A couple of anonymous comments came in today that I figure I’ll address here. Here’s the first:
Is there a way to make Ares actually usable? Limiting our printing to 48 pages when the reading is 67 is a rather effective way to hamstring us. Also, the format not working with tablets is a problem. And “checking out” a copy doesn’t actually work like a library book, where you can put that file on your ereader or computer, and has no actual functional use. Is there a better way of transferring the material to a useful format, or will we simply be chained to the terrible PDF files Ares provides us with? For a class that hinges on technology, being years behind the local library is frustrating.
On the one hand, I’ll simply say that I share your frustrations when it comes to the crap-tacularness of using e-books through the university library (what with all the limitations, restrictions, and other stupid DRM crap they try to foster on you). This is one of the reasons I tried to purge as many of them from the list of course readings as possible over the summer. On the other hand, I’m not exactly sure what you want me to do about it. I don’t run Course Reserves at the library. I didn’t write the coding for or manage the uploading of material to the ARES system. If you have complaints about ARES and its applicability to tablets and whatnot, talk to them. Other than the current set-up, my only other option was to make you buy all these books. Which would you prefer in the long run? I think I know the answer to that one already.
And here is comment two:
I tried to open the David Wengrow e-book, but there’s an error and it won’t let me read anything. It says something about an invalid timestamp? I can be technologically challenged sometimes so maybe it’s me, but I can’t get it to open.
This is the sort of message I would prefer you contact me directly about, as I cannot really help you more unless I know who you are. That said, if you are having problems accessing the Wengrow e-book, you need to contact the library IT people. Other than telling you to try it on a different computer, I’ve got nothing.
Stuff like this and the few problems with e-books from the summer course pretty much guarantees that I will be requiring students to purchase the Wengrow book in the future.
Meanwhile, to distract you, I give you techno dancing robots!