A Midsummer Night's Dream Newsletter

GIF inviting people to DS106 Radio Summer Camp, August 12-16, 2024, with session ideas & registration info.
It's Radio Free Summer Camp!

News from May 2024

It's your dream newsletter, ready to wrap up the month of May and bring you into a beautiful June! Reclaim's got lots to report, so let's jump right in.


Welcome, Justin!

Big news: we have a new addition to the Reclaim team! Please help us give a big welcome to Justin Webb, who's recently joined Reclaim Hosting as a managing partner. Justin and Reclaim have a long history that stretches back to before Reclaim Hosting technically even existed – he was the one to green light the Domain of One’s Own pilot at UMW in 2012. That partnership has continued in various forms since then (check out the blog for the full story), and we couldn't be more excited to keep it going and deepen it further.

GIF from Brooklyn 99. A man in a ringmaster's outfit spins around and yells "Welcome!"

Pack Your Bags for DS106 Summer Camp!

Imagine summer camp, on the radio, connecting with friends old and new as you tell stories around the campfire, reflecting on the year that’s been and learning a whole lot along the way. 

Join us this August live on DS106 Radio as we go to camp. Starting on Monday, August 12th, we’ll be taking to the airwaves with live shows featuring edtech storytelling, debate and our year in music. Every day for a week there’ll be live sessions sharing adventures in Higher Education and beyond as we celebrate the end of this academic year and pool our energies for the new term. 

Jump into the cool, refreshing pool of DS106 inspiration! Join us as a speaker or DJ, or simply take your headphones, head outside in the sunshine and tune in. It's online conferencing…. but not as you know it. 

It’s free to attend, and we encourage you to bring a friend! Register now.

Card for DS106 Radio Summer Camp, with a QR code & link to registration on the events calendar. Dates listed are August 12-16, 2024.
See you there! 😎

June Community Chat: Blog Post Book Club – “Necessary FUD?”

There's nothing like a good summer read, so for this June's Community Chat, we're hosting a book club! (Or maybe a blog post club?) We're recommending Tom Woodward's blog post "Necessary FUD?" which talks about all of the considerations (privacy, security, accessibility, etc.) that go into choosing technology for the classroom – especially when it's free. Give it a read and then join us on Wednesday, June 19 at 12pm ET to discuss! As always, you can register on the events calendar here.

A cat struggles a little to put on a pair of glasses, then turns to an open book.
Just give me a second to put on my reading glasses...

(And hey, psst! If the book club idea appeals and you've got any suggestions for blog posts, articles, or other things it would be cool to discuss in the future, send them our way!)

May Community Chat - Commons in a Box OpenLab

And hey, if you missed the May Community Chat, no worries! We got the chance to sit down with two special guests to talk about Commons in a Box OpenLab, an open platform for collaborative teaching and learning that's developed by City Tech and used at several CUNY and SUNY system institutions. And with a rockin' topic and crazy cool guest stars, you know we had to document it for posterity. The recording is here, so check it out!

Calling All Case Studies!

Starting in 2024, Reclaim has been working to publish case studies which can offer quick insights into practice and products, helping you make the most of open tools and infrastructure. With practical examples and take aways to help you navigate your own projects, these case studies offer a way to share practice, celebrate impact and contribute to the community.

This blog post has the details on the ones we've already put out into the world, but we're not done yet. These are community stories, and we want to keep the love going. So if you have a story to share or a project to highlight, get in touch.

A GIF of a cartoon corgi wearing glasses and writing in a notebook.
Story time!

News from Infrastructure: TX-RAMP Provisional Compliance

Reclaim Hosting is provisionally compliant with the TX-RAMP standard until 11/13/2025 while pursuing full compliance. We've been working towards this for a while, and are excited to share this milestone. The TX-RAMP standard is based off of State-RAMP, Fed-RAMP, and NIST 800-53 rev 5; it's a standardized approach for security assessment, certification, and continuous monitoring of cloud computing services for state organizations within Texas.

As a by-product of our provisional compliance and current audit for full compliance, Reclaim Hosting has become compliant (excluding controls that do not apply to Reclaim) with all level 1 control families within NIST 800-53 rev 5, pending third-party assessment. This is part of a on-going project to secure our servers and make sure our clients' data is protected. You can find more details on the blog here.

GIF of a cartoon penguin in a hard hat and glasses, waving and saying "Safety First"

Reclaim TV Guide

There was A LOT of goodness on Reclaim TV this month, starting with Taylor and Pilot re-capping our highly successful flex course: Newsletters with Ghost.

If you missed it, never fear. We have a handy recap blog post ready so you can explore the resources from the course at your own pace.

Next up on Reclaim TV was Open LLMs on Reclaim Cloud with Taylor, Meredith & Pilot, in which we took a look at Ollama and Open WebUI to self-host openly available Large Language Models.

Check out this episode to learn more about this set up on Reclaim Cloud and the interesting implications of using LLMs this way, as well as the limitations!

Also this month, we hosted very special guest Bryan Mathers, for From Passion Project to Web Empire: Talking Reclaim Press with Bryan Mathers:

Maren and Meredith talked to Bryan Mathers (https://visualthinkery.com/) about the artwork and the journey behind ReclaimPress.

Rounding up the month was Protoweb with Jim & Taylor. Protoweb is a fascinating service that lets you experience the web as it was in its early days.

This month, tune in to Reclaim.TV, live on Fridays at 10am ET:

You can see the updated schedule at any time by checking out events.reclaimhosting.com!

It Came from the Blog

Bloggers gonna blog, and this month was no different. Maren Deepwell was en fuego on her blog, with posts covering the unsung hero skills of open leadership to her work documenting the power of ReclaimPress with Bryan Mathers, that case study will be forthcoming—so stay tuned!

And Maren's work in leadership continues as she discusses her leadership journey as part of the WiAL webinar series. In fact, the goodness never stops with Maren! She's been working on and sharing her nonfiction writing and has become a fully-fledged coach, ACC certified. She's bonafide! Also, do you notice how blazing fast her WordPress blog is? She found time amongst all her copious blogging to actually move her site to ReclaimPress this month. Wow!

Jim has been writing about his woes trying to work with a Windows 98 machine–don't let them fool you people, computing was way harder not that long ago—but there is much to be learned from the blue screen of death. Something tells us this is not the last post on this topic, and a little bird in this newsletter noted he might be doing a stream on June 14th about the vicissitudes of retro computing.

Jim also moved both bavatuesdays and reclaimhosting.com off Edgeport back to Cloudflare as we further solidify load balancing, caching, and security for our multi-region setups. The long and the short of it is Edgeport may be overcompensating on certain security elements making important plugins and post features, such as adding media, impossible to access. What's more, it appears it may not be playing nicely with Elementor.

If you are into dioramas, then Jim's most recent post on designing a diorama window for his new studio might pique your interest.

Finally, Taylor wrote an opus that takes you step-by-step through using his amazing Site Archiving Toolkit, a healthy cocktail of SiteSucker on macOS, a more agnostic HTTrack, and a collection of Webrecorder tools. It's a must read for anyone looking for a solid and straightforward way to archive old websites while at the same time preserving the web.

Support Documentation

This month we are psyching ourselves up for Summer. Weekends at the beach. Epic road trips. Locking ourselves in a dark air-conditioned room and learning everything there is to know about ReclaimPress!

ReclaimPress is our one-stop shop for all your WordPress needs – no matter how small or how big! Taylor wrote a great post about the ReclaimPress Beta launch back in March and we have several support docs set up to guide you through getting your account set up and getting started on the platform.

  1. Getting Started with ReclaimPress 
  2. ReclaimPress Subscriptions & Site Setup
  3. ReclaimPress Support Docs

In case you didn't see it in the Reclaim TV Guide, Maren and Meredith also sat down for a chat with Bryan Mathers, of Visual Thinkery, on Reclaim TV to bring you a visual concept that truly captures what makes this new venture so special. Check out the recording here: From Passion Project to Web Empire: Talking Reclaim Press with Bryan Mathers.

Staff Picks

We've got a particularly nerdy staff picks section this month, so get ready!

We'll start with Taylor and Chris, who both shared a RetroBytes video on running a DOS-based BBS:

Taylor also shared this video that explores Non-Euclidian DOOM:

Finally, Noah shared the fascinating WebGPU standard, which promises to bring some seriously powerful graphics capabilities to your friendly neighborhood web browser. Cool stuff!

The WebGPU API enables web developers to use the underlying system’s GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) to carry out high-performance computations and draw complex images that can be rendered in the browser.

Thanks for another awesome month, everyone! See you in June.

GIF of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse & Goofy riding past each other on bikes & waving to each other. Mickey says, "See you soon!"

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Dr. Brian Oblivion