28 December 2008


I'd almost forgotten my blog, but after four Christmases in seven days, I am now alternating between lying on the couch and addressing my techno to do list. An hour ago I found out I can email myself from my phone (after 20 mins trying to upload photos via a cable). Hooray, who knew. The other night I spent two hours trying to download my own song from my pc to my mp3 player. It worked in the end but there was a lot of swearing involved.

My new year's resolution is to blog more and lose the anxiety about trying to be witty every post. I know, Wired magazine said the blog is dead, but I've hardly got going...

Above is a real sign I saw on my holiday to the Grampians.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

11 October 2008

Update on the music machine

A friend at work told me that the amazing music machine is totally animation and that there is no such university. (Thanks, Sarah.) Well, that's just destroyed the magic of the Internet for me (but it looked so real!).
Oh well, it's still fun to watch.

26 July 2008

Amazing Music Machine

A friend at work sent me an email about this machine (thanks Lyn!).

The email said:
"This incredible machine was built as a collaborative effort between the
Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of
Engineering at the University of Iowa . Amazingly, 97% of the machines
components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation
Equipment of Bancroft,Iowa, yes farm equipment!

It took the team a combined 13,029 hours of set-up, alignment,
calibration, and tuning before filming this video but as you can see it
was WELL worth the effort. It is now on display in the Matthew Gerhard
Alumni Hall at the University and is already slated to be donated to the Smithsonian."

Truly amazing, thought I'd share it with a few more readers.


Today, I am mooching around the house and
Make your own free clipart like this @ www.TXT2PIC.com with free web based tools (hundreds of image generators that run through a web broswer, no software to buy or install).
Made with free image tools @ TXT2PIC.com
on the couch,eating cherries and full of reverie.
Well, you know, that is what I was doing before I sat down at the PC and started noodling around, especially trying to repost the code that would recognise my change in the font size of the word 'languishing'...
Oh well, burning eyes and three hours gone I am really enjoying reading the blogs of friends and work colleagues and actually it's a pleasant way to spend a cold Saturday afternoon.

25 July 2008

23 things + 5 : Task #5

I've been reading about the Semantic Web . It's fascinating to think that when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, he was already working towards the concept of the Semantic Web. From my limited reading on the subject, the Semantic Web is all about computers being able to search between different types and genres of data and bring these searches together to create much more useful results and applications for everyday use on many levels. This might include:
  • answering complicated questions which at present are not interpretable by computers.
  • getting different types of technology to interact for a more streamlined outcome for people.
  • reducing the amount of interpretation of data that humans are required to do, so that we could rely on machines to do much more of the matching up and organising for us.
And all of this with no sinister overtones either...

24 July 2008

23 + 5 : Task #4 c

I worked out what I was doing wrong with Voyage. I was loading the url of the web page I wanted to feed into Voyage, instead of clicking on the RSS icon on the web page and cutting and pasting THAT url into Voyage. This took only 4 days to work out. So actually, Voyage works ok. But how does it know that it's me? I don't log in but when I open Voyage again, my feed from yesterday is there. How does it do that?

23 July 2008

23 + 5 : Task #4 b

Voyage: still waiting for that feed to load...

22 July 2008

23 + 5 : Task #4 a

I have been having a go at Voyage today. It's a feed reader with quite a beautiful layout. I really like how each post just floats. I tried to add a feed an hour ago, though, and I am still waiting...

18 July 2008

23 + 5 Task #3

Today I had a look at KartOO, a search engine with a difference. This is quite fun at first, just in the way that my search results are presented to me - everything is shown in a visual layout like a map, with links to how different search destinations are connected. A search on my favourite actor, Gary Oldman, brings up a very colourful first page of connected maps to info about every possible public aspect of his life, career, education, relationships and lifestyle choices. This is only the first of about 4 million maps of info about Gary or stuff related him. Pheww!

I also did a search on my own name, as one does, and was once again horrified at the number of already-pictured-on-the-web singer/songwriters with my birth name. Really scary. Lucky I have a swathe of pseudonyms just crying out to be employed...

The disadvantage of KartOO seems to be that I can't do an advanced search, or, in fact, any other than a general search, as far as I can see, so the options are a bit limited - although, I guess the types of web pages shown on the KartOO map, (blogs, news, photo, posters, selected movie titles, etc) would help me hone down my search to some degree. Not necessarily in the specific direction I might be looking for though.

Overall, KartOO is a bit of fun and is a good example of an alternative presentation style for a search engine.

Personally, my favourite is Brendan Dawes' McGoogle (after clicking on this link, scroll down to try) it's a classic.

17 July 2008

23 + 5 : Task #2

I had a look at the VUFind Search Tool the other day. It was quite fun to do a simple search across all formats, whether books, online, maps, microform, or audio. The demonstration search just uses a small database of items, which is effective enough at showing how the application works.

Today I had a play with the National Library of Australia's VUFind Portal which was really fun. I entered my home town as a search and scrolled through the 6 pages of items in various formats. Mostly maps, dairy farming reports, church treatises and genealogy, as well as a bit of poetry by some people I actually know. How exciting. I could tell you the name of my home town, but then I would have to kill you ;)

I like the VUFind, Web 2.0 type searching that is available now. It's so comprehensive. I found it easy to navigate - there are not many clicks to get to where you are going. Subject headings lead to hits I might have missed. I really like the breakdown of items into format type, as well as the author/subject/series/publisher/geographical links, which help one head off on various searching tangents very easily.

If it also sorts between items that are available and not, it will be perfect!

12 July 2008

I love this song!

They have a record out now, but when all that Swedish band Oh Laura had was a song in an ad for a car, there were already 1.3 million hits on the youtube video of the ad by the time i got to it. The album is called A song inside my head, a demon in my bed and the whole thing is superb. Frida Orn's vocals are really as good as that few seconds of Release Me I first heard on the ad, which sent shivers down my spine. My partner and I first thought we were hearing the voice of Melanie Safka, or possibly Cerys Matthews. Anyway, Frida, you now have 1.3 million and two fans and you certainly don't need any further promotional assistance from me, so off you go and take the world by storm, you gorgeous thing!
Now I really need to find a company that wants one of my songs in their ad. It's the way of the future and I no longer believe there is shame in it if I have no reservations about the product they're selling. I must find a cunning plan....

10 July 2008

23 things + 5

After a long absence where I totally did not blog about anything (with good reason but that's another story), I am moving on to the next 5 things after 23 things, in our library's Library 2.0 program.

The first of the five extra tasks is to register and explore LinkedIn , which is a professional networking site. I have been signed up for a week now and am still exploring the possibilities for working life. So far I have created a profile, added some contacts and invited people I know to join. I was also able to find a couple of older contacts from past workplaces. Not too scary so far. (I hope these past contacts aren't too freaked out by a hello from me after ten years...)

I was not sure how I felt about having my profile 'out there' but I'm sure mostly friendly and helpful things will come of this. I am pronoid, after all i.e. believe that people have mostly good intentions.

I am now wondering, what does LinkedIn actually do? Nothing happens really, once you put stuff out there, especially if you really like the job you have already. I enjoyed making a really long job history though.

06 March 2008

The end of 23 Things - for now.

Well here I am at the end of 23 Things, and it's a great feeling. I've enjoyed this project immensely.
The most fun part for me was starting to blog. This has opened up a fantastic way to express my stuff in a way that retains the discipline of writing to an audience. My blog life will definitely expand to encompass wider content from now on. It's a really immediate creative tool that has the added benefit of feedback from friends, peers and strangers.

(I've just been drinking coffee, thinking about the Singularity again and having delusions of grandeur about becoming a maths geek. When will I fit that in, what with the Library Degree and the Literature Degree...?)

How could I draw on what I have learned in 23 Things to help me in my work? Well, I feel more at home on the Web now, so when I study again, I know what parts of Web technology I'm drawn to now, such as design.

Also, I've found that amongst friends, it's really important being a library technician, to know about Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, because people are interested to hear what is developing and if a library technician can't explain some of this, who can? Students are using these technologies and I feel empowered to be able to at least relate to the networking tools they are using. It is great to love my work, but it's also great to be current in my skills, technologically and culturally. (Keeping in mind that whatever the technology, the message is the message now...)

How could the Library use the technologies featured in 23 Things to improve its service?
Well, the Library's Blog has been a great way to keep students up to date and informed. RSS feeds could be incorporated in the Library's services in some way - maybe under subject headings for industry-related Web pages.
The whole idea of natural-language tagging of items in the library interests me - and the idea of students being able to post reviews of books read for their peers to refer to. From playing with iGoogle, the whole of idea of customising one's own search page is great. Perhaps each student could have their own personalised space fully customised within the University's Web environment in the future. And podcasting would be a great training tool.

How do I think the 23 Things program could be improved in the future? I'm not really sure, the difficulty of tasks really varied but that's OK. I guess we're all just wondering whether another 23 Things have already emerged since we started this project. Probably: maybe we'll have to do this every year! What I really liked was that all the staff at my library totally helped each other with this project. The generosity of spirit shown was fantastic. It's been really great to share new skills. The other wonderful thing that has happened is the real increase in morale and camaraderie amongst staff as we have learned about each others' interests and hobbies through blogging.

Do I think I'll keep blogging or using any of the other tools I learned about? Yes! And I'm really interested in what's next.


Second Life

I have been reading about Second Life and having a look from an aerial distance at various university and college islands from around the world - not that I can see much without signing in. I've also watched some introductory videos on YouTube, such as Murdoch University's video. What I find interesting is the idea suggested in the above video that the Web as we know it may in the future lose its 'flatness'. Although Second Life may not hold a great deal of attraction to the general public at present, its "3D-ness" might be a precursor to the Web of the future. Perhaps navigating the web with an avatar and moving through our daily activities in a three- dimensional cyberspace might be as banal as keyboard and mouse navigation through flat pages is now.

I'm not sure about Second Life's usefulness for libraries. Sure, libraries are teaching clients how to create an avatar and move around, universities are conducting forums and classes, but is it really so popular that there is a need to reach students 'in world'? How is a reference librarian answering a student's question in Second Life different from answering the question in person, by phone or email? Well, I guess the librarian in Second Life has wings...

Isn't the quality of information provided more important than where or how the interaction takes place? And if the information can be provided quickly and easily by the means we use now, why spend big bucks on IT building a virtual space that might go out of fashion next month?
O yeah, and it costs money just to hang out in Second Life, doesn't it?

I can see how Second Life is a great space for artists, architects and musicians. It is a way to reach a whole new audience that may not have been reached. However, art, design and music are audiovisual and have to be seen and heard. Information at the moment is just written or spoken, so how is it more attractive in Second Life? Maybe for remote users and those with a disability? It is a way to get people together to interact in transcontinental conferences or forums - but so is Google Docs, videoconferencing etc.

Hmmm....Maybe babies born now will laugh at this later.

Right now I'm back being interested in the Singularity . They were talking about it on the radio this week. It's my concept for the week. Take a look at the Singularity Institute's Web Page for more info, or read some Raymond Kurzweil. This guy is really interesting, whether you agree with him or not - and he's invented a heap of stuff.
If you think Second Life is creepy, wait till the Singularity, ha ha.

29 February 2008


I love this! I've never tried podcasting before and it is so easy. I went straight to RRR FM and subscribed to some of my favourite shows, such as Film Buff's Forecast , Radio Therapy and Einstein a Go Go. How cool is this. Now I just have to get them into my pod, which is totally full, but listened to some on Google Reader straight away. I am going to love this. Now it doesn't matter if I go out or sleep in and miss good radio.


YouTube is heaps of fun. I just found a beautiful piece of music video called "I am the Sub Librarian" This is really nice. I love YouTube.

22 February 2008

Library 2.0 movement

From what I have been reading about the Library 2.0 movement, it is all about information flowing at least two ways, not just from the library to the user, but from the user to the library and on to other users. All the new technologies we have been playing with and exploring for the 23 things project make this multi-directional flow of information possible to varying degrees.

The parent movement, Web 2.0 is also about that interactive flow of information becoming richer and more targeted and useful as it travels around between users using various web platforms, whether they be social networking, media sharing, or information organising applications. (See a list of 25 social networking tools here. )

With regard to libraries and the 2.0 movement, this could mean that students could in the future rate and review books held in a university library, on the library's website, so that others could benefit from peer feedback. Students could also create their own tagging of useful materials, using words that are meaningful for them rather than the traditional Library of Congress Subject Headings.

Then there is the virtual library idea, where many libraries are now making their own My Space pages or setting up real estate in Second Life to experiment with reaching people differently. I haven't explored these ideas much and will read more about them before commenting.

27 January 2008

Pet photo

Originally uploaded by Mishalleneous
Here is that pesky cat Po, looking handsome and harmless on the back verandah.

Photo of my pet on the library wiki

On Friday I put a photo of my cat on the library wiki. It was a bit fiddly but I had some help. He looks like he wouldn't hurt a flea but he is really mad, bad and dangerous to know.

Rufus Wainwright

I'm really excited about going to the Rufus Wainwright concert next weekend. He is such a wonderful songwriter, can't wait to see him live!
To see the clip of Go or go ahead, go here.
To see the new video of Going to a town, go here.
Or for his web page, go here.

We love you, Rufus!

08 January 2008

Del.icio.us 2

I played around with del.icio.us a bit more yesterday and found that if I got the bookmarker and tag installed on my browser it was simple to tag web pages as I found them. Now it makes a bit more sense. So I like del.icio.us a bit more now.

07 January 2008


I've been having a go at Del.icio.us but have not found it very useful. I imported a couple of favourites but when I searched on Dr Who, the search engine failed. It's the third time I've explored the site and I can see it would be useful if I was getting a new computer and wanted to save my bookmarks but I don't get the sharing my bookmarks with other people thing. I would need to be having a real conversation with the person next to me to do that and then I would just email them the link. Sorry to be negative.