Last semester exam - time to

Just finished today my last semester exam - it was called "Multimedia Systems" and was a very discipline very hard to describe exactly in which knowledge we'd be tested.


Simply because the teachings were based in a mix of computer history along with multimedia (sound, image, data) techniques that evolved over the years.

Kind of an easy exam for those who work their way around computer since 1998 but I imagine it should bring a strange set of knowledge for those who were never familiar with the nuances and improvements as technology evolved into our current state.

Take graphics for an example.

Under MSDOS we'd be happy to see any images at all - little would mind the quality as CGA with their 4 colors and mind addictive games which rock the world.

Later evolved to EGA with a 16 color scheme, which was a bit expensive where I live and only remember seeing it once or twice in action because very few people could afford this luxury.

VGA was amazing and somehow pulled 256 colors that (finally) allowed to view images - not that it wasn't possible to view images on lower color resolutions but to be honest, I always considered the results a bit ugly to enjoy and harware pieces were getting cheaper and cheaper since 1999.

This was a time of changes because digital images had 256 colors, the internet was getting affordable and there were a bunch of new file formats such as .GIF and .JPG which made possible to fit several huge images inside a single floppy.

It was also around the same time that MP3 allowed to copy several audio CD's onto a single CD-ROM media. It took the whole afternoon to encode an Audio-CD to mp3's on disk and around 40 minutes to burn this full 640Mb worth of data onto the CD media (that was still a bit expensive and therefore couldn't be wasted by leaving any space without being burnt)


Well.. sorry for this return onto the "Jurassic World" but the stuff needed to study for this exam really brought back to surface a lot of good memories of the first time when everything seemed so fascinating to me.

The exam went well - 20 questions with multiple choices which were replied very quickly.


Now there should be enough time to go back onto my favourite hobby and test new boot disks.

Guess some things never change and even with all our progress over these years, this is still were I'm happy in playing and learning something new each day.

-- Nuno Brito