About me

About

Thanks for stopping by. I head the IT department for Emory Law School. Since 1997, I’ve worked in law school information technology, first at the University of Tulsa College of Law and now at Emory University School of Law. Prior to that, I was a lawyer in private practice at a firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I’ve been working with computers off and on since high school, when I got my first single board computer. Since then, I’ve had a chance to play with some phenomenal hardware: the first Macs, Atari’s ST series, the Sinclair QL, the NeXT NeXTStation, and many others. The NeXTStation, in particular, heavily influenced me – and led me to Unix and then Linux. My primary interest and area of expertise is open source software running on Linux; however, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in fairly small IT shops and so am very much a jack of all trades. I love finding new tools and applying them to new (and old) problems.

I have an undergraduate degree in Spanish and spent a year in Lima, Peru (studying), and another year in Madrid, Spain (teaching). I speak Spanish and can get by reasonably well in Portuguese. I’ve studied Latin, Russian, and German in addition to Spanish and Portuguese. Given my background, I tend to view most computing problems as communications or language problems, not as math problems.

At Emory, I am currently chair of the Information Technology Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Policy and I’m also a member of the IT Planning Council. I’m also a regular panelist on Law School Tech Talk (http://lawschooltechtalk.com). I’ve been a presenter at the annual CALI conference for law school computing a number of times.

This blog is a place to stash bits of code, things I’m interested in, and other mostly work-related materials. My comments on these unofficial pages do not represent the views of Emory University.

Disclosure

The FTC requires bloggers to disclose when they are “endorsers” of products. If I receive gifts of merchandise, etc., I will disclose those relationships in each post. So far, I believe that I have received a grand total of two review copies of very dry technical books. I did not post about either book.

Contact

You can email me at work (ben.chapman@emory.edu). The office number is 404-727-6948. Here are some other places you can find traces of my digital self:

Skills and areas of expertise

  • IT management
  • Linux server management
  • Programming including Python, MySQL, shell
  • Apache, Django, Tomcat, Pentaho, Liferay, Typo3, WordPress
  • VMWare, VirtualBox, OpenVZ, Kaviza
  • Broad knowledge of open source software
  • Fluent communicator with both technical and non-technical audiences
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