EG 48 5715

Spring 2007

Instructor: Gerry O'Connor

E-Mail oconnog@sunysuffolk.edu

English Department

FAQs

Warning

  • I encourage all questions but please read everything here before firing off an e-mail and looking foolish.
  • Asking a question that is answered here is not a good indication of your ability to follow directions or to being or becoming an independent learner.
  • If you have a question about something that is here, and that is possible, please make specific reference to the text creating your confusion.
    General FAQs:
  1. What is a URL and what is mine?
  2. Do I have to use the college server for my web page?
  3. How much space do I have for my web page on the college server?
  4. What is a public_html folder?
  5. How do I create a public_html folder?
  6. Why do I have to name a page index.html?
  7. How do I upload my webpage?
  8. What does FTP mean?
  9. What is my login and password?
  10. How do I change my password?
  11. If I want to change something on my webpage, how do I do it?
  12. Why, after I upload my new pages don't I see the changes on the web?
  13. Why can't I use my own, non-college, E-mail account?
  14. How do I dial up to the college server from home?
  15. What does an webfolio or initial web page look like?
  16. How do I name my files
  17. Why can't I just send you my assignments like I do in other online courses?
  18. Why is this stuff so difficult?
  19. Where do I go for help with setting up my webpage?
  20. What are gifs and jpgs and do I have to use them?
  21. What is the Utilities section all about?
  22. Am I graded on my threaded discussions on SLN?
  23. How will my final grade be determined?
  24. I've never designed a web page before. How can I be expected to create one now?
  25. What do you mean by Learned Helplessness Disease?
  26. Please explain the acronyms; picnic and rtfo

1. What is a URL and what is mine?
Technically, URL stands for Universal Resource Locator. You need to know that it is an address for a web site and one that you would either type or copy into your browser's address window. Copying is usually better as the address has to be exact. Miss a period, a slash or capitalize a letter that should be small and you are in trouble.

Faculty URLs are set up differently,

A student's url is composed of the the college url and the student's login name:

http://students.sunysuffolk.edu/~your login here.

Thus, if I were a student, my url would look like this:

http://www.students.sunysuffolk.edu/~ocong91


2. Do I have to use the college server for my web page?

Yes.

However, if you already have your own web page or want to establish your own web page on your very own server ( free of advertising) and are willing to pay for this service you are welcome to do so.

Following is a list of commercial hosting services ( I have no vested interest in any of them and prices do vary according to size and length of time desired. Your site must remain active until the end of last month of class.) :

http://www.siteground.com
http://lunarpages.com
http://www.site5.com/hosting/
http://www.hostway.com/
http://networksolutions.com
http://www.dotster.com/webhosting/webhosting_pkg_standard.php
http://www.fatcow.com/fatcow/index.bml
https://www.godaddy.com/
http://www.register.com/retail/index.rcmx
http://www.phpwebhosting.com/
http://www.ifroggy.com/
http://www.e3servers.com/linux-web-hosting.htm

These services provide losts of technical support and will get you through most problems.


3. How much space do I have for my web page on the college server?
The College offers each registered student 2 megs of web space on the server. I'm hoping to increase that allocation. Until then, if you run out of space, I will either negotiate for more space or authorize moving to a free provider.


4. What is a public_html folder
When a student registers for a course at the college, space is automatically set aside for the student's E-mail account and web page. A public_html folder will be created in that space for the web page. Once created, all web pages must be uploaded to your public_html folder. This enables the world to see your web page.


5. How do I create a public_html folder?
You don't have to. The college will set up the Public_html folder in your account.


6. Why do I have to name a page..... index.html?
Your URL is designed to look for index.html or index.htm in your account on the server. All other navigation is controlled from that page. This first page uses a file name of index.html or index.htm. Thus we usually consider this your first page or opening webfolio page. You should consider it as a table of contents page as from here you control, through hypertext links, where someone can go within your webfolio.

Now to add to the confusion, a PC generally uses the suffix .htm and the Mac platform uses .html. It really doesn't matter which one you use just be sure you are consistent.


7. How do I upload my webpage?
Assuming you have named your first file index.html or index.htm and saved it as an html file or document - not a Word Document - in either Microsoft Word or some other HTML Text editing program (Front Page/ GoLive) and are going to upload to your public_html folder, you must use one of several possible programs.

If you are not using an HTML editor that has a built-in file transfer capability, then you can use the file transfer program (FTP) that is included in the qvtnet package. This is one of the ftp programs available in the connected computers at the college. Those on the PC side can use an FTP program called WSFTP for the PC downloadable from http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/FTP.

Note: To unpackage the WSFTP program you must have the Win/Zip Utility which unpacks the WSFTP program.

The Mac platform uses a number of ftp programs. One that I am familiar with is Fetch 3.0 It's available free on the web. Do a Google search and you should be able to locate it.

Instructions for downloading and utilizing the PC FTP program can be found by going to http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/Web/VirtualCampus/ From there go to > Help >Student Help >Download Software or >Student Home Connection or > Personal Web Site. All are chock full of usefull information. This will give you specific directions on how to configure your system and use either the FTP program or a system built within your browser (Netscape of Internet Explorer)

To configure your ftp program you need the following:

  • Your domain name = osprey.sunysuffolk.edu
  • Your login. (See below)
  • Your password. (See below)


8. What does FTP mean?
This is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It's a program that allows you to transfer files from your computer to another computer. In most cases it allows you to upload to the college server.


9. What is my login, password and e-mail address?
Your login consists of the first four letters of your last name, the first letter of your first name and the last two digits of your social security number.

Your initial or default password is your date of birth by monthdayyear. notice that there are no spaces or slashes between the numbers.

If your name were Mary Winter with a social security number of 106 89 6653 and you were born on January 4th 1928 your login and initial or default password would look like this:

login = wintm53

password = 010428

E-mail adddress = wintm53@students.sunysuffolk.edu


10. How do I change my password?
If you use a telnet program to put the public_html folder on the college server, you will be asked to change your password from the default (your date of birth) to something else of your choosing the first time you access your account. There are restrictions as to what you can use. Those can be found at http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/Users.

If you want to change the password yourself, you can go to http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/Users and click on the change password link and follow the directions.


11. If I want to change something on my webpage, how do I do it?
Again, there are multiple approaches. Use the ftp program you used to upload your pages to download those same pages to your hard drive, modify them and upload. If you are adding a new page, be sure to link it to the index.html page or no one will know it's up on the server.

Or, assuming you keep all you uploaded pages in one folder on your hard drive or disk, simply modify the documents or files as you choose and upload those documents to the server. The old files will simply be overwritten, assumin gyou don't change the file names.


12. Why, after I upload my new pages, don't I see the changes on the web?
Your computer has a memory bank where it stores recently visited sites. If you go to a page that you had just uploaded, but recently visited, the computer will be reading the older version from its memory bank. To see what you just uploaded go to the link and hit the Refresh or Reload button on your browser. The new page with your modifications should come up.


13. Why can't I use my own, non-college, E-mail account?
It's easier for me to keep track of who is who with a Suffolk account. It's also easier for me to maintain the class mailing list if we are all using the same configuration. Students will often send me e-mail from something like 67ami@aol.com and not sign it or even tell me what course they are in. They ask, "When is my next essay due?" Thus I don't have a clue who it is and don't know how to respond. If the sender uses Suffolk's e-mail and forgets to sign it, I can always figure out who it is.

However, if you prefer to use an e-mail account other than Suffolk's, you are free to do so. Please notify me of your working e-mail address if it changes sometime during the semester.


14. How do I dial up to the college server from home?
Directions for just such a question are answered with clarity and pictures here: http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/Web/VirtualCampus/ From there go to > Help >Student Help >Student Home Connection.


15. What does an webfolio or initial web page (index.html) look like?
I've taken the liberty of creating a sample page. Visit the link for a "look see" and to look at pages of former students who have already been through this process.


16. How do I name my files?
File names should be short and sweet. Avoid capital letters, funny characters and spaces. If, for example, you were to write a narrative essay I would name it <n.htm> or <nar.htm> but not <Narrative-mine.htm> (don't use <> they are here only for demonstration purposes). Keeping the files names short and sweet allows for fewer mistakes, easier recognition and doesn't screw up the system.


17. Why can't I just send you my assignments like I do in other online courses?
My online courses attempt to maximize the technology. Yes, sending me the assignments via e-mail as attachments would be easier, but the technology allows us to publish via a web page so why not use it. Imagine buying a car, a new mechanical device which allows you to travel great distances, regardless of weather or time of day, and you only use it to go to your local 7-11 for a quart of milk. You are not maximizing the technology for which you spent many dollars. Nor are you allowing yourself to utilize the capabilities of the car. The automobile gives you a freedom to travel to locations never before possible on foot, in a manner that is convenient, comfortable and economical. Continuing the metaphor, building web pages is like learning to drive, difficult or impossible at first, given all the variables, but taken for granted once you get the hang of it and it opens vistas never before visible.

Years ago, when I first required that students type their essays, the complaint was often echoed, "If I wanted a typing class I would have signed up for one." Most students learned to type and now it is accepted policy. I don't know any instructor who accepts handwritten assignments. Publishing your material on a web page is just another step forward using the technology. It is difficult and frustrating at first because it is a new process.


18. Why is this "stuff " so difficult?
It's not really difficult. It's just that we are not use to working in such a literal environment. Directions have to be read carefully and followed percisely. You can't take leaps of faith and jump to #6 without first going from #1 through #5. We are not use to doing this. Thus we become frustrated and want to throw the machine out the bloody window with a host of vile obsenities scurrying after.


19. Where do I go for help with setting up my webpage?
There is lots of help around. You can ask friends, relatives and passing strangers. Books are readily available for establishing basic web pages. Go to a good bookstore and look around. There are also multiple sites on the Web for suggestions, advice and guidelines. There is information on this site and the College web site for designing and uploading web pages. Essentially, it is up to you to figure it out. I will be available for any help you need provided you have read everything you can on the subject.


20. What are gifs and jpgs and do I have to use them?
Gifs are generally small images consisting mostly of clip art with limited colors. Jpgs are generally pictures ( with lots more colors and a greater variety of shades) taken with digital or traditional film cameras. You have to always find a balance between using and not using them. They take a page longer to load and, as you know, we are not a patient lot.

Never before have we, the average person, been able to put text and images together. With the coming of desktop publishing those who had the software and expertise could publish papers with excellent layout design. With the advent of the web and this new technology, even you can publish pictures and include animation, jpgs and gifs on your page. We are becoming much more conscious of our text presentation. Film and audio files are rapidly becoming common.


21. What is the Utilities section all about?
The utilities section is designed to give you some technical sites thart should help you with building, designing, writing and publishins web pages.


22. Am I graded on my threaded discussions on SLN?
Technically yes. I will not, however, be assigning a point value to each response. I'll be lurking and watching your participation. To make the discussion meaningful I want more than one word responses. Failure to participate will adversely impact your final grade. Responses must be meaningful and considered.


23. How will my final grade be determined?
Your final grade will be determined by an overall evaluation of the quality of your work. Quality prose and research is essential. It is expected that you will meet the minimum requirements: bi-weekly completion of all chapters, weekly participation in all threaded discussions, quality presentation of your content and, lastly, total collaboration on the Collaborative Survival Connections chapter. This is not a web design course, but you are expected to be conscious of design and the impact of same on your audience.


24. I've never designed a web page before. How can I be expected to create one now?
Computer literacy is more than simply owning a computer. To survive in this course you have to be an independent learner: willing to take on difficult problems, investigate new areas of knowledge and tolerate frustration without crashing. Web page creation is simply part of this process. It gives you an opportunity to display your abilities and demonstrate your competence with the new technology.


25. What do you mean by Learned Helplessness Disease?
Once we entered grammar school, the disease began. We learned early on to become helpless in the classroom. It was indeed easier to play dumb and let someone else show us or resolve the problem for us. Look around in your traditional classroom. What happens when the instructor asks a question about the required reading? Eyes divert to the ground, frowns develop and pages are turned as if the answer is in the book. Most wait patiently until the instructor answers the question. The sounds of silence are deafening. Ultimately, by default, the instructor answers the question. Smiles return and eye contact is restored.....until the next question or problem needing a solution. We've learned to become helpless in the face of a problem. This strategy is a liability here. If you shrink from the problem, assume someone else will do it for you or crash in frustration never to be heard from again, you will not survive. Angry e-mails to me do not solve the problem. Careful reading, considered analysis and problem solving strategies work best. I will always respond favorably to e-mails that solicit information after a careful reading of the published material on this site has been demonstrated.


26. Please explain the acronyms; picnic and rtfo

Picnic = Problem In Chair Not In Computer
Rtfo = read the ......outline

We are primarily an oral culture learning to function in a print or text medium. We have difficulty reading and absorbing knowledge without visual and aural clues: the teachers tone of voice, hand gestures and facial expressions. Text alone has none of these. We have to work at giving text a closer reading.......or suffer the acronym.