Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Technological Heads Up -- DTV Deadline: 2/7/2009

All-digital treehouse?
Photo by PGP Design
Federal law requires that all full-power television broadcast stations switch to an all digital format beginning February 7, 2009. So on February 8 the old analog frequencies will no longer be used to transmit any TV shows, but instead will be used for public safety broadcasts, and also some of the freed-up frequencies can then be applied to anticipated new commercial wireless services.

Most TV sets purchased before May 25, 2007, were not required to include digital tuners (or warn you of the absence), so unless you bought your TV within the last year and a half chances are you will want to get a digital-to-analog set-top converter box. Just in case the cable goes out ...

If you have a commercial cable or satellite TV service, its converter box does bypass the immediate need. But you never know. So between January 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, all U.S. households may request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is administering the coupon program. For more information, visit the NTIA website at www.dtv2009.gov.

TIP: these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pukin' Punkish Punkin



Sick of traditional pumpkin pie? Then why not try one of these ...

You'll be gorging gorgeous gourds!

More marvelous morsels at: Ed's Favorite Recipes

Magic Spells (just in time for Hallowe'en...)

M U S Wooden Tag I C                            at symbol @
M A I Letter N on Glass (Takoma Park, MD)
This didn't work for me the first time I tried it...While exploring some of the Flickr-related mashups for JPL2.0, I used the speller at http://metaatem.net/words/, but I couldn't get
the html code to copy/display properly. So I went on to create this kaleidoscope-type image of the Music@Main flyer on a different site, but then I lost the URL to that site... So I tried the spelling one again and it worked like, well, like a charm!

Music @ Main : Polish Music for Violin & Piano

Programming classical music concerts at the Main Library has given me the opportunity to meet a great many of the First Coast's finest musicians. This image publicizes the next scheduled MUSIC@MAIN concert, which will take place on December 8, 2008, at 6:15 p.m.

The program will feature two world-class performers, each of whom has played concerts at the Main Library, but this will be the first time they will appear together on the stage of the Library's Hicks Auditorium.

Piotr Szewczyk is a Polish-born violinist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra who regularly performs at various venues throught the United States and Europe (I believe he is currently in or on his way to Munich). Jacksonville native Christine Clark is an award-winning pianist who is President of Friday Musicale, and who appears frequently in solo recitals and with many of the area's finest instrumentalists.
CLICK HERE for bios of the artists

Mark your calendars--you won't want to miss this concert!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The 7½ Habits of Lifelong Learning

Photo by melcsee
The City provides its employees at least 24 hours a year of educational opportunities, and among those the Library encourages staff to follow a 9-hour interactive online course to learn about Web 2.0 applications, both to better help customers understand the popular Internet applications available and to enhance communication with the public and among staff via the Internet. The JPL Learning 2.0 course is based on a similar program out of Charlotte, NC.

These "7½ Habits" are reviewed in this "Learning 2.0" training:

5 Habits in action ... Photo by NanaJanet1954
Habit 1: Begin with a goal in mind
Habit 2: Accept responsibility for your own learning
Habit 3: View problems as challenges
Habit 4: Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner
Habit 5: Create your own learning toolbox
Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage
Habit 7: Teach and mentor others
Habit 7-1/2: PLAY!

I expect that Habit 3 is both the easiest and the hardest for me ...
  • Easiest because I like finding answers, solutions and work-arounds relating to new problems; but
  • Hardest if the problem is a recurring one that isn't really under my control -- e.g., I have less and less patience with the same problems and issues over and over again, such as continually having to remind different customers working at library PCs to turn down the volume !

"Ready Reference" web page goes public

Being editor of the homepage for Library Reference staff has provided me the opportunity to discover firsthand a lot of very useful websites. I have created a single-screen public web page that organizes many of these, plus some additional "civilian" websites of interest especially to Jacksonville residents. "Ed's Guide to the Best Internet Resources" is available at http://home.comcast.net/~edward_lein/refsites.html
-- I'd love feedback on how to make it more useful!