ITART Update

For those of you who follow this site you are very aware that Michael Sauers is providing new and interesting technology tips nearly every day. ITART really hopes this information is helpful to you in providing great service to your library users. If there are topics you like to know more about or if you just discovered something new and cool, please let us know.

Plans for Fall Conference in Omaha are in full swing. ITART will sponsor a Preconference “Unconference” this year among other offerings. If you have never experienced an Unconference, here is your opportunity. We will be providing more information about how an Unconference works a little later.

We have a full slate of officers running for 2009-2010:
Chair-Elect: Amy Mather and Karen Dalziel
Secreatary: Becky Wymer and Mary Ellen Ducy
Look for ballots late this summer. In order to vote, you do need to be a member of ITART (hint,hint). The cost is only $5 and the benefits are substantial.

On June 19th NLA will be having a strategic planning session to discuss future directions for the organization. If you have ideas or comments, please let me know. My email is: jboyer@unomaha.edu

Enjoy your summer!
Jan Boyer, ITART Chair 2008/2009

Looking for search plugins?

http://mycroft.mozdev.org/images/sherlock-head.pngI love me some search plugins. Those wonderful additions to the search box in Firefox, and more built-in to Chrome via keywords. Recently I was wondering if there was one for searching Netflix. I tried looking on the Netflix site but I couldn’t find one. I do know how to write them myself, but that’s not exactly an efficient use of my time if someone has already written one. So, off to the Google and what do I find? The Myroft Project. This is a directory of thousands of search plugins, including the Netflix one I was looking for. You can search by site name, category, country, and language. If you can’t find it here, you’ll probably have to write it yourself. (If you do, be sure to add it to the directory.)

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Another way to keep your PC up-to-date

RadarSync Previously I’ve mentioned Secunia PSI, software that will scan your computer for insecure software. As important as that software is on all the computers I run, it doesn’t actually find everything. The key is the difference between “insecure” and “out-of-date”. In other words, you might have a program that has no known security vulnerabilities on your computer, but that doesn’t mean it’s the current version. To check for current versions try RadarSync.

Once downloaded and installed RadarSync quickly scans your system looking at the version numbers of your installed programs and hardware drivers. Those numbers will be run against it’s list of current versions. If there’s a newer version available you’ll be given the ability to directly download the new version. Once downloaded you’ll be able to install it directly with the option to first create a system restore point. (I recommend this should you be updating drivers.)

Now that I’ve run both Secunia PSI and Radar Sync, all of my home computers are completely up-to-date and secure. (As secure as any computer can be anyway.)

RadarSync does have a few additional features, such as “packaging” software downloads but that required registration and/or a fee so I’ll not get into them here.

The Internet 1993

The internet was a novelty whose concept few had grasped and most were confused by. This CBC-TV clip from “Prime Time News” reminds us of online’s astonishing conquest. Find this and 12,000 other clips from the CBC Digital Archives.

<a onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outgoing/youtube.com/watch?v=KDxqfgIDvEY&amp;hl');" href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=KDxqfgIDvEY&amp;hl">http://youtube.com/watch?v=KDxqfgIDvEY&amp;hl</a>

Check your links

I_heart_validator_lg When was the last time you checked for broken links on your library’s Web site? If you can’t remember, or it’s been more than a month or two, head on over to the W3C Link Checker today and enter your site’s URL. Feel free to play around with the options, most importantly “Hide redirects” but there’s no need on a first run if you’re just wondering how much work you have ahead of you as a result.

Downloading YouTube content made better

images There are plenty of sites which will allow you to download YouTube videos. However, Farkie takes most of them one step better. As typical, enter the URL of the page containing the video you want to gram and click Download. After a few moments you’ll be presented with links for the various formats in which you can grab the file. Maybe most importantly, one of the links will typically be an MP3 download. In other words, you can download just the audio from nearly any YouTube video. That’s cool!

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Shortcut the keyboard

keyxl Are you a keyboard junkie? Do you long for those non-mouse days of yore? Do you know what CTRL-Z, CTRL-P, and WIN-L will do for you? If so, be sure to check out KeyXL, the complete online keyboard shortcuts database. Just pick a category, then find the program you’re using. You’ll be presented with all of the known keyboard shortcuts for that program. It does mainly focus on Windows programs but there are Mac products scattered throughout.

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Control Your Phone via Your Computer

image I’ve found myself preparing several presentations on mobile technology lately and one of the central topics of these presentations will be what you can do with cell phones. My phone is a Motorola Q9c which runs the Windows Mobile OS. The biggest problem has been how to show what’s going on on a 2 inch screen to a room full of people. I’ve finally found a solution for Windows Mobile phones named MyMobiler. Just install this small program and then connect your phone to your computer. Once connected launch the program and you’ll be able to:

  • View your mobile screen on your desktop.
  • Control your mobile by using desktop keyboard and mouse.
  • Copy/Cut/Paste text between mobile and desktop.
  • Capture mobile screen as a screenshot.
  • Create a screencast of you using your phone.
  • Drag and drop files to your mobile.
  • Support ActiveSync / IP Connection
  • Support Mobile Explorer (File Browse)

This little program has removed the need for me to take any more photographs of my phone with my digital camera. I can’t wait to try controlling my phone live on the screen in a future presentation.

In ur Tweets, Graphin' Your Stats!

Are you a statistics person? I hated my stats class in grad school but I like looking at colorful charts and graphs. If you’re a Twitter users and like those kinds of stats, run your Twitter account through TweetStats. Just enter your Twitter account information and get back a whole lot of charts and graphs based on your account. Here’s the results from my account to give you an example.

My TweetStats

Get a free copy of SnagIt

snagit I’ve been using SnagIt for years to create screenshots for my blogs, presentations, articles and nine published books. So, I can unequivocally say it gets the job done and then some. It’s worth every penny of the $49.95 list price but for now you can get version 7.2.5 for free. OK, it’s not the current version (9.1) but it’ll do just about anything you can think of screenshot-wise. If you want, you can then upgrade to the current version for 50% off.

To get version 7.2.5 head on over to the registration page, use the download link to get the software and fill out the form to be sent your registration key. The page you land on after clicking “Send My Key” will contain the 50% upgrade offer.

I have no idea how long this offer will last so don’t hesitate to download it today.