Diane sent a video clip my way this week that got me thinking about what's next in the world of the reference interview. Does anyone remember that bit in that Tom Cruise movie Minority Report where he pulls up all those records in thin air & pushes them around etc. 'til he finds the one that he's looking for?

It's here, sort of, if you can afford it. Perceptive Pixel have a great demo video of their 8-ft multi-touch "collaboration wall", which you can buy as a 2007 fantasy Christmas gift at Neiman Marcus for $100,000. It is on my list...

For a bit less money you'll eventually be able to get a Microsoft Surface computer. Mind blowing interfaces with real-world objects such as your cellphone, & some great real-world commercial applications in stores, restaurants etc.

But hey, how 'bout getting a collaboration wall or a surface at the information desk? Lay your card and your books on the table to check out... Fly through Google Earth directions to experience your journey before you take it. Drag database articles to your folder on the fly, them move the whole folder to your USB. Pull up info related to your class project as you sit and discuss it, & sort through the stack of documents with your hands instead of your mouse. All good stuff. A bit much at $100k, but perhaps by 2015? A worthy addition to the master plan, methinks!

See also:

Sort of like brownies, but with more chips and less chocolate.

I've decided to keep this up as an occasional blog on library tech and the web of 23 things. I'm using Kinja, a web-based RSS reader, to help me with inspiration and the zeitgeist. I've subscribed to a bunch of yummy Library and tech blogs (suggestions for more in the comments, please!) . To see the list so far, or to get with the program, you can grab my sub list as OPML & import it into your own reader.


Heads up for a great resource for gadgety goodness and a look at the way the wind is blowing re: technology trends etc. If you're into such things after having completed 23 of them, Cali Lewis hosts GeekBrief.tv, a video podcast with available audio version. Just the sort of good stuff to download to your MP-3 player.

For anyone thinking about podcasting for themselves, there's also a setup page at Geekbrief to give a clue as to the tech required... admittedly this is professional grade stuff, but helpful nonetheless. Podcasts, anyone?

Oh, and Rubella was eradicated from the U.S. in 2005, allegedly, but apparently Cali is "bringin' it back and makin' it sexy," thus the gloves.

Blogger just added a fun new way to browse some of their recently-added content. They're calling it Blogger Play, and it is apparently a public version of a program that they've had in the office there for years. Play will show you a slideshow of images that have been recently uploaded to public blogger blogs.

For a full intro, see Blogger Buzz, and for more, check out the FAQ.

After a chat with a colleague I decided to dig a little deeper into the Cowon IAudio U-3's apparent aversion to Overdrive and Netlibrary. There's a relevant discussion in the Cowon America Forums, (don'tcha love the interweb?) For the full scoop, check out Prospect112's info. (I'm excerpting, so please read the source post / forum thread before you make any changes on your player.)

The major factors...were switching the U3 from UMS to MTP mode in Settings>General>USB connection (requires you to restart the player for change to take effect) and only using windows media player to add the files.

Now, when I plug the U3 into my PC it is recognized as a windows portable media device and not as a flash drive.

Next, I open the downloaded NetLibrary file in Windows Media Player (I'm assuming you've already gone thru setting up the license to play it), and it appears in the "Now Playing List."

I right click on the title in the "now Playing list" and select "Add to sync list" from the pull down menu. Click on the "sync" to open that window of the player.

Select the title(s) you want to sync from the left side window. Your player should appear in the right side window. Hit the "start sync" button in the upper left side of the window. That's it.

I haven't gotten a straight answer about safely ejecting the U3 from the PC when it is MTP mode. There is no dedicated icon for "safe to remove" in this mode, and I'm not sure if it is necessary to disable it from the device control panel or if you can just pull it out after closing down WMP.

Anyway, now, when the U3 is in MTP mode and its file browser is set to "music", I can find the audiobooks under the artist/author name or album name "unknown" and they play great. They are not visible if I switch back to UMS mode.
I'm happy to report that this works! I listened to an Overdrive Audiobook on the way home from work last night. I had to update Windows Media Player (again) and update the security settings. I made sure to sync the files to the MP-3 player from within Windows Media Player also. Worked out great, and my previously downloaded podcasts still play in the new setting.

I'm a downloadin' fool!

23 ThNings

Another follow-up post after the 23 things are said and done, this one to point you to a groovy community of help and resourcefulness composed entirely of folks wot are dun wiv their things.

Beth Tribe, Howard County Library's coordinator of software support and training, has established a 23-Things social network on Ning. You should join, really....

That's all...

A much more satisfactory outcome today when I checked out and successfully copied some Hunter S. Thomson from NetLibrary onto my MP-3 player. I did some digging in the I-Audio forums, and discovered a well-duh solution... Turns out that you have to use Windows Media Player to transfer the file to your MP-3 player so that the license travels with it. All acts of dragging and dropping are viewed as subversive and possibly illegal, and so the file doesn't work when 'tis dropped. So... don't drop the audiobooks. Hopefully this will work with Overdrive files too.

Am looking forward to a fun, gonzo and Thompsonesque drive home now. Cool!


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