It is time for me to give credit where credit is due folks. I have occasionally tried to acknowledge to this group that I am simply an art historian (worse and worse, a lapsed curator) and not really a technologist, here by the grace of a few equally as insane fellow travellers in this field. The smattering of real technology knowledge I have is due primarily to the kindness of colleagues who have been gracious enough to explain things to me.
Ben Rubinstein, at CogApp, writes me endless (from his point of view I’m sure) emails in response to questions. Sometimes he gets the same questions multiple times a year. I’m sure he must have a folder with my name on it and them all indexed for ease of access (he probably even knows when I’m going to ask for a particular email and has it automated). He advises me about issues like “projectors the size of sugar cubes,” and “privacy policies,” and “statistics pages, ” and “information architecture.”
For more than a decade now fellow blogger Nik Honeysett (http://musematic.net/?author=14) has patiently exchanged phone conversations, emails, and had too many conversations to mention explaining the mysteries of things like “yahoo content acquisition,” “handheld evaluations,” “how google search engines actually work,” “firefox plugins,” and how to make a really good cocktail with fresh fruit juices.
Now CMA colleague Doug Hiwiller has stepped in and done me a huge favor. Earlier this week I was trying to get Doug to clarify for me exactly what my computer does to turn my 11.3 megabyte powerpoint presentation into a bunch of 1s and 0s. (Nik and Ben are out there shaking their heads in sympathy, I just know it) Doug, in addition to explaining the issues to me, sent me this link to a series of online learning modules produced by Virginia Tech (http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~csonline/index.html). I am partially through the first module, on algorithms, and am having a blast.
So…if you, like me, are one of those digital immigrants who has come sideways into the technology field and has always felt that your knowledge of the actual workings on the technological side of things isn’t quite as secure as you’d like it to be, may I recommend you sit down with one of Nik’s cocktails (recipe below), your laptop, and spend a quiet hour or two learning about algorithms, or machine language, or software engineering. Live a little!
Thanks Ben, thanks Nik, thanks Doug, and thanks all of you at Virginia Tech.
Here’s Nik’s recipe. Ummm…..yummy…..
1 1/2 shots of tequila
1/2 shot Triple Sec
1/2 Fresh Grapefruit
1/2 Fresh Orange
1/2 Fresh Lemon
Top up with Cranberry