Introducing Falconmail.me

Falconmail.me was not renewed and no longer works as of 2011-11-30.

I’m introducing a new email forwarding service called Falconmail.me which allows you to share an email address that is 14 characters shorter than Daytona State College’s standard @falconmail.daytonastate.edu student email addresses.

How it works

My email is richard_thripp@falconmail.daytonastate.edu, but if I give out the email address richard_thripp@falconmail.me, email sent to the Falconmail.me address will be directly forwarded to the falconmail.daytonastate.edu by the host.thripp.com mailserver. Then, if you’ve set your Daytona State College email address to forward to your own account (i.e. Gmail or Hotmail), DSC will forward it to you, so the message will be forwarded twice.

I’ve tested this, and it works perfectly for me. I’ve set my server to just forward all email sent to Falconmail.me to falconmail.daytonastate.edu. The only danger is if the Daytona State IT department decides to block Falconmail.me, the forwarding will immediately cease to work. I encourage them not to do this but instead use their own spam filtering, and I may add spam filtering to Falconmail.me in the future. I am also willing to transfer the domain to the college if they will actually use it.

Falconmail.me was not renewed and no longer works as of 2011-11-30.

If you are a DSC student, you have an email in the format firstname_lastname@falconmail.daytonastate.edu, so you can immediately begin sharing firstname_lastname@falconmail.me with people to save them some typing. Falconmail.me, DaytonaState.org, and Thripp.com are hosted on a WiredTree Hybrid Dedicated server with over 99.9% uptime, so no emails should be lost.

I will be keeping no records whatsoever of any emails forwarded through Falconmail.me. I set up a domain-level forwarder in cPanel and I have no interest in collecting personal data. I just saw that the Falconmail.me domain was unregistered and I thought it would make a cool service.

.me is a new top-level domain introduced in 2007 for the country of Montenegro, but it is being marketed as a multinational domain for self-identification. This means you can use Falconmail as a verb and say “Falconmail me” to your friends, and the phrase matches the domain.

Enjoy your new Falconmail.me forwarding email address!

Falconmail.me was not renewed and no longer works as of 2011-11-30.

How to Log In to Florida Online at Daytona State College

MVSmith asked this question over in the Daytona State College forum:

Virtual College

Where did it go?

I’m signed up for Sociology via online with the VC and not only have I not yet heard from the professor, but the links I have to the VC no longer work. On top of that, I’ve been searching the new site for DSC and there’s nothing there (that I’ve found anyways).

So, if we have a class online, how do we get to it?

It’s a good question. The new virtual college is confusing. My Physics professor, Dr. Gajendra Tulsian, asked a student to log in to his account on Monday for a demonstration. He didn’t know how, the next student didn’t either, and the system wasn’t even working for the last one. Barring problems on the college’s end, here’s the reply I wrote detailing the steps:

They do make it confusing, I know. Here’s what to do:

1. Go to class.daytonastate.edu.
2. Enter your user name as first initial, last name, last three digits of student ID. Mine is rthripp658, for example.
3. Enter your password. I think this is your Falconmail password. Use the Forgot Password link if you need to, and the system will email your password to your Falconmail account.

And to log in to your Falconnet account, click the “Falconnet” button at the top of the daytonastate.edu home page, log-in with your Student ID and password as birth date (081791, for example), click the big “Check Email” button toward the top-right, click “Continue…”, and finally, click “Inbox.” Too many steps, I know.

Once you’re in at class.daytonastate.edu, there are even more steps. Under “My Courses,” you may have to click the little plus sign to the right of “FA08″ (for Fall 2008) to get your course list to appear. Then, click the course you want to go to in the list. Then you’re at the course home page, where everything happens. There should be links at the top-left, below the college logo, which may say “Content Discussions Links Quizzes” (it varies by course). “Content” is where all the class material will be; mandatory reading, study guides, etc. Discussions are private, online forums for the class students. Participation is often mandatory; check the home page or Content pages to find out. “Links” are just links to other online resources. “Quizzes” aren’t just quizzes; they’re where you’ll be taking all your full-blown exams.

Good luck with your course, and let me know if you need help with anything else. Check out my article, How to Ace a Daytona State Online Exam; I’ve written some good tips there.

Daytona State College has no marketing sense

Eight-week schedules – accelerate degree completion by taking eight-week classes instead of the traditional 16-week class in a semester.”

I’m sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. It has no heart, no spirit, no feeling. It sounds cheap, shallow, and robotic. It should be this:

Eight-week schedules available for ambitious students. Do you pick up new skills quickly? Learn at a faster pace with more rigorous and engaging courses.”

I hope they change it to my suggestion. State-funded colleges can be bad at self-promotion, but we can change that. The page the quote is from is their save gas initiative, where you save gas by taking online courses (clever, huh?). Check it out. I like the “comprehensive college experience” part.

This is a bad photo

DSC ugly title photo

Am I the only one who thinks this photo on the Daytona State College home page is ugly? She’s a pretty lady with a nice smile, but she’s squinting. Not even that makes the photo bad, though. The terrible JPEG artifacts around her eyes make it ugly. Why would they do this? There’s no reason for visible artifacts. Did they compress this 8 times in a row or something? At 27KB, the file size isn’t even small for the image’s size and algorithmic complexity. There’s no reason for it to look like this.

If you’ve seen daytonastate.edu anytime recently, you’ve noticed that the home page randomly displays one of three photos of students. The other two are fine. This one needs to go; or they need to go back to the source file and save a clean copy.

I’m surprised “YourSpace” is one word. Is Daytona State competing with MySpace? I can only wonder why a college with such wonderful English professors doesn’t use proper English on its home page.

DaytonaState.edu inaccessible?

I got this support request from Bob in my email account on the 1st. I’ve been on a self-imposed vacation, so I didn’t get to read it till today:

Hi,

My name is Bob. My daughter, Amy, will start at DB next semester. I am able to connect to the DB website from work, but at home it’s a different story. We attempt to connect at both dbc.edu and daytonastate.edu but all we get is the white screen of “duh” before timing out. At first I thought this may be Vista attempting to protect me from the evils that lurk behind the scene at DB, but Amy’s computer runs on XP and she has the same connectivity issue. Is there something I’m missing here? Any help is appreciated.

Thanks.

Bob

My reply:

Hello Bob,

Sorry for not getting back to you quicker; I’ve been on a vacation from email and my website.

While the requirements for the virtual college are higher, the main site is plain old HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so it should load fine. Since it’s not, it’s either the college, your Internet provider, or your computer that’s having problems. daytonastate.edu has been working fine for me, so it’s likely not the first, and your Internet provider is unlikely to be blocking the college. So it comes down to your computer.

If you have firewall software, shut it off (usually by right-clicking the icon in the system tray, and then left-clicking “disable”). If the college site works, you know it’s the program’s fault. Look for a “whitelist” or “allowed sites” page in the options, and add daytonastate.edu to the list. This should keep the firewall from blocking you.

If you use Mozilla Firefox, try accessing it in Internet Explorer, and vice-versa.

Try accessing the site at the old address, http://www.dbcc.cc.fl.us/ .

If you have a router, it may have an in-built firewall over-riding your computer. Try resetting it, or check the manual. This is probably not the culprit, because daytonastate.edu shouldn’t be blocked unless you added it to the blocked sites list.

Other than that, call and complain! The number is 386-506-3000. Maybe the techs themselves can shed some light on it.

If your daughter is taking online courses, caution her not to wait till the last minute for any assignments. Get them done a few days early if possible. You never know when the site will go down, or when your Internet connection or computer may have problems. You don’t want to miss the deadlines. Usually, the last second to submit any essays or projects is 11:59:59 P.M. on the due date.

Good luck!
Richard

If you have any support requests and are finding the college unresponsive, feel free to send them on over to thrippr@daytonastate.org or call me at 386-675-4472. I’m a student at DSC, but I’m not taking online courses now so I can’t troubleshoot DSC virtual college (except basic stuff). More and more courses, even completely offline ones, are requiring Internet access for assignments and projects. Unfortunately it’s easy to bump into problems with today’s computers, so it’s always good to have a would-be expert available.

Incidentally, dbcc.edu has been completely obliterated. It’s a shame. dbcc.edu should do an HTTP 301 redirect to daytonastate.edu. Not accounting for subdomains, in Apache, that’s as easy as a .htaccess file in the root of dbcc.edu with this:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}    ^(www\.)?dbcc\.edu$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)           http://daytonastate.edu/$1  [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

There’s so much printed material bearing the dbcc.edu web address that it pains me to see the college overlooking this. Even dbc.edu and dbcc.cc.fl.us aren’t doing a 301 redirect, so they show up as duplicate content in Google, reducing the college’s PageRank.

They should hire me. 😎