First the “ouch” from the library gang. The realization that not enough assessment of our social services has taken place in the library environment. There has been anecdotal success but nothing concrete has been reported. In the past several years I’ve simply thrown stuff up to see what stuck and seemed a functional service. It’s worked reasonably well but as a Library Director I see a greater need for assessment. Assessment is Goal #1 in the coming year.
Today I had the privilege to speak with 40 high school and community college librarians about building a social library. The event took place at the Powell Library at UCLA at the invitation of Esther Grassian.
Though I created a Keynote Presentation (below) and demonstrated how one could use drop.io with groups, the majority of the presentation just came from the 75-minute conversation. All the relevant links are at the bottom of the post.
It’s risky business…talking about limited money/funding when you still have some money/funding. Some might suggest, based on this exploration, that if you can do without the money then we’ll take away what you have already. This discussion is more of an exploration in planning. Planning is important for leaders to consider, especially with the potential for limited funding and possible obsolescence.
Over the past week, I’ve been reading the latest issue of Adbusters (#85); the entire issue is a “book” on economics. The economics of moving beyond our current established paradigm of economic thinking and theory. The premise is to kick over the neoclassical economics bucket because it is not sustainable in our global system. Continue reading →
This is about ubiquitous file management. Do you work on multiple computers, maybe even on different types of computer platforms? You may carry a USB drive or email files to yourself, but there are slicker options available. Dropbox is a tool for storing your files on your local machine and in the cloud. It is a free service, up to 2GB of storage, but also has premium accounts for additional storage needs. I have been happily using Dropbox for about nine months and find it meets my needs of ubiquitous file management.
I typically work on two Apple Macs, two Ubuntu systems, and one Windows XP system (plus my iPhone). How can I keep all my files in sync and also available on my local hard drive (for when I’m without internet)? Dropbox.
Aside from providing access to your files anywhere, even from your iPhone (viewing only), you can also save files securely, share any folder with a specific group, or put items into a public shared folder. Other features.
The first step is to download the Dropbox application. Second, copy your files into the Dropbox folder on your local computer. The files will automatically be uploaded to your Dropbox account online. If you install Dropbox on another computer, all files in the online account will be copied to the new local machine. Your files are now located in three places: original computer, online, and second computer. If a change is made on either of the computers then the file will automatically sync with the cloud and the other computer. Keep in mind that if you are uploading/downloading a huge number of files, it may take a while the first time but then only files with changes will sync. Continue reading →
In all it took about 6-hours to install Ubuntu on its own partition on my two Dell laptops and most of that time was unattended while running defrag on the Windows machines. The process is simple and I find the speed and power of the Ubuntu system to far outweigh my Windows environment. For now, I have kept Windows installed on the system because there are a couple applications I’d like access to and I’m not sure how well they will work in a virtual space. Perhaps at some future point I will recoup the Windows space too.
Here are the steps I took to install:
Download and create Ubuntu CD. Just follow their simple directions for creating and testing the installation CD (1-hour).
Remove any unnecessary applications from my Windows environment to free up space. Useful step on a smaller hard drive systems like mine (30-minutes).
Defrag Windows environment (4-hours).
Restart computer and boot to Ubuntu CD to begin install (30-minutes).
During the install, I manually created three new partitions (2 GB swap, 10 GB root, and 10 GB home) from the Windows partition.
Reboot and choose the OS to launch (Ubuntu or Windows).
That’s it! The Ubuntu install comes with Firefox, Open Office, Email application, and many other software options.
I will not gush. I will not gush. Though I’ve been a Mac user for 15-years at work, this is the first Mac that I’ve purchased personally. It is hard to believe that this move has finally happened. When I noticed our family Dell laptop starting to lose life, and I’d been using the work MacBook a bit more frequently, it seemed time to give the Mac a closer look for the family computer replacement. The other thing that played a key role in the decision is my transition to cloud computing. My email and all my files are happily living in the cloud.
When decision time came, it became a choice between the iMac, the MacBook, and the MacBook Pro. Since this will be our primary family computer and also serve as our “television” when we watch DVDs, we wanted something that would last and meet those needs. The iMac was a brief consideration but we opted not to get it because we need flexability to move the computer around the house and the office. The primary difference between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro is about 2″ of screen real estate, a faster video card, and some extra ports. Oh, and $400. Even that isn’t 100% correct because the Apple Care will cost you more on the Pro version too. Nonetheless, we decided on the Pro because we really wanted the larger screen. We made two visits to the San Francisco Apple Store and finally made the purchase at the San Luis Obispo Apple Store.