© 2002 Neil Randall

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Neil F. Randall





I.             Personal


               Business Address:                             Department of English,

                                                                        University of Waterloo,

                                                                        Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1


               Contact Information:                          519-885-1211 ext 3397 (office phone)


                                                                        nrandall@uwaterloo.ca (Internet)

                                                                        nrandall@aol.com (America Online)

                                                                        nfrandall@msn.com (Microsoft Network



II.            Education


               1981-85:       York University, Downsview, Ontario–Ph.D. in English.  Thesis, under Clara Thomas, entitled, “Humour in all Seriousness: The Techniques and Effects of Humour in Six Canadian Novels”. 

                                    Major field: Canadian Literature

                                    Minor Field: Eighteenth-Century Literature.


               1980-81:       University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario–M.A. in English. Thesis, under Stanley McMullin, entitled, “The Novels of Robert Kroetsch: Explorations in Mythmaking”


               1977-79:       University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario–Graduated B.A. with Distinction in English.  I received the A. M. Ross Prize in English in 1978, and was named to the Dean’s Honours List six times.


III.           Employment (at University of Waterloo)


               1990-    :       Associate Professor, Department of English

               1988-91:       Director, Centre for Professional Writing

               1985-89:       Assistant Professor, Department of English


IV.          Employment (other than at Waterloo)


1980-85:       Teaching assistantships and course instructorships at York         University, Guelph, and Waterloo

               1979-81:       Systems Analyst, Kingsway Transports, Toronto

               1977-79:       At University of Guelph

               1973-76:       Operations Supervisor, Kingsway Transports, Kitchener, Ontario

               1972-73:       Teacher, Waterloo County Separate School Board


V.            Other Relevant Biographical Information


               1.      Centre for Professional Writing


                        1989:   Established Corporate Partnership with IBM Canada ($150,000)

                        1989:   Established Corporate Partnership with Bell-Northern Research and Northern Telecom ($150,000)

                        1988:   [with Margaret Sanderson]: Facilitator of Technical Writing workshop

                        1987:   [with Peter Saunders]: Facilitator of Writing for the Medical Professional workshop


               2.      Research Grants


                        1989:   University Research Incentive Fund, with Educational Software Products, Toronto:  Creating a Database for Documentation Management Software ($50,000)

                        1987:   Employment and Immigration: Desktop Publishing for English 210C ($1827)

                        1986:   [with G. Slethaug]: SSHRC, Conference on British Modernism

                        1986:   Dean of Arts, University of Waterloo: starter grant



               3.      Awards


                        1983-5:            SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship

                        1981:               University of Waterloo Scholarship

                        1978:               A.M. Ross Prize in English, University of Guelph

                        1978:               Alma Mater Scholarship, University of Guelph



I.             Books


Special Edition Using Microsoft FrontPage 2002. Que Books (Macmillan), 2001 (5th edition). [with Dennis Jones]

The Soul of the Internet (International Thomson Publishing), 1997.

MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow’s Internet. IDG Books, 1996. [With Kevin Savetz and Yves Lepage]

Guide to Netscape Navigator Gold. ZD Press (Macmillan), 1996.

Using HTML. Que Books (Macmillan), 1995. [Lead author with three others]

Plug-n-Play Internet. Sams Publishing (Macmillan), 1995. [With Celine Latulipe]

The World Wide Web Unleashed, 2nd Edition. Sams Publishing (Macmillan), 1995. [With John December].

Teach Yourself the Internet: Around the World in 21 Days, 2nd Edition. Sams Publishing (Macmillan), 1995.


II.            Magazine Articles (selected)


Currently writing for PC Magazine (New York), as Contributing Editor; Computer Shopper (New York); CNET Online (San Francisco); Connected Home Magazine (New York); Smart Computing (Texas)


“Control Outlook with Filters and Rules,” PC Magazine, forthcoming March 2002.

“How Credit Card Transactions Work,” PC Magazine, February 2002.

“Should You Upgrade to Windows XP?” Smart Computing, forthcoming March 2002.

“Switching Users in XP Home Edition,” Connected Home Magazine, forthcoming March 2002.

“Setting up a Remote Video Feed,” Connected Home Magazine, February 2002.

“Help is on the Way: Remote Assistance in Windows XP, PC Magazine, November 2001.

“Editing FrontPage Components,” PC Magazine, October 2001.

“Choosing a Domain Name Registrar,” PC Magazine, June 2001.

“Boot Menu Management,” PC Magazine, May 2001.

“Power to the People: The Rise of P2P,” PC Magazine, April 2001.

“Take Advantage of Online Databases,” PC Magazine, March 2001.

“Dual Booting,” PC Magazine, February 2001.

“Content Management Solutions,” PC Magazine, January 2001.

“Stay in Touch,” PC Magazine, January 2001.

“Help for Your Small Business,” PC Magazine, November 2000

“Linux for Windows Users,” PC Magazine, March 2000.

“Design Web Pages with Office 2000 Applications,” PC Magazine, March 2000.

“What to Look for in Your New Computer’s BIOS,” PC Magazine, February 2000.

“Rescue Your System,” PC Magazine, February 2000.

“Break the CPU Speed Limit,” PC Magazine, February 2000.

“Back Up or Fix Outlook Data Files,” PC Magazine, January 2000.

“Web Databases in FrontPage 2000,” PC Magazine, January 2000.

“Collaboration in Office 2000,” PC Magazine, December 1999.

“Building Your Store on the Web,” PC Magazine, November 1999.

“Editing Microsoft FrontPage Themes,” PC Magazine, November 1999.

“Virtual Desktop Services,” PC Magazine, November 1999.

“Living with Linux,” PC Magazine, November 1999.

“The Name Game,” PC Magazine, November 1999.

“Internet E-Mail Settings in Outlook,” PC Magazine, October 1999.

“Customizing the Taskbar,” PC Magazine, October 1999.

“Resolving Device Conflicts,” PC Magazine, October 1999.

“Using Multiple Monitors,” PC Magazine, September 1999.

“Are You Safe Online?” PC Magazine, September 1999.

“Share a Net Connection,” PC Magazine, September 1999.

“Make IE5 Your Own,” PC Magazine, June 1999.

“A Serial Bus on Speed,” PC Magazine, May 1999.

“Biometric Basics,” PC Magazine, April 1999.

“XSL: How Stylish Can You Get?” PC Magazine, April 1999.

“How Viruses Work,” PC Magazine, February 1999.

“Palm Computing: So Much for So Little,” PC Magazine, January 1999.

“Internet Apps in Win98/NT4,” PC Magazine, January 1999.

“Inside Input Devices,” PC Magazine, January 1999.

“Hard Disk Troubles,” PC Magazine, December 1998.

“Liquid Crystal Displays,” PC Magazine, December 1998.

“E-Mail Headers, Even the Ugly Ones,” PC Magazine, November 1998.

“Usability Gaffes,” PC Magazine, October 1998.

“Making Software Easier through Usability Testing,” PC Magazine, October 1998.

“PC 98: More Powerful and Friendlier Hardware,” PC Magazine, September 1998.

“Maintaining Your Windows 98 System,” PC Magazine, September 1998.

“The State of Processors,” PC Magazine, July 1998.

“What is an Operating System?” PC Magazine, July 1998.

“Dissecting the Heart of Your Computer, PC Magazine, June 1998.

“IMAP: E-Mail for People on the Go,” PC Magazine, May 1998.

“SCSI Just Keeps on Rolling,” PC Magazine, March 1998.

“Upgrade to Windows 98 … Before Microsoft Does,” PC Magazine, March 1998.

“Diagnose and Repair Your Web Site,” PC Magazine, February 1998.

“The ABCs of Windows 98 Networks,” PC Magazine, February 1998.

“A Guide to DirectX,” PC Magazine, February 1998.

“Web Markup Matures with HTML 4.0,” PC Magazine, November 1997.

“Who Goes There?” PC Magazine, October 1997.

“The Making of Web Soap Operas,” commissioned by The Globe and Mail (forthcoming, November 1996).

“Online Schmoozing,” commissioned by The Globe and Mail (forthcoming, December 1996).

“What Happens When You Install a Windows 95 Program,” PC Magazine, February 1997.

“LDAP Directory Services,” PC Magazine, January 1997.

“What Happens When You Click: How HTTP Works,” PC Magazine, December 1996.

“How a DNS Server Works,” PC Magazine, November 1996.

“Guide to Free Email Services, PC Magazine, October 1996.

“The Web in ’96,” PC/Computing, September 1996 (forthcoming).

“Beyond the Web,” PC/Computing. June, 1996.

“The Guide to the World Wide Web Underground,” PC/Computing, December 1995.

“Map of the Online Services,” PC/Computing, November 1995.

Several trends articles, PC Magazine, throughout 1995.

“Setting up a Web Server,” PC/Computing, September 1995.

“Hooking your LAN to the Internet,” PC/Computing, August 1995.

“Internet Search Engines,” PC/Computing, August 1995.

“Do it Online,” PC/Computing (lead feature), March 1995.

“Fax at Their Fingertips,” Canadian Computer Reseller, March 1995.

“The World Wide Web Roadmap,” PC/Computing, March 1995.

“Secret Weapons,” PC/Computing, February 1995.

“Hands-on Mosaic,” PC/Computing, February 1995.

“Roll Out Whatever Comes Next,” PC/Computing. December 1994.

“The Internet Road Map,” PC/Computing, September 1994.

“Windows on the E-World,” Internet World, September 1994.

Over two dozen features and many reviews in Computer Entertainment News and (Greensboro, NC) during 1993-5.

Over two dozen features and many reviews in CD-ROM Today magazine (Greensboro, NC) during 1993-5.

“Open Systems in the Federal Government,” HUM Magazine, February 1994.

“An Introduction to Client-Server Architecture,” Computing Canada, March 1993.

“Doing it in Style: A Guide to Style Sheets in Windows Word Processors,” Windows Magazine, August 1993.

“A Review of Grammar Checkers,” Windows Magazine, March 1993.

“The World Through a Wire: Telecommunications Services for Personal Computers,” Compute!, May 1989.

“Writing Tools: Beyond the Word Processor,” Windows Magazine, January 1993.

Over 500 software reviews for CD-ROM Today, PC Entertainment, Windows, The Globe and Mail, Compute!, AmigaWorld, and Signal Research publications.

1992-1993: Bi-weekly columnist on computer issues for The Globe and Mail (seven columns total).

1988-1990: Monthly columnist for GamePlayers (Signal Research Inc., Greensboro, NC)

               1987-1988: Monthly columnist for Compute!





I.             Computer Publications


The computer books and magazines listed above represent my current research into interface design and critique, multimedia design, and computer-mediated communication. Recent conference papers support this activity.


II.            Other Scholarship


“The Shifting Focalization and the Strategy of Delay,” Canadian Literature (Autumn, 1991).

“Tactile Persuasion: Considerations of Ethos in the Design of the Push-Button Interface,” Canadian Journal of Rhetorical Studies, 1:1, Summer 1991.

“Carnival and Intertext: What the Crow Said and The Studhorse Man,” Studies in Canadian Literature, 14:1:85-98, 1989.

“Determining Literariness in Interactive Fiction,” Computers and the Humanities, 22 (1988): 183-91.

“The Makeshift Family in Canadian Fantastic Fiction,” The New Quarterly, Spring 1989.

Shoeless Joe: Fantasy and Fellow-Feeling,” Modern Fiction Studies, 33:1:173-82, Spring 1987.

“Laughing at the Victim: Humour in St. Urbain’s Horseman,” Thalia, 2:4:37-45, Spring 1982.



III.           Conference Papers


“Metaphors of the Physical: Why the Internet Coheres”. [with Isabel Pedersen].  Internet Research 1.0: The State of the Interdiscipline. The First Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers. University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas September 14-17, 2000.

“The Neglected Senses in the Metaphors of Software Interfaces”. [with Isabel Pedersen]. National Communication Association 1998 Convention, in New York City, New York Hilton & Towers, Marriott Marquis November 21 - 24, 1998.

“Who Exactly is Trying to Help Us? The Ethos of Help Systems in Popular Computer Applications”. [with Isabel Pedersen]. Scaling The Heights: The Future of Information Technology, ACM SIGDOC 1998 Conference, Loews Le Concorde, Quebec City, Canada  September 23-26, 1998.

“The Role of Ethos in Internet-based University Courses” [with Isabel Pedersen]., 14th Computers and Writing Conference, Thursday, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, May 28 - May 31, 1998.

 “(Mis)leading Information: The Role of Corporate Web Sites in the Discourse of Computer Technology”. [with Isabel Pedersen].  Webs of Discourse: The Intertextuality of Science Studies. 31st Annual Texas Tech University Comparative Literature Symposium. February 5-7, 1998.

 “Tactile Persuasion: Considerations of Ethos in the Design of the Push-Button Interface,” CUCSR Conference on the Interdisciplinarity of Rhetoric. Ottawa: April 19, 1991.

“Computer Interface as Speech Act,” 8th International Conference on Cybernetics and Systems.  New York: May 11, 1990. (Invited)

“A Barthesian Interpretation of Robert Kroetsch’s Humour,” ACLALS conference, University of Guelph, August 1983.

“Transplanting Legends: Mark Twain and Robert Kroetsch,” Conference on American Comedy, Pennsylvania State University, April 1984.

“The Neverending Non-Story: Narratology and Role-Playing Games,” Popular Culture Conference, Atlanta, April 1986.

“Determining Literariness in Interactive Fiction,” Popular Culture conference, Montreal, March 1987.

“The Makeshift Family in Canadian Fantastic Fiction,” Family Fictions in Canadian Literature conference, University of Waterloo, May 1987.

“Comprehensibility in Game Rules,” Canadian Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, Learned Societies, May 28, 1987.






I.             Books


Haven [with Bill Fawcett] (novel).  Accepted by Tor Books.

Lord of Cragsclaw [with Bill Fawcett] (novel). New York: Bantam, 1989. Translated into Japanese, 1991.

A Visual Guide to Castle Amber [with Roger Zelazny] (guidebook). New York: Avon, 1988.

Storm of Dust. (interactive novel). New York: Tor, 1987.

Seven No-Trump. (interactive novel). New York: Avon, 1987.

The Black Road War. (interactive novel). New York: Avon, 1987.



II.            Game Books


Monsters of Myth and Legend.  Chicago: Mayfair Games, 1984.

Villains.  New York: Victory Games, 1985.

You Only Live Twice.  New York: Victory Games, 1984.

Dr. No.  New York: Victory Games, 1984.

Octopussy.  New York: Victory Games, 1983.







I.             Undergraduate Courses


               English 108H – Alienation and Isolation

               English 109  – Introduction to Academic Writing

               English 208A – Forms of Fantasy

               English 210C – Report Writing

               English 210E – Technical Writing

               English 251A – The Practice and Theory of Criticism 1

               English 251B – The Practice and Theory of Criticism 2

               English 292  – Contemporary Issues in Rhetoric and Professional Writing

               English 309A – Ancient Rhetorical Theory

               English 309C – Comtemporary Rhetorical Theory

               English 309D – Elements of Style

               English 314  – Canadian Poetry since 1920

               English 315  – Canadian Prose since 1920

               English 365  – Interactive Fiction

               English 408B – The Discourse of Advertising

               English 408C – Web Design

               English 409 – Writing for Special Purposes



II.            Graduate Courses


               English 700B – Issues and Research in Professional Writing

               English 770A – Contemporary Canadian Poetry

               English 770F – The Fantastic in Canadian Fiction

               English 791A – Professional Writing

               English 791H – The Rhetoric of Advertising

               English 791M – Designing and Composing the Multimedia Document

               English 791X – Rhetorics of the Millennium

               English 791R – Narrative and the World Wide Web

               English 793H – Rhetorics of the Popular: Writing for Magazines

               English 794E – The Language of the Computer Interface

               English 794F – The Rhetoric of Technology

               English 794X – The Metaphors of Computing

               English 794(1) – Critiquing User Interfaces



III.           Graduate Supervision


Supervisor, Ph.D. thesis (in preparation): I. Pedersen, “The Design of Augmented Reality Interfaces.”

Supervisor, Ph.D. thesis (successfully defended 1998):  T. Carnegie,  “A Rhetorical Analysis of Feminist Critics of Canadian Literature.”

Supervisor of several M.A. Major Projects, including 6 for Bell-Northern Research graduate students.

Supervisor, M.A. thesis:  L. Middleton, “The Interdependency of Myth and Magic in The Fionavar Tapestry.

Supervisor, M.A. thesis:  K. Reid, “The Structure of the Narrative of The Lord of the Rings.

Supervisor, M.A. thesis:  A. Knight, “The Types of Fantasy.”

Supervisor, M.A. thesis:  B. Jost, M.A. thesis:  “The Progression of the Poetry of Phyllis Webb.”

Supervisor, Major Project: D. Maskens: “Integrating Writing With Software Development”

Supervisor, Major Project: D. Aggett: “Hypertext: Its Development and its Applications.”

Supervisor, Major Project: C. Clarke, “Quality in User Documentation.”

Reader, several M.A. theses and major projects.





Graduate Officer, Departmental (current)

Computing Officer Departmental (current)

Co-op Officer, Department of English (1994-1996

University Committee on the Print Journalism Option (1994-1999)

Arts Faculty Representative on Engineering Faculty Committee (1993-current)

Undergraduate Studies Committee (1993-current)

Tenure and Promotion Committee (1994-current)

Scholarship Committee (1994-current)

Library Committee (Chair)

Conference Committee

Main author of proposal for the Centre for Professional Writing

Lecture Committee

Organizer of Protest in British Modernism conference (1986)