Tech TV’s “Call for Help” ran tests on several multifunction printers, and their ultimate recommendation, based on functionality and price, is the Canon MP390. At $199.99, it’s reasonably priced and does a whole lot more than your typical cheapie home printer. Read the complete results for all printers tested here.

More Vinyl Than Tweed

February 24, 2004 | Comments (12)

How long is it going to take for this stereotype to die? Until everyone who saw The Music Man in its first run dies off?!?!

In a NYT article describing Diane Keaton’s fashion sense (just the fact that this article was written at all distresses me greatly), author Ruth LaFerla refers to Keaton’s dowdiness: “For the better part of her 30-odd-year film career, Keaton has hidden her light under bowler hats, oversize jackets and calf-grazing skirts–and almost always prim gloves–cultivating a persona that on screen and off is less siren than librarian.”

OK, you know what? I’m a librarian AND a siren. And I know there are lots of us out there–male and female. I own more vinyl than tweed, more pleather than wool, and not a single oversize jacket. How exactly, then, do I fit in with Ms. LaFerla’s stereotype, that she so casually throws into her oh-so-high-brow fashion article? To suggest that the antithesis of a siren is a librarian is not only just plain stupid, but also very, very untrue.

Perhaps I’m getting irked over nothing, but I wrote a letter to the editor, I was so pissed. Anyone want to join me?

Rock on, you librarian sirens.

OK, I am going to shamelessly use my blog to solicit some co-presenters for November’s California Library Association Annual Conference.

I would really like to do an IT program on “What’s New in Tech.” I could do it alone if I had to, but panel programs really are so much more interesting. My idea would be to focus on new everything…hardware, software, gadgets, websites, online technologies & services, etc. Very free-form, kind of like throwing 20 new things at people and letting them digest it all later.

I know that I have some California readers. If you’d like to join me at CLA for this “What’s New in Tech” panel, please e-mail me. The more, the merrier!

RLG

February 23, 2004 | Comments (2)

rlg.jpg

Well, I’m not sure how this one managed to get by me, but a big thanks to a certain librarian in Fairfax, CA who pointed out an article, “The InfoDiet: How Libraries Can Offer an Appetizing Alternative to Google,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education (02/20/04) that highlights this lovely resource.

RLG, RedLightGreen, is a search engine that searches over 120 million books. It offers a single search box (like Google) and a five star relevancy ranking system, but the interesting part is the results screen, which offers you suggestions on how to refine your search by subject, authors, and languages related to your search. Inside each item record, you can get citation information in four styles, and also link to see if your local library has the book. I love this idea. I want metasearch engines (like WebFeat) to take a page from RLG’s book, and include this kind of automated search-coaching into their products.

You can find out more about the project at RLG’s homepage.

Free 64 MB Flash Drive

February 23, 2004 | Comment (1)

Back in January, I posted about a free 32MB flash drive. FreeAfterRebate.com now lists a free 64MB flash drive through Office Max. I love this website.

Hacking the Library

February 23, 2004 | Comments (0)

Kendall Clark, faculty research associate in the University of Maryland’s semantic web lab, is writing a new column for XML.com entitled “Hacking the Library.” The column will be devoted to “shar[ing] some of the library science tricks I’ve picked up in my own efforts to manage my dijalog lifestyle,” using code, ontologies, and theory. I’ll definitely be watching this one!

Thomas is Online

February 23, 2004 | Comments (0)

Thomas Register has launched ThomasNet.com. The database combines material from Thomas Register & Thomas Regional. Does this mean, just maybe, that we can get rid of all those darn green books? Maybe? Thanks to Gary Price for the link.

The Bush administration has secretly ceased closed captioning for 200 television shows. No warning or reasoning, they just decided to stop. Some of the shows that are no longer being closed captioned are “The Simpsons,” “Law and Order,” “X-Men Evolution,” and “A&E Investigative Reports.” A lot of the shows on the dropped-list are cartoons, leading me to believe that the young hearing-impaired (and those who are young at heart) will be most directly affected.

The National Council on Disabilities is charging the administration with censorship, in that they are “telling the nation’s deaf what they can and can’t watch.” The Bush Administration has long been known to further its political agenda through government censorship (no freaking surprise). In 2002 they directed federal government organizations to censor their web content based on the current administration’s values and goals. This included a CDC page explaining how to use a condom to prevent the spread of STDs, and various Department of Education pages that conflicted with Bush’s worldview. The Orwellian-age continues…

E-mail Annoyances

February 23, 2004 | Comments (0)

Steve Bass has made a chapter about e-mail freakishness from his book, PC Annoyances, available for free download. He explains the fixes for various problems in several different e-mail programs, such as Outlook, Eudora, & Netscape. This is good–very good. Thanks Steve!

Skywalker Ranch Wines

February 20, 2004 | Comment (1)

Francis Ford Coppola is bottling wine made of grapes grown on George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch. At $30 a bottle for the Chardonnay, I don’t know how well it’s going to do. I mean, damn, you can get a $2 bottle of Chardonnay at Trader Joe’s. Long live Two-Buck-Chuck!