Walt's blog

Cites & Insights 6:8 available

Cites & Insights 6:8, June 2006, is now available for downloading.

The 26-page issue (PDF as usual, but most essays are available as HTML pages from the C&I home page) includes:

OCLC-RLG merger

Some of you presumably know that I've worked at RLG what seems like forever (not quite 27 years).

Blake's posted the OCLC and RLG press release about the two combining. Blake posted the whole thing: I just didn't click the "read more" button.

At this point, all I have to say about this is contained in this post at Walt at Random.

Cites & Insights 6:7 available

Cites & Insights 6:7, May 2006 is now available.

The 22-page issue (PDF as always, but each section is available as an HTML separate from the home page) includes:

No, I haven't shut down Walt at Random

Fixed--it was a Bloglines problem--but Technorati still says I'm hossam4000talat. I imagine that will clear itself up sometime soon.

If you subscribe to Walt at Random via an aggregator, you might or might not notice that it's disappeared.

You also might or might not notice your new friend, hossam4000talat, which at the moment seems to have one brand-new entry, a "hello world." entry.

Hump day

If you have even the slightest sense of humor about the wonders of the internet, go read this. Of course it's a joke. (I miss Lore's old site...)

Oh, there's one other thing: I'm trying even harder to keep this resolution. Right now, when a brouhaha that should have died down seems to be popping up elsewhere, it's difficult. (Nothing to do with AdSense, where I'm still at the "reaching payment trigger in 2 to 5 years" level.)

Time to hang it up?

After much frustration and thought, I just posted this overlong rant at Walt at Random.

Since it's possible that one of my two readers here isn't also a W.a.r. reader, I thought I'd note it here because, well, I'm dead serious about this.

Right at the moment, despite the sun actually emerging for a while today, and maybe because I have a nagging headache, I'm discouraged. Maybe even fed up. And wondering whether it's worth it if what I do is so easily misinterpreted (or is it being misinterpreted?).

Cites & Insights 6:6 available

No rain today in Mountain View, for the first time in two or three weeks--what better reason to publish a Spring issue?

Cites & Insights 6:6, Spring 2006 is ready for downloading.

The 26-page issue (all essays except the last also available as HTML separates at the C&I home page) includes:

Reminding myself of this year's only resolution

For reasons that are best not enumerated, I was on the verge of massively violating the only New Year's Resolution I've made in years.

If you don't wish to go there, here's the start:

Don't attack the person, attack the message (if I must attack at all).

That's the easy part. The hard part:

When someone demeans me, uses slanderous labels, writes in a generally abusive or belittling manner in order to avoid actual discussion--don't respond in kind.

Cites & Insights update

I managed to "downgrade" to Acrobat 7.0 and, with a couple of tweaks, do a new "proper" PDF for this issue. It's still bigger than it should be (590K, but that's better than 622K--I think it should be around 400K), but the first page now seems to show up after five or ten seconds, not 20 or 30 seconds.

Cites & Insights 6:5 - temporary revision

It's the seventyfifth day of 2006, and C&I 6:5 is the seventyfifth issue of Cites & Insights. The special Diamond Anniversary edition is now available for downloading.

The 28-page issue, PDF as always (but also available as one big HTML file) consists of a tiny little Bibs & Blather and a 28-page

Perspectives: Seventyfive Facets--75 brief essays (average 290 words each), mostly new, some old (but most of you haven't seen them), covering a range of topics.

Programmers, analysts, and vendors want to be paid!

I appreciate the fact that Blake approved this story for posting. (I submitted a comment on Archivegrid.org to LITA-L, and it seems to have dropped into the bit bucket...)

Losing my cool (as if I ever had any)

I sent Blake some email today. In some ways I wish I hadn't. It was a brief note on why I haven't really commented on his "10 blogs" story (other than starting a kerfuffle over whether it's plausible to make distinctions about types of online writing).

Those who know me well enough know exactly what the problem was. Those who don't, well, don't need to know. It has to do with interpersonal relations and personal attacks.

Cites & Insights 6:4 available

Cites & Insights 6:4 (March 2006) is now available for downloading.

The 24-page issue is PDF as usual; you can also reach the first five essays as HTML separates from the home page.

This issue includes:

One that won't be in the next C&I

I'm a ways from doing the March Cites & Insights, but I just finished (I hope) writing the first draft of what's likely to be the longest chunk of the issue, a "Library Stuff" set that cites and comments on several separate articles as well as some of the articles in the tenth anniversary issues of D-Lib Magazine and Ariadne.

(Yes, the "four cancellations" post at Walt at Random was procrastination: the first article in Ariadne requiring comment was a 13,000-word landmark by Lorcan Dempsey, and I had to work up to writing about it...)

There was one more article that I'd printed out and that survived an initial winnowing: "Crying wolf: An examination and reconsideration of the perception of crisis in LIS education," by Andrew Dillon and April Norris, which appeared in the Fall 2005 Journal of Education for Library and Information Science. As the title suggests, Dillon (dean at U. Texas Austin's School of Information) and Norris (a master's student in that school) take issue with the cries of Michael Gorman and others regarding a crisis in today's library/information science schools.

I've just reread the article. I'm not going to add it to the "Library Stuff" section (which is 5,900 words already).

Not because it's not well done: It's very well done.

Not because I'm automatically in agreement with Gorman: By now, after "blog people" and several other issues, it should be clear that having coauthored a book with Michael Gorman 11 years ago does not mean I agree with him on any given issue today.

Nope. What finally dissuaded me was the sense that I just don't know enough to comment intelligently on either side of this issue. Not that that always stops me, but this time it did.

I haven't been to library school. I'm increasingly unlikely to do so. If I did, it would probably be a "library school"--the one at San Jose State University, which still does include the L-word and is, I believe, well respected for educating would-be librarians. And, frankly, I don't read so much of the formal refereed library literature that I have a strong opinion as to its strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks to blogs, I'm aware of a lot more newly-graduated and not-yet-graduated library school/information school students than I was, say, a decade ago. Among that group, I don't see some blind allegiance to technology at the expense of library values and the traditional aspects of librarianship--at least not very often. I see a lot of thoughtful and interesting people.

I think Dillon and Norris do a pretty good job of undermining some claims of crisis. So maybe this is a sub-citation: Not quite part of C&I, but a mild comment on what seems to be a good article, from one who's really not in a position to make coherent judgments in the area.

Hardware affection (not quite love)...and a web service too

I'm one of those touch typists (80wpm adjusting for errors: Thank you, junior high school) who loves the Microsoft Natural Keyboard, and will swear that it's saved me from RSI. I've used the same one at home for maybe five years now (I'm not sure how long); it's a little grungy, but what the hey. And my "new" (now 38 month old) home PC came with a Logitech-built optical mouse, back when that was still a $20 upgrade, and of course I've loved that. Even if the mouse wire can be somewhat of a hassle.

I looked at wireless keyboards and mice, if only to cut back on the rat's nest of wires. With my sleek new Sony LCD display (good industrial design is always a pleasure, particularly when combined with first-rate engineering), cleaning up the desk seems even more worthwhile.

But the mice were expensive on their own--and the mouse/keyboard wireless combos, relatively economical by comparison, had one fatal drawback. There's no way I'd go back to a standard keyboard unless a very sizable bribe was involved. Very sizable.

Times change, and special situations provide special incentives. Thanks to a recent visit to Redmond, I'm typing this on a sleek black Microsoft Natural Multimedia keyboard, black and silver to match my old/new Gateway and the Sony, and wireless. It's the newer "elite" Natural, a little narrower than the original. And moving the cursor with a Wireless IntelliMouse, which seemed like it might be blocky (it's taller than my old mouse) but turns out to be a perfect hand-fit. The two extra buttons are OK too (well, three if you include the scroll wheel); I kept the "magnify" feature assigned by default to one (a fairly slick 5x-magnification window I didn't know Windows XP had),and assigned double-click to one that's hard to hit accidentally.

Then there's the scroll wheel itself. I don't use scrolling that much, partly because the wheels have been a little clunky. This one is...smooth is the word that comes to mind. I can see using it a lot more. As an extra whistle, it's a sideways wheel as well, for apps where that makes sense: you can noodge the wheel left or right.

Color me happy. As to the web service? See my W.a.r. post about Pandora. This just might sucker me into listening to more music and a broader range of music. Which might or might not be a good thing.

Cites & Insights 6:3 available

Cites & Insights 6:3, February 2006, is now available for downloading.

The PDF issue is 22 pages long. Each section except "My Back Pages" is also available in HTML, with links on the C&I home page.

This issue includes the following essays:

This post does not exist

OK, I have to say it somewhere. I wrote it as a comment on a blog posting, then deleted it. I included it as an offtopic paragraph in the final pre-Midwinter post at Walt at Random--then deleted it.

I was noting a post that said the person making the post welcomed discussion of a particular set of notions and a controversial name for that set of notions, with two exceptions: The person didn't welcome any objections to the controversial name, and the person didn't welcome key doubts about the notions.

Semi-political Tuesday

I love this country. Really I do. On the other hand:

The Chilean election makes me wonder when someone like that would ever be elected President or even Vice President in the U.S.--or, for that matter, even to the Senate.

By "like that" I don't mean a woman (both of "my" senators have that distinction, and I think we'll see a female U.S. president before I die).

I don't even mean a free-market socialist, although that's wildly unlikely.

Nope. What I mean is: She's an avowed agnostic.

The joys of obsession

Can you imagine? Here I spent more than two weeks assembling, editing, revising, re-revising, re-editing, and finally preparing an oversize C&I about Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"--and never once thought about Teleread.

Which, of course, didn't stop the inimitable David Rothman from assuming that my remark about national public library systems (based on Talis' white paper) must be an attack on Teleread, and proceeding to lambaste me not only on Teleread's blog but here as well--and somehow have me attacking ebooks, audiobooks, assistive technology, and who knows what else?

Cites & Insights 6:2 - a special issue

Cites & Insights 6:2, Midwinter 2006 is now available for downloading.

This is a special issue, 32 pages long in PDF form, consisting of one essay:

Library 2.0 and "Library 2.0"

Included are quotes and comments from some three dozen sources, some of them new to the discussion.

Pages

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