Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 20, 2011 - 8:40am
Almost exactly 6 months ago, I wrote up my first impressions of the Google CR-48 Chromebook, the first dedicated hardware device to use the Google Chrome operating system. In the intervening time there have been tons of software upgrades to ChromeOS, and true to their word Google launched the first commercially available Chromebooks in cooperation with Samsung and Acer.
Last week I received a tweet asking me what I thought:
So it seemed worth revisiting, especially as I think one part of the Chromebook is particularly interesting for libraries. I’ll get to that in a second. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 10, 2011 - 3:56pm
Today was the start of the Google I/O conference, the developer conference that Google holds every year where they make major announcements, primarily about their Android operating system. During the keynote today, they offered several updates and new products that could potentially be interesting for libraries. Here's the ones that I think are the most interesting:
The Android Market was updated to include movie rentals. This allows for one-click rentals via either the web or an Android device, streaming from the web or available to be "pinned" to a portable device and watched offline. The selection isn't huge, but one can only imagine that it's going to grow rapidly if the service becomes more popular. The model is similar to the iTunes rental model, where you can purchase the rental and then you have 30 days to start watching, and 24 hours to finish watching once you do. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on March 30, 2011 - 3:04pm
On March 29th, Amazon launched two major new services, both of which seem to speak directly to my post guessing at an Amazon Tablet...as well as being shots across the bow of both Apple and the music industry. The two services are connected, but distinct in capabilities and effects, so let's look at them separately:
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on April 9, 2010 - 9:13am
With the launch of the iPad and the development of desktops like the Lenovo c200, I'm starting to think that we need to stop thinking in terms of the size/resolution of the screen and positioning when doing web design. Instead, we need to really start thinking about digital objects, and how we physically interact with them. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on May 26, 2009 - 10:29am
After months of anticipation, a new tool emerged this past week that should be of interest to reference librarians everywhere: Wolfram¦Alpha. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on March 27, 2009 - 9:51am
Like most of us online and definitely like most libraries, I create more and more and more digital relics as I go through life. Pictures, videos, songs I've bought, ebooks I've downloaded, things I've written....you name it. If it's being created you can bet it's probably being created digitally. This all adds up, though, and the fate of any hard drive is to be filled with both really important, highly critical files and with digital ephemera that you want, but don't need daily. I've got a three-fold solution that I use, and will hopefully be helpful in solving some problem for libraries (or at least, librarians) out there.
I have, basically, three kinds of data that I'm worried about protecting in some way: working files, files that are important but replaceable, and files that I can't afford to lose at all. Working files are just that: files that I'm currently working on for whatever reason. Might be a photo I'm editing, or a document, or an MP3 that I need to move to another computer...anything that requires action. Files that are important, but replaceable, are things that make my life easier if they are in digital form, mostly media. DVDs I've purchased and CDs I own have all been digitized, because I want to be able to watch them when I want and not when I remember to have a disk of plastic with me. I also want to be able to move them to my iPhone or other portable media player. If I lose the digital, it's ok, because I can just re-digitize them, but I really, really don't want to have to do that. And finally, there are the files that I just can't lose for any reason. Things like tax returns, photos of my daughter, receipts, and other digital items that need to be safe even if there's a natural disaster. Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on February 24, 2009 - 9:56am
At my place of work, we are considering circulating so-called netbooks to our students. This would be done initially alongside traditional laptops, but with the possibility of moving the majority of our portable computers to netbooks. In thinking about moving this direction, I've been looking at a lot of these machines, and realizing that there may be a good number of libraries that haven't been watching the rise of this new platform. So I thought I'd take just a few paragraphs to try and explain why these machines are popular and what options are available.
The very term "netbook" is currently under some scrutiny, but it has come to refer to a class of small, portable computers with certain characteristics. These machines have a smaller-than-notebook screen, normally 10-11 inches or under (most notebooks come in a set of standard sizes; 13, 15, or 17 inches). Netbooks tend to use specific types of processors designed for low cost and efficient performance, not for pure speed and efficient processing like the processors you find in standard notebooks. They also tend to have minimal amounts of memory and disk space, often with 1 megabyte of less of RAM. Many of them ship with solid state hard drives that only have 4 or 8 gigabytes of space. The good news about this is that, thanks to Moore's Law, even older, slower, cheaper processors are almost always capable of handling most common computer tasks these days. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on January 14, 2009 - 9:57am
Years ago I read somewhere that the stretch of Interstate 70 that runs across Missouri from Kansas City to St. Louis is the most heavily billboarded section of interstate in the U.S. There are thousands of them. Most are hawking predictable things: hotels, fast food, Lake of the Ozark resorts, souvenir shops with the inevitable walnut bowls, and fireworks emporia, each one just happening to be the world’s largest.
There’s a smattering of unusual billboards, too, such the one featuring the visage of the Dalai Lama, reverse vasectomies, custom-made brassieres (I wonder if that includes Kramer’s manssieres), and dentures in one day. I’ve been watching that one last for 20 years, just in case any of my kith, kin, or even I ever need a quick set of chops.
I live in a rural area a couple of miles south of I-70. One of my routes into the village of Grain Valley takes me on a stretch of old 40 Highway, which has become a frontage road for the interstate. Imagine my surprise one day when I looked up and spotted a new billboard for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. Years ago I wrote about OLPC for ALA TechSource. I took it as a sign from above eye level that I should provide an update. Read More »
Submitted by Michelle Boule on December 22, 2008 - 5:13pm
There are seasons for everything. Seasons of life. Seasons of time. During this time of year, people often think about things for which they are thankful and things that they can give others to make them smile. I am thankful for the opportunity that ALA TechSource has given me. The opportunity to spread my wings, work with some wonderful people, and have fun. Sadly, I believe my season here to be over. There are many new writers in this space and I know their voices will keep me from being missed too much. In parting, I would like to leave you with this post: A Geek's Letter to Santa.
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on December 22, 2008 - 11:03am
In the spirit of the bazillion other year-end lists you will see over the coming weeks, I decided to list my Top 5 Most Influential Technologies of the year. These are the technologies that I think librarians need to be aware of, examine, and find uses for in their library. Not all of these started this year, but 2008 was the year they broke out and became necessities in many people's lives. Read More »