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Changes coming for Casting Out Nines!

My family and I are all settled (well, mostly) here in Michigan, and pretty soon I’ll be in full swing in my new position at Grand Valley State University. I can’t overstate what a delight it’s been, getting situated at GVSU. It is a dynamic and forward-thinking university full of great people and exciting ideas. I haven’t met a single person who isn’t excellent at what they do and generous with their expertise.

I am officially taking CO9s off hiatus, and I intend to pick up the pace on blogging as the semester kicks off. That seems wrong — shouldn’t I blog more when it’s less busy? — but I’ve always seen blogging as both an overflow mechanism (to think more about what I’m doing) and an incubator (to kick off new things by rehearsing them here).

Along with a return to regular posting, I have an announcement that I’ve been waiting a long time to make. Over the next few weeks, Casting Out Nines will be rolled into the blog network of the Chronicle of Higher Education, the leading publication about higher ed in the world. Most higher ed people are already familiar with the Chronicle’s print and online publications. The Chronicle Blog Network will be a new venue of voices on the web, writing about higher education, with a worldwide scope and featuring bloggers from all corners of academia.Currently there are two excellent blogs in the network — Tenured Radical and The Ubiquitous Librarian. Casting Out Nines will be joining them.

Posts from blogs in the network will be promoted to Chronicle readers through the Chronicle’s home page, their e-newsletter, and their social media channels. When you take into account that the Chronicle’s website reaches 1.7 million unique visitors and has 14.3 million page views per month, this means that the posts here will be reaching a much, much larger audience than in the past.

Obviously I am tremendously excited about this. This has been in the works for a long time (almost a year?), and things are ready to take shape now. Over the next few weeks, content from the site will be archived and ported over to a new location hosted by the Chronicle on their servers. It will be a hosted WordPress site, which will allow me to add a considerable number of elements to the site that WordPress.com doesn’t currently allow, like different video formats and MathJax typesetting. And I won’t have to deal with technical difficulties. (Although I am not getting any money for this, I consider having a team of experts handling the technical end of things to be more than enough compensation.)

Eventually, when you type in the usual URL for this site, you will be redirected to the new site on the Chronicle’s servers. This means you won’t need to change any web bookmarks you use to get here. As far as RSS feeds go, you might need to change the address. I’m not certain how this will go. Keep your current RSS feed and if it “goes dark” all of a sudden, check back in on the main site; if it’s been officially moved, there will be an RSS subscription link at the new place you can use to replace the old one.

I should stress that although CO9’s will be officially a Chronicle blog, the Chronicle will NOT be editing my work or telling me what to write about or not write about. Also, none of the blogs in the network will be behind the Chronicle’s paywall. The posts you get and the way in which you get them will be the same as always (hopefully the posts will improve in quality…). But you’ll be among potentially a whole lot more readers and commenters, the whole look/feel of the experience should be improved, and you’ll be able to put my posts into context with others in the network and with the Chronicle itself.

It would be wrong not to say a huge thank-you to all of you. (Bonus points if you can remember the blog when it was called something else… and what that “something else” was.) I hope you stick around for the next iteration.

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Filed under Blog announcements, Casting Out Nines

Thank you, and updates

First of all, you may have noticed I am again posting after a lengthy hiatus following the birth of our third child. He’s 5 weeks old now, and we are beginning to return to some kind of routine in our lives that includes him. For the first month, as all parents know, you’re basically in survival mode, catching sleep when you can and trying to get your work done elsewhere. He’s nowhere close to sleeping through the night but at least we’re managing better than we were, and I’m on top of things enough at work that I have the time now to write some posts and at least schedule them for future posting, so I have the appearance of posting once a day. Anyhow, I just wanted to say thanks for all your well-wishes and prayers and for your continued reading of my little slice of the interwebs.

Also, you’ve probably noticed some cosmetic changes here. I’ve changed themes to the new “Vanguard” theme and resurrected the header I used to use some years ago. I’ve removed some sidebar elements that weren’t functional, and I added a link to my Twitter page, which tends to be quite active both day and night (as I often am up in the middle of the night with a baby in my left arm and Twittering with my iPod using my right arm). Also, check out the comments — comments to posts can now be threaded up to three levels deep; just use the “Reply” link to start a comment discussion thread.

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Filed under Blog announcements, Casting Out Nines

Some short tech updates

My two weeks of poring through tenure and promotion portfolios, and writing recommendation letters for those up for tenure or promotion or annual review, are finally over with. It actually ended up being two weeks + 1 day. And those portfolio reviews, far from being dull, gave me tons of material that I would love to blog about — and never can. Oh well.

So I’m going to get back on the posting bandwagon slowly, starting with a three little tech-related  mini-posts.

maple-95.png1. I have finally got Maple 10 up and operational on my Macbook running  Leopard.  As I have written about before, this has been an issue from the day I installed Leopard. And it’s been an issue for many others as well, judging by the number of search engine referrals from queries like “Maple 10 Leopard FUBAR” or something similar. For some reason, the advice given in this email actually worked, although I had to do some serious searching to find and replace the license file. But it’s all good now, and not a moment too soon, as I will need Maple for both my sophomore-level courses this semester.

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2. Praise be to the saints who operate WordPress.com, where this blog is hosted. They just upped the free storage space amount 60-fold, from 50 MB to 3 GB! My choice to switch from a self-hosted WordPress blog to a free WordPress.com blog is looking better and better each day.

dress_mac_01.jpg3. My mom and dad got us a .Mac membership for Christmas. I put it on our Amazon.com wish list as one of those items that I was kind of curious about, didn’t really want to pay for, but wouldn’t mind it if somebody else bought it for me. So now I have it and… now what? I’m having a hard time figuring out what I am supposed to do with it that I can’t already do using pre-existing services. Mail? I have GMail for that. Groups? The Mrs. uses them but sticks entirely to Yahoo Groups. Online photo sharing? Flickr. Backup services? Time Machine, which I now have working as well (although I can definitely see the good behind network backups). So that leaves, er, what exactly? Web page authoring?

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Filed under Apple, Computer algebra systems, Social software, Software