All posts by Kathleen Fitzpatrick


Keeping Your Life in Sync

sync or swimIn the last fifteen years, the number of computer-based devices that I use regularly has grown precipitously. Things were once pretty simple: I started grad school with a laptop (a PowerBook 160, if that doesn’t date me too much) and ended it with a desktop computer, and most data transfers were handled via floppy disk.

But when I got my first post-grad school job, and got my first college-provided computer to go with it, things began to get a little more complex: I had to decide what data I wa…


Traveler’s Aid: Lost Luggage Edition

If this little suitcase could talk...I travel a lot. Between a mostly long-distance partner, a major collaboration housed on the opposite coast, and a (perhaps too) active circuit of talks and conferences, I feel like I’m on the road more often than not.

Generally speaking, I have pretty good travel skills: I pack light and leave early; I know how to avoid the lines that can be avoided, and how to avoid sweating the ones that can’t be; I’m productive in airports and on planes; I’ve built up enough miles and other travel benefits t…


Information on the New DMCA Exemptions

DRMYesterday, the Library of Congress issued its triennial statement of exemptions to the portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that forbid the circumvention of digital rights management (DRM) and other technological measures intended to prevent access to or copying of digital materials. Three years ago, the announced exemptions allowed film and media studies professors to crack the content scrambling system (a.k.a. CSS) on DVDs in order to rip short clips to make compilations for classr…


OCR Those PDFs

reCAPTCHASeveral years back, I more or less stopped making photocopies. In part, my ability to stop adding to the pile of dead tree flakes in my office came about when I moved my class communications online; instead of handing out syllabi or other handouts, I put electronic versions of those documents on our class website.

But the most important factor in my all-but-copy-free workstyle was my department’s lease of a new copier with a powerful high-speed scanner and a network connection. Now, instead of…


Reporting from the Digital Humanities 2010 Conference

DH2010 message boardI find myself a bit more fuzzy-headed than usual, as I sit down to write this, having just returned to the United States from a four-day trip to London for the Digital Humanities 2010 conference, where a few hundred folks working on and in humanities computing gathered for their annual conference.

I say “their” rather than “our” because I still feel like a bit of a latecomer, having only attended my first DH conference last year. Scholars representing a very wide set of fields, technologies, an…


A Brief Word from an Evernote Convert

EvernoteI take notes. A lot of notes. I take notes when I read, when I’m in meetings, when I’m listening to lectures, when I’m figuring out what I need to do any given day. In fact, if I ever tell you that I’m going to do something, but you don’t see me make myself a note about it, don’t believe me.

Notes are the key to remembering, for me. Or, more precisely: the act of taking notes is the key to remembering. Something about the act of taking notes helps make an idea, or an issue, or a plan more r…


Moving Your WordPress Blog

moving your WordPress blogI’ve used an external hosting provider for several web-based projects since 2002. Having my own shared server space has vastly reduced the red tape that would be involved if I were attempting to host these projects within my institution’s network, and it’s given me a great deal of control over how my web projects operate. Julie’s written about the ins and outs of choosing and working with a hosting provider, noting the flexibility that such services can provide.

That’s the up side. There are …


Backing Up Your WordPress Blog

back up ur blogAs Jason has already pointed out, we write a lot about backing things up here—and with good reason: data loss can be devastating, not just to your work but to your general peace of mind. And most of us do a pretty good job of ensuring that our local files are backed up (and many of us are careful to ensure that these backups are redundant and off-site).

But as our work lives move increasingly into the cloud, we need to ensure that those files are backed up as well. Natalie has discussed the im…


Impressions After Two Months of Using an iPad

iPad stand

Hello. My name is Kathleen, and I’m an early adopter.

Hi, Kathleen!

I picked up my iPad from my campus bookstore on the morning it arrived. I’m pretty sure I was the first person to do so, in part because I’d beaten the delivery truck on my first trip to the store that morning, and in part because, when I came back after breakfast, the staff were just getting started unpacking the demo models.

Anyhow, I’ve lived and traveled and worked and played with the iPad for a little over two months now, …


Teaching with Google Wave

Google WaveThe initial announcement of Google Wave one year ago produced—well, let’s just call it a lot of enthusiasm—within tech circles, as everyone oohed and ahhed over the idea of reimagining email as a social communication technology. That enthusiasm hasn’t exactly borne out, sad to say; the letdown came in part because of the difficulty of getting into the system (invitations were hard to come by, early on), in part because of the difficult of using the system (a series of technical glitches made th…