Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Blackboard CE8 SP2 Upgrade and Scholar Powerlink

We upgraded our Blackboard Learning System CE8 to Service Pack 2 level on production yesterday afternoon. After the upgrade, the Scholar powerlink was no longer working.

The error message was:

An error occured in the communication between your Blackboard system and Scholar.
The Blackboard system clock may be incorrect.
If you continue to see this error, contact your Blackboard system administrator.

Multiple of us tested it, and we consistently received the above error.

This was really upsetting because this was one piece of the upgrade we could not test on our development cluster. We had a lot of troubles when we initially registered our development cluster onto the Blackboard's Scholar system for configuration testing, which then took away the ability of our production system to be registered. It took Blackboard technical support and their Beyond team over three months to resolve this (basically deleted the registration record of our development cluster in their database). As it turns out, Blackboard does not support both development and production clusters to be registered onto their Scholar system. Therefore we cannot test Scholar powerlink when we tested SP2 upgrade on development.

To my surprise, when I logged on our Blackboard CE8 SP2 and clicked on the Scholar link today, it worked. I immediately checked with my colleagues who helped in testing yesterday. They confirmed that it was also working for them. None of us encountered the above error any more.

It's good that it's working.

But I'm uncomfortable of not being able to understand was why it worked after we left the upgraded system overnight. Is it because some background job needed to run first so that the Scholar Powerlink would work after an upgrade? Mystery.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

MMR Vaccine and Autism

A friend of mine asked me for advice on whether she should give her 1-year-old daughter the MMR vaccine since there has been so much controversy about this vaccine causing autism.  

I have done a lot of readings a year ago about vaccine and have created my own spreadsheet to organize what I have learned.  But I'm glad that I decided to do more searching tonight to see if there was any new information.  And I found this New Study Shows No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism article in Dr. Sears' web site.

I sent her all the information I had.  I hope she can make an educated decision for her own daughter.

Vaccine Schedule

Given so much controversy about vaccine safety, I decided I need to do my own reading, and come up with my own decision about the vaccine schedule for my baby.

My rationales are how common, and how severe the disease is, what are the ingredients contained in the vaccine and their potential side effects, whether the vaccine contains live viruses.  Also, I would try to space out all the shots, and not take any all-in-one combined shot as much as possible so that the little body does not have to handle that much drugs all at once.

Here is the planned vaccine schedule I come up with for my baby last year:

Planned AgeDiseaseBrand
2 monthsDTaPDaptacel
2 months 1 weekHIBActHIB
2 months 1 weekHIBActHIB
2 months 2 weeksPcPrevnar
2 months 3 weeksPolioIPOL
4 monthsDTaPDaptacel
4 months 1 weekHIBActHIB
4 months 2 weeksPcPrevnar
4 months 3 weeksPolioIPOL
6 monthsDTaPDaptacel
6 months 1 weekHIBActHIB
6 months 2 weeksPcPrevnar
9 monthsPolioIPOL
10 monthsFluFluzone (half of the single dose vial)
11 monthsFluFluzone (half of the single dose vial)
15 monthsDTaPDaptacel
15 months 1 weekHIBActHIB
15 months 2 weeksPcPrevnar
17 monthsVaricellaVarivax
18 months (likely later)MMRMMR
2 years 6 monthsHepatitus BRecombivax HB
2 years 7 monthsHepatitus AHarvix
3 years 6 monthsHepatitus BRecombivax HB
3 years 7 monthsHepatitus AHarvix
4 years 4 monthsDTaPDaptacel
4 years 4 months 1 weekPolioIPOL
4 years 6 monthsHepatitus BRecombivax HB
5 years 6 monhtsVaricellaVarivax
5 years 7 months (likely later)MMRMMR
~12 yearsTdapAdacel
~12 yearsMeningococcalMenactra

He is almost one year old now.  I have been following this schedule most of the time with a few delays.  For example, when he got sick (from a cold), I would delay the scheduled shot until he recovers.  I have been pretty happy with it.  Therefore I'm posting it online so others can learn about it.

The majority of the information I gathered is from Dr Sears' The Vaccine Book. Other than that, it is from various web sites Google directed me to.

I urge all parents to do their own readings and come up with their own decisions on the subject.