Always keep your elephant on the lead

At least when you are in San Francisco.
Well, that’s what Moose says is the law there.

What follows is the first of my thesis-related rants. There will no doubt be many more over the next three months, but I’m starting as I mean to go on. Feel free to avert your gaze. On the other hand, watching the car-wreck that is my academic career is sure to prove amusing.

Sorry that it has been a few since I last blogged – my life has become taken over by wikis in the last week, and they are taking all my creative juices. Once you’ve got one set up 1. [and man is that proving to be a head ache!] they are surprisingly addictive. I installed Instiki on my Mac on Tuesday, and spent a gleeful five or so hours adding to it. As far as Mac’s are concerned, Instiki really is almost as easy as it claims to set up and use on the desktop. Due to firewall concerns, I can’t make it live to the world from halls sadly, but it is proving to be a great tool to help me plan/organise/work on the thesis, if a little slow.

Alas, things aren’t going quite so well with the wiki that I am attempting to get live via one of the lab computers. I am already starting to curse the day that the Godhead sent me an email saying “this topic would be perfect for you…” If it wasn’t hard enough to wade through the 100 or so different wikis out there to pick the one that best fits my requirements, I’m also in the midst of a crash course on servers, firewalls, law (the licensing and copyright agreements are hellish), and more programming languages than you can shake a medium-sized stick at.

Considering the last time I touched the command prompt on a windows computer, I was about six and Tim was charging me 50p a time for lessons in dos, I’ve got a bit of catching up to do! Yes, I know that admitting that means my geek-credentials are slipping, but to reassure you on that score, I did spend a merry five or so hours last night doing a redesign for Moose’s site, which she has no intention of using, just for the fun of it. At least I’ve proven 2. [nearly, still got some tweaks to get it working properly on IE] that you can do a site like hers without having to resort to tables nested to the nth degree. There was no point whatso ever in doing it, but I enjoyed it, found it relaxing, and it wasn’t wiki-related.

Then my darling brother asks the innocent question “wouldn’t it be easier to write your own wiki, especially as your requirements are a little… odd?”


On sober reflection, I’m keeping that one for when (if) I ever get around to that PHd.

Apache is now running on the lab computer (hereafter referred to as MY computer)3. [It is mine in the sense that it has the programs I need installed on it, and I am permitted to turf anyone who uses it off when I need it. He he, the power!] The next step is to configure it, and the wiki of choice.

I repeat, ARG!!!!!!!!!