next one will be less rantish, I promise

Stupid teachers are teh dumbzor.

Last night was my first Networking Fundamentals class (note, not to be confused with my Cisco Networking classes, like the one I took last semester and its follow up, that I was going to take this semester). Anyway. The teacher is retarded. The class is “mostly taught using BlackBoard” [agh, cringe]. So we go in, and whats our first project? Installing Windows 2003 Server. “Hmmm,” I say, with the smallest possible detectable amount of interest “I guess I’ve never done that before”. Well, as it turns out, I still haven’t. With our Win2k3 install CD’s came a floppy disk [sigh]. Upon inserting this CD and floppy, the CD begins the windows install, and the floppy answers every single question that the installer asks, except for the serial key. So it was push the discs in, and wait for 40 minutes (!) with nothing to do while Windows installed itself getting all its input from the floppy. Wooo. Meanwhile the teacher walked around and helped people who couldn’t figure out how to reboot, who were trying to insert the floppy disk upside down, etc. All stuff I’d forgive in an “Entry to computers” class (of which there is one), but this isn’t that class…. or at least it shouldn’t be.

So after wasting an hour of my life, we get the computers running, and he tells us to put in some basic networking info, IP addresses, gateways and the like. Some people are struggling… I’m helping my partner while downloading gAIM and FireFox. Meanwhile, the teacher is giving a lecture with mistakes in it, “A MAC address is a unique 12 digit Hexidecimal [0-9 and A-F, where A = 10, etc] number. Don’t ask me how they can say it’s unique, cuz I don’t know.” Well, they’re said to be unique because its such a large number, and they aren’t just randomly assigned. Hardware vendors each have a few digits assigned to them, and those are always the first 6 digits. So that IBM’s network cards may have a MAC that starts with 00-0F-45-XX-XX-XX. And they’re free to fill in the X’s however they like. So this does give some order, and shows that MAC’s aren’t completely randomly assigned. But if IBM starts to get lazy (or just figure its not worth their trouble, they might assign the same XX-XX-XX twice. It’s not likely, but it’s certainly happened before and it can cause problems.

Other things like saying that “your computer’s hostname isn’t important, its just like a nickname” were just dead wrong. You can’t have two computers on the same network with the same hostname, one of them won’t be able to connect. And one of the questions these floppies answered for us was the hostname, so everyone’s was the same, and he couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.

I decided to leave early after I got a 34/35 on my “blackboard pre-test to see how much you know coming into the class”. The question I got wrong was: “Which of the following uses light to transmit data.” “A. Coax, B. Copper wire, C. Fiber Optic, D. RJ-45” I answered C, Fiber Optic and got it wrong. I was then told the correct answer was Fiber Optic.

In other, and much happier, news, I’m flying up to Berkeley on Oct 13 til the 17th to spend time with Clare. Cuz she’s awesome.

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