Happy Anniversary, Leigh

I’ve kept a running tally… I’ve been bored for a total of 4 and 1/2 hours during our 15 years of marriage. You’re the organizer and the schedule-keeper and the worrier, which frees me to camp with the kids in the backyard, marshal a pony army against the dollhouse fortress, and read to them until late at night. Home-schooling is so rewarding, so challenging and exciting.  I’m grateful that you…

Change or Die: Scholarly E-Mail Lists, Once Vibrant, Fight for Relevance

Listservs, a trademarked software for running e-mail lists whose name is often used to refer to the lists themselves, were once a “killer app” that tempted many professors to try the Internet in the first place, back when many established scholars were skeptical of computers. A Chronicle article nearly 15 years ago proclaimed the exciting new world of academic e-mail lists, calling them “the first truly worldwide seminar room.” “This…

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Restore the noble purpose of libraries

David Stanley pointed me to this thoughtful essay. Modern librarians who prioritize information over knowledge perpetuate a distraction from the real purpose of a library. A library facilitates the patient gathering of knowledge – whose acquisition is superior to almost every other endeavor. Religions have adapted to technology for the most part without being destroyed by it, so why can’t libraries? It might not be too late. Information on the…

Adobe Strikes Again, Ruining the Lunar Landing for my Son

I’ve blogged before about how much I dislike Adobe’s arrogant use of popups that take over your computer while you are trying to do something else. This morning, I set up the computer my kids use so that my son would be able to follow the simulated progress of Apollo 11 on wechoosethemoon.org.  That meant upgrading to Flash 10.  I made a mental note to make sure that the upgrade…

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Forty Years of Lunar Lander

Lunar Lander — the game — at 40. Among the millions who watched the Apollo 11 landing was a 17 year old Massachusetts high school student named Jim Storer. In the fall of 1969, around the time of the Apollo 12 launch, Storer took his inspiration to class with him. There, he programmed a simple text-based simulation of humanity’s greatest technological achievement on his school’s Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-8 minicomputer…