What is going on?! When I first read about this class, I was so excited. I thought this was my one chance to learn something I always wanted...this was my one chance to finally get on the information highway. So far, I have been hopelessly lost. I have been here, in this lonely, cold, foodless lab for the entire night...and I've only figured out one thing...I'm never going to pass this class (sob).
But I'm trying really hard. I am not even sure if what I am typing now would do anything on Netscape. Well, here goes!
(...after many horrible trials, saving the thing on my disk, ftp it back over 2 million times to find it looking exactly like the way it did on Microsoft Word as on Netscape, harassing Professor Raut...who had the misfortune to use the terminal next to mine, and then finally...just before 11 PM...)
It worked! It finally worked! What should I do now?
Want more on cyber frustration and how to get over it (or feel that you are definitely not alone), read my Report 2: My Adapting to the Internet
My Experience in G1 and G2
What a traumatic experience! When we first got on the computer during our class meeting, I was anxious to get on the computer and see what Traffic Psychology reports were all about. I don't think I ever expected them to be on Netscape...looking the way they do. In fact, I don't think I had any clue what I was getting myself into until that day.
I first clicked into the homepages of G2. Most of them were so brilliant that I thought, "NO! This can't be happening to me. How can I ever make anything look like that?" In G2, all of the pages had beautiful backgrounds and icons. They looked as if they were made by professionals. To think they were created by students just last semester was astonishing.
Clicking over to G1, the difference was obvious. Now these looked more like the creations from someone like me--a computer illiterate college student. The pages were all on gray background, and there were hardly any icons.
To me, G1 was plain and ugly, but also...strangely comforting in the crudeness of their appearance. G2 was fantastic and nice to look at, but its pages definitely added a load of pressure and a few killer butterflies in my stomach.
Appearance of G1 and G2 Homepages
Through my travels in G1 and G2, I noticed significant differences. The background of the G1 homepages are mostly in the standard Netscape gray. On the whole, G1 homepages were not very appealing. As a matter of fact, if they were not required, I wouldn't even bother to read them. Unappealing as they were, as I aimlessly surfed through them, I came across several reports that were quite novel, humorous and insightful. G2 homepages were much prettier in their appearance, but I find their reports somewhat shallow and redundant. They only repeated and linked to everything G1 has already discussed. As a suggestion to better future traffic psychology generations, I think introducing a different weekly (or biweekly) topic would increase the readability of their reports.
Individual Appearances of Homepages
After surfing through nearly every homepage in G1 and G2, and realizing critiques on each would definitely prompt readers to skip my entire report before their sleep drool ooze over their key boards, I chose to stick to those with report contents which I've found to be interesting (in other words, non-sleep-toxic).
Since G1 reports were novel, I actually had a difficult time leaving them to go to G2. These were the reports I visited: Shane Akagi, Todd Takitani, Caroline Balatico, Jae Isa, Michelle Ota, and Kendall Mitsuyoshi.
Shane Akagi constructed one of the better hompages in G1. When I first clicked over to his homepage, I saw the dull, standard gray background and immediately felt a warm liquid, possibly bile, rising up to my throat. I guess I clicked onto G2 first, and so the vast difference between the appearance of their pages shocked me. Why was Akagi's one of the better pages in G1? First of all, he actually looked like he was organized, and of course...there was that cute little rainbow line dividing his name from the rest of the page. In other words, his page actually had some color ...some life. Although his homepage looked like a bunch of information squeezed tightly together (due to small font), his index and other files showed great organization. I only hope I can accomplish the same thing.
Todd Takitani's homepage was also on standard Netscape gray, he did not have any icons and no real organization. He did not divide up his reports the way others did, which makes it quite difficult to hop from one report to the other. The whole report just goes on and on. The worst thing is--many of his files and links, including his index--do not exist anymore. If it was not for that very humorous, very captivating first paragraph of his report, I definitely would have miss possibly the funniest report in G1.
Caroline Balatico's page, like Akagi's, was great in organization, but just like Akagi, she also squeezed everything together in that unbearably tiny, standard font. Although she did not have any colorful icons on the dull gray backgrounds, the terms she used to attract people to her links were cute and cheerful. Whereas guys would not have used "silly", "feminine" terms such as "happy", "joy", "morphin' time"--her titles gave the reports a certain mysterious, hedonistic appeal.
Jae Isa has, I think, the best homepage in G1. Although her background was also on the dull gray, she actually used some icons. But also because of these different icons, and her inability to adjust the font and icon size, her organized homepage looked messy. Isa's index showed terrific organization; it was really clear exactly what she has in each file.
Michelle Ota also had a great page. Like Isa, she used icons to add life into her page. Not as many or as different as Isa's, her icons actually clarified the links in her page. Because Ota did not put any spaces between her tiny font sized links, the red dots helped made them look less tightly cramped together.
Lastly, I visited Kendall Matsuyoshi's homepage. Like Akagi and Balatico, he had exceptional organizational skills. But, again, his files were all on the sickening, boring gray.
G1 homepages taught me several things:
For me, the content of G2 reports were not as interesting as G1. Although the appearance of their pages were much nicer, I somehow ended up looking at more G1 papers than G2...instead of the other way around like most others.
The G2 homepages I visited are Berna Collado, Alan Furukawa, Braden Kato, Letitia Lujan, and Sheldon Tawata.
Because Dr. James had instructed us via e-mail to contribute to Berna Collado's Confessions page, I jumped into it just after I visited some G1 pages. When I first saw it, I felt like I've been punched in the stomach. I didn't know how to make anything work at the time, and seeing the beauty of her page--I just knew I can never make anything that impressive. Her page really depressed me. Even now, I still think it is very nice. But I can see the flaws on her page. At first, I thought her words were really cute--she capitalized some letters within a word (like RePorTs, OtHeR, and DriViNg)--but it also takes an extra two seconds to figure out what those words really were. In her Confessions page, it is almost near impossible to stay patient and figure out what the words meant. So I just gave up. I don't think I was the only one who would just skip the page altogether. Everything else was good. In her index, organization was great but the icons were all different shapes of black, which makes it appeared a little cluttered up.
In contrast, Alan Furukawa had a much easier to read homepage. However, his background was of a neon color, and his page was definitely not as artistic as Collado's. What bothered me was, when the page first came on screen, I could not see anything past his heading and the icon. There were so much space in that first screen that if his page wasn't in G2, I'd wonder if it was just a bland, neon background. The same goes for his index, but his organizational skills were clear and to the point. His index was the reason I read his reports.
Braden Kato's homepage had an attractive heading. Disappointingly, the rest of his page was plain. He had two icons in total. His index looked so unorganized that at first I wondered if he just threw things in there off the top of his head. But the reason it looked so unconnected was because he organized not by individual reports, but in alphabetical order. If I had just passed by his page, I don't think I would visit his reports at all. I only stumbled into his report because his index contained the subject which I was looking at.
Letitia Lujan's homepage was one of the pages I liked most in G2 (and it's not because I'm also from Guam and her page really was a homepage to me). She had a very attractive heading. But it was quite a stretch, like Furukawa's, because the heading ran across the entire page. Lujan also centered everything, the jagged edges and the icons in front of the links made her homepage messy because her icons were not aligned. Despite of all these flaws, the Personal Album on her page was a really nice touch. Lujan also had an organized index. Although the links appeared rather uneven due to her number of subheadings under each file.
I think I shouldn't have clicked into Collado's homepage before everyone else. Because every homepage seemed boring after that. Take Sheldon Tawata's homepage, for example. It was very clear and precise. He did not use anything to clutter it up and I really like the simplicity. He can live without attractive icons and backgrounds. His page is a sheet of white paper, with a few sprinkles of words...Which the readers will surf right over! His index, however, is very organized. Neither his index nor his homepage contained any annotations. Tawata's page is probably the dullest page in G2.
What I've learned from G2:
Content of G1 and G2 Homepages
To me, the reports of G1 are much more enjoyable than G2 because their topics were sought out on their own...without the influence or pressure from previous generations. Because the topics were novel, and they only have each other to work on, their reports appeared more in-depth and organized. With G2, they were pressured to read and identify with the reports from G1, moreover, they were supposed to improve the appearance of their pages. Anyone in G3 can tell you improving the appearance of their pages can be just as difficult and time-consuming as writing their reports. Therefore the lack of originality and readability of G2 reports should not be totally blamed on the students who wrote the reports, but on the lack of new topics for them to explore with.
Different TopicsBecause G1 and G2 had covered so many topics, I chose a few that interested me...or rather, the ones I personally can relate to when I'm in a car.
Most of the topics were discussed by the students whose homepages I criticized earlier. These were the ones I picked: