Monthly Archives: March 2011

New Toy…. I mean, Tool….

Yesterday I finished migrating files from old computers to my fabulous new MacBookPro. Even though Apple makes everything really easy, this task took a lot longer than I had hoped, mostly because the new machine requires a different firewire connector than the ones on the cable I had. So I tried to use other means.

First, migrating over Bluetooth failed when it came to content files. It was particularly problematic with my next newest machine, which has more files on it than any other I have. The program couldn’t even manage to see all of the files over Bluetooth, much less copy them.

I thought the process might work better with the next newest, an iBook from about 2007. It has fewer files on it since its hard drive fried a couple of years ago. The applications actually did migrate, but the documents and downloads didn’t make it. Imagine my distress when I logged onto the new account on the new machine, only to find none of my content where I expected it.

Next I tried using my Ethernet cable, but its connector didn’t fit my desktop machine. Fail.

So off I went to the Apple Store to pick up a new firewire cable with the right connectors. I really appreciated learning that no one there, neither the sales associate in the middle of the store nor the guys in the back–the ones who are supposed to know everything–could give a positive recommendation for the correct cable. The guy I worked with was super helpful, though. We tested the one they all guessed was the right cable on a machine at the store that is just like my new one, and it even worked once I got home.

Turns out I have so many files on my desktop machine that it took over an hour to complete the migration. Now all of my files from all of my recent machines are on the new one, and I’m ready for the next step in getting ready for my summer adventures in digital humanities: partitioning my hard drives and setting up virtual Windows machines so that I can run ArcGIS on them.

I may not be a real geek, but I’m pretty boss for a wannabe.

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Back at Work

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post here. First, that was because the new semester was starting, but then right at the end of February I got a call from my mother saying she needed me at home. The hospice nurse had told her it was time to find a skilled nursing facility in which my father could receive the kind of care he needed for the final days of his life. So I spent the first twenty days of March arranging to fly to Texas, looking after my dad, finding a nearby nursing home, witnessing his death, arranging his funeral, writing a eulogy, and helping my mother through the first two weeks of her new life on her own.

It has been a difficult time for all of us, and I have a new comprehension of the experiences of some of the people I have studied over the past twenty years. I feel especially close right now to Maria E. Wood, whose journal was the first that I transcribed and encoded with students in a U.S. Women’s History course in fall 2004. Wood’s father died during the time she kept the journal, and she recorded her thoughts and her efforts to feel close to him after his death. Hers was a deep and wrenching grief for a father from whom she had never lived apart, and mine differs in that I have not lived with my parents for over thirty years.

I feel closer to Wood nevertheless, and like her I must now make my own way in the world, looking after my mother as well as myself. And so I return to teaching, research, and writing, ready to record here more regularly ongoing developments in the Wheaton College Digital History Project as well as my thoughts about digital humanities and liberal education.

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Filed under digital humanities, meta, Wheaton College Digital History Project