Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LILI IT Interest Group Meeting Notes – July 22, 2010

Our July meeting was fascinating. This time, our notes are really more of a recorded dialog. (Though this is not really word for word...) I was enthralled with the new hardware we all looked at!

Katy started us off by showing us all the new iPads that were recently purchased to be checked out by School of Ed. affiliates from MERIT. They have 4 iPads, and they have also purchased portable keyboards and bags to go with them. Katy also brought her personal Kindle to show the size and weight difference. For reading books, she prefers the Kindle.

Katy also mentioned that staff in Special Education are thinking of creating apps for the iPad that will allow people to use them as “speaking boards” (a tool for people who are not able to speak). This would allow them to pre-load phrases and then touch the app's icon for it to speak out loud for them.

Lia noted that Gourmet Magazine, though closed by Conde Nast, has started up again as an app for the iPad. It sounds very handy! (Next from Steve Jobs: the iVeg: It slices, it dices, it makes julienne fries! Wait, is an iPad waterproof?)

Jim remembered that Dell also makes an all-in-one computer. Called the “Studio One” line: they have a 19” screen, and you can hook up a cordless mouse and keyboard. The prices are in the $400-$700 range.

Lia mentioned that Wendt has an iPad... for staff only! She has used it and liked it.

Anne mentioned that Yelp works very well from the iPad (and iPhone or Droid). A good reviews site!

Ian followed up with a mention of the LAYAR augmented reality browser tool that can be used to work with reviews data and overlay it to produce AR. He is working on a few projects now...

Jim mentioned Zillow the tool that gives home values and listings for houses for sale. There is an app that uses the AR, and it sounds amazing! Like other AR, it works with the camera. Displaying a house also displays the value.

Ian discovered that the iPad keyboard (brought by Katy from MERIT) is compatible with the iPhone. It hooked up nicely!

Jim suspected that the keyboard will be less popular for checkout than the iPads themselves.

Ian wondered how powerful the next generation iPad will be.

Lia also felt that since the iPad is still “first generation” that later models will be more powerful.

Anne wondered how powerful though... She thought that the next improvements would focus on portability and affordability: lighter and cheaper. This is because it is more of a browsing tool as opposed to a production tool.

Ian mentioned that if gamers focus on the iPad they would probably get faster processors/video cards.

Katy said that she uses a Mac Mini for her media. That works well.

Anne also agreed. She may replace her home laptop with an iPad. Then Anne mentioned that she had attended an engineering event where iPads WERE USED TO DRIVE ROBOTS! The iPad was held/used like a steering wheel... (but can I use an iPad to drive my car from the back seat?)

Katy told us: YES YOU CAN!!! Her father had been working on a project for John Deere where they were trying to design a way to use GPS to guide unmanned ROBOTIC TRACTORS. There may be a robotic lawnmower out there that you can control with your iPad too.

Anne mentioned that some of the engineers from John Deere that worked on that project had visited UW-Madison for additional training, and had used the library. Small world!

Ian reminded us of the laser powered mosquito killing tool...

Ian then introduced the LOL (learning objects life) that iDwog (ha ha ok IDWoG) was building. It will manage the campus libraries self-created learning objects. Cool! The Shared Development group is working on it now. You can submit objects and describe them with faceted tags. The submitter has some ability to manage rights/editing of the objects too. The end result should be far superior to MyWebSpace (hurray!)

Jim introduced Soluto: a tool that monitors what you run at start-up to help you pare down the number of extra applications running. This will speed up your start-up time! You can choose to “pause” applications to never run, or “delay” applications to start later. Jim then mentioned the Your Open Book site... which details everything on Facebook that everybody does not want everyone to know...

And Katy had the last word, reminding us of Lamebook (hah).

See you all next month!

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