Monthly Archives: March 2012

Tech Sharecase, 9 March 2012

Food & Technology

In celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Oreo®, we enjoyed Oreos with our brown bag lunches. This lead to a discussion about the
technology used in manufacturing products like Oreos. The Food Network show Unwrapped was mentioned as they explore “the test kitchens and the secrets behind lunch box treats, soda pop, movie candy, and more.” We also searched the website of the reference publication How Products are Made for Oreos, to no avail. However, M&Ms®  are included in the publication.

The conversation steered toward different technologies and a UPS documentary about the company workings in Louisville, KY.  The NYPL conveyor belt system was mentioned. The following NYTimes article has a write up and includes video: “That Mighty Sorting Machine Is Certainly One for the Books.”

Coutts Oasis

We also discussed eBooks and Coutts Oasis incluidng searching publications, picking edition preference by cloth, paper and myilibrary Coutts. We also discussed the capability to add slip and e-slip plans to your Coutts profile by defning your subject area.  Users who set up this option will recieve notifications for new titles in the defined subject area.

Lastly, we named the other resources we use for making title selections including  Amazon, WorldCat, book reviews, faculty suggestions et cetera.

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Tech Sharecase, 17 February 2012

PC Build

Discussed a PC I built from scratch this past Fall. Based the build on the book, Building the Perfect PC. Several types of PC builds are presented by budget and purpose including:

  • Ultra Budget PC,
  • Budget PC,
  • Gaming PC,
  • Mainstream PC,
  • and Media Center PC.

I choose to build a Mainstream PC, balancing affordability, space, expandability and performance for the tasks I require.  The book was written in 2010, so I updated some of the components from the book by referencing the message board the authors maintain at HardwareGuys. I used a few others sources as well.

I used the Logical Increments PC Buying Guide to compare my components to this guide. The guide is updated monthly and floats around several PC build forums. I used it to benchmark against a slightly different component lists and to compare their bottom line to mine. My PC would be categorized in “Great” with similar components and price range. The actual components I used are in the table below.

In addition, I referenced LifeHacker’s The First-Timer’s Guide to Building a Computer from Scratch for larger images and additional explanations for the installation process.

Building a PC, according to some sources, should only take a couple of hours, but it took me most of the day with just being careful and triple-checking each step, every component and every detail. When it came time to turn it on, to my surprise it worked perfectly.

After letting the PC run a recommended twenty-four hours to make sure none of the hardware components malfunctioned, I updated the BIOS, installed the operating systems and all the software. Viola! I had a new PC.

I was motivated to build my own PC in order to learn about about computer components, maybe save money in the long-run and, hopefully, make a better machine that will last longer than a pre-fabricated unit from a manufacturer. Overall I did learn quite a bit. Performance is everything I had hoped for.  My collective components cost more than buying a similar machine off the shelf so whether or not I save money depends on the life-span of this computer. Certainly with the knowledge I gained I’ll have an easier time upgrading components if I so desire.

Social Media & Privacy

Next, Rita shared the following link from the Sage website from the Addthis platform, for connecting website content to social networking sites for the pupose of sharing that content. There are 316 different applications listed here. It was remarked that this is an impressive list when you consider how many of these applications we were unfamiliar with.

Eventually this lead the conversation to a piece in the NYTimes Magazine about how companies are tracking our shopping habits. One of the most startling examples was noted in a Forbes post about the article about how Target analyzed the buying patterns of a certain teenager and determined she was pregnant. They proceeded to send her advertisements pertaining to an expecting mother. The problem was the girl had not told her parents she was pregnant and still lived under their roof. To figure out how Target was able to determine this girl was expecting, read the NYTimes Magazine or summarized Forbes post. Or, read the small excerpt below:

“Lotions, for example. Lots of people buy lotion, but one of Pole’s colleagues noticed that women on the baby registry were buying larger quantities of unscented lotion around the beginning of their second trimester. Another analyst noted that sometime in the first 20 weeks, pregnant women loaded up on supplements like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date.”

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