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last updated: 8/30/2012

Chapter 1

What to do if you lose your flash drive

Losing your flash drive may not be as bad as losing your wallet or cell phone, but the anxiety it causes can definitely shoot off the charts, especially if it has your only copy of a big project.


1)      Stop. Think about where you were and what you did since you last remember using it. Really focus. Clear thinking now may save you painful effort later.


2)      Try to retrace your steps by asking yourself the following questions:

Where were you? Did you do something or go someplace outside of your routine?

Which computers did you use?

What were you wearing? (Look in your pockets.)


3)      Check with consultants at the Student Technology Centers or at a library information desk to see if someone turned it in. Be prepared to describe it.


4)      If you were in the Wells Library, check the lost and found at the circulation desk in the East Tower.


5)      Keep searching. The last place you look is where you’ll find it.


6)      If you’re forced to recreate a project, get started soon while your work is fresh in your mind.




Attach your flash drive to a long cord or something big so you’re less likely to leave the computer without it. Better still, accessorize. Wear your flash drive around your neck. Just remember to take it off before showering.





Don’t use your flash drive as the sole storage facility for important materials. Save what you need to your hard drive, e-mail backup copies to yourself, or save your files in Oncourse (click on the Resources link on your main page, then add files to “My Workspace Resources).



If you accidentally launder your flash drive because you forgot to check your pockets, don’t give up hope. It may still have information. Wait until it’s thoroughly dry, about 24 hours, before plugging it into your computer.



What to do if you can’t print from your laptop

It’s amazing what technology can do these days. But when we expect technology to work flawlessly all the time, and it doesn’t, it can be both disillusioning and painful.


1)      Don’t freak out. There could be lots of reasons you can’t print, from a weak wireless connection signal to a bad VPN connection. Or maybe you’re running an older version of Windows or Mac OS.


2)      Try the obvious: make sure the printer is on. If you’re at a public workstation, make sure the printer is working for others.


3)      If you’re in the Wells Library, ask for help at the Support Center located at the circulation desk in the West Tower. Be sure to bring your laptop with you.


4)      Know the jargon. A VPN, or virtual private network, allows you to temporarily create or join a private network across an existing public network. It creates an encrypted tunnel between two hosts while the connection is needed. Huh? See, you’re better off if you ask for help.


5)      Chances are you may not even need to print out your assignment to get credit. Save it in your workspace in OnCourse and submit an electronic copy.


6)      If you’re pressed for time and truly need a paper printout, e-mail your document to your IU email account (webmail, imail or gmail). Stop by a campus library or STC and print from a computer workstation there.




What to do if you spill a drink on your keyboard


You’ll find yourself into all kinds of sticky situations during your college years, and not all of them will have as straightforward a solution as this one.


1)      Stop typing right away.


2)      If you’re in a library, tell someone at the information desk. More than likely they’ll ask you to relocate and remove the keyboard for emergency maintenance.


3)      If you’re at home, unplug the keyboard.


4)      If you spilled water, turn the keyboard over and let it drain and dry out for at least 24 hours.


5)      If you spilled something sticky, try prying the small key caps off the keyboard with a flathead screwdriver to get better access to the mess. Don’t remove the spacebar, the Enter key, or other large key caps. (Take a picture ofhe keyboard layout, or make a quick sketch of it, before you remove any keys so you can put them back where you found them. Otjerwise, your sentences migjt look like tjis.)


6)      Gently clean the keyboard with a wet cotton swab.


7)      Replace the key caps after rinsing them and letting them dry.


8)      Let everything dry for at least 24 hours before plugging the keyboard back in.



 Use a lid with a straw to prevent
a big spill, or only use covered drinks
when you’re near your computer.



Find answers to thousands of questions about information technology at Indiana University. Go to IU’s Knowledge Base created by University Information Technology Services



What to do if you break your arm and still need to type a paper

Accidents happen. And when they do, provided you’re still alive and your brain isn’t damaged, your professors will still expect you to meet deadlines. Fortunately, you have options. 


1)      Sweet talk a friend into being your scribe.


 2)      If first suggestion fails, take advantage of the Adaptive Technology and Accessibility Center, located just inside the gates of the West Tower in Wells Library.


3)      Stop in for a consultation. The Adaptive Technology and Accessibility Center (ATAC) serves any individual with vision, hearing, mobility, or learning disabilities. These may be long-term, like a vision impairment, or short-term, like a broken arm.




Most people know right away when the bone breaks: in addition to making a snap or loud cracking sound, the broken arm may appear deformed and be swollen, bruised, and bleeding. Plus, it may hurt a lot.


According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, broken arms are among the most common injuries, usually caused by falling on an outstretched hand or being in a car crash or some other type of accident. Counting all fractures, about one in every 20 involve the upper arm bone.


What to do if your car gets towed or won’t start 

If you haven’t realized it by now, you soon will: finding parking at IU is a true test of patience, perseverance, or, if you’re brave enough to park illegally, optimism.


1)      If you’re walking to your car and find an empty space, chances are your car has been towed. Contact IUB Parking Operations, open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday.


2)      If you should have trouble with your vehicle while legally parked, call Parking Enforcement’s Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) at (812) 855-9849 for free 24-hour help, Monday through Friday.


If your car is illegally parked, by calling this number you may also receive a citation.


What to do if there’s a foot of snow on the ground and the Wells Library is a mile away


Chances are greater that the Dalai Lama will visit Bloomington than IU will cancel classes because of snow, an event that happens about once every 20 years. Your instructors will still expect you to complete your assignments, and perhaps even use library materials.


1)      Access articles, journals, and books from home through the Libraries Web site, assuming you still have electricity and an internet connection.


2)      Lace up your boots and visit a nearby branch library. Located all over campus (see map), these libraries offer many of the same resources and services as the mother ship. The librarians are experts in their field, so they’re well qualified to help with specific questions related to their discipline in addition to any general questions you may have.

3)      Enjoy the snow. Hey, we don’t get dumped on all that often.




What to do if your textbook gets wet


Did your overpriced textbook get wet and now you’re concerned you won’t be able to sell it back? Conservators at the E. Lingle Craig Preservation Lab, who care for library books, offer these recommendations.


1)      Let the book air dry, which allows moisture to evaporate out of the book. This can sometimes be helped along by a gentle fan. For edge-wet books, this method is simple and effective, but very damp items will deform, wrinkling and expanding as they dry.


2)      Place absorbent sheets between the pages of the book to draw out excess moisture. The less moisture in a book, the less it will deform, so interleaving, as this pocess is called, can be an important first step. Use paper towels or newsprint.


3)      Freeze books to dry them with almost no deformation. When books are frozen at 30°F, the frozen water changes directly from ice to water vapor. This process takes time, but works wonders. The Craig Lab has a specially designed vacuum freezer for this purpose, but you’ll see results using your home freezer.


4)      Check to see if the book’s pages are glossy, or clay-coated, which present the biggest problem in drying. The clay that gives these pages their sheen takes in water, effectively ecoming mud, and “bricks” as it dries. Glossy pages should be interleaved or freezer-dried quickly.




Caught in the rain? Protect your investment by putting your textbooks in your backpack, a plastic bag, or under your shirt. Do the same with library books. It’s easier to dry a T-shirt than a book.


Watch out for passing buses, too. When they speed through a puddle, use your body as a shield to protect your books, not the other way around. In the long run, it will be less expensive.








last updated: 8/30/2012