shoe's blog

Chinese fonts

Remind me I have to download some Chinese fonts for the new computers... of course, I don't think our brand spanking new print station supports Chinese fonts, so I have to look into that too.

Alas, after doing such scarily named things as zapping the PRAM and holding down the "c" key while the iMac booted from CD, I have come to the conclusion that the hard drive pooped out on it. Hard drives are weird things. They either die in a week (like the ubercomputer's did) or they last forever. Evidently, this three year old machine (out of warranty, methinks) didn't know that rule. Looks like I'm going to learn to open a mac sooner rather than later.

I got my iPAQ. It is mondo cool. Now I have to construct a database (ha ha) about our machines. But today, since I forgot everything at work yesterday, I am loading it up with software and a couple of mp3s. And pictures of the dogs.

I don't care what my husband says, I needed it and it rocks!

Evil, thy name is Mac

Our email terminal did something very uncool yesterday at 4:55 pm. It's an iMac or an eMac or an aMac or whatever the hell flavor it is.

A librarian came down as I was doctoring yet another computer and said, "It's flashing a question mark!"

So it was. I know diddly-squat about Macs, but it was evident that when you do a hard reset, and a smiley face and a folder with a question mark come flashing on your screen at start up, that there is a major problem.

First off, though, what's up with that flipping smiley face? I'm not seeing what I want to see... The systems librarian is most definitely not smiling. It's like the hunk of circuitry was mocking me.

Haha, new girl, I'm not going to staaaar-aaaart! Haha!

Since it was 4:55, and I planned on getting out of there at five, I wasn't going to tangle with Mr. Mac. I find most patrons hate that terminal anyway (even though, yes, it is always busy). So today, Mr. Mac is on the agenda. After the print station, but before then LAN reticent Dell on my desk. And somehow, I have to work in my training period on reference.

To the person who zorched our startup file (as this is what I think probably happened): Couldn't you at least have waited till my third week?

My "nice, quiet" library job

Hahahahahahahahaha! Just kidding on the subject line.

Yesterday I found my favorite thing to do at the library... throw obnoxious kids out. I hate to be the shushing librarian, sure, but this was downright fun. Of course, it would have been more fun if the little creeps were actually ashamed of their behavior.

I followed the little creeps around until they left. The last thing I wanted them doing was throwing their book bags into the eMacs. I have no idea how to fix an eMac. I don't need anyone complicating that.

Today I am doing inventory on the machines. This should prove interesting. The plan of attack is staff machines first. I can't forgot the director's machine. She is located somewhere in the building. I could probably find her office again if I wandered a few days. Hey, I've only been there a week! I want to work on it while she's not there. I have to say, I talk to machines while I work on them. And swear at them, on occasion.

Speaking of swearing, the print station is ready to go. I just can't put it online until our "trial" status is off the coin op machine. I don't want to tick off the vendor, since they do all our stuff and they're local. Politics suck. That should be done tomorrow. I'll have to ask.

I felt like a doofus on the phone with the printer people. I sent them our MAC number, and they said, "We have no record of your account." I almost had a cow right there at the reference desk. Turns out, they have an account with the coin op vendor, not us. I am so confused.

I am using SuSE Linux right now to access the web (you know, if I put Linux on all the Macs, I could probably use printers on all of them! Hey!) and my pppd daemon keeps dying. I love Linux terminology.

One more day till my pocket pc!


I had a dream about crayons arranged by Dewey Decimal number... I am worried. It took me at least six months before I started having dreams about patents at the patent office...

Windows is from Mars, Printers (today) are from Venus

No help from the BPL today... For some reason I can't log into Horizon as administrator on my computer. That would be nice to be able to do that... Anyway, not the point of this journal post.

Next on the agenda? Better antivirus. If I have to operate many things in a quasi administrator account, I sure as hell want some assurance that no one is downloading stupid stuff onto our drives.

But the feather in my cap today... I got the blasted printer network up and running, with a little help from my friends at Fortres. I had the right idea, just didn't know how to beat the path to the right file. We are a-okay. My assistant director can die a happy man.

I was kindly offered microsoft's web address today by someone who didn't like our array of fonts. Granted, we should have simplified Chinese, just going on our town's demographic, but I don't know if our printer will support it. Either way, the poor guy had no way of actually putting it in a Word document on the internet terminals anyway.

Tomorrow I work reference. More stories from the front, but probably not till Wednesday, as tomorrow is my "late" night. I work till nine... Yes, sadly enough, it is past my bedtime.

More composed and composing

My fixing o' the Dell seems to have quieted some of my fears about my new position. At least, I didn't have dreams of computers bursting into flames last night (as I did the night before).

I think I even know what the problem might be with the printer, but I'm not telling any one at work. I don't want the poor souls to get their hopes up.

Nice thing: the assistant director sat down with me yesterday (you know, before the computers started freaking out on me all at once) and told me that Rome wasn't built in a day and that I shouldn't feel pressure to have the, er, wide variety of issues we face fixed immediately. Since I am someone who puts an inordinate amount of pressure on myself, this was greatly appreciated.

"A" drive man came in yesterday. He wanted desperately to use the A drive on the information desk computer (later I realized it didn't have one...) Little did he know I was about ready to hide all the public access computers yesterday and keep them under lock and key where no one could break anything, never mind the staff computers.

Last night I bought an iPAQ, even though I once swore I would never give more money to HP. Why? Because with all the crud I have to keep track of, my old Handspring Platinum (which I adore) isn't going to cut it. It's running Palm OS 3 point something I believe. Anyway, the iPAQ seemed to be the best received for the buck.

And as they say "LOCKSS" (Lots of copies keeps stuff safe)... Meaning I need to get some semblance of order on the computers at work, and I don't quite trust the old IBM that's sitting on my desk. Or all those celeron processors.

Ah, a day off till Monday, when I will have yet more adventures in computing, I'm sure...

This is Trey, your customer support buddy

I don't know what happened on the circulation desk this morning. All the computers rebelled. Refusing log ins, then finally one just gave up the ghost, right there on the circ desk.

Pahphooey! Beeeeeep! Beeeeep! Beeeep! Six long beeps, no signal on the monitor. When my supervisor asked what that meant, I said, "He's dead, Jim."

It wasn't that bad. It was memory that somehow got shook loose, and I put it back in. Trey at Dell gave me the hint, and opening the case confirmed it.

If it wasn't the memory, it would have been the mobo. Thank god it wasn't. That requires the nice Dell man come out and fix it. I mean, I could do a mobo. If I had the time.

Where does the time go?

A fight also broke out over who got to use the payphone. Yeah. Like there's only one payphone in the whole state.

The public is just so civil.

Forget money. Printers are the root of all evil

After spending eight hours trying to get our printer software to work with our security software, I've made some progress. However, why I am still in front of a computer screen typing this is beyond me.

I think I am going to go let my brains leak out my ears.

Trial by fire (reference can be fun!)

I'd done (some) reference work at the MoS, and I enjoyed it. Yesterday, my second day on the job, two people called in sick and I got to man the reference desk (at least not all alone) for an hour and a half or so.

Here's what I learned:

  • People get emotional over museum passes. And boy are they popular. Every other person had a museum pass question. Or statement, anyway.
  • Sometimes, web servers just stink.
  • There's no way to search the catalog for all the books with green covers and red lettering
  • PC users are afraid of Macs. (They make them those colors so they're friendly. ) Mac users, however, just hate PCs.
  • The closed stacks have low ceilings, and alas, it confirms my suspicion: I am very short.

All and all a good experience. I was more uncomfortable with the phone. It all seemed so immediate on the phone. In person, I could smile and people could see it and that was nice.

Today: weeding and systems work!

Today I met a computer louder than the ubercomputer

It lives in the reference department. I bet the two, when networked together, could make sweet music. Or at least be really really loud.

My first day was good. I am tired. Boy, am I ever tired.

It's pretty scary... come see the systems librarian that couldn't figure out what the hell she did to clog her inkjet printer. Honestly, if it's a computer I can deal with it.

Deep, cleansing breaths

I am nervous. I am wicked nervous, as they say in my neck of the woods. Plus, I predict a bad hair day for my first day of work. Not that my hair is ever particularly good or anything, but it's supposed to sleet tomorrow.

It's good to be employed after doing the student thing. I am scared to death, but I will keep telling myself that.

No,really, it is.

You know, the ubercomputer, which I am sitting at now, is the love of my cyberlife (my real life is dominated by my love for Paul, alas). Sure, you boot it up and it sounds like a jet taking off, but it's just so speedy and cool. No, I mean cool. If you had twelve fans in you you'd be cool too.

I am running a dual Win2k/SuSE Linux 9 set up on it. It's overkill to run Linux on this chip, for sure, but hey. Of course, I know guys running Linux on X Boxes. Any excuse to run Linux is a good excuse to run Linux.

And the countdown starts...

Monday I start my new (first and only, except for a weakling internship at the Museum of Science) library job. Yes, I am a new systems/reference librarian at the local public library. I'm scairt.

They tell me scairt is good, sometimes.

I just finished my MLS from Simmons. I went mostly three quarters time, except for the summers.

And I finally signed on for a LISNews account. Been meaning to. Then the stupid stock heatsink and fan broke on the good computer, and then Linux went away while I had the fan on order... and I really didn't want to deal with the annoying pop ups on the Compaq and evil IE...

I was a real beyoch without my good computer. You know, more than I usually am. ;)

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