Tech Projects

code is beautiful

Development and Support

work on software, websites, and more

As my technology background demonstrates, I am fascinated by computer hardware and software. Though I am focused on creative writing and academic pursuits at present, I continue to dedicate a few hours each week to keeping up on technology issues.

Software Development Projects

Most of my programming is now for personal projects. Currently, I am refining a database to track my writing projects and another database application for bird watching.

I do consider database design and coding a form of programming. The old dBase IV and FoxPro platforms were high-level languages. My favorite database system was SuperBase, which has faded into computer history with most other PC database systems.

When I have more free time, I would like to convert the databases to applications coded in Apple’s Objective-C with XML or SQLite tables.

I enjoy experimenting with a variety of compiled languages and “scripting” languages. I wish Apple would embrace alternatives to Objective-C, but doubt that will happen. Sadly, when Apple moved to OS X it abandoned its Object Pascal and C++ heritage.

Web Content Projects

Most of my Web projects required JavaScript and PHP coding, in addition to basic HTML and CSS skills. Modifying Drupal, WordPress, or Mediawiki installations can be delicate work, but websites need customization to stand out among other sites. I also have experience installing and maintaining websites using Moodle, Joomla, PKP-OCS, and serveral less-known platforms.

I do not consider PHP an ideal programming language, but most of the major open source platforms seem to rely heavily on PHP frameworks. I cannot imagine rewriting Drupal or the PKP projects in another language, even though that might be a good idea.

Personal Web Projects

  • Tameri Guide for Writers — I know this project will never be done, but it is probably the most interesting and challenging. My goal, starting in 1997, was to convert any class I taught on writing to Web content.
  • The Existential Primer — The project that started it all. In an age of Wikipedia, blogs, and other forms of community editing, I still retain editorial control of The Existential Primer. It is important to me that the site be easy to read and appreciate, while being as accurate as any text on philosophy can be.

Volunteer Projects

  • Military Writers Society of America — I volunteered to migrate the MWSA website from static HTML to a Drupal site in 2011. The site is now an active online community for the MWSA members.
  • Visalia Community Players — I served as webmaster and technical support for the Visalia Community Players for several years, until moving to Minnesota for my doctoral studies in 2006.

University Projects

  • Robert Morris University Press — A test project, I created the RMU Press website in 2012. The webite was a Drupal installation with the 960 Grid System for responsive design. The university was considering the launch of a virtual press, specializing in digital texts.
  • RMU Journals and Conferences — These websites use the Public Knowledge Project platforms for digital editions of academic journals.

Student Projects

My students have participated in a number of collaborative online projects. The projects have included:

  • Professional and Technical Writing — An online textbook written by and for students in business and technical writing courses.
  • FutureBASIC / FBtoC — An effort to convert all FutureBASIC documentation to a wikibook. This project is meant to promote software development within educational settings.
  • podTheatre / Audio Drama — A pbWiki site on using podcasting and audio drama in classrooms. The resulting productions are similar to classic radio shows.
  • Avoiding Digital Dangers — A pbWiki dedicated to “safe computing” habits in educational settings, especially within high schools.
  • AutismWiki — A wiki linked to The Autistic Place, the AutismWiki was a community project focused on students with autism. Both projects were terminated in late 2010.

Links

Additional Info

I have enjoyed computer programming since the late 1970s. In some ways, programming was “more fun” in the early days of personal computing. I still enjoy learning new tools, but the early systems encouraged a certain elegant efficiency I still admire.