Natural Drain Cleaner

This is a little different post, but I figured I’d let everyone know how I cleaned my bathroom sink drain using products found in most kitchens that didn’t involve toxic chemicals. I found this “recipe” in varying forms on the Internet, but what I used was:

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup vinegar (heated up)

I poured the above down the drain and let it foam up (reminded my of junior high chemistry experiments) as it made a chemical reaction. After about 15 minutes I poured 2 quarts of boiling water down to wash things down. I’m not really sure the salt is needed as many recipes didn’t include it. Also some used different amounts of vinegar and baking soda, but this recipe worked for me. I also read that you can pour a 1/2 cup baking soda and a 1/2 cup salt down the drain before you go to bed and rinse it out with 2 cups boiling water in the morning to keep your drains flowing. A simple Internet search will show you other combinations to try.

To Tweet or not to tweet

I signed up for a Twitter account a while back, and until today made exactly one entry into it (I made two today). I guess I’m not sure how Twitter would be useful for me. There are a couple of reasons why I decided to log into my account today and start trying to use it in order to determine if it will be useful. The first is that during the recent Code4Lib conference a few people where using it to see if they could meet up with other people. I think this would be really useful. The only problem is, you would need to know how is using Twitter at the conference so you can check what they are doing. Actually, there is another problem… for this to be useful at conferences (especially big ones like ALA), you would need unlimited text messages on your phone or it could get expensive. I guess that is why I haven’t used it yet. I have a lame phone plan when it comes to anything but talking. I plan on getting a new phone soon, so maybe I’ll get a better plan for SMS at that time.

The other reason why I decided to really give Twitter a try is based on a short discussion on LISnews about Twitter and a recent video posting on what Twitter is about on Commoncraft. I don’t think either convinced me Twitter is useful or interesting for me, but I guess it did make me think it is worth giving it a try before discounting it.

New blog location

As you have no doubt realized if you are reading this on my site, my blog now has a new URL. It is at http://blog.ecorrado.us/. I never really liked that I put my blog at ecorrado.us as the home page, so when I moved my site to a new host I figured I’d have a few choices. I could either make it have its own sub-domain, or I could put it in a directory. I figured having its own sub-domain will give me the most flexibility moving forward. I also updated the version of WordPress I have, which hopefully will allow me some different options moving forward. By the way, let me know what you think of my new home page at http://ecorrado.us. I still have some changes I want to make, so it is work in progress, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

BTW: I’m now hosting my blog at Dreamhost. So far I really like it. If you are looking to change your web host, let me know and I can give you a discount code.

Defining relevancy : managing the new academic library

I just received a copy of “Defining relevancy : managing the new academic library.” I am excited about this book because I wrote the second chapter – my first book chapter. Since it just showed up about 45 minutes ago, I obviously didn’t get to read the book yet but it looks nice and covers a wide range of topics by many authors of different backgrounds. I can’t wait until I get a chance to read it.. My chapter is on “Social Software, Web 2.0, and Libraries.” While I am excited to see my name in print, I am also a little saddened since I am reminded of our friend John Iliff who passed away on May 6, 2006. John, who was always passionate about new technologies in libraries, and was originally supposed to write the chapter I wrote. John, you are surely missed.

Here is the citation for my chapter:

Corrado, Edward M. (2008). Social Software, Web 2.0, and Libraries. In Hurlbert, J. M. (Ed.), Defining relevancy managing the new academic library (pp 16-31). Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

Happy New Year

I’m not a huge fan of the whole New Year’s Eve celebration thing, but I hope everyone had a great 2007 and I wish everyone a wonderful 2008!

Code4Lib Journal goes live

As an Editorial Committee of the Code4Lib Journal, I am happy to report that the first issue is live at http://journal.code4lib.org/.

The journal’s mission: Code4Lib Journal exists to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future. Read and enjoy!

Syndication

As many of you know, after maintaining the GNUJersey planet aggregator for a couple of years, Dave Harding decided to take it down. In its place are two new aggregators, Planet Ubuntu NJ LoCo and a clone of Planet GNUJersey created by Brian Jones. My blog is aggregated at both sites and if you are interested in Free and Open Source Software in New Jersey (or in general for that matter), you might want to subscribe to them instead of individual blogs.

As always, you should also check out the Planet Code4lib aggregator (which I’m also on) if you are interested in Open Source or other software development in the library world.

Book covers

I was looking to find a book to read on an upcoming trip, so I was looking at book reviews on The Square Root of 2: A Dialogue Concerning a Number and a Sequence by David Flannery. So I found a book review by Doug Ensley, a math professor, and John Ensley, his teenage son. What was interesting about this was the review discusses the cover and how they “thought it had a cool cover.” Looking at the cover image, I can understand why. The premise of this part of the review is that the cover drew the readers in to want to read the book. From the review (which is written in dialogue form to match the book:

What did you think of David Flannery’s book on the square root of two?

At first I thought, “Can there really be 250 pages of stuff to say about the square root of two?” I also thought it had a cool cover.

So you judged a book by its cover?

Yeah, I guess I did at first. I also wanted to find out how anyone could possibly write an entire book about the square root of two.

Anyway, I went to go get the book off the shelf in “unnamed library” and it didn’t have the same cover. It just had a plain cover with nothing on it (except the title on the spine). This is typical of how many libraries display their books, but it is unfortunate. By loosing the dusk jacket, I didn’t get to see the cool cover that might have intrigued me more than the book “e: The Story of a Number” that was nearby on the shelf. I also lost the information about the author, an abstract about the book, quotes from reviewers, and whatever information might have been on the dusk jacket. This is not just the way unnamed library works, but many other libraries as well. It is a shame that this information is lost. I’m sure there is a processing argument that can be made for the money and time saved by removing the jacket versus doing something to make sure it stays permanently with the book. However, that doesn’t make it any more disappointing.

This disappointment makes me wish for book covers in our library OPAC even more. The rich information that one can get from online book store or LibraryThing (as well as the dusk jacket you can read in the brick and mortar bookstore can really influence what book you wish to read.

TCNJ Library awarded a grant to investigate Open Source ILS

I am happy to report that The College of New Jersey was awarded the planning grant by the the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ National Leadership Grants for Libraries program, that I helped write. The grant will allow TCNJ Library collaborate with two other academic libraries to plan for the development of a shared, open source ILS (Integrated Library System). For more information, see the announcement on the TCNJ Library Web site.

Equinox choosen to support Evergreen

In a non-shocking PR announcement, it was revealed that the Georgia Public Library Service selected Equinox “to provide Evergreen ILS support, software development, system administration, training and consulting services for the agency’s PINES program, a consortium of 265 public libraries. The agreement took effect July 1.” Equinox is a company formed by the original developers of Evergreen, who at the time worked for GPLS.

Equinox has also announced that of a consortium in British Columbia choose Equinox for Evergreen support. Things are looking up for the folks at Equinox.

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