New Literacies Sampler book – online!

Posted by jerry on February 19th, 2007 — Posted in New media, Technology, Theory, Writing

This is an excellent read, with many of my favourite authors – Colin Lankshear, Michele Knobel and Angela Thomas to name a couple 😉

new literacies sampler

And better still,  New Literacies Sampler is not only available as a hard-copy book, but has also been published electronically online by the publisher – now THAT’s what I call a forward thinking publisher!

Thanks to Angela for pointing to this one 🙂


Wheelsurf – Unicycle with motor!

Posted by jerry on February 18th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Motorcycling, Technology

The Wheelsurf is an amazing machine – part 50cc motor scooter, part German wheel (circus wheel)  🙂 And it looks like a load of fun! – Click on the image to see how it goes 🙂


I can see my daughter coming up with a whole new circus act coming up with these…


Copyright, copyleft and creative commons

Posted by jerry on February 17th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media, Technology, Writing

I have had occasion recently to address a copyright issue, when one of my papers turned up on an Estonian website and then many iterations of it around the web all linked back to the Estonian one, and not to my original on my site. While I’m not precious about my work, and am quite happy to see the text appear on Wikipedia, my objection was to the further links that did not come my way.

I was able to amend the link on Wikipedia, but other derivative sites clearly had old versions. After writing a series of emails pointing out the error of their ways, I found the major sites like Wikipedia and responded within hours by amending the link to reflect the true copyright owner – so congratulations to those sites. Others seem to stream the information to seemingly orphan pages devoid of any email contact points, and to those I wrote to the top level domain operator pending further action.

But it did also get me thinking about the concept of copyright, and of its variations aimed at allowing people to take something in the public arena and develop it collectively with anyone who stops by. This broadly, is the concept of copyleft.


Then there is a kind of middle ground – a creative commons licence, in which copyright is still retained, while allowing free downloads and use of the material. In a sense, that is the spirit in which my band site offers its MP3 downloads – you can download for free and enjoy as many times as you like, as long as you attribute the music to Full Circle Band, and not claim it as your own.

Creative Commons

As far as my material is concerned, I’m happy for people to quote it, download it, or link to it – all I ask is attribution for my work and a courtesy link to my version of the piece. Site rippers are, in the words of the great Jar Jar Binks: ‘So rude!’


Internet – fifteen years on

Posted by jerry on February 15th, 2007 — Posted in History, New media, Technology

It’s hard to believe that fifteen years have passed since Tim Berners-Lee released the software and the concept of the world-wide-web to the public. I remember having used ‘Gopher’ to retrieve documents, and then being amazed by Mosaic v1 when I first saw it. I’d used email since 1989 at the university, so I guess it was fairly early when I came to the World-Wide-Web, in about October 1993. I suppose I could put in a shameless plug for my book Virtual States (The Internet and the boundaries of the Nation-State) here, but I won’t 😉
The BBC has put up a timeline of world-wide-web history – ever wondered whatever happened to the Cambridge University coffee pot? It’s all here 🙂

BBC - web history


A serious Mac collection

Posted by jerry on February 14th, 2007 — Posted in History, Technology

Okay, I admit it, I like Apple Macintosh computers. And yes I’ve been using them since about 1999 – and I do still have almost all the macs we have bought over the years, each a generation above the next. I guess all up we have eight, from the humble 512k through the mac plus and colour classic to a couple of the old iMacs and so on. And they all still work.

Apple Macintosh computers
The 512k mac (with its half a meg of RAM) still boots up on a 400k disk using System 0.95 (yes it’s before System 1!) – the same disk also has MacWrite and MacPaint – text and graphic editors – and still has enough space for several documents – all on a 400k floppy disk. Programs were very light in those days.

But some people are serious collectors and Jeremy Mehrl (aka soyburger) has 67 macs in his basement, all neatly wired in place and fully functional.

wall of macs

And his bar uses 30 mac classics – there’s something delightful about the repetetive design element that is very appealing

wall of macs

Giles Turnbull of Or’Reilly caught up with Soyburger and did an email interview with him about the collection.

Many thanks to Shawn Day of Randomosity for pointing to the collection 🙂