Posts in 2008

Macs and fast hibernation

Tim Bray talks about the compelling nature of the fast hibernation feature of Mac laptops: I remember like yesterday, sometime in early 2002, watching Rohit Khare at a conference, popping open his Mac every little while to take a note, then shutting it again. I was still a Windows victim at that point, and I was flabbergasted; that was the single feature that weighed most heavily in my decision to switch.

I think I might be allergic to lists and awards

Warning: highly subjective opinion-piece and a plea for enlightenment follows: no useful information imparted here.... A little while ago, my blog got nominated for an award. A single nomination was enough to put it onto a shortlist, made available for public voting. I have been thinking about what this means.... or doesn't mean. At the same time, I've been thinking about those lists of 'must read' blogs which I come across from time to time - (inevitably, a more recent trend is for lists of 'Twitterers you should follow').

Europeana, numbers and scalable architectures

I just got around to reading the press release issued after the collapse of Europeana (previously the more easily pronounced 'European Digital Library') following its launch a couple of weeks ago. If you go to the site now, you are greeted with the following message: The Europeana site is temporarily not accessible due to overwhelming interest after its launch (10 million hits per hour). We are doing our utmost to reopen Europeana in a more robust version as soon as possible.

Library hackers FTW

Yesterday I went along to Mashed Library UK 2008 in London. Quickly abbreviated to 'mashlib', the event was the brain-child of Owen Stephens. Owen did most of the organising, aided by David Flanders who provided the space at BirkBeck college, and our excellent events team at UKOLN. The event was sponsored by UKOLN, using funding from the JISC. I thought the balance of activities on the day was excellent - a healthy mixture of short presentations, demonstrations and a good amount of hands-on hacking.


I was recently invited to join the JISC Resource Discovery Infrastructure Taskforce - the first meeting was yesterday. We had been given some background material, and a couple of people ( Owen Stephens and Paul Miller) were asked to present ideas around this general area, but the main order of the day was to establish terms of reference and some guiding principles. I had fondly imagined that this would be a fairly rapid exercise - more or less a bureaucratic process before we got down to the nitty-gritty of what problems we needed to solve and how we were going to solve them.

One-way bridges and interim solutions

In my previous post about QR codes I made a couple of points which, after receiving some interesting comments, I'd like to expand on. I see them [QR codes] occasionally on blogs/web-pages but I just don’t much see the point of that Shortly after making this point, I suggested on a UKOLN internal mailing list that it might make more sense to include a QR code in a cascading style sheet provided for printing, rather than viewing on the screen.

Quite Resourceful?

I spent half an hour this morning experimenting with QR barcodes, prompted by Andy Ramsden who is running a small test/survey. I used various iPhone clients to try to decode and make use of three QR codes printed on a sheet of paper. Each of the three codes encoded different information - a URL, a simple string of text, and an SMS message with mobile number respectively. It transpires that the iPhone does not make a first-class QR decoder.

Why I suppose I ought to become a Daily Mail reader

It's Sunday evening.... Brian Kelly recently resurrected the debate about Facebook and its use in an HE context. I know he's on the road at the moment so I suspect he dipped into his blog post 'reserve' for this one ;-). My initial reaction was to smile and move on, but I was caught more by a couple of the comments, from Mike [ comment] and Marieke comment, which have stung me into responding.

Any any any old data

Over on ZDNet, Paul Miller has blogged some thoughts about what he calls the 'Data Cloud'. He points out that in the evolution of the 'cloud computing' paradigm, the: ...emphasis for much of this wider discussion remains firmly rooted in the realm of computation and storage. On many levels it’s about offloading the costs of scaling and maintaining local infrastructure, and ‘data’ doesn’t really enter the conversation at all.

COPAC gets RESTful

Just a quick pointer to the really encouraging announcement from the COPAC development blog that COPAC individual COPAC records are now addressed with a persistent, and RESTful(ish) URL. The example given is: ...the work "China tide : the revealing story of the Hong Kong exodus to Canada" has a Copac Record Number of 72008715609 and can be linked to with the url The records are marked up as MODS XML - but this of secondary importance to me compared to the fact that the records are easily and reliably addressed.