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Archive for February, 2015

Scott Cowie

BSc (Hons) Computer Forensics

Lecture on Finger Prints!

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Hello so today we had an amazing lecture with Ian Gillard ( apologies if I’ve spelled that wrong) who came in to talk to us about finger prints and their use in fighting against crime and solving them! It was great with practical demo’s and some good points. Here’s how it ran:

Little bit of history…What came before finger prints hmm? Well it was Anthropometry it is a simple reliable method for quantifying body size and proportions by measuring body length, width, circumference, and skinfold thickness. They used this method to determine if you had been imprisoned before by checking measurements. As you can imagine this worked out great for the criminals who had grown or changed since they were last in, so it was too unreliable.

Then along came Sir Francis Galton who showed that fingerprints have what he calls Galton Details which are little characteristics that you can see in your finger prints such as areas where they fork or little spurs. In court they require 16 matching details on one finger to allow it as concrete evidence… But why fingerprints?

It is a scientific technique that is accepted world wide and they are the most reliable and verifiable piece of evidence you can get.. and why? Because from starting in the womb as one of the first things you develop on your fingers till even after you die, your finger prints will never change. They may get damaged, cut lost(oops) but they never change making them scientifically sound!

So we had some practical demonstration even looked at our own finger prints very interesting and with finger print scanners becoming more popular its definitely worth thinking about but anyway here is some pictures I took the last one is interesting… which do you have? Let me know and I’ll tell you if you have the rarest ones ;p



I’d also like to inform/remind you all that coming up on February 27th there is going to be a Student Jobs and Volunteering Fair run by the Careers and Employability Service who are hosting this great event where you can meet local employers recruiting for paid, part-time and voluntary work. Its always good to add this kind of thing to your CV trust me it definitely helps whether you need a bit of pocket money or that little bit of working experience to add to your CV its greatly beneficial… Here are the links!



How to Improve your Presentation Skills (Hints and Tips)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

This little video is a little helpful guide on how to create a successful presentation hopefully adaptable across all courses not just my own.

Essentially all of the skills here I use everytime I do a presentation at University, the first time I had a presentation to do was for Computer Forensics and it went OK but the idea was terrible behind it. When I was at Northumbria studying Law it was a big part of their course too, it is an essential skill that employers are always looking for… essentially everything I said in that approximately 6 minute video was all just a couple of bullet points you may or may not have noticed me briefly looking away to see what my next point was. I’m also meeting up with my Professional Mentor tomorrow I had almost forgot about it till he messaged me, hopefully get some advice on my sales pitch from someone who does this kind of thing for a living ^.^

Here is a picture of my bulleted points to see what I mean, remember it is an aid to memory not a novel!


Object Orientated Porgramming – #ItBlewMyMind + Chinese New Year Video

Sunday, February 8th, 2015


Chinese New Year is Thursday, February 19 this year and to celebrate it with the students University of Sunderland asked us to create a video saying Happy New Year, although I’m not sure if its right or not I did it anyway as its fun to learn a new language! Here is my video:



Another video I was asked to do was a short 30 second or so video on something I learned, did or whatever at University of Sunderland so I decided to do it on Object Orientated Programming which I learn as part of my 2nd Year course of Computer Forensics.

It is amazing stuff essentially it allows a program to use different classes and do multiple things with them from potentially one line of code. Its hard to explain without trying it for yourself but here’s a running scenario based on using inheritance which is where a class can inherit from its super class and also using Polymorphism which is amazing too and an essential part of OOP.

Imagine a shop sells magazines and books so you make a class for both and a class that handles the selling we’ll call that the till class. Each item class (book and magazine) has an interface function to sell which means each one needs to have that function incorporated into it so each can be sold. Then all you have to do is have a function in the till that calls for that class to sell it. So essentially you tell the till to sell something the till tells the book or magazine to sell one. Ingenious isn’t it? But wait it gets better, it is also possible to store all of these in a combined list as they would all carry the sellableItem interface. This means that any other class using this interface can be treat the same way. So if they started selling stamps as long as it used the same interface it would be able to be added to the program with little to no changes. Shimples!

If you want to learn more then you should read Simon Kendal’s( An awesome lecturer) OOP book which is free to download and its a good read for those who want to know more HERE is the link! It’s a safe download even if it seems odd give it a try!

Data Acquisition and Hard Drive Removal

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Removing a Hard Drive 

So last Thursday we were asked to bring in some old hard drives for our hard drive acquisition in computer forensics so here’s a little tutorial for you.


Data Acquisition

This was the fun part we’d been waiting for in our classes we have been using disk images etc that have been given to us but never actually retrieved anything ourselves yet. The first thing we needed was a tutorial on making sure we did it the right way but we had to use a special device, Tableau was what we used although they seemed a little old:


It was a fun exercises as we could see how we could use the skills given to retrieve information from hard drives and USB’s but add this to the fact we know how to search Windows Registry and through Disk Spaces etc and now we can see how it all pulls together.


Finally if anyone has Destiny for the Xbox360 feel free to add me me and a friend plan to play it Tuesday and Wednesday night most likely after 10pm if you wanna join in, we started fresh on it so we are only level 8 or so but if you wanna play then drop me a line ^.^


  • Name: Scott Cowie
  • Age: 25
  • Studying: Computer Forensics BSc (Hons)
  • Hometown: Birtley, UK
  • Ambitions: I want to go far in the Computer Forensics Industry and help create a world with a safe computer environment for everyone.

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