Friday, August 15, 2008 11:50 AMBoth yesterday and today I have tried to complete the lab for course 6664, and both times I have encountered errors which have stopped the lab working. Each time the error was after I had spent about 90 minutes on the lab, so I am reluctant to try starting from scratch again!
Yesterday I pressed backspace several times in succession quickly while editing code and it seemed to interpret them as a browser back button presses, which caused me to lose everything. I got
Server Error in '/msllabs' Application. Object reference not set to an instance of an object.
For full messages see screenshots 1 & 2:
Today I did not press backspace as described. Spontaneously (possibly due to a connection glitch?) I got http://www.toplev.com/Miscellaneous/elearningfeedback/ScreenshotOfLabError3.png
then as in screenshot 1 again.
What I would really like is to be able to download the sample files and use them locally on my own PC with my own copy of Visual Studio - or please could an MS support person email them to me?
I think the Virtual Machine approach is a really nice idea in principle but in practice it did not work well for me for the following reasons as well:
- Forced to use tiny window; I gather from your FAQ the resolution cannot be increased above 800 x 600. This was standard in about 1997 and is very cramped for using Visual Studio 2008!
- Cannot save part way through
- Screen redraw is slow (not due to my connection as I can remote control other machines in London no problem)
- 2 hour time allowance does not seem long enough
- Keyboard layout set to US not UK, so Shift+2 gave @ not “, similar problem with # (you can fix this in control panel but it uses valuable time, and you have to do it every time)
- Cannot copy & paste text to/from VM, e.g. from instructions into code
- I had trouble initially installing VMRC Advanced ActiveX – kept getting error 1000, one time got error 1009. Eventually I resolved it by visiting another site to install the ActiveX (searched Google and found an MSDN forum post containing a link (actually used Google’s cache of the forum post because the real link was giving an http 500 error).
The above are a shame because it seems to me to be so nearly a very good and useful resource.