librarycomputerguy's blog

BBW in SL

Banned Books Week is coming up: Sept. 29th through October 6th and this year you can celebrate your right to read at your local library AND on SL (and teen SL). Here's a bit from the ALA OIF announcement made yesterday.
Second Life/Teen Second Life: To tie in with this year’s theme of “Aye, mateys…celebrate your freedom t' read!,” ALA has created a “Pirate Paradise” in Second Life (SL), a 3D virtual world complete with pirate ship and a wharf with interactive displays on banned books.

OSS - Community Property

I was reading Karen G. Schneider's recent blog on Enterprise Open Source, and two lines really struck me:
  1. A "significant value of open source software is that its survival depends on a community's needs, not the whims of a corporation."
  2. "The ability to change the software changes the balance of power.

Long way home.

A little more reflection on Krug's Don't Make me Think: Krug mentions that users will often use websites in ways we can't imagine and he gives the example of users typing URLs into search engine text boxes. I would have been skeptical reading this if it weren't for my experience with the public. I see this happen all the time. Lately, I've done some of my own usability testing as patrons ask for help.

Psychology classes for MLIS?

I've worked in a public library for about four years now and I've met more unique individuals than I would have ever imagined lived in our little town. There is a gentleman who comes in nearly every day, sometimes repeatedly in the same day. He walks up to my desk, sets a small bag down on the ground and begins a little speech. It varies a bit - usually involving respecting something or other and then listing two to four things about it, which he repeats. One day he was respecting the fact that Oklahoma is a coastal state.

Don't push my buttons!

Part of my current MLIS coursework (for which this blog is a requirement) is a book titled Don't Make me Think by Steve Krug. It is an excellent, easy read about how to design websites with an eye on usability. For the most part, I love what Krug has to say. But, one premise of his I disagree with, though I do it with some trepidation, is that clickable links should be three dimensional buttons. I especially find it confusing because he also contends that the logo (which, btw, should always be at the top of the page) is the default home "button".

ISO:NO OOXML

The vote count was close, but it appears that Microsoft's OOXML as an International standard has been voted down .
A ballot on whether to publish the draft standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats, as an International Standard by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has not achieved the required number of votes for approval.

Hasta la vista, Vista.

I just recieved an email from eWeek titled The Trouble with Vista. The linked sideshow addresses ten major problems with Windows Vista, and I have to say I've been reading a lot about this lately and have had several friends and patrons who don't like Vista. Some people who recently bought systems pre-installed with Vista asked for my help to switch back to Windows XP (which really is a fairly good and stable OS).

Second Life not much better than the first.

As part of an assignment for an MLIS class, I spent some time on Orientation Island in Second Life. Some parts were fun, some a little frustrating. Second life, for those who don't know (me included), is (according to the website) a "3D online digital world imagined, created, and owned by its residents." As I was rounding out my orientation (the fun part) I ended up getting stuck in a wall (the frustrating part). I guess it was my own fault.

Microsoft products on Linux?

Today I read a bit of news from India that caught my eye. Software bonhomie: Microsoft products to operate better on Unix, Linux Could this be more movement toward the tipping point from proprietary to open source software? India is a leader in the use of Open Source software, and for good reason: businesses often can't afford proprietary software and it seems that the growing Indian economy is catching the attention of Microsoft.

Library Computer Guy 101

My first installment of my first blog is intended to be a bit of an introduction and explanation of the moniker "Library Computer Guy." I didn't know this was my name, but apparently everyone thinks this is my name... even me. Let me explain. For the last several years I have worked at a public library in a town of about 15,000. My desk sits out in the middle of the library by the banks and banks of computers that now are a predominant feature of the "connected" library. The first thing anyone sees upon walking through the doors is me, so I get a lot of face time.
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