Monthly Archives: July 2009

Day In The Life – Monday

6:30 – Alarm goes off, dogs go outside, I go under the shower. Dressed and out the door by 7:20, coffee in hand by 7:30
7:40am – come in to work, turned on computer, listened to voice mail
8-9am – Opened Firefox for email, blogs & Spicework’s desktop monitor, Chrome for work blogs & Tweetdeck for work & personal Twitter accounts, check email, write blog post on book groups, fix Spicework’s inventory mistakes
9am – go get weighed for “Biggest Loser” program at my library. Go outside and quietly cry about the results.
9:15am – 10:30am – add personnel requisition forms to staffweb, read through blog headlines, fix MySpace filtering issue so that patrons and staff can again connect to their MySpace buddies
10:20 – 10:27 – write this up, take a break
10:30am – call back to filtering vendor, read some library/twitter related stuff coming through my Tweet stream
10:45am – 11am – back to email, forwarded a couple of web site comments to the appropriate person, started working on June Board meeting minutes to post on the public website
11am – 11:30 – talked to Assistant Director about social software stats for the Board Report, talked to Automation Manager about possible Netlibrary issue, headed across the street to talk to coworker about flaky computer
11:44 – back from installing video card in computer & chatting with co-worker, checking on Netlibrary download that caused problem for patron and re-checking email. Somehow lost my bottle of water in the running around and have to get another one from my in-office fridge. Oh how I love having a refrigerator in my office!!
12:00 – uploaded IP Address spreadsheet to Google to share with Tech Support Coordinator (pretty color-coded sections of IPs didn’t come through the upload – had to redo the colors before I shared…) and started writing up ALA trip report for Board Report due next week
12:03-12:07 – discussed another missing form and the contact list on the staffweb with the HR manager, then back to writing up my trip report
12:30 – added new job ad to both staff and public websites & checked email – again
12:45 – Lunchtime!! (though after seeing the outrageously huge number from this morning, lunch will be a salad and diet coke…)
2pm – back from lunch – spent 15 min in the library parking lot talking to ex-boss & current State Library Network Admin & got hot lead on cheap hardware for the library – that counts as work time! Now to start working on the template issues I’m having with the new website…
3:35pm – have the front module downloaded and installed and have read up on how to use it. My brain hurts, so it’s break time!
3:43 – taking a moment to check emails and such before delving into Drupal themes and multiple CSS files, not really sure I have it in me to do actual CSS work today…
4:15 – interrupted (happily) by coworker – since I wasn’t getting anywhere with the CSS, this is a good thing
4:25 – check Tweetdeck, email and blogs one last time before logging out, finish up this blog post.
4:30 – off for the day to pick up my son by 5pm, then to Hy-Vee for chinese buffet (because he can eat his weight in egg rolls) and then home to finish up last homework for my class and turn it in. I plan to be in bed, asleep, by 8pm or so…

More tomorrow!

The week in Tweets

  • Back to work after ALA… Busy day of documenting IP addresses, updating server software and doing the yearly budgetary begging ahead! #
  • @Tweetdeck – I need an email address for someone who can give permission for screenshot use in a book. Reply to robin.hastings @ gmail, thx! #
  • @AJisaokay Feel like cataloging? We have a whole department of catalogers you could come visit next! in reply to AJisaokay #
  • I'm somewhere between a professional blogger and futurist/innovator… (March 2007) http://ow.ly/hJVM #
  • @ellbeecee Yeah, I'm almost on top of the futurist/innovator line, but not quite. I think a bunch of us started about about the same time? in reply to ellbeecee #
  • RT @mstabbycat: Thinking about making a ganache pie while I'm at @webgoddess's place this weekend. (I'm thinking that sounds awesome!!) #
  • RT @MoTravelMama: Missouri State Penitentiary tours and website now available. Check it out, this is a great tour. http://budurl.com/7fm8 #
  • @warmaiden Woot! Good luck Warmaiden. And if you need a collaborator for that conference in Wales… in reply to warmaiden #

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Chrome OS and the Cloud

I was recently catching up on my blog reading, after heading to the ALA conference in Chicago for a week, and came across Leo Babauta’s post on Zen Habits called “What Google Chrome OS Means For Cloud Computing“. Reading through his thoughts, I find that they are pretty complementary to mine – the cloud is coming and will be the default method of computing before too long. Leo discusses the advent of online-only apps, such as Google Apps, and says:

These apps are lightweight but powerful. They aren’t as feature rich as desktop apps, but here’s what many critics don’t understand: in today’s (and tomorrow’s) computing world, they don’t have to be.

I’d like to take that a step farther and say that they can’t be. Desktops and laptops – even netbook laptops – are fairly expensive in the general scheme of things. To get truly ubiquitous computing, we’re going to have to be able to access the Internet – and our data – from much cheaper and less powerful machines than the expensive behemoths we have available to us now. It’s starting with cell phones with full web browsers and always-on Internet connectivity, and will continue until just about everything we touch has some form of connection to the Internet. At that point, cheap little low-powered devices to connect to our data in the cloud will be commonplace. They won’t be able to run MS Office -and even if they could, there is no guarantee that their owners will be able to afford the crazy MS pricing structure. They might not even be able to run OpenOffice – but they will be able to get to the Internet and access online documents and data.
Leo goes on to talk about the benefits of storing our information in the cloud – but that is something we are seeing now. Just as flash drives are getting seriously cheap, I’ve managed to make it so that I don’t ever need one! Any docs I create on my computer are stored in my Dropbox account (accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection) but most of my documents are in one of my 3 Gmail accounts (personal, work & school) and are available to me on even more devices – because I don’t have to have MS Office installed to read/edit them.
He finishes his article with a discussion on privacy and, again, I’m going to agree with him. If Google really wants to mine my rather boring documents so that they can place ads I’m not going to pay attention to (but only in my personal accounts – school & work are ad-free), I’ll survive. It’s not like there is a person actually doing the mining anyway – it’s all automated! As for the security/privacy concerns… I have a pretty good handle on computer security, but I’m nowhere near as good as the people that manage the security for Google – and I know it. While I can take my steps to secure my personal information on my personal computer, it will never be quite as effective as the steps that Google, with all of their big brains and expensive equipment, can take and so my data may well be more secure in the cloud. I know that there are a few stories out there about cloud-based document providers letting private documents become public for short periods of time, but if it is a document that is super-secret (or superseekrit, as the cool kids might say) is being stored online and unencrypted, well, you can’t really place all the blame on the cloud provider, can you?
As a final note, I was interviewed on camera for the TechSource blog (the post is not up as of this writing) during ALA and asked where I thought libraries would be in 20 years and what we’d be doing. My answer stayed pretty close to my current passions – we will be conduits to the cloud, providing tools and information and resources so that people can create, share, mashup and consume the data that that the cloud will hold. We’ll still be checking out books and providing reference services and gassing up the bookmobile for remote visits and all of that as well – it’ll take longer than 20 years to completely stamp out the paper book, certainly, but a large part of our mission will be to connect our patrons/users/customers to the wealth of data and creative possibilities that will live in the cloud.