Good News & Grades

Oh wow! I actually got a $100 check from for telling our apartment complex we found them via their site! Woo hoo! It’s dated June 17‐now I wish I’d checked the mail a few days ago. But what a nice surprise!

So the oral presentation went extremely well, according to the feedback I’ve had so far. (I guess I’m the only one who knew that my skirt was in danger of falling off. I worried about the outfit being too small, as I haven’t worn it in a year or two‐but in my waist, at least, I am apparently smaller than I was then. It did lead to self-consciousness. Of course, I couldn’t locate a safety pin while rushing about this morning)

The written presentation is due tomorrow. I should receive the feedback forms from my classmates then, as well.

I got an A- on the technical manual for the group project. The other two people got a B+ but had said that I should get extra credit so I got a higher score.

The professor came up with a new rule, which is why we didn’t all get an A‐he doesn’t want more than one graphic per page. Great‐so by following this rule he pulled out of his butt, the manual would have been nearly twice as long as it was (48 pages total) due to all the screenshots! He said he was really impressed with the screenshots and thought they were great, while also noting that the manual was much longer than it had to be. Contradictory, much?

He also didn’t recognize the custom bullet symbol as a bullet and said we should have used bullets. Clue: Bullets don’t just come as filled circles! Why, just within the standard installation of MS Word, you can choose filled or open circles, filled or open squares, checkmarks, boxes for checkmarks, open arrows, something that looks like a customized >, and a little four-pointed diamond-type thing‐in fact, you can use absolutely any character from any font you happen to have. The Wingding font is used by default.

Then he stated that selecting the installation directory isn’t a step, because it doesn’t require any action from the user. Well, yes, it does‐it requires a decision. As the text noted, the user needs to decide whether or not she wishes to install the software into the default directory (which we did) or place it elsewhere.

He thought the centered text for each cautionary note was a mistake. Um, no‐it’s set that way for emphasis. Like we also used a different font and a yellow background for those cautions? Perhaps the fact that every single one was done the same way might have been a clue that it wasn’t just a series of 7 or 8 formatting errors? If he didn’t LIKE the formatting, that’s one thing‐but saying it was done in error is a different thing.

He also considered it an “error” that I didn’t tell people to write down their PGP passphrases but to remember them. If you write something down, it isn’t secure. Your memory, one presumes, is secure. I do not ever tell anyone to write down passwords or ATM pin numbers or anything else. I’m certainly not about to start with a PGP passphrase.

On page 27, there’s a paragraph telling the user to copy message text to the Windows clipboard. Instructions for doing so are given in parentheses, in case the user has forgotten this very basic skill. In the left margin, the professor says “Not a step” and states that this paragraph shouldn’t have been numbered with the other steps in the task. In the right margin, he said “Treat as multiple steps.” But if it isn’t even ONE step, why would I treat it as multiple steps?

Why isn’t entering your passphrase a step? You can’t PGP-sign a message without doing so. And pasting the signed message back into the email message window isn’t a step, either. Oh no‐we just signed that text to do it. We don’t actually want to SEND it to anyone!

Neither is selecting the PGP keys to which a message will be encrypted a step. Or selecting the keys one wishes to import from a keyserver.

Oh‐I get it! We’re obviously using the word “step” differently! I just can’t figure out WTF he means by it! Chacha, maybe?

The main thing I learned from this class? Avoid this professor at all costs! Not so easy when there are only 4 or 5 professors in the department 🙁

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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