HW1 Solutions

Junho Song

(Many answers taken from student solution sets.)





What’s the difference between "get" and "check out"?

"Get" lets you view the file in read-only format. "Check out" lets you modify it and save it. Until "checked out" item is "checked in", other users can only "get" it and read it.


Are there any drawbacks of using a tool like this?

Stiff learning curve for novice users.

It is hard to see the changes which others have made to a file. Since the changed part is not highlighted, the rest of the group have to read the file through to see the difference between the current and previous one.

Problems with Novell network security permissions. In SI environment, the originating user casually employed file paths that utilized the logical H; drive, leading to his H:/Public and Private folders for archive files. When the partner tried to access files, the program interpreted the path name as pointing to the partner’s H: drive instead of the originating user’s H: drive, and failed to locate the archives.

One problem is the added development time due to people editing files that are on the critical path. If someone has a file ‘checked out’, and you need to make edits, you must wait for them to ‘check in’ the file before you can do your work. QVCS seems to have a limited capacity to denote changes that occurred within the documents.

"Checking out" files is done by a first-come-first-serve basis without any kind of priority mechanism.


What additional features would you like to see in a tool like this?

Although the "checked in/out" status of a file allows users to temporarily exclusive use of shared files, they will probably self-select other means of communication (meetings, phone calls, chats, emails, boards, etc) to communicate. It would be nice to see an application like QVCS that would not require users to agree to use a connection strategy.

Highlighting changes every member of the group has made. Feedbacks from others. It could be attached comments and/or simple ‘accept’ or ‘reject’.

I would like to have a feature that could create diagrammatic representations of the projects organization scheme. Perhaps a variety of flow charts and diagrams that visually represent the flow and status of individual documents and/or the users involved with each document.

Multimedia annotation.





Which sharing settings are best in which situations?

The best sharing settings include not selecting true color since this setting slows down the program significantly unless you have to do some graphic works.

There is a tradeoff on TrueColor; it's not all bad. It's slower, but has the advantage that you can, in audio or chat, refer to colors and be sure that the person on the other end is seeing the same colors as you.

If you are merely presenting information, it would not be necessary for any of the others to have control over these applications, so the "do not disturb with requests for control" option should be checked. However, if your team is actually working on applications together, then it would be necessary to choose the "automatically accept requests for control" option for the required applications.

NetMeeting sharing settings are useful for the following three cases.




What are all the different ways that Amazon uses information from other people to help you find books?

Customer comments, ratings

Other titles by the same author

Books purchased by those who bought the book you are looking for

Books are grouped according to general subjects so additional searching for related titles can be easily accomplished.

Review and synopsis for each book, which supplies additional background to complement the information supplied by customers


What’s the difference between the "shopping cart" and 1-click shopping? Which would you prefer to use if this was your first time buying from Amazon? If you were a regular buyer?

If it is the individual’s first time buying from Amazon.com, the ‘shopping cart’ is preferable. If the person is a regular buyer, 1-click shopping would be the preferred method, since it is quicker and more efficient. However, gift orders and out-of-print titles require the more detailed steps that are left out of the streamlined 1-click shopping option.

A Side Note from Dean Karavite: "I wrote Amazon a friendly email stating that I didn’t see a significant personal advantage to the 1-click system. They responded by sending me a $10 credit/gift certificate."





Would you trust a seller more if they had more positive feedback points than if they had none? What about negative feedback points?

I would trust a seller more if they had a lot of positive feedback points. I have a friend who does a lot of buying and selling over e-Bay and was discussing selling some memorabilia that I have that might command a decent price on e-Bay. He suggested that I engage in a few small transactions first before I post my items, since e-Bay shoppers will be more trusting of me and my items for sale if I have feedback points.

I will not trust a seller only by his positive feedback. I will check all his negative feedback in detail and find the problem s/he used to have with buyers. This helps me make an informed decision. On the other hand, seller who does not have any feedback point at all might be a good one because at least nobody says something bad about him/her.

After some examination of the eBay feedback system, I don’t know that I would trust it. I don’t know how it works (on the technical side), so for all I know, the sellers can get 100 people to send in positive comments even if they are bad business people. I searched around a little to see if I could find anyone with a lot of negative feedback, but did not find anyone.

I am not sure what to make of eBay’s feedback system. Since the comments and ratings are given on a volunteer basis only, the people who would tend to comment would be those with strong feelings. The feedback system is also more helpful and more balanced if large numbers of buyers have rated the seller because it would point to the general behavior of the seller, rather than a few isolated incidents. This would be biased against new or small-scale sellers and would favor experienced, large-scale sellers who had had more opportunity to develop a customer base. In might be easier to automatically trust someone who had a more proven track record, but individual contact with the seller might help answer the unresolved questions. The other thing that may be difficult to gauge is the two possible reasons for dissatisfaction: because of poor interaction with buyer (including slow shipping or malicious misrepresentation of the product) or because of unhappiness with product because it was not to the liking of the buyer.



Applications for use during a strike(notes from Dr. Paul Resnick)

All the applications I thought of fit into the "social" category, though many of them also fit into other categories as well. A big part of conducting a strike is to maintain solidarity among the strikers (i.e., few people return to work), and this requires a lot of communication and coordination. Perhaps we should be more creative, and think about e-commerce applications to raise money for the strikers who may have to forego pay during the strike. There are also lots of organizational applications that could help with the day-to-day functioning of the union even when it’s not on strike, but I didn’t focus on those here.












Explanation Exercise


If you have covered most of the following things, you have explained it well. (Please try to be specific about what you have explained.)

It is both synchronous(immediate) and asynchronous(deferred) application. Real-time chat or sending email is possible. File can be transferred. ICQ tells you whether one’s current online status(awareness). Various security implemented: you can authorize who can see and talk to you.

Many of you used analogy for explaining ICQ. The most popular choice of the analogy was telephone. However, there is a difference. In order to find out who’s at home, you have to make a telephone call to home, whereas ICQ automatically tells you who is online.