Sunday, December 17, 2006

Off for the holidays!

This Blog will resume after the semester break. I am unsure of the new format when I resume it, since Clio Wired is over (I wonder if I pulled out an A!?!), but it will either be kept here or possibly a new one will be started with the new format. Or, I have even considered starting a new one, keeping this one and having different themes for I have the stamina for such a thing???

Later, have a good holidays, I plan to gain at least 10 lbs!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Digital Skill #8: Domain Registering and Hosting

I guess I am officially "on the web" now that I have spent money to be on it! HA!! Anyway, I used to get two web addresses (I got both the .com and .net because it was only an extra $2.99/yr for the .net so I said "what the hey"?) and I also used them to set up my own hosting account. Now, uploading the ftp to the remote server can sometimes be very aggravating. It either doesn't want to recognize your file, it crashes (which happened earlier today by the way! luckily, I was pretty much done messing with my website for the time being or I would've freaked out!!), or it has to be constantly refreshed the hard way, from the toolbar not its "convenient" refresh button attached to the file window. To alleviate having to dig into a deep HIST 696 folder every time, I just started putting everything on my desktop.

Now, I am unsure of whether I need to keep this hosting account or if I can get someone else to host it (and how does one go about doing such a thing?), because, while the domain names are only about $12-14 for two for a year with a basic security package, the hosting account is like $6/month and that could get a bit pricey! So, if anyone knows the deal with hosting and whether I'd have to host my domains given my project (the Colonial Virginia Archive) and its possibility for being very large, let me know via comment. Thanks and see everyone after the holidays!!! Out, SaS...

Digital Skill #7: CSS

Okay, I finally got the CSS to work on my homepage with the help of a CHNM godsend. Apparently, the whole time I was trying to load my style.css file from a "c" drive when I should have been loading it from the "\" drive, ir whatever the heck that is. Anyway, check out my homepage now with CSS uploaded:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Digital Skill #6: database

This one is very important for me because a) this is the central part of my final project and b) i see me using this, along with creating websites, as the two D.S.'s that I will use most in my career.

Here is a very preliminary database for my data that I will be including on my final project's site, in fact it already is on there, linked from

If you want to go straight there:

Also, I did a test run with some non-essential items (my sports bobbleheads and jerseys): (and you can also get here from my "about the author" page:

As for whether Lazybase will be useful for my final project (and I will speak to this much more in my proposal), at first glance it seems to have everything I need. And, it even looks like you can upload existing databases onto it, but I'm not sure how sophisticated it is (I'll have to create myself a small database on another program so I can try uploading it). And it seems you can leave comments, but I'm not sure if you can leave it for the whole database or for each item. If you could leave it for the items on Lazybase itself, then I could create a Forum on my main site (I already have the "comments" link) and then I could get the best of both worlds: comments for each item in case someone notices a specific error, omission, whatever, while also leaving the option for scholars to comment on the whole database!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Digital Skill #1: Blog

I'm not sure if Josh wants us to write a post about our Blog, on our Blog (whoa, did I just blow everyone's mind???), since we obviously did this for a digital skill. But I just wanted to add that I actually really enjoyed the Blog and I plan to either convert this one into a "my rant"-style Blog or, most likely, start another one and maybe keep this one as a quasi-history/GMU Blog. I dunno, but I definitely enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Folks had told me that, with the amount I like to talk, I should have a Blog, so I'm glad I was finally nudged (okay, pushed!) into doing it.

Digital Skills #4 and #5: HTML and Javascript

Okay, these are currently the definition of 3-pointers, but hey, it's my first time! And as you can see, there is not much design to my webpages, I can't seem to figure out how to hook in the CSS page I have and get it to work in my code. But, I am officially shutting it down for the night, 10 hours on the computer is about all I can take, I've listened to all the music in my library twice (just kidding)!! And I do want to pat myself on the back a little for doing this HTML sans Dreamweaver, I just didn't want to spend $200 for it. But, of course, I couldn't have done it without Jeremy's template! Should I give him $20 for that???

As for the cool timeline I have, I need to play around with condensing it a bit since there is a lot of "dead space" in there, but I think it looks pretty snazzy if you ask me. Thanks Jenny for pointing me to the SMILIE thing, it wasn't TOO bad, although I had my troubles. A few times, it just wouldn't load my changes, so I kept changing it, then I retyped the web address instead of refreshing it and for some reason, that did the trick. I am starting to see how finicky these dang websites can be from the other (dark?) side! is my homepage

and is my javascript, although you can get to it from the homepage too. Oh yeah, that's right, I linked them!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Digital Skill #3: Zotero My Love!

So, I love this frigin' program let me tell you! It is hard for me to even convey the differences between my old way of note-taking, bibliography-storing and organizing. I have always been a very organized person, especially compared to most historians I have known over my very short career in the field. But Zotero, from an organization standpoint, is just fantastic. I have kept my similar style of organizing my readings, mainly by class, although I will also probably create some topical folders as well since, as we of course know, the entries can appear multiple times!!

Now, I do have a glaring problem: I had ALL of my articles, notes to books I have read, and all the papers I had written in my file cabinet at my old house. And, as some of you know, when Katrina's floodwaters came, they went bye-bye with everything else including all the books I had bought as well. So, I am now faced with the daunting task of recreating all the books/articles I read at UNO. Luckily, I have my thesis notes and some notes/articles from my most important seminar on 17th century America. But, compiling all the other sources from my earlier classes will be tough. I have looked for some online, but UNO in 2002 was very far behind in the put-your-syllabus-online movement.

Okay, enough of that sob story, back to the awesome, the wonderful Zotero! Before, I used to take notes in the margins, simply underline, or write in a notebook (if I had borrowed the book from a library or a fellow grad student). Now, I intend to jot down some really important themes/disagreements/etc. when I read so I can upload them onto Zotero. Also, I have begun to asterisk more (but not too much of course or it loses its value!).

As for the uploading of the sources onto Zotero (which are only my two classes this semester and my thesis sources), Clio was so easy I wanted to cry. With the online, interactive syllabus, I just had to go to the site, then make an entry from the page. As for the other ones, I did them manually because, unfortunately, I attended Josh's Zotero HACK session after adding those books and articles. If I hadn't, I could've taken advantage of the GMU library to find all the metadata for them. But, now I know and that shall be the way I do it from now on.

Just to sum up: thank you CHNM!!!!!