Wednesday, January 24, 2018

FrankenToys, Part 2

 When you run a program every year you can always learn something new. FrankenToys (I've just done it for the 6th year in a row-I think) is no exception.

One year I learned to have them dismember the plushes full of beans over the trash can (that was a mess).

Another year I learned that yarn can make for some awesome oversized stitches for a truly Frankenstein-esque creation.

Last October it was all about the fluff.

For more on FrankenToys: click here to visit our earlier post.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

We're Back

It's probably no coincidence that September 14th was our last post. It was a big day for both of us-the BookGeek1 family welcomed our newest little BookGeekBaby.

That's right, we now have a little girl that we can raise with a healthy love of literature and libraries.

We are loving our Mom and Daughter matching panda socks.
From BookGeek2:
My apologies as well. While my changes are not as dramatic or life altering as becoming a parent, I have had some changes as well. I am growing into a new position at work as a Continuing Education and General Consultant. That means my posts are going to shift to a broader library spectrum than just IT.
Plus I gotta spoil BookGeekBaby. It's my job as honorary aunt!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Cool Apps

Ever wonder what good apps are out there that are free? I hate paying for an app. I'm all about open source especially for public libraries.

So here are a few of my favorite apps. (And now Favorite Things from Sound of Music is in my head).

Cloud Storage
Need a file from your computer? Save it to Dropbox or Google Drive or iCloud (iOS only) and you can open it on your phone!
Digital Library
Love to listen to audiobooks on the road? Try Overdrive (OR it's new companion app Libby) OR RBDigital. Kansas residents have an  RBdigital account through the State Library. CKLS residents have an Overdrive account through their local library.

Love eBooks? Try Cloud Library, Freading or TotalBoox through the State Library of Kansas. Overdrive/Libby through CKLS has a large collection of eBooks too!

You no longer need a WiFi printer to print from your mobile device! You just need your printer wired to the network and find the App for your brand of printer. I have had good luck with Business Canon Print, HP Smart print, Ricoh Connector AND Samsung Mobile Print.

Automate Your Life
Have a document you need to sing and return? Use SignNow. You can open the file, fill out the PDF, sign it, and send it back--All from your phone or tablet!

Need lists and reminders? Try Wunderlist!

Want your profile photos on all your social media to sync, when you change one, they all change? Try Ifttt (If this, then that).

Scan/Photo Editing
Want to see what you look like Old or Young, Male or Female? Take a non-smiling photo and make you smile? Try FaceApp!

Snapseed is an excellent photo editor with filters and tools to improve your photos. Adobe Photoshop Touch is also an option. Lenka provides simple Black & White photos.

Password Keeper
Dashlane or LastPass are great options for securely storing all your passwords. Both will tell you the age and strength of you passwords and offer the option to copy passwords and paste them into login boxes.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Carvey--Better than a 3D Printer?

So I have gotten a new toy. A Carvey (by Inventables) machine! I'm excited because it cuts into plastic, wood, cardboard, pasteboard! To be honest, it's a digitally controlled router.

Set-up is pretty easy but I did have to do some troubleshooting. The carriage belt for the bit was loose, so my first carve looked like this.

Here is a timelapse video of my first carve. 

It stuttered in carving the D and the E! And my logo looks like I tried to carve it by hand.

So with some tightening and some talking with support I got this:
Carving is quicker that 3D Printing because it cuts down existing materials instead of building up from melted plastic.
Also non-techie people can relate better to a digital wood carving router than with a machine building up doo-dads from plastic.

I hope to use this make desk nameplates, nametags, and more. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse is Over!

No more drop-ins and phone calls from people looking for free eclipse glasses.

It sounds like the perfect time to celebrate!

Friday, July 28, 2017

T-Shirt Tote Bags

A program that teens seem to love (beyond all reason) is T-Shirt Tote Bags. Now I know why I love it: it is cheap, quick and simple.

What's not to love about a program that requires only shirts and scissors?

And with the diversity of shirts you can use, the end results can wind up being pretty unique.

We went to our local thrift shop and bought a couple of "Rag Bags" (aka a bag of shirts that sell mostly to people who use them to clean up in shops and such) for about $2. And that with our supply of fabric scissors (always make sure to properly label your scissors as "Fabric" so they don't get ruined by being used on something else) we have one very inexpensive program.

An alternative would be to have a BYOT (Bring Your Own T-Shirt) event and have them bring a shirt of their own to reinvent. [I will offer more suggestions for redoing shirts later that should make either a BYOT or an investment in starting a shirt stash very worthwhile.]