The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte
 Friday, July 19, 2002

netConnect The Dots

The July 15 issue of Library Journal is out with lots of tasty articles that I will have to find time to read later (like Creative Intranets), but it also includes the summer supplement of netConnect. Partake and enjoy:

And that's just for starters! It's a chock-full issue, so check out the whole thing. And I'm not just saying that because I wrote this issue's Product Pipeline column.  :-)

1:50:54 PM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!

The RSS Engine Of Choice For Choosy Librarians

James is forcing me to do the happy dance. He's got the RSS Engine providing feeds for the following:

Must go dance some more...!

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TiVo Still Not Listening To Its Customers

TiVo: Why It Gets No Gold Stars for Mandatory Ads

"I largely ignored the first, frantic messages I received about the vexing 'gold star' problem--until it happened to me. One morning, a new entry magically appeared on my TiVo Central menu: 'Counting Crows Music & Interviews!' had materialized right below 'Messages & Setup....'

The Whingers are all riled up because there's no way to delete these gold-star ads once they show up on your TiVo system. They stay there, taking up valuable hard drive space that could otherwise be devoted to recordings of your favorite shows, until TiVo decides to takes them away and replace them with other gold-star ad content....

We TiVo subscribers paid for that hard drive space, and we continue to pay for it on a monthly basis. Are we wrong to resent it when, after charging us hundreds for the hardware and (over the course of a few years) hundreds in subscription fees, after collecting and selling our personal viewing data, TiVo sees fit to use up precious hard drive space, too?

Is there no end to this perfidy? Is the TiVo service really worth this? Ah, there's the rub, and the reason other TiVo subscribers will dismiss this rant as pointless whinging: The TiVo service IS worth it." [ZDNet]

Actually, it's not worth it. Maybe if they were able to send targeted ads that you could delete when you want to delete them, then it might conceivably be worth it. Get a ReplayTV instead - SonicBlue fights disseminating your personal data and they innovate with the consumer in mind, not the industry!

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Relive America's Past

"ProQuest Releases Complete Digital Backfile of The New York Times
This file begins in 1871 and runs to 1999. It includes over 25 million articles. From the news release, "Every backfile issue of The New York Times has been digitized from cover to cover, including news stories, editorials, photos, graphics, and advertisements. Searchers can use basic keyword, advanced, guided, and relevancy search techniques to locate information. Or, they can browse through issues page by page, as one would browse a printed edition. Search results lists provide bibliographic information, including date, issue, article headline, page number, and byline (where given). Users may choose to display the full page image of any page in any issue."
See Also: In June, Gale released a digitized archive of The Times (London). This archive runs from 1785-1985.
See Also: Learn More About ProQuest's Historical Newspaper Program" [The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk]

Thank your local library for this, because there would never be enough individual paying customers to make it worthwhile for ProQuest to finish and maintain this project. Very nice!

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Maybe I'll Switch Someday, Too....

Obviously the biggest thing I missed while off playing was Steve Jobs keynote address at this week's MacWorld conference, which is a weird thing for me to say because I've always been a Windows user. Call me stupid if you want to, but I had a bad experience with Macs at my first job, and I've just gone along with Windows ever since (even though I have bad experiences with Windows, too).

However, I'm at a point where I don't want to upgrade to Windows XP, and I don't really want to re-format my hard drive to upgrade to Windows 2000, which will only take me so far anyway. So for the first time, I will actually consider a Mac the next time I buy a computer. Especially after this week's announcements. Steve has definitely gotten my attention with the whole iPod for Windows, make Audible titles work on iPods, and synch with everything in the house thing.

Mac Net Journal has a good overview of this week's announcements and a bevy of MacWorld coverage in general. The Peanut Gallery, on the other hand, knows exactly which parts are reeling me in and highlights the features that lazy geeks like me will find most appealing.

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Is This Thing On?

So Marsha and I had a great time hanging out in the city. We highly recommend the chocolate pita at Papagus as one of the better dessert dining experiences in the Chicagoland area! Don't forget to order a Greek Flag with it....

We also played with Matt, who as I may have mentioned before, is the producer of Eight Forty-Eight, a show on our local NPR station WBEZ. Matt's a pretty smart guy, and he's quite proficient at editing digital audio. Guess what, though? He didn't know what blogging is. He was unaware of the Patriot Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the NPR linking controversy. I say "was" unaware because I'm rectifying this situation.  :-)

I also noted how much more convenient it would be if NPR provided its shows in an MP3 format I could take with me, rather than only streaming them in Real. I'm sure NPR has issues with this, but it would certainly help me become a listener again, and isn't that the ultimate point?

Matt says he's going to start reading my blog, so here's the test - some links I promised I'd round up for him and Marsha. Fun stuff for now, with the more serious stuff to come later (probably after vacation). Marsha, on the other hand, didn't even pretend like she'd start reading my blog. Maybe I could reel her in if I posted some links about straws instead.

12:13:05 AM  |   Permanent link here  |    |   Trackback [] | Google It!