Thursday, August 6, 2009

Episode 17 - Searching For Evergreens

Yeah, we have all been talking about the Yahoo/Microsoft deal and Bing and google and what have you, but have you ever thought about the searching you do, and have done well before there were search engines? I am talking here about library searching. Yes of course, Ken and Robin are our library guys here at Algoma University, and if you have ever listened to TC at all you know that we talk a lot about libraries, but this is a very special episode.... (cue cheesy music).

We were joined by Art Rhyno of the University of Windsor and Dan Scott and Kevin Beswick of Laurentian University, librarians all, ok Kevin is sort of a poser librarian, but well, I was outnumbered by the librarians. Happily, later Maddie and Isabelle showed up. These guys are setting up an open source catalogue for our libraries. This is VERY cool, even for me, captain psychology. Evergreen, the open ILS system is now used all over the place, even Armenia!

Now there are times in this episode where I have no idea what the heck they are talking about, but for the most part they made it clear. The key thing here is that they are doing this open source, and this is the opposite of the way it usually works.

We did not talk too much Sci Fi in this one, and only a little history. The history we did talk about was about the Library of Congress, that apparently was started out by a donation from Thomas Jefferson, who knew? OK, like all the library guys knew and I am an idiot... I think the Dewey Decimal System is a scam, as Kramer mentioned in Seinfeld. Apparently Dewey is not open, whereas Library of Congress is. This just reinforces the point to me.

Many thanks to Art (who has a community newspaper in Essex, ON) Dan Scott (who has a fine blog called CoffeeCode and self confessed library nerd in training Kevin Beswick.

Oh and Dan has the best radio voice ever.

I hope you enjoy episode 17.

8 comments:

Dan Scott said...

Thanks for pulling this together, Dave! Here's some errata and a few links for further information for the listeners:

I mentioned something about Georgia PINES handling tens of thousands of transactions per second; I was a little off (heh, I blame the beverages, not my complete lack of preparation for the show). Some real numbers are 10,000 transactions per hour (although that doesn't include searches, so maybe I wasn't that far off.

We got a little off track when we were discussing downloading music, and I should have mentioned that I have actually been downloading lots of music - but legally. Here are a few source of music that sanction try-before-buy and that give significant percentages of what you decide to pay directly to the artists:
* Magnatunes - I've been using this service for years
* Jamendo - this one is a bit newer to me but I've enjoyed Professor Kliq's work (shout-out to the Linux Outlaws podcast for making the introduction)

And I've had a subscription to EMusic for over a year, it has a bit more mainstream content than you'll find at the other services, but it's not as clear how much of a percentage goes to the artists.

Thanks again for having me on the show! It was a blast.

Tangential said...

Hey Dan,

I have never played with eMusic, it may be worth it. As I said, I DL the stuff I want to keep from iTunes, now that it is DRM free. I wish we had the amazon music store here.

I have also downloaded stuff from Jonathan Coulton from his website directly, great great stuff.

You are welcome back on any time!

Jim (raised by wolves) said...

Possibly the three best lines within a podcast ever...
1) We have a wife down!
2) But I didn't spill my beer.
3) That's why I married her...

Dave Brodbeck said...

Jim, glad you liked it. We were all over the map, but it was a good map, and no beer was spilled on the map...

Rebecca said...

The "serious" John Candy movie you were thinking of is "Only The Lonely." Ally Sheedy plays the mortician he falls in love with, and Maureen O'Hara (who played the mother on the original Parent Trap) played his mother.

And yes, I started following the podcast after my visit to Algoma a few weeks back, when Ken and Robin were pitching it to the assembled (librarians from the Soo and North Bay who had come to get a demonstration of Evergreen.)

Dave Brodbeck said...

@Rebecca, so glad to have you as a listener, and YES< ONLY THE LONLEY!!!

I miss John Candy movies.

Krash Coarse said...

and here I thought you guys were talking about "Canadian Bacon" (insert tongue-in-cheek here)...

In response to Dan: Jamendo and eMusic have been pretty good sources for the last year. I _hated_ iTunes (the app) on windows, so won't ever be buying music from Apple. Don't think there's a linux version of itunes, even if I wanted to try it where I live OS-wise now (ubuntu studio).

as to "shorter episodes": well... by the time I finished this one, I couldn't remember the 19 comments I wanted to make... whaddya think, Dave? Is it a memory problem? A.D.D.? or just way too much info in one shot? :)

Cheers!

Dave Brodbeck said...

Krash, yeah they should probably be more concise....

The next one is shorter, though that is because the SD card was full without my knowledge... Having a TV show to watch, BSG, in an hour helped last year. Perhaps I should look at my watch now and then...