Delicious Library: A Review

4 03 2009

After showing the grandparents Delicious Library’s iSight scanning feature, they set me on a mammoth of a task; they wanted me to set up a catalogue of all their books. And what a mammoth that was. A big, furry, brown, knock-your-door-down woolly mammoth. They have a three-part floor-to-ceiling bookcase with 18 total shelves, 6 shelves in the study and two bookcases in the bedroom, 8 total shelves. The shelves in the study and bedroom are stacked two deep on every shelf. As you can probably guess, this took quite a while, giving me some very extensive use of Delicious Library (Version 1). So what was it like?

Setting Up The Library

Getting the library to the point of being able to start the process was a doddle. Just open the app and there it was, ready to import all the books. I wanted to sort all the books by location, so I added a virtual shelf for each physical shelf in the house. This was very quick and easy to do, just clicking the “+” sign at the bottom of the Collections panel added each one.

Importing The Books

Importing the books was also simple, and even quite fun. The main way of importing is using the iSight camera (unless you already had a wired one, there’s no way to get one now – only built-ins available now) to scan the barcodes of the books. Any cynical readers out there will most definitely be saying to themselves right now, “That can’t possibly work for every single book”. And in some ways, you’re actually right. 97% of the barcodes I scanned did work, and Delicious picked up, from Amazon, what the book was from the scan. Another 2.9% of them didn’t actually have barcodes (they are my Grandparents, remember), or the barcodes were too old to still work on Amazon, or the books were American and so had different barcodes. The last 0.1% just refused to scan altogether. However, this last 3% was easy to import still because of the fact that you can search for a title, author, or ISBN number – which means that no book is impossible to import.

Organising The Library

Obviously there’s no point importing all those books without doing anything with them. I was planning on sorting by location, so I moved the books to their appropriate shelves by dragging. This was very intuitive. To be able to then sort by location later, all I had to do was select them, click in the Location  In Building field and typing in the location – Study, Shelf 4, for example. There was also the option to add custom art – that is, the picture shown for the front cover of the book.

Sharing The Library

Seeing as they wanted the library to remember where all their books were, I needed to export the library to give it to them. This is where the disappointment came. There was only one option: to export as a .txt file. Even this was, to be honest, rubbish. It doesn’t get formatted and isn’t even set out logically. To get the library to them, I had to download the free trial of Library 2 so that I could export it to Excel. I was not happy about this.

Report Card

Set-Up – 5/5          Importing – 5/5          Organisation – 5/5          Exporting – 0/5

Overall – 15/20

Final Thoughts: Delicious Library is a great app, but it is let down on its one export feature. If I had the option, I’d get Version 2, but I don’t. I recommend you do though.


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Getting Creative

5 09 2008

Today, I got started using Photoshop CS and Illustrator CS, both by Adobe. Using “real” Photoshop was easier than for some as I have had a bit of experience with Elements. However, I did not know how to use the pen tool because it isn’t included in Elements! I also have no idea what I’m doing in Illustrator. I’ve played around a bit with it, but I still don’t have a clue about any of it. I’m going to look for some tutorials to start getting used to the basics. If you want to learn some Photoshop stuff, check out Bert Monroy’s weekly video – some of the pictures in my Flickr photostream were made using his techniques, but most of them came from How To Cheat In Photoshop Elements (which is actually co-written by my Chromatically Challenged Father).





What do you think?

21 08 2008

As you may have noticed if you have been following Mr Cheese’s Random Ramblings, the blog has had a makeover. I changed the theme to Redoable Lite and added a custom header image, seeing as the title wouldn’t fit using a text header.

The text in the header isn’t styled in the same way as the theme’s default – I used Photoshop Elements (and the custom layer styles from the CD that accompanies How to Cheat in Photoshop Elements 6) to create the green neon effect, then I added a small drop shadow. Why not comment and tell me what you think?

And, if you are going to comment, please, don’t bother saying anything about the slightly pixellated parts of the header or the fact that the post titles have no capital letters. I can’t do anything about it. It just happened.





Ninten-moan Wii

20 08 2008

All day I have been keeping a watchful eye on the Nintendo Wii Points Store, waiting for a restock so I can get the 100 Points I need to be able to buy Super Mario Bros. on Virtual Console. But no, as long as there are still some un-purchased 1000 Point cards left (which are out of my price range), the rest of the denominations are left at “0 Wii Point Card(s) of this type are still available”. They did restock once today. When? During dinner, and once I got back to my computer, the ones I wanted were sold out again. I’m not going to let that happen again – I have a plan. I’m going to stay up until just past midnight, seeing as they must restock at the start of each day, and nab one as soon as they’re available. In your face, Nintendo.