COW Problems…Not the Live Kind

Ian, Guest Writer

Notes from the editors: Instead of featuring a saint or leader in our community, we have asked a student leader to provide his expertise to exhibit his unique leadership skills. We hope to provide a place for this student, Ian, to share advice and knowledge as a way to guide the community.

Everyone has had problems with the COW (Computer On Wheels) at one point or another, but there are easy fixes to the top three issues that occur! Those three issues include the firewall, logging into the computer, and suddenly freezing applications. Here, one can get step by step instructions tackling these common problems!

The gold medal of problems goes to passing through the firewall, or the sonicwall. This can take a long time to figure out, but I’ve got a quick and easy the answer! All one has to do to get to the firewall when it doesn’t pop up its own, is type in “” A window will pop up telling the user to “Click here to log in.” To move on, click on it. The user will be directed to a page requesting a username and password. Everyone can use the username “srsguest.” Those that do not know the password that accompanies this username, should ask a teacher or fellow classmate. Once this information is filled out, the user should hit return, and they are in! Additionally, if this is a problem that one encounters often, it is useful to know that after a web address has been typed once, the user will only need to type first few letters  (or numbers) of the address and it should show up in the URL bar on its own in the future. The computer history remembers the address from previous firewall debacles.

The recipient of the silver medal of technological hiccups is awarded to freezing windows and applications. A very easy way to fix this problem is to force quit the application. One way to do this is to click and hold the application icon on the dock. Some options will appear, and one of them will be “Quit”. Tap this button and the application will close. Another way to force a frozen application to close completely is to press “command”, “option”, and the exit button (esc) simultaneously to bring up the force quit menu. Select an app, and click force quit to shut down the program. On non-Apple products the same function can be accessed through pressing “ctrl”, “alt”, and delete. Once the frozen program has been forcibly closed, attempt to reopen the program, and usually the glitchy behavior resolves itself.

The bronze medal for COW issues is reserved for the simple act of logging into a computer. One should always start by attempting to type in a personal username and  password. When this fails, they should try again (is may just have been mistyped ). If that still doesn’t work, the user should ask a friend to try their login (it might just be the computer). Weird things can sometimes happen! Still no luck? One should type in a grade level general login (gr3, gr4, gr5, gr6, gr7, and gr8) for both the username and the password. Still not working? Bummer. The user SHOULD NOT put the laptop back on the cart, as the computer still may work!! Instead, one should type in “stradmin” and raise a hand for a teacher to type in the password. Before returning the COW to the cart, one should restart the entire computer. This can alleviate all problems for no apparent reason many times. If that doesn’t fix the login problem, they should put laptop on top of the COW with a note identifying the issue, and it will be fixed soon!!

Thankfully, this year St. Robert received a new COW filled with Chromebooks, and hopefully, these problems won’t happen any more… If they do continue to occur, or similar issues occur with personal devices, these tips can help students navigate through some of the speed bumps of new technology.


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