Category Archives: Analog


Confronting Your Book Collection

While spring cleaning may be traditional, summer cleaning fits better with the academic cycle particularly as it tends to be a time of transitions: whether you are moving to a new institution, a new position, or just switching gears on a writing project, summer is an opportunity for addressing both physical and digital clutter. I’m in the midst of my summer cleaning now, but I’m at the point where things always fall apart: trying to reconcile my fixed set of shelf space with the number of books…


Preparing Audience-Sensitive Presentations and Workshops

When we teach a class, we have a semester to get to know our students and adapt our teaching to their interests and needs. But when you are invited to present a keynote or facilitate a workshop to people you know little or nothing about, how do you ensure you are sufficiently sensitive to your audience?

This kind of thing drives me nuts. I can be giving a workshop on the same topic and I would do it completely differently to faculty at my institution vs other universities in Egypt. It would be …


ProfHacker 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Hopefully you’ve noticed the subtle change in the air: the giving way of the aroma of pumpkin spice latte to the onset of the peppermint mocha. With that blessed change from decorative gourd season, mothers everywhere want to know what you’ll be getting them for the slew of holidays that close out the year. Not to fear! It’s the annual ProfHacker gift guide! Whether you’re looking for ideas for mom, your kid, the board gamer, or the reader in your life, we’ve got you covered.

And if for some re…


Eating Better With Your Local CSA


We try to eat well in our family, but vegetables have always been a challenge. Between two picky eaters when it comes to veggies (my husband and my son), we tend to get stuck in a rut, buying the same veggies prepared in the same ways over and over and over again. We start eating less and less of them per meal, and then, suddenly, we barely eating any at all.

Couple that with the first-year anniversary of my much more seated office job and, well, we’ve made a commitment to start eating health…


Summer Reading: 2014 Edition


Commencement on my campus was on Saturday morning. Colleagues at other institutions in my town of Spartanburg, SC celebrated last week or today. Now that the exams are marked and the grades are in, or will be in soon, perhaps you will find a bit of time for pleasure reading. I’ve made it a priority to read for fun at least a little bit every day since some time in graduate school. Many of our fellow ProfHackers weighed in on their pleasure reading habits a while back. We’ve also featured posts …


On Taking the Train


I will start by acknowledging two things:

  1. This post is distinctively American, in that I will wax on about train travel as if it’s a discovery rather than an obvious fact about how people traverse the world

  2. The suggestion at the heart of this post is far more feasible for those who live along the East Coast corridor or other pockets of the US with extensive train networks, though I’m learning that Amtrak’s network is more extensive than I realized only a few years ago. When I lived in Green…


Best Practices for Accessible Print Document Design

I suspect we’ve all been on the receiving end of poorly-designed documents: pages drowning in enormous gray oceans of text with no navigational cues whatsoever; emphasis indicated by text that is bold, all-caps, italicized, and underlined*; color choices that threaten to damage retinas (or that make text practically unreadable); text so small and margins so narrow that it’s obvious the desire to save paper has trumped the desire for clear communication.

As authors, when we create documents for …


Selling Your Older Device: NextWorth Review

 The holiday season is upon us, which means that a lot of us will be busy buying gifts for our loved ones soon. To get hold of some extra spending money, I sold my old cellphone in November. I was surprised by the array of choices available in offloading old cellphones. I was familiar with the usual suspects of EBay and Craigslist, but did not realize that big box retailers such as Target and the big phone companies are also happy to buy back old phones from customers.

I initially planned to sell…


Build Your Own (Affordable) Standing Desk

standing-deskRyan has been leading ProfHacker’s coverage of standing desks. If you’re curious why someone might want to want to stand at a desk, and what it’s like, you can check out his three-part series: Stand Up! (in Your Office)Stand (In the Place Where You Work): An Experiment Begins; and Stand (in the Place Where You Work): Month 2. Then Ryan reviewed the GeekDesk Max, which he liked well enough to buy for himself, and Konrad reviewed the more portable Ninja Standing Desk. I’m glad Ryan likes the Gee…


Organizing Our (Analog) Library

The acquisition of books is by no means a matter of money or expert knowledge alone.  Not even both factors together suffice for the establishment of a real library, which is always somewhat impenetrable and at the same time uniquely itself.

–Walter Benjamin, “Unpacking My Library”

[This is a guest post by Jonathan Sterne, an associate professor in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. His latest books are MP3: The Meaning of a Format(Duke University Pr…