed Systems will be part of my professional life in the future. Thanks for everything and go on supporting new ways of doing things online.


Thanks Bill - a thoughraly enjoyable module - keep it up!


Well done Bill, I can't say I've been in a more interesting, well organised module than CNDS (at this university).


Bill, I was massively impressed with the organisation, communication and resources availability that byou have incorporated into this module. It really helped the learning experience and allowed us to concentrate on the right areas rather than worry where to get information and study the wrong things. Thank You.


It's an area that i'm very interested in, so that may bias my opinion a little bit, but most probably the best and most relevant module i've done in the past 3 years!


Bill was regularly available for questioning on msn messenger which is a far more instant medium than email.


The CNDS module was perhaps the most enjoyable of the entire MM course. Certainly the best organised.


If every module was as well organised and supported as CNDS, learning would be far easier.


thanks to be a teacher, schools need more people interested by what they teach


As this was not particularly in my line of interest it was essential to have a dedicated lecturer to enthuse on the subject. I felt that all the time spent creating online quizzes, WAP access, email updates and MSN Q&A made all the difference to my understanding of the module!


Undoubtedly an excellent module, especially for those pursuing networking degrees, from the software engineering perspective I found it difficult, although appreciating the relevance and value of networking, to get as involved in the module as I would have liked. This may have been in part as a consequence of, apart from time constraints, having a prdetermined view that I only wanted to have a cursory knowledge or overview of networking and did not particularly appreciate having to explore deeper. As time went by however I began to appreciate that this was a somewhat jaundice and shortsighted view, as the module progressed I beagn to wish I had put more effort into it than I had, although learning much, I could have learned much more as every oportunity was extended to do so. That said, all credit to the module, even though for much of the time I was reluctant to apply myself, I find that I have still learned much and have broadened my perspective. Keep up the good work!


i would prefered if the assignment no 3 was 2 be handed in before xmas. i know that i could have done this bit i knew i could have time after xmas to do it. but i have really enjoyed this module the most this semester


The best module I had in semester one.


My only comment is that there was too much information to really learn anything at a level where you had a complete understanding of the topic, there were always sections that you had to miss out and hope they didn't come up in a test. If this was the only subject that had to be studied it would have been okay, but as we all have another 3 sometimes the amount of learning seemed a bit excessive. But overall this was a fantastic module but also the first module I didn't receive a merit for my tests due to the volume of data and the timescales.


was a pleasure to do the module, really enjoyed the sleepless nights before deadlines - honest!


The fact that initially we were told that we won't have a course work and then a few weeks towards the end, we were suddenly told that we'd have it, put us under tremendious pressure.I would suggest that it would be good for student to know from the on set that they will or will not have a coursework or even tests for that matter.


As you've probably guessed by now, i only wish Bill could teach all of our modules as i couldn't fault him as a lecturer. He made learning fun, worthwhile and thus made it easier to learn the topics covered.


I enjoyed this module and found it to be very interesting. I also felt that the lectures were made more interesting and fun compared with some other modules. I also liked the way that we were assessed. However please see my comments above on the last assessment. -I would have preffered another test!


bill is the best lecturer in the uni, most interesting, best support, highest knowledge level


I found CNDS to be a very interesting module with excellent lectures and support provided. Possibly the most enjoyable module I have studied at Napier so far.


If every module I studied here at Napier was this interesting, well structured, managed and delivered, it would make getting my degree a pleasure.


I fet there was excellent support from Bill.He is the only Lecturer that keeps you updated through e-mail.I felt very secure Knowing that I could communicate with Bill through his website.His website is excellent. The only comment I would make is that it took a while to realise all resources were there for tests. The exams were a bit shocking! and not particularly well spread in terms of content .I don't Know if MMT students are ready to have trick multiple choice answers having little Knowledge of the subject compared to Network students.It certainly threw me! I was more at the stage of of identifying if something was right or wrong. I felt I needed to go back and get some real basic information on networks in order to understand the more complex stuff. Overall I thought the module would be excellent for other students other than MMT students, as it is too advanced for MMT. I would have expected to go into this much depth with web design instead.


Overall i enjoyed the the content, layout and way in which the course was taught. However, i would like to have seen more in the way of practical work with the opportunity to see and work with some pieces of network hardware, possible in tutorials


Other lecturers should observe this module and learn a few things. In the lectures the concepts were placed in an interesting way and there was always practical demonstrations including one with a live Wap phone which dialed up on the main screen to show how mobile networks worked.


There were many students on the module but you never felt that you couldnt ask a question from the lecturer. The MSN address is always there to ask a question at most times of the day.


the module was very difficult for me. I find network computing confusing at times. the class was intense but necessary. lectures were interesting and sometimes fun. the addition of some humour made the lesson go in a lot quicker as well as giving a slight wake up call when things turned a little mundane. there was help when I needed it pitched at my level and when I required an actual example, it was given to me. Therefore everything was covered that needed to be.


Help provided was an inspiration compared to some of the modules on our course.


So far it is the best module has ever been in. The continuous assessment is the good thing. At the end of the semester I bet that most of us will remember what was tough which is definitly not the case for the other modules. However try to change less the way students will be assess because most of us do not understand why we went from online tests to report. Finally, Bill Buchannan is very enthousiatic and is always there for us. This is the strongest point of the module ! Best of luck.


A well structured and interesting module to learn. All the exam details etc were well published on the web page and there were plenty of revision materials available.


An very well structured and interesting module, although I am not sure of the direct relevance of it to Multimedia. I am glad to have taken it though as I have learned a great deal and enjoyed the material.


Tests were too hard strugled to get more than 40% and made alot of silly mistakes in the written sections of both tests.


Good rounded module, one of the better ones I studied.


felt the module covered the networking aspects too deeply for a Multi Media course


At the start of the semester I did not think that I would do well in this module as it is not in my area of interest. Bill managed to make the information interesting and understandable and in doing so gave me the opportunity to gain interest and knowledge in this subject.


First class. Years ahead of the rest.


I would say that if it wasn't for the fact the Mr Buchanan is an excellent lecturer, i would of found this module alot harder. The help i recieved was outstanding and the response time of e.mails made all the difference.


Really interesting well supported module... Because of this I and many other student have developed a great respect for him as a teacher.


Personally I think that if all modules were organised as well as this, and as much support given for all modules then, I think I would have no problem getting an honours degree. The support from Bill and his team was exceptional.


This module is the best module I have ever took part in at Napier University. Thankfully, one lecturer is very organised!


Just near of the perfection... I'm french and in my university I never see so many elements to help students to success

Comments from 2001/2002:

The quality and presentation of this module far outshone any of the modules I have had to date at Napier.


The response was very fast. This is what should happen with each module but sadly it does not.


I have enjoyed this module immensly and am glad i have taken it. I would perfer that feed-back had been given earlier in the coursework. For example: The coursework should perhaps be split into two sections and marked individualty even if the introduction and theroy sections were marked first and the remainder of the project completed later.


think the only improvement i could think off would be to put some of theory into practice - i.e spend a couple of tutorials showing how a real network physically connects, how the router and switches and pc's connect ? Apart from that couldn't have asked for a better - well planned course


Although I haven't received a response concerning an email I sent after the marks were posted (I appreciate this is probably because the lectures is extremely busy), the marks were put up really early unlike any other subject, this was really good as it helped give us an idea of how things went .


With this module and NOS module i would say they are the best i've done so far. You do really use IT technologies such as the web and email aid teaching, thanks.


The course is the best of all I ever had at napier university!!!


Dr Bill Buchanan is great credit to the teaching staff at Napier !!


The thing that set this module above all others (save perhaps NOS) was the information and communication provided through email and the web site. It's a great pity that not all modules are run this efficiently.


Well done all involved with CNDS, thanks to Bill for the constant updates via E-mail.


I think you are a very good teacher who listen an help the students.


The other modules give hardly no feedback and no email at all and less information about what they want us to do


best for email updates and online support also the online tests give good indication of what style and type of subjects were likely to be in the real exam


Loved the lecture style, very interseting . kept me thinkin all the way through the lectures. and i did actually learn some things about networking. (which is good)


I have really enjoyed this module and feel I have learned a great deal. The online feedback & support was excellent


The general organisation, presentation, on-line and off-line information available etc was unmeasurably superior to any other module studied at Napier.


would have liked more revision and help withstudy skills.


the best at giving! feedback in a quick and helpful manner


Please inform other departments that e-mail and www help is the future, and that it is particularly useful for part-time students


Easily the most interesting and well taught core module.


This was a demanding module for me (brain damage in some places). However it was really interesting. The website is a fantastic teaching and communication tool. Its evident that top effort is applied to maintaining it, and the module in general. My only comment is that I would have liked to have the lectures posted sooner. The online test is a good idea too. And, for the latest date coursework hand-in and late exam, yours is the only one where we know our complete mark.


I found Bill to be an inspiration, his passion/knowledge of the subject was always apparent, which helps in encouraging the pupils. He is in a different league. Looking forward to our next module.


Very well organised and supported.


Very well organised module, which I enjoyed a lot.


The only problem i had with the exam was there was no emphasis put on learning the languages. The amount of questions on IP addressing was a bit much. I didn't fully understand IP submasking, i tried to pick it up through various books, obviously too thick. Some practical experience with routers and bridges would have been beneficial. Other than that the two lecturers where outstanding. Thank You


I found it difficult to get my head around since I had never done any networking at all before; I didn't feel that the module, although I enjoyed it, was neccessary in my programme.


The support & resources such as the wbesite provided by Bill were excellent and invaluable in helping to complete the module. The support provided is well above and unlike any other module.


I really enjoyed this module, I think it was my favorite. It's very interesting, well presented and not difficult


Great ! I want more lectures for semester 2, is it possible ?


VERY well organised. Speed of feedback and frequency of updates gives good feeling that we know what was going on. This is the only module I have encountered with so high a level of support


Very good module. Some hands on with routers etc would have benefited us software punters.


Very interesting, well planned and executed module. Anyone who fails it simply hasn't kept their side of the bargain and done the study. I believe that Bill Buchanan has worked very hard to provide an excellent service. Some of the marks will tell him what a good job he has done.


It is in general a very good module with a very great investment from the staff (thanx), the only drawbacks are the changes made to the information for the courseworks...


The on line support was very helpfull, I appreciated the work that has gone into this. For me it has helped turn a very good course into an excellent one. I appreciate Bill's commitment to the subject and the course.


One of the best modules, due mainly to the enthusiam of Bill and his willingness to help. Even if the exam was slightly "unfair".


Thank you for all your support


Never had marks back so quick!


Module was a great insight to how the world of computing works, and has provided me with some interesting ideas about what I want to do with my life and career.


You kept us amused Bill, which I think bettered the learning process :)


I did'nt realise the relevance of CNDS being included in the 1st semester but now I do. It's unlikely that I'll pursue networking as a career path, but it definitly introduced me to the bigger picture.


I think sending out information via email is great. I also thought that fact that we could specify an email address was excellent.


Bill showed great enthusiasm for his subject


website is amazing! was really a great help - couldnt of asked for more here.


The diversity of coursework 2 was excellent for the range of different programmes


I thought the module was a well taught and thought out. And the feedback recieved was excellent compared to other module's I have sat, or am sitting. Just a shame other lectures dont put as much effort into their module's


An extremely well run and well organised module, the use of e-mail and WWW support was invaluable for myself as I am studying part-time along with working a full-time job so the use of e-mail support was the biggest help. More modules should be run in a similar manner to this module.


The overall of delivery for this module was above excellent in my view. I have been in higher education now for almost 10 years (!) now and I have never received such a level of commitment and professionalism from any other modular staff to date. Why?

1. Delivery of lectures - ability to not only to convey/teach the relevant complex information, but to do it in such a way that that kept me keen to listen and concentrate during the trickiest of subject matter. This was also probably due the fact that the lecturers actually seemed like they enjoyed teaching the subject!

2. E-mail support - continual updates, ensured that we all knew the location and times of lectures, the work we should already know and the work that was to follow. Other lectures this year did not supply this essential information, resulting in many classes and lectures being missed due to room relocation. Not only receiving updates, but receiving clarification on queries was highly fast and efficient - I myself submitted a number of queries's, sometimes at 10pm in the evening, to get a response within 5mins on one occasion!

3. Exam support - This was also excellent, with online tests, online notes and teaching packs where needed. Useful links and tools also added to an overall excellent modular homepage. We were continually kept up to date with what we needed to know with information on when and where our exams were the second the information was available. I could go on, but I think you get the gist! To be honest, I cannot fault the overall delivery at all! Thank you for your hard work, it was noticed. NOTE: - The following comments can be attributed to the Network Operating System module as well.


Enjoyed the module very much- thanks!


congratulations on a well delivered module it has been the best i've done in three years


its a great module with good lecturers. Been able to get in contact with Bill via Msn messenger was the most interesting thing about the module cos of class we still had lectures going.