October 2, 2007

Web-based file conversion

Posted in Geeky Stuff, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized, Web 2.0 / Medical Library 2.0 at 11:05 am by Alexia

Many times hospital librarians are expected to also be first tier help desk support yet don’t have the permissions or priviledges needed to really help.  From time to time I run across a really neat web-based tool that can help us “techie” librarians help our patrons.  Zamzar is one such tool.

Last week a patron had emailed herself a .wps document that she could not open on the hospital computer.  We are not allowed to download anything on the pc’s so I did a desperate Google (yes, I used Google.  Sue me) and found Zamzar.  In 4 easy steps her .wps document was uploaded to Zamzar, converted to a Word document, and emailed to the patron.  She was extremely grateful, and I learned something new.


October 4, 2006

Yes Virginia, there is an alternative to Google

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:29 pm by Alexia

An article that appears in today’s USA Today sums up nicely how Ask.com differs from Google and why you should give it a try.

 Search connoisseurs began to notice. The Teoma/Kleinberg method of grouping sites first is letting Ask.com do some things that Google can’t. One example is its Zoom feature. Search for “Ayn Rand” on Ask.com and you get related subject areas such as “objectivism” on the right, even though those subjects might not have the actual words “Ayn Rand” in them. Type the same search in Google, and you get a list of sites that have “Ayn Rand” in them. Google finds key words, not concepts.

Ask.com is not your father’s Ask Jeeves, and personally I love the map / driving directions.  Google has been ingrained so far into our culture (googling may actually be officially a new verb) that it’s easy to forget other options out there.  But if you are tired of using Google why not give Ask.com a try?