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Shortcut to Open a URL With Your Non-Default Browser

When you create a desktop shortcut for a URL, it is going to launch the URL with your default web browser.  What do you do if you want to create a shortcut to a URL, but have it open with a browser that isn’t set as your default?  An example would be the Library Online Administration page.  If Firefox is your default, you probably want to make a shortcut that will open it with Internet Explorer so that you can view the reports.  Follow these instructions to create a shortcut that will open a URL with your non-default web browser:

Shortcut to Open a URL with IE When Firefox is Default
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Programs
  3. Click-and-drag Internet Explorer to your desktop
  4. Right-click the new shortcut and select Properties
  5. On the Shortcut tab, click the Target field and move the cursor to the end of all the text
  6. Enter a single space and then enter your URL URL_IE
  7. Click Apply
  8. Click the General tab
  9. In the text field at the top, give your shortcut an appropriate name
  10. Click OK
Shortcut to Open a URL with Firefox when IE is Default
  1. Click Start
  2. Click Programs
  3. Click Mozilla Firefox
  4. Right-click the Mozilla Firefox icon and select Send To and then select Desktop (create shortcut)
  5. Right-click the new shortcut and select Properties
  6. On the Shortcut tab, click the Target field and move the cursor to the end of all the text
  7. Enter a single space and then enter your URL URL_FF
  8. Click Apply
  9. Click the General tab
  10. In the text field at the top, give your shortcut an appropriate name
  11. Click OK

OverDrive Lending Periods Change & Mobile Site

Two exciting new features are coming to the Digital Download Center website!

Lending Periods Change

Effective May 1st, patrons will have new options available for their OverDrive downloadable media lending periods.  They will be able to set their own default lending period on a format-by-format basis. However, if the patron does not set any lending period, the systemwide default for all formats will continue to be 7 days. The patron will have the following options:

Lending period options for Adobe EPUB eBooks, Adobe PDF eBooks, OverDrive WMA Audiobooks, OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks:

  • 7 days
  • 14 days

Lending period options for OverDrive WMA Music, OverDrive WMV Video:

  • 3 days
  • 5 days
  • 7 days
  • 14 days

Additionally, at the time of checkout, a patron can select a lending period on a title-by-title basis.

[This does not change the fact that most materials cannot be returned early. Only Adobe® eBooks may be returned early, and instructions for doing so are available.]

Mobile Site

Also effective May 1, the Digital Download Center website will be easier to view with a mobile phone. Mobile devices viewing dbooks.wplc.info will automatically display the mobile version of the site. This means it should be easier to browse books, check out, and download for use with one of the mobile apps that are available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone, or Windows Mobile phones.

More Lies: Email Lies

Recently there’s been another rash of the emails claiming to be from SCLS saying your email settings have changed or your account has been suspended and you need to click on this link or open the attached document.  It’s a lie.  The email is another variant on the scam emails that try to trick you into clicking on the link or document and then install a virus on your system and/or get you to give them account numbers and other personal information. 

So how can you tell if an email is a fake? For SCLS at least, it’s highly doubtful we’ll ever send any “click here to fix your account” emails, if for no other reason that scammers use that tactic.  (Not to mention if your account is broken or suspended as the fake email claims, how are you supposed to get the email telling you how to fix it?) 

Any email claiming to be from SCLS that tells you there's a problem with your account or email address that wants you to “click here to install” or “open the attached document” to fix the problem should be considered to most likely be a scam. Especially if Thunderbird marks that email as spam or thinks it's a scam. 

I’ll be adding another post with more clues to tell whether an email is a scam.  In general, if you ever can’t tell if an email is a scam or not please call the Help Desk before trying any links/attachments.  While antivirus software may protect you if it is a virus, it’s not going to all of the time.  It’s far better to call and ask first than try it and end up dealing with the aftermath. 

Example of a fake email with notes on the clues in red (click on the picture for a full sized version):

Scam email example

Office 2007 On Patron PC's


SCLS is getting ready to install Office 2007 on all eligible LINK unrestricted browsing computers! Ok, now that I put that out there I'm sure you have some questions. Guess what? We created a Office on Patron PCs FAQ for your viewing pleasure. You'll need to enter the automation website password to get access to this document. Make sure to read the FAQ carefully. Here are some of the more important bits:

  • This is FREE! (one time only) The money is coming from an LSTA grant.
  • Not all LINK unrestricted computers are eligible. Each PC needs to meet the minimum requirements.
  • The plan is for this to happen in June 2010.
For more detail check out the FAQ page.  

Guest Post: OverDrive app for the iPhone and iTouch

Hello! This is Trish Priewe, co-director at LDI, and I'm a iTouch geek! I don't have an iPhone (because Verizon coverage is bad in Lodi), but I'm itchy, irritable and distracted if I don't have my iTouch to access email, calendar, music, games, maps, photos, blah, blah, blah... I don't go anywhere without it.

And that's why today I'm guest-posting on TechBits: to tell you about the new OverDrive audiobook app for iPhone (and iTouch).OverDrive Media Console app for iPhone

Previously, those of us who listen to audiobooks on any mp3 player had to 1) download the audiobook into the OverDrive media console on a computer, and then 2) transfer the audiobook from the computer to our player. But on Wednesday, April 22 OverDrive rolled out an iPhone app. It's free - you just go to the App Store, search for OverDrive, and download the app. Once you've got the OverDrive app, you can download directly to the device - no computer! One step!

Here's the process:

  1. Download the app to your iPod
  2. Using your browser (Safari), surf to the library's OverDrive page
  3. Pick out your book and go through the checkout process (you must choose a book for iPod in mp3 format only - wma format will not work)
  4. When it comes time to click to download the book, press the button. Automatically Safari closes and OverDrive media console opens
  5. Touch the book title, and it will tell you it hasn't been downloaded. Say "yes"
  6. Touch the button on the right for any book sections you want to download (you don't have to do the whole book at once)
  7. After download, just touch to begin playback

I think one cool thing is that the app automatically bookmarks your stopping point - no more hunting! You can also add bookmarks where ever you like.

This app is brand-spankin' new, and really I have only begun playing with it. But it's pretty self-explanatory for those who are already using an iPhone or iTouch - and I think your patrons will be really happy this is finally possible. I know I was!

Email accounts: What to do if you're changing libraries

The question of what to do about your email account if you're leaving one library to work at another came  up recently and the person thought they’d need to go through the hassle of deleting their old account and getting a new one.  That’s actually not the case. 

If you have an email address through SCLS (ends with @scls.lib.wi.us) and are moving to a different SCLS library there's no need to fill out the email deletion form and then fill out a request form from the new library.  Just let us know which library you are moving to by filling out the Request an Email Name, Title or Library Change form.  We will update the library your address is listed under on the SCLS Email Address Directory (password required) and you can keep your current email account name and password. 

In addition, we may even be able to transfer your entire Thunderbird account to the new library.  If your email is currently on a LINK network PC and it will be on a LINK network PC at the new library we can transfer your email to the new library.  This way not only can you keep any emails you’ve saved and any email filters you’ve set up, you don’t even have to set up your email account again at the new library.     

Links to the above forms and other SCLS email information can be found on the SCLS Email and Email List Services page.

Don't forget to recycle!

Earth Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  I for one would like to partially celebrate by reminding everyone about recycling your electronic waste. Last year at SCLS we implemented a computer recycling program for the member libraries with the help of File 13 in Verona. It’s easy and inexpensive to do, and hopefully makes you feel good too.

It's "website," now. Officially!

Followers of the AP Stylebook may recall how it has always dictated that the proper word for a group of pages on the World Wide Web regarded as a single entity is "Web site" (yes, two words). Well, not anymore! AP Stylebook tweeted recently that they are changing it to "website." (Via Mashable.)

(Here at TechBits it's always been "website." We knew AP Stylebook would catch up eventually!)

Another Free Online Photo Editor.

One of the photos I took that I edited with Photoshop.com One of the newest names in free online photo editing is also one of the oldest names in photo editing. Photoshop.com launched late last month to compete with other popular online photo editors like Aviary and Picnik.  I have been using Photoshop.com for the past week and have liked it more and more. The basic account setup (which is required) gives you two gigabytes of space to post your photos.  I also created a link to my Flickr account so I can drag my pictures from there to my Photoshop.com account with out having to upload them again. This can be done with your Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, and Photobucket accounts. I prefer dragging pictures from my Flickr account because uploading from your PC requires you to download and install Adobe Air and Photoshop.com Uploader to complete the uploads.

Photoshop.com is loaded with basic features you would expect like cropping, resizing, and color enhancements. It also includes neat features like "Pop Color" and "Distort" for fun effects. You can upload videos to Photoshop.com, although you can't edit them with this program, you can only add them to photo albums you create with your pictures.

The "Test Drive" feature on the home page allows you to try out the different functions before you sign up for an account to see if you like it.

Jacob or Edward? Drinking fountain or "bubbler"?

Sometimes, you want to engage the kids and have them weigh in on vampires and vote for Jacob or Edward. Other times, you may want an opinion about whether to provide a service at your library. Silly or serious, it's nice to be able to take a quick poll.

I ran across a site today (via a Swiss Army Librarian blog post) for creating "micro polls" -- www.micropoll.com. It does require signing up for an account (you need only provide an email address and set a password), but basic polls are free and simple to create. You can create a poll and link to it, or use the provided code to embed the poll right in your webpage or blog. There are even options to customize the colors, result charts, and voting options.

Here's a sample (embedded) micropoll so you can see what they look like (those viewing in email or feed readers may need to click through to the blog post to see the poll).


There are probably lots of services out there to do something similar -- do you have any favorites?