Research Help Desk...

Day three...


Yes, email.

Got into work early to cover on Research Help Desk for a colleague. I always find my shift on the help desk quite comical. I get the feeling that students and faculty don't know how the approach the guy covered in tattoos sitting at the help desk with a laptop. Once they find out that I am actually a librarian, and not a student, or some weirdo sitting there, they seem quite surprised. Anyhoo, helped some people out during my desk shift, and amazing event took place. Somebody wanted to know the LC call numbers for a specific area so they could BROWSE BOOKS! To quote myself, "I feel like a real librarian when I work the reference desk!"

Did some trouble shooting from the code I pasted yesterday. The code runs fine on the test server, but doesn't play nice on the production server. Grr!

Decided to wholly abandon Tweetdeck, and move back to Twitterfox. Tweetdeck has been buggy lately, and every time I fire it up and let it run for awhile, my laptop almost melts a hole through the desk.

Thought about bacon.


Surprise, Surprise, EMAIL!

Listened to the new Search Engine podcast, File Sharing IS Fair Use and listened to a few JISC podcasts while working on the new digital collections server. Updated a couple bash scripts - RSYNC and mysqldump backups on a cron. Let's see if UTS shuts me down again!?

Spent some time consulting on another digital project. In the future we may have the handwritten manuscripts of somebody that I will not name yet. Working on getting the documents OCR'd, and output as txt files, and METS/ALTO.

Are you thinking about bacon? You should be!

Decided to listen to a bunch of Dead Kennedy's in order to make it through the afternoon. Did some more consulting with the Northrop Frye journal.

Spent the rest of the day reading faculty handbooks, and prepping for a meeting tomorrow. Oh yeah, entered in the phase 3 of operation: TELL EVERYBODY ABOUT VIKINGKITTENS.COM!

blog image

library clouds in the sky with [diamonds]?


Sorry, had to get that of the way. Those who know, know. Those who do not, oh well. I will address it later... subtly???

Awhile back we got hit with the perfect-downtime-storm. A RAID controller battery randomly failed, and I was down for quite a few hours. Then a day or two later ... a brown-out occurred. Somehow, some way, this killed the brand new RAID controller on the DB server, and disemboweled the RAID controller on the web server. I was down for almost a week awaiting repairs vendors and IT. During this period of utter embarrassment and fury, I finally took somebody up on a long-standing offer to put all of my digital collections stuff on a BEEFCAKE server. I ordered my [twin node] BEEFCAKE and decided that high availability and redundancy was the way to go.

So, I began building a proof of concept: Tomax & Xamot [LAMP with hint of wonderful Tomcat, Java, Solr, and Djatoka for blooming ideas] are my sinister production machines with Heckle & Jeckle [HAProxy & KeepAlive] providing the load balancing. After many hours, the proof of concept succeeded. Kill apache and/or mysql on Tomax, Xamot will be right there still fighting for the Cobra Commander.

I've been sitting on BEEFCAKE for a week or so, almost ready to go to production. But for the last week, I have been diligent with my 99-part hearty diet of bacn, Batman, Green Lantern Corp, and Promethea. Combined with the nicotine patch, my head has been in the clouds - in a good way. I was pretty undecided about the Cloud for a long time and Stallman's talk at U. of T. threw me even farther to one side of the fence {GPL loophole], but Fink's idea-machine-brain rambling on about creating a Cloud at LibMac (another possible proof of concept) started turning gears. (Side note, Fink is more rabid about Open Source than I). The collections within the Digital Collections, (namely PW20C, Concentration Camp Correspondences, Bertrand Russell, Canadian Publishing, et al) are sitting on a fair chuck of metadata begging for something to be done with it. Add that to the Mass Digitization Project (DC, METS/ALTO, and fingers crossed TEI), and EVERGREEN!!! Oh what to do, what do to???