Building a LibraryBox V2.0

TP-Link Portable RouterLast year, as part of a study leave, I built a LibraryBox using the instructions on Jason Griffey’s LibraryBox website.  I thought that I’d use it at the Ontario Library Association conference (which has very limited free WiFi) to allow attendees to download the slides for a presentation that I was making at the conference.  Unfortunately this did not work as planned as the conference venue seemed to block “rogue” wireless servers.  I could get the LibraryBox to function in the adjoining conference hotel, but not in the main conference space.  Apart from that outing and taking the LibraryBox to a makerspace symposium, my LibraryBox hasn’t been seeing much action.  To remedy this, I will be presenting a poster about LibraryBox at the Ryerson University Faculty Conference in May.  For the conference I’d like to demo V2.0 of LibraryBox, so it’s time for an upgrade.

Screenshot of LibraryboxActually I didn’t want to compromise my fully functional original LibraryBox, so I purchased a new TP-Link wireless router to make a brand new LibraryBox.  The creation of the 2.0 version was much smoother and simpler than version 1.5.  If you are thinking of creating a LibraryBox, v2.0 is definitely the way to go.

Now to load some content, do a bit more customization and to figure out why the download statistics don’t work properly.

Embedding Getty Images

Getty Images announced yesterday that they would be making a large number of their images available for use free of charge as long as they are posted with Getty’s new embed feature.  Using this feature allows you to embed non-watermarked pictures in your web pages and blog posts and provides attribution details and a link back to more information about the image on Getty’s website.

An image that you can embed will have a little getty_embed icon that appears when you hover over the image.  If you click the icon you will get html coding that can be copied and added to your blog post or web page.

For more information, check out Getty’s FAQ on embedding images.  By embedding these images you are agreeing to Getty Images terms of use.

Libraries and ebook Creation

Libraries and ebook CreationToday I presented at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference on the topic of Libraries and ebook Creation.  The slides and notes (including a list of resources mentioned)  are available  as a Powerpoint file.  The list of ebooks projects and creation tools (pdf) is also available as a separate file.

Cory Doctorow FTR – International Postage

Twelve headshots of Cory Doctorow made to look like postage stamps

Remix of a photo by Jonathan Worth

This assignment was to take an image of Cory Doctorow from a collection of images created by Jonathan Worth and remix it.  My idea was to take the image of multiple small head shots of Doctorow and make them into postage stamps.  Initially I was thinking of making them Canadian stamps with a maple leaf logo, but then I realized that a Creative Commons or Copyleft logo would be more appropriate.  I got the idea for the copyleft logo from the cover of Doctorow’s Makers book where the C of his name is a stylized copyleft C.    This would probably be a relatively simple project for someone with Photoshop chops, but it took me quite a while to figure out how to do basic things such as create lines of white dots and create copyleft which could then take on multiple colours.  After adding the perforations, I realized that the smaller images were not on a grid, so each vertical strip  needed to be cut from the original image and aligned on a black background so that the perforations would have a chance of lining up.

Remixed image licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons BY-SA license.

Charlie Chaplin’s Wild Kingdom

Initially I drew a blank when trying to think of a new story for the clip of Charlie Chaplin in the lion’s cage, but then it reminded me of the Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom television show which suggested some possibilities. Wild Kingdom is a wildlife adventure show from the seventies similar in ilk to the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and Steve Irwin’s Crocodile Hunter.  It is narrated by a silver-haired Marlin Perkins who sits safely in a safari vehicle or in a television studio while his sidekick, Jim, confronts wild animals in various dangerous situations.  Over the years it has been the subject of several spoofs.

I downloaded all the DS106 Foley sound clips and YouTube videos which had Wild Kingdom theme music and John’s Denver’s Calypso song.  The audio was stripped from the YouTube videos using PwnYouTube.  To edit the music clips I used Audacity to create shorter clips and to remove the voice over parts from the Wild Kingdom music.  I used iMovie to remove the original audio from the Charlie Chaplin clip.

Screen Shot of iMovie Workspace

My iMovie Workspace

The video clip was pulled into iMovie then the Foley sounds were added.  iMovie’s title function was used to create the title slide and the credits slides.  It was also used to add the narration by Marlene Perkins.  This may sound easy, but every step of the way was accompanied by rabid googling.

Reading Movies

The movie clip that I chose to “read” was “Judge’s Game” from Rounders.  This is a movie that I knew nothing about before this week and know only a little more about now. The Judge’s Game scene starts with six older men playing cards. Just after the action starts, a younger man, Mike, enters the room, comes over to the table and helps one player win the hand.  The dialogue of the scene is supplemented by a narration voiced by Mike.

In this clip of 3:33 minutes  I counted at least 67 camera shot changes.  Most of the shots were taken from between the players as if the camera were involved in the game.  Initially I thought that all of the camera shots were from one side of the table, obeying the 180 degree rule, but after trying to figure out exactly where everyone was sitting it would appear that some of the shots were from the opposite side of the table.  The initial shot of this scene is the only one that shows all six of the player and is takes place from behind a desk at the eye-level of a seated person, and moves to the right, a positive movement according to Ebert.  All of the shots are from this level or slightly lower, when the camera focuses on the chips and hands on the table.  This makes the viewer feel a part of the game.

This scene had three main sound tracks.   There are the sounds of the game – discussion, the sounds of cards and chips being moved,  a track with music which is present at the beginning of the clip but fades out once Mike comes to the table and fades back in at the end of the scene when Mike leaves and a third sound track which is narrated by Mike and fills in some details of the game.

Watching the clip in three different modes helped illustrate the many threads that make up the film.  Focusing on the camera angles drew attention to the importance of the camera position and how that affects how the action is perceived.  Separating the sound from the action revealed the different layers that are necessary to create atmosphere.

From this clip, I would think that this movie would fall into the drama genre.  It could also be a crime/gangster movie, but I don’t think there is enough information here to indicate that.

One interesting piece of trivia about this movie is that two of the main actors, Matt Damon and John Malkovich later played Tom Ripley in different film adaptions of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley books.

Weaving the Web

Week 9 was a week for listening to the Headless DS106 Radio shows and for experimenting with hacking the web.

Radio Show Critiques

Finally I have listened to all of the Headless DS106 Radio Shows.  I am amazed that they are all so different in format, genre and theme and all so accomplished.  I found the Spinning Round show intriguing.  It wasn’t until I listened to the before and after show that I truly appreciated the amount of work that went into this show.   I particularly liked the story of John’s grandfather.  The imagery of the kilts floating upward in the mud juxtaposed with the reference to Otto Dix was vivid.  I had a few difficulties following some of the stories as I wasn’t sure who was talking, but, in retrospect, I think that was done intentionally to layer the stories together.  The music was integral to the show and intersected well with the stories. Well done, Juniors.


This week I completed two assignments both of which have been described in separate posts.  Mimi and Toutou’s Excellent Adventure uses Google Maps to tell the story of two boats that were transported from London by sea, rail, overland and under their own power to Lake Tanganyika in 1915.

The second assignment combined the Storytelling within the Web assignment to hack a web page (the OED web site) and daily create TDC657 to create an image portraying hacking in a positive light.
Word of the Year

Daily Creates

A look inside my computer Mandarin Orange

This week I did four daily creates, the OED hack, the two images above and one written create, Retiring Colours.  For the image of what is inside my computer I used the Paper app on my iPad to draw a picture of the fun things that I imagine are lurking in the background amongst the hard drives, wires, circuits, etc.