All posts by Amy Cavender

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Cross-Platform Applications for Daily Work

Multiple operating systems in actionSometimes our readers give us good ideas for posts. After my post about fully replacing ChromeOS with Linux, a reader asked what Linux software I use for academic purposes. I suggested Zotero for PDF management, and also pointed him to Steven Ovadia’s @steven_ovadia blog — which has an “academic” tag — for further ideas.

In case other readers are interested (or have recommendations of their own to share!), I thought it worth mentioning some other applications academics might find useful.

My firs…

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All Things Google: A Busy Month

Google logo with Einstein's face addedThere’s been a lot going on for Google lately. Since just before the end of April, Google has made changes to its mobile apps, introduced a new tool for educators, and run into some trouble in Europe. Given the degree to which All Things Google play a role in our lives (for good or for ill), it seems appropriate to offer some brief commentary on each.

Mobile applications

The change to Google’s mobile applications was a pretty significant one. Previously, everything you wanted to do with any docu…

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More Chromebook Fun: Fully Replacing ChromeOS with Linux


Last November, I wrote about running Ubuntu on a Chromebook using ChrUbuntu. In that post, I noted some of the advantages of running ChrUbuntu: I really liked having a full-blown desktop environment to work in, and ChrUbuntu worked much better for me than Crouton.

There were still some issues, though. I couldn’t choose the operating system at startup; switching back to ChromeOS required issuing a terminal command and rebooting the machine. If I wanted to boot back into Ubuntu, I had to issue a …

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A Quick Recap of Day of DH 2014

Book and laptop

This post was originally scheduled to run last week, but then there was Heartbleed.

So it’s only now that we get to look back to this year’s Day of Digital Humanities event, held on April 8 and hosted for the second year in a row by the wonderful team at Matrix, including Ethan Wattrall. For those who may be unfamiliar with the event, it’s a day in which those working in digital humanities publicly document some of their work day and discuss their work.

What is digital humanities? For answers t…

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A Not-so-gentle Reminder about Security: Heartbleed

A couple of days before yesterday’s post was scheduled to run, we started hearing about the Heartbleed Bug.

This is a nasty one. It’s been out for quite a while, and it’s a flaw in a software library that’s used by a very high number of websites. Check the link above for the details of just how nasty the bug is.

What can readers do to protect their data?

An important part of the necessary response is beyond any individual user’s control. If a website was using the affected version of OpenSSL, i…

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A Gentle Reminder about Security

Padlocks

[Editor's note: We will publish a follow-up post next week tomorrow about the Heartbleed Bug, which has been making headlines this week. You can read this follow-up post here.]

There are a lot of benefits to doing much of our work online. Collaboration with far-away colleagues is easy, we can have ready access to our work no matter what device we’re using, and having our work backed up in the cloud can be reassuring.

But there’s danger as well, unfortunately. In just the past two months, at lea…

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Using Browser Profiles for Organization

Many of us have more than one email account these days. I have several, I’m afraid, though I don’t need to use all of them regularly (thankfully!).

Still, there are three that I use on an almost daily basis: my personal account, my main work account, and the account of the office I currently direct.

While I could use a desktop email client to manage my email (and I sometimes do, for backup purposes if nothing else), all three are GMail accounts. Since I also make extensive use of Google Calenda…

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All Things Google: Add-ons for Docs and Sheets

Add-ons for Docs and SheetsWe’ve written more than a little about “All Things Google” in this space over the last few years. And, though we realize that there are some legitimate privacy concerns with Google, it’s still the case that their services are very convenient.

So, though it’s good to bear the cautions in mind, this post covers the new tools that Google introduced for Docs and Sheets. Called add-ons, they extend the functionality of these two pieces of Google Drive:
Continue reading

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Open Thread Wednesday: Trying Something New This Semester? How’s it Going?

Journal article in Ukrainian

This semester, I’m teaching a survey course in Western political thought that I’ve taught for several years. I decided to try something new in the course this time around, though. Rather than focusing exclusively on the classic texts themselves, I’m also having students engage one contemporary piece of scholarship related to each of the major texts we read.

I wasn’t at all sure how this would go. When I conducted my midterm evaluation with my students, though, I was pleased to learn that they l…

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Hacking an “Adjustable” Standing Desk

A makeshift "adjustable" standing deskStanding desks aren’t exactly a new topic of conversation here at Profhacker. Ryan did a series titled “Stand (in the Place Where You Work)” (see Part 1 and Part 2) and has reviewed the GeekDesk Max. The Geekdesk is pretty expensive, though, so it isn’t an option for everyone. Konrad explored a less pricey (and far more portable) alternative when he reviewed the Ninja Standing Desk, and Lincoln pointed us to directions for building your own affordable standing desk.

Many of the comments on these…