This semester, I am teaching a course in Computer Programming. This course is an introduction to Java which serves as a prerequisite to the AP Computer Science class that I also teach.
Earlier this year, my old 40 Gb hard drive it the dust right around the time that my 80 Gb upgraded drive arrived. Instead of just porting all of the data and applications, I decided to rebuild my drive one application at a time. Since I was not teaching a programming course, I did not install a compiler. My programming course started on Tuesday. I did an introduction and then wanted to get students to help install the compiler that we were going to use. In the past, I have used JCreator because that was what I learned with. However, many people have been using BlueJ and raving about it. Having read the documentation, I decided that it was time to switch, since I had to do a new install.
Dave Wittry (apcomputerscience.com) has put together a great set of instructions on how to install the program. After following the instructions, I could not get it to work. Ok, I thought, I instead will have the students follow the instructions to install on their workstations at school. This would be a great experience and I would be able to see who can follow instructions and who couldn’t. I have done this in the past and it has been a great experience.
Not this year. Everything that could go wrong did so. After two days, we were unable to get a working version up and running. I finally uninstalled everything and reinstalled. I got mine to finally work. I still do not know what the problem was. I went and loaded it onto the student workstations, untangling their messes. After two hours, I finally got it to work so that tomorrow, we can begin to delve into code. So, we are ready to work tomorrow, but time has been lost. Live and learn, I guess.