Monday, September 29, 2008


Friday, September 26, 2008

week 6 article

oops - forgot this part

This article about RFID use in libraries is kind of fascinating - especially since I was recently involved in the large scale transfer of university IDs (and our library system) from a barcoded to a chip ID. We had a lot of discussions about privacy, about the problems, etc. so I found this reading to be interesting - seeing the issue from a scholarly point of view rather than a real world implementation.

week 6 notes

wikipedia LAN article
- I found this article fairly interesting. LANs are so ubiquitous these days that the actual history and inner workings of the network are fun to look at. I wish they had gone a little more into the real life uses of LANs like home wireless networks.

wikipedia computer network article
- this is basically a large overview of the various types of networks and their uses. I found it to be a lot less useful than it could have been since the article didn't go into much detail on most of the sections.

youtube video
- I didn't quite see the point of this one...the man in the video didn't say anything that wasn't dealt with in the other articles and on top of it he said it in a really silly accent.

muddiest point
-So if ASCII could only handle roman/english characters...what did people who used any other alphabet do? I know the ability to use non-roman character sets has been something that many people have been pushing for in other countries (I lived in Russia for a bit and there was a lot discussion as to why the internet couldn't handle other languages in urls.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


CiteULike Assignment

Friday, September 19, 2008

muddiest point

Is there a better way to reduce redundancy and better link records? I know that MARC records with their multiple name listings are an attempt to reduce that, but it seems like in reality catalogues have 50 listings for the same title or the same author.

week 5

Wikipedia article on Data Compression
-lossless compression vs lossy compression (when the file remains the same vs when the file is simplified to use even less space)
-LZR (zip), DEFLATE (PNG), LZW (gif)

data compression basics
-this article discusses the problems of data compression in terms of nonrepeated characters
-there is a minor problem with having a character that both signifies a beginning/end to compression AND appears in the data itself
-RLE requires three characters in a row to be useful => useful in images, used in faxes
-LZ works by referencing back to something already used (i.e. if it's used once, it isn't used again)
-entropy coding - the words get numbers, so a common word will get a low number (e.g. the = 1)
-lossy compression preserves the interpretation of data if not the exact data itself (i.e. taking This article a smooth grayscale and making it less smooth)
-the loss refers to mathematical data rather than perceivable data, and the process isn't reversable

Imaging Pittsburgh
-This article describes the difficulties and some of the logistics of setting up a digital collections of photos of Pittsburgh.

YouTube and libraries
-Gives a basic intro to youtube to someone who has never heard of it/used it. Then details the ways in which youtube could be used in a library (e.g. taping classes and putting them online so people could learn on their own time)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Flickr Digitization Project

Here's a link to the photoset I created for this project. In the photoset are the originals, the large verison, and a thumbnail (they should all be in order from smallest to largest, but a couple may be slightly out of order).

comment links

Friday, September 12, 2008

muddiest point

This is going to sound stupid, but I have trouble figuring out how all of the OS parts fit together. I understand pretty much everything when it is dealt with separately, probably because I've had to fix a ridiculous number of minor computer meltdowns, but I just can't quite wrap my mind around everything functioning together as a whole. For example, I know what the kernal is and what it does, and I understand what all of the bits and pieces of the OS do...but somehow I just can't understand how they all fit together and overlap.

Also, completely off topic - but I loved the screenshot of the 1984 Apple OS - that was one of the first computers I ever used.

Week 2/3/4 readings?

I have somehow screwed up on what week we're on for I'm posting all the readings I haven't done up to the point that I THINK we're supposed to be so that I can get back on top of where I am.

Introduction to Linux: Chapter One
- before Unix was developed, all computers ran on a different/unique operating system with customized software
- Linux was developed by a university student who was interested in setting up unix on his own computer
- Linux is currently used on servers, databases, as well as PDAs
- At first it was basically required to be a unix expert to set up a linux system, but now there are packaged systems available and the linux community is more helpful/welcoming
- Linux basically started the opensource revolution
- Linux can run on any platform, doesn't need to reboot, is free, secure, and quickly debugged
- But there are too many distributers, not very user friendly/good for beginners, how safe can opensource be?
- Linux is based on GNU opensource tools (e.g. gimp)
- different linux distributions are better suited for different hardware (w/ a list)

What is Mac OS
- Mac OSX grew out of Apple's desire to beat windows 95. It was based on the NEXTSTEP platform created by Steve Jobs after he left Apple in the 80s
- makes use of a number of opensource programs and applications, most heavily altered
- there is a section on how to boot MacOS and using telnet, I don't completely understand this part, which is funny because I can do a lot of it and I have done some of it on my own machine
- the Kernal (XNU) includes: Mach based codes, BSD runs as a part of the kernal and separate from user activity, I/P kit = driver framework of the kernal based on C++, platform expert functions as a driver and determins what type of platform,
- above the kernal there are the core services (based on carbon), appliation services (based on quartz), application environments (classic for OS9 and earlier, Cocoa is the favorite, then Java)
- details of startup
- HSF+ journals metadata (HFS+ is an improved version of HSF with more capabilities)
- this is primarily designed for people who are looking to program on a Mac, so a lot of the information gets into the bare bones of how the OS works
- intro to aqua, info on bluetooth and firewire compatibility, iLife suite (which isn't nearly as good as everyone claims)

MacOSX (Wikipedia)
- the beginning of this entry is basically a less technical version of the other OSX intro.
- systems are mostly backwards compatible with earlier hardware (especially with the intro of the macbook air w/o firewire ports)
- Aqua is the program that creates the graphics, automater, dashboard, finder (spotlight is amazing!)
- cheeta, puma, jaguar, panther, tiger, leopard,

Update on the Windows Roadmap
- Basically this is a letter sent out by a Microsoft executive addressing a number of the fears that were vocalized by PC users. In particular he states that Microsoft will continue to support WindowsXP through 2014 and will give users the opportunity to downgrade and use XP when they buy Vista (especially important for small businesses).

Database Wiki Article
- hierarchical model: inverted tree model, parent records, children, good way to organize data that is inherintly hierarchical, but not particulalry flexible
-network model: relationships called sets which associate members with an owner.
- relational model: lines and columns that associate information (i.e. employee name, phone number, etc.)
- object database models try to bring database and application programming world closer
- indexes are most commonly stored in table style with rows and columns that help allow quick scanning
- atomicity: the transaction must be completed or undone; consistency: each transaction must preserve the integrity of the database; isolation: two simultaneous transactions can't interfere; durability: transactions must not be able to be undone
- security of the database
- locking makes sure that only one process can alter data at a time

Setting the Stage
- metadata: the sum total of what one can say about any information object at any level of aggregation
- content: what the object contains; context is who, what, why, where; structure is the formal set of associations
- library metadata: includes indexes, abstracts, catalog records created according to cataloging rules and structural and content standards (MARC)
- the more highly structured an information object is, the more that structure can be utilized for search terms
- outside of repositories metadata can also refer to info being coded into HTML, systems and research documentation needed to run a magnetic tape full of raw research data,
- Dublin Core Metadata Element Set identifies a small simple set of metadata elements that can be used by any community to describe and search across a wide variety of information resources on the internet
- administrative metadata: used to manage and administer information resources
- descriptive metadata: describe and identify information resources
- preservation: related to preservation management
- technical: related to how a system functions or metadata behaves
- use: related to the level and type fo information resources
- doesn't have to be digital, relates to more than just description of an object, can come from a variety of sources, one objects metadata can be anothers as well
- increased accessibility: makes searching easier/more effective
- retention of context: documents and maintains the relationships between an object and its place and relationship in history (i.e. in a museum or archives)
- expanding use: can document changing uses in the system
- multi-versioning: allow data to link to more than one version

The overview of the dublin core model article is not available. I've tried a number of times to access it, but the article fails to load each time.