Tue, 1 Oct 2013, 21:22

My students,

I have gotten about a dozen messages today with questions that are specific
to the laptop you are using and the software you are running on it.  Usually,
I can not tell from your description just what the problem is.  Part of it
is my fault.  Contrary to popular mythology, there is a lot that I don't know.
Part of it is your ability to capture what the problem really is, which we 
could ascertain a lot easier if we had the computer in front of us and tried
a few things.  (It is called "troubleshooting.")  And, part of it is just the 
English language which is not quite adequate for describing the problem.

The BEST way to deal with these kinds of problems is to bring your laptop with
you to one of the TAs in office hours.  Not all TAs can answer all questions 
dealing with all laptops, but my experience is that going to a TA, showing 
the TA the behavior, allowing the TA to make some simple tests, is almost 
always much more effective than trying to have me figure out what is wrong 
via email.  If the TA you talk to is not familiar with your particular laptop 
or software, he/she can probably direct you to one of the other TAs who is.

On these kinds of problmems (this software will not run on my laptop, and I do
not know what I am doing wrong), if you still are having a problem after 
trying two or three TAs, then please let me know. 

Good luck getting the dummy program in tonight and the real program Thursday
night.  If you miss tonight's deadline due one of these computer problems,
please do not panic.  It is not the end of the world.  Make sure you see one 
of the TAs in office hours as soon as you can.

Yale Patt