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Lessons Learned

The team worked on three sites during the semester so the reflection below is reflective of this.

Group Reflections

  • The most important lesson we learned was to be flexible, because things don’t always go as planned.
    • In the case of Eagle’s Nest we were only able to run cable because the construction was not done.
    • In the case of Opal’s House we had to clean, mow the lawn and volunteer to help Essie with the golf tournament.
    • Because Eagle’s Nest was done so soon we had to work at an extra site (St. Luke’s)  and do all the planning in a very short amount of time.
  • While learning about the history of Eagle’s Nest and Opal’s House we realized that it takes an enormous amount of time and effort to get places like these running.  If it wasn’t because the community leaders are so full of energy and enthusiasm, these projects could never get done.
  • Computers don’t work well without the right drivers.  Finding the right drivers can be very hard. Sometimes the adapters have no sufficient information, sometimes the manufacture  no longer exists. You have to google, guess, and trail and error for correct ones.
  • All of us learned how to make cables. Making cable can be complicated since we had to make sure that all the colors of the smaller cables were set up in the right order. We had to test all the cables to make sure they worked properly. We also learned not to assume that cables that had been left by previous classes worked properly, after testing a couple of them we found out they did not work.
  • Problems may occur elsewhere. For example, after checking all the cables in St. Luke’s, we still faced the connection problems. We tested the cables by other Hub and found they worked properly. At last, we found out the real problem is that several ports of the original HUB(3 and 4) has been broken. In addition, we thought the cable which connected to computer 2 in Opal’s House was broken, actually the NIC is bad so computer 2 cannot be connected.
  • Any surplus hardware (like keyboards and mice) are still useful to other sites, do not throw them away.
  • Updating can consume your time and test your patience. Any updates should be done in GSLIS, because you are not sure how much bandwidth is in the sites.  
  • Patience is an important quality to have when installing programs. It can often take a long time for things to download and work correctly.
  • Ask the contact information of the community leaders and contact them before leaving for their sites. In this way, it’s going to improve the efficiency. On our second trip to East St.Louise, we planned to work at Opal’s House. However, we could not make it because her email address and her phone number we got somewhere else could not help us reach Essie.As a result we had to change our plan.
  • Keep communications with community leaders and make sure of their needs. When we found several free parental controls online, we explained each product to the community leader and let him make the choice.
  • Do not connect the flash drive cable to the hard drive cable. It will break the flash drive and fail software updating.
  • Resolution problem can fail software installing. If resolution can not be adjusted properly on computer, google searching for the right medium driver for the computer is a must. Find the right model by opening the case and looking inside if necessary. Though searching and testing is painful, it means one solution for all. It is  really worthy and cost-effective.
  • Always gather together as a team before starting and finishing a plan. Clarify and remind what a team needs to do today and to take  tomorrow. Therefore, all team members are actively involved  and contribute greatly to the accomplishment of the team project.  Our team did a good job in this regard.
  • Always  bring more than what  you need, power cords, switch boards, hubs, cables, software CDS, portable flash drive. Everything you are using in your lab may end up your savior on the site.
  • Three heads are better than one. Team work help us to learn from each other and work out the solutions. it is essential for us to accomplish our project!