Odds and Ends

I don’t have a single idea to talk about today, but instead have a series of points…..well, more like random thoughts.

  • I am still amazed that IUP was selected by Forbes Magazine as one of the 25 most wired campuses in 2003. I certainly don’t mean to belittle IUP’s efforts in this arena, and the computer guys on campus are constantly working hard to improve computing technologies across the campus, but 1 of the top 25? On days like today, when it was one technological problem after another, it certainly seems hard to believe. For example, a colleague was trying to hook his laptop to an instructor workstation to show his "Intro to History" class some software (and the reason he was using his laptop is that we can’t get permissions set right on the workstation to install software) and we couldn’t get it to recognize his laptop. He then moved to another classroom, but that classroom’s workstation was missing the laptop connector. It was only when he moved to the 3rd classroom that he had success.
  • While my Digital History class was practicing with FrontPage today, I installed FireFox and Second Life on the History Lab computers that weren’t being used. I then tried to use SL to see if it worked, and it did…….for about 4 minutes and then the video driver died in a horrible fashion and locked the computer up. Looks like we will need to order some new video cards for 7 of the 8 machines, provided we can find the money.
  • IUP is in the process of switching its old website to a new, improved website. I have to admit that the new color scheme makes more sense, since it now matches the school colors, but other than that I am underwhelmed by the website and the process. They did not improve the website’s navigation and we have to use a content management system to create the webpages. I am responsible for the history department’s and the University Senate webpages and have experimented with the new CMS system and am not happy at all.  It is going to take a lot of time and effort to recreate many of the webpages. When I met with the computer staff in charge of the process I asked about using javascripts and feeds on our pages, and they said that javascript was too dangerous and that nobody used feeds.
  • PKAP is holding another planning meeting in SL tomorrow. I need to try to talk Bill and David into using SL’s voice capabilities to see how well that works. It is weird, but I am not as worried about this fieldseason as I am usually am. Maybe it will hit me later, or maybe it isn’t my turn – Bill and I usually take turns freaking out over the season.


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