National Library Week - April 13 - 19

Technology

Learn about the latest technology news inside and outside the library.

Technology Update - September 2011

Picture of grant computer

This past year, Waterford was one of a number of area libraries to receive funding to purchase new computers through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. This program combined federal stimulus funding with local dollars to allow us to replace a number of our older Internet computers with new computers to provide improved access to the Internet for our library users. One of the new grant computers is shown to the right. You'll find these new computers in our Children's area where they replaced computers that were over 6 years old. These new computers have 19" monitors and run Windows 7, the most current version of Windows available.  Read more

Technology Update - March 2011

Image of keyboardIf you have used our public computers this past week, you may have noticed a change in the login screens on our public computers and the sign-in screen on the sign-up stations. These changes are part of an upgrade to the system that manages our public computers. SAM (Smart Access Manager) is the system that manages each person's time and printing on our public computers. It also allows you to reserve a computer from home or work and control the level of Internet access you have on our computers. In addition to the new login screens, a few of the new and improved features from the upgrade include:

 

  • Faster printing - The slowness of the printing in the old system was a frustration for all of us. Printing happens much more quickly with the new system.
  • Eliminating confirmation notice when using sign-in station - This "feature" of the old system was quite an annoyance! It's gone and the sign-in process at our Adult sign-in station is much easier to complete. 

If you didn't notice the changes, that's OK! Our goal was to complete the upgrade with as little inconvenience as possible to our users. 

Technology Update - January 2011

Image of hands on a computer keyboardThe recent closure of the Leggett Branch library has led to an increase in public computers available at the Main Library as we've put the public computers formerly at the branch into service at the Main Library. The new computers include:

  • Four additional first-available Internet stations in the Adult area. These computers provide full access to the Internet and include support for printing.
  • One 15 minute Internet station in the Childrens area. 
  • A new self-check out station in the Circulation lobby.

We are also working on upgrading our wireless public Internet access to provide better support for those times when we have a lot of users accessing the system at the same time. 

Important News for NetLibrary Media Center users

NetLibrary logoIf you have downloaded and installed NetLibrary's Media Center software on your computer for downloading titles from NetLibrary, please be aware that effective May 20, 2010, NetLibrary will no longer support Media Center Versions 1.2.52.3 and lower. If your version of Media Center is 1.2.52.3 or lower, you will need to uninstall the software and reinstall the most current version to continue accessing eAudiobooks.

Read more

Microsoft joins the anti-virus effort

Microsoft has dabbled in about every aspect of personal computing software. Some offerings, like Office, are mainstays in the home and business computer world. Others have been relegated to the ash heap of failed computer programs. Where the new anti-virus and anti-spyware offering Security Essentials falls remains to be seen. Early reports about this new free program from Microsoft have been positive. Microsoft has indicated that the goal of the program is to provide a lightweight anti-virus and anti-spyware solution for millions of Windows users. While the program is free and provides real-time protection for your computer, it doesn't provide the comprehensive protection that other programs in this field provide. If you're looking for a free anti-virus and anti-spyware solution for your computer and don't mind being tied to Microsoft, Security Essentials is worth a look. 

Read more:

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes iconAs a techie by trade, I get a lot of calls from friends and family about computers that start out with "Help!" Often the computer problem can be traced back to a virus or spyware that's managed to get itself installed on the computer. If you're asked to troubleshoot a computer and you think a virus or spyware might be installed on it, download MalwarebytesAnti-Malware. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is a virus and spyware scanner that when installed on your computer can find and remove viruses and spyware that have infected the computer. 

While there are many programs out there that provide the same features as Malwarebytes, in my experience here at the library, none of them work as well as Malwarebytes. I've never met a virus or spyware that it couldn't wipe out. It sometimes takes more than one scan and reboot of the computer to completely clear out the offending files but Malwarebytes eventually does the job. Malwarebytes offers two versions of the program, a free version that provides on-demand scanning and a paid version that also provides real-time scanning. You can pay for the additional protection of real-time scanning but for me, the on-demand scanning is sufficient. 

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Read more

Here Comes Windows 7!

Windows logo If you're a Windows user, you may have heard that a new version of Windows is in the works. In three weeks, on October 22, Microsoft will release Windows 7, the newest version of its Windows operating system for desktop and laptop computers. From what I've read in reviews, Windows 7 is supposed to provide much better performance than Microsoft Vista. Let's hope so! I've been holding off on migrating the library computers to Windows Vista from Windows XP because of the slowness and user unfriendliness of Vista. I'll be checking out Windows 7 after it's released to see if it lives up to the hype. Check out some of the reviews below: