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Paste text without all the formatting

Are you a Gmail user? Want to paste some text into Gmail but DROP all the special formatting?

Ctrl+Shift+V  vs  Ctrl+VI usually right-click to see if there's a "Paste without formatting" or "Paste as plain text" option (indeed there is in Gmail!), but Rose just clued me in that there's a keyboard command that works in Gmail, TypePad, Thunderbird, and certain other applications!






MS Word - Paste SpecialUnfortunately, this shortcut doesn't work in Microsoft Word. In Word, you have the option of choosing Paste->Paste Special... 


pasting your text and then clicking on the little "Paste" icon to clean it up. MS Word -- Paste 1st, then clean up

Fotor haiku

Essen haus - "Seatnig"?!?
only the neon is in color!


Online editing
choose some photos and upload
loads of cool effects


crop, rotate, adjust,
resize, straighten, enhance, tint
it's easy and FREE!


simple collage

quickie collages
stitch together some photos
see my examples?  



(click on images to see them full size)



stitched together with rounded corners



New OverDrive Media Console app for Android & iPhone

OMC_logo[1]OverDrive recently released the new OverDrive Media Console 3.0 app for Android & iPhone. Look for the redesigned interface and a few new features:

  • Syncing bookmarks & reading progress across devices
  • Variable speed playback for audiobooks on iOS
  • Prompts for first time users to add libraries and get books

To get familiar with the new features, a recorded webinar (30 min.) and slides are available on OverDrive's Learning Center. OverDrive Help and the video series for Android and iOS are also updated with information about the new version, so patrons have resources available to them as well.

Google Timelapse

Google_timelapse_01Google has expanded its mapping platform to include a project called Timelapse. It takes you back through time to see how our planet has changed over the last 25 to 30 years. Google worked with the US Geological Survey, NASA, and TIME to combine over 2 million images taken by Landsat satellites.

Google went through almost a petabyte of data to find the clearest images of Earth taken every year between 1984 and 2012. The project includes a number of pre-selected locations, like the creation of Dubai's artificial Palm Islands, the melting of Alaska's Columbia Glacier, and the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, which is very dramatic. You always hear about how South America is losing so much of its rain forests every year, but now you can see how much.

Adjusting your desktop background image

You have a Windows 7 PC and a snazzy WIDESCREEN monitor. You set your desktop background to be a picture of your favorite pup, and... Whaaaaa??! Why's it all stretched out?I've been waiting to use this picture since I ran across it in MS Word's clip art

Luckily, Windows 7 has options to help you fit your favorite photo to your desktop. By default the option is to STRETCH the picture to fit the screen (hence the stretched out pup), but it's also possible to crop the picture to fill the screen, fit the picture to the screen, tile the picture, or center the picture on the screen.Ahhh... much better!
To change your desktop background settings in Windows 7:
1. Right-click a blank area of the desktop and choose Personalize
2. Select Desktop Background near the bottom
3. Choose a location from which to select a picture
4. Select your favorite picture
5. Under Picture Position (lower left), select to FillFit, Stretch, Tile or Center from the dropdown menu
6. Save Changes 

Thanks fo Sue A, whose very cute pups inspired this post!

Do You Know...?

I would like to address in this article a few things that everyone at all libraries should know.

1. All Login Information

All library staff, whether full-time, part-time or once in a great while fill-in staff should know, or know where to get, all login information for all things that they need to do their job.  So for instance everyone should know their library's Windows login information, which includes the user id and password.  The same goes for Koha and Getit.  If a staff person forgets this information there should be some staff-only accessible area where they can look it up.  The Help Desk will not give out this information and will recommend that other staff at your library be consulted for this information.

2. Windows XP End of Life

Effective April 8, 2014 Microsoft is officially ending support for Windows XP Service Pack 3.  On this date if any library has any SCLS-supported PCs still running Windows XP the library will be responsible for supporting these PCs themselves as SCLS will no longer support them.  This lack of SCLS support for obsolete software is talked about in our SCLS Hardware and Software Support Policy. So it is in your best interest to get all staff and patron PCs upgraded to either Windows Vista or Windows 7 before this date which is only about 8 months away.

3. One Help Desk

There is now one Help Desk for both Koha and Technology issues.  The phone number is 608-242-4710 or toll-free at 855-583-2435.  These phone numbers are only to be used by SCLS library staff.  You can find out more information about this on the Technology News Blog article entitled "One Help Desk (for Koha and Technology services)".

If you have ways that work at your library to disseminate information like what is talked about above, please leave a comment so that others can learn from your experience.

Current 3D Printer Boom only a Taste of What Is Coming

I assume we've all heard of 3D printing by now.  In the wake of MakerBot, Reprap, Solidoodle, and so many others, many a mind have been illumintated by this new creative process.  The way the current printers work, though, leaves creations somewhat coarse and weak; capable of making mostly novelties and only a handful of practical things.

This is about to change.

Next February, key patents on a different, better, 3D printing process will expire; setting the stage for a new round of consumer-level printers that can make useful, really cheap, everyday objects.  The patents are for a method called Laser Sintering.  Where current printers work by extruding a semi-melted filament (like a pastry decorator), laser sintering works by spreading layers of powder (plastic or metal) into place and using a laser to heat and fuse the powder into the created object(like the top of a creme brulee).  The benefit of this process is that much stronger, finer, objects can be created; the layers won't be as distinct.  And, what's more, the production cost of this process is potentially less than that of the current process MakerBot and others use. Really, it's not far-fetched to think that, say, if your mixing spoon, or bowl, or anything breaks, you can cheaply make your own replacement.

Here's a study that says a 3D printer could pay for itself, in replaced items, in less than a year.

Think about it.