Thursday, February 5, 2009

I hate software updates

I teach a class on a particular computer software package. Right now I'm teaching intro, so it's not all that complicated or difficult, but I still run into random data issues and computer snafus every once in a while. Today, in the middle of lab, I discovered that the newest version of Microsoft Office has left out some of the necessary functionality that I had written in to the lab activity. I'm running the previous version of Office on my laptop, and never thought to check that Office would still have the same basic functions in the 2007 version. I still can't quite blame myself for that one, though - friggin Microsoft!

So I spent maybe 10 minutes trying to come up with a work-around for the lab before giving up, telling the students to send me their data so I could do the step in the lab on my own computer, and then sending the data back to them. This was a huge headache and I managed to screw up a few of their datasets along the way. Plus, we get to repeat the exercise next week because it's still something they have to know how to do...just as soon as I can figure out how it's supposed to be accomplished in Office 2007.....

2 comments:

Dana said...

This is why I love your blog, we're on completely parallel tracks first year teaching science at SLACS and dealing with partner employment issues. Try the same excel frustration but multiply it by having the old and new version of excel, open office excel, and having a mixture of all versions on both macs (in the computer lab) and pcs (most students computers). I figure it'll all settle down once people are at least all using the same version some day. Still worth doing Excel exercises but argh!

Liberal Arts Lady said...

Ack, that sounds like an even more frustrating, and potentially infuriating, setup. At least all my students are using the same thing, even if I'm behind the times! I guess that's one good thing about teaching fancy software packages - they don't have access unless they use the lab computers! Good luck with that!