A Bookless Library

Via Time U.S.
A Bookless Library Opens in San Antonio.

On Saturday, Bexar County Digital Library – a $2.4 million, 4,000-square-foot space, also known as BiblioTech and located on the south side of San Antonio – opens to the public. The library, built with $1.9 million in county tax money and $500,000 in private donations, looks like an orange-hued Apple store and is stocked with 10,000 e-books, 500 e-readers, 48 computers, and 20 iPads and laptops. It has a children’s area, study rooms and a Starbucks-esque café. Most importantly, it will have no printed material.

It is probably inevitable, but this is too soon, at least to me. I couldn’t live without my e-reader, my iPad, my computer, but I do love my books. And when I go to the library I want to see and smell Real Books!

Having fun isn’t hard…
when you have a library card

It is not a matter of impressiveness, but I admit that I am very proud of my books. In an earlier blogpost on my Dutch personal website I compared the book to a vinyl record and the e-reader to a CD/mp3-player/iPod/Spotify. The digital version sounds better, takes less space, is less vulnerable and, best of all, is portable. But the downside is: you don’t have a relationship with the music you are playing. When you put a record on the turntable, back in the olden days, you was teleporting yourself for 20 minutes to another world. The same with books. My e-reader contains more than 1,700 titles in a space of just one very thin paperback, is much lighter, reads just as good, has a built-in dictionary, and best of all, is portable. It allows me to read everywhere. I use my e-reader (Sony) or my iPad (Zinio/Kindle) for the stuff I just want to read, just to read a story or to acquire knowledge. Science, Fiction and Science-Fiction. However, there still are some books I just want to possess. I want to look at my bookcase every now and then and remember the good times I had when reading that particular book.
Call me old-fashioned, it doesn’t bother me at all. At least not when it comes to books. And sometimes, when I really want to be in another world, I go to my library, where I hope to find Real Books!

More Online Courses for Independent Learning.

This week on FaceBook via FreeYourKids: MIT Open CourseWare publishes virtually all of its courses online for free. Not entirely new, but still interesting as another option for independent learning.

“The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.”
Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering

Read also this post on the Open Culture-website:
625 Free MOOCs from Great Universities (Many Offering Certificates).
And then there is edX, that will launch mooc.org in the first half of 2014.

A New Look

I have always been very proud of this blog. When I started it, it was hosted on wordpress.com. It is still there, although it hasn’t been updated for a while. You can also read it there with the beautiful and quite popular Andreas04-template by Tara Aukerman. When I transferred the blog to my own server, I used this skin again, but the internet evolved and the template became obsolete, it wasn’t able to work with the newer plugins. So I found the ExtizeMe-template by W.Regenczuk. Beautiful, very beautiful, although it came with a few minor annoyances. So I was already thinking about using something else, but that was easier said than done.
Last week Twitter decided to change the script for the profile badge. Why? I don’t know, and they didn’t inform me about their plan; suddenly it didn’t show up anymore on my websites, leaving only an empty box in the sidebar 😦 .
I had to generate a new code for my badge and the only problem was: it worked perfectly on all my other websites – built on Drupal and some of them also on WordPress, but unfortunately not with the ExtizeMe-theme.

So, it was time to move on and choose another skin for this blog.
That wasn’t easy; finally I chose the Obandes-theme, by someone named “tenman”. Not completely satisfied with it, but for now it will have to do.

My twitter badge works fine, BTW 🙂

Geek Fun.

Costumed Roleplaying is a custom of dressing like fictional characters, better known as “Cosplay”.
The WonderCon – convention this year took place in Anaheim, CA, on April 1, 2013.
Here is the video:

That is fun, and I wish I could have been part of it!

On the opposite of the geek-spectrum there is this video: PSY “Gentleman” Parody – Fed Up Angry Geeky Girl! It is supposed to be fun, but for some reason I’m missing the sense of humor to understand the parody. I think it is stupid. The original K-pop song by PSI isn’t much better, of course, but probably the G-word attracts too many people yet?

Here Geekiness has been corrupted into something common, to say the very least.

Walking on the Geek-Side of Life means Living on the Edge. But this video is a Fall into the Abyss of Banality.

Opus 16: Three Easy Pieces.

During a short holiday, playing with Propellerheads “Figure” app, I made three little, experimental pieces.

Starting with these tracks I also experimented with the naming of my work; I generated haphazardly some Nordic-sounding names. Of course I also have to keep track of the chronology, so I numbered them Op.16, not sure in what order I made these pieces.
Op.16,1: No Ryhemu
Op.16,2: Rerefyjo
Op.16,3: Pydodo

I exported the files with AudioCopy to FlStudio Mobile, and tried to make it into one composition by adding some tracks to it with the Alchemy synth and some native FL instruments. However, I’m not satisfied with this piece, so I will consign it to oblivion. 🙂

Op.15 – The Oink Song

It is probably the most dadaistic, moronic piece I ever made ánd published (there are a lot of unpublished projects on my HD), but in my current flow of creativity, obviously triggered by the music apps that are on my new iPad, I made something with GarageBand that I think is not too bad.
It is built around the sample “Oink” – confronted with the mic on my iPad’s screen I just spoke the magic word into Garageband’s sampler and modified it with the arpeggiator and the intelligent scale system.

Finally I played around with the smart instruments and stirred the patterns in the sequencer. Ready! Opus 15: The Oink Song. Export to SoundCloud.
That was fun, wasn’t it?

Note: I initially announced this piece as op.14,but it appeared I already did compose an Op. 14! So I renamed the Oink Song as Op.15.

More iNotebooks

In my last post I wrote about MyScript Notes Mobile, an app for the iPad. That was before I discovered the Moleskine app,  which is a virtual rendering of the original Moleskine Notebooks that I always used before I switched to LiveScribe.

The look and feel is classic Moleskine. Tap the familiar cover to enter your journal and a powerful range of tools and templates—everything you need for unprecedented productivity, creativity and passion.
The artist toolset comes with paintbrush, Moleskine pencil, Moleskine pen and Moleskine black eraser, to use on your choice of three Moleskine paper styles (plain, ruled, squared), or page templates from some of the most popular Moleskine journals, including the Moleskine Weekly Planner, Moleskine Passion Recipe Journal and Moleskine Storyboard Notebook. Run out of pages? Add more. The possibilities really are limitless.

Another interesting note-taking app is Penultimate.

It integrates seamlessly with Evernote.
And there is Paper 53. Beautiful, but while the app is free, you have to buy your tools from the in-appstore, which will cost you $8,-. Moleskine is free and has the same possibilities – only less “Zen”. So, I tried and removed the Paper app.
Now the only problem is the stylus. I still use my Targus Stylus. It is good, but not good enough, the nib is too thick. So I’m thinking about the “Hand”-stylus.

But maybe my next project will be to buy an iPen.