Monday, June 2, 2014

Thing 5 - Notetaking

This thing will be really useful for me.  I am list person and with my background as a computer programmer and project manager I am very task and project oriented.  I installed the Bamboo Paper app and was very taken with the handwriting and drawing interface.  I even went out and bout a stylus.  But when I dug further into the app I found it was more oriented to drawing and creative note taking than it was to task and project management.  I kept it installed because I was still playing with the sketching interface but went onto find an app that was really more task oriented.  What I am really after is a calendar, task and diary app that would replace my paper Day Timer.  The icing on the cake would be a tablet app that I could sync up with my Windows Live Calender and Events on my PC.

So I installed Remember the Milk.  This is more on line with what I had in mind.  But it has no handwriting interface. :( So what I would really like to have is a list and task organizer that allows handwritten task and note records.  I will keep looking for this kind of app but in the meantime I will begin to use "Milk" and type my tasks in along with my Day Timer to see if this kind of app will suit my needs.  Kind of a disappointing thing so far but I expected some apps to be dazzlers and others to do of little use.  But this is ok and all part of the learning process.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thing 4 - Keeping Up

This was fun to set up.   I was having breakfast with a friend and told him about my 23 things webinar.  I logged into the restaurant's wifi and did thing 4 right there while he watched!  I installed the Zite app.  This was really easy.  I have used RSS readers before on my PC Through my email client.  Its was actually hard to setup and not intuitive.   Zite was easy.  I was surprised that you have to set up 4 sources to get started.  I am really busy right now and I did not want to follow any more than one source.  I signed up for Library Technology Guides - the only library tech source.   The Lib Tech Guides article are presented by Zite in a nice interface. I am getting used to this "gesture" thing.  I choose to read a story on the Evergreen open source ILS system implantation at the Homer Public Library in Alaska.  I heard about Evergreen during my technical services classes at Minneapolis Community and Technical College while studying for my AS in Library Information Technology.

I also looked at an article from the Atlantic.  I see that Zite takes you to the underlying site.  I am also an American  civil war buff.  I saw a post from a blog called the Civil War Daily Gazette .  This blog writer follows the war day by day 150 years later.  Today on May 28th Grant was moving toward Richmond now only 12 miles away. The bloodiest year of the war would soon reach a climax at Cold Harbor on June 3 only a few days from now. 

I could really get to like this.  I want to dig into Zite deeper but I have to sign off now to run some errands and get ready for work.  This was a great thing!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Thing 3 - Utilities

This was a lot of fun.  I installed the Redlaser QR scanner and the Free WI-FI Finder.   I will mkae use of both these handy utilities.  I tested Redlaser on a package of M and M's and it worked fine.  I can see how I now going to have to keep my iPad under lock and key.  MY wife has already discovered how much fun it is to surf her crafting and scrap booking sites with it.  If she finds out that she can scan bar codes, get coupons and shopping deals with Redlaser then its all over - I will buying a second device.  I used it to finally verify the QR code I created some time ago for business card.  The code is a link to my LinkedIn site.  I can say it works fine.  Now I hae to go into my profile and update it a bit.   The library where I work out in Delano MN does not use QR codes.  If they do I have not noticed them. I can see now how handy this would be to promote specific items in the library and reading in general. The library is always struggling to promote and publish its events.  This would also be a great way to make reader's advisories handy to patrons as they browse the stacks.  The downside of this is the time it would take to produce the QR codes, print them and distribute them.   I had to go to a special site to get my QR code.  I see from a quick search that there are several apps for sale.  It probably would not be difficult to set up a little system to produce them.

The wifi finder was fun to use.   I was able to see free sites near where I work and live.  I was surprised to see so many restaurants especially chains running free sites.  It makes sense.  If you want someone to hang around these days and buy more coffee and food then allowing them to use their devices and stay connected is the way to go.  This will be very handy.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thing 2 - Mobile Device Tips

After a long pause I am finally back at the 23 things! 

I used the link labeled "iOS 7 Tips and Tricks: Here's what your iPhone or iPad Can Do Now"   This Pocket-Lint article was a bit disappointing.   Some of the tips did not apply to my device.  For example, the Camera tip on taking Panorama picture is not supported on my iPad 2.  Neither is burst mode.  It almost seemed like this article is really talking about iPhones and not about iPads.  The video iOS 7 iPad Overview was well done and helpful.  But it was a bit short.  I see that there is a series of videos from this author. 

I actually started learning about my iPad from a quick skimming of the User's Guide which I downloaded for free from Apple.  I installed the iBooks app and used that app to download the User's Guide.  It was from this book that I learned many of the basic procedures for running the iPad that I later saw in the video.  I learned a lot particularly about the Safari browser.

When ever I spend a little time on the iPad I skim through and learn a bit about one or two of the other default apps.  Hopefully after a few more days I will read a bit about each app.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Thing 1

Well, this was incredibly easy!   The 23 mobile things project came along for me just at the right time.  I was about to register for a 1 credit mini course in library topics at MCTC.  The spring course's topic was mobile applications in libraries.  The day before I found out about 23 mobile things last week, I learned that the course at MCTC (Minneapolis Community and Technical College) was cancelled.  I was really bummed so discovering this on the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) training intranet was really good timing. 

I need to enhance my technical skills, particularly in mobile applications so I am really looking forward to completing all these things.  I have used PCs at work and at home for many years.  I am not a technical rookie.  I am experienced with spreadsheets, database design and computer programming and web design. Nevertheless, its time for me to fully move into the 21st century.  Some of my friends tease me constantly because I still own a plain old cell phone (POC). According to my current needs it serves me well so I never bothered upgrading. I still do not plan to jump up to smart phone, at least not right now.  But I am interested in replacing my old laptop with a tablet or iPad of some sort so this will be a good way to learn how to use it.

I also plan to use this course as a job development project for my position as Library Aide at the Delano branch of the GRRL.  I am hoping that this will enable me to better serve our patrons as they begin to explore the use of eBooks.