Check out GMU's Center for History and New Media Web projects

Center for History and New Media at George Mason University
Center for History and New Media

George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media has been really putting out some great online academic tools. They’re the ones behind the Zotero research extension for Firefox. Now they are developing some software for web sites like Omeka, an open source content management system for museum collections and exhibits, and ScholarPress, plugins designed to make WordPress more usable for college classes.

ScholarPress has two plugins right now, Courseware, for adding syllabi and assignments, and WPBook, a way of converting your WordPress blog as a Facebook Application. The two developers, Jeremey Boggs and Dave Lester, also host a podcast called THAT podcast and have posted a tutorial on using the Scholarpress plugins along with an interview with Matt Mullenweg as the first episode. I certainly admire them for the impressive amount of work they have put in to all of these projects and look forward to trying their tools out in the future. (via Photo Matt)

Great Mac Freeware Programs

So as some of you know, I work as tech support for the College Writing Program at Berkeley. Our department is all Macintosh, so finding good software can sometimes be expense. Fortunately, there are a number of sites that list freeware Mac programs. One of the ones I like is FreeMacWare, a blog spotlighting free Mac Programs. They’re also having a contest where you write about five apps you’ve found on their site. I was able to find some good programs including:

  • Firefox– It’s not as good as it is on the PC, but it has the best web compatiblity with web sites and the extensions can’t be beat.
  • VLC– Quicktime can’t open every video file, so it’s up to VLC to do the job. And a heck of a job it does.
  • Witch– Command + tab and Expose are great, but I think Witch is better. I like being able to cycle through all of my windows, even the minimized ones, which is what Witch allows me to do (among other things).
  • Mactracker– I can look up the technical specs for any Mac model possible. Very useful.
  • Nvu– Why pay so much for Dreamweaver when I can get WYSIWIG and CSS editing for free? And it’s pretty good code too.

I like a variety of other programs too, but these have been the most useful for me so far.