Friday, April 17, 2009

Thing 47. Evaluation

I just completed the second round of 23 things. I have to say my favorite Things were probably the maps (I would still like to go back and map out the different bookmobile routes, eventually...), as well as the screen casting, and even the scrapbooking Thing (who knew!). I still don't understand why Twitter is so popular, and I dont think I ever will. People saying email and chatting are becoming DEAD tools, which really sucks because I love emailing people! Its how I keep in contact with people, I dont even have a landline phone, just a cell phone. I figured there was no sense in paying $25 a month for something I dont use. If you know me at all, you know how adverse I am to using phones anyway...

All in all this was another fun round of the Things, and I hope you all have time to finish it!

Thing 46. WebJunction Minnesota

I think all of the classes that are offered are probably the best thing on WJMN for me. I going back to school for my MLIS, but it might be nice to take a course in "dealing with angry patrons" or "keeping your library looking good", as there are a lot of practical solutions here that look interesting.

When I looked at the section about regional library systems, it had upcoming events from December 2008, which was 3 months ago. It would be nice to have a section that upcoming events from every library system that was updated regularly. But, perhaps the regional libraries have to contact WJMN with that information, and they have not done so and that is why there is no current information.

Thing 45. Cloud Computing

The WebOS tools sound interesting, it would be nice to have access to a virtual ghost of your computer wherever there is Internet access. One drawback would obviously be that your files and information could be accessed by someone else if they wanted to hack into the hosts file system, but that is true of any file uploading/sharing service. So it is not unique to this WebOS as a whole anyway. I like to carry around a USB drive whenever I know I will need to have one to back up files Im working on. This is really handy when you are in school, I usually do a lot of homework on my breaks at work, so I save my work to USB drives and put it back on my computer when I get home.

I use GoogleDocs all the time with school, it is especially helpful when your professor wants you to work in a group in order to write a paper, or do some other work. All of my school is done online so it is impossible for all of us in the group to meet in person. We use GoogleDocs, go into the chat area for our class, and start to work on the paper or project. It is updated in real time, so you can see other people working on the paper, and see what changes they are making.

Other apps that I use include Paypal and my schools file sharing system. Paypal is great if you buy and sell stuff online, but beware they do charge fees, and if you give them your checking account number they will have it FOREVER, they will not get rid of that information even if you close your account. That is my Paypal rant, do with it what you will. As far as the file sharing system I use with my school, I like to put information on that when I forget my USB drive, and I can just get to it again whenever I want to as long as there is an Internet connection. They also let you store up to 250 MB of data, which is a lot really, when you consider that most of the things I do involve Word documents, that are only usually 100 K at the most.

Thing 44. The Economy

This Thing has ALOT of good stuff in it. I have used about half a dozen of these sites before, and they are all very helpful. The Retailmenot site has different coupons/codes for websites, and before you purchase anything online you should look thru them to see if there are any savings. For a lot of the sites you can get 5% off or free shipping or something, it might not be much, but it could be $5 to $10 or something everytime you buy something online. Other favorites include Craigslist and Freecycle. Both are free online trading/bartering/selling sites, whatever you want to call it. I really don't like how Freecycle is set up. Most of the time you get emails from people ASKING for free stuff. Like a couch, or a car, or money. Im not making this up, most of the people dont understand this is to give some you dont want anymore a good new home, so it can be used again. It is not a site to beg for free things. Lastly, I like the Gasbuddy site, and other similiar ones. Its nice to shop around ONLINE for the cheapest prices, rather than just driving around looking for it! After all you are trying to save money and gas, why not take the advice from others as to where the cheapest fuel is for that day?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thing 43. Online TV and Video

I guess being able to watch shows whenever I want to is probably the best thing with full episodes. I can't afford cable (and would only really want to see a half dozen networks anyway, not over 200), so I just have the standard stations you can get over the air. Now with DTV, it is even worse, not better. I don't get ABC or CBS, but do get FOX, PBS, and NBC. ABC and CBS claim they will be back on in June sometime, I will have to wait and see. So having the networks broadcast episodes of shows is actually very nice of them. I think they had to do it tho, lots of episodes were being shown on YouTube and the like, so the networks probably figured that it would be better if the viewer was to watch them on their own sites, that way the network could show advertising at the same time. Not sure what the impact will be on cable tv companies, I suppose they will have to raise their rates, but they had better be careful with that during this rough economy, otherwise they will lose people and they may never get them back.

I think I like Hulu the most, every thing there seems very well organized. This is a funny clip from the tv show The Office. Michael Scott sets up a role playing session between Dwight Schrute and Jim Halpert to help them with their customer service skills. Take a look.