Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Exercise 20 eBooks

I was most impressed with both the free ebook sites -Gutenberg and LibriVox. In both sites, titles were easy to find and plenty of information about the book was given. Both stated that downloading ebooks was free and gave instructions on how to do this.
Gutenberg offered titles in an emormous number of languages -including Maori, and the public could choose from a number of categories in which they could receive the book material -audio (human read and computer generated), pictures (still and moving), music, etc. All of this material would be received on a computer. RSS is available for information about the latest additions to the catalogue. Librivox had a very clear Homepage, with one panel asking for volunteers to read books, the other panel informing patrons that they can use an MP3 or ogg vorbis to download material. Librivox offered podcasts and also offered RSS availability.
I can see this would be an extremely useful tool for students who could download texts and not have to cart around heavy books to study, to people who want to use the computer to access books( one step closer to the computer being multipurpose -TV, DVDs, downloading books and music -one screen in the house for many purposes-though with many members of the family wishing to use the screen for different purposes, perhaps a screen in every room!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Exercise #19 Podcasts

After trawling through a large number of podcasts on Podcast Alley, Podcastpickle and Podnova, I chose the Paranormal News because it had regular updates which could be checked for.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Exercise #18 YouTube

I had a look at the Videos which had the hypertext links from the exercise. That demonstrated that videos could be of varying lengths of time. Once I used the search facility I realised there were an enormous number of videos on a wide variety of subjects. I had heard a radio interview with an ornithologist who described how crows in New Caledonia could make "tools". He said he had put a video on YouTube. I was intrigued, so tried a search for "crows" Sure enough, there was a video showing how a crow made a hook to retrieve an item from out of a container!
I then looked at videos on the subject of libraries and librarians. Conan the Librarian was "how not to attract patrons to the library" as was the Angry Librarian. Terrible publicity for libraries, especially when they are available for the public to view ! I didn't think too much of the Iowa library students video either. The Super Librarian was a great advertisement -colourful graphics, enthusiastic commentator and good photographs of the library would encourage people to visit.
The ability to show people in action on a video makes
YouTube videos very useful as tools for training-to demonstrate good customer service (and bad) in the environment of the library.

Exercise #17 Writeboard

I chose Writeboard to explore. I would like to write some articles in conjunction with a friend so this was perfect for me. I wrote my first article and emailed an invitation to my friend to comment or edit or contribute to my article. This an ideal tool for a budding author. Other people can comment on the composition. The article can be edited and the original can be kept so the author can see the changes which have been made. Tips for editing -making text bold or italic etc are given. I will use this often in the future.

An Impass of Buses

An Impass of Buses


We had had the most wonderful scenic trip on a large launch around the bays of the Amalfi Coast, ending at Portofino. Having taken our time exploring the picturesque little village, we returned to the jetty only to find that we had missed the boat back to Maiore, our home bay. Our only option was to take one of the enormous buses parked in the area near the jetty. But which bus? None of them said Maiori -in fact several didn't have their destinations indicated at all! After much gesticulating, shrugging of shoulders and grunts of indifference from bus drivers, we climbed aboard a near empty bus. We waited and waited, time went by and still the bus sat on the parking lot. We became concerned -was the bus ever going to leave and if it did were we going to get to our destination?? Suddenly, from out of nowhere appeared a noisy chattering crowd of teenagers, who threw themselves into the seats until all were filled, and the aisle was packed to the front door with standing bodies. With a jerk of the clutch and a cloud of smoke the bus inched forward onto the narrow road to Maiori.

The road winds precariously around the cliff faces, wide enough for only two vehicles, one going in each directions. A large bus like the one we were on gives cause for careful manoevering by the oncoming vehicle, particularly if it is larger than a small fiat.Imagine our consternation on seeing another bus of equal size and length to the one we were on, coming towards us around the bend!! There was simply not enough room for them to pass. What to do? Neither bus could back because each had a string of cars, nose to bumper, behind them.

Each bus stopped. The drivers alighted, joined by passengers and car drivers. Then ensued much waving of hands, gesticulating, shouting. We thought it was coming close to blows being exchanged, when our bus driver turned his back and returned to the driver's seat. The other people disipated and the manoevering of the buses began. Inch by inch the buses went back and forward, back and forward as if in some medieval gavotte. After many many adjustments to the angle of each bus, finally only the large mirrors on the front of each bus prevented them from inching past each other. A slight whirring sound, the mirror of our bus changed angle and the bus proceeded past it's protagonist onto the clear road ahead.

During all this nail-biting scenario, our roudy teenagers had given not a glance out the windows and had kept up their raucous conversations at high decibel level. Obviously this was an everyday occurrence in their lives, one to be endured as part of everday life. For us tourists it was a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Exercise #16 Zoho Writer

I enjoyed writing an article for the Zoho Writer and tried to add a photograph from My Pictures by using the Zoho Import button. I expected the photo to be added into the article but it was put into a different frame, then both were listed separately in the side panel. The photo took a long time to load and then was excessively large filling more than the frame! I ticked the size adjustment button and the photo filled the frame, but I thought I'd lost my article! However I realised I could retrieve the article by clicking the heading in the side panel -whew!!
I tried to attach the address of my Zoho Writer article to this blog but the hypertext address gave only the front page of Zoho Writer. I then emailed the Zoho Writer article directly to the NS Libs gmail address (It has cleocappelli on it!

Exercise #15 Rollyo

Rollyo would be particularly useful if you were writing a historical fiction (or nonfiction) and needed to refer back to the same websites often for facts. I have opened a Rollyo account and made a search engine of collected websites on Italian recipes. This would be useful if you had a computer in the kitchen and could bring up the website and recipe to follow when you are cooking. There are subjects on which other members of Rollyo have compiled website lists. To be able to click on a ready made list would save time and effort searching the Internet -a bonus for a busy writer.
My Rollyo search engine is entitled Italian Recipes-

Monday, September 8, 2008

Exercise #14 Library Thing

What a great idea for remembering books you particulary enjoyed! This would also be a great idea for an online library bookclub within the library. Patrons could contribute from home or in the library. I like being able to see another member of LibraryThing who enjoys similar books to me -I could try some of the ones I haven't read. Here is my LibraryThing catalogue-

Exercise #13 Generators

I tried putting an image of windsurfers onto my blog from Letter James. I had to send it to My Computer DDrive so that I could attach it to the blog. It attached in a low resolution form which takes up the whole blog window when opened. The opened blog window included acknowledgement of the photographer and other photo details and it did accept the extra text I added, but I would have liked more room on the window to write extra text. I will go back and try again with the same photo. The next photo I took from our holiday photos in My Pictures. I was happier with the results.

Exercise #13 Generators

This is a picture of the little town of Maiori, one bay around from Amalfi. We were intrigued that houses were built behind the viaduct.

Exercise #13 Generators

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Exercise #12 Sandpit (2)

I had to try attaching my blog address to the Favourites blog several times as I had a problem getting the cursor to register at the end of the list. Finally I placed the cursor at the end of the previous person's blog title and used the Enter key to get the cursor to move down to the end of the list. having used the Ctrl C and then V to place my blog address at the end of the list, which instruction did I use to get it to be published on the list? Should I use a link icon? I clicked on Save and voila -there it was!! Now I know, next time it will be easy!!

Exercise #12 Sandpit


My favourite music -Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and other Mozart Concertos Pachelbel cannon Faure -Requiem
Duet from the Pearl Fishers

Favourite singers -Enya, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Roberta Flack, Katy Melua, Abba

Favourite food -bacon, choritzo and other tasty sausages, mushrooms, lasagne, salad made from baby spinach leaves and fruit, tiramasu, lemon meringue pie,
pecan pie, camembert and chutney.

Favourite activities -swimming in surf, listening to music, drinking wine or coffee with friends, beach walking, seeing a good film

Favourite colours -blues, taupe, lime, orange

Favourite books -A short history of tractors in the Ukraine by Marina Lewycka
Step ball change by Jeanne Ray, The Madam Ramotswe novels of Alexander McCall Smith, Secret history of bees by Sue Monk Kidd, White Oleander by Janet Fitch

Favourite plants -agapanthus, white roses, gypsophylla, magnolias, gardenias,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Exercise #11 Wikis

Wikis have a variety of uses. The "Book Lovers" wiki was a good example of a working wiki. Because it records the opinions of the contributors, there is no temptation for anyone to tamper with a contribution. No-one is likely to quote these opinions as unchallengable facts. If a wiki is used to record instructions or a manual, it is better to be password protected so that only those with knowledge pertaining to the instructions can contribute. It would be terrible to have an instruction manual which could be changed at the whim of any person using it! Wikipedia is popular with students but tutors have been warning them of the pitfalls of accepting the information without questioning it. Fortunately the fact that the computer is able to record changes which have been made, and users can view these, allows the reader of the wiki to judge it's veracity. There are Wikis which record the protocol for contributing to Wikis.
I particularly like the idea of the Book Lovers siki -an online book club for those who can't attend one. Great for librarians who don't have time to contribute book reviews to the website!!

Exercise #10 Library 2.0

At present the North Shore Libraries provide their patrons with some opportunities to "control" their accounts and participate minimally in their library online system. Patrons can access their own account, renew books, place requests and freeze requests, rate items on a limited scale and select preferences which provide notification of new items on the subject chosen.
From the library online catalogue, patrons can view other libraries' catalogues, make suggestions for puchase, request interloans and download articles from eResources.
Library 2.0 would allow our libraries to take a step further. Patrons will be able to participate more in library activities online. There could be a library blog where patrons contribute ideas -their expectations of the library service, comments on their library experience, advice on how the service could be improved. An online Library Action Group, somewhat like the Friends of the Library could be formed! The use of Technorati or other social networking devices would allow rating and commenting on library items and give the ability to select bookmarks and compile lists. Online Bookchat groups on particular subjects eg General fiction or Art books would see library users communicating with each other and the library -great for those who cannot physically attend a book group!
Library 2.0 is pertinent to the Library Vision Statement
Libraries meet the recreational and reading needs of the community
Social networking eg blogging, Flickr, online selection devices; library catalogues and own account.
Provide electronic services to meet community needs
The library system including blogs, catalogues etc is accessible by handheld computer devices, debts can be paid through online credit facilities.
Maximise relationships with key stakeholders, the community and partners
Increased communication between library and others through blogs and social networking sites.
Ensure libraries are relevant and up-to-date.
Patrons who use Web 2.0 products see that libraries are part of their world.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Exercise #9 Technorati -Joy

I have added a favourite to my Technorati account -Global Changes and created a watchlist for the word Obama.

Exercise #9 Technorati -Joy

I claimed my blog on Technorati and found that I could get straight into my blog from the Technorati site. I enjoyed watching the videocast and felt confident that I would be able to complete the exercise of searching Blog posts, tags and the Blog Directory. However when I went to the Front page of Technorati, I found that the dropdown menu shown in the video didn't seem to be available. Perhaps I needed to join Technorati for this to happen? But no, even after I had joined and claimed my blog there didnt seem to be any dropdown menu where it had been shown on the videoclip. I need help!! I enjoyed looking around the Technorati sight and am going to create a watchlist -now that I have claimed my blog I will be able to do this.

Exercise #7.2 Technorati, Syndec, Topix

I had a look at all three of these RSS sites. Syndec8 looks very complicated to register -I think their front page would discourage all but the most confident of computer users from joining. Technorati had predominantly material relating to the American political scene, which was current and interesting given the upcoming elections. Topix had New Zealand content which appealed to me -I was most likely to register with Topix. I wanted to change my selected topics on RSS but despite detailed searching of the site, I could find no option to delete or reselect the topics I would like searched for. Could someone help me with instructions on how to change my selected topics?