Welcome to the first of what I hope to be many tech blogs for the Library going forward. These will happen once a month (generally) with the possible exception of October of each year which is Cyber Security Awareness Month. I hope that everyone will find something useful in these posts going forward.
I have been working diligently to get the computers that have been in storage for 15 months updated and ready for public use. With a couple of exceptions they are available. If you have questions on which machines might not be 100% functional, read the signs near the computers or ask at the front desk.
Speaking of our publicly available computers, if you have not used one lately, we now have a few extra pieces of software installed. The first one I would like to highlight is LibreOffice. This is a Microsoft Office Compatible office suite that is 100% free of charge and can be used on Windows, macOS or Linux. The key reason we have installed this office suite is not the price, but instead its ability to open documents that Microsoft Office reports as corrupted. There have been a few instances where we were able to successfully recover a reportedly corrupt Microsoft Office document in this way.
The second software addition to our computers is the Firefox web browser. While not as popular as Google Chrome, Firefox is a solid browser.
Printing may have changed since the last time you used our computers. Instead of having a print job sent directly to the printer, it now goes into a “Print Queue” and a staff member has to release that print job before it is printed. This adds an extra step, but it gives an added layer of protection to you and to the Library. If you have second thoughts about what you have printed, you can ask to have the print job cancelled. Also, if you have clicked the print button more than once, we can cancel what you tell us is a duplicated print job.
One other note on printing. If you are wanting to print a PDF file from a website or from your email, it is best to download the PDF file to the computer. From there, you can right click and open the file in Adobe Reader. This will ensure that you will receive the best print possible on the first attempt. We have seen over the last few months that there are some issues when trying to print a PDF from a web browser. As always, please feel free to ask at the front desk if you have any questions.
I think this wraps up the first blog post nicely. As stated, I am hoping to release these monthly and have some interesting topics bouncing around in my head that you might find useful.