Saturday, 29 December 2012

Copying as preservation

I’ve just posted a link to a rather worrying story about what is happening to the manuscript in Timbuktu after the jihadist takeover, but there is also a positive message in the story.

Once digitised, artefacts, be they manuscripts, oral history recordings, or whatever can be copied, and quite simply, the more copies the greater the likelihood of the material surviving.

Museum directors tend to find the idea of letting people copy their digital holdings worrying for a whole host of reasons, such as misuse of the material (do you want your byzantine manuscript being reused in a design for a coffee can?), reduction in visitor numbers, and even conservation budgets (it’s digitised, stuff the original).

In fact what they worry about is losing control.

There are a lot of ways round this – a clockss type solution for museum collections would be one, although in the ideal world a more open solution may be preferable. Likewise one could imagine using something like Amazon glacier for an escrow service.

Solutions like clockss are cheap – the hardware is not remarkable and other than the salaries of the core technical team, all of whom would fit in a minivan with space over, the organisational costs are not high.

Otherwise we are left to ad hoc peering arrangements and arbitrary decisions as tho what is worth replicating. And that tends not to be a good thing – when the monks copied manuscripts they were selective copying the things they thought valuable, plus of course the odd salacious passage to enliven these cold dark winter nights, and that’s not a particularly good set of selection criteria …

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Fun with email

I've previously written how at the day job we've changed to Office 365 for email, and how to be subversive and connect your Gmail account to harvest your Office 365 email and thus allow you to consolidate your email on Gmail.

As an act of pure geekery, I installed Alpine, the command line mail client on my linux machine and then connected it to my gmail account - as you can see below this actually lets you see your office 365 email in a terminal session:

No, I don't have a use case for this. I suppose if I wave my hands it's a way of reading your consolidated email on a cli only unix box, but that's pretty tenuous ...

Monday, 10 December 2012

2012 - what worked ...

For a last two or three years I've done a 'what worked' post at the end of the calendar year– this is the 2012 version:

Undoubtedly the success of 2012. My no name seven inch tablet and keyboard combo worked incredibly well, especially as I can sit in meetings and type notes and then post straight to evernote, or indeed pull up reference information from evernote.

Virgin mobile data dongle

The star of our trip to south Australia. Data access problems solved just about everywhere apart from the seriously remote – shame though it's only for Windows or the Mac

Light, versatile, portable. Revolutionised my reading habits, not because it's better than the Cooler, but because it has a e-book delivery solution behind it

Samsung smart phone

it just works, and couple with a decent data contract, doubly useful for checking email etc on the go

Still Delivering

my 9inch android tablet is still useful – allowing me to read the morning paper electronically and check email and rss feeds in comfort, not to mention read and post to Evernote

still the best note management solution around. I must admit I'm less keen on the new interface, but it is still highly effective

Back from the dead

after my travails with AbiWord I've switched back to Libre Office and find it a good text editor, and one which makes an excellent tool for the creation and posting of pdf based notes to evernote

Hanging in there

The Asus lightweight travel notebook and my cooler e-reader havn't seen the use that they have seen formerly, but still have a role to play even if they have been superceded by a windows netbook and a kindle respectively ...

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Setting up Gmail to work with Office 365

At the day job, we've changed from Oracle Convergence as an email solution to Office 365.

Prior to the change I had set up my gmail account to harvest my email from Oracle Convergence into gmail so I could use it easily with  the native gmail client on my android phone and tablets without having to configure them individually.

It also had the advantage of allowing to quickly scan the email headers from Gmail at home without having to log into Convergence seperately at the weekend.

Of course, the change of mail solution meant I couldn't carry on doing the same thing. Actually it didn't, - seeting up gmail to harvest email from Office 365 was pretty straight forward.

I've written a basic guide as to how to get Gmail to harvest your email from Office 365 so you can do the same if you find it useful to your way of working.

The guide is a publically shared Google Doc. The guide assumes that your work email alias is of the form and that this is mapped onto an actual account of the form where domain is the name of your windows sub domain.

Your local sysadmin should be able to tell you what the actual values are for your environment if you are unsure.