Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to the College Routine

Last week was the start of the Fall 2010 semester at the University of Hawaii.  It was also my first week back as a full-time student.  Only this time I'm not in the classroom.  Well, the college classroom.  For the most part, my entire program is online.

I say for the most part because we do meet face-to-face sometimes.  Our first meeting was over the summer, for a class on technology.  The second meeting happened this last weekend.  For two of my classes, it marked the start of the course - we reviewed the syllabus, did some "get to know each other" exercises, and in one class even did one of the four projects for the semester.  For my third class I've already turned in the first homework.

And that's it.  Only 3 classes this semester, 9 credit hours.  At the graduate level that is considered full-time.  Other than another face-to-face meeting in October, the rest of the semester is up to me.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Expanding My Computer Knowledge

Since installing Ubuntu on Doug's laptop, that is all we have been running on it.  Windows still sits in the background, taking up a large part of the hard drive.  Just in case though, I don't want to delete it entirely yet.  Little has been saved to the computer as of yet, so I don't know if I can share files between the operating systems, though I am sure there is a way.  Afterall, the first computer I saw Ubuntu running on was a Mac laptop.  The guy had the Mac OS running at the same time as Ubuntu, and could switch between the two without restarting.

The latest homemade change was to the hardware of his laptop.  After spending hours getting Vista reloaded I learned that the "/?" key was no longer working.  Doug said that it had been giving him some trouble in the past, but that it always worked eventually.  After an entire weekend without that key functioning, I looked around online for a replacement part.  I found several do-it-yourself ways to take apart a keyboard to get tiny pieces to fix it, but that seemed way beyond my ability.  Then I found that Amazon.com had a keyboard for the computer for $15.  A whole lot cheaper than the Dell website.

Sure, the warranty can be voided by not using the proper parts, but it isn't under warranty anymore anyway.  And the fix was easy.  One panel to snap off, and two tiny screws to remove.  Now the computer has fully functioning buttons again.  Still not sure how much I will actually use it for school, but it has been getting lots of use since I got it running better.