Journal #8700

Posted 4 years ago2016-05-07 03:49:22 UTC
The creativity of the human mind is amazing. This... is how not to use it. I used to think this type of stories were only internet fiction. Not anymore.

A few months ago I had to form a work group with a few classmates. In these cases, if you intend to work with digital files, one would think it would make sense to use a service like Dropbox, Drive or other comparable product. This way, everyone could have immediate access to the latest versions of all the files. Right?

No. This girl REALLY didn't like Dropbox or Drive. What kind of mess is that? The best way to maintain a tidy, up-to-date collection of files, of course, is Facebook. Because, amongst a thousand other reasons she gave me, you can tag people. How silly I am, of course, because how could I expect people in a group of 5 to know that they're supposed to be doing something! Besides, what if you're at someone else's computer? In the end, I couldn't convince her to adopt my whimsical processes and she went as far as decided to go do look more like creating an email account, and creating a Facebook account with that so that I could abandon my backwards ways and accept the goodness of Facebook. And tag people.

So far, I though this was a pretty incredible abuse of technology for file management. But as hard as I thought it was, last night someone managed to top that.

How do you send a file to a large number of people? If you have their email address, you could send it to them as an attachment. Or maybe if it is too large, upload it somewhere and email them a link to that. Or you could do what last night's lecturer did to send the students the slideshow of the day:
  • Create an email account
  • Email the file to that account
  • Give the students the password to that account so that they could log in to it and download the attachment
At the end I couldn't hold myself and went up to her and asked why not just sending it to the students directly, they already have everyone's email anyway. The answer? "Because maybe not everyone wants it". The look of confusion on my face must have been quite notorious, because an assistant (that looked under 30) insisted with the same answer. At this point people was giving me that look of "how do you not understand how this BRILLIANT idea works" so I ended up thanking them and leaving. I can't fight that.

It clearly wasn't the case of the lecturer being old and not understanding technology, because there seemed to be CONSENSUS that it was a brilliant idea.

I am unable to comprehend what kind of thought process can lead to an idea like this. My brain is full of fuck.


Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 05:05:54 UTC Comment #62832
Scratching your left part of the head with your right hand at its finest.
I thought that our teaching methods are old, but at least our teachers use Dropbox and the like for stuff like this.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 08:51:20 UTC Comment #62836
It was one of my old teachers who "forced" me and my classmates to store our work on Dropbox. After weeks of usage, I loved it.

When I start a new code project or even test, my first reaction is "git init", " git add ." and "git commit -m 'Initial commit'". I defineetly love these tools and can't live without them.

I do have a Facebook account and it's file storage system is a magnificient piece of ** that even a beginner could do bettet.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 09:49:36 UTC Comment #62830
That's bizarre...

It was a few years ago now, but my university had an intranet to host and share files. Each subject had a site and some were pretty crappy-looking, but any required files and teaching resources were uploaded there.

Facebook is probably pretty common for group projects these days (for communication though - not storage), but it wasn't when I was learning. We made do with Google docs and email. Every student had an email specifically for that purpose. For code-related stuff the school tended to give us an SVN repo, and everyone had some personal storage space on the intranet as well.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 12:15:54 UTC Comment #62840
On my final first year project one person of my group who was quite experienced in computing refused to use any kind of Drive system, preferring uploading files to the facebook chat, because that's more tidy and easy to find, of course.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 13:52:08 UTC Comment #62835
My university uses a "Blackboard Learn" brand course management system. Has rudimentary messaging, announcements, file hosting. (though my profs generally use dropbox for anything that isn't a PDF or DOC and just link it there)

I'm not a big fan of Google Drive's file management tools (Docs is fine, though!), since the stuff I generally work on in group projects have to be edited by multiple people at various times.
Generally though we just use a repo or dropbox, depending on what the file is for, and then communicate through Skype or Discord.

Using a facebook group or communal email for file sharing is just asking for trouble.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 15:53:57 UTC Comment #62839
Remember, you have to consider this from the other point of view. Would you rather use a system you are familiar with because you log in it every 2 minutes, or would you want to use a completely unfamiliar system that someone in your group said was good but you dont know anything about how it works and feel that it is unnecessary to learn about this system because the one you are currently familiar with is able to do what you need. Not everyone is an expert tech whiz like everyone on twhl is. Although your school does seem kinda ancient to me, it's that we all spend long time on the internet and take for granted that everyone is like the internet folks and know all about these things, but it looks like most people dont seem to use the internet beyond facebook
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 16:37:20 UTC Comment #62833
I just remembered that we used a system called "Piazza". That's a good classroom management system but sadly it's not very used.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 16:48:37 UTC Comment #62841
That's partially right, but still, I can't take people who refuse to consider new alternatives simply because they don't feel it and are too bored to try. Of course, on the other hand, you have to give some reasons why you think this alternative would be better.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-07 22:31:48 UTC Comment #62831

Edinburgh uses blackboard Learn as well, it's a bloody useful system but unfortunately depends on how well the course organisers can use learn. Some will have loads of content in loads of places, others will literally consist of a home page with a single lecture notes pdf on it.

The computer science side uses Piazza quite a bit but I've never gone onto that side.

Like to try new things but dont't understand for a second how ANYONE could consider facebook a good data management system
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-08 05:49:12 UTC Comment #62837
It's terrifying how many people consider facebook a good file management platform. I've worked with people in the past that had only used facebook for their file sharing needs, and a very brief description of Dropbox was more than enough for them to realise the mess they were doing before.

Not all of our teachers are like this. Most are well acquainted with the concept of email and send people the right attachments, some even upload course files to a blog or something. There also are, of course, the handful of overdoers that require students to follow them on facebook, twitter and pinterest because they're so cool they upload all the important class things there. Those I hate too.
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-09 05:43:33 UTC Comment #62834
And I'm just sitting here thinking - Facebook has storage space ?
Commented 4 years ago2016-05-09 18:24:37 UTC Comment #62838
It's as good as you imagine it is.

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