I just learned from the techrhet mailing list that Father Walter J. Ong died yesterday at the age of 90. Here is a link to the obituary/press release released by the school where Ong worked, St. Louis’ Washington University. Ong’s Orality and Literacy was pretty important to me as a grad student, as it was for just about everyone else I know in the computers and writing community, and his writing still confuses, enlightens, and enrages students of mine every semester. Rest in peace.
Or dawning or whatever. I’m in the process of switching my official blog space to a site supported with blogger. I had a heck of a time getting the archive function to work because of a series of things I wasn’t doing correctly, and I still need to add some more links and iron some other things out. But I think this is going to work.
Why blogger? Why not keep using what I was using which was supported by a product called flipsource? Well, while it did work for me reasonably well, it seemed a bit buggy and limiting to me. And when I ran into problems with it, my very limited knowledge of any sort of “real” computer language became crippling. I had some good stuff on that old blog, so I intend to maintain a link to it, like this one right here.
Why not try something more fancy, like moveable type? See above– while I know it isn’t rocket science, but I don’t have time right now to figure out how to moveable type works. The other reason is server space issues. The server I’m using for this blog (and the one I intend to slowly but surly move most of my web work to), http://people.emich.edu, doesn’t allow users like me to do cgi scripts and other fancy stuff for security and support reasons, or so I am told.
And once blogger started supporting sftp (also something that people.emich.edu requires), I figured it was time to make the switch. Blogger is powerful enough software for my moderately low-tech needs, and it is the software I have been using with my students. Hey, blogger is as common as Starbucks or McDonalds, but I like how their software works, especially after they updated it recently. And I like Starbucks coffee and McDonalds cheeseburgers too, especially if there is no good local alternative.