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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Thursday 9 October 2003 (Day View)

09.10.2003Thursday 9 October

I tutored for an hour, and enjoyed it, despite it being quite busy with lots of people needing assistance and wanting to get their assessments marked off. PHP sessions is being plain dumb and causing a few inexplicable errors. Quitting all instances of Internet Explorer and Apache is often necessary, just to get it to reset its session. Next semester, if I become a tutor, I think it would be worthwhile creating a simple one-step installation procedure for Apache, PHP and MySQL with all the paths and necessary options preconfigured. There have been a few silly problems, which shouldn’t be. Downloading MySQL, which is quite large, and then extracting it, which instantly more than doubles its size, and then installing it, which more than triples its size, quickly fills up the limited storage quota each student is allocated. I think it’s asking a bit much for students who barely understand the concept of compressed files to figure out how to delete the unneeded parts, or use the C drive as temporary storage, just to install something. Then, on top of that, PHP comes with all it’s temporary paths set to “/tmp”, which doesn’t exist on the lab machines, and has to be manually changed in the “php.dist” file, which is then automatically copied across to the windows directory... not the sort of things first year students struggling to understand new concepts need to bother with.
Tutoring again – much less busier this time, although I ended up staying half an hour later than expected helping and marking off a few struggling stragglers. Both today’s tutorials had two tutors, which helps as one of us can try sorting out silly problems while the other marks off people.

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