Apr 302008
 

Funny day.  Great story.  I’ve been hanging out in Minnesota attending DLF and got a funny message.  Apparently, my absence at this year’s IUG was noticed and a few folks wanted to know if Innovative had somehow banned me from attending.  I found this an odd statement for two reasons.  First, I’m not sure what the author of this message had in mind.  The first thought I had was an episode of the Simpson’s.  During the first season, Homer is voted to negotiate with Mr. Burns to keep their dental plan.  After failing to submit to Mr. Burn’s original offer, we have a scene with Homer at home.

[knock, knock]

Homer: Who’s there
Voice: Hired Goons

[Homer opens the door to find two hired goons waiting to take him to Mr. Burns]

Is this the scenario that was being imagined?  Probably not.  I imagine what probably prompted the question was some recent events and announcements to come out of the Pacific Northwest, specifically as they had to do with Summit, a consortia made up of Oregon and Washington Libraries.  For the past 13 years (if I remember correctly, Summit started my freshman year at the University of Oregon in 1995), the Summit (or Orbis consortia, as it was known for the first 9 or so years) consortia utilized III’s InnReach software.  As of next fall, this will change, as the consortia and OCLC have entered into an agreement to build a consortia version of WorldCat Local.  This decision has put some strain in the relationship between III and the consortia (and III and it’s members) over the past year — but it really is time to move on.  In the end, we simply didn’t share the same needs and were moving in two different paths.  On one hand, the consortia had a real desire to purchase a solution that provided much greater access to API for purposes of interoperability and local development.  With OCLC’s product, this appears to be something that will be available to the consortia and it’s members — especially as OCLC’s grid services become a reality.  III on the other hand, well, I think that they will eventually come around to making an API available — they are just doing it much slower than we would like.  But more than anything though, I think it comes down to a difference of philosophy.  III, for better or worst, still sees the library catalog as the central resource of a library’s infrastructure, while Summit and it’s members are starting to see it as one small piece of a much larger whole.  Because of that, the two groups place different emphasizes on things like API access, NCIP support, OAI support, etc. — essentially, services that would ease the flow of data into and out of the library system.  For Summit, not having the ability to use or develop these services became a deal breaker (and for III, our request for them was a deal breaker as well). 

Secondly, and this is one of those things that I’m slightly concerned about as a customer and member of the IUG community is that there was an expectation by some that the above consortia changes would lead a company to blackball a group of members.  Is that really how the IUG community looks at their relationship with III, one that is built on a foundation of eggshells?  Or does it say something about librarians, who tend to treat their vendors with kid-gloves.  I think it shows a little of both — because people in the IUG community are nervous (I hear it all the time) that III will bring the hammer down on institution if they criticize their products, which certainly feeds into the library community’s built-in timidness in regards to how we work with our vendors.  But now I’m getting off topic.  :)

So, for the record, the reason I’m not at the IUG is because I’m in Minneapolis attending DLF.  So, no, III didn’t send Rocko to my office in Corvallis (at least, not yet) — sorry to disappoint. 

–TR

 

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 Posted by at 8:15 am
Apr 272008
 

I’ll admit it — I arrange me layovers (when I have to have them) around airports that have free wifi.  For that reason, I’ve avoided Denver International for years.  Well, on my way to DLF — I had to layover in Denver for a couple of hours (thanks to a delayed flight) and imagine my surprise — free wifi.  This is great because Denver is one of the most accessible hubs out of PDX.  Should make layovers a bit less mindnumbing.

 

–tr

 Posted by at 2:03 pm
Apr 272008
 

That would be cool wouldn’t it, but that’s not quite what happened.  Thanks to the historically close Democratic Primary, President Bill Clinton spent Friday and Saturday in Oregon, campaigning for his wife in small towns across Oregon.  As luck would have it, one of the towns that he stopped was Monmouth, Oregon, right in our own back yard so we decided to attend the event. 

It was actually pretty crazy.  The event took place in a tiny gym on the Western Oregon University campus.  My small family and about 1000 of our closes friends squeezed into the gym (it was cozy — and hot) to listen to the President talk about problems facing the country and how they relate to Oregon locally.  He gave a great speech, and afterwards, stuck around to shake hands and have pictures taken. 

Kenny and Nathan were fantastic.  In a crowded room, they sat and played for a little over an hour, and while Kenny may not remember it when he get older — I took him up to the front of the room after the speech was over and was able to get about two feet from the President.  He was a little to shy to stick his hand out for a handshake, so he just gave the President a wave, which was returned and then we had to step back and the crush of people started to make him feel a little bit claustrophobic.  Nathan and Alyce had the same experience — getting within an arms length but having to retreat back because the crush of people simply became a concern with Nathan around. 

Anyway, who knows when the next time a president, past or president, will come through our little area of Oregon again — but hopefully it will be a memory that our boys will remember.  At the very least, it will be something cool that Kenny can share at show and tell this week. :)

 

–TR

 Posted by at 9:50 am
Apr 172008
 

So, I updated the connexion plugin to fix a few issues and make it a little easier to work with.  The primary issues corrected deal with spacing of downloaded data.  Normalization of some fields where spacing is important ($w’s), where being stripped causing validation errors.  This has been corrected. 

So how do you update?  Well, at this point, it requires 2 MarcEdit restarts (this will change soon).  To update, do the following:

  1. Open the Main MarcEdit Window
  2. Select Add-ins/Plugin Manager
  3. You should now see this:
    image
    Because the plug-ins are loaded at startup, the code is actually in memory at this point.  So, you need to go through a multi-step process to update the files.  First, select remove from the installed plugins and click on the Remove button when it becomes enabled.  Now, restart MarcEdit.
  4. Go back into the Plugin Manager and now select the OCLC Connexion Plugin from the Available Plugins list.  When selected, the download button is enabled.  Click download.  You will be prompted that the plugin will become enabled the next time you start MarcEdit.  So, restart MarcEdit and you are now updated.

 

–TR

 Posted by at 11:32 pm
Apr 172008
 

I remember mentioning (http://blog.reeset.net/archives/490) that I wasn’t sure why, but I wasn’t wild about Sun aquiring MySQL.  And then today, I seen this link picked up on Slashdot (http://jcole.us/blog/archives/2008/04/14/just-announced-mysql-to-launch-new-features-only-in-mysql-enterprise/).  Apparently, Sun will start close sourcing parts of the code-base, making specific elements of the database (think enterprise level functionality), available to MySQL Enterprise customers.  I can’t say that this suprises me, though it does disappointment.

–TR

 Posted by at 12:15 am
Apr 162008
 

I introduced an error into the batch Z39.50 search function.  This was corrected in this build.  The change affects the z39.50 client (as well as the redistributables).  Here are the download links:

MarcEdit App: http://oregonstate.edu/~reeset/marcedit/software/development/MarcEdit51_Setup.exe

Runtimes:  http://oregonstate.edu/~reeset/marcedit/software/development/MarcEdit51_Runtimes.exe

 

–TR

 Posted by at 11:58 pm
Apr 162008
 

I’ve posted a MarcEdit with a good number of enhancements, though if they are implemented correctly, you shouldn’t see most of them.  Many are related to making Z39.50 client work better, fold some previous functionality back into MarcEdit and implement a few new pieces of functionality in the delimited text translator and Z39.50 Client.

 

BTW, anyone have a good translation between MARC21 and UNIMARC.  I’d like to add a conversion between the two to make it easier for folks to use one or both, but I don’t have the UniMARC documentation handy.

 

Update can be found at: http://oregonstate.edu/~reeset/marcedit/software/development/MarcEdit51_Setup.exe

 

–TR

 Posted by at 3:27 am
Apr 072008
 

Thank goodness we are coming to the end of winter riding season.  For the first time in a long time, I’d decided to log my commuting trips throughout the year to get a better idea of how many commuting miles I keep off my car.  The Bicycle Transportation Alliance (who does a fun little bike challenge in Sept.) has a web site where riders of participating organizations can log in and keep track of their commuting miles. 

Now, I haven’t actually formally logged miles in a long time.  I ride a lot and can generally give a pretty good guesstimate of miles, but having the ride log here is actually fun.  Looking between Sept. to present, the average number of miles logged during a month has been approximately 800 commuting miles.  Throw in other riding that I do, and that number likely rounds out to close to 1100 or so miles per winter month.  The most commuting miles that I’ve logged during a month so far is was in January, when I rode close to 1000 commuting miles in the snow and the slop, with the shortest number being in February, when traveling keep me off the bike, logging only about 550 commuting miles during the month.

Anyway, it’s definitely time for the sun to come out.  In anticipation, I’ve already put away most of my winter riding thermals (and paid for it last week when morning temperatures hovered around 27), removed my fenders from my bike and am considering throwing caution to the wind and removing my winter tires (marathon plus — one flat over almost 5600+ commuting miles) for a set of light and thin trainers — though, I might wait just a few more weeks before I do anything that drastic. :)

–TR

 Posted by at 10:19 am