Thursday, February 24, 2005


Part of this post is my lack of breakfast talking.

I missed my breakfast because I hurried to get to the office by 7am local time to participate in the Learning Times event this morning. I came to the office because none of the setups in my home actually work because the machines I can expose to the outside world are all linux based. My windows machines are not sufficiently hardened to be exposed. In my haste, I forgot that the university for which I work has changed their policies on access and my machine is now "behind the wall" and Elluminate is blocked.

While the experience with EVO2005 has been generally positive -- I'll do a full critique later -- this LearningTimes/Elluminate thing has been a hugely frustrating experience. Even when I managed to get connected, it was on an unsupported platform and I could not take full advantage of the participation.

I would recommend that this platform be abandoned until the issues of firewall and platform compatability can resolved. There is no way I could recommend use of this platform under the circumstances.

And I'm PARTICULARLY pissed because I missed my breakfast in order to be closed out of the experience AGAIN!


Marco Polo said...

Wow. "Linux based, hardened machines, access policies, firewalls, unsupported platforms...." Jeez, all dressed up and nowhere to go!
I agree that all the technology will need to be simplified if we are to get more people online and into blogging (or other) communities. I couldn't help remembering a comment by Paolo Freire (I think) about cars: how cars in the industrialized world have become these super machines that require computers for diagnosis and repair when something goes wrong, and how such cars are useless for the majority of people on this planet. They need a vehicule that they can fix themselves with materials to hand if/when things go wrong.
(I also couldn't join the session; couldn't even find it!)

Elizabeth H-S said...

Downes had some interesting things to say about the firewall problem--and all Webheads, except maybe independents like me, have experienced this Nathan and Marco, so you are not alone... I remember being shut out of Alado before it was Mac-compatible, and being shut out of Elluminate vClass because although I had downloaded Java, I hadn't installed it. (Doh!)

To summarize a bit--universities and other institutions have become so paranoid about viruses that they have shut out their systems from some of the most valuable parts of the Internet. To use these cutting-edge technologies, like Java-based voice and video conferencing, you really do have to get your tech support to see their value and make the arrangements well in advance. Push, push, push. (Reminds me of the days when the universities kept the computer labs locked up so that the students wouldn't hurt them...)

Sorry there is no simple solution, but if universities used a little more common sense about virus protection, you wouldn't be having these problems.

And I thought Java was compatible with Linus, no? Worth exploring.

Cheers--and keep up the good fight.

Nathan Lowell said...

Ya, theoretically it SHOULD be compatible, and it DOES work, sorta.

Whenever the presenter goes into "drive mode" tho -- All I see is the whiteboard. I don't know if it's a java problem, a linux problem, or a firewall problem.

Ah well.

Lesley said...

Believe me, I feel your pain!

Graham said...

I've had the same problem Nathan - I'd hoped to be able to participate in more of the live sessions, but I could only make the ones which coincided with times when I was at home. The university and other organisation where I work don't allow access to tools such as LT and even Tapped In. I was able to use Alado, however, which was a nice surprise.