Some Welcome Love for the LAMP Stack

I, too, love LAMP. In @readtedium, @ShortFormErnie "shines a light on LAMP, the background tools that, together, turned the internet into a machine that anyone could run." cc @jimgroom @timmmmyboy @brumface — David D. LaCroix (@DavidDLaCroix) September 4, 2021 I really enjoyed Ernie Smith’s article “I Love Lamp” over on his blog, big thanks to David LaCroix for the link. He provides a succinct and fascinating history into the rise of the killer stack that has reigned for over 20 years. There has been a lot of talk about the New Hack Stack, and I’ve been fascinated with those developments for the last decade and what they could mean for Reclaim Hosting. But at the end of the day, LAMP is still very much the workhorse behind the modern web. And if you’re like WTF is LAMP, it’s the suite of open source technologies Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP that were combined to build the web servers that still … [Read more...]

Whence DTLT?

I just want to be clear that from where I am standing DTLT is not dead, and from what I understand the great Jerry Slezak (who was already there when I arrived in 2005) has recently taken over the group. he will be hiring a new staff (something that happened 3 short years ago to no dire cries of an untimely death), and from what I understand a long list of amazing faculty that have done incredible work for over 20 yeas are still there. So, needless to say, I was a bit appalled when I saw the exaggerated announcements of UMW’s death on Twitter so uncritically accepted as a foregone conclusion. And, of course, the retweets and likes almost immediately started to roll in, the eulogies were tweeted, and everyone was so god damned right. I remember more than a few folks telling me to check my ego when I decided to leave UMW, and I tried given no one person makes a group. And when a group leaves en masse as DTLT has the last couple of years, there is definitely a problem. Where exactly … [Read more...]

Leaving UMW: the 2008 Edition

While packing up the books in my house (I haven’t even started on the office yet), I found the above card from my DTLT colleagues wedged in a Captain America Mad Libs. They gave it to me back in February of 2008 on the occasion of my first remove from UMW to work at the University of Richmond, a period we affectionately refer to as my “sabbatical.” I have to admit it’s kind wild to find this as I prepare for the second remove. Things will be changing for me very soon, and that comes with it’s own excitement. But artifacts like this provide a pleasant reminder of just how important these folks have been in my personal and professional life over the last ten years. I’ll miss the salad days of DTLT. See that, I started the nostalgia before I’m even out the door … [Read more...]

DTLT: The Next Generation

This year has been one of transition—to put it lightly—at UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. Andy Rush announced he’ll be joining University of Northern Florida in September, which means two-thirds of the group has left (or announced their leaving) since November. And while Andy’s leaving marks the end of an era (I’ll save my real feelings for another post ), it also ushers in the possibility of a whole new generation of instructional technology at UMW. Last week I got a glimpse of what that might look like, and I am both excited and hopeful. Jessica Reingold started a week ago today in a new position DTLT created this Spring called the Entry-level Instructional Technology Specialist. The idea for this position came from UMW’s IT department which has been hiring recent college grads into entry-level positions for their Enterprise Application Services team over the last few years.* What was awesome about Jess’s hire is … [Read more...]

I’m just gonna leave this here for posterity :)

Historians reflecting on the reboot of higher ed: Harvard? Berkeley? Nope. The University of Mary Washington. (What?) (Believe it, hippies!) — Jon Udell (@judell) May 28, 2015 … [Read more...]


It’s official, I have resigned my position at University of Mary Washington, and will be going full-time at Reclaim Hosting. It’s almost surreal, and I follow in the footsteps of the great Tim Owens—-whose hard work these last six months has made it all possible. And while I reference the opening sequence of The Prisoner above in honor of #prisoner106, my resignation was neither premature nor acrimonious, and it won’t be immediate. I will be working through September at UMW to ensure a smooth transition. What’s more, one couldn’t have asked for a better situation over the 1o years I’ve been at UMW. I had amazing colleagues in DTLT, a remarkable level of autonomy, and the best faculty and students you could imagine. I think the work I’ve done at UMW speaks for itself, and I leave feeling I was part of a group that truly made the campus a better place to teach and learn. There can be no greater professional satisfaction than that in this … [Read more...]

DTLT’s Hurley Award Winner: Martha Burtis

The Great Martha Burtis I have been remiss in mentioning that one of my favorite people this side of the Rappahannock, Martha Burtis, was awarded the 2015 Hurley Award. This award is presented to an administrative/professional faculty member who performs exceptionally meritorious service to the University; demonstrates strength of character; and maintains steadfast dedication to the University’s mission. Martha does all that and more. So when Jeff McClurken asked me to write a letter in support of Martha (he was a genius for nominating her), I knew it was going to be a long one.  There’s so many good things to write, and I think of her as my mentor during these past four years of DTLT directorship. What’s more, Martha has been so central to every creative, crazy thing we’ve done at DTLT these last years—I’m thinking her about ds106 in particular, Summer of Oblivion #4life. Despite the fact that so many folks associate me with DTLT’s success because I … [Read more...]

Domain of One’s Own 2.0: the Manatee Release

Domain of One’s Own, the distributed, web-based sea cow everyone loves! In this wopping one hour and 26 minute video Martha Burtis and Tim Owens take you through two years of development on the UMW Domains project. It’s the most thorough record available of the work they’ve been doing since Summer 2012, and it traces the thinking, development, and deployment of how UMW is giving every student, faculty, and staff a domain and web hosting account of their own. We understand that an hour and 26 minutes is a very long time, so we’re breaking down the conversation according to specific topics so you can watch what might be relevant for you: 00:01:26 – 00:10:30 Domain of One’s Own 0.5: The Alpha Pilot Timeframe: Spring 2012 through Spring 2013 In the first part of the video Tim and Martha discuss the pilot of Domain of One’s Own. We start with some history. During the Fall 2012/Spring 2013 Academic year we used a dedicated server with MediaTemple … [Read more...]

A Networked History of UMW’s DTLT

Mary Washington College’s Proposal for CNI’s Assessing the Academic Networked Environment Project One of the things I derive great pleasure from is learning about the long history of the edtech field. It’s such a strange, intersitital “discipline” between IT support and academics on one hand, and revolution and conformity on the other. It’s a deeply shizophrenic field in so many ways, and I think that’s why it appeals to me so much Within the long, sordid history of edtech, nothing interests me more than the particulars of the group I currently work with, UMW’s DTLT. When Martha, Andy, and Jerry tell stories of the past it’s like sitting around the dinner table hearing stories about my ancestors. Overblown simile, I know, but I can’t help it. I’m intrigued to no end of what came before me. The same is true when Brian Lamb starts getting on a roll about the history of learning objects in edtech during the early 2000s. So, I … [Read more...]

Talking Domains All Semester Long

Image credit: Kin Lane – Reclaim Evangelist One of the many cool things Cathy Derecki did while at UMW was create EagleEye, a weekly faculty and staff online newsletter about what’s happening in the community. The site runs in the in WordPress on our install, and the posts are broken down into two basic categories: the first is professional notes, announcements about who presented, published, karate chopped someone, etc. The other is focused around events, news, awards, etc. I’ve tried to share as much of my presentations and other work not just on this blog, but also on EagleEye whenever posible. Turns out this semester was a bear, and I am just getting around to updating my last five talks on EagleEye. So, given I just spent more than an hour writing it all up, I figured I’d taken advantage of a little cross-posting. Since early March of 2014 Jim Groom has delivered numerous invited presentations about the work the Division of Teaching and … [Read more...]