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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tech Geeks: Ya Gatta Get One!

This is a tribute to the oft-maligned and misunderstood tech geek. Yes, they are easy to poke fun at: they dress badly, are very rumpled, often play silly role-playing or computer games, and sometimes don't smell that great. Yet they are really useful to have around: they can move furniture, take the dogs to the vet, and even tell you that the reason your computer isn't working is because the mouse is unplugged.

Yes, the Extraordinaire possesses such a creature. His name is Russell and he's been upgrading her computers for the past nine years. Lately he's been kinda lonely, as the Extraordinaire's work and hobbies have been keeping her busy. He will often fix dinner (or at least ask "what restaurant?") and keep the boys' shots updated. So, cheers to the geeks whose software quality assurance jobs are located in another part of the country thereby allowing them to work out of their home office!! Love ya, sweetie!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Informatician Extraordinaire Goes Historical!

This spring I've been helping out my employer-public agency at a series of conferences and symposiums. We sell digital copies of maps from our archival collection as well as property and military records. There I sit at my laptop and do on-the-fly research for historians and historienteds <--Hey, I've just invented a word!!> who want to know about their grandfather's land grants. My years of training in the crucible of a checkout desk at a busy public library branch BARELY get me through the events. There's nothing like a bunch of middle-aged and elderly men crowding around simultaneously telling ancestor stories and giving me random names to look up while I and my colleague desperately try to write the orders in the arcane format required by our scanning lab! Ah, but I digress...

This is a new program wherein our agency promotes resources tailored for the given audience and potential customer. It seems to be working and I think I can take credit for some of its success. Thus far we've appeared at the Texas State Historical Association (where we presented a series of papers), the Hill College Confederate History Symposium, and the conference sponsored by Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground. There are more in the planning stages. Meanwhile, until you get a chance to chat with yours truly, the Extraordinaire, visit Save Texas History!

Can you spot The Extraordinaire in this picture?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What's The Informatician Extraordinaire Been Up To?

Well you may ask, my friend. I've been involved in e-mail and electronic record retention policies. Sounds uninteresting? Well, not in this post-Sarbanes-Oxley world. Here in Texas, we only need to say "Enron" to impart the gravitas of this necessary CYA.

For those Informaticians who are more behind the times than the Extraordinaire (see previous posts to see how far She can be) there are some helpful resources out there. Most of these links are courtesy of the friendly folk at ARMA International http://www.arma.org/

To help you convince your boss that they really REALLY need to listen to you, have them read this:

Once you've got the head office on your side, you've got to get to writing. Here are some guides.

Then you've got tp educate the workforce and re-enforce the message again, and again, and again...

If this is something you are doing with your organization, drop the Informatician Extraordinaire a line and tell Her how its going for you...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bookmarklets - A 2004 concept the Informatician Extraordinaire Embraces

Wow! Here's another tool that's been around for a while I'm only now implementing. For those of you who, like me, are always going back and forth between Amazon.com and your academic library, here is the link for you! Follow the instructions for adding a bookmarklet that will allow you to search your favorite library catalog.

OCLC's xISBN Bookmarks:

Monday, April 9, 2007

New Words For When You've Been Out of the Classroom Too Long

Ok, its 4:45 am here and I've not dreamed up these terms: "Folksonomies" & "Metadata Ecologies." There was a time when I might have been on the cutting edge of this. After all, my job title is "Information Architect" so why am I so behind the times? (and this post-link is over two years old... Man, I'm losing it!) I've got to look up from the sugar project (*more on this later) and be a professional information person!


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Library Thing, How Did I Ever Live Without You???

For those of you who haven't met Library Thing, you've missed out on one terrific organizational resource. I had looked around the site a while back but didn't realize the variety of ways users can import book information. A couple of years ago I had photographed all of my books and began a catalog, but I didn't get more than a third into it. Now, I'll be able to finish up much faster AND the program includes images of the book covers where available. Thank Goodness for the Twenty-First Century!

Check them out!

My List

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Well, I guess Hell may be freezing over...

I said I would never start a personal blog, but lately I've been doing more presentations, both historical and professional, and so I thought I would give the world the benefit of my wisdom.

This may be less a discussion of my life than a place to post photographs, books lists, and announce happenings. Maybe I'll even give my friends the url...