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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Thursday 6 May 2004 (Day View)

06.05.2004Thursday 6 May – Group Meeting

I had to get up shortly after six o’clock. This was not good having gone to bed shortly after three o’clock. In fact, it was not good at all. It was also cold. I then had to sit through an hour of “Relational Database Systems”, which was not good either. As if all this wasn’t enough, I then had to attend a group meeting for my “Relational Database Systems” assignment for three hours. I managed to miss the first part by wandering around the labs, configuring my email and then trying to find printers that worked. The first one wouldn’t work at all. The second one fell apart – literally. I had to press on its special spots before it would go, and then it spat out unreadable grey paper. The third one worked nicely, but by the time I got back to the meeting, they’d changed the page I’d printed out so much it was no longer relevant. I then drew a page of circles and lines while they drew several pages of circles and lines. My group work mentality is not very good – I do the same thing the rest of the group is doing, but on my own, better and faster.
  This assignment looked like drawing out forever. We hacked together a very rough and almost certainly wrong draft entity relationship diagram, and they were planning to meet again next week to discuss the next stage – which would have ended up being redrawing the entity relationship diagram, which would have meant we’d have to meet again next day to redraw it again... Seeing as I do actually want to get some marks for this, I offered to go home and do it myself, email them the result, and this way next meeting we can have hardcopy to actually work with. Even if I put together some very dubious diagrams, it will give us a basis to work from and something to discuss. The obvious downside to this is that I could end up doing most of the assignment myself, or at least duplicating a lot of effort.
  One could be forgiven for thinking that after this much suffering, I would get a break – and yes, I did. My “Software Specification” lecture was very simple, and finished early. I then went down to the labs to begin my “File I/O in C++” assignment for “Systems Interface Programming”. Marcus had to finish his assignment for marking, so I watched him do that. I then got sleepy so had to walk up to the ice cream place and get a thick shake. This made me feel sick, so I had to walk around in the sun looking at a road-paving machine for a while. Then, by the time I got back to the labs, the tutors had arrived and marking had begun. Marcus got his assignment passed – and was told that he shouldn’t have bothered putting comments at the top of each function – or whatever functions are called in VB. Then people began to find they couldn’t run the Visual Basic IDE – something to do with user profiles, so I logged a few people in with my profile. This meant I had to hang around until they were finished, which gave me more time to do my assignment – which I didn’t. Then, a girl who was using my account as she couldn’t run Visual Basic in hers, was told she had to write a comment for every function by the other tutor – totally contradicting what Marcus was told earlier. Not only that, but she had to fix every other little minor detail. One tutor is very strict, and another is very lax. It sucks – I feel like complaining, but can’t because I’ve already complained about something else, as per below:
  The Visual Basic 6 application in lab GPS-109 has severe issues. For some users it only requests a CD to install, which can be avoided by clicking cancel between one and three times. For other users, it will not run at all.
  It seems this issue is a known issue, as I am aware of at least two students who have taken this issue to whoever it is that’s supposed to be responsible for fixing this, however it’s still not fixed.
  This evening several students were forced to use my and other’s accounts to get their work marked, as they were unable to run Visual Basic 6.
  Visual Basic 6 is essential to passing COMP2301 Interface Design – and the deadline for this particular assignment is tomorrow. I, for one, don’t think it is acceptable that this problem still exists, and request that sufficient effort be applied so that essential lab services are, at the very least, useable.
  I believe another marking session runs in lab GPS-109 from 10 until 12 and again from 2 until 4 tomorrow (Friday), during which I expect many people will again require Visual Basic 6 in order to get their assignments running and passed. I would hope this problem is fixed before then.”
Comment by Mum – Friday 7 May 2004, 6:52 PM
  Geez, is it always this slack?
Comment by Matt – Friday 7 May 2004, 10:48 PM
  No. Ned is just being melodramatic. As per usual.
Comment by Ned – Friday 7 May 2004, 11:28 PM
  Actually, this is an accurate and undramatic account of my day (and a word for word transcript of the complaint I sent).
Comment by Matt – Saturday 8 May 2004, 3:12 PM
  Yes. But your email was melodramatic.
Comment by Matt – Saturday 8 May 2004, 3:16 PM
  Not only that, I feel that the solution to the problem is very easy. The other day I was in the labs, and VB was doing its whole Insert CD thing. A re-image of the machine then allowed me to start VB with no problems whatsoever. In which case, this would not make it the ITEE admin's fault. I can't find a problem with the new image for the machines, and updating the image on a machine is a fairly standard thing to do on communal machines like the ones in GP South, and should at least be tried by people who are having problems before sending emails of complaint.
  Did you try this, Ned?
Comment by Ned – Saturday 8 May 2004, 4:57 PM
  Official word is that this issue is a problem with some student’s profiles, and resetting your profile should solve this problem. I was under the impression that all students (at least in that lab) were unable to run Visual Basic without it attempting to install some .NET component and requesting a CD (or freezing up), but perhaps it’s only the students with problematic profiles. Typical Windows, I guess – but at least it’s not Linux.

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