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Full Stack DH: Building a Virtual Research Environment on a Raspberry PI

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The text and slides of my presentation to the DH2016 conference, Kraków, July 11 - 16, 2016.

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Full Stack DH: Building a Virtual Research Environment on a Raspberry PI

  1. 1. Full StackDH Postphenomenology & the Return to Things "The enrichment of pragmatism includes its recognition that “consciousness”is an abstraction, that experience in its deeper and broader sense entails its embeddedness in both the physical or material world and its cultural-social dimensions." Don Ihde, Postphenomenology and technoscience (Albany: SUNY Press, 2009) “Because humans rely on things that have to be maintained so that they can be relied on, humans are caught in the lives and temporalities of things, their uncertain vicissitudes and their insatiable needs” Ian Hodder, “The Entanglements of Humans and Things,” New Literary History (2014), 45: 1, p.20.
  2. 2. DigitalInfrastructure - We deny the epistemological significance of our tools, from our desktop monitors to the servers and submarine cables that deliver our data, and the standards and ontologies that structure it. - We should interpret infrastructure symbolically, politically, and critically. - We should experiment with physical hardware to force us to engage with the materiality of infrastructure.
  3. 3. Critical Making - Virtual Research Environment; - Scholarly Communication; - Prototype; - Entanglement. - Acknowledgement of the need for ‘critical digital infrastructure studies’ (Alan Liu) opens up interesting possibilities for DH: - New media studies, critical code studies, platform studies; - Maker Culture. The Experiment Matt Ratto, “Critical Making,” The Information Society (July 2011), 27: 4, 252–260.
  4. 4. jamessmithies.org - A full stack experiment: - Raspberry Pi; Linux; Postgres; HTML Boilerplate; Python / Django; Amazon Web Services.
  5. 5. Architecture - A full stack experiment: Raspberry Pi; Linux; Postgres; HTML Boilerplate; Python / Django; Amazon Web Services
  6. 6. Functionality Current Blog / Twitter Future Zotero
  7. 7. Functionality Current Virtual Machines
  8. 8. Findings Limitations - Entanglement: home server; deployment; security & maintenance. - My technical limitations. Surprises - Modelling a VRE this way works! - Surprisingly robust – little downtime. - Cost: Domain name + AWS micropayments. - Technical focus: Python. - Ownership & agency. - A decades-long project? - King’s DigitalLab’s technology stack. - Bots. “The Beast”: ‘Browser Exploit Against SSL/TLS’

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