Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do you have some money for me?

Today we had Introduction to Computer Science. The subject for this lesson was Protocols. The lesson started with some examples of protocols, to make us understand what a protocol is and what its use is. This was demonstrated by an anecdote about the French Court, and by a scene from the "Family Guy".

After we had some idea of what a protocol is, some volunteers had to act in a Technodrama, with which we had to find out the protocol for withdrawing money. A Technodrama is a kind of mini-play in which technology that employs a protocol has a significant role. We start off with a protocol that left a lot to be desired, but by continuously interrupting the play, and offering suggestions for improvement, it became more and more refined. We ended up with a protocol that is more or less "the real thing". After this piece of interactive entertainment, we had to make a timeline on which we had to put every step in the protocol. The final assignment was to create a workflow taxonomy for cash withdrawal, using your timeline as a guidance. You can see my version on my wikipage.

The usage of a Technodrama to understand the protocol of cash withdrawal has really shown to me than if you want to understand how a certain protocol works, it is often more useful to act out the protocol, instead of writing it down on paper, as you will become aware of its problems much more quickly. It was also interesting to see that, with a little help, we were able to construct this protocol without actually knowing what problems can arise when withdrawing cash.

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