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October 29, 2009

UThink downtime Sunday, November 1st

UThink will be unavailable Sunday, November 1st between 5:00am and noon due to scheduled load balancer maintenance.

Actually, it is our hope that UThink will only be down for a couple of hours beginning at 5:00am, but in these cases it is wise to plan for the worst. UThink is one of many systems that will be affected.

This downtime is unfortunately unavoidable. Again, hopefully it will only last a couple of hours during the typically low-traffic time of Sunday morning.

UThink is now also listed on the University System Staus page.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

October 20, 2009

National Day on Writing is October 20!

Tuesday, October 20 is the "National Day on Writing," established by the National Council of Teachers of English "to draw attention to the remarkable variety of writing we engage in and help make writers from all walks of life aware of their craft." This day will be celebrated by several groups at the University of Minnesota working in partnership, including the Writing Center, the Libraries, and the Office of Information Technology. Two events involving OIT are planned back-to-back over lunch (12:00 - 1:15) in 101 Walter:

  • Tips to Become a Better Blogger (Sponsored by the Digital Media Center/University Libraries)
    When? 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
    Where?101 Walter Library (no pre-registration is necessary)

  • 5 Tools to Write & Cite (Sponsored by the Digital Media Center/University Libraries)
    When? 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.
    Where? 101 Walter Library (no pre-registration is necessary)

Please see the complete list of events at

Starting in April of 2004, UThink has been a big part of writing on campus for over 5 years now. According to UThink statistics, there have been over 141,000 entries written on the system. That is a fair amount of writing!

Of course, with all these entries it has been impossible to read them all, but that doesn't stop me from trying to read what I can. But in monitoring the system over these 5 years, of all the entries, one stands out as my favorite during all this time:

Nibbled to death by small geese from The Deception of the Thrush

I encourage you to read it. You won't be disappointed.

And as part of the "National Day on Writing" I want to try a little experiment. The UThink system lets you build blogs based on contents from other blogs. So, I've set up a blog that will display any new entry tagged as "dayonwriting" ... in other words, any entry written on the UThink system that is tagged as "dayonwriting" will show up on this blog. Here it is:

Give it a try! It may take 10-15 minutes for the entry to appear, but it will be there sooner or later. I guarantee it! And as you will note, this entry appears on that blog ... because I've tagged it as "dayonwriting." Happy writing everyone! And thanks for making UThink a success!