Where does the time go?

I expected that blogging frequency would be lower than in the past, for a while at least, but I didn’t mean to leave it so long since my last proper post (History Carnival notices don’t count). I don’t have the excuse that I have zillions of classes to prep, unlike my American blogging friends. (I wouldn’t have that excuse yet even if I had a teaching job, since the British university year doesn’t get going for a few weeks.) But the job does tend to occupy a lot of my brainspace, along with the ongoing settling-in to the new place. So, you’ll have to make do with a few random observations.

… The gaps in my knowledge of what happened to English criminal law and punishment after the second half of the 18th century are shocking. (But it increasingly seems to me that in general our gaps in understanding what happened to English criminal justice and punishment after the late 18th century are fairly shocking. Or is that just my ignorance and early modern prejudices at work?)

… Having just ordered one that I don’t have to pay for (great fun!), I am absolutely astounded at just how much high-spec desktop PC one can buy for absurdly small sums of money these days. Someone in the office suggested it’s because everyone wants laptops now, so slashing prices is the only way these lumbering mammoths are going to sell. Seems a reasonable proposition.

… In less than two weeks, I become a real ‘manager’, as there’ll be someone at the next desk I’m actually in charge of. This is somewhat scary. Much more scary than the working-in-a-real-office experience, which I think I’m settling into now.

… Right now, I’m playing around with wikis, since we’re thinking of setting one up for the projects. This is something I’ve avoided for some time now; I feared they’d be terribly addictive. (I think I was right. Wikis are dangerous.) If anyone has good tips or links for using wikis for work-related collaboration, documentation, support and so on, do pass them on. It’ll be much appreciated.

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6 Responses to Where does the time go?

  1. I’m so glad to hear it’s going well, if a bit overwhelming!

  2. I don’t have any personal tips, since I haven’t done much with wikis at all, but I did at one point look a bit at them to see what they could offer. I don’t know if you’ve come across these links; and you may be beyond them entirely, but just in case….

    This PDF, although it is rather elementary and about primary school children, does have some interesting (general) thoughts about Wiki use; at the very least, it’s useful as a reminder about ways we naturally tend to collaborate (or fail to collaborate well) in Wiki situations.

    The following are also interesting:

    Using a Wiki for Documentation and Collaborative Authoring

    Using Wikis for Content Management (might be useful for ideas about how to structure them; some of the links in the comments are useful).

  3. Sharon says:

    Thanks Brandon! I don’t think I’d seen those articles before.

    I’m playing with a couple of wikis that offer standalone desktop versions (MoinMoin, PMWiki, and I’ve also toyed with a rather cute program called wikiCalc) and even after two years’ blogging there is something wonderfully alluring about the ease of page creation and editing.

  4. Chris Williams says:

    If you think that our understanding of CJ history goes out of the window in the C19th, you should check out the C20th. It’s an uninhabited howling wilderness out there, with only a few small gardens being tended (and extended) here and there.

    But now you’re on site, you are in a position to read up the last word on policing and crime in mid-nineteenth century Sheffield, at least. Sorry about the typos – it was late and I was tired.

  5. I have heard excellent things about PmWiki; and bad things about MoinMoin; wikiCalc is supposed to be good but a work-in-progress. Although, of course, that all has to be taken with a grain of salt, because it’s not as if I hang around a lot of wiki-geeks. How are you finding them?

  6. Sharon says:

    So far, PMWiki and MoinMoin both seem good, but I haven’t spent much time with either; I’ll look around for some user reviews/comments. WikiCalc already seems pretty awesome.

    I’ve just discovered how easy it is to set up a Mac to run a server and PHP using this baby, so once I’ve stopped oohing and aahing over my shiny new local installation of WordPress, I can do some more experiments with wiki programs that don’t have convenient standalone versions.

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