The WHA: A Debrief

The Nebraska CrewTM made it back safely from Salt Lake, where a group of us attended the WHA Conference. I think I can speak for the group when I say we had a blast.  Additionally, the digital history panel went as well as we could’ve hoped.  There were a couple of problems.  Unfortunately, Dr. Seefeldt was unable to join us and Nathan lost his voice (though regained enough of it to present) and we didn’t have wireless Internet, the panel went off without a hitch and generated some great discussion. And having Dr. Richard White comment on the panelists was a real honor.  If you weren’t able to attend, check out Doing Digital History to catch up on the three presentations and add some comments. My guess is one of us will be doing at least one more post about the conference at DDH.

The remainder of the conference was great as well, although I wish the panels hadn’t been spread out between two buildings.  And there might have been a more appropriate hotel to host the conference at.  The Marriott was built for the 2002 Olympics and designed to maximize the number of people they could fit into the building rather than designed for conferences, so the conference rooms were small and almost every panel I attended had people standing during the presentations.  Overall, however, a positive experience for my first WHA conference.

In other news, I’ve picked up the diminutive and cheap Dell Mini 9 and have to say I’m really impressed so far.  I had debated between the Dell, HP Mini-Note PC, and Asus Eee PC for a while before deciding on Dell.  I’ve had good experiences with Dell throughout the years I’ve been using them and decided to stay loyal.  Part of the reason I enjoy the Mini 9 so much is that it’s running Linux (Ubuntu 8.04), though you can pick one up that runs Windows XP.  I’ve become a great fan of open source.  Linux runs better than XP and is powerful enough for my needs (my desktop runs XP which I use for my high-powered computing needs).  I’ve been a Windows user for all my life, and have interacted with Mac systems a handful of times.  I didn’t have the funds to pick up a Mac, which probably would’ve been my ideal choice for a new laptop, but for a computer I plan on using in class, taking notes on while reading or at archives, emailing, surfing the web, blogging, and other low-power tasks, the netbook is all I required.  I’ll post a review of the netbook later this week after I use it a bit more.