April 29th, 2006

krazy koati

Can't you see the tears falling from this here clown

I knew uploading my grades would be a problem, partly as the online grade entry system is not connected to the online gradebook system used the rest of the term. Among the problems I knew were coming, you can't load the grade entry page except in Internet Explorer, and you can't even do that without lowering security restrictions for the site. When I went to that seminar about the system they couldn't get it to run at all in the computer lab, and they had to just have the system administrator log in so security on that site could be turned down.

I have an iMac in the office, and no Windows system except that of the computer labs, and would this would work with the old Internet Explorer for OS X? They had no idea. Well, you know, naturally. It's a violation of web designer ethics to actually test a web page design on a second browser or alternate platform; just tell users to change their computer instead.

And they topped my expectations: the URL given for the online grade-entry system does not work. It gives me a 404 error. Tech support, ever-ready with worthless advice, told me I just had to follow the instruction guide at the top of the page. I explained again the page gives me a 404 error. They'll get back to me. I complained to the former department secretary (who else can I complain to?) that I'm ready to give grades for quantum mechanics, but I have to insist on the university meeting me halfway. Oh, my four students are getting A's or A+'s.

Not to sound cranky -- even I can have a bad day, though by any reasonable standard this is modestly irritating rather than bad -- but also I called the maintenance office yesterday. They said they'd tried calling but I must have given them the wrong number. They did call my apartment this morning, at 9:01 am, to say they'd arranged for the guy to recharge the air conditioner Tuesday, between 2 and 3 pm. Monday is Labour Day, so it'll be an extra day of trying to redirect cool air from other rooms. Bleah.

Trivia: The Mathematical Association of America's National Committee on Mathematical Requirements recommended in 1923 the ÷ obelus be dropped from algebraic expressions, in favor of the / solidus, to symbolize division. Source: A History of Mathematical Notations, Florian Cajori.

Currently Reading: The Gameplayers of Zan, MA Foster.