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03 June 2006

Fed Up


That's something I've been saying a lot lately. And it's not because of anyone in particular, it's because of technology.

Yesterday, I had to present my lovely PowerPoint presentation for Physics II, which as you might recall, I took as an independent study. So I saved my file in the school library downstairs right before the actual class met because, like any other student, I waited until the last minute to do it. I also emailed it to myself as a backup.

So I go upstairs to the physics room and I see all the physics students whose company I missed all semester (at least for some of them). But since I actually have my own class going on at the same time, I'm anxious to get out of there. So imagine my surprise when I walk into the room, lo and behold, someone else is already firing up their presentation, even after I asked the teacher if I could go first so that I wouldn't have to wait around.

No big deal. They started following some order they had set up, and they squeezed me in at fourth. So I logged on to the teacher's computer as me to access my files. Click "My Documents," and nothing shows up. Great. This is one of those weird computers that doesn't look on the server for people's files. No problem; I emailed it to myself, right?

Wrong. The download of my 600 kB file (not very big for PowerPoint) took three minutes, even on the school's super-fast connection, and the entire class watched the progress meter on the projector screen, counting down the 3.5 kB/s download, which last I checked was slower than I usually get on dial-up.

And then when the file was supposed to open at the end of the download, it didn't. The computer just sat there, doing nothing. Wonderful. So I told someone else to go, while I went to another computer to try and save my presentation on my jump drive. Fine. Except when I got back, every single other person went, and the last person before me was still talking when the bell rang. I sat through an entire 80-minute class for nothing.

I just got up and left for their lunch period, which isn't usually my own. So I found someone who would listen to me as I ate my pizza, and that was that. The teacher told me to come up later in the day during his plan period. So I did, and although my jump drive didn't work on his laptop (for whatever reason), I could download the file I emailed to myself at 85 kB/s this time. Weird. And aside from that, I saved it to the Desktop and it actually opened. It's just a shame that none of the students got to see my presentation, but honestly, would they really have cared?

So now I'm trying to do my online placement testing for the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering. Except their server is down, and I have to finish this by 07 June. Of course. So I'm doing this instead. Oh, well.



Lexi Elizabeth said...

they are doing it on purpose you know- these computers that keep rebelling against you.

Tim Parenti said...

Addendum posted 05 June 2006

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