I haven’t updated here recently, but for very good reason – it’s been a really busy month.
Starting on May 4th, I am going to be the Research Librarian at Perkins (formerly known as Perkins School for the Blind, but they do a lot of other things besides being a school these days.)
The job involves providing reference and research assistance for people at Perkins, for people who are interested in the unique collections there, and supporting the research of educators who come from various places (including 67 countries) to learn new techniques and skills. You can learn more about the Hayes Research Library (including links to finding aids and archival materials that are online) on their website.
I’m really looking forward to learning a lot more about their collections and resources (they have the largest non-medical collection of materials about blindness in the US).
I’m also very excited to be moving back to Massachusetts, much closer to many friends and to my mother and brother (and his family) so it’s a great move in multiple ways.
I expect to pick up regular posting again in a couple of weeks.
Per their blog, there are several notable things today:
1) The iPad app is out, so if you prefer reading on the iPad, have fun. (You do need to be running iOS7 – the join page, linked below, has device specifics info.)
2) They’re removing the invitation system (and you get a free month trial) – you can join here.
3) They’ve added the ability to browse their catalog on the website (you still can’t search, but if you’re trying to decide if there are enough books you might want to read, the browsing will be a big help.)
I’m still very happy with it, but I know there’s a number of people who were interested in finding out more, or who were waiting for the iPad app.
I’m spending a lot more time on instant messenger chat than I used to. And I have to admit, I really enjoy it.
Continue reading IM chat
Of course, just after I did the last one, I ended up finding a bunch of seasonally relevant ones, so here, bonus.
Libraries and related topics:
- The Discovery Channel has announced footage of live giant squid! (The link comes from Deep Sea News, and the author talks about whether one can trust the announcement – apparently, yes.)
- Bad Astronomy also explains the awesome Cassini photo of Saturn I linked last post.
To put the “Ok, so what am I doing with this new computer” into context, it’d help to know what else there is:
My geeky stuff:
My work computer is a Dell laptop, running Win7, and a variety of software, including the Adobe Creative suite. I mostly live in my web browser, Word, Excel, and forays into various Adobe products, but less than I did before most of our website management moved into WordPress from Dreamweaver. Our IT policy is that we can use work machines for reasonable personal use, but in practice, it lives on my desk (plugged into a widescreen monitor) unless I’m at the reference desk or on my fortnightly evening reference shift. (However, if I ever *did* have a trip where I really wanted a computer, not the iPad, I could easily bring it.)
At home, I have:
- My primary computer (since 2009, this has been a MacBook, it is about to be the new iMac). It lives on a small rolling desk by my couch, and I often have a small black cat within arm’s reach when I’m home. (Not the best ergonomics ever, but awesome on the ‘reach out and get purred at’ quality of life scale.)
- An iPad 2 and a keyboard case (now my primary portable device: it doesn’t do quite *everything* I would want in a primary device, but it’s manageable even for a week-long trip.)
- An iPhone, which (as I’ve commented to various people) is less phone and more “portable computer that fits in my pocket that occasionally makes a phone call.” I am really not a phone person.
- A Time Capsule, which stores my backups and also purchased digital downloads (movies, TV series) that are not in active use. It is also my wifi router.
Other bits of tech:
I should note here that I don’t own a TV and haven’t since 2005. (This has been largely for space reasons: I watch things via Hulu, Netflix, and various other streaming tools.) But part of why I’m excited about the iMac is that watching something while keeping an eye on my IM windows will now be much easier.
I will eventually get a USB DVD drive, but this past week is the first time I’ve stuck a DVD in my computer in about a year.
I believe in naming my technology. And sometimes renaming it. Here’s my about to be naming scheme:
- the Time Capsule: alexandria (really, what else do you name a storage device if you’re me?)
- the local wifi network : musica humana (the term for human-made music in discussion of music of the spheres)
- the new iMac: diapason (the term for a perfect octave, in Pythagorean ratio discussion of music.)
- the iPhone : diapente (the term for a 4:6 or 2:3 ratio in Pythagorean ratios of music, a fifth.)
- the iPad : diatesseron (the term for a 9:12 or 3:4 ratio in Pythagorean ratios of music, a fourth.)
You might notice a relationship between the screen ratios on the last two devices and their names. They’re imperfect, but amusing.