Category Archives: conference reports

Why my MacBook rules

While at the Internet Librarian conference, and in transit to it, I have…

  • Chatted with my wife
  • Kept up with my friends
  • Edited the Metromorphosis.com website before the sessions started today, and used Pixelmator to do image editing, all sitting in the lobby.
  • Edited a new trick tip video for Bob’s Trick Tips last night, uploaded it, and posted it.
  • Skyped with my previously mentioned beautiful wife.
  • Watched some killer skate videos
  • Sent my boss and colleagues back home some good information before even compiling a full report.
  • Tweeted a lot.
  • Taken lots of notes. Love it that the conference has good wifi coverage and plenty of power outlets.
  • Etc, Etc, Etc.

Internet Librarian 2010, Day One, part 1.

I’ve been in Northern California since Friday afternoon. Today is the first dry day. Rained all weekend, destroying all plans to skate with my friends Dale or Gary, but it was fun hanging with Dale anyway. Much good food was eaten and skateboarding discussed. Had a great trip to the Museum of Modern Art, in San Francisco. Very enjoyable.

Drove back down to Monterey on  Sunday afternoon, in the rain. It isn’t really that far, but the drive is always sorta tiring. Took the less-scenic route in order to avoid highway 17, and the severe stress it always inflicts on me.

The keynote at the conference was interesting, as have been the sessions so far. I’ll write about them later tonight. Just had my usual first day lunch (and usually second and third) of fried calamari. Good stuff. Hoping for some dry weather tonight, so I can venture to the little skatepark nearby. However, I suspect the moisture will accumulate. That seems to be the way it works here, in which case I’ll probably read part 2 of On the Road and get a nice milk shake via room service.

Have Board, Will Travel #1

Trusty sled - ready to roll. Will the weather be kind this year?

Nearly every year I attend the Internet Librarian conference, in Monterey, California. I go out a few days early and do some skateboarding and chill-time with friends out there.

First stop (after jumping from DFW-Los Angeles-Monterey, Californa and renting a car) will be Mill Valley, California, home of my good friend Dale and his neighbor Sammy Hagar (a.k.a. the Red Rocker). Will Sammy make an appearance? Only time will tell. Weather permiting, Dale and I will sample the skateparkish delights of that fine region. Sunday I’ll head down to Mountain View, California and Rengstorff Park, for freestyle skateboarding with the great Gary Holl and Wally  Sueyoshi.

Monday, October 25, is the beginning of the Internet Librarian conference. Besides being a great conference to attend, there is a small skatepark about a mile from the hotel. Now, evenings in Monterey can get rather damp when the fog rolls in, quickly coating the skatepark’s smooth surfaces in disaster-bringing moisture. But if it is dry outside, I usually try to get out and skate in the evening. I also try to do at least a couple of dine-arounds with fellow conferencers, and maybe watch the World Series if it’s on (it was a few years ago).

Day 2, quick entry

Had some good sessions on Tuesday. Probably the most useful dealt with building video tutorials for online applications. I think we have need of something like this, and it should be fairly easy to produce. Need to look into this.

Also, last night my wife and I used iChat on our Macbooks to have a video chat. Really cool. Worked great — everyone should get a Mac of some kind.

Internet Librarian 2008, Day 1

The conference has been good so far. Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, gave the keynote. Interesting speech. I’ve been aware of that book for a while, but since it deals with cell phones a lot and I generally am not a big cell phone guy, I haven’t read it. Actually, while I have a cell phone I like, I only use it rarely, and in society at large I hate cell phones, considering them a plague that I wish would be eradicated. There — now that we are clear on that — let’s continue. I may want to read the book. It sounds like it has some fascinating examples of technology-enabled cooperative behavior. 

While all the sessions I attended today were OK, only one really stood out for me. The topic was “Mashing up and remixing the library website“, and was given by two librarians from the University of Houston. They have created, essentially, a custom content management system. I believe it is based on Cold Fusion software. Anyway, you know how in iGoogle you can create new web page parts and move them around your page? Well, they have created something like that for the library website. The other librarians can create pages using this system, and everyone is happy. At least with regard to the website. Really neat, and beyond my technical skills. BUT, some of the technologies they use might be adapted to our website, which is cool. 

As always, while I’m taking notes in one document, I have another open for recording ideas that tend to come to me while I’m in these sessions. Sometimes they’re ideas for personal projects, sometimes work, sometimes both. That is really why I enjoy coming here. It gets my creativity flowing.

Looking forward to the sessions on Tuesday.

Self Portrait


IMG_4724

Originally uploaded by bibliosk8er

Here I am in Monterey. I’ve been letting my beard grow out, and it’s coming in quite nicely. I’ll report on the conference later tonight. No point in trying to do it in even close to real time. I’m up against real blogging fanatics here — they can type really fast.

California Trip — episode 2.

Well, I got to Monterey the other day, rented a car, and drove up to Mill Valley (in Marin County) to visit my old skating buddy Dale. When I got there, Dale had grilled up some insanely good chicken, which was great as I was quite hungry. We ate, and then watched a documentary about 1980s vert skating ripper, Jason Jesse.

Saturday we both got up kind of late, had some breakfast at a local eatery, shopped for skate shoes for Dale, and then in the afternoon went for an excellent hike on one of the many trails around Dale’s neighborhood. Later in the evening we went to see the new film, “W”. The film was enjoyable, but strange. Too over the top to be serious, but not funny enough to be a comedy. But there were some really funny parts.

I know Dale would like to have gotten some skating in. I’m happy though that as old skate friends, our friendship isn’t just confined to skating. 

Got up this morning, had breakfast, and drove down to Mountain View for a freestyle session with Gary Holl and the guys from sk8kings.com. Lots of fun. I always enjoy skating with Gary, who is an amazing skater. He always gets some nice pics of me skating. Here is one below. 

Big thanks to Dale and Gary for their hospitality.

After the session I drove back down to Monterey and checked into my hotel, which is where I am right now. Looking forward to the Internet Librarian conference tomorrow.

Me, doing a 180 casper. Photo by Gary Holl.

Me, doing a 180 casper. Photo by Gary Holl.

Chillin’ at LAX

Well, I’m on my way to Monterey, California, sitting here in the Los Angeles airport waiting for my flight up north. The tmobile internet connection here is WAAAAY faster than my shitty cable modem wifi at home.

Anyway, I have a nice 2.5 hour wait for my flight. Not much to do except surf the web. Looking forward to a fun weekend. Will take some pics as soon as there is an interesting subject. The Internet Librarian conference starts on Monday. Should be great, as always. 

Right now, I’m ready to chill with my friend Dale, have some relaxing and fun skate sessions, chill, and skate some more.

Holy cow – they’re playing the Electric Light Orchestra here in the terminal. Nice.

New project

Quick Note: using some of the RSS stuff I learned at CIL 2008 to create some new services at work. Will report on them in more detail later, but I am using Google Reader’s sharing capability/page along with some other tools to push out information relevant to my organization.

RSS Readers: Google Reader vs. Bloglines

I’ve had a bloglines.com account for some time now. Honestly, I haven’t used it that much, but I do think it is useful from time to time. For those who don’t know, among other things, bloglines.com allows you to aggregate posts from any site with an RSS feed, and read/link to the posted items from bloglines.com, rather than having to check lots of sites every day.  In other words, if you read lots of news sites, blogs, etc., you check one spot instead of dozens.

At the Computers In Libraries conference last week, Steven Cohen sung the praises of the Google Reader — Google’s RSS reader. Since I’ve seen him speak at several conferences and he’s never given me bad advice, I checked out Google Reader.

As usual, Steven is right. Google Reader is cool. But first, let me tell you what is STILL good about bloglines.com :

  • When you set up an account with bloglines, you are not only automatically set up to subscribe to RSS feeds, but you are also immediately able to start your own blog. Is it pretty? No. It is a simple blog, with from what I can tell no options for different themes, layouts, etc. But it is a blog, and is right there.
  • I still think bloglines has a nice page layout. It isn’t fancy, but it is functional. The majority of the page is the window in which posts are displayed — nice and wide. Looks good. Displays images from the posts.
  • When you are reading a post on bloglines, you can click a link to see who else subscribes to that feed. Nice feature for finding other interested in the same stuff. Not sure if Google Reader does this — I’ll check.

 So, what is so great about Google Reader?

  • Well, if you have gmail account you an just go right into Google Reader with no sign up.
  • You can import your subscription list from another reader. Don’t have to re-enter all your info.
  • Since it is part of the Google system, you have easy access to all the other Google tools.
  • Most important: Google Reader allows you to click a link and share items to a public page that it creates for you. For example, here’s my public page. As you will notice, there is an RSS stream for your public page, which allows other people to subscribe to it. Yes, you can create an RSS stream of what you are reading. Sort of cool.
  • There’s also a “friends” function in Google Reader. Haven’t played with it much.

As you can see, Google has included a lot of social networking tools within Reader. I think this is what bloglines was missing.  They both allow you to aggregate information for your own use, but Google Reader has added the ability to share that info with the group.

Anyway, pretty cool.

Do I want the extra functionality? Probably. Do I want to sign over more of my online activities to Google? Maybe not. Will I continue to ask questions like this and then answer them? Most definately.

Discuss…

UPDATE: I added a link to my shared matrial from Google Reader over in the sidebar, under bibliosk8 stuff.

CIL2008 – Day 2 – Tech Tools for effectively managing information – 30 new software tools

Not even going to try to comment much — here are my very quick notes of a fast-paced presentation. Good presentation. Just realized I’m not giving these entries standardized titles. Oh well, thats what tagging is for.

See CIL wiki for slides.

RSS without reader: sendmerss.com — create our own RSS feed for sites without a feed. Can deliver to Outlook. Works with Mobile. Might be good for city execs. good for lunch and learn. There is a better solution — depends on page.

 

Color palettes.

Adobe Kuler — color generator. Kuler.adobe.com. A nice flash application. Looks like a great tool. There’s an adobe widget that can run these kind of adobe tools.

Glance.net — download app. Remote viewing and control of your computer. 

Branding delivered to your users. RSS. conduit.com  .  Create a toolbar for your site.  Custom toolbar. Requires an installation — could be a problem for us.

PDFHammer.com — allows you to edit PDF files. Allows you to pull particular pages and save as new document. Server-based and free. No install required.

Webdeveloper toolbar for FireFox

Ponyfish.com — creates RSS feeds for your site. You can, for example, then use this RSS feed with bloglines. 

Addthis.com — downloadable widget. For easy access to tagging sites.

Processlibrary.com — helps you find out what, for instance, a particular DLL is.

Fantastico — installs script — puts a variety of CMSs on your server/host.

Rollyo — group sites together — and creates a search engine for only those sites. Google custom search also does this.

Browsershots: how does my site look in other browsers.

Snagit — screenshots. About $40. More flexible than screenshot. don’t have to go into photoshop.

Firebug: web dev tool. Firefox plugin. hack stylesheets. Live code editing — how would little changes look. Nice tool.

Zotero — organize and cite research, online, for free. Alternative to Endnotes or Refworks. It is a FF addon. Might be very useful for Toni. Works with jstor.

Camtasia — creating video productions. Tell Brent about this — $299.

OPACS

Just attended Woepacs to Wowpacs.

It is good to know that everyone thinks their OPACs are bad.  Can’t wait to get back and start customizing ours now that I have access to the test server.

Roy, from OCLC, noted the differences between Integrated Library Systems (ILS) and Discovery Systems (which are essentially a public face/overlay for the ILS). Wondering if there is a better Discovery System that we might use at home. He mentioned a number of open source systems, which I’ve made notes about and will check into when I get home. 

Had lunch with a coworker from my system, which was nice.

Still not sure what I’m doing after the conference today. 

More later.

 

UPDATE:

Well, not that much more to report about today’s session. They were good, and I saw some good tools for possible use, but nothing really blew me away. The Wednesday sessions look pretty promising.