Ubuntu

Upgrading to Emacs 23.2 on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid)

I've been frustrated at the lack of an update for the Emacs package in Ubuntu 10.04. I've been using Emacs 23.2 for OSX and going back-and-forth between 23.2 and 23.1 is confusing, particularly in org-mode. So, I searched for how to effectively build Emacs 23.2 from source in Ubuntu and had trouble finding good instructions that would cover me for things like windowing, fonts, etc. Finally, in my search this morning, I came across a the Ubuntu Emacs Lisp project on Launchpad.

How I build an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Drupal Development VM in VirtualBox

A development virtual machine can be really handy. It gives you a sandbox of sorts where you can feel free to test and experiment knowing that in a worst-case scenario you can just delete the VM and start over. It can also be a great way to practice server configurations and sketch out "real-world" server setups. Here's the process I follow to setup my Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Drupal development VM in VirtualBox. Aside from the VM-specific steps, these instructions should work for a regular Ubuntu server (VM or not).

Decoder Ring: a framework for collaborative language research

This spring, I wrapped up my masters degree in Educational Technology at Arizona State University. In my studies, I had the great pleasure of working with some of the trailblazing academics in the field of educational language, literacy, and gaming studies. Among the folks I've interacted with over the last several years, James Paul Gee and Elisabeth Hayes have overwhelmingly influenced my interests in academic research in the field. Guided by their seminars and publications, along with many others, including Sean Duncan and Constance Steinkuehler, I developed a strong interest in utilizing my web application development skills to create tools that further the field of academic research in language and literacy.

Last fall, I started in earnest on a project to do just that and, to make a long story very short, the ultimate result is Decoder Ring, which I've just presented at the 2010 Games, Learning & Society Conference. Decoder Ring is a web-based, collaborative language analysis tool designed for academic research of textual content. It features:

  • Abstracted, flexible, powerful data model
  • Sustainable, low cost, open source framework
  • Project- and group-based to facilitate collaboration
  • Tools for gathering (scraping), importing, browsing, and exporting large data sets
  • Automated and extensible reporting tools

Just got rolling with a VPS on Linode (Part 1)

Note: A large part of this is taken from Victor Kane's article on Awebfactory about setting up Drupal on a fresh Linode, but I've documented some other things here and did some things a little differently than he did, so I figured it'd be worth writing up a post on the process. I've kept the details thin here in places where Victor's notes are more than satisfactory, but I've made sure to note where that happens.

Update: Be sure to check out part 2 of this article, as well.

I've spent the last several months of my off-work hours plugging away at helping the folks over at Gamers With Jobs get rolling with an upgraded version of Drupal, and in the process we decided to move from a shared hosting environment to a place where we've got a lot more control over performance and site configuration. In the meantime, Victor Kane's article on getting Drupal up and running on a Linode came across my RSS reader and provided the kick in the pants I needed to really investigate it. I looked at several VPS options, but in the end Linode seemed to be the best. They offered a seven day money back guarantee, which honestly isn't much, but it was long enough for me to feel comfortable giving it a shot without being out sixty bucks, so I decided to try it out.

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