WELCOME TO LORI'S WORLD: Week 3

Week 3
Using UNIX and Pine
Published September 10, 1995
Lori N. M. Morita
Psychology 409
Dr. Leon James


Two things could have happened to Oswald Avery:
He may have had the greatest philosophy for success, or
he may have just been clumsy.

Whenever you fall, pick something up.



How difficult was this week's task (lumping all the sub-tasks together)? Circle one.
Very Easy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very hard
This week's rating= 7

How much negative emotions did it cost you, in all?
Very Little 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very much
This week's rating=5

How valuable for later use is this knowledge or skill going to be for you?
Not useful 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very useful
This week's rating=8

How likely is it that you'll be getting good at this week's tasks?
Not likely 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Quite likely
This week's rating=9

How satisfied are you with the computer and Internet systems?
Not satisfied 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very satisfied
This week's rating=7

How hard did you try to get through this week's tasks?
Gave up easily 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Refused to give up
This week's rating=9


Looking at my ratings for the overall difficulty of this week's task, I see the rating lower although the work was difficult. The only thing I can attribute this to is habituation to the frustration during trial and error, which is how I maneuver through each week's task.

The first subtasks were easier than the last (is there a pattern here or is it just me?); the last being the most time-consuming. I did not notice many fossilized errors, which strikes me now as strange. Usually, a repeated mistake (four or five times) is recorded in my notes. Looking back on them, there is no FEFP (Fossilized Error Faux Pas) code. I do not remember being very frustrated over one command. A mistake made once, maybe twice, but nothing outstanding. This makes me feel two ways:

  1. I am getting better at information and commands.
  2. I am getting worse at my note-taking.
So far, the note-taking has been working for me quite well. Hey, that's pretty positive there, Lori. Maybe there's hope for you after all.

The repeated lapses were still, well, repeated. The most difficult repeated lapse was with establishing links. I kept returning to my notes for the proper form. The only resolution seems to be consistent establishment of links so I will internalize the correct form. This resolution procedure has worked well with remembering URLs, how to produce a title in HTML, etc. I'm sticking with what works till otherwise notified by the problem.

The negative emotions were not as great as in previous weeks, and I attribute this to the adjustment to the Internet and getting accustomed to its procedures. I ask for help more readily, review more extensive notes from previous weeks, and am more connected to my team member and classmates as a whole. It seems the feeling of aloneness is directly correlated with my emotions regarding the Internet and learning something new. The feelings of inadequacy return, but not as frequently and not as intensely. I had difficulty with subtask 4 (Using Fetch, select a file on your personal diskette and upload it to your UNIX account, the ftp it over to your CSS account and convert it using rtftohtml--the view it in emacs, pico, Netscape), and it is there I experienced my strongest feelings of inadequacy.

To ftp, I went to Telnet icon, then clicked the ftp icon. I connected to the uhunix.its.hawaii.edu, used my e-mail address for my name, and my password for same, with the remote host being uhunix/home/3/lmorita (this was abbreviated by the computer to /home/3/lmorita). This set me up with a directory on the right hand side. I clicked [-a], and chgdir, which put me into my disk. On the left side, my disk listings showed also. I selected the document, and clicked the arrow key that pointed to the right. It then appeared in my UNIX account.

To ftp this over to my CSS account, under Commands, select Local, then Change Directory to [-a]. Next, to Session, under open, and did an FTP login. My host this time was www.soc.hawaii.edu. Then at the ftp command, I typed send cafe.wpd. I believed I had success because the computer then showed:

200 PORT command successful 150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for cafe.wpd 226 Transfer complete remote file: cafe.wpd local file: cafe.wpd Transferred 0 bytes in 1.00 sec (0.000 Kbytes/sec)

After leaving ftp, and logging in to www, I checked my directory. It was listed in my CSS account. I followed the procedures for Publishing on the WWW to convert (rtftohtml) my file. The document Instructions for Publishing Your Reports on the WWW, on Dr. James' home page, was very helpful. Going according to plan (exactly to blueprint...or blackprint, whatever), at the prompt

rtftohtml_src$: rtftohtml ~/cafe.wpd.rtf
things went haywire.
The computer responded:
can't open 'club/leonj/student2/p12/cafe.wpd.rtf

Unblocking the file did nothing. I repeated the entire process three times, and still the result was the same. I tried a different word processing program (a repeated lapse: Dr. James had said repeatedly that it does not matter what word processor is used, and so had the Instructions for Publishing Your Report on the WWW), and the result was identical.

I asked the computer monitors at the Keller Lab, but they did not know what I was doing, let alone what I was doing wrong. Strangely enough, this did not make me feel less alone, but more alone. In previous reports, especially Week 1: Using Netscape for the First Time, I cited feeling consoled when I realised other people were having difficulties also. This time, there was absolutely no consolation in knowing that they were experiencing the same problem. The reasons for this, though obvious, are interesting to me: after I had overcome the fear of asking for help, I had the expectation that when I did ask for help, I would have my problem explained/corrected. Knowing I could get no help made me feel alone again, rather similar feelings to my first week's frustration. However, since it was a subtask, and since my previous week's successes were still in my head, it did not produce the same intensity of negative feeling.

Regardless of my observations, I am still unable to finish the last subtask. Any advice?

The value of this is evident for me: it is a building block for future files, and converting a word processing document to HTML form will be time-saving instead of my current method of writing my report directly in HTML form. However, right now, it would only be for my longer documents. I will also need to become much more proficient at document conversion for it to be my first option instead of present method.

The value of the other subtasks is more obvious to me, probably because they are much more pertinent to me. I will send Netscape/other Web documents to myself, and I have seen some great home pages that invite me to send mail--very tempting. In fact, I recently looked at the home page of Adam Carey (aka Beefer), and sent him mail on his home page. And so, this skill is being used already.

I am more and more satisfied with the Internet and the computer. However, I am beginning to realise the distinction between feelings concerning the Internet and my own feelings of competency may never be apparent. As my skills progress, and I feel more and more confident working on the Internet, my feelings about the Internet become more and more positive. Is this not the way things should be? The way they usually are? As one becomes more proficient at a task, the more enjoyment is found in the task, and so the more positive association. However, I can easily see my self-esteem and sense of self-worth becoming dependent on profiency at just one task, and this could lead to a whole different ballgame. We're talking therapy at a certain point; lots and lots of therapy for obsessive-complusive, you name it. But hey, I could be wrong. Undergraduates usually are, they tell me.

There is a developmental trend involved with this: I am spending more and more time on the computer. I logged in 30+ hours last week. This is becoming a part-time job. I do not notice the time while at the terminal. Checking out of a lab can take me aback...way, way, way back.

"I've been here for seven hours?"
"Hoh! When did you check in? Uh...10 to 11...uh...yeah, seven hours. You want eyedrops?"
"Nah, thanks, Vince/John/Lenny/Herbert/etc."
"Keh, bye Lori."
And in my mind:
There are way too many first names involved here. I gotta get out more. Maybe the beach...but where would I plug the modem in...
Aaaack. And despite my grumbling and complaining at the beginning of the course, I am enjoying myself immensely. I become more and more excited at engaging a link and finding something on the other Cyberside. I am almost never disappointed. I do not experience boredom, and experience fatigue less and less, despite the longer hours. Go figure.

What am I going to do about the last subtask? I will keep attacking the problem and will keep asking for help. You never know who might know about it. And the hours spent on the Internet? I will log my time, complete my assignments, and limit my extra-curricular Cyberadventures to a certain number of hours a day. This involves prioritizing, and even at this point, some serious discipline. I mean, hey, I could spend more and more time, at which point I would need the discipline of a drill sargent. What am I going to do about the links? I will keep making them, and eventually, the proper form will be second nature. About feeling alone? Well, that's going to be a whole other report. Heck, maybe a whole other project.

E-mail,Shmee-mail. lmorita@hawaii.edu