The Overhead of Management

Every resource, every person, every project, every machine you have to manage comes with an ongoing cost. This is just as true of servers as is it is of people who work on projects that you're in charge of or have some responsibility for, and while servers and teammates present very different kinds of management challenges, working effectively and managing management costs across contexts is (I would propose) similar. Or at least similar enough to merit some synthetic discussion.…

Keep reading

Jekyll Publishing

I wrote about my efforts to automate my publishing workflow a couple of weeks ago, (egad!) and I wanted to follow that up with a somewhat more useful elucidation of how all of the gears work around here. At first I had this horrible scheme setup that dependent on regular builds triggered by cron, which is a functional, if inelegant solution. There's a lot of tasks that you can give the appearance of "real time," responsiveness by scheduling more brute tasks regularly enough.…

Keep reading

The Meaning of Work

I've started to realize that, fundamentally, the questions I'm asking of the world and that I'm trying to address by learning more about technology, center on work and the meaning and process of working. Work lies at the intersection of the all the things that I seem to revisit endlessly: interfaces, collaboration technology, cooperatives and economics institutions, and open source software development. I'm not sure if I'm interested in work because it's the unifying theme of a bunch of different interests, or this is the base from which other interests spring.…

Keep reading

There's Always Something New to Learn

Now that I'm fairly confident in my ability to do basic Linux systems administration tasks: manage web and email servers, maintain most Linux systems, convince desktop systems that they really do want to work the way they're supposed to, I'm embarking on a new learning process. I've been playing around with "real" virtualization on my desktop, and I've been reading a bunch about systems administration topics that are generally beyond the scope of what I've dealt with until now.…

Keep reading

The Old Projects Project

Before a road trip a, by now, a couple of months ago, I installed a copy of nginx on my laptop on the hope of doing some web development and working on other projects when I was in the car. For the uninitiated (you mean you don't all write technical documentation for web developers and systems administrators?!?) nginx is an incredibly powerful web server. As of June 11th, foucualt the server that hosts the Cyborg Institute and tychoish.…

Keep reading

Jekyll and Automation

As this blog ambles forward, albeit haltingly, I find that the process of generating the site has become a much more complicated proposition. I suppose that's the price of success, or at least the price of verbosity. Here's the problem: I really cannot abide by dynamically generated publication systems: there are more things that can go wrong, they can be somewhat inflexible, they don't always scale very well, and it seems like horrible overkill for what I do.…

Keep reading

Organize Your Thoughts More Betterly

I've been working with a reader and friend on a project to build a tool for managing information for humanities scholars and others who deal with textual data, and I've been thinking about the problem of information management a bit more seriously. Unlike numerical, or more easily categorized information data, how to take a bunch of textual information--either of your own production or a library of your own collection--is far from a solved problem.…

Keep reading