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.






Poladroid

26 10 2008

A new application was recommended to me today called Poladroid. You feed it an image from your computer and it processes it to look like an old Polaroid photo. You even have to wait for it to develop! There’s a demo video here. I also have some before and after shots:

So, it’s fun to use (you can even shake the developing images to make them show up quicker) and produces Polaroid-like results. I’ve even noticed that it discolours the photos slightly, just like a real Polaroid! Also, when you have ten images on your desktop, if you try to make another one, a dialog box will pop up:

How realistic is that? There is some bad news though. Firstly, the instruction manual and some of the menus are in French. Second, it’s Mac only, so tough luck, Windows users! I’ve had fun using it and although it’s a tad pointless, I won’t be deleting it just yet!

It’s time for another first on Mr Cheese’s Random Ramblings: a poll!





You Have Seven Days Remaining On Your Trial License

7 10 2008

This message is to inform you that you have only seven days remaining on your trial license for Mr Cheese’s Random Ramblings. After this time, your web browser will be blocked from viewing this webpage. To view your details or to purchase a full license, click here.

Just kidding! You can stay as long as you want! I just said that because it’s the topic of today’s post: free trials.

I have downloaded a few free trials for my Mac recently; Notebook, MacJournal and a game called Hordes Of Orcs. In fact, I’m using MacJournal right now to type this!

I found Hordes Of Orcs a little boring. It’s very repetitive and I just got tired of watching the same thing happening on every level.

I’m still trying Notebook, but from what I’ve seen of it, it’s really good! I don’t think I’ll be paying the $50 (£28.66) to purchase the full version. At least, not until I have a real need for it other than playing.

Finally, MacJournal. This is the first time I have used it, typing this post, so I have no idea whether it’s a good-un or not. I’ll have to wait and use my seven days to find out.

I’ll post back later with the test results!





“Boom!” – Steve Jobs, “Let’s Rock” Event

10 09 2008

Well, it may be “Boom!” and everything’s done for good old Steve Jobs (who’s apparently dead), but it’s certainly not for me. Having downloaded iTunes 8 and it working perfectly on my Mac, getting it to work on Harry’s PC was a rather big hassle. First, it wouldn’t install properly. Then, once it did install, everything was pixelated and pink. Finally, having sorted that out, it won’t find my shared library, which is why I’m now downloading my 257 songs onto a memory stick to transfer them over. You see, he used to just use the shared library to listen to my music, but now it won’t work. That’s Windows for you.

I also had a mini Microsoft Office-related trauma involving the mens’ public toilets, a rather large wooden bat and a bar of lead… No, I’m joking. It was actually a lot less exciting than that. My school have just upgraded to Office 2007, and I had to continue a PowerPoint presentation for homework. However, I saved it onto my memory stick, brought it home and… Uh oh. It’s a .pptx file, and I have Office 2004. Whoops! So I hastily downloaded the 2007 to 2004 file converter from Microsoft, and then got on with choosing my Corporate Identity for my ICT course.





We’re Better, Connected.

2 09 2008

Most of today was spent doing not a lot, and watching Octopussy (James Bond) on a poor-quality VHS, but some of it included getting all the computers in the house networked. This basically involved allowing access through the firewall for each computer, choosing a folder to share and finding it on another computer. Me and Harry also had a debate about why he would or wouldn’t need and iPod Shuffle, which is his latest phase: listening to my music in iTunes. Luckily, he’s not getting grubby fingerprints on my Mac – he’s sharing my library within iTunes on his PC. Anyway, the debate ended up with him deciding to ask for one for his birthday, which is exactly 45 days, 5 hours, 10 minutes and 30 seconds away. Unfortunately for me, this is also my birthday… I’ll try and upload a countdown to the sidebar on the blog if you’re interested. Turns out the only way to get a timer is using javascript, which WordPress doesn’t allow.





A Little Extra For My Readers

19 08 2008

So, before today, you were thinking, “Yeah, sure I get to read the Random Ramblings, but there’s nothing much in it for me!” – I know you were. But not any more! A new feature has arrived here at Mr Cheese’s Random Ramblings: iPhone Style Icons for you, the deprived reader, to download and use for your own applications. And yes, before you ask, they are Mac and Windows compatible. Can’t seem to find them? Click the link up the top of this post named iPhone-Style Icons and Hey Presto! You’ve got your own slice of icon-themed heaven! You can even request new icons to be made!