Okay, I really didn't expect to spend 10 1/2 hours at work Saturday. Sure, I was working the weekend reference shift, but that's only 11 to 4. I came in at 9:30 to get some more work done... but I had no idea that I'd be spending an extra four hours on a single reference question.

Which kind of blew my good intentions, as far as homework, out of the water. By the time I got home after 9pm, I was too brain-dead to accomplish any of it. Sunday, I got a bit of it done, but we also had some construction we had to get done... so my regular reading got done, but I haven't been able to do any decent amount of work on my two research projects.

Sigh. So much for good intentions.


Technology, Facilitating Organization

I finally finished uploading my notes from ALA Midwinter, which can now be found on my wiki. Now, as for the photos from that (as well as from our Las Vegas vacation the week before), I have no idea when those will hit Flickr. My guess is either spring break or this summer.

I have to say that our Outlook email migration went better than I expected. The extensive ability to customize color codes and define rules is incredibly helpful, and with the combination of tasks and appointments, I'm beginning to wean myself off of my paper-based agenda, which I typically carry everywhere. My husband's mentioned the possibility of getting me a smartphone, in which case I'd be able to access my Outlook there and completely eliminate the paper agenda.

I tried this once before, I think around 2002 when I had a Dell Axim 5 PPC (pocket PC). The problem with that one, though, was that I didn't use Outlook for my email, thus it was mainly a place to store contacts. After I finished my thesis (which I wrote primarily on the PPC, instead of buying a laptop), I gradually got to the point where I no longer used the PPC. At that point, it became a small word processor and glorified e-book reader, both functions that it's really good for, but it wasn't as compelling to use. Now that smartphones come with waaay more memory, and data plans are less expensive, having the added capabilities of email, web access, calendar-ing, and listening to mp3s would be quite welcome.

It's funny, because I've been one of the biggest nay-sayers to smartphones. I think they're great in theory, but the main thing is that I take my phone everywhere, and I have small pockets that smartphones typically don't fit into. However, now that I struggle to lug my paper agenda everywhere, and considering all the features built into smartphones, I think it might be worth it. Maybe I can get one that comes with a lanyard ring, or a pocket clip, or something.

The other huge reason I'd love a smartphone is that my husband's company produces an suite of mobile phone office software, called QuickOffice, that interfaces with MS Office on your PC. You can open and edit every type of MS Office document on your phone, including--my favorite--giving PowerPoint presentations directly from your phone. No laptop needed. Granted, I have a nice, small-ish laptop that travels pretty well, but sometimes you just don't want to lug it everywhere. With QuickOffice, I could forgo the laptop on short trips or within the library, and could still type notes in my wiki or give presentations--all from my phone! Egads!!!

My theory is that Alex's company should want to pay for a smartphone and data plan for me, since I'd be using it at conferences all the time and talking up how awesome their software is. I somehow doubt they'll see it as quite the incredible marketing opportunity, but you never know. Worth a try, right?


Welcome, Wacom Tablet!

Better late than never.

It's been almost 18 months since my husband gave me a Wacom Graphire CTE440S tablet to use for drawing/graphics on my computer... but at that exact time, I became so overwhelmed with professional development activities at work, that I gave up my previous hope of starting a new hobby with an online comic.

However, I've been doing so much graphic design work in the past year at work that I finally broke down and brought it to the office. Hooked it up this morning, and am hoping to break into Photoshop with it this afternoon (I have some calendar pages and posters to get done by the end of the week, anyway).

So far, it's an odd substitute for my old mouse, particularly since I have two monitors side-by-side, which isn't exactly how the tablet's set up to operate. But I'm willing to feel clumsy for a few days, until I adjust. It's a small price to pay to finally feel like I have some dexterity in Photoshop and Illustrator.