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Installation Wiki Wednesday, 26 September 2007 5:08 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, free/Open Source Software, wikis.
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The Installation Wiki provides comprehensive and free guides to installing software and it’s an open wiki.  The front page has a variety of categories, including open source, content management, Web development, databases, Java, PHP, Microsoft and .NET, and Networking and Telephony.  Choose a category and you’ll get a list of software.   I checked on some of the open source software like Moodle, it has very detailed instruction on how to install and configure the software.

via ResearchBuzz


Google Calendar, and its Web 2.0 potential Wednesday, 19 April 2006 8:56 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, free/Open Source Software, Web 2.0, What's new at Google?!.
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We all know that Yahoo calendar is the leading service in this category. 

Google has launched Google Calendar beta (GC), you may share it w/ friends, colleagues and the like, or keep it private (default), or you may open it up for every one (esp. helpful if you have a business like an art gallery, theatre, book club, or a library). The GC service will also recognise events w/i the text of Gmail messages and flag them, so you may add them into your GC instantly.

Color coding helps to keep different things (home, office, art, concerts, vacation, etc.) straight, you can also add different holiday calendars (e.g. US Holidays, China Holidays). 

It lets you quickly add an event, and view multiple calendars w/i one screen. Similar to Outlook and Evite, Google Calendar beta lets you send invitations to anyone — even to people who don't use Gmail. Event reminders, including SMS updates, will surely keep you on your toes.

GC lets you import calendars from MS Outlook, and Mac fans will love it since it syncs w/ iCal. 

You can export your schedule via RSS, and then read the feeds from a third-party newsreader.

Its unclutered interface, Web 2.0 potential, together w/ Google's powerful search capability, I think you'll like it.

For its Web 2.0 potential, read Google Calendar API + GC's Web 2.0 Potential on Search Engine Lowdown.


the afternoon preconference workshop that I attended, “Creating Online Tutorials Wednesday, 22 March 2006 2:29 am

Posted by Dongmei in free/Open Source Software, Library Instruction.

in Less Than 30 Minutes?” by Greg Notess, the guy of “Search Engine Showdown“.

Is it possible to create well-planned library tutorials (with audios) in 30 minutes? I guess you have to ask Greg yourself. To me, for quick and dirty ones, it’s possible … but well-planned, well-executed library tutorials, I don’t think so 😦

A new term (at least to me), screencast/screencasting … check out Jon Udell’s Screencasting Bookmarks (http://del.icio.us/judell/Screencasting)

Greg indicated that there are commercial and free software out there for screen capture and voice recording, the best options are still those commercial ones (Camtasia Studio, Macromedia Captivate, etc.). (This kind of echoes with my opinion, in an email sent out to my ref folks at CofC quite a while ago, I stressed that we should invest some money in some tutorial software that’s popular and suit our needs, based on my former experiences with Captivate, Viewlet, and some reviews of this type of software).
He gave quite a few examples of tutorials created using each software that he mentioned in the workshop.

Interestingly enough, he seems to like Camtasia a lot, while I remember in one of the review article that I forwarded to my colleagues in an email quite a while ago, they seem to favor Captivate over Camtasia. (I have to dig that review out).

A free software “Wink” (www.debugmode.com/wink) is worth to check out, even though it currently can record only screen actions, no sound, yet (but savvy tech folks may want to combine with Audacity or other audio recording tool/software).

For more updates and software options, watch this wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screencast).

He gave a lot screencasting planning tips, recording tips (for audio, video, and error handling).

For usability and planning, he mentioned the TUSCWOG (Tutorial Using Screen Capture Working Group).

Here are a few sites to watch for screencasting news:

spyware, things you should know Wednesday, 1 March 2006 5:32 pm

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, free/Open Source Software, Internet Resources.

Been sick for a while, haven’t kept up w/ my blog … lots of things to blog about … attended this great spyware workshop presented by two Student Computing Support tech guys (for more details, see Thurs. @ 3 Library Seminars) a couple of weeks ago, meant to share w/ you all what I learned. (Don’t know what spyware/malware/badware/adware is and what it will do to your computer? Read this from Wikipedia).
1. anti-spyware software and tools
Microsoft Anti-Spyware (Windows Defender (Beta 2)): http://www.microsoft.com

Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE (Personal version is free to download): http://www.lavasoftusa.com

Spybot Search and Destroy (freeware, donate if you can :-)): http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html

Ewido Anti-Malware (free download): http://www.ewido.com

note: of all these software, I personally like Spybot S&D the best.

2. Comprehensive list of spyware (black list :-)): http://www.spywareguide.com

3. Report to stop badware (sponsored by Google, Sun Microsystems, etc.): http://www.stopbadware.com

4. Faculty (staff) and students of CofC, download and install Symantec Anti Virus: http://antivirus.cofc.edu

5. You may wish to use alternative browsers, such as

Mozilla Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org

Opera Web Browser: http://www.opera.com

6. Tips to protect yourself from spyware

  • Read User Agreements Before Clicking Yes to Protect Yourself from Spyware (Spyware that comes bundled with shareware usually appears in Chapter 9: Third Party Software);
  • Be Careful of Advertising That Looks Like Windows Warnings to Protect Yourself from Spyware;
  • Carefully Read Windows Warnings that Present themselves while Surfing to Protect Yourself from Spyware;
  • Install a Program to Detect Spyware and Scan Often to Protect Yourself from Spyware (see above 1);
  • Be Leery of Visiting Websites that aren’t Well Known to Protect Yourself from Spyware;
  • Update Windows and your Browser to Protect Yourself from Spyware;
  • Be Leery of Installing Shareware and Free Programs to Protect  Yourself from Spyware.

Google launches home page service, Google Page Creator Thursday, 23 February 2006 10:15 am

Posted by Dongmei in featured IT of the week, free/Open Source Software, Internet Resources, What's new at Google?!.

From Steve Rubel’s blog Micro Persuasion

“Remember that rumored Ajax-based Google home page service? Well it launched. For more, see Chris Sherman’s
analysis on Search Engine Watch
on where this fits vis-a-vis Google’s Blogger”.

Google Page Creator is a free online tool that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish useful, attractive web pages in just minutes. It promises that No technical knowledge required (no HTML, or complex software), wysiwyg (What you see is what you’ll get), and you don’t need to worry about hosting (Google will host it for you just like it’s free blogging service, Blogger). All you need to do is to login with your Gmail account and … start making pages.