For years I’ve had a ridiculous fantasy of being a fiction writer. It seems that the best-selling novel I want to have written isn’t going to write itself. I’m having trouble getting motivated, so maybe what I need is another distraction: a blog.
I thought that technology in writing might be an interesting theme. Nothing ruins a story for me faster than a character hacking the FBI network after tapping on a keyboard for ten seconds. It probably works for many readers/viewers, but some of us see it as lazy writing.
In my day job I write lots of web applications for a public university. Many of my assignments are to convert paper processes into online forms. My job also involves a fair bit of Linux server administration. Most of this goes on the open Internet and is subject to daily cyber-attacks from all over the world (my server logs once revealed malicious traffic from Antarctica).
So the purpose of this blog has a couple of goals. One is to get me in the habit of writing. But I thought it might be useful to share some of what I’ve learned in a format that may be helpful to other prospective writers. I may also write about how technology can affect a writer. Here are some topics I have in mind:
- credible hacking
- port scanning
- realistic exploitable security vulnerabilities
- case studies of actual security breaches (like Target)
- a writer’s technology
- safe(r) Internet use (account security, security-related Firefox extensions, password managers)
- affordable and effective backups
- writing tools like scrivener and wordpress (I know a fair bit about the latter and would like to learn more about the former)
- the day-to-day life of a web programmer
- server administration is not sexy
- the importance (and challenge) of making web sites accessible
- the horrors of working with vendors and ticketing systems
This blog may at times earn a PG-13 rating. I’ll mostly keep it clean, but there may be the occasional bit of salty language.
I’ll try to post every seven to fourteen days (historically I’ve really struggled with self-imposed routines like that), and I’ll try to keep individual posts fairly short (preferring to break up longer topics into multiple posts).