They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Make-Up Day

The End Of A Long Hard Semester

Tuesday at noon and grades were done. Three large lecture classes, nearly 300 students, nearly 300 science literacy papers to grade, plus other assignments. And the final exams coming in from the graders. It all got done, more or less.

Except it didn't. In the middle of the last two screens worth of names for the last of the three classes, I got locked out of the online grading system as the Registrar ran their big batch job. It was four hours later that the system opened up again and I could actually finish entering grades. Annoying. And it meant I couldn't take my usual post-grading exhaustion nap until 5pm. (grin)

How'd people do? Well, a decidedly mixed bag. The Stars and Galaxies astronomy course is a Gen Ed distribution course, so a lot of people taking it. I had fun, and those who bothered to come to class saw lots of beautiful pictures and learned some Physics, but a lot of people went through the motions. The all-of-Physics-in-one-semester Elementary Physics class was a great bunch -- very enthusiastic -- and I was very proud of them. The second semester University Physics II group of scientists and engineers? Ugh. The top students did, in fact, do well. But I had to read them the riot act more than once, questioning both their calculus skills and how the hell they passed University Physics I. Everyone forgets that Physics is cumulative. You still need all those kinematic equations and Newton's Laws and stuff.


Wednesday -- what the hell did I do on Wednesday? Well, I guess I rambled around and worked on catching up a lot of online things that I've been putting off for weeks. Drove Mrs. Dr. Phil to and fro work, because I had to pick her up and head down to GVSU's downtown Grand Rapid campus for the GVSU Library holiday party and dinner. Very pleasant meal.

Gone In Sixteen Minutes

This morning, Thursday, I heard a vehicle and some voices. Some men had come to finally pick up the 1989 S-10 Blazer. We got some 295,000 miles out of it since September 1988 when we bought it as a puppy, but it's not seen much action the last two years since I picked up the 1996 Blazer. This is the one that we started but couldn't keep running back Saturday 29 November.

They put it in neutral, pushed it back into the turnaround, then hooked up a long tow strap to the back of a Suburban and pulled it away. I was worried that they'd have trouble braking on the road, but I heard rather than saw a diesel pickup beyond the trees, which turned out to have a flatbed trailer, so they loaded it up, strapped it down -- and away they went.


Later in the afternoon, just before 5pm, I went out and brushed off the 1994 S-10 Blazer and make a quick run to the mailbox, then parked it on the edge of the concrete pad. As I write this, it is almost 1am and from now until 7pm on Friday we are expected to have steady snow -- 10 to 15 inches total -- and I wanted to get the '94 where we can more easily use it. Of course it took some work, after the snow/rain/freezing rain of the past two weeks, as the doors were frozen shut.

Symantec Versus Zonelabs, Yet Again

Late this fall I bought a Fujitsu Lifebook U810 UMPC (Ultra-Miniature) and while I am delighted with the machine, I've not had the time to do all the updates and install all the software I want. The big stumbling block? The first thing I installed in November, after Office 95 -- yes, I said "95" -- was ZoneAlarm, followed by Norton Anti-Virus 2009.

Ouch. NAV 2009 and ZoneAlarm did NOT want to play fair and it took many reboots to disable both and yank NAV off the machine before it locked up every time. Wednesday I finally had time to poke around the forums and find that ZoneAlarm had a new version that worked with Symantec's evil ways.

The Fujitsu Lifebook U810 is half the size of the Fujitsu Lifebook P1510D, already not a very big notebook. Both machines are tablets.

So today I upgraded ZoneAlarm, then disabled it, and installed NAV 2009. Install went fine. Reboot. Still okay. Except... LiveUpdate wouldn't update all the files for NAV 2009. Like the NAV engine, the virus definitions and the updater. Nothing major. Okay, there's One Click Tech Support. Except... it failed, too.

Back to the web. Looks like a lot of people needed NAV 2009 engine 16.1.x.x and eventually 16.2.x.x in order to get LiveUpdate to work properly. The CD-ROM I had came with engine . Clicking on Help led me to a Symantec web page that said "use One Click Tech Support." And it had a question: Did This Solve Your Problem? "NO" led me to Symantec Online Chat.

You are currently 27 in the queue.

This was an interesting 2-3 hours. I knew what needed to be done, but the guy had to do a remote control desktop and download the files. We are good to go now. Yay.

This, by the way, was NOT a problem with the U810. It was strictly a NAV 2009 problem.

Dr. Phil

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