Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Got my book from ILL today - that was pleasantly fast! Turns out the free content on Safari is indeed just preview information.

Monday, April 28, 2003

So it turns out that O'Reilly offers quite a few books in an online "preview" format from something called Safari. I was able to look through the Essential Blogging title I ordered the other day, and I don't think it's going to do for me what I'd hoped, but it was cool to get a chance to browse through it first. The site says you can get the first two weeks for free, but unless it's set a cookie or something, I'm not sure how it will track that as I was able to browse away to my heart's content. Maybe I wasn't seeing some content and wasn't even aware of the omission? I'll check the Safari content against the actual book when it arrives.

Haven't yet read the article, but Walt Crawford recommends Usability Testing at Florida International University Libraries: What We Learned, "particularly if you're redesigning your own website".

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Spent much of this afternoon re-learning Blogger. Ordered via ILL a copy of Essential Blogging - let's see if there's a better way to do this, shall we?

So I went to a talk by Bill Buxton yesterday, which really lit a spark under me. He's a Human / Computer Interface guy, but yesterday was speaking more about what needs to change in the computer world than what he's done. I jotted down a couple of things he said that struck me. One of them is that he always writes as he reads, to help him remember and to link ideas. He showed a webpage on Everest where he's keeping track of all his books and readings on the subject. This is my attempt at a regular "academic log" that will help me organize my thoughts. Back to his thoughts: Always ask yourself, "does this design reduce or increase the complexity?" "I believe the future is in heterogeneous social networks." "We don't reward collaborative problem solving in education - we call it 'cheating'." "Don't waste time researching the inevitable (don't try to build a faster computer because it will happen even without you!)".