Saturday, July 6, 2013

Old Greek technology Blogjune Day 21

This item definitely falls into the category of old technology.  My once beloved IBM Selectric has long since gone, sent to East Timor with a lot of other typewriters. But not the Greek golfballs. The raised surfaces of these golfballs were an innovation in their time and made the IBM Selectrics multilingual. I have these as artefacts now but once they were innovative and truly useful.

Electricity "smart" meter #blogjune Day 20

Electricity "smart" meter 52/25/2 #technology by Hecuba's Story
Electricity "smart" meter 52/25/2 #technology, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

I often reflect on the ubiquitous nature of technology and the influences of it on my life.  My new electricity "smart" meter has the potential to provide me with more information than I feel I would ever need about my electricity usage - but you never know.  There is even a QR code on it.  

And, of course, like all changes in technology it really changes work practices.  The old walking the streets reading meters roles are changing dramatically, in some cases not being required any more, or in other cases using handheld technology to read the meters as in the case of smart water meters.

1982 Infoserve manual #blogjune Day 19

1982 Infoserve manual 52/25/1 #fp13 #technology by Hecuba's Story
1982 Infoserve manual 52/25/1 #fp13 #technology, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

Who remembers Libramatics?  I took this photo to post when I was gently taken to task by @petahopkins for throwing out old IT manuals and old copies of LASIE without taking notes or photos. Libramatics were cutting edge library technology in Melbourne in the 1970s and 1980s. They worked with us at Carringbush to produce the world's first computerized catalogue in Greek script  (and had a good go at Turkish as well). 

This is a page of a 1982 manual for coding community organizations in Infoserve, an automated community directory developed using Ausmarc fields.  It was very cool - on fiche of course.  Libramatics were great at stepping outside the box when ideas came up.  Peter Stansfield had the brilliant but simple idea that if we had Ausmarc tags set up for cataloguing why could we not use them for other sorts of databases, such as a community directory.  245 could as well be the title for a community organization as for a book.  And so the concept of Infoserve was born and Libramatics developed the coding for us.

So Peta, thanks for making me think about the importance of this manual in the development of library systems in Australia.  I haven't thrown this one out.

Cycling app #blogjune Day18

This is a flyer I noticed in Hawthorn Library for a free Cycling Map App for use in the City of Boroondara.  It  was good to see that the flyer also had QR codes both for loading the app from the App Store and for loading the map.

Sands & McDougalls to play with #blogjune Day 17

S&Ms to play with H365/175 #happy365 by Hecuba's Story
S&Ms to play with H365/175 #happy365, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

In most cases I feel that CD ROM technology is something that I have moved on from and was a passing phase.  But I still like using them for access to local history databases that are just not available online yet.  Let's face it, compared to wading through boxes of microfiche for family and local history searches, the CD ROM form of the Sands and McDougall Melbourne Directories is hi tech.  But I do hope the directories will also be available online one day soon.

Technology and Time-Keeping #blogjune Day 16

Wind-up Baby Ben clock 52/24/2 #fp13 #wind by Hecuba's Story
Wind-up Baby Ben clock 52/24/2 #fp13 #wind, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

The theme for my Flickr Friday photos this week is "Wind".   One of the photos I took for this was of my old wind-up Baby Ben clock.  It no longer works as the spring is broken.  But I like to have it as a decorative piece and a reminder of my past.   

Taking the photo really led me to reflect on the impact technology has on my use of time-keeping devices.  Once I had a wind-up clock and a wind up watch that I religiously wound up every night. Now although I have a couple of (battery operated) watches which I wear occasionally as jewellery I really rely on my iPhone or other devices for timekeeping when I am out and about.  In the house I have the time flashing at me in every room from devices, appliances and my desktop PC.

QR on construction site #blogjune Day 15

QR on construction site by Hecuba's Story
QR on construction site, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

Collingwood Town Hall is currently closed for renovation.  It was good to see that the City of Yarra used a QR code on the signage sending people around the corner to the temporary Customer Service Centre next to Collingwood Library. 

MMBW maps #blogjune Day 14

MMBW maps H365/163 #happy365 by Hecuba's Story
MMBW maps H365/163 #happy365, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

I LOVE that all the MMBW maps are digitized and available on the State Library of Victoria website.  That's Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works maps for you non Melbournians.  They were created over a number of years in the late 19th and 20th century as a precursor to sewering the city.  And they are provide me with many, many hours of amusement.  Thanks you, State Library of Victoria for completing this fabulous project.

Gertrude Street Fitzroy Instaweather #blogjune Day 13

Gertrude Street Fitzroy 365/164 #2013PAD H365/164 #happy365 by Hecuba's Story
Gertrude Street Fitzroy 365/164 #2013PAD H365/164 #happy365, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

Since I discovered Instaweather in #anz23mthings (or rather since I actually loaded the app as I had seen people using it before), I have been having fun playing with it and using different weather skins.  However, I do find that it is rather inaccurate in terms of the weather.  Does anyone know where it gets the data?  This day was decidedly colder than 13c at the time I was taking the photo and the temp given in my car confirmed this.  So it is a fun app to use but maybe not a very accurate one.

QR in Edinburgh Gardens #blogjune Day 12

QR in Edinburgh Gardens by Hecuba's Story
QR in Edinburgh Gardens, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

I am constantly amazed at the places I find QR codes.  I found this one on a morning walk through Edinburgh Gardens in North Fitzroy.  I also love the Lort Smith Animal Hospital one that I often see on a bin in Darling Gardens, Clifton Hill.

When I was travelling in Greece, I snapped one on a tram stop and posted it to Flickr.  Next thing I knew I was being invited to join the Flickr QR codes in the wild group and post there.  Check it out if you are interested in the use of QR codes. 

A Reflection on #blogjune 2013 Post 22

Soooo tired 365/184 #2013PAD by Hecuba's Story

Soooo tired 365/184 #2013PAD, a photo by Hecuba's Story on Flickr.

Well here I am nearly a week since the end of June finally reflecting on the failure that was my #blogjune.  But maybe with strict accuracy I should be fairer to myself and not say failure, but lack of complete success. Unlike the tired Xena above, I didn't spend June napping instead of blogjuning but here I am in July and for this blog, Hecuba's story, I only did eleven posts of the required 30 in June.  This was despite having mapped out and researched quite a few other posts including the two (or is it three?) posts/things I am behind with in #anz23mthings.

Oh dear!  Well maybe I just committed to more than I could achieve and should start thinking carefully about web 2.0 challenges I set myself. What are they and how am I going mid year?

I have two daily Flickr challenges (#2013PAD and #365happy) and two weekly Flickr challenges (#fp13 for both me and the Collingwood Historical Society). I am completely up to date in all four of them.  I should in all fairness admit here that another member of the Collingwood Historical Society helps with that Flickr #fp13 challenge. But still Big tick!

I signed up and committed to doing #anz23mthings and I was doing well until, well let's be frank about this, until I started doing #blogjune as well.  Or not keeping up with either of them.  However, I have been researching playing with apps and sites so it really isn't as bad as it looks. I will make a big effort and catch up with #anz23mthings by the end of next week.

 And #blogjune?  Well I committed to doing #blogjune for both this blog and for the Collingwood Historical Society blog. That meant 60 blogposts in the month of June.  I must have been mad.  By dint of a huge effort on 30 June (i.e. being tied to the computer for hours and doing 12 posts that day), I managed to complete #blogjune for the Collingwood Historical Society. Big tick! 

For this blog, I managed to complete eleven in June. This means that in June I competed a total of 41 blogposts.  So not so much failure as lack of complete success.  Earlier this morning I sat down to write this post as I was about to give up and say I had completed only eleven posts. But when I thought of the photos I had taken for posts and the drafts I had very loosely thought of, I flicked this post back into draft rather than publishing it and went back to review them.

Now hours later I am still sitting at my computer.  But I have published another ten #blogjune posts for better or for worse and I am feeling a lot better about #blogjune as this post will make post 22. I actually have scrappy notes about a few other posts too.  So maybe I will just try to finish the challenge even if I get it done by mid July.  And next year maybe I will think more carefully before I commit.

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