Friday, July 30, 2010

Chips and Mash today at Huddersfield

Most of you reading this will most likely be there, but Chips and Mash are at Huddersfield university today. The hash tag for those following via twitter may be found here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Viral marketing of the library

(Found via here). NPR has an excellent article entitled 'Why the next big pop culture after cupcakes might be libraries'. The article looks at the impact of the viral marketing of libraries via the (excessively) meme'd Old Spice video and Lady Gaga also. The article looks at the positive article's that seem to being picked up, on the importance of libraries in this 'big society' no skills/pay/promotion world.
The article then looks at the positive impact of libraries on societies to. Obviously, people have to pay for them, but they do provide a cultural outlet for many users. But in Britain when I think of of Cameron, Conservatives and libraries I think of Goring:-

Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my browning.

Kindle thriving

(Found via here). The Guardian today reports that the Amazon Kindle is outstripping hard back sale. Kindle it says is selling 143 ebooks to 100 hardbacks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

To spend or not to spend on one's career?

The real wikiman blog has an article entitled Do you spend enough on career development? As is usual with his blog he makes some fairly salient points. His most glaring is:-

I’m very fortunate in two ways: firstly I work for an employer that invests in training opportunities and takes developing its employees seriously, so for all stuff directly relevant to my job I get sent off on training all the time. Secondly, by the time this blog is two years old this time next year, I think I will have attended more than 10 fantastic events for free (and with train fares paid), that I would otherwise have paid to attend myself as a delegate, because I’m either speaking at them or helping organise them. It sounds outrageously cynical / glib to say it’s worth submitting a paper for an event you really want to go to, but it really is worth bearing in mind! You’ll get more out of the day anyway, and you’ll save a lot of money. Same goes for volunteering to help run things – hard work, but free attendance For The Win.

I do feel nowadays, contracts are becoming short -term and career development funding slashed. Maybe we need more courses on how to submitting a paper perhaps?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The glorious past of the ZX Spectrum

I recently recieved a £20.00 amazon token from Cilip for introducing someone. With this I bought Race for a New Game Machine, The: Creating the Chips Inside the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, The Ultimate History of Video Games, Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution, Arcade Mania: The Turbo-Charged World of Japan's Game Centers: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers. I've started Race for a New Game Machine, but was so boring. I therefore started reading The Ultimate History of Video Game, which is much better, but very American orientated read.
It seems there's little been little written on the ZX Spectrum, the object that started my love of PCs and especially games. The only area of coverage of the Spectrum's history was the BBC program last year.
I was first given a computer in 1983, a ZX 81, which had 1 K of memory and an awful keyboard for gaming. To this could be added a wobbly 16k expansion pack, which often caused the machine to crash. A tape recorder and television would be required to load the game. The tape recorder had to have clean heads and be at the correct tone to load the game. The best game was Forty niner in my opinion. Due to the 16k memory, some of the games were fairly rudimentary at best.
Whilst at school my peer group had access to these relics and a few BBC computer. If you were fortunate enough, and your father was a teacher, you could perhaps take this home at the weekend and play Chuckie Egg on it.
To me, the Spectrum was a revelation. I was a teenager and this machine was what most of my peer group was using. The spectrum, not only created a buzz about the games from British companies, that seemed to be sailing a wave f a future service industry based economy. These companies included Imagine software based in Liverpool. Ultimate based in Ashby De La Zouch. Ocean software based in Manchester. Gremlin Interactive. Each one had a different platform of gaming they represented.
Ultimate, usually had the most aesthetic and colourful games. These included Atic Atac, was an arcade adventure game in a haunted house. The best arcade adventures came from them.
Ocean, often got Sega and sports games, including Match day and Daley Thompson's decathlon. Many a joystick would be broken playing these games.
Imagine was best remembered for its incredible demise which was caught on a BBC documentary.
The Spectrum boom also created British programmers who hacked games for the Spectrum and became rich as teenagers. People such as Matthew Smith who created Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy. In the early 1990's he disappeared and ended in a commune in Holland.
On top of this, the Spectrum created other careers. For example a weird thing called 'game journalism', with Magazines such as Crash which was a Spectrum only magazine, and used some incredible art work by Oliver Frey. The writing was usually witty and tongue in cheek. Perfect for teenagers.
Another interesting thing about the Spectrum was the politics of the games reflected the period. For example, in 1984 Gremlin produced Wanted: Monty Mole. A mole in platform game in which character had to escape flying pickets and King Arthur [Scargill], at the height of the coal miners strike.
Another political aspect of gaming was the company Automata UK. All there games were non-violent, reflecting the still often cited claim that games create violent individuals
In 1984, with my first months wages I could afford my own Spectrum. My adventure's from now on in would always be based around a computer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Huzzah to Phil Bradley

Seems Phil Bradley has some good news. Seems that he will be putting himself forward for election as Vice President in the 2010 Autumn elections(see link).
He says in the post:-

Just a brief posting about what I’m doing and focussing on in the next few months. For those of you who read my blog regularly, or chat to me on courses or Twitter, you’ll know that I’ve been concerned about CILIP for some time. This originally arose in part out of the ‘CILIP fail’ post that I wrote last year, as I felt that the organisation wasn’t using social media as effectively as it might. I’ve watched and
have been involved with the developing the future profession conversation, and posted a few times about what I think the organisation needs to be doing in the coming years. This led in turn to the suggestion of applying for the CEO position, which I was happy to do, and equally not upset that I didn’t get an opportunity take
that any further. I thought that it was important to apply for it as while I believe passionately in what CILIP stands for, what it tries to do, and have deep respect for its staff and members, I also believe in the phrase ‘put your money where your mouth is’. I didn’t believe then, and don’t believe now, that’s how I can best influence its development in the next few years.

I think thats great news, as I believe Phil often has a modern outlook on the profession and tries to move it forward. But like he says, victory is not assured, but at least he's started a conversation

Monday, July 12, 2010

Southampton librarians strike against volunteers

After a recent strike by library Southampton libraries held a one-day strike over plans to replace some of them with untrained volunteer, seems there is to be another strike against this policy.

Library Mashup slideshare presentation

(Found via here). Having previously discussed Nicole Engard's book Library Mashups : Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data, I noted she has a slideshare on the subject of the book here. Interesting too.

RSS for library jobs

(Found via here). Whilst reading this blog post I discovered the LIS New Professionals Network. In this new resource I discovered an excellent Yahoo Pipes device that searches for Library jobs in the UK.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Library got game.....

(Found via here). University of Illinois:-

will finish archiving over a dozen famous computer games, then step back to consider where to go next with their project. These programs go back over four decades, and include a 1993 version of Doom, various editions of Warcraft, and even MIT's Spacewar! circa 1962.

We wondered, given the gaming nature of most of the software being preserved, why the venture is calling itself the Preserving Virtual Worlds project. So we called up the project's coordinator, Jerome McDonough, Assistant Professor of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, to ask him about the name.

According to the article here.

Great job if you can get it ;)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Scottish Libraries first to have ebook dowloads

South Ayrshire have become the first in the country to offer a free downloadable "ebooks" service. Link to the interview is here.