All posts by Kathleen Fitzpatrick


Reflections on the Apple Education Event

I had the opportunity to spend this morning with the Chronicle‘s Jeff Young, live-tweeting from the Apple Education announcement event. As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, today’s announcement included:

  • the release of the iBooks 2 app for iOS, which allows for rich multimedia interactive textbooks;
  • the launch of the Textbooks category in the iBooks store, including an already-available collection of high-school texts priced at $14.99 and under;
  • the release of the iBooks Author application fo…

Books in Browsers

Books in Browsers

Last October, the Internet Archive held a two-day meeting entitled “Books in Browsers,” cosponsored by O’Reilly Media. The goal of this meeting was to think through the new possibilities and challenges presented by delivering books through open platforms rather than closed devices.

Books-in-browsers present some significant advantages to readers in terms of portability and accessibility of content, as Brewster Kahle has explored. Delivering content via the browser also presents advantages for…


Updates from Gmail

GmailOver the last couple of months, Gmail has announced several exciting updates to its services and features. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of them.

First, and perhaps most exciting, is an update that isn’t directly about email. The folks at Gmail have extended users’ ability to make free calls using the Google Chat widget to numbers within the United States through the end of 2011. For more information, see the Gmail blog post, which will also guide you to instructions for setting up the callin…


How to Index Your Book (And Why I’ll Never Do It Again)


One of my fellow ProfHackers recently got a query about indexing software. None of us have experience with such software, but a couple of us have handled the indexes for our books in other ways, which we thought might be useful to share.

Despite the fact that books are increasingly becoming searchable in their electronic formats, the metadata that’s provided by a good index can have a great influence over how the book is discovered, and how it’s used. A good index is more than just an alphabe…


Five Nifty Tricks in Google Chrome

Google ChromeIt’s likely that somebody’s already told you about the wonders of Google’s browser, Chrome. That someone may even have been Julie, in her post Using Google Chrome and Chrome Extensions for Speed and Productivity. Chrome’s got an awful lot going for it: it’s fast, it’s lightweight, and it’s super-stable—and as web applications become more complex, that last is increasingly important. If you’ve ever had Firefox crash when you’ve got multiple tabs open, you’ll know what I mean. In Chrome, each …


Clean Out Your Inbox with Taskforce

Inbox 11111

The inbox pictured at left is not mine. I feel compelled to tell you this right at the outset, because the idea of an inbox with that many messages in it, much less that many unread messages, is enough to make me break out in hives.

But there are times when my inbox does get a bit more full than I’d like, which usually happens when I find myself using it as a substitute for my to-do list. I’ll read a message from a student asking for a letter of recommendation, or a request for information fr…


Traveler’s Aid: Delayed Flight Edition

Early morning runLots of studies indicate the thing that we all already know: airline delays are getting worse. While flight delays and cancellations are an unavoidable part of travel today, this edition of “Traveler’s Aid” offers a few suggestions for ways to minimize the possibility that you’ll be held up en route, and ways to minimize the pain of such a delay.

First, some quick tips for delay avoidance:

1. Travel early. Delays compound as a travel day wears on, and then tend to get straightened out overnight…


Prioritizing Exercise

Early morning runLast week, in discussing my new (academic) year’s resolutions, I mentioned that one of my goals for the year is to run three times a week. It’s relatively easy for me to promise myself something like that right now, as I’m on leave, and aside from some travel and some project meetings, my only real time commitments are to myself.

Personally, I’ve found that maintaining a regular exercise program is way more difficult than that during a regular semester. I always start out with all kinds of goo…


New (Academic) Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year's!I’ve never been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, but up until a few years ago, I still made them every January, and still felt awful by about the beginning of February when it became clear that they’d all fallen by the wayside.

Part of the problem, of course, was that January 1 falls at a terrible point for me, as a scholar with one foot in literary studies: inevitably, I’d just gotten through the insane rush of the end of the fall semester, the Christmas holidays with my family, and th…


Check Your Backups

sync or swimThere you are, minding your own business, when your hard drive starts to make that suspicious grinding sound. Or you discover that your laptop is not where you left it. Or your web hosting provider suffers a catastrophic data loss.

No sweat, you say. I’m a ProfHacker reader, and so I’m all about the backups. (If you’re not yet all about the backups, you might take a moment to check out some of our posts on backing up your stuff, including Annual Reminders–Backup, Back Up Your Essential Files U…