Tag Archives: conferences

Internet History Archive

Sure, the website isn’t much yet, but the Internet History Archive project seems like a very important thing. Focusing first on the period between 1980 and 1994, this is a serious history project focused on preserving the history of the development of the internet in actual historical documents. This includes oral history – interviewing the folks who were actually involved – and obtaining and preserving the documents from those days. Eventually, it will expand to other time periods.

I know that some of you folks who read this were there, and were important in the decisions that were made – if not in that period, at least in the “early web” period that immediately followed it. I encourage you to contact the folks there and offer your services. Every little bit counts.

The internet and the web are among the most significant scientific developments of the 20th century, and it is important to preserve the history of it for posterity.

Too much wireless

There are so many wireless networks here that I can’t join any of them, and it’s repeatedly crashing iStumbler. Of course, this is education, so it’s not a big surprise that people can’t cooperate and communicate, is it?


I’m at Educause ’05 which is the technology in higher education conference. I’m in a session where CALEA is being discussed. Seems that I was completely unaware of this. The notion is that “communications carriers” (whatever that means) need to make it easy for “law enforcement” (whatever that means) to intercept communication (whatever that means) for law enforcement purposes (whatever that means).

By the way, nobody seems ot know what that means. You have 18 months to become compliant, but nobody is willing to define what contsitutes being compliant. So hurry up and comply.

It might be worth your time to read the bill and tell your Congress Critter what you think about it.

The week in review

It’s been a whirlwind of a week in the last 4 days. Two conferences and about 600 miles.

On Wednesday evening, we (Paul, Bert, Brett, Rick and me) drove up to Cincy for the Kentucky Higher Education Computing Conference. Good stuff there, as recorded on the KHECC blog.

On Friday afternoon, we drove back home. I got home, unpacked, packed, and left for Ohio LinuxFest. It’s the third year they’ve done it, and it was twice the size of last year. There were just over 700 people there, and some fantastic presentations. My talk on mod_rewrite was very well attended and well received. I was pleased with how it went, and now have yet more incentive to finally finish writing my book.

I stayed with Skippy, which was in itself a great experience. His kids are delightful, his house charming, and his wife wonderful and hospitable. Thank you so much for opening your home to me. I especially enjoyed jumping on the trampoline with the girls, and Skippy has promised to post photos somewhere. 🙂

On Saturday morning, we loaded up some PCs and monitors, and took them to the conference facility. These were from FreeGeek Columbus, which recycles used PCs and other hardware.

Novell had a big presence, giving a significant number of the talks, and were also a major sponsor. Thanks, Novell.

At lunch, we went to Bucco di Beppo. I’ll post photos later today or tomorrow, once I get some other stuff dune. There were perhaps 16 people there, and it was a lot of fun, although not as rowdy as last year. We had the pope room, which is quite an experience.

I stayed another night at Skippy’s house and had breakfast with the family in the morning at a area restaurant, which was positively wonderful, although their pancakes were the size of garbage can lids, and I wasn’t able to finish the second one.

We just arrived back home a little while ago, and I haven’t yet unpacked. I have a lot of writing I need to catch up on, but I’d really much rather take a nap.

OLF 2005

I’m at Ohio LinuxFest. Although the word was that there would be no intarweb here, never underestimate the resourcefulness of geeks in large groups. Geeks perceive lack of internet access as damage, and route around it. I think the 1000 of us are using the internet across one person’s cell phone. Amazing.

cd ~rbowen

Most of you already know about this, but …

I just got done filling out my “intent to vacate” form. Finally. I’ll be moving to MY HOUSE some time during the 6th-8th of August. The timing of the actual vacancy date of MY HOUSE could hardly be worse. It will actually be vacant August 1st, which falls directly between coming back from ApacheCon and leaving for OSCon. But, I’m really glad that it’s finally happening. It seems that I’ve been waiting forever, and, I suppose I have, for carefully selected definitions of “forever.”

So, for the record, each and every one of you are invited to MY HOUSE on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of August, either to help with moving, or just to hang out and enjoy MY HOUSE. I actually get back from portland at about 10am on the 6th, and, although there might be a brief nap in there somewhere, I intend to start moving stuff almost immediately.

Anyone who wants to move stuff while I’m gone in Portland is welcome to a set of keys. 😀

I can’t move before leaving for OSCon, because my servers really need to stay up while I’m gone. No, not so you can read my blog. My mail server is here on my DSL line, and if it were to go down, I would not be able to get and/or send email while I was gone. I suppose I could do it via $employer, but all of my mailing list subscriptions would start bouncing, and that’s never any fun. So I sincerely hope that the DSL switchover goes more smoothly than it did when I moved to this apartment.


Having left everything to the last possible minute, I was of course unable to find any tickets to Portland under the travel budget. Fortunately, the OSCon travel agent came through for me and found tickets for about half of anything I was able to find. So, my momentary panic that I would not be able to make it to OSCon has abated. So, now I just need to figure out what I’m going to say.

Digital natives

There were many memorable things about the conference I just attended. If I had to pick just one, it would be the “Aha!” moment when Wednesday’s keynote speaker referenced Marc Prensky’s paper about digital immigrants and digital natives. To grossly oversimplify, he equates the new generation – perhaps those of college age and younger – to native speakers, while the rest of us are immigrants – in the digital world. (See also Part II.)

Those that are immigrants “speak with an accent”, consisting of things like the “Did you get my email” phone call, or even printing out email messages and responding to them in writing before typing the response back. (Interestingly, when our of our colleagues emailed us the URL for this document, one of us immediately loaded it on his palm, while another printed it out. I’ll leave it to your imagination who’s who.)

The natives, on the other hand, are going to spend their entire lives wondering why the rest of us are so stupid.

My daughter goes to Google when she has a question about something. The notion of going to the library to do research has never crossed her mind, and likely never will. The library is for story books. When she wants to find out what the weather will be like, she asks me to look for the weather on the computer, not on the TV. And she is as comfortable with a mouse as with a pencil.

Now, most of my readers consider themselves natives, I’m sure. But most of you remember when you didn’t have a computer. You remember your first computer, and it was probably a Vic20 or a TRS80 or perhaps an Apple IIe. In the same way that our parents remember not having televisions. However, I think that this is a somewhat arbitrary border-line. Those of us who were aware of the internet, and certainly the WWW, from the very first days, probably have a headstart over many of our colleagues. But certainly many people my age find websites perplexing, attend classes on how to use Google, and print out their email messages.

I’ve found myself using this terminology since that keynote, when thinking about the ways in which I need to explain certain things to certain people, and the frustration I get when they don’t grasp why it matters. Of course it’s obvious to me, but it’s just as important to grasp why it’s not obvious to them.