Physics307L:Assignments/Assignment 1--Notebook setup

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This assignment is due before September 5, 2011. In order to "turn in" the assignment, you must email me with a link to your online notebook--whatever option you choose (Google Docs, OpenWetWare, or other option). Here are the goals you must achieve (these will be clarified during lecture, August 29, 2011):

  • You must sign up for a service (such as Google Docs or OpenWetWare) that allows you to record information during Junior Lab, and allows you to post the information publicly. You must be able to send links to the notebook entries via email, and embedding links in other notebook entries.
  • You must create a demonstration notebook entry that shows your notebook is suitable for online use in Junior Lab. You can use the oscilloscope lab notes as your demonstration.

You have a lot of freedom in this assignment. In years past, I was more specific with the assignment, but I think that misses a main point: one skill you will develop in Junior Lab is the ability to adapt to the rapidly evolving online and social networking landscape. It's not enough to learn how to use the current tools (such as Google Docs), because these won't be the tools you'll need to use 5 years from now. Below are some suggestions:

Option 1--Last year's method

You are free to follow the detailed instructions on how to setup an online notebook using OpenWetWare. It is a system that works very well, but may not be the best option for you later in your career. Here is a link to the instructions:

Option 2--Google Docs

I think Google Docs (word processing + spreadsheet) will be a good option for your online notebook, and will also be a useful thing to learn how to use. Because it's a new option, it's not as easy to do as the OWW option above. But it's the option I'm encouraging going forward. Part of this option is exploring how to use Google Docs, and what the best way for creating a publicly-shared notebook is. An advantage of Google Docs is that we can be reasonably sure that the service will remain available for at least several years. Furthermore, it is likely to not have downtime due to server outages, etc., like some other services might.

Option 3--Surprise me!

The overwhelming odds are that the first two options are not the best way to have an online notebook. So, if you have the confidence and desire to explore on your own, I encourage you to try something else. For example, a blog, or Evernote. There are hundreds of options. If you do choose option 3, I will, however, have to make sure that it's a sufficient option for this course. If you choose a site that isn't reliable, or may disappear soon, that will not work well for us and I'll have to have you switch to something else. You will still get credit for completing the assignment, you just may have to switch to option 1 or option 2.