Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving.

Even though there are many things developing right now that leave me anxious for the future, I still find I have many things for which to be thankful. (Did you see that! I used my BA in English to NOT end a sentence with a preposition. You're welcome.)

I am thankful that I have a job I love, friends who are just plain awesome, and adventurous husband that is my partner in crime. I am thankful for family still on the planet and the memories I have of grandparents already beyond the rainbow bridge. I am thankful for my health and my optimism. I am thankful there are still people out there who prefer to show their fellow human love and compassion rather than hate, bigotry and ignorance.


Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day

Thank you to all the service men and women who have served this country. Your time and sacrifice have provided us all with the luxurious life of freedom, which we enjoy.

Thank you.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Learning the Scary Technology


I know technology can be scary. It's expensive; you don't want to break this expensive thing. But the only way to truly learn about your smart phone, your new computer, your tablet, what have you, is to use it. To explore it. To try new things with it.

Yes, you can break it. But there are ways to fix it again.

How to protect yourself.


Your iPhone can be synced/backed up with iTunes. Put iTunes on your home computer. Plug in your iPhone to the computer and sync. This will back up your photos, contacts, and apps. Do the same with your iPad. Sync monthly if not more. If your device gets stuck, you can restore to a previous point.

Your Android can be used like a flash drive. Plug it in and copy your files to your computer.

Both offer Dropbox/Google Drive syncing of photos. Do that too. Better to have your info in more places than less.

You can also backup your computers.
I like the software SyncBack. It offers both a free version and a pro-version.
This will automatically back up your files that you decide, when you schedule it.

Windows machines offer back-ups that make images to backup.
Macs have time machine that backs up an image of your computer.
A computer image is like a snapshot of your computer at a certain point. When you restore to an image, your computer is returned to that point. No extra setup or installing. Computer Image backup of course take more time than file backups.

So, if you take precautions, you can play with your new technology. Learn it. Love it. Teach it to your patrons. ;-)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Audiobooks are the bees knees!


Ok, so I was not alive yet when "the bee's knees"was popular terminology for the bestest of the best, but that doesn't mean I can't sling it around, right?

I love audiobooks. I listen to them while commuting and while driving to libraries for consulting/IT support. I listen to "my stories" while doing chores around the house to working in the garden. I can get so caught up in an audiobook that I will sit in the car when I get home just as I reach a good part. A few years back I was naive and actually PAID for audiobooks! Can you believe it? I had a standing subscription with Audible and had excellent selection of new releases and best sellers. And all I had to do was pay $15 a month. I finally got wise a realized my library could get me these books, on CD or online, at no cost. You would have thought I would have figured that out long know as a working librarian and all. DUH!
So, Have you tried OneClickDigital? If you are a resident of Kansas, you can get a Kansas Library card and access their digital collection: OneClickDigital from State Library of Kansas.

The State Library of Kansas also offers many options for eBooks, if that's your thing: Digital Library

If you are a resident of the Central Kansas Library System, your local library card will give you access to Sunflower eLibrary, an Overdrive eLibrary. There are eBooks, Audiobooks, and a small but growing collection of Videos.

Your local library also has books on CD! And if your library doesn't have it, ask at the desk and a staff member can get it from another library through InterLibrary Loan.

This week I am listening to Poldark: Demelza 1788-1790 by Winston Graham.

I am also listening to Fragments by Dan Wells.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Passwords--are yours tough enough?

It seems like every time I see a news feature another company's account have been hacked and it's time to change passwords AGAIN.

It happened recently with Dropbox.

While changing my passwords, I noticed something that is common practice for my library colleagues. Using a name or simple word as a password and using it for everything FOR THE END OF TIME.

There are 3 things that make this a very weak and vulnerable set up for your accounts.
1) Passwords should not be names, places or things that are easily linked to you.
2) None of your passwords should be the same.
3) You should periodically change your passwords.

So, how to make a unique non-word password that is easy to remember?

Follow these guidelines:
1) Use uppercase and lowercase letters
2) Use numbers (but not your birthday, or your cat's birthday)
3) Use symbols like ! @ # $ %
4) Make the password at least 8 characters long

There are many different styles. Perhaps you see patterns everywhere so you make a pattern on the keyboard.


Perhaps you are good at anagrams so you change up a word. Perhaps you like acronyms and take the first letter from each word in a common phrase.

I like to take a word like the name of a candybar and switch out the vowels with symbols.
Snickers becomes Sn1ck3rs
I make sure there are Capital and lowercase letters.
I add a symbol on the beginning and then end. !Sn1ck3rs?
Then I make it unique for each account. So for Yahoo!, my password (that is totally fake so don't even try it, hackers) is !Sn1ck3rs?Y!
But for Dropbox it is !Sn1ck3rs?DB

Then in 6 months, I pick a new candybar and change all my passwords again.

And if you need to keep track of passwords, I suggest using an encrypted password keeper like:
Dashlane or LastPass. These sites can sync with your mobile devices and computers. And, they can help you come up with passwords too. They just aren't as fun.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why We Weed: Hilariously Outdated Fiction

Now I love books that make me laugh. A good comedy is a brilliant thing.

But then there are those books that are unintentionally amusing.

Like this charmer...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Back It Up! Then Backup the Back Up!

Last week I had the joy [sarcasm] of restoring not 1, not 2, but 3 staff computers to factory default settings. That means a complete wipe of the hard drive and a clean install of Windows Operating System.

Library the First: had an automatic back up to an external hard drive set up, yay! But something went wrong with the program and it hadn't backed up since February 2016. Yikes! This computer had the financials for the library on it! I spent most of my time trying to find a current backup of the financial files as Quickbooks wouldn't open to make a backup.
LESSON: Even with Automatic Backups setup, periodically check your backup to make sure it is working.

Library the Second: got a keystroker trojan that captured all the passwords (by recording keystrokes) and had hijacked her email. The Hacker had put a forwarder on the library email so nothing came to the inbox. To remove the virus, I had to make a clean install. Virus prevention post to come...
Before I could do anything, I had to backup the library files. There was no backup setup.
LESSON: Hope for the best, plan for the worst...back up your files!

Library the Third: This was a staff member at the home office! A coworker's laptop would not boot. Luckily she had noticed the computer was acting funky and had backed up her files the week before onto her external hard drive. I was able to push a new clean Windows 10 onto her laptop and get her set up in 2 hours.
LESSON: Pay attention to your computer. If he's acting funny, BACKUP!

So, here's the quick and dirty back up plan.
Get a DropBox account. Get on Google Drive. Save your files there.
Get a 64GB flash drive or a 1TB external HardDrive. Save your files there.
Save your files Twice. Once in My Documents on your computer and Once in a secondary location.

Look into these backup programs: GoodSync, SyncBack or Oops!Backup.

Carbonite will automatically backup your files to the cloud...for a fee.

File management and Backup is the computer user's responsibility. Please don't place this burden on your friendly IT. You need to know where your files are.