Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday musings...

I hadn't planned on publishing anymore posts, but as I was watching the film the boat that rocked on TV last night it certainly brought back memories of when I was a 10/11 year old surreptitiously listening to Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg very late at night in my bedroom, I could only get a really clear reception late at  night and as my Mum didn't allow me to listen to the radio after 9pm I used to hide my little transistor under my pillow whenever I would hear anybody coming up the stairs, That's when I learned to love rock music, listening to the radio in the dead of night turned down real low (no earphones in them days!) ariel fully extended and pointed every which way to get the best reception, and of course sneaking into my brothers bedroom and listening to their albums when they weren't around!! The first 45 I bought with my birthday/christmas money was I'm a believer by the Monkees, I was probably about eight or nine at the time, a couple of years on the very first album I bought with my with my own hard earned cash was billion dollar babies by Alice Cooper, see  how I had progressed! I think my Mum actually left the room when she first heard Alice Cooper, reading over the lyrics of some of the songs I'm surprised she didn't smash the thing!!!and when I begged pleaded and cried to go to his concert, she stood her ground and absolutely refused to let me go, as it was he was banned anyway!! We had a fantastic album and single collection between my two older brothers and me, but when one of my brothers started smoking he sold them all  for cigarettes!!! but I still have that first single (somewhere) and the first album (currently on top of my wardrobe) that I bought, but unfortunately I no longer have a turntable to play them on... well, at the moment anyway.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The last few things...finally!

I have been working on this post for the last few days now...finding it very difficult to wrap up the last few things! So here we go...

Thing 18 Ebooks.
There are lot of statistics relating to ebook purchase/usage out there, but on the home front, it can be difficult to persuade the students to use them, we can tell them the advantages, but still some people like to have the physical copy and until we stop having both formats available I don't think that's not going to change too soon!

On a personal note I bought an online book about 3 or 4 years ago and never actually read it! It's still sitting in a folder on my desktop somewhere, I have tried to open it a couple to times recently, but I no longer have the correct programme, I also tried to save it onto a memory card so that I could try opening it up at home on my laptop - but no go. I think it was probably licensed for a certain period of time and then died away! Obviously wasn't a good read!

Thing 19 iTunes University.

I checked this out and it is overwhelming how much is on there, too much, I can't decide what to download/listen to. As a tool I think it is amazing, again there would have to be a lot more liaising with academic staff etc. Just think, lecturers could record their lectures for students to view/listen to whenever they wanted and then use the lecture time to discuss and debate the lecture topic!

 Google Books.
I have used Google books as a resource more than once, say if we don't hold something in the library, you can often check out the index or chapter titles to see if it is something worth using for your research - and then you can order it via inter library loan. Amazon is also quite handy for checking index/chapter titles as well! Check out Googles ebook store

Thing 20 Cloud Computing.
When we first looked at this I really couldn't get my head around it! Now I've done a bit of reading around it I understand it a lot better, and it actually makes a lot of sense! I used Google Docs for some of my assignments for college, it was really handy to be able to open it up where ever and whenever  I wanted, save and go, it never really occurred to me to wonder where it was being saved, but now I know. Again my concern would be be around  the safety and security of your information, can it be guaranteed up in the clouds?

Thing 21 Google Maps.
I haven't really used Google Maps much, I never really go anywhere different (aaahhhh!!!), but my daughter was heading of to Barcelona  recently and Google Maps and Streetview really came into its own, having never been there before she was able to use various building as landmarks on Streetview to know where  to go, and what directions to take to get back to their hotel. I think being able to upload your own photographs is quite cool as well.

Thing 22 Image Generators
I really did Smurf myself but pretty much decided that nobody else need to hear the result! So I did  a morphy picture thingy instead - see the widget to the right.

Thing 23 Scribblar.
 Alrighty then, scrabbled around in scribblar until I was all scribbled out! I can see this being very useful to a group of users that are not located as geographically close to each other as we are here in the library!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Reading recommendations

I need help, there, I'm not afraid to say it, but I really do need some help with what I am reading at the moment, or rather with the type of books I am reading.

First of all there was The Resurrectionists  by Michael Collins, set in the depths of a harsh Michigan winter, a tale of murder, distrust, revenge and sons paying for their fathers' sins.

Next came We have to talk about Kevin, by Lionel Shiver, I AM NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, all I am going to say is, that, I think I have been trying to finish this book for about a year now, again it is a story of death, murder and a very, very 'odd' mother!! I read a review of this book that said it was 'a comfort and a revelation' well so far I have found it neither. I'm just going to wait for the film to be released instead.

So up next is Stephen Kings' Full Dark, No Stars, five short stories dealing with death, murder, revenge, and how evil the human spirit can become.

I am currently reading a book by Joanne Harris, I absolutely loved Five Quarters of the Orange, so I thought I would give blueeyedboy a go, now I don't know if any of you have read this book, but there is a definite pattern emerging in my reading...death, murder, revenge, mad fathers, bad mothers, evil sociopathic sons...

So I need something more cheerful to read, something to brighten my day a little...maybe a nice gentle love story perhaps, or something really, really funny.

Saturday, 1 October 2011


Dublin Bus have a brilliant new service for all us hard working bus hopping people, RTPI  (Real Time Passenger Information). The iphone and web app are only available at the moment, but for all you 'droid users out there, the Android app will be out in late November.

Anyways, every bus stop now has it's own unique four digit number and by entering this number you will get real time info on when the next bus is due at your stop! I've tried it and it works really well (the buses are fitted with some gizmo that registers when they are passing a stop). There were a few glitches in the first couple of days, but I have to say I am quite impressed by it.

The only trouble is I am suffering from PIN OVERLOAD - let me tell you how I know this to be true.

The other day I was checking my Dublin City Library account - I entered my PIN, or rather I entered A PIN, obviously not the right one, tried again, and again and then gave up. Turns out I was using a combination of the digits in my year of birth!

So then I thought I should check when my books were due back on my work account and once again I tried various combinations of four particular numbers to no avail and gave up. Turns out these four digits in the right order sets the alarm in work!

The next day I was at the ATM trying to retrieve some of my hard earned money when it struck - PIN OVERLOAD. I was standing there desperately trying to remember which four digit number to use, and the queue behind was starting to build up, and oh the pressure of queues!!! You just become so aware of the people behind you - the throat clearing (just to let you know that they are there) - the foot shuffling (to indicated the level on impatience) - and then, the turning round and loudly complaining to the stranger behind (the last resort of queuer!).

Anyway,  as  you know if you enter your number incorrectly three times your card will be swallowed up, and then you have to go through all sorts of hoo-haa to get it back, so I was under extreme pressure, kinda like when you use the self-service machine in the supermarket and it tells you to take your change and thanks you for shopping there, when you are still busily trying to stuff everything in your bag. It's a machine for *****sake why do we feel the need to hurry up when it talks to us! It's like 'I took your money now get out!'
So, I'm not sure how long I was standing there going through the different combinations in my head (at least I thought it was in my head) when a youngish guy behind me in the queue leaned over my shoulder and asked was I alright, and could I speak English as he didn't understand what I was saying. It was then that I realised I had been muttering the numbers out loud, he then said 'you know you seem to be talking in code, is there any way I can help you?' I was horrified to realise that not only had I been muttering all my PINs out loud but that I had also been trying to retrieve my cash with the my bus stop number! That's when I abandoned all hope of getting any money out and decided that I really didn't need to eat, and headed off home to lie down!

So friends and colleagues, if you come across me helplessly wandering around the library muttering random bursts of four digit numbers, or if you find me at the ATM mumbling in code and quoting the bus timetables, treat me kindly, take me gently by the hand and find a nice comfy chair for me, perhaps even, make me a nice hot cup of tea (milk and two sugars please), and stay with me until this moment of PIN OVERLOAD passes.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

New Blogger Layouts

Just thought I would try on a new 'coat' for the winter - do you like? Still a bit glitchy and you may need to update your browser for them to display properly. I really like the Flipcard option, check them out and see what you think!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I am liking Google+ more and more, and I have persuaded three family members to switch over!!! The thing I really like about the mobile Google+ is that anyone can post anything and over the last couple of days there have been some spectacular photographs of Dublin posted up - any plusser can comment as well. At the moment this 'Nearby' option is only available on the mobile version of Google+, but if you post a photo or comment and someone comments on it you are notified by email, its really great to get a conversation going with complete strangers! The only drawback is that you can't completely hide your location - but I'm sure Google are working on that!