Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tutorial: Using Styles in Microsoft Word 2010

Check out this tutorial video I made. It shows you how to apply styles in Microsoft Word 2010 to turn regular text into an eye-catching report.

Here is the introduction/synopsis:

“The purpose of this tutorial is to show how using the built-in styles of Microsoft Word 2010 can transform simple text into polished, attractive reports. The style bar on the right side of the screen provides an easy means to change heading styles, borders and shading, fonts, colors, and paragraph spacing, and allows the user to keep the appearance of text consistent throughout the document. The options can be modified, and saved as a custom style set that can be used in future documents, or fine-tuned to provide a standard template for collaborative work.

As well, though they are not included in the style bar, the user can add a table of contents and cover page to their documents quickly, and if styles are used they will automatically conform to the colors. font choices, and heading names specified in the document.”

Documentation Plan: Seniors-On-Skype Pilot Program

“Skype: Staying in Touch Has Never Been Easier”

For many seniors, staying in touch with family and friends, especially those far from home, is an absolute must. Technology has made long distance communication easier than it has ever been; yet, for those of a generation that did not grow up with it, modern technology can also be frightening and opaque. Enter Skype, a world leader in online video telephony and messaging. Today we are proud to be taking the first steps towards what we hope will be the new normal: a world where seniors are empowered by technology rather than discouraged by it, connected by it rather than isolated.

By demonstrating the ease with which Skype’s simple yet powerful suite of tools allow friends and family to stay in touch, we hope to improve Skype brand awareness and create mind share amongst seniors, an underserved yet affluent community. When seniors wish to reach out, our hope is that they will reach first for Skype. The results of this project will be used to assess the profitability of similar future projects across North America…

[see attached .docx file for the completed documentation plan]

Note: this work is a group project completed by Nikki Gentles, Seth Irvine, and Paul Hillier. The above excerpt was written by Seth.
 
TCN701 Documentation Plan [draft] 10.23.2011

The Pulse of the Beat: Aura, Technique, and Masculinity in House Music

Electronic dance music, popular culture, and modern science inject the flesh with fantasies of immortality, limitless pleasures, and unadulterated agency. With their tax-funded market research and their potent techno-imaginings… they passionately fabricate the human-machine hybrid known as the cyborg, the fembot, and the posthuman. (Loza 349)

            Ah, the glorious pulse of the 4/4 kick drum. House music has had a long and storied history since its birth in the Chicago club scene during the waning years of disco, attaining primacy in the early to mid 1990s and rising once again in recent years as a driving force of current trends in pop.[1] As a product of musical subculture, scholars over the years have analyzed electronic dance music from a host of perspectives, covering the genre through both hetero and homosexual lenses. They have focused on the agency of individual vocalists, the producers that create the musical space for vocalists, and the culture of the dance club where house music is disseminated by DJs to the dancing masses regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. This essay will seek to highlight what distinguishes house music from other modern music genres, in relation to Hebidge’s concept of subculture introduced in his seminal work Subculture: the Meaning of Style. House music does not seek to resist authority or be political; rather, it’s a celebration of the physical and the sexual, and often associated with signifiers of masculinity. We will also highlight house music’s place in the postmodernist cultural analysis that has replaced Benjamin’s “age of mechanical reproduction” with a concept of more relevance to music in the 21st century: the “age of digital reproduction.” Peter Wollen has established the link between Benjamin and the postmodernists as follows:

As Benjamin’s “age of reproduction” is replaced by our “age of electronic reproduction,” the trends which he discerned are further extended. Reproduction, pastiche and quotation, instead of being forms of textual parasitism, become constitutive of textuality. (Wollen 169)

Central to Benjamin’s analysis is the concept of the “aura”, the uniqueness of a cultural artifact that provides it with agency and relevance to the spectator or consumer. For Benjamin, “that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of a work of art.” (Benjamin 79). Cultural theorists have argued that we have evolved from this age of mechanical reproduction into a new era, the age of digital reproduction. For Goodwin, in the age of digital reproduction the aura has been further demystified by the fact that anyone may now own an “original.” (Goodwin 259) Therefore, ours is an age in which the aura itself can be mass-produced, and consecutive advances in technology, from cassette to compact disc, from DAT to lossless Mp3, have allowed motivated consumers to obtain exact copies of a musical performance.

Furthermore, the rise in computer-based music production software has made it simple for producers of electronic dance music to deconstruct old texts and create a pastiche of old and new that appeals beyond dance aficionados to the widest possible audience. Technology provides the means for the sounds of the pulsing kick drum, deep basslines, and repetitive vocals to move beyond the realm of club subcultures into pop music’s field of large-scale cultural production, and those producers that harness the technology effectively are rewarded with increasing fame and larger audiences. For electronic styles such as house, this is nothing new, as DJs and producers have been using turntables, tape splicing, and other “analog” techniques since the 1980s to breathe new life into old texts and create hybrids of dance music motifs and vocal and instrumental passages created by another artist, often without the original artist’s permission. This technique, known as “sampling”, has been a key component of house music production since its inception. Early house sampling was tied to largely African-American motifs like blues, funk, jazz, and soul. What has changed in recent years is the ease of aspiring artists to appropriate the artistic endeavors of their forbearers, and the diversification of the producer’s source material.

Advancements in technology have merely made it easier for the producer to utilize samples, creating a proliferation of remixes and “mash-ups” of old and new motifs both in the underground and in the rising popular form of “euro-pop”, a genre which owes its success to its progeny in the club scene and essentially fuses the sounds of underground house music with vocals rooted in classic American and British hip hop, rock, and pop. Linking this to Benjamin’s analysis, the “technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the domain of tradition…it reactiviates the object reproduced.” (Benjamin 79) Recent popular songs have moved beyond mere sampling and have ‘versioned’ passages from diverse sources such as 80s dance pop (Flo Rida’s “Right Round” appropriates the chorus of Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round”), and 60s rock and roll (Benny Benassi has achieved global recognition with his sampling of both verse and chorus of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”).  Again, we must remember that this phenomenon is simply an evolution, or pastiche of, the hip-hop sampling culture of the 80s and 90s, or going even further back, the practice of ‘versioning’ in reggae of the 70s, where numerous vocalists share identical rhythms and vocal refrains. (Hebidge xiv) Currently, the Black Eyed Peas are storming up the pop charts with the Time (Dirty Bit), a song that fuses the instrumentation of underground house music with hip-hop and a blatant sample of the 80s hit “(I’ve had) the Time of My Life.” These words present an instantly recognizable refrain to anyone familiar with the film Dirty Dancing, and indicate an obvious ploy for cross-cultural appeal.

A landscape that revels in the fusion of originals and copies, where we cannot distinguish humans from machines, populated by cyborgs and fembots, appears to be strange territory for authors and auras. (Goodwin 267) For Benjamin, the “uniqueness of the work of art determine[s] the history to which it [is] subject to throughout the time of its existence.” (Benjamin 78). Furthermore, he states that “the presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.” (78) As eloquently stated by Barbara Bradby, dance music’s “concepts of authorship (originality, art) and of authenticity (the real person in the real performance) developed around this use of technology and not in opposition to it.” (Bradby 157)  These concepts drive the production of modern dance music, and have become increasingly evident in the rise of the “euro-pop” sound epitomized by artists such as David Guetta, Flo Rida, and the Black Eyed Peas.

Dick Hebidge is recognized as one of the key scholars of subculture and style, particularly as it pertains to youth subcultures, groups that often appropriate music to epitomize their ideals and practices. For Hebidge, subcultural style “is not merely a matter of content (different signs), but one of form (different signifying practices).” (Frith 41) Simon Frith once wrote that “music is not just something young people like and do. It is in many respects the model for their involvement in culture.” (Freccero 90) However, when looking at house music one must steer clear of the common perception of subcultural style as politically motivated and grounded in resistance to the mainstream. Arguably, house music has survived over the past three decades as a result of its opposition to the subcultural norms of politicization and resistance, as it is a genre that is celebratory in nature.

This begs us to answer the question: what does house music celebrate, and how and why did this allow the style of house to cross the boundaries into mainstream pop consciousness? First and foremost is the celebration of sexuality. House music has long been a central part of homosexual club culture, and is a part of the soundtrack to subcultural style represented by the gay club scene. Hall and Jefferson alluded to a link between cultural products such as music and the ethos of a group long before house music superseded disco. (Amico 361) As well, though ‘subversiveness’ is often considered a de facto correlate with gay/lesbian/queer culture, house music in relation to homoerotic masculinity is not defined by such a dynamic. (Amico 359) As well, though the rise of Chicago house in the early 80s is often linked to gay/minority subcultures, identifying with this music is by no means restricted to a certain gender or sexual preference. For example, by the late 1980s in New York City house music had become the dominant mode of expression for DJs resident in the city’s largest nightclubs.

Using the tools of post-feminist critical analysis, Barbara Bradby sees dance music as a culture that subjugates the female. She states that “women have once again been equated with sexuality, the body, emotion and nature in dance music, while men have been assigned to the realm of culture, technology and language.” (157) However, Bradby also acknowledges the role of female vocalists in bringing house out of the underground to reach a wider, more diverse audience. (156)

Loza identifies in her article “Sampling (hetero)sexuality” a desire to “focus on how electronic dance music, to borrow Barbara Bradby’s apt formulation, ‘samples sexuality’ in the diva loop.” (Loza 350). The diva loop became an especially common component of house tracks with modern improvements in production software, and essentially takes the tail end of a phrase and repeats it in succession in order to build the dance floor into a kind of orgiastic climax. As has proven to be the case, this effect has crossed into pop pastiche, and can be heard in the time (dirty bit)[2]and other euro-pop hits involving female vocalists. The feminist critique re-genders the role of the diva and suggests that “each sexy computerised simulation of the diva brings the hetero male achingly closer to those essential truths of sex and race.” (Loza 353) The voice of the singer is mediated, manipulated and re-presented through the filter of the ‘masculine’ pursuit. (Amico 365) For Loza, the representation of the female in house music serves simply to celebrate the hegemony of heterosexual masculinity. Amico suggests by ‘building a climax’ through techniques like the diva loop and the breakdown, house music allows dancers to build up their “muscular masculinity”, though in this case he is referring to an idealized image of muscularity fetishized by homosexual club-goers. (361)

Masculinity is represented in house music through the composition of the rhythmic elements of the music itself. The drum, in this case the 4/4 kick drum, is the dominant representative instrument in house, and it cannot be ignored that in popular music drummers and percussionists have been overwhelmingly male. By impelling dancers into physical action – remaining on the dance floor for hours on end – the drumbeat also engenders the construction of masculinity through a physical response. (Amico 364) One who dances the night away is effectively participating in a ‘sport’ in which masculinity is perpetuated by continuous physical activity; this occurs regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the participant.

The analyses presented in this essay form only a fraction of the ideas that cultural theorists have applied to house music and its associated practitioners and consumers. It is clear that house is becoming more and more an integral part of modern pop music styles, and at the turn of the decade, further integration into the consciousness of today’s youth can be expected. The evolution of the “age of digital reproduction” will continue, and perhaps in 2020 we’ll see a DJ’s appropriation of the Black Eyed Peas storm the charts much like BEP’s pastiche of Dirty Dancing conquered the airwaves in 2010. Sexy divas and muscular beats will continue to provide an outlet for sexualized masculinity, and production techniques will be refined to provide a new spin on old forms. As long as there are producers and willing consumers to lap up 4/4 rhythms, and clubs to provide a venue for the efforts of a new generation of DJs and dancers, the pulse of the beat will live on.

Works Cited

Amico, Stephen. “’I Want Muscles’: house music, homosexuality, and masculine signification,” Popular

 Music 20.3 (2001) 359-378. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Cultural Studies, Allan J.

Gedalof et al. eds., Toronto: Thomson-Nelson, 2005. 74-86. Print.

Bourdieu, Pierre. “The Market of Symbolic Goods,” The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and

                Literature. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984. 1-34. Web. 28 Nov. 2010.

Bradby, Barbara. “Sampling Sexuality: Gender, Technology, and the Body in Dance Music,” Popular

 Music 12.2 (1993) 155-176. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

Frankie Knuckles. “Frankie Knuckles- Your Love”. YouTube.com. 23 July 2009. Trax Records. 29 Nov.

2010 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ>

Flo Rida. “Flo Rida- Right Round (US Version Video)”. YouTube.com. 11 December 2009.

Warner Music Group. 29 Nov. 2010 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcCw1ggftuQ>

Freccero, Carla. Popular Culture: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press, 1999. Print.

Frith, Simon. Introduction to “Part Two: From Subcultural to Cultural Studies,” On Record, Simon Frith

and Andrew Goodwin, eds., New York: Routledge, 1990. 39-42. Print

Goodwin, Andrew. “Sample and hold: Pop Music in the Digital Age of Reproduction,” On Record,

 Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin eds., New York: Routledge, 1990. 258-273. Print.

Hebidge, Dick. “Cut ‘n’ Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music. London: Methuen, 1987. Print.

Loza, Susana. “Sampling (hetero)sexuality: diva-ness and discipline in electronic dance music,” Popular

 Music 20.3 (2001) 349-357. JSTOR. Web. 20 Nov. 2010.

The Black Eyed Peas. “Black Eyed Peas- The Time (dirty bit)”. YouTube.com. 23 Nov 2010.

blackeyedpeasVEVO. 29 Nov. 2010 < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQZQygg3Lk>

Wollen, Peter. “Ways of Thinking about Music Video (and Postmodernism),” Critical Quarterly 28.2

(1986) 167-170. Wiley Online Library. Web. 25 Nov. 2010.


[1] For a popular early representation of house music, see “Your Love (1987 version)” by Frankie Knuckles and Jamie Principle. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLE1YE_oFQ>

[2] The Black Eyed Peas, “the Time (dirty bit).” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwQZQygg3Lk>. 0:52 to 1:03 provides a example of the diva loop.

From Exile to Nova Scotian: The Impact of the Loyalists on Nova Scotian Identity

Now, if you want to know all about us and the Bluenoses—a pretty considerable share of Yankee blood in them too, I tell you; the old stock comes from New England, and the breed is tolerable pure yet, near about one half apple sarce and t’other half pure molasses, all except to the easterd, where there is a cross of the Scotch.” – T.C. Haliburton, writing as Sam Slick.[1]

 The latter half of the 18th century in Nova Scotia was a period of great demographic upheaval and change, with the supplanting of Acadian settlements by the New England Planters, the further marginalization of Aboriginals to the interior, the settlement of German Protestants in Lunenburg and other communities, and the arrival of Loyalists in the wake of the American Revolution. As such, historians are careful in assigning primacy to one faction over another when addressing questions of Nova Scotian identity. This paper seeks to argue that the Loyalist population that settled Nova Scotia in the wake of the American Revolution had a greater impact on the resultant Nova Scotian identity than the pre-Loyalist Planters, due to, and in spite of, a multitude of factors. These factors include: outmigration of the loyalists to the United States and England, settlement patterns and population numbers, gradual assimilation with previous and subsequent immigrant groups, and the dominance of the Loyalists in the press, the legal profession, and its associated offices in subsequent years. It is clear that the “Loyalist” identity itself was short-lived, but nonetheless became a key part of what it means to be Nova Scotian. B.C. Cuthbertson provides a succinct description of this fusion:

“By the 1790s they (Loyalists) had achieved an ascendancy that was maintained until the 1830’s, when intermarriage had fused Loyalist and non-Loyalist into a new generation of native-born Nova Scotians with a particular sense of their own distinctiveness. Out of this fusion of Loyalist and non-Loyalist emerged the characteristic Nova Scotian of today, whose loyalty to Nova Scotia remains his most distinguishing trait.”[2]

The movements of the Loyalists into Shelburne, Halifax, and other locales provided a boost to the population of Nova Scotia, but as Cuthbertson points out, they “came to an already settled colony with a history going back to Champlain.”[3] This contrasts with the regions now known as Ontario and New Brunswick, where Loyalist settlers occupied “empty”[4] territories that would soon be loyal provinces of the ascendant British regime.[5] In order to understand the impact of the Loyalists in Nova Scotia, it is important to recognize the contributions of their direct predecessors: the New England Planters, also known as the “pre-Loyalists.”

In the case of Nova Scotia, the Planters came by sea in the 1760s to occupy the lands made vacant by the deportation of the Acadians five years before.[6] They came primarily from the Connecticut epitomized in the story of the Yankee salesman Sam Slick,[7] with a portion emigrating from the then-British possessions of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Planter settlement was a distinctly rural phenomenon, as they primarily settled the coastal areas of the Minas basin and the Annapolis valley made vacant by the great upheaval. In the spring of 1960, sizeable groups of settlers began to move across the Gulf of Maine, forming the townships of Annapolis, Granville, Cornwallis, Falmouth, and Horton in the Annapolis Valley. Within a year a further influx settled old Cobequid, establishing Truro and Onslow. On the South Shore Planters were instrumental in establishing communities such as Chester and Liverpool. The subsequent years saw further movement of the Planters, settling Amherst, Sackville, and Cumberland in the vicinity of what the Acadians called Beaubassin, or the isthmus of Chignecto.[8] Furthermore, as Reid suggests, the rural settlements of Planter Nova Scotia were scattered and lacked effective interconnecting routes.[9]

Longley points out that while the Planters helped to repopulate the township of Annapolis in the wake of the removal of the capital to Halifax, they gave little uplift to the town and contributed little more than 100 additional settlers.[10] Conversely, from the autumn of 1782 through 1783 more than two thousand Loyalists settled in the vicinity, a number of which had been in their former homes “leaders in politics, business, church, and society.”[11] Longley gives credence to this in his paper on the DeLancey brothers; the pair had fought in the revolutionary war as high officers on the side of the British, and their ability and integrity was recognized by their subsequent appointment to represent Annapolis County in the provincial assembly.[12]

In contrast to the service to the Crown Loyalists such as the DeLanceys provided, the Planters were often unable to overcome their ties to the colonies and take up arms against their “blood brothers” in the thirteen colonies. J.B. Brebner’s study of the “Neutral Yankee” Planters goes so far as to compare them to the Acadians whom they displaced:

The Nova Scotian settlers were weak and exposed, and knowing this, like the Acadians whom they supplanted, asked the belligerents (the Americans) to treat them as neutrals.[13]

However, Brebner’s study does ignore the fact that the Planters formed a sizable portion of the British privateers that plundered American vessels in the wake of the loss of the colonies. Recent scholars have shown that the Planter families who settled in Liverpool in the 1760s produced some of the most successful privateers in British North America.[14]

Nonetheless, the impact of the actions of some of the Planters, such as refusing to muster a militia, opposing taxes, and protesting martial law in the revolutionary period[15] suggests that, at least initially, they were unwilling to  drop their ties to New England and show the loyalty expected of citizens of British North America. The Planters had more concerns about, and closer ties to, their aboriginal neighbours than the Imperial state.[16] Reid posits that in effect, “the Planters—from being the provocateurs of the 1760s, had become the new Acadians of the 1770s.”[17] However, Mary Ellen Wright proposes that by the 1780s, Planter townships such as Truro reflected “an ambivalent attitude towards the actions of the ‘thirteen colonies.’”.[18] As well, rather than welcoming the Loyalist exiles as kinsmen, the Planters perceived the influx to be a political and economic threat due to the sheer force of their numbers.

At least 30,000 Loyalist refugees flooded into Nova Scotia, which from 1784 onwards was divided into the three provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Cape Breton.[19] Others chose the West Indies, Bermuda, and the far reaches of British North America as their destination. Over 2,500 Blacks settled in Birchtown, quickly creating the largest community of free Black men in North America. There was a myriad of options available to the Loyalists, although as Patricia Rogers points out “the opportunities were not necessarily easy or pleasing to many.”[20]

It is common parlance that the Loyalist settlers of 1783-84 were more than a little disappointed with the lands given to them in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately for them, the Planters had already received the pick of the crop in the farmlands of the dispossessed Acadians. Their attitudes reflected a general sentiment that the British Government had failed to provide adequate compensation for good land in an easier climate.[21] MacKinnon suggests that by 1789 all of British North America was experiencing conditions of famine, and requests for additional provisions from townships such as Digby and Annapolis fell upon deaf ears.[22] For Calhoon, the Loyalists had made an “ironic discovery that they were victims of both American aggression and British incompetence.”[23]

The harsh changes endured by the new arrivals that came to Nova Scotia proved disheartening. They arrived as exiles out of necessity, rather than choice ,and the early promotion of Shelburne as a virtual paradise[24] compared to the colonies proved to be short-lived. These and other factors led to outmigration, to such a degree that by the following decade Shelburne went from being the largest settlement in British North America with an estimated population of more than 13,000 souls,[25] to a shell of its former self.[26] In the case of Birchtown and other Black Loyalist settlements, the majority left for Sierra Leone, dissatisfied with their meager entitlements. MacKinnon directly links the outmigration of the Loyalists with a shift in the Loyalist attitude towards the United States,[27] as the majority of those leaving Nova returned to the colonies. The fact that the Crown granted portable pensions to half-pay officers in 1787, allowing them to receive their benefits even if residing outside of the empire, was another mitigating factor.[28] Especially among the affluent, those who believed it safe to return chose to do so.[29]

However, many of those that remained behind contributed to Nova Scotian society at a level disproportionate to their numbers. The easing of the animosity towards Americans led to commercial, familial, and social ties that allowed the Loyalists an advantage in contacts with the nascent United States.[30] Also, as a group the Loyalists proved to have a strong emphasis on the valor of public duty.[31] As well as the aforementioned DeLancey brothers, other Loyalists and their direct descendents began obtaining primacy in the political and professional spheres in the decades following their settlement. Many Loyalists abandoned their holdings in order to stake a claim in the rising metropolis of Halifax. John Howe, father of Joseph, quit New York for Halifax in 1780 and promptly began publishing the Halifax Journal.[32] By 1792 a loyalist, John Wentworth, became governor and under Wentworth many Loyalist refugees moved into positions of power and influence in the Halifax establishment.[33] A Loyalist named Jonathan Sterns had obtained the post of solicitor general in 1797,[34] and Sterns and others would prove to be prominent voices in the legal profession by the turn of the century.

MacKinnon asserts that from their arrival there was a progressive weakening of Loyalist identity.[35] However, the Loyalists that remained were an instrumental part in shaping the identity of Nova Scotia as more than just a “marginal colony” into the nineteenth century. While the obsession with Loyalist sacrifice gradually dissolved, the cultural impact of the Loyalists would last for over 75 years,[36] even as their identity transformed into that of Nova Scotian, and later Canadian. A culturally diverse group themselves, with a heritage that was European, Aboriginal, and African in addition to British Protestant, the descendents of the Loyalists simply became part of the mosaic of Nova Scotian identity.

Bibliography

Brebner, John Bartlet. The Neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia: A Marginal Colony During the Revolutionary Years, New York: Columbia University Press, 1937.

Calhoon, Robert M. “The Loyalist Perception,” Acadiensis [Online], Volume 2, No. 2 (Spring 1973): 3-13.

Condon, Ann Gorman. “The Family in Exile: Loyalist Social Values After the Revolution,” in Intimate Relations: Family and Community in Planter Nova Scotia, 1759-1800, edited by Margaret Conrad, 42-53. Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1995.

Conlin, Daniel. “They Plundered Well: Planters as Privateers, 1793-1805,” in Planter Links: Community and Culture in Colonial Nova Scotia, edited by Margaret Conrad and Barry Moody, 20-35. Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 2001.

Cuthbertson, B.C., introduction to The Loyalist Guide: Nova Scotian Loyalists and their Documents, compiled by Jean Peterson, Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1983.

Haliburton, Thomas Chandler. Sam Slick, edited by Ray Palmer Baker. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1923.

Longley, Ronald S. “The Coming of the New England Planters to the Annapolis Valley,” Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 33 (1961): 81-101.

Longley, Ronald S. “The Delancey Brothers, Loyalists of Annapolis County,” Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 32 (1959): 55-75.

MacKinnon, Neil. This Unfriendly Soil: The Loyalist Experience in Nova Scotia 1783-1791. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1986.

MacKinnon, Neil. “The Changing Attitudes of the Nova Scotian Loyalists to the United States, 1783-1791” Acadiensis [Online], Volume 2 No. 2 (Spring 1973).

MacNutt, W.S. “The Loyalists: A Sympathetic View,” Acadiensis [Online], Volume 7, No. 1 (Autumn 1976): 3-20.

McCreath, Peter L. and John G. Leefe, A History of Early Nova Scotia, Tantallon: Four East Publications, 1982.

Reid, John G. “Pax Britannica or Pax Indigena? Planter Nova Scotia (1760–1782) and Competing Strategies of Pacification,” Canadian Historical Review 85:3 (December 2004): 669-692.

Rogers, Patricia. “The Loyalist Experience in an Anglo-American Atlantic World,” in Planter Links: Community and Culture in Colonial Nova Scotia, edited by Margaret Conrad and Barry Moody, 165-174. Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 2001.

Wright, Mary Ellen. “The Cobequid Townships and the American Revolution,” Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 42 (1986): 27-40.

Wright, Esther Clark. “The Evacuation of the Loyalists from New York in 1783,” Nova Scotia Historical Review, Volume 4, No. (1984): 5-26


[1] T.C. Haliburton, Sam Slick, edited by Ray Palmer Baker. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1923), p. 46

[2] B.C. Cuthbertson, introduction to The Loyalist Guide: Nova Scotian Loyalists and their Documents, compiled by Jean Peterson, (Halifax: Public Archives of Nova Scotia, 1983), p. 5

[3] Cuthbertson, p. 3

[4] That these were “empty” provinces at the time of Loyalist settlement is a matter of debate, considering the established Native populations, and the arrival of other immigrant groups prior to the Loyalists. However, there seems to be a consensus among historians that Ontario and New Brunswick were Loyalist provinces, and this will not be challenged in this essay.

[5] Neil MacKinnon, This Unfriendly Soil: The Loyalist Experience in Nova Scotia 1783-1791. Montreal & (Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1986), p. xi

[6] R.S. Longley, “The Coming of the New England Planters to the Annapolis Valley,” Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Vol. 33 (1961), p. 81

[7] Ibid, p. 81

[8] Peter L. McCreath and John G. Leefe, A History of Early Nova Scotia, (Tantallon: Four East Publications, 1982), p. 251

[9] John G. Reid, Pax Britannica or Pax Indigena? Planter Nova Scotia (1760–1782) and Competing Strategies of Pacification,” Canadian Historical Review 85:3 (December 2004), p. 687.

[10] R.S. Longley, “The Delancey Brothers, Loyalists of Annapolis County,” Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 32 (1959), p. 55

[11] Ibid, p. 55

[12] Ibid, p. 56

[13] J.B. Brebner, The Neutral Yankees of Nova Scotia: A Marginal Colony During the Revolutionary Years, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1937), p. 313.

[14] Daniel Conlin, “They Plundered Well: Planters as Privateers, 1793-1805,” in Planter Links: Community and Culture in Colonial Nova Scotia, edited by Margaret Conrad and Barry Moody, (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 2001), p. 23.

[15] This was mentioned in a lecture by Dr. James Morrison on November 18th, 2008 titled “The Angloyalists Influence: Language and the Crown.”

[16] Reid, “Pax Britannica or Pax Indigena, p. 690.

[17]Ibid, p. 687.

[18] Mary Ellen Wright. “The Cobequid Townships and the American Revolution,” Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Volume 42 (1986), p. 38

[19] Reid, p. 688.

[20] Patricia Rogers. “The Loyalist Experience in an Anglo-American Atlantic World,” in Planter Links: Community and Culture in Colonial Nova Scotia, Margaret Conrad and Barry Moody eds., (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 2001), p. 168

[21] W.S. MacNutt, “The Loyalists: A Sympathetic View,” Acadiensis [Online], Volume 7, No. 1 (Autumn 1976), p. 13

[22] Neil Mackinnon, This Unfriendly Soil: The Loyalist Experience in Nova Scotia 1783-1791. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1986), p. 150.

[23] Robert M. Calhoon, “The Loyalist Perception,” Acadiensis [Online], Volume 2, No. 2 (Spring 1973), p. 12.

[24] Neil MacKinnon, “The Changing Attitudes of the Nova Scotian Loyalists to the United States, 1783-1791” Acadiensis [Online], Volume 2 No. 2 (Spring 1973), p. 45.

[25] Mackinnon, This Unfriendly Soil, p. 137.

[26] Judith Fingard estimates that by 1790 Shelburne had lost 4/5 of its population, and Digby about one half. See Fingard, The AnglicanDesign in Loyalist Nova Scotia (London, 1972), pp. 43, 204.

[27] MacKinnon, “The Changing Attitudes of the Nova Scotian Loyalists…”, p. 47

[28] Mackinnon, This Unfriendly Soil, p. 170

[29] MacNutt, p. 12.

[30] Rogers, p. 174.

[31] Ann Gorman Condon, “The Family in Exile: Loyalist Social Values After the Revolution,” in Intimate Relations: Family and Community in Planter Nova Scotia, 1759-1800, edited by Margaret Conrad (Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1995), p. 53.

[32] Cuthbertson, p. 6

[33] MacKinnon, This Unfriendly Soil, p. 180

[34] Ibid, p. 181

[35] Ibid, p. 182

[36] Condon, p 53.

Open Source CMS and Content Reuse

Introduction

It cannot be denied that our current website is merely a “brochure” that does not effectively generate revenue and promote our brand. Sitecore states that “a good web CMS can mean the difference between a static underachieving website and a dynamic and flexible one that adapts to visitor needs, converts prospects into customers, and strengthens the brand.” (Sitecore 2011) Today’s buzz word in the content management arena is “reuse.” We must reuse content to save time and money. Also, we must repurpose what already exists to become more efficient and to re-publish that across multiple channels to ensure message consistency and effectiveness. According to Robert Bredlau, there are five key factors to think about when implementing content reuse (Bredlau August 6, 2009):

  1. Single source publishing to multiple formats.
  2. Publishing to multiple locations.
  3. Linking to the same content from multiple locations.
  4. Reusing templates.
  5. Partial content reuse.

The company neither has the budget or staff available to overhaul the current CMS, so we have elected to choose to develop our new website using an open-source CMS solution that will allow the import and reuse of content from our current CMS platform. As of December 2010, the three market-leading open-source CMS solutions were WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal. (“2010 Open Source CMS Market Share Report” December 10, 2010) Each of these systems has inherent strengths and weaknesses, and are best-suited for certain types of web projects.

One of the most important features to consider when choosing a Content Management System (CMS) for our website is its ability to handle reusable text content. We are expanding and modernizing our e-commerce capabilities, and therefore product information, help documentation, FAQs, and other content must be streamlined and kept consistent across our product divisions.

Drupal

Drupal is a powerful, developer-friendly CMS tool that can build complex sites, and is the most configurable of the three popular options. Research suggests that content reuse is both possible and fully configurable; unfortunately, the descriptions of how to apply this to our website are full of jargon and scripting parameters that require an experienced web developer on staff to implement and maintain. Most important for our uses is Linodef, which is “an input filter for embedding content of your Drupal installation and into any textarea and link[ing] to it.” (Danton November 1, 2008)

Joomla!

Joomla! occupies the middle ground. It has more extensive capabilities than WordPress, and it is more user-friendly than Drupal. Natively, content reuse is much like Drupal’s; difficult to implement, and requiring the programming of complex scripting and conversion of all text to XML prior to importation. However, a free plugin called Content Templater is well-reviewed and appears to provide a user-friendly means of sharing product information and other reusable data in different parts of our site. However, Content Templater is not compatible with the current version of Joomla! This is worrying, as it is important to keep the CMS up-to-date in order to ensure stability and security.

WordPress

WordPress began as a blogging platform and is the most user-friendly of the three market leaders. It is the most straightforward to implement, and is the best choice if our website will “fit within its model of posts, pages, categories, tags, and sidebar widgets.” (Hodgdon 2010) WordPress effectively applies auto-formatting to imported text from Microsoft Word, making it easier to transfer documents created by our employees onto the new site. As well, the WordPress Reusables plugin makes it “possible to update a single piece of content that will update retroactively anywhere that the reusable is being used.” (“Wordpress Reusables” September 27, 2010) However, WordPress is only suitable for smaller websites, and as we expand our product line the limitations of this CMS might become more apparent, necessitating migration to a more robust platform.

Conclusion

It is the opinion of this committee that WordPress is our best CMS option at present, both for its ease-of-use and its well-supported, straightforward implementation of content reuse. We can implement consistent product descriptions and knowledge bases across the business, consumer, and educational divisions using the WordPress Reusables plugin, and quickly import this data from our internal CMS that largely stores text as MSWord .doc files. Drupal is clearly the most scalable option, and its content reuse capabilities are extensive, but we do not have a PHP or Drupal expert on staff, and we lack the budget to hire one in the immediate future. It is the opinion of this committee that creating an effective, easy-to-manage website now will pay dividends in the future, allowing our company to hire an independent web developer and implement a more robust solution.

Works Cited

Bredlau, Robert. CMSWire, “5 Ways to Improve Content Re-use.” Last modified August 6, 2009. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-cms/5-ways-to-improve-content-reuse-005189.php.

Danton, Roi. Drupal, “Inline and link Drupal objects (Linodef).” Last modified November 1, 2008. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://drupal.org/project/linodef.

Hodgdon, Jennifer. Poplar ProductivityWare, “Drupal vs. WordPress.” Last modified 2010. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://poplarware.com/articles/drupal_vs_wordpress.

Sitecore. “Choosing the Best Web Content Management Solution.” Last modified 2011. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://www.sitecore.net/Landing/GoogleAdWords/Choosing_the_Best_CMS_CA_Confirmation.aspx.

Water and Stone. “2010 Open Source CMS Market Share Report.” Last modified December 10, 2010. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://www.waterandstone.com/book/2010-open-source-cms-market-share-report.

WordPress. “WordPress Reusables.” Last modified September 27, 2010. Accessed October 3, 2011. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/reusables/.

Content Reuse Opportunities at Rogers.ca

CONTENT REUSE OPPORTUNITIES AT ROGERS.CA

Overview:

Purpose and Goals:

The residential, small business, and wireless product divisions share many common calling features. However, the descriptions of these features have been handled by separate writers and are inconsistent in language, style, and format. By reusing content, Rogers can reduce costs by streamlining information across our product divisions. As well, we can ensure content accuracy by writing general or division-specific information according to standard guidelines. The goals of this report are to:
•   Define the content components required for each product division and provide guidelines for format.
•   Create a strategy for content reuse that implements content reuse for residential, small business, and wireless product divisions.
•   Identify which components must be tailored to individual product divisions.

Reuse Strategy:

•   Descriptions of calling features that are present in multiple product divisions can be reused. The description must exclude division-specific language. Calling features that are unique to a single division (e.g. Line hunting,” “enhanced voicemail) should also exclude division-specific language, in case features are rolled out to other product divisions in the future.
•   Currently, only the wireless division lists key features. If necessary, key features should be also written specific to residential and small business, highlighting any differences from the standard description.
•   Currently, only the wireless division lists costs of calling features. Calling features are value-added services in all product divisions. Therefore, “cost” should be available as an optional content component for all calling features and be specific to each product division.”
•   Users that want to add features to residential, small business and wireless services can contact customer service by phone, mail, or through the rogers.ca website. A single module should identify “How to add features,” and provide general contact information. Adding this module to a calling feature is optional. Division-specific “contact us” info should be retained in a separate section of the site.

Required Components for Each Calling Feature:

Description:

This is a brief summary of approximately one to three sentences that describes the function of the calling feature, and why it is useful. This should be written in the present tense, and be as concise as possible. Name of feature should be formatted in boldface.

Example: Call Return Busy/Last- Automatically redials the number of the last incoming call. If that number is busy, you’ll be alerted with a special ring when the line becomes available.

Key Features:

Key features should be formatted as three to five bullet points, written in the present tense. Each bullet point should describe key components of the calling feature. Key features follow logically from the description, and should not repeat information already presented.

Example:
•   Take up to 10 three-minute messages.
•   Save each message for up to five days.
•   Password-protect your messages.
•   Record a personalized greeting.
•   Access your messages on your wireless device, landline phone or online.

Cost:

This describes the standard or optional charges for the calling feature. All content should be formatted in boldface.

Example:
Enhanced Voicemail | $8.00/month

How to add features:

This provides the customer service phone number, link to live help, mailing address, or email address to add a calling feature.

Example:
To add this feature, go to http://www.rogers.ca/ web/content/contactus/, call 1-888-ROGERS1, or send mail to: 333 Bloor Street East, 7th Floor Toronto, ON M4W 1G9.

Tech Topic Report: Windows 7 Migration

Microsoft Windows 7 Migration

The time is now

Windows XP has been the standard in Enterprise computing for ten years running, due to its stability and ease of use. Microsoft recognizes the continuing viability of its legacy OS and that “people keep their Windows-based PCs for many years.”[1] However, mainstream support of XP ended more than two years ago, and Microsoft will cease extended security updates and extended support on April 8th, 2014.[2] This is due to the rapid adoption of Windows 7[3] in both the enterprise and consumer markets, and undisputed evidence that Win7 is a superior, cost effective, flexible solution that will be the market leader for many years to come.

Organizations traditionally take 12 to 18 months before they’re ready to deploy a new desktop operating system to their workforce. Win7 was released in October 2009, and it is clear that adoption of the new OS in the enterprise market is accelerating rapidly. According to a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting, 77 percent of IT decision-makers representing large enterprise and public sector organizations in the U.S. and Canada rated a desktop upgrade as “a critical or major priority over the next 12 to 18 months.”[4] These firms have already migrated at least 20 percent of their users to the new OS, as Win7’s superior compatibility with legacy hardware means it can be deployed to existing as well as new PCs.[5]

This article outlines the advantages and challenges of migrating to Win7, and what its adoption means for our company. We use many legacy software packages, and it is important to implement best practices that allow greater governance over our application libraries going forward. In addition, possible solutions to recognized migration challenges will ensure a smooth transition. Our current system architecture is struggling to keep up with advances in software solutions, and we believe the time is now to begin implementing company-wide upgrades to Win7.

Advantages of Windows 7

Win7 provides our IT department an opportunity to gain more control over their end-user computing environments by providing a robust, modern platform that will support most legacy software while providing an opportunity to leverage emerging desktop and application virtualization technologies, reducing the need for future OS upgrades. Microsoft has recently introduced Windows Azure as a Win7-based cloud-computing solution,[6] and it is recommended that its implementation be considered in the future.  As well, employees reliant upon incompatible software can utilize a virtual XP environment that provides increased compatibility with legacy applications.

Unlike our current 32-bit XP license, the company can take advantage of deploying 64-bit hardware and software for new Win7 PCs, in order to take advantage of the increased speed and efficiency the platform offers. For systems requiring the use of 32-bit legacy software, Microsoft’s Win7 enterprise license will allow the install of a 32-bit OS.

Win7 will provide our organization with enhanced security applications that are easier to understand and more transparent. For example, the implementation of an improved form of User Account Control reduces the risk of the user making damaging changes to their PC. Also, an improved firewall allows us to phase out Norton Internet Security, reducing licensing costs and preventing system slowdown. Furthermore, effective system recovery and startup repair is installed to the OS partition automatically.

Migration Challenges

The IT department recognizes that there are substantial costs involved with a company-wide migration to a new OS, and we are taking the steps necessary to identify and overcome migration challenges. According to Annette Dow of Binary Research International, “common landmines to avoid as enterprises upgrade to Win7 include not doing enough up front planning, not doing enough testing, and expecting this kind of project to be completed quickly. Many conversion projects like this can take upwards of 6-12 months at a minimum.”[7] This report is being submitted to ensure that we avoid these “landmines.” We estimate the migration process will be completed in 8 to 10 months based on our current number of employees, with minimal impact on the day-to-day operations of the IT department.

Some PC hardware may prove problematic when installing Win7. Therefore, a team will inspect each system to weigh the costs of upgrading versus maintaining aging hardware, and allocate new PCs to any employee that is using hardware dated prior to 2005. PCs that are only compatible with 32-bit Win7 will be replaced first.

Historically, due to OS limitations, we have provided local administrative rights to PCs installed with XP. As such, our application library has been improperly managed, and many employees are relying on “rogue applications” for essential functions such as antivirus and intra-office communication. Win7 systems will remove administrative rights and ensure standard applications are used. A company-wide inventory will be performed and employees will be consulted individually, in order to reduce application bloat. At a later date, investing in virtualization or cloud computing solutions is recommended to further reduce the number of locally installed applications that need to be supported.

Even though Win7 provides improved backward-compatibility with applications designed for XP in comparison with Vista, application compatibility issues are to be expected. The Forrester Consulting poll reports that after other firms performed application remediation procedures, approximately 48 percent of locally installed applications were deemed incompatible.[8] Employees dependent on incompatible applications will be required to operate Win7 in XP mode, and it is hoped the steps undertaken to reduce the number of applications used will reduce the need for remediation.

Finally, IE6 has been the company standard browser since 2004, and unfortunately some of our web-based applications are unable to run on IE8/IE9 or other third-party browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Prior to implementing migration, a team must be assigned to ensure full compatibility with IE8, and partial compatibility with Mozilla and Chrome.

Conclusion

Win7 offers a marked improvement over XP in every facet of our enterprise computing needs, and we must act now and begin preparing for a company-wide migration, in line with actions undertaken by competing firms. Win7 provides the foundation to control the applications our employees use, ensure a stable and secure computing environment, and prepare our PC-based systems for future implementation of cloud computing solutions that will reduce our long-term costs and improve employee productivity. Though there are challenges inherent to migration, our IT department will be prepared to face and overcome these challenges, implementing Win7 in a phased deployment that ensures minimal loss of efficiency. The next step is to work with the accounting department to prepare a budget, and develop a plan for action. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

The IT Department


[1] Paul MacDougall. InformationWeek, “Microsoft Pledges Windows XP Support Through 2014.” Last Modified June 24, 2008. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/operatingsystems/208800494.

[2] Microsoft Corporation, “Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet.” Last modified September 14, 2011. Accessed September 19, 2011. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle.

[3] In order to conserve space, Windows 7 will be abbreviated as “Win7.”

[4] Dell Corporation. InformationWeek, “Windows 7 Migration Challenges and Best Practices for Large Enterprise and Public Sector.” Last modified September, 2011. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.informationweek.com/whitepaper/Windows-Microsoft/Applications/windows-7-migration-challenges-and-best-practices-wp1316208976?articleID=191703440.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Microsoft Corporation, “Windows Azure Platform | Microsoft Cloud Services.” Last modified September 20, 2011. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/.

[7] Daniel P. Dern. IT World, “Windows 7 migration: 8 things that are bound to happen.” Last modified July 26, 2010. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.itworld.com/windows/114957/8-things-are-bound-happen-during-a-windows-7-migration.

[8] Dell Corporation. InformationWeek, “Windows 7 Migration Challenges and Best Practices for Large Enterprise and Public Sector.” Last modified September, 2011. Accessed September 20, 2011. http://www.informationweek.com/whitepaper/Windows-Microsoft/Applications/windows-7-migration-challenges-and-best-practices-wp1316208976?articleID=191703440.