Monthly Archives: January 2010

Google Books – Online Literature Library

Googlebookslogo

The idea of Google Books was first conceived in 2002 when a small group of Google programmers started pondering the question of how many man hours it would take to scan every single book ever written.    We still don’t know the true answer to this question although just eight years from the idea conception there are now over 10 million books catalogued in their database.

While the first scan was done manually on a 300 page book and took 40 minutes to process, Google now use cameras capable of scanning at a rate of 1,000 pages an hour and also work with 20,000 publisher partners who provide content directly.  They have also been able to provide over 1 million books that can be read in full from cover to cover; these unrestricted works are either books that have fallen out of copyright or have been provided with publishers express permission.… Read the rest

Long term data storage – SSD, Internet, Magneto Optical

ssdhard

Last week I spoke about a gentleman I met who was creating a family time capsule and had come to me to ask the most effective way of achieving data that he wished to be available past beyond his lifetime.

The question is an interesting one as when you look in to the technology available you realise that many forms of media are simply incapable of storing important data for more than a couple of years.   By way of example, a couple who videotape the early years of their child on to a DVD disc may be disappointed when ten years down the line the data has been destroyed by way of natural degradation of the media.

The last article already discussed the pros and cons of Hard Drives, Optical Media, Flash Drives, conventional Paper and Tape drives and so this week conclude with the remaining options I would consider:… Read the rest

Long term data storage

optical drive

I’ve had a few people ask me just recently what method I would recommend when planning a long term backup strategy.  One elderly gentleman in particular was creating a family time capsule that he wanted his children and grandchildren to be able to view many decades from now.

The question isn’t as easy as you may think.  You may imagine that the data could be burnt to CD, locked in a cupboard and that it would last forever however unfortunately this isn’t the case.  There are literally hundreds of suitably stored but physically decayed CD’s from my teenage years which I could use as testament to that.

Therefore I’ve made a list of common formats one would usually consider for archiving a large amount of data so you can pick the most suitable one for your needs:

Hard Disk – When used on a regular basis a hard disk will … Read the rest

Cooliris

cooliris

Cooliris is a free add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer that enhances the way you view content on the hundreds of currently compatible sites.  It is essentially a rather flash looking graphic user interface with a few nice features.

The main draw is the impressive way it presents you with an endless wall of images from your chosen page and allows you to browse them by dragging the page and then enlarging the picture/video of your choice. My description does not really do the effect justice, by comparison it is somewhere between Sci-Fi style smart boards found on CSI/Minority Report and the album selection method on iPod/iPhones.  Although this may not seem particularly useful at first, once you begin to play around with the features including the add-on really begins to shine.

While hundreds of sites such as Facebook and Myspace are compatible, I would imagine most people would use … Read the rest

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