Thursday, March 29, 2007

Huntington P.T. Archival Assistant Wanted

Position: Archival Assistant

Job Number: 057-07
Department: Rare Books
Classification: Grant-Sponsored (2 years),
Hourly, Part-Time, 18.75 hours per week

This two-year position, funded by a National Endowment of the Humanities "We the People" grant, assists with the arrangement, preservation, and description of the archive of noted architectural and garden photographer Maynard L. Parker (1900-1976).

Working under the direct supervision of two Project Archivists and the Curator of Photographs, performs processing, research, and clerical tasks related to the archive; performs basic preservation tasks associated with photographic and archival materials; provides research and reference assistance to the Project Archivist; assists with the basic organization and description of the materials; aids in preparation of electronic and paper finding aids for the collection.


  • Experience in research methods and research library use in the humanities, such as would be obtained through earning a B.A. or higher degree;
  • Familiarity with the work environment of a library,museum or research institution; Experience in computer applications,especially word processing and database software.
  • Must be accurate and detail oriented with a demonstrated organizational ability;
  • Should possess strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Proven ability to handle fragile and photographic materials with care and safety.
  • Two years experience in research library, archive, or similar organization;
  • A working knowledge of California architectural and garden history;
  • Experience in arranging and describing archival and non-book materials according to accepted national standards.
  • Ability to make logical decisions and to identify hierarchical relationships among elements of a collection;
  • Experience in handling fragile archival and photographic materials and in selecting proper preservation housings and treatment;
  • Knowledge of photographic techniques and processes, and of issues relating to the preservation of photographic materials;
  • Experience using File Maker Pro or similar database management software, and Word;
  • Ideal candidate is pursuing, or has pursued, graduate-level work in Information and Library Science or American History and/or American Studies.
If you are interested please visit the Huntington Library's employment website at

Resources to Help Learn About Web 2.0

For our online discussion group we have to learn what Web 2.0 means and apply its implications to library service. This is an attempt to display some of the audio and video explanations.

This Web 2.0 video gives a great overview of what the buzz is all about. For those in Library 105 you will recognize some of the terms that we have been exposed to in the discussion group.

What is Web 2.0? Andi Gutmans of Zend gives an explanation. You can visit the page at or, if your browser permits, click the YouTube version below:

For a truly cosmic yet lyrical explanation you should view Michael Wesch's video. You can view a decent copy at

My suggestion is to view the other videos first and then experience what he has to say about the topic.

Other resources:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Audio and Video Formats for Windows Users

There you are, minding your own business when it happens. You are assigned an online audio or video for class. If it an MP3 audio file more than likely your Windows Media Player (WMP) will allow you to listen in comfort. You do have to remember to turn the speakers on. ;-)

But if it is a video and you click the link and nothing happens then more often than not you are probably trying to view a video without the proper video player installed. For the record, Windows Media player can't play any form of QuickTime movies or Real Player file formats.

Here are your options.

Visit the QuickTime site to download the free Windows version of the QuickTime Player (QT). You have a choice. You can download the stand alone player or the player with iTunes. If you are on dial-up you don't want to tie up your phone line any longer than you need so I would suggest that you download the stand alone player.

After the QT player is installed you will be able to view video content in the .MOV, MP4 and M4V formats, as well as other audio and video formats.

There are other media players but for the most part if you have Windows Media Player and QuickTime you have just about all that you would need.

Except when you need Real Player. This use to be the predominate video and audio format. There are many websites that still use this format and it is not compatible with QT or WMP. There is a free basic player that will allow you to view files in the Real Player format.

Caveats? A few. Real Player would very much like you to purchase the SuperPass. You don't have to nor do you have to purchase any of the Rhapsody music tracks. You are under no obligation to do so.

In the past, Real Player would send statistical information back to the company. They have learned to ask before sending data. Make sure you read the messages as you install the software. Most Windows users do have both the WMP and QT.

If you have the hard drive space I would suggest the Real Player download as well.

Audio & Video Formats for QT Users

If it has not happened yet it will. You will be assigned to view an online video or listen to an audio presentation. You will click the link and nothing will happen. It is not your fault.

There are various audio and video formats on the Internet. The formats are designed to make it easier to listen to music or watch a video. There is just one problem. There isn't one standard universal format (Yes, I know about Flash, .swf and .flv but that is a topic for another time).

For Macintosh users it is a real problem. The good news is that there are solutions and here are a few of them. Mac users you have a pretty good media player already installed on your system.

The QuickTime player can handle a variety of media formats such as:

Audio - if the audio file ends in any of these extensions you should be able to hear the audio.
  • AIFF, AU, MIDI, MP3, WAV (there are others)
Video - if the video file ends in any of these extensions you should be able to see the video.
  • .AVI (an older Windows legacy video format)
  • .MOV the standard QT video format
  • .MP4 a newer video format that has improved video quality and a smaller file size
  • 3GPP a format for cell phones
  • M4V iPod video format
What QT can't do:

It cannot display the Windows Media video format. But there is a way to video Windows Video on a Mac computer.

The good folks at Flip4Mac have created a small program that can display Windows video in the QT player. It was so good that Microsoft now has the software on their site. If is a free download

If you want even more features or control over Windows video or to learn how to use it you'll need to visit

This isn't your only choice. There is another contender that might have the flexibility you need.

VLC Media Player is a free media player. VLC can play a huge amount of audio and video formats. It is almost easier to say what it can't play (such as files in the Real Player format and MP3 files (its a license thing).

You download the Mac version of the software and you are good to go.

The downside? Well, you have to be comfortable with downloading, setting up your system and in general figuring things out. Go to the VLC wiki. If you can't make heads or tails of what they are instructing you to do then don't download the program.

For the most part QT player and the Flip4Mac component should serve you well.

(Before you download anything make sure that you have sufficient space on your hard drive, that you have backed up your system files and that you have updated your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.)

Friday, March 23, 2007

PCC Night at the Apple Store Old Town Pasadena

Oh, man I have got to clean out my email more often. Diana Lopez sent this to me last week. I don't know if you heard of this in your classes but the Apple Store in Old Town is having a PCC night.

You get to spend time oogling goodies up close. Now if you are thinking about getting a new computer or planning on ditching Windows Vista this might be a good way to spend a chunk of time.

They will also give presentations and you can ask questions and get answers that you understand. Really, it is not like the other stores. Plus, it is free.

No? How about them giving away an iPod every half hour? If you are up for it then click the registration link below.

Apple Store, Pasadena
54 W. Colorado Blvd.
between Fair Oaks and Delacey

For more info check out

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Participatory Enclyclopedia - Fan Based

Fan inspired wikis are nothing short of amazing works. I got lost in a few of them.

Memory Alpha is the wikipedia for the Star Trek television programs and the animated series.

The members of this wiki have decided that only material that originated from the television and animated series could be considered for inclusion on this wiki. This is referred to as the canon.

That means no fan based fiction, audio books, new characters derived from comic books, video games or graphic novels can be included. For that type of information you have to go to Memory Beta.

For Star Wars fans there is the fan based Wookieepedia and the official Databank wiki at

There are lessons that can be learned from these sites. First of all the community is very protective of the information that goes into the wiki. You don't want to be the person posting bad info. They will find you. Quickly. It would not be pretty.

The information has to be verified, meaning you have to state your source. There is a huge printed catalog of books that document Star Trek and Star Wars mythologies, ships, engineering, languages (Klingon) and costumes. Knowing it is not enough. You have to document your article or it might be removed for incompleteness.

Finally everybody has to play nice or you get kicked off the wiki. You won't find much troll or crude content. It is a protected place.

These are some of the lessons that I hope Wikipedia can convince its many users to adopt with the same level of vigilance.

Participatory Encyclopedia - WikiPhilly

WikiPhilly is about the city of Philadelphia, PA. It has articles about landmarks like the John Wannamaker building and the Wannamaker Eagle in the center of the department store.

It contains listings on the known restaurants and classic take-out joints to snag the ultimate cheese steak hoagies. Psst - it's Jim's on 4th and South. All others are pretenders to the thrown.

This has the potential of a great idea for other cities. What is the embedded knowledge that a local citizen takes for granted and a newbie needs to learn and quickly. This is one idea that I hope other citizens and cities begin to duplicate.

Participatory Enclyclopedia - Conservaedia

Conservapedia is an wiki encyclopedia with a political and Christian focus (their words, not mine.) According to the site, the page was begun in 2006 by home schooled students in New Jersey.

What was informative for me was the Conservapedia Commandments which are the guidelines for posting and participating in the forums.

To submit an article for Conservapedia the information must be true and verifiable. You must cite yours sources. The use of B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) is not allowed because they feel it ignores the historical basis for the uses of B.C and A.D.

There are definitions, articles and various types of information expressed. There was even a page were folks could point out where Conservapedia was not as balanced as it appears to present itself.

Conservapedia could have removed the questions and concerns. It will be up to them on how they responded and become a accurate representation of the views of the conservative landscape.

Participatory Enclyclopedias - Planet Math

Planet Math is a encyclopedia for Mathematicians all others that are number bound. The goal of the project is to make mathematics more accessible.

Planet Math has its own classification system and articles submitted by those currently majoring in the field, have written their doctoral thesis or are just plan number junkies. There are free books to download on math topics, a math forum and a range of information starting with high school math moving into geometry, topology, number theory and discreet mathematics. Number crunchers, rejoice!

Participatory Enclyclopedias - Armeniapedia

Wikipedia may be the best known but it is not the only example of a group of people attempting to build an on-line knowledge bank of information. There are other fish in the sea.

Armeniapedia is an Armenian focused wiki. Starting in 2004 by Raffi Kojian the wiki covers history, culture, food and other topics with an Armenian or Armenian-American focus.

It invites contributions from the community. There is user generated information on this site in English and in the Armenian language however there is content from other sources that is citied and used by permission.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wikis - A Brief Introduction

I feel bad for Wikipedia. On the one hand, I'm glad the news media had something else to talk about besides under fed singers and actresses in rehab. Wikipedia took a hit this week and I still hear the chorus of "I told you so!"

I just wish they dug a little deeper. It might have helped to first understand what a wiki is before you start ripping into Wikipedia.

A wiki is used by a group of people to collaborate on projects. The software makes it very easy for team members to share information and to make adjustments without having to tear down and rebuild a web page. It is almost (but not quite) as easy as using a word processor but with the added benefit that that the team members or users do not have to be in the same location.

In fact that is one of the major attractions. For example there will be a "un"conference called BarCampUSA that will happen in Wisconsin in August.

BarCamp, (WineCamps, CoffeeCamps and all other camp permutations) are designed to help people learn things one to one or in groups in a casual minimally structured setting. This originally happened in bars hence "BarCamp".

There are people who have never met each other who are organizing this national event. Check it out for yourself At BarCamp people volunteer to conduct workshops, get information about the event and put their two cents on what they want to see happen.

Wikis make it easier for people to collaborate who can't physically be together. Everybody has a voice and an opportunity for input. You might have heard terms like social networking and collaborative media. This is one form of it.

To learn more:
Other wikis to check out:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The New Daylight Savings Time & Your Computer

I am already sleep deprived. I don't like the idea of having to wake up one hour earlier than I already do. It is not a pretty sight.

Congress in 2005 decided that as part of an energy bill to extend Daylight Savings Time (DST) ahead by four weeks. That is one hour less sleep per working day. five hours per work week. 25 frigging hours less sleep for the month!

See, I'm cranky already. Where was I? Your computer. Most of us in the program have a personal computer. On the PC side of the fence if you have a brand new computer with Windows Vista you are fine, no worries about DST. You have bigger headaches about the operating system but not this one.

Windows XP uses need to download a patch from Microsoft (and only Microsoft) to get your system to keep the correct time. The direct link for the update is Firefox users - I know it is a pain but use Microsoft IE to update to make sure the patch is applied correctly.

Windows ME, 98, 95 users. I regret to inform you that Microsoft has stated that they will not provide any patches or support for your operating system. I know you've had the beloved rust bucket for a while but this is the reality of working with an obsolete operating system.

You can manually turn off the automatic daylight savings time and then adjust to your local time. This will work for the operating system but other software that is dependent on the correct time might get a little fussy.

I will keep an look out for suggestions but it isn't looking good. I know money is an issue but one of the suggestions I do have is to switch to one of the Linux distributions. It is a different operating system but it will work with older computers. Some of the easier ones to work with are Xandros, Ubuntu , or Linspire

Mac Users - Feeling smug huh? Don't. You might be in the same boat. If you have OS 10.4 .5 or later you are ok for the moment. Running 9.3 or earlier? This is the link to the info on the Apple site

If you are a Palm PDA user you might want to visit

If you have a calendar or time tracking program you might want to go to the software web site to see if there is a patch for the program. More important, make sure you update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs before March 11.