Many Panasonic DMR-E55 and DMR-E85 DVD recorders seem to develop a fault, sometimes intermittent, which causes them to repeatedly cycle through a Self Check->Read Disc->Restart->Self check.... They may also restart spontaneously when recording, playing or erasing. The latter can render the disk unreadable.
This has been discussed on several forums and many users have found that the problem can be solved by replacing one small component on the power supply circuit board. RBJTech has produced an excellent set of instructions for the DMR-E85 with photographs at every stage. Since mine is a DMR-E55, I decided to take some photos when repairing mine, and try to create a webpage for the DMR-E55 in a similar way.
The use of the gti graphical timetabling system (an early version) began at Oxford College in about 1991/92 when the author, as head of a large academic department, bought it to replace the departmental timetabler’s magnus opus wall-based system. Other departments in the college gradually adopted the system until it was recognised centrally to have benefits to the whole college, and instituted in the remaining departments. However, being DOS based, the original database was sometimes too small to accommodate even a whole department. Therefore several databases were needed to operate within the college.
The college continued to monitor market changes and looked at a number of timetabling packages. In 1997, the college made a corporate decision to purchase a timetabling package that would meet its needs – i.e. one that would access all courses, staff and rooms from one single college database. In October/November 1997, a small project team led by the author was tasked with recommending a timetabling package, with an implementation deadline of September 1998.
The team looked at a number of systems before short-listing three packages. From these the project team recommended gti3. The main reasons for this choice were –
In May 1998 the college purchased the licences to operate gti3. Because of the large database, it was necessary to use a standard nomenclature for all data being processed - a decision that in hindsight has proved to be an important one. At the time of implementing the new system there had been a number of staff changes with some of the existing timetablers retiring. All timetablers were given 6 hours of training and were then able to work ‘live’ on the system.
A timetabling policy was produced outlining the procedure that was to be followed. This included allocating designated rooms, courses and staff to Faculties (replaced departments in a college re-organisation). The courses and staff were further sub-divided under Curriculum Units. Each Faculty has the responsibility to program all their courses into their Faculty rooms. Some rooms, such as lecture theatres, IT and a few standard classrooms, are centrally controlled. Booking of these rooms is through Central Timetabling to whom the requests are made.
The system has been fully operational since September 1998 and has proved to be of great benefit to the college. Reports can be produced in tabular or graphical form. The range of reports for staff and management can be applied to staff, classes or rooms and comprise:
It has virtually eliminated room clashes. Those clashes that have occurred are the result of staff not checking their timetables. All staff have access to ‘view’ timetables on networked PCs. Reception staff can access course timetables, staff availability for meetings/interviews etc. Room availability can be viewed and for short-term bookings.
The college has worked closely with Plansoft, the developers of gti3, to enable the data to be used to produce registers. Together with the student database, FECAS, this facility is linked into the Tokairo student attendance monitoring system. Each register includes the dates of attendance, staff, room, and the students enrolled to that activity.
It has only been a short time since going live with gti3, but all timetablers are very pleased with the way the system operates. However it is essential that data be entered accurately if the college is to obtain maximum benefit from the reporting process.
Although we have Faculty inputters for gti3, we would like to progress to the timetabling being done on the package, rather than the results of a paper exercise being input (this is why I bought the original in the first place!) The combination of the 3 packages enables robust management reporting and checking.
Author: Nigel Fletcher (Nigel_Fletcher@oxfe.ac.uk)
Organisation: Oxford College of Further Education - http://www.oxfordcollege.ac.uk
Resource type: Case study
Added to the site: 12 November 2001
Number of hits so far: 8803
Keywords: timetabling, gti