LM_NET: Library Media Networking

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I wanted to reply to Christine and the whole group because I am hoping
someone out there can give me a few tips on my Internet problems.
   First, to answer the question - what benefits of the Internet at my
school.  During this past school year I introduced the Internet to a few
classes and showed our homepage which I wrote to a few others
(www.ideas-classroom.org).  I tested using it with a few small groups for
research questions.  I found that for certain types of ref. questions it
is awesome - some info is more current than anything else, but for others
a good printed encyclopedia has more.  And that isn't even mentioning the
accuracy of some pages.  I found that our connection was unreliable at
best.  We were accessing via FIRN and a Shiva network modem.  I found out
that Shiva Net modems don't support MacTCP.  Supposedly, this came from
Shiva themselves.  So, I could never count on the Shiva/Mac/Firn Internet
Gods to be smiling on me at any particular moment.  But that is nothing
compared to this Summer.
    I am just finishing up a three-week, fee-based, Summer Internet camp.
It was one of the most frustrating teaching experiences of my career.
Why?  Because somewhere between our Mac 5300's (ones that are recalled),
our gateway connection (which I originally was excited about), and the
software for that connection (IPTCP?) THE INTERNET FROZE EVERY THREE
MINUTES.  I could never teach anything without getting a bomb message - it
would usually read Restart - floating coprosessor not installed."  It
drove me crazy and no one could help me by the time the class ended.  I am
still looking for help becuase none of our techie people work during the
Summer.  I am pretty Tech savy but this one is way out of my league.
    So, what uses are there for it in the media center?  If it works
correctly I can see lots of great uses.  I had great plans for it. But it
is my experience that it is not something that should EVER be relied upon
to work for say - a presentation.  I am learning that if you depend on
technology it will always let you down (electronic Murphy's Law).  And
always have a second plan.
   This coming year I hope to work out our gateway/computer/software
problem and have a permanent student research station.  But then again, I
joked to several people that I am going to retreat into the safe world of
good ole books.  They never "lose their connection."

   * Matt Penn
   * University of South Florida        "Insert painfully
   * Tampa, Fl.                         repetitive quote here."
   * mpenn@luna.cas.usf.edu

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