I’m guessing that most of you are as ignorant of technology as I feel nowadays. Back in the DOS era, I was on the cutting edge. I could edit an autoexec.bat, config.sys, or command.com file with the best of them. Windows 3.1 kept me in the game, but later Windows operating systems reduced DOS to some kind of little screwdriver, whereas before it had been an all-purpose tool for doing things. To this day, DOS remains in my view far more efficient and fun than Windows (hence DOS-like operating systems flourishing amongst tech gurus I suppose). But that’s a discussion for another day.

One of the biggest developments in the Web 2.0, if you will, has been the massive amounts of information now made available to anyone who wants them. A good way to store information is a Wiki, named after Wikipedia, which runs off MediaWiki files. Nowadays, some hosts have their own Wiki products, like SocialText. You can sign up with SocialText and they will give you an easy to use Wiki right away! Anyone can edit it! That’s pretty cool. Unfortunately, I found it a bit unwieldy for the purposes of the Artist Rights and Reproductions Database. After two months of testing and prodding, I decided to move in a different direction. However, I want to emphasize that Wikis are tremendous tools for improving information flow and work design in the work place. They can save on all kinds of costs, such as printing, paper, and ink. I’d think time and energy as well.

Anyway, I went back to the basics, which turned out to be far from basic: MediaWiki. You’d think it would be easier to install but it depends on all kinds of things (mySQL, PHP settings…). That’s probably why I am still trouble-shooting trying to figure it out, which is a real mental grind for those of us who were long ago left behind by technology. Stay tuned for results.

And if you want to have your VERY OWN WIKI, follow these instructions. They’re pretty good. But if a problem springs up, you’re on your own. My recommendation: install the latest version MediaWiki with a MySQL 5.0 database and PHP 5. Period. I installed an older Wiki (1.6.10) on a MySQL 5.0 with PHP 4.

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