Sunday 28 September 2014

Space hoggers

What's using your space?

I've just watched this interesting short video from Rolfe Kolbe providing advice on managing space on mobile devices. My ipad was close to full and while I deleted quite a few unused or rarely used apps in the lead up to installing iOS8, I had always wondered but not actively sought information about the 'other' space hoggers on my ipad.

Aha! Cached data. Who knew so many apps actively cached data effectively using up valuable space? Obvious once one stops to think about it - nevertheless by deleting and then reinstalling these apps, Twitterrific, Google+, Feedly, Evernote and The Australian I now have an extra 3GB of free space. I needed to sign in again to each app and all my settings and data were restored.

Feedly at 15.22 using 261 MB

Feedly after deletion and reinstall at 15.29 now only using 1.3 MB

Thanks Rolfe.
Hey app developers, how about a Clear Cache button in your apps?

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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Leveraging libraries

Help from 66,000+

One effective way to use the expertise of librarians worldwide is to search through the LibGuides Community site.

This site enables search across the libraries which use the LibGuides platform to publish their online guides. Libraries across many countries have wonderful online resources not always obvious to those outside their region of influence.

A search for genealogy, heritagefamily history and genealogy or any other term of interest will reveal a wealth of resources collated by librarians. A family history search reveals some of my favourite resources from the State Library of South Australia along with guides from dozens of other libraries.
Results display:
  • a brief summary of the content of the guide 
  • tags used
  • the latest edited date 
Individual guides usually contain details of the library's online, print and database collections along with any other materials they house. There are often tutorials specific to individual sites or databases. Whilst a library login may be necessary to access some materials, one often sees references to little known resources, access to which may then be sought through a local, state or national library.

Tags are local to individual libraries so they often lead to other resources on that library's website. While there is no advanced search function there is enough variation in results provided by combining and altering the order of search terms.

The profile of individual librarians and their expertise is often displayed on individual guides sometimes with contact details.

Search by locality

To see which libraries in your area publish these online guides use Browse Institutions and use the drop down menu to select your region, state or country.

Happy searching!

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Sunday 21 September 2014

Easy into Evernote

New options for Evernote in iOS8

Now it is even easier to add web content to Evernote from Safari mobile browser. In the Send to Menu shown below, new options appear, one of which includes Evernote.

To turn it on select More

Switch on the services you wish to use then drag to change the order in which they appear.

Now there are several choices for adding information into Evernote on iPad and iPhone

1. Send to - using email to your Evernote address
2. Clip to Evernote - using the Evernote bookmarklet 
3. The new service as above, this also works in the Photos app or any app that has the Send to facility.

Quick access to Evernote can also be switched on in Notifications.

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Tuesday 16 September 2014


Tech help Tuesday

These slides are provided for learners at Noosaville Library finding their way around basic settings in Android and iOS devices. 

Click on this symbol below to enlarge the Slides on your screen
Use the arrow key to advance to next slide.

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Thursday 11 September 2014

Pictures all in a row

Line them up

Are you sometimes frustrated when inserting pictures into your Blogger blog?
Do you have difficulty getting them to display horizontally?
There is no gallery function similar to that in Wordpress so one often resorts to having images one under the other and centred. I have previously resorted to using photo software to combine images then uploading as a single image.

This week I've found some easy instructions to load images into a table with no borders.
I've saved the instructions from How to line up pictures horizontally into a blank unpublished page on Blogger. I also added a screen clipping of the instructions to that page. Now when I want to line up some images, I have the code to copy and proceed.
  • Copy the code to a new post, it will create a blank table with three cells.
  • Upload the individual images and post to the page, below or above the inserted table.
  • Resize to small and use Properties to rename images.
  • Use the HTML editor to copy all the information for each image found between the <a href> and < /a> tags from the images and replace that information in the table data for each previously blank image.
  • Save and check the Compose page to see that images have been replicated within the table. 
  • Delete the original images posted on the page, save and preview. It may be necessary to adjust the size of the pictures in the code to get the best result.
The three images above were made with some my favourite tools for creating original blog pictures.
  • The Library Currants picture was made in Notegraphy (web, iOS and Android)
  • The globe was created in Sumopaint (web and iOS)
  • The brick wall HTML sign was generated in Wordswag (iOS)

Sunday 7 September 2014

It's a Snap!

Organising photos

Time to get down to some serious organising. Our first digital camera back in 1997 did not serve to improve our photography techniques but did indeed provide a sudden upsurge in the number of photos we took.  Suddenly we had photos on a computer and we followed some basic conventions in naming and grouping them into folders.

As the years passed with new cameras, phones and other digital devices, our world became flooded with digital imagery and in our busy lives some organisation fell by the wayside. The addition of cloud storage has resulted in photos being scattered across multiple places. Add in all those years of print photos to be scanned and this looks like a mega task, but a step by step process will get it done.

Improvements in image software combined with more sophisticated methods of digital storage and retrieval systems all provide for an improved experience once image files are well organised. A systematic review along with an approach that will better facilitate search is needed. I have some ideas to guide the process.
  • The more information there is about a photo, the easier it will be to find it again by search.
  • Adding metadata is the digital equivalent to writing on the back of a physical photo and the best information on the back of old photos were the dates, names, places, events and comments. Now tags can be added too.
  • Backup and off site storage is crucial, no one wants to lose years of photographs in flood, fire,  or some other unexpected disaster such as a computer crash.


  1. Make a master list of locations of photos to be sure all are processed. 
  2. Decide on file naming conventions year, month, date; event, series or person e.g. folders by year, then events in that year. Consider batch renaming functions to process folders of images about an event.
  3. Right click properties on an individual photo to enter basic metadata - use the photo gallery editor in Windows to add further comments and for the facial recognition software embedded in it. Highlight all photos in one folder to add a generic comment e.g. for wedding or other event photos this is a quick method to add detail about the event to all the photos in one go
  4. Consider names, date, time, places, source, photographer and other comments
  5. Do some quick edits to fix lighting, focus, orientation, crop or one of a dozen other edits: use free software. 
  6. Work on and complete one folder at a time. 
  7. Backup each time a batch is finished.

Some useful tools

Free software
Free web apps no need to download software
Mobile metadata editors
And I'm underway, Day 2 and facial recognition of known people done. Bulk metadata added to comments field in three separate folders.  All those albums to be scanned, arrgh... to be done slowly.

Windows Photo Gallery

Windows photo gallery is part of the Windows Essentials free suite of tools
Open picture in Windows Photo gallery

Toolbar - simple metadata entry options, includes quick find by person after facial recognition applied.

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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Search and comment


Tech Help - Search a site

Most sites and blogs have a search bar embedded which will search for content only on that site. The search bar is usually near the top of the page but on some blogs it will be found in the side bar. Some searches will highlight the search word on each page, some will just give you a list of pages where your search term can be found. Examples are provided in the slideshow at the end of this post.

Once you have located the page use Find on page, CTRL-F (Windows) or CMD-F (Mac) to pinpoint the exact information you seek. This individual page search box will list how many occurrences of your search term appear on that page and you can use the down arrow next to the search term to find the next occurrence.  In the example below, the word 'user' was located 8 times on the page searched.

Comment on a post

Most bloggers appreciate comments as it lets them know that readers are reacting to their work. There are a variety of comment forms but one usually needs to provide a name and email address or login with Google or one of many other services. This ensures that your comment is not a machine generated comment and is not spam. The writer of the blog can see your email address but it is not published on the site.

In many cases one also needs to fill in a Captcha code which is simply used to ensure that you are human. If the captcha is difficult to read, generate a new code with the refresh button provided or click the speaker icon to have it read to you.

Search and comment

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