Welcome to my blog.
This space is for occasional postings on topics that interest me. At the moment, it consists largely articles on specific topics in using Linux in my daily life as a researcher, teacher, and human being (largely so I won’t forget what I did to get things running). But I’m hoping to expand it to cover more of my pedagogy and reading soon. Research topics seem less relevant, since they already have fora for publication—and their own section on this website
Please feel free to comment on these posts.
Last modified: Sunday May 12, 2013. 15:31 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Sunday May 12, 2013. 15:20 (MDT)(read more..)
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Last modified: Thursday May 9, 2013. 11:41 (MDT)
Some great columns on the current funding crisis in Alberta's Post Secondary Education sector by the University of Lethbridge's outgoing Dean of Arts and Science(read more..)
Last modified: Thursday May 2, 2013. 23:43 (MDT)
The meteor has struck. The dust is in the air. Let's leave the dinosaurs to their fate and concentrate on the mammals: Notes on the New Humanities.(read more..)
Last modified: Friday May 17, 2013. 15:41 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Friday March 8, 2013. 10:33 (MST)
What the University of Lethbridge's short list of candidates for Dean of Arts and Science says about it as an institution(read more..)
Last modified: Thursday March 14, 2013. 06:48 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Sunday September 23, 2012. 00:01 (MDT)
Like many Digital Humanists, I use twitter a lot: for communicating with colleagues, the general public, and my students. Like most users of twitter (certainly most academics, I suspect), my most common type of tweet is probably one in which I share a resource I have come across—a book, article, website, project, etc. Since I use our university’s Moodle installation to store resources for my students, it would be quite useful to be able to capture a Twitter feed inside our Moodle class space. This post shows how to do it.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday September 12, 2012. 15:14 (MDT)
Some reminders about basic dump and restore for MySQL.(read more..)
Last modified: Monday August 27, 2012. 14:00 (MDT)
For most of the last century, university researchers have been evaluated on their ability to “write something and get it into print… ‘publish or perish’” (as Logan Wilson put it as early as 1942 in The Academic Man: A Study in the Sociology of a Profession, one of the first print citations of the term).
As you might expect, the development of a reward system built on publication led to a general increase in number of publications.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 21:15 (MDT)
This is just a reminder to myself about setting up a Yii install. There are much more detailed examples on the web.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 18:49 (MDT)(read more..)
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In the controllers established by gii, yii’s scaffolding tool, there is a standard method called accessRules() that defines what users can do what actions.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 18:48 (MDT)
As the title suggests(read more..)
Last modified: Thursday June 7, 2012. 13:28 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Tuesday November 22, 2011. 21:39 (MST)
We are trying to build a single stylesheet to work with the documents of two independent journals. In order to get a sense of the work involved, we wanted to create a catalogue of all elements used in the published articles. This means loading as input document directories’ worth of files and then going through extracting and sorting the elements across all the input documents.
Here’s the stylesheet that did it for us. It is probably not maximally optimised, but it currently does what we need.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 19:38 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Tuesday October 11, 2011. 02:00 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Saturday September 24, 2011. 16:34 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Thursday June 9, 2011. 11:36 (MDT)
Pimping the Samsung Galaxy S I-896 (Rogers): Gaining Root Access, Updating Android, Unlocking, and Fixing the GPS.(read more..)
Last modified: Tuesday March 29, 2011. 21:56 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Friday March 25, 2011. 23:27 (MDT)
Manually grading in Moodle 2.0 seems to be causing many faculty members at the U of L trouble. Here’s how to do it.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 19:40 (MDT)
Looking for a guide to Moodle?(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 19:41 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Saturday February 12, 2011. 21:34 (MST)(read more..)
Last modified: Saturday December 18, 2010. 11:18 (MST)(read more..)
Last modified: Monday January 3, 2011. 10:59 (MST)
This is an exercise intended to give students techniques in developing complex literary theses. The problem it addresses is the tendency many students have to argue the obvious: either argue that the plot unfolds the way it does or that certain fairly obvious topics and themes are present in a work. It probably works best at the beginning of a unit on a given work, before any lectures or other directed discussion.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday August 29, 2012. 16:59 (MDT)
This is a method I use with some success to develop essay topics collectively, in-class.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday May 23, 2012. 19:45 (MDT)
For the last four or five years, I’ve been investigating ways of changing my teaching.
Like most faculty of my generation, I learned to teach largely by imitation and guesswork. I mimicked the teachers and classes I enjoyed as a student and otherwise experimented with techniques and ideas grabbed magpie-like from various sources.
This worked well at Yale, and, as I was recently reminded during a PhD seminar in Digital Anglo-Saxon studies at Memorial, is probably generally a good approach with highly motivated students who already have a sense of how literary scholarship works.
It works less well with students who don’t have a natural sense for what is interesting and appropriate in critical discussions or who have yet to develop experience in that kind of debate.(read more..)
Last modified: Wednesday August 29, 2012. 16:57 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Saturday August 14, 2010. 12:20 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Saturday May 1, 2010. 08:39 (MDT)(read more..)
Last modified: Friday October 19, 2012. 08:01 (MDT)
The great advantage of the digital revolution is that it allows us to repurpose data—convert it from one format to another, and alter the medium of delivery, not to mention make backup copies. Not all industries or content providers are as willing to let their users do this with data they have purchased. In Canada, however, a levy has been levied on blank recording media for many years. In exchange for paying this levy, it is broadly-speaking legal in Canada to make copies of audio recordings of music from any source provided these copies are made for private use. A detailed discussion can be found here. Many other countries have similar legislation. Remember that no site, including this one, can substitute for professional legal advice from a copyright lawyer..
Here are various tools and methods for manipulating data:(read more..)
Last modified: Monday May 25, 2009. 17:13 (MDT)
Just after a flawless new install of Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), I ran into a pretty serious problem with my Acer Aspire One Netbook: the BIOS became corrupt. When this happens your computer is bricked: it cannot do anything—spin the CD or hard-drive, load a USB key, or even boot. Well not quite bricked, in my case the fan was working. Fortunately, while the problem is serious, the solution is really quite easy.(read more..)
Last modified: Saturday April 25, 2009. 15:41 (MDT)
Ubuntu, one of the more popular and user friendly Linux installations, has an awkward release schedule. They release in late October (the x.10 release) and late April (the x.04 release). In late October I have essays to mark and need to prepare for the annual conference and meeting of the Text Encoding Initiative. In late April, I have final exams and essays to mark, and need to prepare for going to the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo.
A wise and moderate person would wait to install the newest version of an open source operating system if the release came at a period of high professional demands; but I’m neither wise nor moderate; and installing a new operating system gives some thrills that help break up the monotony of marking.
In this case, with the latest release (9.04 Jaunty Jacaklope), the thrill of installing a new operating system, with what used to be its inevitable mess-ups and desperate attempts at recovery is almost completely gone.(read more..)
Last modified: Thursday May 21, 2009. 09:53 (MDT)