Here's the kind of thing you can do with good networking skills: Setup your own IRC server. What's better, install a web application that lets you use your IRC server inside of a browser window! During my office hours I'll be logged into IRC so you can ask questions or arrange a video call no matter where you are in the world!
I'm sorry about the CCC Confer fail today. I wasn't able to record the class and, because it's an important one, I'm going to try to get a recording up sometime on Friday. Here's what you need to know about the midterm:
It will be taken online (using Blackboard)
You will have three hours to take it (I expect you will need about 1.5). Once you open it you must finish.
You can start it between the beginning of class and Friday evening. The exact due date will be on blackboard.
You can use your book, notes and Internet. You cannot use your friends.
The material in the midterm will all be in your book. The best way to study is using your book. Take the quizzes at the end of the chapters. If you pass those easily you have nothing to worry about in the midterm. Please use the respite you have on the lab schedule to dedicate some time to studying. Today's lecture will be on the midterm (but I won't make it a big portion of it).