Minimal Computing

To learn more about our group, please visit our website on github pages. or join our mailing list.

Our original page:

Visit here for our DH2014 planning document


At these early stages in the life of the GO::DH Minimal Computer Working Group “minimal computing” is used to simultaneously capture the maintenance, refurbishing, and use of machines to do DH work out of necessity along with the use of new streamlined computing hardware like the Raspberry Pi or the Arduino micro controller to do DH work by choice.  This dichotomy of choice vs. necessity focuses the group on computing that is decidedly not high-performance and importantly not first-world desktop computing.  By operating at this intersection between choice and necessity minimal computing forces important concepts and practices within the DH community to the fore.  In this way minimal computing is also an intellectual concept, akin to environmentalism, asking for balance between gains and costs in related areas that include social justice issues and de-manufacturing and reuse, not to mention re-thinking high-income assumptions about “e-waste” and what people do with it.

Questions the group hopes to consider include:

  • In digital humanities and other computing contexts, what is being done with what technologies, how, and why?
  • What are best practices for application construction in order to maximize availability, decrease obsolescence, and reduce e-waste?
  • How and in what ways does experience in mid- and low-income economies inform ongoing assumptions about how research and collaboration are conducted in high-income economies?
  • In terms of computing and culture, what meaningful differences emerge across economical, infrastructural, and material conditions?

But that’s just how we started started thinking about the group when GO::DH was first being formed. What will become of the group in terms of how it will define itself and what activities it will concern itself with will be largely figured out between July and August 2014, starting with a workshop held at DH2014.  Anyone interested in making a short presentation about their work or interests in the area and/or helping shape the group as a whole is welcome to attend.  See the CFP and come out to join us!


Initial Co-Chairs: Jentery Sayers (University of Victoria) and John Simpson (University of Alberta)

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