Installing the Canvas LMS on Ubuntu 16.06

The Canvas LMS (Learning Management System) is an open-source project built in Ruby on Rails that I installed on my Ubuntu 16.04 desktop as a sandbox for personal use.  The following the steps I took, edited and adapted from Github, for a pretty simple installation on my local machine.  Note that Github rightfully warns, “The…

Installing Blacklight and Solr on Ubuntu 16.04

Academic Commons is Columbia University’s digital research repository where faculty, students, and staff, and alumni deposit the results of their scholarly work and research. Academic Commons is a Fedora repository with a customized interface built on Blacklight, an open-source Ruby on Rails application designed to offer a next-generation user experience, including faceted searching. Repository content…

Resetting a Lost Admin Password on Ubuntu Linux

I recently picked up a development project I set aside a couple years ago using an old Dell Optiplex and Ubuntu Linux 12.04, which is now outdated.  Problem was, though, I couldn’t remember the password for the only profile I set up those two years ago. Here’s the fix. First, hold down the left SHIFT…

Installing the Samgrah ILS on Ubuntu 16.04.1

Samgrah is a freely available integrated library system (ILS) developed in India as a project for students of Ruby on Rails. Let me say at the outset that Samgrah is NOT a professional ILS. It leaves quite a bit to be desired (MARC-record, anyone? Serials? Acquisitions?) for actual library use, and more resembles an archival management tool…

The iPad Pro and LaTeX

First, some backstory. When the Note Bene suite of tools for academic writing first crossed my workflow back in 2006 or so, I was stunned that there was a resource that not only provided a word processor that allowed me to (thankfully) move off of MS Word, but managed and formatted my citations (Ibidem), and—-now this really…

The iPad Pro: Library Research & Article Annotation

I am a university CIO who began as a tech-oriented librarian. I now get to dream about innovative ways that libraries (information resources) and campus technology (information systems and services) can collaborate and collide to make new things possible. But I also retain a foot in the academic world as I try (emphasize on try)…

The iPad Pro: Writing and Reference Management

Using Microsoft Word is like shopping for a washing machine—it has more features than you need, has features you need but aren’t satisfied with, and it seems to break down more than it should. But, it’s ubiquitous and sometimes must be used. Not too many years ago Word for the iPad was such a pared…

3 Weeks with the iPad Pro: First Thoughts

From Windows 3.1 through Windows XP, I was a Microsoft man.  Then in 2001, as if someone threw a switch, in the midst of fighting against XP for some task that I though should have been simpler than it was, I decided to jump ship.  The Mac suite of products wasn’t an option for me…

Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all. —  Arthur C. Clarke

Technology, the Humanities, and the University

A recent article asking, “Whither the Digital Humanities?,” observed an incredibly helpful distinction between emerging and emergent use of technology in the humanities. The emerging use of technology in the humanities was all about the rise of the machines (see Meredith Hindley’s article in Humanities, July/August 2013), and is best illustrated by an Italian Jesuit priest…

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

And I quote: I have no idea what is going to come next. Although I have worked with string-search algorithms and data-mining techniques for twenty-five years, I don’t believe in the digital utopia for five minutes. I don’t think that magical tools are going to enable college seniors suddenly to do library research that will…

Of Redefinition, SAMR, and the Ecosystem

Every minute of every day, users search Google over 4,000,000 times, share almost 2,500,000 pieces of content, and 72 hours of NEW video is uploaded to YouTube. And these numbers may even be a couple of years out of date. Only 130 websites existed just over 20 years ago, but Google had 67,000,000,000 (67 Billion) pages indexed…