VIII. Warning Regarding Computer Glitches

Computers are wonderful devices, but they often malfunction and/or their human operators make mistakes.

Plan ahead. Computers can not be counted on to work properly at the last minute. Papers or other assignments handed in late because of computer problems will be subject to your professor’s late assignment policy.

We will grant exceptions to late penalties only in the case of a serious problem with the college’s computer system, i.e, a power outage, the entire system crashes, or various services such as library access or e-mail are shut down for more than 24 hours before the assignment is due. We will verify with Academic Computing whether or not a problem existed. Having said this, we strongly urge you to practice these habits when using computers:

1.

Always, always, always, always, always

backup your work in two places, either on a diskette and a hard drive or on two diskettes. The small amount you will spend for the diskettes is one of the best investments you will ever make. If you do not own a computer, buy pre-formatted diskettes.

2. Save your work every fifteen minutes. If something goes wrong, you will not lose much. Even if you have to shut the machine off, you generally will not lose what you have saved. Many word processing programs allow you to set an automatic back-up procedure.

3. Make hard copies of your drafts. If worse comes to worse you can re-type it into the computer. You could also scan it into a computer which will save you the retyping time.

4. Get help before turning the machine off! Sometimes someone with more experience can easily fix the problem.

5. Treat your diskette with care. Avoid extremes of heat and cold; do not leave it in a car or on a window sill; and do not put it near magnets. Buying an inexpensive case–some are less than $1.00–will give it further protection.

6. Always save your work before exiting a program or turning off the computer. If you want to save the earlier version of your work, rename the updated file first, and it will not over write your previous work when you save.