Tech

Internet Business Solutions

An observation worth noting: I have recently been approached by a growing number of people wanting to build a web site for their business. This would have been a much more daunting process even a few years ago.  However the Web has evolved to meet these needs more easily.  There now exist many online storefronts through which small businesses can be run. Though I am unable to recommend one service over another, either through direct experience or secondary knowledge, here are a few of the more popular selections that can help anyone get started. 

Donating Your Computer's Time

Modern computers are many times more powerful than they need to be for most of the things we use them for.  Simply writing papers, surfing the Web, watching videos, playing games, etc. . . such tasks don't take full advantage of these machines' potential and when they're not in use, well . . . they're not in use.  They could be doing so much more. 

Two new free iPhone apps include CRRL listings

If you love to try out new iPhone apps (and who doesn’t, when they’re free?), you’ll want to download two new apps that now include CRRL’s results. Called pic2shop and Book Bazaar, the apps are free and help you find library books when you’re out shopping. For example, if you’re at a bookstore and wondering if we have a title, scan the barcode with your phone and pic2shop will tell you if we have it. (Pic2shop is also great for comparison shopping for other items.) With Book Bazaar you can type in the title, author, keyword or ISBN. Either way, both apps are free and downloadable through Apple’s iTunes App Store.

This short video shows Pic2shop in action at a Border's book store.

If you've already purchased the RedLaser app ($0.99 in iTunes App Store) you can also get results from our library.

It's 2010 - Do You Know Where Your Digital Music Is?

I shouldn't have to tell you the music CD is dead, as is every audio format that came before it, with the possible exception of vinyl, the fax machine of the music world.  Music is digital, end of story.  Digital music differs from any of its progenitors in its lack of physicality; there is no disc that you can put on your shelves, no album liner notes that you can flip through unless of course you create all of that yourself, but doesn't that defeat the point?  If you have a digital music collection of over 6000 tracks, you're not going to take the time, spend the money, or use the space to create physical CDs for each of those albums.  Still, we need to be able to keep track of our music and that's sometimes easier said than done. 

Free eBooks for your eReader!

A loving relative (or maybe it was you, yourself!) was good to you this holiday season and now you want to fill up your Kindle or Sony Reader with books.  Or you are looking for even more to do with your iPod Touch. Try these sites for free eBooks:

The Library on Your Phone

If you're not on the Internet with your mobile phone, chance are you soon will be.  With the adoption rate for smartphones and other cellular Internet devices skyrocketing, these devices are stealing the spotlight from laptop computers and vying for the position as our dominant mobile computing solutions.  With this transition has come a plethora of mobile applications to meet our every need and then some (and some more).  We want to be able to do everything our regular computers can do on our smartphones.  For many of us, that includes using the library.  We're in luck. 

Searching the Internet

Looking for information in all the wrong places?

That's a song that Internet searchers could sing day after day. Spending hours (even days) looking for something online can be frustrating. Here are some tips and favorite sites that our reference librarians use to find what they're looking for....

Carry Your Programs with You Everywhere

Most computer users these days use laptops as their portable computing solution and take them almost everywhere they go.  There are those situations, however, when you need access to your programs and your files, but of course, you forgot your laptop when you needed it most.  Fortunately there’s easy access to a computer nearby, but it doesn’t have anything you need on it.  What to do? 

The eBook eVolution

Let’s talk about eBook readers. I’m sure you’ve seen one by now. Rectangular pieces of plastic capable of storing thousands of books to be read anytime, anywhere. Now equipped with screens employing the latest “electronic ink” technology that mimics the lighting qualities of real paper, they are fast supplanting the "traditional" portable media player as the tech to talk about. 

The Windows 7 Age

Windows 7, the anticipated successor to the oft-maligned Windows Vista operating system from Microsoft, has arrived.  Now available in stores on DVD-ROM, on the web for download (http://store.microsoft.com/win7netbooks), and on newly-purchased PCs, Microsoft has a lot riding on the acceptance of their new OS.