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Had time to play around with Google Chrome? September 12, 2008

Posted by cynhudson in Techie Stuff.
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It has been well over a week now since the new Google Chrome web browser was officially launched.  My initial reaction has been very positive.  It seems quite a bit faster than IE or Firefox and the look is clean and simple.  I also really like the visual representation of the most visited sites.

Some of Chrome’s features are similar to other browsers in that it incorporates a safe browsing and instant bookmarking function.

I haven’t had the chance to play around with the newer features of incognito browsing (Chrome not storing information on the websites you are visiting) and the application shortcuts (creating application shortcuts that open in a  special window designed for web applications) .

Has anyone had time to test out the new browser?  What are your thoughts?  Are you still with it or have you returned to the trusty Firefox or IE?


Search Engines May 17, 2007

Posted by heyheypaula in Library Stuff, Techie Stuff.
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With Google’s new Universal Search, I started thinking about all the other search engines you don’t hear much of.  Here’s a list of search engines from Wikipedia.  Has anyone had any experiences with any of these? Likes? Dislikes?

Social Networking Blog April 30, 2007

Posted by heyheypaula in Library Stuff, Techie Stuff.
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Here’s an interesting blog on utilizing social networking sites for libraries.  Some libraries are restricting access to these types of sites; some are using them as tools.  What do you think about the impact of this technology on our libraries here? How can we use it to benefit patrons, without “annoying” other patrons?

“Technotrash” April 12, 2007

Posted by heyheypaula in Fun Stuff, Library Stuff, Techie Stuff.
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Talk about a word made for the 21st century!  In many communities, public libraries make patrons aware of issues and trends.  Whether it’s new books, or programming and information catered to a community’s interest, public libraries have a unique ability to lead the way.  In many public libraries, I see recycling bins for paper, or entire displays related to how an individual can be “greener”.  I have even seen libraries set up containers for plastic bag recycling and ink jet cartridge recycling!  I came across the website for a company called “GreenDisk”, which provides affordable ways to easily dispose of “technotrash”.  At issue is some of the chemicals and elements which are part of the manufacturing process of computer and technical equipment.  For a fee, this company sends a box which can be filled with any electronics waste that can fit in a box, and the fee includes shipping and secure disposal of items like cartridges, CDs, broken or replaced computer parts like drives, sound and video cards, etc.  This made me think that a library could educate its community through a display or a week event what they can do to better their own community.  Either through a service like this, or local organizations that re-use or dispose of computer waste, libraries could put in action a trend that would be good for its patron base and beyond.

Wireless Wiki April 8, 2007

Posted by heyheypaula in Blog stuff, Library Stuff, Techie Stuff.
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Bill Drew posted this to the ALA LITA discussion list:

 Wireless Networking in Libraries – Webjunction Works. This is an ever-evolving collection of resources on wireless technology in libraries.  Mr. Drew invites participation in making this wiki a great resource.  Check it out!

LoC to digitize brittle books February 1, 2007

Posted by Jennifer Parsons in Library Stuff, Techie Stuff.
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About time, I say.

Library of Congress to spend $2m to digitize

“…The project supplements other efforts at the Library of Congress along with private companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Those massive book digitization projects, however, have typically shied away from materials in vulnerable conditions.

“The new “Digitizing American Imprints” program seeks to identify best practices for handling and scanning those books and collections, according to its managers…”

A more official link for the actual program itself can be found here.

With all the advances in digital imaging, I’m surprised no one’s gotten around to this before, but that could be a matter of waiting for bureaucracy to catch up to technology.

 It’ll be interesting to see which materials are chosen for preservation (I wonder what the standards for that are?), how they are preserved, and how they are distributed.  Since most “brittle books” have content that is no longer protected by copyright, I wonder how wide the distribution of these digital materials can– or will– get.

 That, and I want a peek at the best practices policy they’re putting together.

IE 7 and your library/company December 14, 2006

Posted by heyheypaula in Techie Stuff.

This interesting post from the LibraryZen blog is two months old, but might be relevant in your libraries and workplaces now.  IE7 rolled out in the form of an Automatic Update, which might have caused problems for institutions with limited technical staff.  Enough time has passed for most of the kinks to be smoothed out, so it is interesting to see what problems occured for libraries, and what the solution was.  In my office, we added a registry entry to prevent it from installing, but a couple people installed it anyway, and there were some conflicts with existing programs.  Additionally, some users were used to IE6 and were confused about menus and features of IE7.  This brings to mind the latest in the so-called “browser wars”.  Does your library offer browser choices?  Is it better to wait to implement a big change like IE7?

Google Docs and Spreadsheets December 14, 2006

Posted by heyheypaula in Techie Stuff.

Take a tour of Google Docs and Spreadsheets.  This is a great online collaboration tool for any document or spreadsheet created when input from many users is key.  You can upload your files in many formats, DOC, XLS, ODF, ODS, RTF, CSV, etc.  Documents are updated in real time, and all the users can see who is currently updating a document.  It tracks changes and who made them, and the finished product can be exported in many useful formats.  This has been a real blessing for collaboration at my work, and best of all, it can be accessed from any computer, anywhere, anytime, without the need for special software.  The only downshot so far is that it doens’t play well with Opera, which I’ve been using a lot lately, but it’s great in Firefox and IE6. Give it a whirl!

Searchmash December 11, 2006

Posted by L Wolfe in Techie Stuff.
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Although I believe the site was launched back in October, I just checked out Google’s new project Searchmash. But hey, tis the time for it when classes are over. I liked the collapsible menu list on the right consisting of images, blogs, wikipedia, and videos. This list could always change depending on the hot new media. Also great, the way you could choose basic links or detailed links. Still missing, a feature I enjoy on Clusty, a subject list that groups results. I read that you could reorder your results, but couldn’t figure that out (?). I did see that moving the mouse over the green link on each result, you can click to redo your search on just that URL. Google is very smart to test out new features on a site that is non-Googled and ask for feedback. That way, users won’t be complaining about stuff that is new and different on the Google site, and hopefully the comments won’t be influenced by the Google name. Of course, let’s be real here: how many Searchmash users are unaware of the Google connection? I would think most users checking it out are experienced searchers, librarians, IT people: your basic geek crowd. Now don’t be offended-geeks are cool.

Other articles:
IT World
Clinical Evidence

New WYSIWYG HTML Tool at WordPress September 25, 2006

Posted by L Wolfe in Techie Stuff.
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The old way of editing html on this blog was pretty primitive. WordPress has added a new HTML tab on the “Write Post” page that works very well.

screenshot of tool

I can easily:

  • make a list
  • add a link
  • bold and italicize
  • etc etc

Very nice, but I still like using Performancing better.
Write a post and check it out!