writing.emich.edu : A server in the making…

The dust of the CCCCs and the Jacobson Symposium is starting to clear (though I am late on a different writing project and then there’s that pesky teaching stuff I need to do until the end of the term), and pretty soon, I (along with my colleague Steve Benninghoff) will start setting up the writing program’s new server, writing.emich.edu.

Loyal readers may recall that I have reported here and here that I’ve had a series of problems with the EMU ICT folks regarding serving stuff that involves MySQL and PHP, which is basically any content management system you can think of. Long story short: I asked in September or so the powers that be regarding computer stuff on campus if I could run a CMS like WordPress and drupal on an EMU server. After receiving the run-around for about four months, the answer I received was “no,” and the reason I was given was “uh… security… yeah, security, that’s it.” After a bit more probing, the real answer emerged, which is basically a combination of “we don’t have the resources” and “we don’t want to.”

So, it became apparent that if we are going to do any of these things, we are going to have to do it ourselves, and I am happy to report that my department head, who thankfully understood the issues here, approved the purchase of a Mac Mini, which is chained to my desk and the home of writing.emich.edu.

Or future home. There’s not much there yet.

Frankly, I would prefer to not be in the server business, but if the people who are supposed to be doing this don’t have the will— er, “resources”– to do their job, I guess we’ll have to do it ourselves.

One more kind of funny because it’s sad kind of thing about this: when I was at Creighton for the Jacobson Symposium, some of the folks there thought it was interesting and strange that I was allowed to run a server out of my office. Personally, I found it interesting and strange that the tech area at Creighton, which they call DoIT, seems most interested in trying to provide faculty and students technologies and support to help them do their jobs. What a strange world….

3 thoughts on “writing.emich.edu : A server in the making…”

  1. I was just talking to Stuart S. today about the need for our own server. It’s mindblowing to think that we have to make a strong argument to convince people about its usefulness. I’m happy that you did it!

  2. And the irony,of course, is that in ten years it will be a non-issue. We’ll all have servers the size of paperclips that we attach to our lightweight, portable computer/fax/telephone/map/organizer/mp3/video/hologram/alarm clock/transporter etc. and we’ll all shake our heads and wonder how we got by in the past.

  3. I should point out two things:

    * I’ve actually used my office computer as a server of sorts for along time now. It’s krause.emich.edu. Since it’s a Mac and since the folks in ICT were willing to give me a fixed IP number, using my desktop computer as a server amounted to flicking a switch. So no need to worry about the future; it isn’t that big of a deal to do it right now.

    * I agree with Jenny that it’s kind of useful to have easy access to a in-house server, especially for hosting big giant files or for experimenting on things. On the other hand, I would much MUCH rather have the ICT folks do their freakin’ job so I didn’t have to worry about getting into the guts of maintaining/babysitting the server. I don’t want to be the mechanic here; I want to be the driver. I can do both, but I’d rather not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.