My first Javascript sketch


I know it doesn’t look like much, but I’ve been looking around for a way to learn Javascript and I’ve just been plowing through all these different learning sites and suggestions. I did CodeAcademy, which was nice, but there can be super steep learning curves from section to section and sometimes I would make it through a lesson only to wonder if I was just a trained pigeon, pecking squares.

Then I did Lynda for a while and that was nice too, but sometimes it was so dry that I’d swear I was paying attention, writing down notes and then realizing I had no idea conceptually what just happened.

Did WW3, Codepen Tutorials and Random Whispery Youtubers, all without much effect.

Then I found Coding Rainbow, I love this guy ( Daniel Shiffman) because his teaching style matches my frenetic, concept-hopping learning style and all of his whiteboard scribbles, cheap green screens, tangents, malfunctions, distracting asides, etc., add up to a way of learning that sticks in my brain. I pledge to Patreon him when I make it through a couple courses. I just wish the Intro to P5.js was in focus, it kind of offends my prissy video production assistant sensibilities.

function setup() {


function draw() {

// ellipse(130,130,200,200);

Sony AV 3600

IMG_4993I was told that the uptake reel was messed up on it but it is physically functioning. I learned how to put a reel on and how to thread it. The heads pass signal and it’s kinda ok, but even with tracking and skew adjustment, it is still crappy, with lines running through the picture and a weird throbbing of signal. Ken says I should get the waveform vector scope out of the vomit pile storage unit and hook it up to see what the signal is doing.

I found this handy little 100 pager over at my buddies, Internet Archive, thanks guys, you might be seeing these reels if I can’t figure this out.

Very old, open reel tapes rubber-banded to formats from a 2000 era digitization project.

Open Reel Digitization Project Proposal


Scope: digitization of all open reel-to-reel video tapes included in the “Street Scenes” Series created by Fort Wayne Public Library between 1974-1976. The entire FWPL collection consists of 169 reels with the Street Scenes series consisting of 16 tapes.

Overview: the project will begin with digitizing the 6 tapes that remain unprocessed. This will complete the collection for playback on the channel and inclusion on the Allen County Public Library’s Youtube page for use in this year’s Indiana Bi-Centennial Celebrations. Older( 2000s era) files will be reviewed to see if redigitization will create a better product in cases where there is significant drop out detected.

Process: Access Fort Wayne, a department of the Allen County Public Library will provide an open reel playback machine that will feed signal to an oscilloscope, time base corrector, DV digital tape machine and DVD recorder. The original metadata will be transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet, a screen capture will be made of each file. The original paper catalog (FWPL-TV Video Catalog) will be digitized and saved as a PDF. The original reels will be inspected and stored with copies of the digitized content and labeled with the old FWPL catalog number as well as the current AFW catalog number.

Outcome: the unique and local content will be preserved as well as access provided to history enthusiasts, specifically those interested in Fort Wayne architecture, vintage automobiles and fashions from the 1970s.

Time Commitment: Organizing existing files, tape reels and paper documentation will take 40 hours. Set up and configuration of equipment will take 40 hours. Transfer and in ingestion of signal will take 80 hours. Cataloging and upload will take 40 hours.





Tips for 3D printing clean up!

IMG_4352I think we’ve all been there. A print finishes, the delighted patron/maker scampers away with a project, fresh off the print plate. You go to start the next print and low and behold, the raft is still stuck to the plate. The plate is no spring chicken, it has divots and chunks out of it, maybe a little scratched up from some intense gouging. Anyway, each one of those gouges is a great little foothold for your raft. Every print or so I like to wipe down the plate with some surface cleaning wipes and dry the whole thing off with a lint free cloth. I generally leave the little pieces of plastic that fills in the gouges because trying to dig them out makes the holes bigger. I always recommend using a raft when printing because that way the bottom of the print is saved from the irregularities of the plate.


Internship in the AFW tape Library

3/4" videotapes on a shelf

What a day, I finally got an intern to help me with the item level survey of the Tape Archive. This means it is real. We spent the morning reading tape numbers and dates into a database. I see some changes that will have to be made to the database because up til now, it is meant to be the unquestioned record, the reality is, it is a mess down there and I need some way of tracking items that have no record, have improper information or just plain don’t exist anymore.

Right now all I have is a dumpy Access database that is old and wrong, but I can add some forms and queries so that I can find entries and alter them to reflect what really is in the vault.

Robot Classes for Adults

small, plastic white robot in front of a computer screen with computer code displayed.
Finchy the Robot contemplates his sub routines.

I recently presented a class on using Finch Robots, those slightly unnerving looking wunderkinds from the folks BirdBrain Technologies. The robots are a fun way to learn how sensors and servos work in conjunction with Snap. Boy-o-boy do I love Snap. It’s an interface that scales up or down depending on the age of the user. I’m a crotchety Gen Xer and I love using level 4 just to play with stuff.

Anyway, my students were particularly interested in programing the robots to interact with each other using the sensing blocks. They also enjoyed programming the little guys to respond to keyboard input to make the robots “fight” each other.

I made a little movie of a fun exercise that shows how to program simple Javascript concepts like “Else” and “If Else” statements


Work Off Your Fines by Liking This Post

Recently I  ran across an article about, an ebook subscription service that launched in the UK last October. What caught my attention was the attempt to apply social media practices to readership. Participants can” earn” more pages to read by engaging in  the holy trinity of social media behaviors: the like, the share and the comment. 

This got me thinking about how libraries could use a similar game plan to increase social media engagement.  What if people could “work off” fines by commenting on a Flickr picture, liking a YouTube video or Sharing a Facebook post?
How would you reward “good” users? What about a free book, coffee or tote? How about money added to your print card?
Would you run this as a shot term program, or make it part of standard operating procedure?
Yes, it’s a bribe, but bribes work. Think about the promise of a snack if you are good and do your to-do list. There are other, more pressing issues with library social media strategies and implementation would be a challenge ( hello Drupal?) If I were the Queen of a small system that I had god-like authority over, I would at least try it.
IMG_3693 2

You Always Have the Best Ideas!

Here is a little PSA I put together to promote the channels to the community. I used Illustrator to make the icons, After Effects  to animate, Garageband for the soundtrack and a borrowed ukelele for the sound track. I wanted to start from a positive place and get people’s attention with an upbeat message.

Mac Trackpad Freakout (and how to fix it.)

MacTrackpadI spilled one tiny drop of tea on my MacPro track pad and the next thing you know…Havoc! I was sitting at the kitchen table, enjoying some hot beverage when I accidentally jogged tea on my laptop. Without thinking, I dragged my sleeve around, trying to mop it up, but really just shoving the water into the cracks around my track pad. The mouse arrow starts jumping around, becoming completely unusable. I grabbed my phone and started searching for something to do about it. Rice!

  1. Turn off your computer.
  2. Get the following supplies together: handful of rice (I used sushi rice), blue painter’s tape, 5″ of saran wrap.
  3. Cut the saran wrap to cover the trackpad and tape it to the laptop leaving the side toward you open.
  4. Tilt the laptop on its back and pour the rice into the “envelope” you made.
  5. Seal up the open side.
  6. Pat down the rice to distribute it evenly.
  7. Leave it alone for 24 hours.
  8. Tear off the tape close to you and dump the rice.
  9. Remove the rest of the tape.
  10. Enjoy your working laptop!

From what I can guess, the rice acts as a desiccant. The tape helps create a very dry environment by sealing out the moist air and allowing the moisture to be drawn into the rice.