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How should I upgrade from Windows Vista before it becomes unsupported?

By Jack Schofield


March 16, 2017

Readers have reacted to messages about ‘the end of Windows Vista’ with a flurry of questions about their options. Here are the main ones I have a Compaq Presario CQ60-215DX. Can I upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 or 10?Leslie If I upgrade to Windows 7, do I need to upgrade my programs etc first?Lynn I have a decent PC running Vista – fast processor, 8GB of memory. Is there an easy way to wipe it clean and do a new install of Windows 10? I have my data files backed up. Tim Cont … Read More

I know it's a dumb question, but

March 15, 2017

… what does it mean when it says that USGSOs seeking to be recognized are expected to maintain “in both policy and practice … Publication of the demographic breakdown of the organization’s membership”? (2(d) on page 16 of the Report.) At a minimum, “demographic breakdown” must mean by gender, in which case this is a way of walking back from the promisepreviously made to the Seneca that it would suffice change the club’s bylaws without changing … Read More

More about the Implementation

March 14, 2017

I hadn’t noticed Section 2 of Appendix H of the Implementation Committee Report until a student asked me about it. This section makes various recommendations about how Harvard space could be repurposed for undergraduate social life. Some of these ideas seem good, but I wonder how much thought has gone into them since they all seem to have problems. Renew the Queen’s Head Pub. Great idea, but will Harvard really do a third major renovation of this space in barely twenty years? The o … Read More

Professor Haig's motion against compelled oaths

March 12, 2017

This is a guest post by Professor David Haig of the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. ------------------------ At the meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of November 1, 2016 I spoke in favor of the Lewis motion in these words. “There is good will on both sides of this debate. I have three concerns about the current policy. First is the issue of consistency. If we sanction students for membership in groups of which we disapprove, we can less credibly defend the … Read More

How it would probably work in practice

March 10, 2017

The USGSO Implementation Committee, recognizing that only fellow students would actually know who was in a prohibited organization, tried to get students out of the policing and reporting business by using a protocol of oath-taking. Students wanting scholarship nominations or leadership positions would swear they were not in a prohibited organization. The crime against the College would then be lying, went the idea, and we know how to deal with lying. We already have an Honor Council that handle … Read More

What’s the best way to listen to ebooks?

By Jack Schofield


March 9, 2017

Peter’s wife used to love reading, but a stroke has limited her to consuming TV and radio. Would an Amazon Kindle or another device enable her to listen to books instead? My wife used to love reading but since her stroke has aphasia, no speech, limited vision and limited dexterity in her left hand only. She can select TV channels on a remote but she cannot read a short news story let alone a novel, so she listens to the radio and watches a lot of TV. I thought of getting her a Kindle e-rea … Read More

Where the rubber meets the road

March 8, 2017

The Implementation Committee reportis out, and Dean Khurana has acceptedits recommendations. The issuance of the report was followed quickly by the appointmentof the committee to consider alternatives, chaired, oddly, by Dean Khurana himself along with another faculty member. (One wonders if he might have delayed accepting the Committee’s recommendations until he had listened to other ideas from his new committee. Oh well.) The report includes an elaborate set of definitions and categor … Read More

Guest Post on Nondiscrimination

March 7, 2017

My colleague Margo Seltzer, after reading the newly released report of the USGSO Implementation Committee, found it so admirable that she offered a modest proposal, reproduced here with permission, about how it could be adopted ever so slightly for faculty use. Red is text deleted from the committee recommendations, bold is the suggested replacement. (Yes, I will have something to say about all this in due course--I am waiting for the "faculty committee to assess whether the USGSO policy can be … Read More

An odd fact about my teaching career

March 1, 2017

The Crimson picked up the news that I will be teaching half time for the next two years and then officially retiring on July 1, 2020 (after taking some banked sabbatical). Long way off, and I have no intention of going anywhere anyway. My colleagues are organizing a Celebration of Computer Science in my honor, which should be a lot of fun. I have been privileged to have amazing students over the years and I am hoping to see many of them there. By my count, nine Harvard professors took courses f … Read More

How should I replace the failing laptop I use for watching TV and DVDs?

By Jack Schofield


February 23, 2017

Emma uses an old 17in laptop for watching TV and DVDs. Would it be better to replace it with a similar laptop, a desktop, or perhaps even buy a TV? We don’t have a traditional TV set at home: instead, we watch TV programmes and DVDs on a 17in Dell Studio 17 laptop, which we plug into our Denon hi-fi system to get decent sound. My husband also uses the laptop for a desktop publishing project. Unfortunately, our Dell is nearly 10 years old. It’s running Windows Vista, the internet is p … Read More

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