My first shot at installing Ubuntu (Windows PC_netbook)

So I realized that I am lacking significantly on some of the key tools with server admin >> system admin. Linux/UNIX experience.

I am working with an old (2008) HP mini 5101, Intel Atom N280 .66GHz, 1GB memory, 160GB HD, currently running Windows 7, originally came with XP.

I’m documenting my experience to hopefully provide help/insight to others who decide to venture down the same path with the same level of experience that I have.

I started with this article <http://librarian-dev-ops-intro.readthedocs.org/en/latest/intro.html> shared with me from my Twitter “cry for help”. (Thanks @Kayiwa!)

“It is yes written to install Ubuntu as a virtual machine but it should essentially amount to DL ISO and burn install.” (Exact words from the response to my cry.)

Since I am installing this on a Netbook I first need to DL Ubuntu and then put it on a USB so I can boot it on my netbook (read no CD drive to burn disc from) You can read about how to do this here: Ubuntu documentation installation/From USB stick This article is pretty straight forward so you should not have any issues doing this. **I didn’t follow the document, I kinda just did it my way**

Once you have the ISO on your flashdrive it’s a plug and play & reboot and wait.

This is by far one of the easiest installations I’ve done and I didn’t use more than the URLs in the first article to get myself started. Probably because I really only need the URL for the ISO DL. But I do see myself most likely referring back to it for the Ubuntu Intro.

UPDATE: not as easy as I thought it would be. I thought that it was going to be a very easy install but with my lack of knowledge (surprisingly so) it wasn’t as easy as what I thought it was going to be. I started with writing this: “seriously it was give or take 5 steps to get my netbook running Ubuntu (this is assuming you have a little more than a basic knowledge of DL and installing software)

1. Go here and DL ubuntu (http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop)

2. Open the DL and Copy to USB stick (make sure USB is 2GB)

3. run from USB device on netbook & reboot (it tells to you, you just click yes)

4. Let it run it’s magic and then refer to this link to get you started (http://librarian-dev-ops-intro.readthedocs.org/en/latest/ubuntuintro.html)

On to bigger and better things. ”

Then a couple of hours later I ran into this annoying error that wouldn’t let me actually boot Ubuntu. (see a forum thread here about the error: Forum thread about serious errors….)

It seemed pretty straight forward on install but if you have NEVER installed an OS before either from bare or along side another OS then it’s not entirely straight forward but this will tell you what I did and it worked for me. Keep in mind if you aren’t currently running Ubuntu you need to ignore all the documentation for creating a bootable USB that mentions “Open the dash and search for Startup Disk Creator.” because well you AREN’T using ubuntu yet so you can’t access this.

Do this instead.

1. Install UnetBootin (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net) you’ll go through the steps to select your drive and install onto the USB.

2. Insert USB into netbook and install Ubuntu (usually accessed by opening USB and double clicking on the .exe file), you’ll need to reboot the comp (it asks you). This is where I ran into all sorts of errors until for some reason or other decided to boot the comp into boot menu where I then was able to run from the USB disc and WALLAH! I got the menu for installing Ubuntu. (documentation on this is slightly confusing & vague or I’m a bone head)

For my first install I decided to install along side windows 7 until I am really sure I won’t ever need it or any of the programs again and then I will perform a whole new install.

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Recognize and describe cultural and economic diversity in the clientele of libraries or information organizations

Component 1: Statement of Competency

Libraries are successful because they are dedicate to creating equal access to information to their patrons. This means they spent time focused on understanding and studying how people use information based on cultural and economic demographics. We, information professionals, evaluate how patrons of different ages use our resources. For example are 16 year olds checking out physical books more often than an 85 year old or do they use digital resources and technology more and why? Looking at this data shapes the way libraries market their material and more so how funds are allocated for resources.

Due to the nature and mission of libraries they are accessible by and attract a diverse population. The population ranges in education level, age, cultural background, learning ability and physical abilities. All of these factors play a part in how a patron uses information. It is our responsibility to determine how to attract this population and how to meet and serve their information needs.

I want to point out that social status and economic status are directly related. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published data on the correlation between education level and income and typically those with a higher educational level have a higher income than those with a lower educational level. This suggests, that those with a higher education have a higher socio-economic status and in relation are able to use library resources at a more independent and intricate level than those with a lower socio-economic status. This however, does not mean that libraries that serve lower socio-economic communities should deprive these communities of access to these resources and information.

As the world continues to progress in the digital world, we see that what is commonly referred to as the digital divide, is largely affected by socio-economic status. Rubin explains, “as income rises so does Internet use… Only 25 percent of those with incomes of less than $15,000 use the Internet, compared to 67 percent of those with incomes exceeding $75,000” (Rubin, 2010, p178). One of the primary reasons for not using the internet is complexity of technology. The shows that use of the internet, or lack thereof, is not just restricted access due to income but also due to the skill set and knowledge. Libraries have focused on providing greater public access to the internet through installing public computers and even offering digital literacy programs to teach how to use the available technology.

It is important to acknowledge that cultural backgrounds also largely affect how patrons access information. On a study conducted by Liu and Redfern (1997) on students at San Jose State University, “Statistical analyses indicated that the student’s level of success in using the library was related to English-language proficiency, frequency of library use, and the frequency of reference desk inquiries” (Evans & Ward, 2007, p72). The inability to understand the dominant language of the collection of resources is a huge barrier on how the user with access and use the information that is available.

It is important that libraries understand the demographic makeup of the community they serve and adjust to serve their information needs. One significant adjustment that has been made is the incorporation of multilingual OPACS. This allows users the option of searching for resources in the language which they are most comfortable with. This will allow users to increase their skill set in searching because they now have the ability to use the resource.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

My first piece of evidence I have included for this competency is a blog post I wrote for Libr240 on [Usability versus Accessibility]. This post discusses the importance of creating a website that is accessible to a diverse population and factors that impact how the user may be accessing the information. With digital content one of the most important factors in accessibility is making the webpage accessible to those who are visually impaired. This is done by adding alternative text for images and links within your code. This piece of evidence shows my understanding and ability to acknowledge and adjust to cultural and economic barriers my users may encounter.

My second piece of evidence I have included for this competency is a blog post I wrote for Lib240 [Designed for Mobility]. This post discusses designing your digital content for mobile use. Today, data shows that users are accessing more and more content on mobile devices like tablets and smart phones. This can drastically change how users use the available information, especially due to screen size differences and connection speed. The post discusses how to address some of the barriers that mobile users will deal with when accessing content through a mobile device.

My final piece of evidence is a [Final Proposal] I wrote for Libr285 for implementing a SMS reference service in an academic environment. This proposal discusses the purpose of implementing the reference service; “Studies have shown that 89% of college students have a cellphone and two-thirds of them use it for text messaging (Farkas, 2007)” (Watkins, 2013). The proposal shows my ability to recognize and adapt to how users are accessing and using information, specifically in an academic setting.

Conclusion:

As an information professional it is important that I am aware, able and understand the need to adapt and create resources that will serve a diverse population that deal with cultural barriers and socio-economic barriers. Our goal in the profession is to provide equal access to information, this can only be achieved if we acknowledge and understand the needs of our communities. We are doing great work to minimize the effect of the digital divide through multilingual OPACs, web design accessibility standards and access to technology that is often limited to communities with a lower socio-economic status.

References:

Evans, G. E. and Ward, P. L. (2007). Management Basics for Information Professionals. Second edition. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Rubin, R. E. (2010). The Values and Ethics of Library and Information Science. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.

Watkins, W. (2013). Research Proposal written for graduate studies course Libr285. San Jose State University, School of Library and Information Science.

Evidence:

Usability versus Accessibility blog post for Libr240: https://nimblelibrarian.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/usability-vs-accessibility/

Designed for Mobility blog post for Libr240: https://nimblelibrarian.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/designed-for-mobility/

Final Proposal for Libr285: [Final Proposal]

Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.

Component 1: Statement of Competency

“From its earliest days, the true power of the Internet lay in the ability of the network to enhance communication” (Farkas, 2007, xix). With the introduction of the internet not only has communication ways changed but the way we access information has changed. Before the web, information was accessed within highly structured systems with which librarians knew best how to navigate to these structures and databases to find information for the user. This was a well-known need for a librarian. With the implementation of algorithms and spider crawling in web search engines such as Google and Bing, navigating these systems and finding information, albeit maybe not be of highest quality, has become common knowledge to the 21st century user. New technologies and the digital age have forced libraries to reevaluate their function and role within the society. Libraries will not disappear, as many suggest instead they will thrive as long as those within them evolve and adapt with new technologies.

One major impact of technology is the ability to navigate our resources remotely, many of our patrons are no longer needing to come to the library and that’s okay. However, this means that we must go to where our patrons are, social media platforms. We want to communicate with them, learn about what they are interested in, what they want to “get” from the library. It is imperative that libraries develop an online presence and make themselves available remotely, as we do with our resources. This means that we as information professionals need be cognitive of how to use these technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr.

Beyond communicating through social media avenues we also need to be able to serve our patrons by being proficient in current and up and coming technologies. This includes physical hardware (e.g. tablets, eReaders, smartphones, and mobile devices) but also software such as cloud services (e.g. Google Drive or Drop Box), presentation services (e.g. Prezi, Glogster), collaboration services and webpage building services. The library will continue to be the place to look for the newest New York Times best seller but on top of that we will be the place to try new technology and develop innovative software, a prime example of what libraries will evolve towards with technology is North Carolina State University’s state-of-the-art library, The Hunt Library (http://youtu.be/BzL8MHbBtiY).

I introduce the Hunt library for multiple reasons. First, it touches base on the funding and cost of technology implementation. Funding, budget cuts, short staffed are all unfortunately common terminology within information professionals. The design and building of the Hunt library cost a significant lump of change, $115 million to be exact. Technology is not cheap, especially when you are expected to offer it to your users, it is the new norm. Library administration will be spending a significant amount of time on funding technology adaptation and less on budgets for collection development.

Second, as you learn about the technology that has been put in place at the Hunt library; the collection is only 1.5 million books and housed in a Robot-driven BookBot storage and retrieval system which uses only about 1/9 of the space that was used when storing the books on shelves. The bot retrieves book request via a computer click and within minutes; the technology not only saves space but time as well. The space that has been freed up from the stacks has been honed in on collaboration, technology creation and innovation and maker-spaces. I mention these facts because the core vision of the library was to provide the “ability for our students, faculty, and partners to immerse themselves in interactive computing, multimedia creation, and large-scale visualization” (Hunt Vision, 2013). This is what library spaces will evolve to, because of technology.

Component 2: Justification of Evidence and Evidence:

The first piece of evidence I have included for this competency is the link to the JPG files of a library brochure I created at a prior library using Photoshop [LibraryBrochurep1] [LibraryBrochurep2]. I chose to include this piece of evidence to show that I understand the importance of knowing new technology and using it within your work place. This is but one software application that I know, but it is a very common and highly sought after skill by patrons. While I was working as a Library Director, I wanted to create better digital resources and more aesthetically pleasing library material so I learned the basics of Photoshop and have gradually taught myself more techniques and am able to teach others the basics of using this software. I know that because I was willing and desired to learn this software that I have a very useful skill for our profession as we move towards more digital resource development and web design.

The second piece of evidence I included is a link to a [Prezi presentation] that I created for an information literacy course at a previous job; this piece is included in a folder because there are data files that need to be contained with the presentation in order to view it offline. When you open this file which I have shared using the cloud storage DropBox, you will need to open only prezi.exe to view the presentation. I included this piece of evidence to demonstrate my mastery of using technology tools to produce a presentation for a library workshop. Also, by sharing it through my cloud storage DropBox I have also demonstrated my ability to work with the newest form of storing files on a cloud service.

The final piece of evidence I have included here is a [screen shot of my web portfolio] & included a [link to the webpage] that I built. This piece of evidence shows my understanding of digital recourse and using technology to communicate to remote users the information that I want to share with them. Although this is a personal page, it support the ultimate goal of the library which is to provide access to information to our users. This piece of evidence also shows my mastery in the skill of web design and creation which is highly sought after in libraries as their online presence is the most important aspect of their marketing and advocating their use.

Conclusion:

These technologies: BookBots, collaboration tools, social media interaction, and software for program creation, web design or photo editing will be things that we as information professionals should know the basics of. If we want our users to use these tools then we need to know how to teach them or help troubleshoot basic problems. Libraries will become information and technology hubs and less book storage.

References:

Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social Software in Libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. New Jersey: Information Today, Inc.

NCSU Libraries (2013). The Hunt Library. Information Retrieved from: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/huntlibrary

Evidence:

Library Brochure Images

librarbrochurelibrarbrochurep2

Website Screenshot

Web_Portfolio 

Prezi Presentation Link

Building from scratch: Is it worth the hair pulling?

Recently I have installed and set up a web portfolio for potential employers to view. It is very simple and does the basics of what I want it to do. As I continue my journey in learning coding and venture further down PHP, MySQL and JS, I find myself regretting not just installing an OpenSource CMS like Drupal, Joomla or WordPress.

I convinced myself in the beginning that building this from scratch (my own blood, sweat & tears) that I would be a better “coder” in the end. Albeit that may be true because of the mass amounts of trial/error and learning involved, but is it worth it? By the end I may be so tired of figuring it out that I toss the entire venture in the trash. Most likely not but it is a potential outcome.

I learned CSS & HTML first. Incorporated a simple contact form with PHP and a fancy box with JS. (To be honest I didn’t write the JS, that was already existent I just modified it to suit my needs. I’ll get back to this later) and now I am at wits end jumping into Python or Ruby… I haven’t decided yet. All I know it I am still sitting on the basics and it’s driving me nuts. My grasp of the language is mediocre at best and I’m starting to lose patience. So my question I ask is, is it worth it?

With the internet resources to learn are abundant and you know what’s even more abundant? Templates & pre-written code. If I know how to piece it together then I don’t even need to know how to write the stuff. With CMS like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress I have access to applications, modules and tools galore where I do not need to know how to code to get something to work.

So why bother with scratch? Understanding the basics. Knowing this, knowing how the web of code intertwines and works together takes you from being a webpage user to knowing how the webpage came to be. Is that enough reason to code from scratch?

For me the reason is: I now have full control on what my page looks like, what it can do and if it fails it is my code that failed. My pages are not piece-worked together, they are mine, all mine. (Queue Gollum “And then we take the precious… and we be the master!”)

Designed for Mobility

When you create a website in today’s era you have to think about how your website will appear and function through a handheld device whether phone or tablet. I want to discuss three important issues to consider when designing your website: page sizing, navigation without a mouse, and loading media on a slow network. These topics are critical for a successful mobile website, if you don’t care about mobility then do not continue to read, better yet you might reconsider web design as a career.

First is page sizing and your layout. A desktop screen is approximately 1024 X 768 where as the iPhone screen is significantly smaller and can differ whether the user is viewing in portrait or landscape mode. Then you have the hundreds of other mobile screen sizes and tablet screen sizes to think about. In Smashing Magazine’s article: A User-Centered Approach to Web Design for Mobile Devices, they give a helpful 4-step process to mastering this task.

Bryan Rieger addresses the issue of designing for multiple screen sizes with a 4-step process:

  • Define device groups by grouping screens with similar widths together resulting in a manageable number of groups,
  • Create a default reference design that will adapt to smaller and larger screens,
  • Define rules for content and design adaptation for it to display well and
  • Opt for Web standards and a flexible layout.

Second, is the increasing use of touch screens requires simple navigation. Most mobile devices use your finger as direction movement and tiny keypads for word entry, unlike most desktops. Users will navigate your site on a smaller screen without a mouse; how do we make their experience magnificent? When creating the mobile navigation prioritize and simplify. Put the most used and most important (based on user statistics not your opinion) links up front. Make them easy to spot and easy to touch. Also, reduce the number of categories and levels on your navigation; it’s safe to say if the user is navigating on a mobile device they are on the move and need it quick don’t make them dig deep into the site for their answer.

Last issue I want to discuss is, media download. Users pay extra to navigate your website on their phone due to strict data usage policies cell phone companies require, do not waste their time or money. Keep your pages small so they can load quickly. We already reduce image sizes for web use, continue to reduce them for mobile use. Remember, mobile users need information quickly, so balance form and functionality, is it necessary to have all the bells and whistles for the mobile site? If not then eliminate them and leave the most important but do not completely compromise your sites look.