Tag Archives: Internet

The Internet is destroying print tradition

When I was younger, I used to love going to the bookstore and spending hours picking out the perfect book to spend my allowance on. Bookstores are still one of my favorite places to go. I love the feeling of holding a new book and turning the crisp pages. I love the smell of the ink and paper, and I love the satisfaction of turning pages as you venture further and further into the story.

The small pleasure of books is lost to many people as they run from class to class or from activity to job. Reading a book is a leisure that most people don’t have time for anymore. Very few take a moment to relax, pick up a book and get lost in another world.

I also love being online. I have a blog that I’m on for multiple hours a day. I enjoy finding pictures, quotes and news stories that inspire me and sharing them with everybody else. I use it like a journal to write about things,  as well. The things the Internet can dig up astound me. You can learn so much just by clicking on links and reading articles on websites.

My love for books and the Internet, however, does not coincide. I am deeply saddened by the swift move of print media sources to online ones. One of my favorite bookstores, Borders, closed this summer. I was shocked when I heard that the entire chain was closing and moving to the Internet. The trend of print media is quickly changing to everything being available electronically.

E-readers, Kindles, Nooks and other electronic “books” are taking over and printed books are getting kicked to the curb. Why? They’re portable, you can fit hundreds of books on one piece of technology and you don’t have to leave your home to get the books.

I’m terrified that in a few years, all media will be only available online. Reading a book, newspaper or magazine loses its allure when you stare at a computer screen. The physical sensations are completely lost. I do not believe that reading a print book and reading a book on an e-reader is the same thing. I don’t think unfolding and browsing a newspaper are the same as scanning a website for links to news stories.

I plan on going into journalism, and I have to accept that my career will probably  be online. I’ve always dreamed of holding my own publication in my hands, but I’m starting to see that this might not happen. I understand as a mass communication student that being connected on the Internet is important. I even had to create a Twitter account, which I swore I’d never do. As long as I get to write for a magazine or newspaper, I’ll be happy. It still doesn’t quite compare, however, to the physical thing.

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Kelsey Sutton/Copy Chief

Kelsey Sutton can be reached at linfieldreviewcopy@gmail.com.

World Wide Wildcats

Everybody publishes content online. But there is more out in the World Wide Web than spam, viruses and get-rich-quick schemes. Legitimate jobs exist, and some of our own Wildcats have jumped on board. One Linfield student and an alumna have each taken their talents to a more professional level. Check out the
following Q&As to see what they’re up to.

Dawn Moore
Class of ’08
Professional blogger

What exactly do you do?
I am working for WoW Insider and Joystiq.com as a feature columnist and journalist. I’m also executive editor for two new, separate sites launching later this year. One is a competitive gaming tournament website working with game companies and publishers to host and advertise tournaments for them (e.g. StarCraft 2, Heroes of Newerth, Tekken). The other is a sort of social networking site for [massively multiplayer online games].
I also own and operate a semi-popular gaming blog, but I write under a pen name for that, so I can’t tell you where it is. Two of the four gigs are paid (WoW Insider/Joystiq through contract and my personal site through advertising revenue) with the other two eventually paying once we pay off our investors and re-contract.
When did you start your current job?
Dec. 2009 – I really got lucky, actually. There was a website I read that called for open applications (joystiq.com). So, I just applied. I didn’t have any background in blogging except high school and college (but without a topic). I had a fantastic application. I got the job and I’ve been working there ever since. After I applied for it, I realized that almost every site you can blog for, you could apply for an application. It’s actually easy to get a job. Just submit a sample writing and idea for a column.

What is your favorite part about your job?
1. Technically I get paid to play videogames for a living.
2. Love the readers who comment and send me e-mails, basically my fans. I have about 20,000 readers.
What is your least favorite part about your job?
I guess the worst thing about the job is sometimes, like, you’ll work really hard on something, and it will take forever. It isn’t an hourly job, but a rate job. You get paid per story. Sometimes I will write a five-sentence article, and I will get paid well, and other times I will write a 2,000-word article and not get paid much. If you spend forever on an article, the pay equals to less, so your efforts aren’t always rewarded. You really have to stay disciplined on your schedule.
You can make as much money as you want as long as you make stuff to sell. But you have to wake up in the morning and not just lay in bed. You have to work and work and work and work. And if you do that, you’ll be rich if not, you’ll just be there.
The cool thing is that I wake up at 11 a.m. and sit in my underwear until 5 p.m. working. It’s pretty glamorous, if you think about it. It’s a great job.
Josh Rivas
Junior
Writer for “Massive Pwnage” webcomic series.

What can you say about your series?
Massive Pwnage is about Ence, a struggling artist, and Locke, an ex-programmer, getting through life. The duo goes through misadventures that poke fun at the games we loved in our youth and the conventions of geek society. There is an overall story going on, but most of the comic is [about] Locke and Ence’s take on anything geeky — whether it be video games, movies, table top or collectable card games. While most of the strips are works of pure fabrication, much of the humor usually stems from real conversations and moments just because we don’t know who Jon is.

What are your plans for the future of Massive Pwnage?
We’ve recently released “The Book of Pwnage,” which is a compilation of our first year of comics. We’ve already begun plans for Volume Two, but it’s still in the early stages of design. As for the future, we hope to start promoting the comic at conventions and connect with the fans. We also want our site to be more connected to the heartbeat of the community, providing reviews of movies, games and comics and the things we care about as a whole.

How did you get started in writing for webcomics?
In 2007, I was contacted by Jon Nielsen, an old friend from high school. He told me that he wanted to start a comic but was burned out on ideas. I sent him a comic about the iPhone months before its release with my personal feelings on it. He thought it was pretty good, and after writing two more comics, he asked if I wanted to be on board as the writer full-time. I promptly agreed. We’ve been writing them ever since, maintaining our schedule for the past three years.

How popular is your comic?
It’s definitely still pretty underground, although some game developers are pretty well aware of us and are fans. Most recently the developers of League of Legends, a massively multiplayer online game, liked our comic so much, he sent it to the entire development. To reward us, they featured us in their very first Summoner Spotlight, a monthly award page featuring the work of fans, with our recent League of Legends comic as a highlight. We actually got so many incoming fans it broke our servers. The system estimated that more than 60,000 users had attempted to view the comic at the same time. We get anywhere between 1,000 to 3,000 views in a day normally, so this is huge for us.

What do you plan to do after
college?
Freelance writing and continuing work with Jon Nielsen on Massive Pwnage and other projects. I plan on writing short stories and novels in the future and using this products to sharpen my skills in building narrative and character.

By Megan Myer/Online Editor
Megan Myer can be reached at linfieldreviewonline@gmail.com

Cisco causes console crisis

The Linfield summer upgrade to a new version of the Cisco Clean Access Agent prevented video game consoles from connecting to the servers, a problem which was finally solvedSept. 8.
The new Clean Access Agent identifies all computers, including consoles, by their Internet Protocol address, or IP address. Consoles usually don’t have a static, unchanging IP address, which the new version of Cisco requires for all machines that connect to Linfield’s Internet.
The previous version of the Clean Access Agent only required the Media Access Control serial number of the video game consoles.
The Media Access Control is like every other serial number: It’s used to tell millions of identical machines apart from one another.
Since every console has a different serial number, networks call tell one machine from another.
Because the old version of the Clean Access Agent is no longer supported by its company, Cisco, Integrated Technology Services was forced to upgrade from the obsolete edition to prevent Linfield’s network security from being compromised by malware.
Irv Wiswall, chief technology officer for ITS, said the new version of the Clean Access Agent is also meant to be less intrusive than previous editions.
Previous stories in TheLinfield Review, such as “Internet falls short of expectations,” TLR, Feb. 19, detail some student complaints and the efforts of ITS to address those issues.
ITS was ready to address the issue with consoles when summer ended, as evidenced by its e-mails about registering gaming devices, but not enough computers were on the network during the summer.
This prevented the ITS from conducting a stress test — pushing the network as hard as it will go to see when it fails or its effectiveness degrades.
With so few computers and so much bandwidth available, it was impossible to overload the network, making a stress test meaningless.
With the network connection problem solved by ITS, students have resumed their multiplayer Internet games from their consoles.

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

ITS amps up the school’s network

ITS spent the summer solving frequent hiccups with the Internet andupgrading existing equipment.
Slowdowns in the network and the renovation of Northup Hall have forced Linfield’s Integrated Technology Services to improve Linfield’s network.
Irv Wiswall, chief technology officer, and Integrated Technology Services, said that the two routers that sorted data in Linfield’s network were chokepoints and were causing network slowdowns.
The upgrade was also inspired by the gutting of Northup Hall for its renovation. Part of the fiber optic line ran through the building and needed to be rerouted.
Fortunately, a tunnel built in a previous renovation project was available for such an event, Wiswall said, Integrated Technology Services increased the number of routers on Linfield’s network from two to eight, and restructured the fiber optic network backbone that carries the information.
“It involved recreating the local virtual local area networks and the configuration of a lot of equipment,” Wiswall said.
The virtual networks are how the computers are organized to organize information on Linfield’s networks.
He also said that the two routers had been overloaded, prompting the quadrupling of their numbers.
There are now eight routers on the Linfield network, and a number of programs have been implemented by Information Technology Services to better organize the interaction between the machines.
Because there are eight of them, less stress is now placed on each router as well.
Routers are to a network what the sorting center is the U.S. Postal Service. Routers tag packets of information and route them to their destinations.Counter-intuitively, the single switch that separates Linfield’s network from the rest of the Internet causes no problems or delays.
Wiswall explained that switches, as opposed to routers, as “dumb” equipment. They don’t track and sort information but serve to link branches of the network together.
In addition to the new routers, more fiber optic cable was added to the line running from Melrose Hall to Graf Hall.
The line was also rerouted around Northup Hall and increased the bandwidth between the two buildings.
Wiswall said statistical tracking software showed a need for the increased bandwidth between Graf and Melrose halls.
Bandwidth is the volume of information a connection can carry.
It is measured in bits per second. Linfield has 100 megabits per second of bandwidth, or 100 Mbit/s.
Wiswall said his department had noticed network slowdowns and outages even when not using all 100 Mbit/s, another reason ITS decided to upgrade the network.
ITS also tried to fix problems with Linfield’s wireless network.
“We looked at the statistics, and most Linfield students are using wireless,” said Wiswall. “While wired connections are better, Linfield’s wireless was worse than it should have been.”
He said the wireless nodes were too independent, creating conflict in the networks when they assigned conflicting IP address to computers.
“They were squabbling,” he said. IP address are given to computers by networks to identify their location within a network.
The network has a new physical layout and is organized by new software to manage these devices and prevent the conflict from happening.
The upgrades are not finished. Wiswall said that configuring the new switches on the network should be done by this weekend.
Wiswall and his staff will also be adding a fiber optic cable to the Legacy Apartments. It will replace the microwave beam that runs between Newby Hall and the Legacies.
Microwaves beams, like information conveyed via laser beam, must have a clear line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver.
With the cable in place, the Legacies will not lose Internet access if a large truck stops at the traffic light on the highway, if a tree grows in the way or if students pitch tents in the Oak Grove — all incidents that Wiswall said cut the Internet to the Legacies by blocking the microwave beam’s line of sight with the Newby Hall receiver.

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.