Computers are our friends

… except when they’re not

1. Save, make backups, and print hard copy frequently.

2. Be sure to have whatever ‚office’ software is supported by your campus computer service department. Be sure you know how to use it. If you don’t, you should take advantage of whatever opportunities your campus provides (courses, workshops, tutorials, etc.) to get yourself up to speed right away. Don’t worry – you’re not the only person on campus who didn’t learn C++ programming in day care, isn’t quite sure what PowerPoint is, or thinks a browser window is a special feature designed by department stores for career shoppers.

3. Before you spend too much time creating fancy cover sheets and elegant formatting, check the guidelines for the assignment. Some professors actually believe that following their instructions count. Others prefer not to waste paper. Others just don’t want to store any more pages than are absolutely necessary. None of them really want to see cute fonts or smiley-face bullets on your term paper.

4. If you’re going to submit assignments on disk or electronically, be sure you understand all the technical requirements – your professor will not take the time to hunt down a copy of Ancient Word Processor version 3.2 so she can read your paper.

5. Save, make backups, and print hard copy frequently.

6. Plan your work schedule to allow for glitches. Although it will turn you into a cause of morbid fascination, print papers out 24 hours before they’re due rather than 5 minutes before class (of course, this requires that you actually have them written even further ahead of deadline – hence the morbid fascination). That way you’ll have time to deal with dead printers, frozen screens, broken scanners, etc. and still get your work in on time. Trust me – professors really don’t want to hear that the computer ate your homework.

7. Save your work frequently and keep an external backup on disk or CD. Better yet, keep two external backups – one where you can spill coffee on it and one where it’s safe (possibly under the pile of dirty laundry where it will be undisturbed until you graduate. . .). It’s also a good idea to print hard copy of paper drafts each time you finish working on them. You can recycle old papers for this purpose – just be sure you can tell the old work from the new stuff if you ever actually need to use it.

8. Electronic communication is a wonderful thing. Double check address lines to be sure that the private message goes to your classmate and not to the professor. If you use your own e-mail account, do not select a cute, ‚sexy’ ID – unless you really want your professor thinking of you as ‚sweetlips17’. If you’re using e-mail to communicate to a professor, be sure to sign with your real name and student ID number. Unless she asks you to do so, do not add your favorite professor to your list of addresses to whom you send endless variations of the Neiman-Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe, virus hoaxes, and jokes that she probably saw on-line before you learned how to say ‚dot-com.’

9. Save, make backups, and print hard copy frequently.

10. Did I mention that you should save, make backups, and print hard copy frequently?



backup zapasowy (np. kopia)
tutorial seminarium
to follow instructions podążać za instrukcjami
to submit przedkładać
to hunt down dopaść, upolować
morbid chorobliwy
external zewnętrzny
cute sympatyczny, fajny
hoaxe bujda, oszustwo