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I thought I’d  review one of my teacher’s websites, Dr. Heba Amin’s.. The reason for that is simple, I find those two courses (the art of web design and surveying digital rhetoric very similar. Although each is taught in a different department their content is more interlacing than you think. Picture this, in both courses we were required to do virtual portfolios or online identity  as our projects..

The link to the artist and teacher’s website http://www.hebaamin.com/

In her representation of herself leans more on the professional side, she puts her work(Art portfolio) her CV and her blog all in one project. She blogs about her artwork, she documents all her art projects,some of which are very interesting installation or projections on the walls …

Her use colors and design make it appear simple yet appealing  and I think it suits her goal of reach to professional audience and demonstrate her work.

I’ve been very restrictive on our relationship lately. No dates till you ask  my mum’s permission first. No phone calls till the end of exam period. But I’ve been randomly texting him, and  that could replace a thousand dates. Though text messages tend to be focused,there are no overtones of voice  and swaying topics. They are in fact a very honest medium of communication and I’ve been very honest..

I’ve never been accompained around the house, it feels weird… I’ve always been a solo act, a one man’s show.

Today he said  so and so might be useful to us. us?!! I’ve never heard him use this word…

Reading the article “A World I Don’t Inhabit: Disquiet and Identity In Second Life and Facebook” raised a few questions in my head. To summarize the articles it discusses mainly two things. the potential of having or using the two amiable social mediums facebook and second life as educational software. Second it touches down upon issues of “virtual” identity and whether it should be trusted or replaced with the real one that one I shall put on hold for now, and we’ll discuss the first point first.

First of all, I shared in class, I don’t think  that facebook should/could be used for educational purposes. or any social software for that matter. I suppose you know the saying “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s”. Using facebook in education to me is like (if say I am a teacher)  knowing that all my students go to a certain club and. would rather miss my class to hangout in that club. Then I  decide that I would go there and teach. It doesn’t sound right. we mentioned in class that a teacher’s argument could be; that I have wordpress and other blogs and websites and I use blackboard and still my students would not give head to all that , would rather leave it all and go to facebook!  well we don’t follow them to facebook, we make our stuff more attractive to get their attention them. Plus I pretty much doubt one can have the attention span of a student on facebook  long enough. As it makes any information about anyone a click away.

So it will serve as a distraction for instead one posting a comment on one’s post he could then make a posting on his profile image or check out common friends.. Also it gives way to mixing personal with professional life. You don’t want that happening in class. It’s ancestry, and does not make everyone comfortable to mix the workplace with personal life.

The other Idea I wish to share about regarding virtual identities. Reading the paper made me reflect on the notion of real and virtual identities or what they call “Real Life” and “Second Life”.Also about one’s self image and who one’s portrayal of it. It made me realize that everything one does  not just in the “virtual world”( as the virtual world is part of the real world as our dr. says..) it reflects who I am or who I believe myself to be. Thinking what kind of image do I want to to convey. This does not necessarily mean that one hides one’s identity but knowing who you are should show up in you actions.. And what you do reflects  how  you see yourself.

The article also raised the idea of trust and it pointed out that you can not trust what you can not see and raising up the issue of multiple identities.. Well (Thomas) I disagree. I am with you about understanding people more when you meet them face-to-face and read their facial expression and tone of voice. but one can also hide his intentions and act out well in real life as well.

Actually regarding the issue of multiple identities in virtual life, well can have that in the real life too but maybe not as much… It is all about , like the author says, what ‘face’ do you want to show on “face book”.

Windows on Mac

I generally use a mac, but for development purposes I need visual studio and so I have to switch to Windows..

At first I did a dual boot; that is to say I installed both operating systems on my computer  and when I switch it on it gives me the option of which operating system to boot (windows or Mac). But it became very tiring and boring especially that windows takes so much time to boot and all my ‘life’ things were on the mac. If i needed any of my stuff  I had to either send it to myself using an email or save it on an external flash or hard drive. Boring. Plus, while developing not only don’t I have access to my documents but  all my favorite apps on Mac are inaccessible. so I basically hated time spent on my  computer when it’s in the nonMac mode and I missed my itunes, my radio stations. my dock. my desktop.. ahh if you have Mac you know  the story.

But then I decided, no longer will I live in so much longing. I copied my friends who like me have apple (they are very few but there are) and I decided to install virtual machines like they do on their macs. A virtual machine is basically a machine on top of your machine, only it’s implemetnation is software not physical. It translates to your physcal machine. like the Java Virtual Machine, that when you instal  it you can operate all those jave prorams. A virtual machine when installed you can boot in it a variety of OS’s and it works perfectly.. only it uses so much(working) memory , knowing that I needed to upgrade my physical machine first.  (ie by that I mean increase rams)..

I installed Parallels. For a week I was shiny as a light bulb with the new software, I was recommended it by the UACT.  It has a very lively interface, that it’s hard not to fall in love with it from first sight . I even created a facebook group about  it.


This is a snapshot of the first virtual machine I installed (only that machine is not mine). The name of this software is Parallels.

As you can see you can use windows application alongside your mac. you could see both the task bar and the dock at the same time.

My ‘happiness’ soon ended when I compiled my first program.  For you developers out there save your breath, thougth it “looks” like windows . it uses the old file system so you cant really “work” on it. I couldn’t even create a website on visual studio..My disappointment was heavy within me and I decided to use my friends laptop, for practical purposes..

But not for long. I asked around, and discovered the sun virtual machine and (guess what it is for free.) unlike other truly expensive virtual machines. It is developed by sun Microsystems ( thus open source) and it is very powerful. The very first thing I noticed is that it asks you how much disk space you will give it as it formats part of your hard drive with a new file system like a real boot camp. Moreover you can share folders between your mac and windows so your virtual machine can have access to some stuff on you real machine.

They beaty of virtual machines is that you can run side by side winows and mac programs, so that you wouldn’t be too frustrated when windows dont work. It is just one of many applications you have on your mac..

Teenagers hasten to post their diaries and most private thougts online  while  adults  strive not to disclose any personal information about them. This is the privacy paradox according to Barnes in her article A Privacy Paradox: Social Networking int he United States.  she explains that journals they are proud to post behind their parents back, may be trakced down by school officials, admistraiton and potential hirers… Teens seem unmindful of what they  are doing says Barnes as “Locked away on hundreds of servers is every minute detail of our daily lives from our individual buying preferences to personal thoughts …Teens use social networking sites as a form of entertainment, but occasionally online predators use these sites to stalk victims.”

and to make matters worse, government officials collect these data in the name of “security” and markets base their businesses on it….

but what does Privacy really mean?

It is coined in Conceptualizing Privacy as

“freedom of thought, control over one’s body, solitude in one’s

home, control over information about oneself, freedom from surveillance,

protection of one’s reputation, and protection from searches and interrogations.”

What about  postethmus privacy?? another related topic on my mind these days..

The terms means the privacy of the dead after they are long dead. Do we have the right to then publish all their material writings and work? To answer that  I looked some arguments online.. bottom line my opinion on the subject is as such, though it might help us understand the person perhaps more to read his writing, it leaves no space for the writer to standup for himself as he could while he was alive. As an arabic saying goes the meaning dies with the writer.So is it our right to unleash this meaning?…I think not.

AUC Explicit

The AUC Unofficial Website Review

AUCExplicit is a relatively new (student launched project) /website hosted on a remote server(outside of AUC).

It is open only to AUC students, and they have to register using their AUC email and choose a username/screen name to login. Faculty and staff can also register.

Amongst it’s various features is that you can review and rate courses like the Facebook groups ( students rate professors) only anonymously as the screening names conceal identity .. and it can be seen as one of the new ways of digital communication on campus.

Also the website aims at being an archive of all the past exams, and all the material that is passed down from one generation to another. So there would be no longer leakage of material if students apt to use this way of digital storage. And one can imagine freshmen guided to this website will be no longer “freshmen” from the start, as they can actually chart their course the easy path…

“I wore unto a doctor”, says a student (an arabic literal term meaning collapsed) “i didn’t know she was one of those hard professors.. had I been warned from the start or had this medium been available to tell me, things would have worked out differently…”

The website not only aims at replacing Facebook groups or be a way of digital proximity between students, but as one of the web authors stated, it could be seen serving the professors as well as they collaborate and upload their content up there. It could grow into a teaching tool where professors can learn from each other as their content is available.. and thus in  a sense it could be a way  of uniting departments as they  archive all their works.

Another DAR? I suppose…

What is meant by the coined term “Explicit”?

“Explicit is in the sense that there are no moderation on the opinions  being expressed.” Expressed one of its moderators.. “Holding an anonymous identity helps” he elaborated. It is true, on the registration page in AUC Explicit website,  it advises new registers to choose a name that would conceal their identity as the name remains  with them and it that would enhance their freedom of expression …Although there would be moderation on posting  inappropriate content as the call for moderators page reveals…

Will this evolve to be the new medium of communication @ AUC?

what will school officials say?

Only Time Will Tell…

http://www.aucexplicit.com/