Thursday, November 30, 2006

project management software

Yesterday I was commiserating with a colleague about the complexities of MS Project, and how it was overkill for what we often needed -- tracking of a small number of tasks, the people assigned to them, deadlines, and a comprehensible dashboard type of report.

Today, I have seen a potential solution, and its name is dotProject.

For all I know I'm the last person on the planet to know about this, but another colleague just introduced me to dotProject, and it is highly intuitive to use. Create a project, add tasks, create task parameters, create reports. It's web-based and highly shareable with a team, and group editable.

It was demo'ed for our sys admin this morning, and he's agreed to a test install for us. He also found it super easy to use and was particularly impressed by its dashboard reporting features.

Check it out at System requirements are at

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

children's book week

Not too surprisingly, I was a constant reader as a child. When it came time for Scholastic book sales at my school, I would pore over the little catalog and select dozens of books, which my mother would usually make me pare down to no more than a dozen per order. Even so, teachers would express amazement over my orders, asking "How long will it take you to read all these, dear?" Stunned silence would follow when I'd reply with a very small number of days. Hey, these were my teachers -- didn't they know how fast I read?

I read way beyond my grade level, reading Hawthorne and Poe and Lovecraft in elementary school. I remember a short story in an Alfred Hitchcock-edited collection that terrified me, and still likely would today. I bought every book of folklore and ghost stories. I read A. A. Milne, Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, Roald Dahl, Madeline L'Engle, Andre Norton, and Maurice Sendak (Higgelty Piggelty Pop!). I loved the Alfred Hitchcock 3 Detectives books, Ruth Chew's Witch books, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet, The Little Prince, The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E, Frankweiler, and The Phantom Tollbooth. There were some real oddities like The Forgotten Door and Stranger from the Depths.

If I could name _a_ favorite, it would be The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E, Frankweiler. I still want to live at The Met. The Phantom Tollbooth and Higgelty Piggelty Pop! tie for a close second.

I still buy children's books occasionally. Every so often I come across one that I just feel the need to buy, like Armadillo Rodeo or Frankie's Bau Wau Haus. I only read The Mouse and His Child two years ago.

Check out the "childrens" tag in my LibraryThing tag cloud. Sadly, my mother got rid of many of my books while I was in college. I still have some of them. A few I've replaced. I recently got a copy of a cookie baking book that I still think has the best recipe for snickerdoodles.

Children's Book Week

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

google news

It's now official -- the UVA Library is joining the Google book scanning initiative.

Here's the UVA press release:

And the identical Google press release:

We're very excited here. Still feeling a bit overwhelmed as we get ready to think about the scale of the process, but excited nonetheless. It's not yet set when we're starting or what materials we're sending. It's going to make quite a change in our local digitization efforts.