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).
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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.