Keep those lab write ups coming

Thank you all students who are emailing me lab reports. Please email me anything you don’t gave a grade for in BB. Don’t fret about being late. We’ve had a number of mail server and BB issues this semester. The key here is to get credit for work done.

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Final exam is posted and available

The final for CIS2230 is posted on blackboard and ready for students.  You can take the exam early if you wish.  Please work alone.  The exam is open book and open note.  Do not share answers or questions with other students.  Select the BEST answer for the question.  Good luck and please email me if you cannot see the exam on blackboard.

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Labs are graded and posted to BB

Any and all labs that I have in my possession are now graded and the grades are posted on Blackboard. Please review the information BEFORE taking the final exam and ensure that I have all the work you believe you have handed in to me.

Some caveats and hints about grades:

– Exams and quizzes are open.  Take any and all of these that you did not take yet.  Don’t stress out about late policies, just take the quiz.  If you are locked out of blackboard you must tell me BEFORE Monday 4 May or I will have no choice but to give you zeros for missing exam/quiz/labs.
– If you worked on a lab with someone and your partner failed to write your name on the report, you must send me a report with your name on it. Please do not email me with, “I should have a grade on labs 1-12, I worked on them with Bob and Jeff”

Yes, I have had students in the past try to join lab partnerships in the last week of the semester in order to get a better grade. You must turn in a copy of the lab write up with your name on it.

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Why old school C?

I received this as an unanswered question in a lab and I wanted to respond to this before the close of the semester.

I teach old school C programming on UNIX because students will see this type of code in the real world. Sure, C++ and C# are popular. You’re learning Ruby and that’s cool too. In an academic setting you should explore the newest, cutting edge techniques and languages, but not to the detriment of learning how things used to be.

Once VTC students become technology workers, they may happen across 10Base2 networks, software systems written in C, they may be asked to covert a mainframe COBOL system into a Web 2.0 system. Teaching them what once was and how it once worked is something that will be very valuable to them in their future.

I always chafe when I hear about a teacher telling students that they MUST have an MSCE in order to succeed in the tech sector. I cringe when I hear teachers telling people that they only need to learn linux and they’ll have a job for life. I would argue that a solid understanding of linux and an MSEC would put a person in a great space for employment. In this economy it’s unwise to become embroiled in the zealotry surrounding company’s marketing or the FOSS movement.

So there’s your answer why I teach printf and not cout, odds are that you’ll find code (and lots of it still) where an understanding of the old ways will aide you.

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Lab turn in

It’s nearly the end of the semester. Please make sure you turn in any labs. You don’t need to write an apology or an excuse for why the labs are late, I care about getting your lab grades computed correctly, not why your PC ate lab 4 and you had to find it and re-write it. (Lab 4 here is just an example)

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Last Lab and the Final

There is no lab #13. It’s not practical to have a lab then try to get it graded and returned before the final exam. I would encourage you use the free time on Tuesday to attend senior project presentations. It’s a good idea to see what you’ll be doing in the not too distant future.

Final exam will be on-line at you are not required to follow the scheduled time and place for the final. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE FINAL BY MIDNIGHT 5 MAY.

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System admin lecturecast, episode 13

I take a quick look through the last few chapters of the book. We’ll return to the networking chapters in the next week.


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System admin lecturecast, episode 12

In chapter 11 you’ll read all about backup and recovery.


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System admin lecturecast, episode 11

Yes, I do know that you are all on break.  I wanted to get ahead of the labs with the lectures so I’m posting this early.  You don’t have to listen to this until you get back.

The web site I refer to is


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Dispelling angst… somebody needs a hug

Here’s a little levity that will dispel any left over lab #9 angst.


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