Archive for technology

happy Electronic Records Day! (or, “must have missed that email”)

Posted in Library Science stuff, Techie Stuff with tags , , , on October 11, 2017 by phanteana

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Alexa, who you gonna code?

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , on October 3, 2017 by phanteana

do you or someone you know own an Alexa? for anyone who might be living under a rock, it’s that wonderful invention that tells you what the weather is or how many calories are in a chicken wing. there have even been cases of individuals getting creative with their Alexas, such as this guy and also this Hamlet-inspired contraption. now…what if you could design your own voice app to interact with Alexa? well, you can thanks to Codecademy, who have partnered with Amazon to teach new and experienced coders how to build their own Alexa skills. Codecademy is already known for its free training in languages such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby but also offers instructions on how to Make A Website and how to incorporate Responsive Design into said website. not only is the course free, but you don’t have to actually own an Alexa to participate. so go ahead, build you own voice app and ask Alexa all the crazy questions you want!

techies on the big screen

Posted in Film, Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , , on June 27, 2017 by phanteana

first, there was the invention of the computer. then came movies about tech geeks. they’re not difficult to come by, and many of them have become instant classics containing memorable quotes (“88 miles per hour!”). it’s become a trend for second-run theaters, independent film houses, and museums to show some of these techie treats on occasion, and it’s a terrific feeling of nostalgia for those who remember seeing some of these movies when they were brand new but it also brings in new generations who might have discovered these gems through parents or older siblings. for those who are in the tech world (or are trying to break into it) inspiration can come from fictional characters as well as ones based on actual individuals. so if you need something to watch while you’re learning how to build a website, or if you just really love hearing Samuel L. Jackson say “hold onto your butts“, then take your pick from this list of movies for people who love tech.

 

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if this question is in regards to learning tech skills, then yes

 

 

hey, Beastmaster’s (still) on

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , on June 8, 2017 by phanteana

 

as technology and media continue to advance forward in new formats, the VHS tape still lingers as a reminder of the past (especially since HBO isn’t showing Beastmaster ad nauseum anymore) thanks to organizations like the VHSPS. but the folks at VHSPS aren’t the only ones working hard to preserve the life span of videotapes; meet the XFR Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving at-risk A/V media through digitization services and education.

according to a recent interview with NPR, the life span of a videotape is decreasing, thus resulting in a “magnetic media crisis“. most VHS tapes typically don’t last more than 15 years (i managed to hold onto a copy of this gem for 13 years before it set sail for the Grey Havens). this is where the fine folks of the XFR Collective come in to reverse the aging process. it can be painstaking work, but it’s also a labor of love as many of these archivists, technicians, and librarians grew up with VHS tapes and are fighting the good fight to see them continue to bring joy to nostalgia-obsessed audiences everywhere…and while it might not have the same effect as it did 30 years ago, we can still say “hey, Beastmaster‘s on.”

 

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“hey, we’ll still be on!”

Encyclopedia Metallum

Posted in Library Science stuff, Music, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , on May 23, 2017 by phanteana

we know that computers are smart (ahem, Watson). but can they learn to sound Metal? apparently, they can thanks to the Encyclopedia Metallum. the site provides hundreds of thousands of bands, sub-genres, countries of origin, etc. that have been produced by a neural network. so if you’re in the market for a band name that hasn’t been taken yet, there’s plenty to choose from!

 

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hillbillies who code

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , on May 11, 2017 by phanteana

while the title of this post might sound like the name of a hipster band, it’s actually part of the latest trend of people learning to code from anywhere and everywhere. according to Kentucky-based coal-miner-turned-coder Garland Couch, “a hillbilly is someone who is hardworking, thoughtful, and loyal.” in other words, it’s not the stereotypical image we tend to have of folks from certain regions of the States. Mr. Couch hails from a small town, but his career options grew bigger as he began learning code. just like a large portion of beginner coders, Garland is a career changer and although he is twice the age of an average CS graduate, he doesn’t let that stand in his way.  the same applies to Rusty Justice (yes, that’s what he goes by), who founded Bit Source in 2015 after 40 years of workin’ in a coal mine. Mr. Justice found that the salaries earned by miners were on par with those of many tech jobs, and with so many unfilled positions in the tech industry these days it made sense for him to get involved. with the solid work ethics of Rusty Justice, Garland Couch and countless others, it’s only a matter of time before Kentucky is dubbed “Silicon Holler.”

digging the claws into R

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , on April 18, 2017 by phanteana

several months ago, i blogged about JavaScript for cats…because the language is so common even cats can learn it. when they step all over the keyboard, the output onto the screen could easily be mistaken for a JS file. i’m still not crazy about JS, but i feel like it’s gotten easier with practice. jQuery is a lot less intimidating.

but JavaScript isn’t the only programming languages that appeals to our feline friends. there’s also R for cats. R is used for statistical computing. it’s a language i haven’t gotten around to learning yet (i’ve become quite attached to Ruby these days). but if Garfield can learn R, then so can i…eventually.