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:: Monday, September 08, 2003 ::


So I went to the first of two classes that I am taking at Fanshawe this fall. Saturday morning at 9am was Comp220, which is essentially a survey course of Microsoft Office. I am taking it online. I have to go to the first class to get passwords, course outline and stuff. So I go, and first of all find that the book store has sold me the wrong text book. Which was, as it turns out, a good thing since we would now be learning OfficeXP as opposed to Office2000. Now the second thing was when we all tried to log into the fanshaweonline website to view our exclusive course content - oooooh ahhhhhh - my pin number didn't work. This was because the Registrar hadn't given me one. Or any one else in the class it turns out. So, I go down on the break and get it after lining up at the registrar with a good chunk of my class. Good thing they were open on a Saturday morning... Then I go back up set up my login and customize the content for me and so on, etc. The Fanshawe IT guy came by and he gave us the info on the site and features. Only about a quarter of the class had done any online courses and hardly anyone, me included had used this new interface which replaced WebCT. No questions for the IT guy. So I ask how does it work with corporate firewalls. The guy perks up because its actually an intelligent question and assured me it works a lot better than WebCT (which didn't) and they had tested it. One woman said she had accessed it through the firewall at GM Defence. And the IT guy said most personal firewalls and routers were ok and would not have to be configured. (Skip a paragraph to see how this was likely received).

There was an assignment to do in class, but if we wanted to leave we could. The assignment? Go to about 9 different web sites and find specific information. Me? The Googlemaster? Anyhow. I did the thing as home work in a few minutes before heading to work. Course syllabus isn't too challenging, a single page assignment for Word, a single spreadsheet assignment for Excel, a 5 slide presentation for PPT (lots of whoosing and bling bling required) and an Access assignment. A mid term on Word and Excel, and a final project of some sort TBA. The Access will be the only thing I can see being any challenge since I have not really used it except as a front end to retrieve data. Curiously, no Outlook. I would have thought that the instructors would have ID'd by now, some 14 years or so into Al Gore'sInternet enabled Information Age, that we actually might need some training on the email/personal information manager client. Guess not Martha. Them assignments, I be sending them via carrier pidjun to the teacher.

Highlight of the class, and the reason I anticipated I should take it online? The guy sitting beside me had no idea how to turn his computer on. Win NT4 workstations in the lab ( blazing fast P133s by the way) were all asleep. A simple mouse shake will nudge them into Blue Screen land... I was happily checking my email waiting for class to start (username and password for the lab workstations taped to the monitors) and he is clicking on and off the monitor power button. Nope. Presses the CD /cup holder tray thingy so it opens. Nope. Then picks up the mouse and looks at the bottom of it in case it has been tampered with ( no I didn't. I havn't done that to someone since RX 6.0 training in CLEC... but boy that was fun. ) . Well the power up surge of the transformer kicking in on his workstation happens. Only problem is that he turned his monitor off. I was about to give in and stop the entertainment when he asked the person on the other side of him WTF. Oh, did I mention he was taking 5 online courses? Bon Chance, mon ami.

Wednesday's class should be more interesting. Business Law. I always liked law, as dry as it sometimes can be, since watching John Houseman in The Paper Chase, one Sunday afternoon more than 20 years ago on ABC's affiliate in Buffalo, NY, WKBW. I think its the case studies I like. The last law related class I took was a 3rd year Canadian Constitutional Law class at York U. And that was more than 10 hears ago. Now that was dry stuff. I will let you know how Business Law goes Ex post facto.

:: Mike Wood 12:27 [+] :: 0 comments


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