Christopher M. Jones on 5 Jun 2008 10:01:24 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Drexel's Windows requirements

OK, people are telling me that they can submit in the assignment manager
running OSX and Linux. Before I do write anyone about this, I probably
should make sure this really is a problem. 

When I tried the first time, BB informed me that I must upload the file
in a supported format. I googled this, and found out that BB checks not
only the browser name and version but the platform identifier. So I
installed the user agent in my firefox to get around this. But I still
got the message about format. So I googled some more and found the issue
about the filesystem. In the forum I was reading the recommended
workaround was to escape the linux / with a \ throughout the file path.
So I did this, and the message about using an usupported format went
away to be replaced with... nothing. No response from BB, and no
uploaded file. 

I've got an ext3 filesystem and a .doc created in OOo. Since I don't
have a copy of Word, I cant test this with a native Word document.

Also, I'm an iSchool student. I don't go to campus, so I can't use their
machines. I do have XP running in VBox, so I'm really not concerned
about being able to submit my assignments. It's a hassle to fire up VBox
just for that, but I'll live. What really concerns me is the draconian
nature of the requirement. The only reason I have a copy of XP is
because my company gave me one. What if I didn't?

Also, this only seems to have become an issue with the prof since she
was told that she is required to keep copies of all submitted
assignments. Apparently, the assignment manager is the most efficient
way for her to do this. I don't blame her for wanting the assignements
submitted 'properly'.

On Thu, 2008-06-05 at 12:29 -0400, Joshua Karstendick wrote:
> Hey Chris,
> I'm a graduating senior at Drexel. I majored in math and minored in
> computer science, and those departments are very Linux-friendly. I'm
> sorry your prof is giving you such a hassle.
> Personally, I haven't had any issues submitting files through
> Blackboard on my MacBook Pro, but I assume you're running Linux. I
> recommend you just go to a computer lab on campus to use a Windows
> machine to submit assignments through Blackboard. The first floor of
> Korman has a computer lab anyone can use. Just e-mail the file to
> yourself, or if it's too large, upload it to your dunx1 account, which
> is accessible in the computer labs.
> --
> Joshua Karstendick
> On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 12:22 PM, Christopher M. Jones
> <> wrote:
> > It has just come to my attention that I'm required to run Windows if I
> > attend Drexel.
> >
> > Background:
> > My first quarter at Drexel I ran into a problem submitting assignments
> > through Blackboard. After calling support and much googling, I
> > discovered that there is a known defect in Blackboard that prevents it
> > from uploading files from anything but a Windows filesystem. So I've
> > been submitting assignments by Email, or by cutting and pasting
> > assignments into the comment box in the submission form.
> >
> > But now my professor has written me a very scathing note informing me
> > that none of my assignments will be graded unless I submit them
> > "properly", and she quoted me chapter and verse of the "Computer
> > Requirements" specification:
> >
> >
> >
> > Now, I read this when I signed up at Drexel, but I've always interpreted
> > "not supported" as 'we're not going to help you with it.' But in this
> > case it seems that "not supported" means 'required to run Windows.'
> >
> > This doesn't seem right to me, especially since I see no reason why BB
> > would be defective in such an obvious way, except by design. And I can't
> > believe that Drexel, of all places, would impose such a restrictive
> > regulation! After all, this regulation alienates not only Linux users
> > but Mac users, as well.
> >
> > I'm angry at the moment, and I feel like writing someone a nasty note,
> > organizing petitions and protests, etc. Of course I won't, because I
> > don't know who to write and I doubt anyone would listen.
> >
> > Comments? Advice?
> >
> > ___________________________________________________________________________
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