MSS March to Mid April 2000 Report

Last edited: 17 April 2000


The purchase orders were prepared for the computers for Micronescience II.  This consists of three computers.  Each computer will have an Intel QX3 digital microscope attached.   One computer would go into A102, one into A103, and one into A204.

Physical Science

Long neglected, Physical Science now has a web site with various student support materials.  This was the result of my taking over the class in the absence of the regular instructor.

On 11 March photographs from the Batteries and Bulbs laboratory was posted to the College web site.


The Chemistry CDROMs are apparently on island.

Anatomy and Physiology

A purchase order has been prepared and sent into the "pipeline."

Marine Biology

A purchase order went out for the software Brian Lynch requested. The software has yet to arrive.


A textbook was located which provides for web and CD support. An examination copy was requested, this is yet to arrive.

Students working in a physical
science laboratory

The following Carolina Biological wish list was passed along to John Gann for potential purchase out of the departmental budget.

Item Number   Description Price
AA-29-2588    Botany Study Microscope Slide Set 3         $320.00
AA-49-12187-V After the Warming Set: Global Warming       $185.00
AA-49-4976    The Private Life of Plants Video Series set  $79.95
AA-49-6549    Nature's Fury: Hurricane!                    $19.95
AA-49-6552    Nature's Fury: Tornado!                      $19.95
AA-49-6561    Nature's Fury: Lightning!                    $19.95
AA-56-8825    Somso Angiosperm flower model               $425.00
AA-65-3170    Chemical Composition of Soil Kit             $97.00
AA-66-5415    No Wait Professional Soil Test Kit           $98.50
AA-74-5548A   Digital barometer                           $139.50
AA-74-5563    Digital Psychrometer                        $189.50
AA-74-5592    Clear-VU Rain Guage                          $72.00
AA-GEO9320    Soil sampling tube                           $20.55 


Licenses were received and the LiveMath program was successfully downloaded in mid April. Preliminary familiarization with the program and initial experiments with setting up LiveMath pages on Shark were begun.

Training, Assistance, and Support

On 03 March all of the computers in F105 were updated with all critical updates from in an effort to thwart the kak virus (also known as cAgOu).  In early April the GP6-350 in F105 reported possibly kak virus infections on the computers used by Quli, Joe Habuchmai, and John Gann.  John had used F-Prot to delete kak, but F-Prot hadn't apparently removed all the pieces of kak.

On 08 March Mihai's computer was successfully linked to the Optra printer.  The next day Hazel's computer was equipped with F-Stop 3.07.  The program has been quite stable on this Windows 95 computer.

On 10 March I worked with Yenti and her students in the computer laboratory, introducing them to the Algebra Tutor.

I conducted a couple of workshops on 17 March.  The first workshop was a three hour Excel session, the second focused on making web pages. Both workshops were well received by the comments, although power problems plagued the Excel session. Running the overhead projector overloaded the circuits.

I forwarded a copy of the HTML Kit (freeware) to Joe Saimon.  Joe indicated that he was used to building web pages in HTML.  The kit is a nice package that supports tag oriented web page authors.   The Kit also includes the TIDY utility.  The program is quite powerful and I often use it in lieu of FrontPage.

Lab and Computer Matters

A204-22 reported an infection with a virus called "Marker" on 06 March. This is the first and only instance of the virus in the A204 lab.

F-Stop 3.07 was installed on the GP6-350 in F105.  The program still appears to have stability problems when used in conjunction with FrontPage 98 full version. 

Opera 4.0 Beta 2 was not functionally stable on the GP5-350.  Opera 4.0 Beta 3 is more stable, but still pops an error on exit.

Set up and updating of the new PIII 600 "Penxium" in F105 was completed on 17 April 2000.  This computer was purchased by Title III to support faculty in the creation of their own CDROMs.  CD-RW disks have yet to be purchased.  Training will likely occur this summer and continue on into next year in my role as computer support for the department.

On 28 March I found a student playing solitaire on A204-07.  The student and the games were removed.  That same day I watched a student try to activate a "scratch and sniff" picture on a web site.  When I left the lab the same student was clicking their way through 150 sequential dialog boxes that could not be cancelled.

A purchase order for two CDROM drives, two floppy drives, a hard drive, and a hub were prepared and sent up the pipe.  The hard drive is for the "HCOP" computer.

I've continued to provide daily support to the faculty in the department.

17 April I showed Mary how to use the scanner to scan images, OCR documents, and produce one off copies on the Optra system.

Post Title III Projects

The purchase order was prepared for the Next Wave project computer.  The desk for this computer has yet to be purchased.  Preparation of space for this equipment will be done during the Spring vacation.

Technical Advisory Committee Matter

Back in 1996 the Computer Advisory Technical Subcommittee recommended that all administrative and secretarial computers be equipped with Microsoft Office Professional to provide access to Powerpoint and Access.  Only student computers should be equipped with the lesser Microsoft Small Business Edition.  Faculty computers should be probably be configured with Microsoft Office Professional for access to Powerpoint.


No PREL support work has occurred during this time period, but I remain in the loop and on hot standby should my services be needed.


Work was done for VPIA Spensin James on some analysis within the OAR database during the week of 20 March.

On 06 April I worked with Greg and Dayle on the outline for an Access database to hold teacher data for a grant.  This work will be sporadically ongoing.

On the 13th of April I assisted Joe Saimon in putting together an Excel database to track equipment in the MITC. Followup has yet to occur.

BotanySelaginella growing in Dana's front yard.

With the assistance of Kirsten Llamas, the mystery of the Syzygiums is gradually unravelling.  Kirsten has also been exceptionally helpful in sorting out other unidentified plants.  Kirsten is an author living in Florida, we communicate via email.


I have continued to participate in the landscaping committee meetings on Tuesday mornings.  The meetings have become biweekly since mid-March.  I continue to provide guidance wherein my knowledge allows me to be useful.  The kede experiment continues, with the switch to younger plants being one my recommendations.

I also try to make biweekly forays out and around the site of the new gym, keeping an eye out for unusual plants that might be unintentionally introduced.  I also usually check on the boundary between the construction work and the Japanese cemetary and keep an eye on the health of the Lycopodium cernua found out in the field.


Letters of recommendation were written for Morthy Solomon and Suprina Ladore.

I solved a printer problem in Kosrae via email by the following email series:
Dana: What operating system are you using?
Kosrae: Windows 95
Dana: Shut down the computer, turn everything off, then turn everything on and restart the computer.
Kosrae: Thanks, that worked!  The printer is printing again.
Dana: When in doubt, reboot


I continued my medical plant knowledge acquisition by using the young leaves of Phymatosorus scolopendria to treat a bout with an intestinal bug.  P. scolopendria was quite efficacious and the taste is rather seriously underrated. 


I completed the 13.1 mile half marathon in 2 hours and ran two 5Ks in under thirty minutes.  I also fell off the causeway and onto coralline boulders chasing an errant ball in the second 5K. 

The Tuesday - Thursday runs home with Ellie and Carl have been real mind savers during this period. Long runs have a way of training the mind to deal with stress. 

I had to decline an invitation to speak at a Peace Corps Close of Service conference during March due to a conflicting class.  I gather I was to have spoken, based on my own experience, on "re-entry" into the United States and its culture.  My speech would have been short, a word actually, "Don't." 

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