shoe's blog

Filters

Don't get me wrong, I like porn as much as the next girl (that came out wrong), but the more I think, the more I think the unfiltered terminal has to go. I have to do a test today, or tomorrow, or if I ever have time again, just to see the limits of the filtered terminal.

Which means I'm going to have to do searches for things that are dirty. Which I really don't want to do at work. I guess if that's part of the job, though. I just want to make sure, really sure, the filter isn't too restrictive. It doesn't seem to be, being primarily an offensive image blocker, not text.

The vernacular form of the verb to fornicate (a phrase borrowed from someone on one of my husband's newsgroups) isn't blocked by this filter. That's as it should be, if you ask me. But further investigation is necessary.

People have complained about the unfiltered terminal. People being what they are, leave nasty images on the screen for the next user (who may actually being doing something legitimate) to find. This bothers me. Plus the pop ups. For those you who have never gone to a porn site, they open sixty bazillion windows when you click on a link. Sometimes, there is no way to get these windows the hell off your screen, short of shutting down or hitting task manager (which of course, they can't do with our security software).

People aren't going to like this. The assistant director had a good point yesterday, when you give the public something, it's impossible to take it away. But I think it's a lot like kindergarten... We'll just have to explain that four or five people blew it for the rest of you, sorry.

Patrons have complained, about the porn, about the state of the machine. The machine demonstrates the chaos theory though. I cleaned it two days ago. Yesterday, the cookies and the spyware was a mess again. The cost in staff time of maintaining that one terminal is just silly.

What concerns me more is the time management software. People are not going to like registering with their library cards to use the terminals. But they'll have to deal. You need to have a card to take out a book. If anything, those computers are a lot more delicate, abused, and harder to replace than a book.

People might pay another $20 for a new copy of Mystic River. They're not going to want to pay $1,000 for the computer they zorched. But we've had computers zorched. And I sure as hell want to know who the last person that used it was. Not that I'd necessarily blame them, but to see if there is a pattern of destruction.

What worries me about the time software, too, is the difficulties the people might have in using it. People are endlessly confused about our print station. This will tie in the same way. There is going to be a learning curve.

On the other hand, people are endlessly confused by our sign up sheet. Evidently, if someone is already signed up for the time you want, it is acceptable to cross off their names and put yours in. Or if you really want to use terminal 7, it's okay to put your name in terminal 5's box. Then you can get all p'o'ed at the person using terminal 7 when they don't get up at exactly 2:00 and terminal 5 has been open for half an hour.

Ah, if only there were perfect solutions.

LC and Dewey Celebrity Deathmatch

Okay, so LC isn't one person. It would be cool to see Melville Dewey (or how did he want it spelled, Melvil Dui?) take on all the Librarians of Congress. Or even just his contemporaries. Today I got a call from my alma mater, Salem State College. It seems some student said they returned a book that belonged to them to us. Problem being, Salem State uses, like many academic libraries, LC. Our circ staff would have blown a gasket had they found that. I told him that if we had gotten it, it would have been returned to the library within about a week or so, and it's been a month.

Bummer for some SSC kid.

I also, at the egging on of the assistant director (and not because I wasn't just a little curious to see it), installed OS X on the Mac in the public access area. Whoops. Our security software doesn't work on it. Looks like 9.1.3.4.5.2.4.2.4.7.4.3 goes back on it tomorrow.

I do like that it has a terminal window with a tcsh shell that you can tool around in. I can do limited tooling.

bats in the belfry

Okay, they weren't in the belfry. There was a poor little bat stuck in the assistant director's office last night when I went up there to vent about how freaking stupid one of our computer vendors is. I have to thank that little bat, who was tired and scared out of his little bat mind, for getting my mind off the evil cheapo power supply they stick in these computers and on to his little plight. The custodians set him free once he perched low enough.

Today I have to call the aforementioned vendor and ask them exactly what they did, if anything, to the computer. My guess is they're going to say it didn't exhibit the problem there. Whether they actually tested it, I don't know. I somehow doubt it. I am going to tell them to hook up a voltage meter to it. The last thing I want is the power supply pooping out and taking the motherboard, chip, and possibly drives with it.

Mr. Server came down and up and down and up and down and up yet again without incident. I can get the Macs and Mr. Server to see each other, but they are having a very hard time with communicating. We also aren't set up for DHCP on the print server. I think that is causing a problem with the macs, who seem to want us to be. I don't think it's the problem, but it's a problem. I need a book on Appletalk and Windows specifically. I've done the seed routing and installed the protocols. Upgrading the Mac OS might help too.

I worked reference all alone yesterday. It went fine, except for a slight snafu at the internet terminals. But what's unusual there? Time management software, here I come.

Lest you get the wrong idea

I am not, really, an environmentalist. We recycle. Yes. I work at a library where every last scrap of paper is used, but more due to budget constraints than environment, although it's a nice side benefit. But today, we are putting a deposit down on a mondo-cool Toyota Prius.

The Prius is a gas/electric hybrid car. It's a big one, too, an actual full sized car this time around, not a compact. Toyota's coming out with a whole line of hybrid versions of their regular old cars. I think the Rav 4 is now available, and the Highlander will be available next year.

Tell me (open for discussion here) do your libraries require card access to use the internet? We currently don't, but we're wondering about perhaps changing that. Just to eliminate some fights in the long run. And hopefully increase library usage. I mean, library usage, not "free internet" usage.

This isn't a Toyota advertisement, I'm just really psyched about that.

Back to libraries tomorrow, dear LISNews readers. There is a print server with my name, for better or for worse, written all over it.

Hello, Mr. Server, going... down?

I got the blessing to take down the server whenever I wanted, even in the middle of the afternoon while people are clamoring to go online. I am going to do it Monday morning, when I am fresh, and the server is fresh, and we're all just fresh fresh fresh. I am sure that our regulars will be ripped, but I got permission to take all morning if it came to it. I am really hoping it doesn't, but it might be the only way I can get stuff really done. Putting big "IN USE" signs on the Macs when I start Appletalk has been a big disappointment as far as keeping the public away from where I'm working. They simply move the signs and sit their hineys down.

I had a nice lady tell me the computer crashed today (one of the Macs) and I came and restarted it for her. She was nice in that she said, "I would have done it, but I didn't think you guys would like that much." I told her we appreciated that.

I also met a very nice young man from a local high school doing a paper on a subject we had not many books about. We got him set up on InfoTrac, which he thought was "cool," and we got him some books through ILL. The good word: "This assignment is due in a month and a half." Plenty of time to get him a book or two. This kid is my new hero.

I also played Dr. Frankenstein with a Dell and an IBM and a Compaq. Now we have an almost functioning machine again. And it won't be a bad one, either, when it is fully functioning. As far as five year old donated machines go.

On my day off, I'm so bored

I guess this means I like what I do, which is naturally a good thing. Believe me, I've had jobs where every minute is a living hell. This one, every minute is challenging, but in general a good experience.

Filtering software is my nemesis. Not because I have feelings about filtering one way or the other, really, but more because it's so damn easy to forget to enable it. I think I may have forgotten on one computer. Ahem. It shall remain nameless, but honestly is positioned in such a place and manner, that if you really wanted to view porn on it, everyone would know. I'll get to it tomorrow morning, first thing, and check. I was so preoccupied on this particular terminal with getting the silly security software fixed, the filtering software was far from my mind. What it is: Boston has it in front of their firewall. Or something. Boston actually has it though. And it's a serious case of out of sight out of mind for me.

I guess my concern with having one unfiltered terminal with many filtered ones (soon to be two unfiltered terminals with many filtered ones) is that it seems to be giving permission to view porn. I heard a staff member (not a librarian) say, "What can you say when they view it?" Well, you can say, "That's not appropriate in the library." But then I thought... well, look what we did. We positioned the terminal facing away from everything else, behind a column -- the patrons are hidden at these terminals. If I say something to the person there about what they're viewing, it makes it uncomfortably obvious that I was looking at what they were doing, and that bothers me. I don't want the patrons to feel like they have to hide when the librarian comes by.

I'd like to at least have the terminals facing inward, or turned around, or moved... And it sort of bothers me that terminal 2, which is currently down, is right by the young adult room.

LAN connections are at a premium in the library. Wireless would be good in this respect, at least for us. We could put those unfiltereds anywhere. We could put staff computers anywhere. But there are still a lot of unknowns for me in that respect, so it's still a future project.

Perhaps a policy in place, something written in our Unfiltered Policies section, would be a nice way to give us an out if we notice someone viewing something they shouldn't. I have declared no printing from the unfiltered terminals. I just don't want Johnny's print out from InfoTrac mixed in with Cindy's Hot and Dirty WebCam. People have made mistakes and printed out the wrong stuff already, so I think it's a sound suggestion.

Off to read about AppleTalk. And call my mom.

Another one for the baby book, ma

Monday I get to take down my first Windows 2003 server. Looks fairly straightforward. I guess there's some function that asks why you're shutting down. I suppose I should put down something useful in that field, rather than, 'Because I want to!'

So why am I shutting down? Well, I can ping (god, I love networking terms) the Apples, but that's about it. I want to see if I can enable AppleTalk. And I have to get the permanent license up on our print server. For some reason that requires restarting the program. Since I have to take the whole thing down anyway, well, then, I guess I'll just take the whole thing down anyway.

Today I went to fix some stuff at the branch library. I wish all computer problems were as simple as these... reinstall IE, and whamo! We're up and running again. I found a bit of adware on the computers, but I think she actually uses it. So I didn't remove it.

I was there till six, and then I excused myself. My husband was nuts, thinking I was kidnapped or something on my way home.

At the public access terminals: Terminal 7 is, right now, just a monitor. No keyboard. No mouse. And most importantly, no box. I like to count how many people come in and say, "Is seven down?" Um. Do the math. Also at the public access terminals: Today a guy came in to use the computers, and actually erased somebody else's name that was on the sign up sheet, before the actual reservation time. Hello. Even better, he actually erased it and put in his real name.

So when the guy who legitimately made his appointment came up and said, "Insertnamehere erased my name", Mr. Insertnamehere turned around and looked to see who was talking about him. Smooth operator, Mr. Insertnamehere.

I ordered an eval version of software and realized I shouldn't have today. I don't think they charge for it... But I guess it's not our policy. But eval software isn't functional like, say, an eval reference book is.

I think I'm okay. I confessed, anyway.

Today I went into the children's room, and the children's librarian clapped when she saw me. It was like having my own show. I am going up there and making an entrance more often.

Field trips and police visits

This is a week of field trips for me. Today I got to go to a computer shop that will remain nameless, so that the computer could work perfectly there. Well. I told them to hold on to the stupid computer and keep hitting the power button periodically. I swear, every other computer we have starts just dandy. It's gotta be the power supply.

Tomorrow I'm taking a trip to our branch library (packing some antivirus software with me) so that I can figure out a few issues she's having there. It sounds like nothing a simple reinstall of IE can't fix. Of course, Opera would be my browser of choice.

Through the wonders of a little program called WinsockFix, I got the damned 169.xxx.xxx IP address to release on the children's room Dell and reassigned it a new IP address. It was so easy. I wish I thought of it before.

Not such good news about the IBM in the children's room. One day it went to sleep and just never woke up. A great way for someone who's lived a rich long life to go, not so great for a computer. At least, not on my watch. Best I can tell, because there isn't a fan in the thing, and the children's room has the tendency to accumulate... well, stuff... around the vents, the chip cooked. Now I have extra memory to play with. And hard drives. And CD ROM drives.

But what we really need is like three more functioning computers.

Today a fight broke out over the internet terminals... an honest to goodness, we had to call the police fight. Thank god for our reference librarian (who was systems before me). I would have let them probably take each other out of the gene pool if they're going to fight like that over something other than food or shelter. I love technology: the internet is a good thing. It's not worth being a stinkin' barbarian over, though.

I am running our eval version of the time management software, while waiting for another vendor to contact me with their eval version as well. This seems to be reaching critical mass. I'd like to get the Macs printing, and leave the Macs up for non-card holders and the PCs for card holders. Simply necessity: They don't seem to make time management software for Macs. Suggestions are welcome (hint hint).

Monday, Horizon is being updated. Joy. I forsee lots of phone calls to Boston in my future.

Viruses.

I wasn't in trouble. Basically the whole story got twisted around in Boston, and came back to me that the assistant director called... when it was really me that called. Does this mean I got a promotion?

Today I have to bring the new computer that is tempermental about starting to the computer shop. I think it's a bad power supply. It's a cheapo brand 300 watt powering a cd rom and an A drive. I should probably get the vital stats on those machines. I think it's running at least a P3, quite possibly a P4 chip. At any rate, it starts every fifth time you press the button.

I doubt it's our wall outlets, which was the other possibility, because everything else starts just dandy.

I got my antivirus software at work just in time. Loads of it. I've installed some of it. I got the new virus in my inbox... Unicode text, binary attachment. I sent out a warning about it, figuring if I got it, it was probably blanket emailed to everyone at the library. I'm sure someone will click on it. Perhaps I should be sure to send my little message to the branch library as well. I just don't have the address right now.

Incredibly polite high man came in last night. He thanked me for removing him from the computer when we were closing.

Know what I like about working at the library versus working retail? At closing time, the library throws people's butts out of the library. No needing to hang around while people poke at the lizards and tease the turtles and decide whether they want to purchase the $.99 can of fish food.

Tomorrow, a trip to the branch library to figure out what's up with IE. Of course, I'd just install Opera and be done with it if it were up to me. I am so tempted to do it on all the public access terminals. Expand your horizons! Download an alternative browser today!

Am I in trouble?

First off, yes, I am neurotic.

So last night, none of our catalogers could catalog, thanks to some network problems with Boston. Try getting someone in Boston at 4:59 pm. I managed to get a human being (not an answering machine) at about 5:03. Of course, he's not really the "fix the cataloging" problems guy, but he was a human being who could physically find another human being who could help fix the problem.

He was suitably apalled that we couldn't save records, so he went off in search of someone that could help me. Then I was told by the other librarians to get home, because I was making them look bad working overtime.

I probably should have stuck around, maybe, just a little... See where my neurosis comes in? I've been there a little under a month. Man, I am hard on myself. Anyway, this morning, I check my email (see where my neurosis comes in yet again?) and there is a message from the assistant director saying that he got someone in Boston and explained the problem and had it fixed.

Perhaps I should whip out the big guns before I go through the "proper channels" next time. Because the proper channels said, "I'm going home. Email me in the morning." Then, I didn't know how widespread the problem was. Reading between the lines (a key neurotic symptom) certainly makes it seem as though there were other issues going on I didn't know about. I need to implement some sort of reporting system.

The problem is, the support staff doesn't come to me a lot of the time when there is a problem. The other librarians, fortunately, do. Sometimes, if it's a problem with a particular record, I tell them to wait it out. But that certainly isn't the case every time. I don't know what would motivate them, though, to come tell me consistently. I would have a log book, but I don't think anyone would actually use it. Besides, people think it's something they did when the SQL error comes up, not something that the system did.

I also have to get better at being pushy. Like, there is a problem with Horizon today, fix it.

Never been a real supervisor before. I mean, I've supervised people, but never to this extent. Still wrestling with my promotion from peon to, um, less of a peon.

rebel technology

The fates were conspiring against me today. First, my supervisor and trainer called in, so I got to do the schedule in her place. It wouldn't have been a problem, except that there was no Monday schedule from last week to base it on. It was time to get creative. The trickiest thing was making sure everyone got lunch.

Fortunately, the info desk was very quiet from nine to ten, when I was the only librarian in the building.

Then I got a sales pitch from a vendor that shall remain nameless. I requested it, but I sort of had like twelve thousand other things going on, and just wanted very basic information. I hope I wasn't too rude.

I realized our Mac security software works poorly with IE. I ended up installing Netscape. I played some games though. First I left the icon for AIM up on the screen, and when you (try to) sign in, nothing happens. I centered the sign that says "No Instant Messaging" right above it. Tech librarian humor.

I also uninstalled Flash and Real Player. I'll be damned if someone is looking at movies at our ten minute Internet email terminal!

It made me smile... Someone tried to install Flash within twenty minutes of my putting it out there. But they couldn't download or execute it. Mwahahahahahahaha!

I also met with incredibly gross man today. First he was complaining because copies were $.15. Then he was upset because all our books on a certain trade exam were missing. But I showed him where the given trade books were anyway. And boy, could this guy burp. He illustrated his talents often... At the info desk, in the reading room, down the stairs, in the stacks. We're not talking little, "Oh, excuse me" burps, we're talking break the sound barrier, I just drank a whole keg of carbonated beer sort of burp.

At 4:58 (these things always happen between 4:55-4:59), Horizon started doing flips in Boston. None of our catalogers could catalog. So at 5:15 I was putting in a few extra minutes to give Boston a call. I think everyone went home.

Then I meant to send an email to the assistant director, and everyone got a copy. Whoops. Best be fixing my address book. At least there wasn't anything I'd say to my assistant director that I wouldn't say to any of the librarians.

long term projects

I have a couple of long term projects. One I think is sort of funny... wireless for the library. Why is this funny? Well, half the people that come in the library to use the computers have no idea how to use them. How would they benefit from wireless? And people with laptops... they might like wireless internet, but still insist on plugging in their laptop's power cord, which is against policy.

The second long term project is time access management software.

I had a request to disable the "log off" function on the public access terminals. This leads to the, er, obvious problems. We do need to be able to log off. And we do need to be able to shutdown (and I'd rather have a librarian logging in every half hour than a patron turning the computers on and off, and still needing a librarian to log in anyway). I could enable ctrl-alt-delete on those boxes again, but I don't want every schmuch ctrl-alt-deleting when our network is slow.

The network, my nemesis. I still don't understand, exactly, how the network at the library works. We're networked to a T1 line. Evidently we are behind a firewall that Boston uses. Windows is our responsibility. But I'm thinking we must have a server machine somewhere, although my predecessor says we don't. So where is our filtering software? Also in Boston, because it has to operate in front of the firewall. I think I need to talk to someone and get the low down on exactly how this whole thing knits together, before I start even pondering too deeply the ramifications, good and bad, of time managment software.

We simply can't afford a kiosk or another computer to manage internet reservations, and even if I could somehow rig the print server to act as as server for this as well (I'm not entirely convinced I can't), I don't relish the idea of having the librarians and support staff have to log on to the server to make appointments. The key here is to save time. And a self-service station requires more hardware. If any new hardware comes in, well, it's going to the staff. Or the unfiltered terminal, which is pre-1997.

Client only should work, even though it won't entirely eliminate our handy dandy sign up sheet entirely. Try finding variety in client only systems. And I would like it to work with Horizon, without having to be tweaked in Boston. And I would like it to work on Macs. Tall order. If you know of anything, please, please drop me a line.

My wish list for wireless? Yeah. Well, I'll get to that, when I'm entirely convinced it's a good idea. The assistant director suggested it, and I'm not sure he's entirely convinced it's a good idea either. I would rather be a late adopter and get it right, at least on this, methinks.

Fist fights @ your library!

I was on information alone for the first time today. That's when everyone and their brother decided to come in. I had people dropping off posters and books and mail. I had people wanting new cards. I had people crashing the Macs (they like to freeze up and nothing but a hard reset will fix them), I had people with issues about their local post man (like I can help that), but the best of them all was the near-fist-fight.

It was young patron versus older patron. I don't know who was more trouble. It was over... what else... the internet. The older patron didn't want to sign up for the next slot because she didn't want to sign up for a computer that might not come available. I told her that was the policy. She told me she wasn't a moron. Of course, it would be easy enough to cross one's name off the high tech paper and golf pencil sign up sheet we have.

The young patron called her something less than polite, and she came to tell me. I got the young patron (who'd already been there an hour and half) off the computer, explaining that she'd been there over the amount of time we allow and others were waiting. She was fine with me, though knowing human nature, she might have been less than polite with the other lady.

Then it started. They started going at each other... First comments about manners, and civilization, and etiquette. I was waiting for them to whoosh out the boxing gloves. I stood there, like an idiot, just looking at them. My first thought was... we're getting this excited over Hotmail and Internet Explorer? So I stood there, unable to say anything, between the two of them. Believe me, I wanted to say something. But I couldn't think of anything that would sound professional. So I just let them glare at each other, and left when I was reasonably sure no one would get hurt.

Two patrons today (and lots of staff) mentioned time access/management software. I think it would help. People would be cheesed because they'd have to use a card for the internet, but hey. It is a library.

The unfiltered terminal's keyboard died this morning. No biggie, right? Yeah, it's one of those archiac pre-ps/2 keyboards. Believe it or not, I went in the computer cemetery and found one with the right adaptor that worked. I had to clean it off. I didn't want anyone to catch anything from the keyboard.

A well deserved weekend. Yay. I will spend it researching software and... the Toyota Prius!

And no powerpoint!

The whole thing was worth it, last night, when our director did her Howard Dean impression. What a scream.

So I wonder how many upper eschelons will have fundraiser hang over. No, no one was drinking, but I left at nine, when my coach turned into a pumpkin, and it was still going strong.

I got to explain the new print station yesterday, which was a might bit surprising for me. I came in, and suddenly I was giving a staff presentation.

I learned that none of us know where the toner is coming from for the printer, so I have to call about that today. Thank god laser toner lasts a bit.

I also realized my brochure for patrons on how to use the thing should come sooner rather than later.

This is the only time you'll hear me say this: The computers started acting out at the presentation, and boy was I glad. It kind of gave people an introduction to what to do when I'm not there and that happens. For most things, the assistant director wants only me touching the boxes (my preciousssssssssss) but I really think that most people can handle holding down a power button till the fans stop and then waiting ten seconds and pressing "on" again.

The director asked how I felt about the custodians switching the computers on in the morning. Hell, I don't care. As long as they don't kick them. Gotta leave something for the patrons to do.

The ornery machine is kept on the carpet, which bothers me. The alternative is to keep it on the edge of a tiny table, which also bothers me. The alternative I like the best is keeping it in my office.

It's Friday, the day the library is at half-staff. When the kids get out of school, the place is hopping. Last week there was a fight over the pay phone. Some kid came up to me after the fact and said, "That kid on the phone for an hour wasn't really talking to his mom." I never would have guessed.

Special collections dreaming

So last night I dreamt about local history. Our local history department is located in the old building, and is ruled with an iron fist, and rightly so. There is some old stuff there, not the least of which is the refinished furniture.

No one is allowed to touch the refinished furniture. It's all placed around the gigantic old fireplace and old librarian office, to make a corner of the library look as it did 120 years ago or so. It's gorgeous. Check out Henry Hobson Richardson and the Small Public Library in America : A Study in Typology
by Kenneth A. Breisch. We're in there. I believe that's us on the cover; it certainly looks like us. I've never seen Richardson's other libraries in person, so I wonder how similar they all are.

Anyway, I had this dream that a class full of fifth graders came in and were climbing all over the furniture, and I was under the watchful eye of the director to get them under control.

When they left, I discovered they all wrote evil things about me in the poll books.

People can be so rude. There was a guy on a cell phone the other day at our public access terminals, just gabbing away and surfing the web. He wasn't even talking in a hushed voice. I directed him outside. On his way out I heard him say, "Yeah, the librarian kicked me out." The librarian. Cool.

Today is my first fundraiser (take a picture, mom, and put it in my baby book). It's a trivia thing. I have a lot to do at the library, but of course, this is a good opportunity to actually meet all the people that are involved in the library, so I guess I'll forgo the traditional library tasks today.

I can't wait for my new reference books to come!

The road to the library is paved with good intentions

I love the public. Really.

I made change for this guy out of my own pocket because he was having a real hard time figuring out what "Dollars full, please insert coins" meant. I was sort of on my way to do something else, so I had to help him out quickly.

I did learn it's easy to hide in the young adult room if you sit at the librarian's desk and move her ALA "Read" poster stand in front of the computer.

I installed OpenOffice.org on a few computers today. I don't want to bankrupt the library buying Office suites after I bought the very necessary staff antivirus. I use OO.o in Linux and it's very capable, and plays fairly nice with Word and Excel. It seems just as good in Windows. My direct supervisor is getting a copy tomorrow. Then she won't have to take work home.

Speaking of viruses, some nice person downloaded one on one of our new internet terminals. Of course, it's the internet terminal that doesn't want to start anyway. I guess this virus likes to randomly rename dlls. Ahem. Norton (public access computers, at least, are pretty protected) says there's nothing toxic on the computer. I hope it nailed it. I really don't want to play the old "regedit"/repair game. Things were working so nicely.

I ordered some health books for reference today. Updated our HIV books, and got a cancer encyclopedia. And some books on diabetes. Next up, atlases. How long has the Soviet Union been defunct?

My geek tool belt

I got my husband a geek tool for Christmas, and it's somehow found it's way into my messenger bag. It's a Swiss Army Knife with screwdriver bits... Torx, and other heads... The little square head and stuff. I don't know what they're all called. The custodian saw me taking apart the mac with it and was quite jealous.

The Mac. Yes. My ever hopeful reinstall failed. No hard drive mounted. So I decided to take the hard drive out of another dead mac and put it in the previous mac. Right. Someone at Apple stuck the screws in the hard drive so tight the God of your choice him/herself couldn't get it out. So that baby goes to the shop.

Good news: I found a working Mac. I took the memory out of the hard drive impaired Mac and decided I'd beef up this one. Right. First, I dropped every screw I touched in the case. I had to open the case to get the silly things out. Then, surprise of surprises, one screw in the motherboard assembly (which I had to dismantle) was stripped. The kind custodian managed to get it open for me, so I could get the damn screws I dropped out.

After taking the mobo out, I realized the futility of my efforts... Older, tray loading Macs, may take the same type of memory, but not the same memory stick. Right.

I put the mac back together (with much swearing--most of it under my breath) and it still works, although you need an engineering degree to get the silly cabling to sit flush with the snap on cheesy plastic tray.

I guess the good news is that I learned how to open a Mac, and get around it. The bad news: three hours of my work day gone with really nothing to show for it.

Today: reference and local history. I am going to try to do a repair of the operating system and reinstall drivers on the Dell that got the virus (it was popping up porn in the children's room. Heh). Hopefully that will fix the fact that something about the NIC isn't recognizing the network.

Wuthering Heights

Nearly every copy of Wuthering Heights in a twenty mile radius of Boston was checked out (or lost) last Saturday. There was one left at Chelsea.

A young lady (not the Wuthering Heights type, I might add) came in looking for it, frantically. I was wondering what brought on this need for classic literature. We checked our library, Everett, Medford, Melrose, and finally discovered Chelsea's. But Chelsea closed at five. It was four fifty.

I told her I could put in a reserve, but she told me it was useless after Monday. Someone's flunking a test today, methinks.

When I was in school, up in Northern New Hampshire, they supplied the books we were required to read. I guess that's good, because the local libraries never could have survived the influx of kids looking for A Separate Peace. Then again, we're having trouble accomodating all those kids with Wuthering Heights, aren't we?

My Mac battles continue this afternoon (late shift for me). You know, once I'm off info. They're liking putting me on info and reference at the busiest times. I suppose it's good, but I'm always exhausted when I'm done.

I really hope my reinstall of OS 9.04.08.34.3942.89.2.1 works, as I found a web page yesterday about replacing iMac hard drives that claimed it was perhaps the most difficult iMac repair to do. It looks like we have later models than the iMac they showed, however. And I would hope Apple would fix a major design flaw that you have to remove the freaking motherboard to put in a hard drive.

Equal Access

I've been getting some pressure from some patrons to put Chinese language word processors on the internet terminals. We most indubitably need Chinese word processors, but not on the internet terminals. If there is no word processing on the internet terminals, there is no word processing on the internet terminals, regardless of language.

The problem being, I'm nearly 100% sure that our word processor terminals, which are sad little boxes running Win95, can't handle our Chinese word processing software (used on staff computers).

So I have to upgrade one of them. I know I could do it if I could get one of the Dells fixed (It's not recognizing the LAN, and they're salivating for it in the children's room). I could then take the Win2k IBM from the children's room and put it on the public access area.

The assistant director said, "Time is now your enemy." Boy was he ever right.

I am reading about installing and reconfiguring Foolproof, our Mac security software. If my reinstall of OS 9 works on the iMac, I'll be having to do that. I am not horribly hopeful that my reinstall will work, but you never know.

It's too cold to go to the library

Honestly, I think it was... It was dead today. I even got to install Chinese fonts on all the new computers. I don't think I can do it with iMacs. The Macs all know how I feel about them.

I learned I don't like to order books. I love spending money on books, but I felt like a total slacker sitting on Amazon all day looking at reference books. Not that we get them there, but it was a good way of seeing what was available. I also learned we're woefully behind in certain series. I have to call Gale Group on Tuesday.

See, all my other jobs, if I were on Amazon all day, I'd get fired. I definitely feel more productive when I'm ripping apart computers, even if I don't get much done.

Monday is a holiday... for those non-US residents, it's Martin Luther King Jr. day. The library is closed. I don't think it will stop that fine young man that comes in every week and asks for the books on Martin Luther King Jr. Nice kid, really. Hangs out with his friends at the library, and sometimes they get a little loud, but they are voraciously reading about African American leaders. Reading is a glorious thing.

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