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download dilemna

January 23, 2010

The other day I almost lost my usb drive by leaving it in a computer and going on to another class. I retrieved just as another professor left the classroom after I had attended a committee meeting that kept me at school a couple of hours later than I normally stay.

That same night read that Google was encouraging folks to store more on Google docs.  I thought I would try and ended up on Microsoft’s Workspaces.  I want to put my PowerPoints for class online to avoid losing my drive, but I still want to use my remote control so I am not tethered (trendy word) to my computer in front of class.  I like to roam around the class during some presentations and during in-class work. 

I started with Google docs which I have done a little with in the past and like.  I put a couple of files there and tried them out.  It did not work.  The first problem I ran into was I could not upload .pptx files, i.e, the Office 2007 format.  So I saved the file in the .ppt format and uploaded it.  Then I tried to show it, but I couldn’t use my remote with the online version and the few animations would not work.  I was losing three elements that were important to me: the first one, the file format, is important because I would have to resave several files to get them in the correct format, and the second element I would lose is the capability to use my remote.  Losing the animations was only a problem on some files because on the newer ones I have moved away from animations to copying the slide and making the changes on the next slide which gives the impression of animation, but saves me from having to mess with all the settings.  That seemed too high a price. 

I could have gone to box.net, which I used in the past, but I decided to give Microsoft’s Workspaces a try.  I can upload the PowerPoint files in the .pptx format and download them in the same format which enables me to use my remote plus I keep some of the animations I have put in the files. While it isn’t necessarily ideal since I can’t show the slides online, I have 5 GB of storage and can upload files that are less than 25 MB.  I only ran into a problem once so far when the online connection was slow for a large file. 

Still there are adjustments I need to make.  I have videos embedded in some PowerPoint files, and the videos won’t load to Workspaces because they are too big.  I may move those presentations to box.net which allows me to upload video along with PowerPoint.  The other alternative is to learn how to make the connections to the youtube videos in the presentations when I use youtube videos, which I have resisted because in the past I didn’t have faith in the internet connections being totally reliable nor did I want to learn how to do that coding and all the extra steps involved.  Inertia rules.

For now, I will stick to Workspaces with a little assist from box.net.
 

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