Friday, April 27, 2007

it's 5 o'clock somewhere

for the web 2.0 awards "thing," the first item i clicked on was fun stuff and boy did i pick a winner. i even went back to browse around a few other categories such as books, games, health, organization, retail, travel, and video just to make sure.

there were things i'd seen before and things that were brand new to me, but nothing caught my attention quite like cocktailbuilder. i used to use barbug for my "this is what i've got, what can i make?" needs, but cocktailbuilder does it far more elegantly.

type in the items you have on hand (alcohols, mixers, fruit) and it populates a list of drink names you can make with what you have, as well as other drinks you could make if you had one more thing, two more things, etc. and here's what really got me: IT REMEMBERS YOUR LIST. i closed out and went on the desk and came back and returned and it still had my list on there. i don't know if it's an IP thing or what, but i loved it. i'm going straight home and entering a true list of everything in the house. you can delete items from the list when you run out, and it will change the list of what you can make accordingly, without having to click refresh or submit or anything.

in addition to this function, you can search recipes, suggest recipes, make a list of a few cocktails to print a menu, and submit your own concoctions for inclusion. all of it happens on one screen, fading in ghostily and automatically. it's just plain groovalicious.

i may be the only person who's happy to have a reason to have the computer on for a party, but this could really be fun.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

where the future is being

i miss dr. bunsen honeydew sometimes. but how cool is it that there is a muppet wiki?

google labs is cool. i looked at google trends as david suggested and entered "cat videos." i was delighted to see that seattle is the number 9 place where this search is entered. hee.

i looked at google music trends and learned that of the top 20 songs, five are by linkin park. i don't think i'd know linkin park if they appeared on my front porch. i'm not sure how they gather the information but it seems to be drawn from instant messenger or something (which kind of freaks me out a bit). it says "what google talk users are listening to" so maybe it's just what's playing on the computer when they are chatting rather than what they are discussing in their chat windows. msn messenger does that too. it was nice to see snow patrol and the fray on the list.

it's nice that google is getting into the feed reader game too with google reader, i'm a great fan of one stop shopping and if i could have my google home page have my feeds and my news and all that other stuff all together i'd be a happy camper. until something new and shiny came along, that is.

i'm delighted to live in a city that has google transit available, and i feel guilty that its trip planner surpasses that of metro. i typed in the airport abbreviation and my home zip and it gave me routes and a map instantly, much more comprehensibly than metro. yay and sigh.

Friday, April 20, 2007

zoho zoho a pirate's life for me

today i learned all about online software. well not all about it, i don't suppose, but i visited google docs and zoho and messed about a little bit and here i am.

first things first: i LOVE free things! free things are cool! i can't figure out why i didn't know about this stuff before! i mean, i just bought a computer and i agonized far too long about whether i needed the full office suite or not, and now i find out i didn't need ANY of it! rats rats rats.

i was pleased to learn that i preferred zoho over google docs. i'm sure google docs will take over the world, but zoho has more programs, and behaved better when i pasted in some text and monkeyed with it. it looks like it even has a version of publisher! neither one would change my font to suit me, but maybe i was going too fast.

library dude commented on the kcls27things blog that it's a good way to convert a word document to pdf, which is brilliant. i will have to check to see if it goes the other way as well. i could really get behind that idea.

the possibilities for a group to work on a document collaboratively are wonderful, it makes me want to get on another committee right away to try it out.

long ago in another life, i was frustrated by having to haul around floppy disks with me wherever i went, and never knowing what computer had my stuff saved on it, and having to do work at different workstations, and so on and so forth. i was thrilled with the advent of the zip disk, to which i consolidated dozens of floppies, and then the flash drive, to which i consolidated several zip disks. somewhere in there, during the era of the floppies, i used an "online hard drive" but that predates high speed access so it was mostly annoying. and it was only storage, so you couldn't play with things or enjoy the luxury of constant autosaving (which is also lifesaving).

so these are great and i can see myself using them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

just can't wait for 3.0

i have to grouse for just a little bit before i can get on to the glories of library 2.0.

case in point: i got in trouble for instant messaging at the information desk when i first came to KCLS. i came from another large public library system, where i had many friends and acquaintances across age level specialty and throughout the organization. several of these friends were in my instant messaging buddy list, and were far more available to me than kcls staff. working the information desk and having an instant message window open was not common there, but it was habit among my circle. we had libraries of various sizes, but were often alone on the desk if not the only librarian in the building. when faced with a question outside our expertise, we'd ask each other, getting answers for the patrons from someone across town, in the workroom, upstairs in the children's room, or anywhere else they might be logged in from (even home).

don't get me wrong, instant messaging is a social tool, and provides interpersonal contact in addition to (and precedence over) professional service in most cases, but now that it's all legitimate and 2.0, i wish the folks who reprimanded me would just say "hey, i had no idea what a visionary you were at the time, good on ya!" and no, i know we're not addressing instant messaging as part of this program, but it broke onto the KCLS scene during the course of it so it's fair game for comment.

one more small point: each of the five articles on this topic has at least one editing error, be it a left out word or disagreement between noun and verb, which make me wish they themselves were in wiki or perpetual beta so i could fix them and then focus more on what they say rather than how they say it.

i must not have had enough tea this morning.

ok, so, 2.0--i have heard more than once the mention of "perpetual beta" which i think must be accepted and acknowledged. this is absolutely critical. there can never be a final draft of anything, as i've seen in my recent experiences on the web page redesign advisory committee and the reader's advisory plan committee. even if there was just one week between meetings, the whole scope could change in the interim, leaving us sadly out of date no matter how open ended we tried to make things. we talked about blogging in both groups, while the blogging committee was meeting furiously at the same time, and things are going to be completely different after everything has been through the mandatory administrative approval (waiting) period.

catalog explorer already provides information about nearby resources (including KCLS databases and nearby library systems) but that needs to be expanded and explored. catalog explorer also provides some of the relevance ranking mentioned in one of the articles (i read all five), but could probably enhance that further as well. i'd like to see a search interface that could combine the concrete function of the classic catalog with the fuzzy yet often desired results of catalog explorer. now THAT would be cool.

so these ideas are great, and it would be good to explore them, but i don't know how we're doing so far and don't know where we're going with it. there are still lots of committees working on plans and policies and i don't see that going anywhere fast.

have it your way

i gave the kcls27things custom search engines a try. i did searches on locations, book groups, and crafts.

i preferred google because it doesn't integrate advertisements and presents a clean and uncluttered results list. i found rollyo's red anxiety inducing, and the results list messy. i'm glad they indicate what links are sponsored, and i understand that everyone needs funding, but it wasn't what i'm looking for in a results list.

so i guess google has taken yet another step toward world domination. and off i go to make my own. i'm going to do free video sites, because i can't get enough cat videos. but you can search for any sort of videos.

Friday, April 06, 2007

fun fun fun

this is a catch up week and time to play. all i have to say is thank heaven for "post options." and if you don't know what i mean, even better for me.

here i am on the simpsons. (do your own here.)

i couldn't really find a way to make my hair messy, and clearly trinny and susannah haven't been anywhere near springfield.

here i am on south park. (do your own here.)

this seems closer to my true self than the other one. i like that i can have a cup of tea and design my own t-shirt.
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