The UCF Groupwise server seems to be down. I need to login and retrieve a file, but can’t. I have also had several other problems accessing mail using Thunderbird, my email client. Old emails mysteriously get downloaded again, and get tagged as new, and then I have to delete them.
UCF has a really weak and sorry IT infrastructure. It is almost entirely built upon Windows technologies.
I tried setting up my website at http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~ca851813 before I outgrew it, since it just didn’t work, most of the time. The default index page on that server is “home.html” and not “index.html” which is kind of arcane.
I wonder why unlike some other universities, UCF is not so welcoming to open source technologies and products. Someone at the GOLUG said that when they tried to generate some interest for the LUG among the university engineering professors, the response they got was, “No, we really don’t want to be associated with evil hackers, now, do we?”.
The university-wide online management system, based on PeopleSoft even returns a”You are not using Internet Explorer, and you can expect to die, or rot in hell” error if you try to login using anything but IE.
The other day I called the writing center for some LaTeX related help. They were confused at first, and I guess they thought I was some crazy Indian screwing up the English language, and so I spelt it out for them. They said they will get back to me after they find someone who is an expert at using LaTeX. A half hour later I got a call saying no one in the writing center had heard of LaTeX before.
There are so many instances, that occur almost on a daily basis, that makes it more difficult for me to work efficiently (not that I am really industrious), like for example WebCT, which I have to fight with as a part of my job as a T.A. Setting up a website for a course is hell, if you don’t have your own private server/hosting account.
Oh well – I just had to let go of a little steam. UCF would make a perfect case-study of how open source technology can make life easier and simpler, and more economical, too.