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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in Technology (34)


Archivist Communities and EAD, Part 2

This problem was actually resolved shortly after my initial post, but I've been busy studying for the ACA exam and have been ignoring my blog. Even though I work with aspects of preservation, I still had to read several books this past week, and after reading three books, my brain was mush. I've been out of school for too long.

I digress...

So, with some quick trouble-shooting and major assistance from @steganogram, I discovered the world of stylesheets for stylesheets. I sent the code he suggested to our library IT, who have the right admin privileges, and the problem was fixed in less than a week! I also found out about the EAD Google group.

Thanks again @steganogram and CUA library IT!


Archivist Communities and EAD

I've been having problems with our EAD editor displaying the different types of container types for a few years. If I want "box"/"folder" or "volume"/"page", it's fine, but if I want scrapbook, reel, or anything else audiovisual-related, it doesn't display. The purpose of EAD is flexibility, and something wasn't displaying correctly. I had a hunch that some clipbook or library or template had restricted values (otherwise it wouldn't change when I entered "Volume" instead of "Box").

After spending hours looking at EAD and NoteTab help forums and the SAA EAD listserv, I decided I'd pose the question to my wonderful archivist colleagues on twitter. I got a response back in a few hours, and over the last few days, when I've had time and have actually been in the office, I've been getting the problem taken care of. I'll post an update when the issue is finally resolved, but I'm very grateful for the archivist who knows coding far better than I, and who is helping me with this issue! I'm also happy I'll be able to accurately describe my collections now!


Transforming With Asus 

This short entry is written on my new Asus Eee Pad Transformer. While not specifically dealing with archives, this new piece of technology will help me communicate in more venues and locations, especially when I'm at various universities for consortial meetings and workshops. Already, I found it quite useful when I went to the Library of Congress Copyright forum, blog post coming soon.


The New Tablet/Netbook

I really want an EEE Pad Transformer by ASUS! It's a netbook and a tablet in one that run on the Android system.

I want something for conferences and the many committee meetings at GW, so I don't have to translate my poor penmanship when I get back to campus. I want to actually make the edits on the documents we work on in the meetings, at the meetings! My bad back prevents me from hauling my laptop on the metro, and commuters prevent me from getting a wheel laptop bag (because it's actually harder to wheel something through a crowd than it is to break your back carrying it). I've been eying the Xoom since it came out many months ago, but on an archivist's salary, I just can't justify it, and it doesn't have all of the functionalities I want. I've looked at countless netbooks but I haven't been fully satisfied because I want to switch to the Android platform.

This may just be the answer to my tech problems AND it's much more affordable than the Xoom or ipad!

This is one of the more extensive reviews I've found.


More in the Cloud

More people are looking to the Cloud as a viable back-up solution for personal files, as discussed in my previous entry. This article was featured in ProfHacker in the Chronicle of Higher Education. If academics are talking about something, you know it's reached the masses!

Yet another article from NPR, today, this one distrusting the cloud because the person has put too much personal stuff in an "untrusted" virtual space. When something crashes, he loses access to everything.

I have a problem with someone saying that their information on the internet is all on a "cloud." The primary reason I take issue with this is that most of the information is hosted on virtual servers, not true clouds. When one server goes offline, it affects the integrity of the network. The online servers are then over-stressed by the typical amount of users that are spread out over more servers, normally, which causes more servers to go down and the site/network/etc. to crash. Crashes can also happen through physical problems; for example, there is a mass power-outage in the geographic region as the host servers. When the DC area experienced massive power outages during the rain/wind storms after snowpocalypse 2010, many locally-hosted sites had problems.

The difference between this and a cloud is that a true cloud stores identical information on multiple, geographically separated servers. This way, when one server goes offline, the network isn't stressed by more users. If it's the server with your information that went down, there's another copy of your information on another server across the country, and you can still get what you need.

This is the very big difference to virtually-hosted information and cloud-hosted information.

I host this website on a cloud-based host. Yes, when a local server goes down, the load time might be .8 seconds instead of .1 seconds, but I can still access my site. Clouds have the potential to revolutionize data storage and retrieval, but only if people know what they actually are...