Friday, May 29, 2009

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes – May 28, 2009

This month the meeting was held at the MERIT (CIMC) Library in room 348. We had a good sized group for the meeting, and we discussed a series of very interesting topics! A very big thank you to Jim for scheduling the room at MERIT!

Jim: started us off by showing us the Windows 7 Release Candidate (Win7RC)( ) Based on Jim’s research, it looks like the present Win7RC will be very similar to the commercial version to be released this year. Jim notes that originally it was to be released for purchase in July, but now the date has been likely pushed back to November/December. The Win7RC can be downloaded fairly easily (2 gigs) and you can use it for free until next Spring 2010 (March/April). Jim/group was not sure of the installation size of Vista versus the Win7RC. Jim and group note that the look/use of the Win7RC is fairly similar to Vista, but Jim notes that it is very stable (no crashes so far) and it seems to be less of a memory hog. Features: The bottom “task bar” common to Win95-XP has been replaced by the application start icons similar to Vista (and Mac). These icons can link you to the multiple windows that you may have open in each application, and offer a “jump list” to recently opened/modified documents. You can now create your own tool bar in the system tray area, and there is a button to quickly access your media libraries. The backend tools from previous versions of Windows, such as the “Control Panel/Settings,” “Windows Updater,” and “Windows Explorer” still exist though they are differently organized and look different. The look/functionality of these tools is similar again to Vista. Problems: Emily noted that Vista caused conflicts with Endnote because of the “User Account Control” feature that prompts you for the “Administrator Login” (to give applications permission to function). Jim notes that this security feature still exists in Win7RC, and so it is important to retain knowledge of the “Administrator Login.”

Jim: noted that Google Chrome ( ) has a new feature that allows you to convert a website into a desktop run application. You access it from a button in the top right of Chrome: “create application shortcuts.” In this way you can “run” the application to view a website without using the normal browser. The application periodically updates itself with new site content.

Emily: noted that her nephew is a big fan of an online game based on the years surrounding WWI (Perhaps: But, he was not aware of Second Life. Congratulations LILI IT Interest!

Bob: discussed the mind-mapping tool FreeMind
( ). This tool produces very clear thought-maps/topic-maps for a topic that you are exploring. There are a variety of different node-types that you can use to add text and organization. Steenbock Library tried this out for mapping their definition of “Circulation Services.” Bob noted that it is available to download/work on Win-XP, Mac OSX, and Linnux. The group discussed the various ways that it might be useful in library instruction. Emily suggested that it could be used during a class to map out a research topic. Bob noted that it would probably require two people to use it in a classroom setting. The group discussed uses such as saving and sharing the topics maps with students, or posting the output to a website. We all saw lots of potential for this tool.

Phil: brought in one of the 12 new laptops that LTG had purchased. These are Samsung N120 Netbooks. ( )( ) These are listed at about $440 on the Samsung site. They have an amazing 7 hour long battery life, and they are very light. They are tiny, but Phil and others noted that the keyboard is still typeable as the key placement is standard. Nancy noted that this make/model was chosen by LTG because it includes a standard LCD projector output, whereas other comparable Netbooks do not. They have the standard office applications, and Phil noted that they can accept additional installed software, as LTG is reimaging them after use. Phil noted that these are very similar to the “One Laptop Per Child” units. Bob brought in a copy of Puppy Linux ( on a USB “flash” drive, and he and Phil were able to run it from the USB socket on the N120. Bob notes that PL can run Thunderbird, Firefox, and Open-Office. Group: noted that in addition to Puppy Linux, other similar OS can be successfully run from the USB, such as the GNU/Linux Ubunto OS ( ) , and the Linux Sugar on a Stick OS ( ).

Nancy: noted that the iPhone has an unbelievable “Ocarina Flute” app! So Cool! ( )

Ian: is planning (along with the LILI Instructional Design Working group and the Library Website Management team) to use the 2D barcodes ( ) he demonstrated at the March LILI IT meeting as a promotional device for use during SOAR. [Yes! The LILI IT Group breaks the news before it is news! See March 26th for videos and more links! Go Ian, go Ian (raise the roof) woop woop!] The barcodes will be placed on the doors of libraries as well as some printed promotional materials. Ian notes that they can be generated for free on-line (this tool does QR Codes ), but there are many other generators too. Tom suggested looking into generating the barcodes using fonts for Microsoft Word. Ian noted that, for students to interact with the barcodes they will need an iPhone, Nokia phone, or a Blackberry. The device will need to have the “NeoReader” app installed. ( ) Why is there interest in this? Ian explained that though SOAR is a good place for the libraries to meet students and parents, there is no SOAR libraries tour. The 2D codes on the library door can direct users to the correct library mobile site. Actually, Ian notes that they are useful anyplace that you would like to bridge the gap between physical spaces and the web. This creates a “hypertext link to the real world.” [Ian, don’t get caught in the Matrix!] Nancy used her iPhone and tried an example that Ian created on the fly, and it worked great!