bibliotechy

Archive for the ‘STT’ Category

Windows 7 and ye olde PCs … woe unto thee …

In STT on December 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

So I was pretty excited that Windows 7 installed and worked on some of the old laptops we have here at the NMRLS lab (circa 2004-06, see that post here).  But I’m now become disconsolate over the fact that I can’t get it work on some of my favorite ye olde desktop PCs … Well I can get it to actually work and boot up (which I was kinda of amazed at).  And for old geezer PCs, they’re impressively zippy, but I can’t get them on to the internet!

Turns out there are no approved Windows 7 drivers for the 3Com or Linksys Ethernet controllers these “ye olde”PCs use … and the Vista versions of theses drivers won’t work either … All the PCs are Dells  that date from way back in 2002.

The “ye olde” network adapters in question:

Dell Optiplex GX400 + Dell OptiPlex GX 240
Network controller is integrated into motherboard on both these models.

  • 3Com 3C905C integrated network card
    -Windows link
    -3Com link

Dell Dimension 4400
There is no integrated Ethernet or network card on this PC.  It uses an Ethernet to USB adapter for its network connection.

  • Linksys USB200M ver.2.0 Ethernet adapter
    -Windows link
    -Linksys Cisco link

So ironically I upgraded an old computer to a brand new version of Windows, it seemed to work just fine, but I just couldn’t get to the internet tubes!  So there’d be no updates to Windows, or any software, or even reading of this blog!  On the other hand the virus risk would be minimal 😉

VERY USEFUL SITES TO USE BEFORE YOU UPGRADE YE OLDE PCs

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/downloads/upgrade-advisor
Download, install and run.  A full report with compatibility on hardware and software is the result, read it!

Windows 7 Compatibility Center
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7
A listing of apparently every piece of hardware and software ever put into a PC(!) and site also lists whether Windows 7 will work with hardware or software in question. Compiling this must have been fun for the testers!

In case you’re wondering I didn’t blow away and reformat the Windows XP disks originally installed on these PCs.  I installed Windows 7 on another olde hard drive I had kickin’ around and swapped it out.  Since the Dimension 4400 uses PCI slots for peripheral cards, I may hunt around for a cheap Ethernet card and try to get Windows 7 going on this PC again.

oohhh … so close …

Wordle is the Word

In STT on December 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm

OK, here’s another of those things that I heard of long ago (honest!), thought was totally cool, had lots of potential, combines two of my favorite thingstag clouds & graphic design – and then I promptly forgot about it … until today!

And I owe to Mary here in the NMRLS office for showing it off by using Wordle as a way to sort the context of some recent survey results.

Find it, use it, bookmark it here: http://www.wordle.net/

Wordle is fascinating even in black & white just to see what words actually are being used most often whether it be survey results, a strategic plan, a resume, or a blog posting (see below).
In case image doesn’t load (thanks WordPress!), try this link:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/23683499/null

My Windows 7 Install Experience

In STT on November 30, 2009 at 5:15 pm

As I’m sure you know by now, the lines to buy Windows 7 started on October 22nd, and I’m sure you attended a “Launch Party” too!

I’ve completely installed 4 copies of Win7, 3 copies almost installed (see that post here), and had on my MacBook Pro too for a while, so 8 Windows “install experiences” TOTAL thus far.

Three of these have been the FREE Evaluation Copy – Build 7100 on three different machines (as per the license for this formerly FREE release candidate version, kudos Microsoft!).   One of these was on a Mac via Apple Boot Camp and two of these installs on older NMRLS computer lab PC laptops.

On Thanksgiving Day I installed the retail version of Windows 7 Ultimate for my mother-in-law on her 17″ HP laptop, upgrading from Vista.  I was hoping that the only turkey in the house was basting in the oven! This may have been the most important upgrade I’ve ever performed(!) … given the possibility for familial strife had it not gone well … whew, it went well, albeit with some major quibbles on my part due to the incredible slowness and inane-ness of Windows installs (like not having the Mail and Photo software on the install disc!  It was the Ultimate version, shouldn’t it have everything!!!).

Generally speaking, other than the multiple reboots and numerous updates to download after initial install, it went pretty smoothly for a Windows install.  But, unlike my experience with Apple OS X or even Ubuntu upgrades, Windows 7 upgrades do take a lot of time … like pretty much write-off-your-afternoon or work-day kind of time.  This is mainly due to the fact you need to keep an eye on the machine in case it asks you a question or just plain stops the process … yeah, it’s a project …

TIP: decline the offer to download updates from the internet while performing the upgrade.  I’ve never gotten this to work, ever!  My experience is that while it makes online attempts for updates it slows the process down and at worst quits out of the whole upgrade process.  First thing you should do once Win7 is up and running is run a Windows Update to get your machine and Win7 up to speed.

Please Note that a Windows 7 install will reformat the disc of a Windows XP PC and may blow away any associated files, but Windows 7 retains files and programs when upgrading from Vista.  Although, always, ALWAYS! perform a backup before any upgrade!

Also, you may need to re-install drivers for sound cards, Ethernet cards, WiFi cards etc., etc.  Which is a pain, but Windows 7 is pretty good about finding these drivers itself or if it’s a Dell, just download the latest, even if it’s for WinXP, and Windows 7 seems to adapt (although, depends on age of your PC components, see my post on Ye Olde PCs here).

Oh, and update your anti-virus too! I recommend AVG Free.  Works like a charm on all versions of Windows and is FREE!  For spyware/malware, Windows Defender is included in the install, just remember to set it up to run regularly.  Or you might want to give Microsoft Security Essentials a try.  It’s the new FREE Microsoft anti-virus / anti-malware program.

BTW, pay attention to the little gray flag in the lower right corner of the screen.  Yeah, it’s the attention grabbing color of grayGRAY! This little flag might remind you to install your anti-virus program for instance… as this Mac guy totally forgot about that and was surfing the web (gasp!) before he remembered … I  did not have that problem when installing Snow Leopard 😉


Below are the system stats on the machines I’ve installed Windows 7 on thus far as well as the Windows Experience Score (WES) which rates your machine on a handy 1.0 – 7.9 scaleyep not 1-10, but 1 to 7.9, gotta luv the Microsoft …

Dell Latitude D620 latop (circa 2006):
2.0 GhzCore Duo T2500 / 2 GB RAM / 80 GB HD / 256MB video
WES = 3.5 (graphics low / hard drive high)

Mac mini desktop (circa 2008):
2.0 Ghz Core 2 Duo T7200 / 1 GB RAM / 120 GB HD / 256MB video
Running dual OS via Apple Boot Camp
WES = 3.3 (graphics low / processor high)

HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop (circa 2007):
1.8 Ghz AMD / 2 GB RAM / 160 GB HD / 256MB video(?)
WES = 3.0 (graphics low / memory high)

Dell Latitude D610 laptop (circa 2004):
2.0Ghz Pentium M / 2 GB RAM / 60 GB HD / 64 MB video card
WES = 2.0 (graphics low / memory high)

On the Plus Side: I will say that Windows 7 works much smoother on all the machines that I’ve upgraded.

  • No more of those constantly nagging security warnings
  • Quicker start up and shut-downs
  • The shut-down button actually shuts the computer down!!!
  • Very adept at finding and logging into WiFi networks
  • Gadgets can be placed anywhere on the desktop
  • Graphically more appealing overall
  • Even on “older” machines its quicker, certainly rids former Vista PCs of their sluggishness

Snow Leopard-Whaddya know? It just works!

In STT on October 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Windows 7 party-hype is cranking up so  as a Mac user I gotta tamp that down a bit. So,  I’ve been a very happy Snow Leopard 10.6 user since early September, installing it days after Apple’s unexpected early release of their new OS X operating system in late August.

It has a lot of hidden gems and nice visual tweaks as well as navigational tweaks.  It seems to work in a much more friendly manner with Windows networks too.  Both the Preview and QuickTime have new and easy to use editing features.  I keep discovering more nifty tricks every day.  MacWorld‘s website is a great source for all this.  Discovering new things in an OS that make you smile is a good thing 😉  … this ain’t Vista …

I’ve installed Snow Leopard on our Macs here at NMRLS which had formerly been running Leopard 10.5.  I installed it first on our venerable olde white 2006 MacBook (the first NMRLS Mac), no problem and ending up gaining hard disk space, that’s right recovered a good 11-12GB, which is important on an older 60 GB hard drive (that also need sroom to run Windows in our lab). This was true on every install, I regained hard disk space after the upgrade!

Next were our two circa 2007 Mac minis in the lab, worked like a charm.   And then staff circa 2008 MacBook Pros.  Nary a problem here either.  The install process couldn’t be easier.  You pop in the disk, click yes to the EULA and that’s it! No installation key codes, no clicking yes-yes-yes to re-boot seven times, it just does it’s thing, reboots once and it’s ready to use.  I know it such a crazy concept for upgrading an operating system … some helpful links below.

Quick Slideshow from NELA2009 with info on what Librarians like about Macs, where to buy & save, and cost comparisons Mac vs. Dell:
– Macs, OS X & the Library at NELA 2009
– Blog Post on OS Smackdown form NELA2009

Helpful Snow Leopard links from Scott:
http://delicious.com/bibliotechy/snowleopard

Below is link to a  great Snow Leopard compatibility wiki listing what versions of software work with Snow Leopard by real-world users who have tested it!  Also lists what needs to use Rosetta to run.  I even contributed to it ’caused it a wiki!  http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/

Apple’s list of compatible printers with drivers included in Snow Leopard.  For older HP printers I just went to the HP site and downloaded the most recent driver for each and worked like a charm: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3669

Find same post, but with slides in full living color at http://stt.posterous.com/

Quick Info on Gaming 4 Libraries

In STT on October 14, 2009 at 2:46 pm

A little something I whipped up for the 2009 NELA Annual Conference this weekend in Hartford, CT.  I get the pleasure of being one of the helper hosts in the Information Technology Section’s 2nd Annual Game Room.

Buying Games and Equipment
Game Stop
http://www.gamestop.com/
Goto Store Locator to find store nearest you

  • They sell all consoles and games & accessories for those systems (Wii, PlayStation, Xbox, DS, PSP)
  • They also sell USED games and equipment – take advantage of this and stretch your budget!
  • They take trade-ins, when your patrons stop using a game trade it in for something new!

Online Bibliography
Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki

Goto: Programming / Gaming

http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Gaming

Pew Internet & American Life Project – http://www.pewinternet.org/
Very good non-partisan source for data and trends on all aspects of how American use the internet and their computers.  Applicable studies listed below.
Goto
: http://www.pewinternet.org/topics/Gaming.aspx Or search site with keyword: gaming.

  • Major new study shatters stereotypes about teens & video games.
  • Teens, Video Games, and Civics.
  • Let the games begin: Gaming technology and college students
  • Adults and Video Games.

Entertainment Software Associationhttp://www.theesa.com/
Video game industry professional organization.  Promotes video gaming as well as is responsible for rating video games (ESRB).

Book Bibliography
Game On!  Gaming at the Library / Beth Gallaway

Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2009.
978-1555705954

Gaming in Academic Libraries: Collections, Marketing, & Information Literacy  / Amy Harris & Scott E. Rice (Editors)
Association of College & Research Libraries, 2008
978-0838984819

iTunes Linking Trick!

In STT on October 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Here’s a link to a Jing-cast I just did showing you how to link to pretty much anything in iTunes through a web browser.  And yes, you do need iTunes installed on your or your intended user’s computers.

How-To videohttp://www.screencast.com/t/49AEIUIq
Previous post on Jinghttp://www.nmrls.org/ce/stt/?p=113
iTunes U links on Scott’s delicious.comhttp://delicious.com/bibliotechy/itunesu

Sony luvs libraries!?

In STT on August 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm

See Article links below.  They expand on the press conference coverage of Sony’s new e-readersThe BIG NEWS is the possibility that they will offer a service to borrow e-books from public libraries on your Sony reader! What comes of this will be very interesting, but gosh it’s nice for a HUGE multi-national corporation to at least give lip service to an e-book model for libraries.
Maybe I’ll buy a Playstation 3 I feel so warm and fuzzy!


Windows 7 is coming to a PC near you this Fall!

In STT on July 24, 2009 at 11:10 am

I gotta say this new Window 7 is very slick and quite an improvement over Vista (and even XP), I think it might just catch on!  Windows 7 is due to hit store shelves in at least four editions on October 22. Up until mid-August you could get a FREE release candidate” of Windows 7 licensed through June 2010.  The license key was good on up to three PCs too! But, Microsoft  shut this down August 20.

Very Helpful Windows 7 Links:

Q: What if you want to try Windows 7 and see how it works?  See if it’s worth the upgrade and expense?

A: You could borrow a NMRLS Mac mini with Windows 7 installed!
All you need to provide is a monitor, we supply the unit, keyboard and mouse.  The Mac mini has both Apple OS X 10.5 and Windows 7 RC (with Office 2007) installed, it can boot to either.   It also has wifi built-in so it can join a public network in your library flawlessly (I promise!).  And I can set the mini to boot directly to Windows 7 and avoid all the Apple stuff (but, you won’t know what you’re missing!).

  • Just contact me if you’re interested: scott@nmrls.org.
  • NMRLS has lots of stuff to Loan! Find out more HERE.

how 2 learn tech n' gadgets made fun n' easy!

In STT on July 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I get the following question all the time from library staff, “I need to stay informed about technology and all those gadgets and I don’t know this stuff.  Are there good non-techy sources that are directed to libraries that I can read on a regular basis?”

A quick aside … there might be “good non-techy sources that are directed to libraries,” but why not just read good non-techy sources (that your patrons are reading) instead of waiting for the next issue of Library Journal?

OK, so my two favorite sources for tech & gadgets are Pogue & Mossberg from … gaspNEWSPAPERS!!!  You can read these on real paper at your local library, or online via their webpages, or via email, or iPhone App, or Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube or even podcasts (I know, the last two aren’t reading …).  What’s great about these newspapers is they have very good professional writers and they come out every day even! OK, that was another quick aside in favor of newspapers … which every librarian should be reading anyway … as a former on-the-desk Reference Librarian, that’s something I’ve always stuck too and pushed all my former circ and ref staff to do too … OK, enough with the asides already!

I am a BIG fan of David Pogue (NY Times), he has a weekly column where he reviews and explains all things gadget and tech.  He speaks plain English, is very funny and a joy to read or watch (he’s on YouTube too) even if you don’t care about what he is reviewing.  His column is usually in the Wed. or Thur. NYTimes and you can have an email sent if you set up a free account on nytimes.com (which is how I keep up).  Find his most recent column in the NYTimes Technology section here:
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html

And try his NYTimes tech blog here:
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com

The other very good, plain english, gadget guy is the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg.  Not as funny as Pogue, but his three columns (he farms it out to other reporters now too) are very good with tons of great info & tips.  I got turned on to him by my very non-techy mother-in-law!  His column is also usually in the Wed. or Thur. WSJ and you can have an email sent to you too if you set up a free account.  He’s online at: http://walt.allthingsd.com/

And other than this techy blog you’re reading,  I’ve got my own digital media website with linkS to almost everything under the sun gadget and media-wise, find it here:  http://www.nmrls.org/ce/digitalmedia.htm

I suggest starting out with Pogue, maybe even look up his video reviews on YouTube or NYTimes, if you end up liking his sense of humor, you’ll be hooked and can start teaching tech classes, blogging tech, and being an insufferable tech guru!

how 2 learn tech n' gadgets made fun n' easy!

In STT on July 7, 2009 at 4:40 pm

I get the following question all the time from library staff, “I need to stay informed about technology and all those gadgets and I don’t know this stuff.  Are there good non-techy sources that are directed to libraries that I can read on a regular basis?”

A quick aside … there might be “good non-techy sources that are directed to libraries,” but why not just read good non-techy sources (that your patrons are reading) instead of waiting for the next issue of Library Journal?

OK, so my two favorite sources for tech & gadgets are Pogue & Mossberg from … gaspNEWSPAPERS!!!  You can read these on real paper at your local library, or online via their webpages, or via email, or iPhone App, or Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube or even podcasts (I know, the last two aren’t reading …).  What’s great about these newspapers is they have very good professional writers and they come out every day even! OK, that was another quick aside in favor of newspapers … which every librarian should be reading anyway … as a former on-the-desk Reference Librarian, that’s something I’ve always stuck too and pushed all my former circ and ref staff to do too … OK, enough with the asides already!

I am a BIG fan of David Pogue (NY Times), he has a weekly column where he reviews and explains all things gadget and tech.  He speaks plain English, is very funny and a joy to read or watch (he’s on YouTube too) even if you don’t care about what he is reviewing.  His column is usually in the Wed. or Thur. NYTimes and you can have an email sent if you set up a free account on nytimes.com (which is how I keep up).  Find his most recent column in the NYTimes Technology section here:
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/technology/index.html

And try his NYTimes tech blog here:
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com

The other very good, plain english, gadget guy is the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg.  Not as funny as Pogue, but his three columns (he farms it out to other reporters now too) are very good with tons of great info & tips.  I got turned on to him by my very non-techy mother-in-law!  His column is also usually in the Wed. or Thur. WSJ and you can have an email sent to you too if you set up a free account.  He’s online at: http://walt.allthingsd.com/

And other than this techy blog you’re reading,  I’ve got my own digital media website with linkS to almost everything under the sun gadget and media-wise, find it here:  http://www.nmrls.org/ce/digitalmedia.htm

I suggest starting out with Pogue, maybe even look up his video reviews on YouTube or NYTimes, if you end up liking his sense of humor, you’ll be hooked and can start teaching tech classes, blogging tech, and being an insufferable tech guru!