Monday, July 19, 2010

Bogus "education" sites.

I have recently read a post on the GOOD website about a site called Einzstien that purports to "Make Learning Free." In my opinion this site is nothing but a sham. It does nothing but list and poorly organize standard university course web pages. It seems to me that the creator, a former lawyer, simply decided that he could make money by creating this web site and then pawning it off as some kind of innovation in education.

Update 5/26/2011: Unfortunately, seems to have lost a lot of the comments from older articles so my rant is no longer available... Darn!

The contents of this post is Copyright © 2009 by Grant Sheridan Robertson.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Organizing a Digital Library

A Method and System for Organizing and Storing Digital Books on a Computer Hard Drive Using the Library of Congress Classification System
or How to Find Your Books.

As more and more researchers are obtaining and storing more and more of their documents in digital form on their computers, the question arises as to how to organize all these documents. This post addresses the issue of storing digital books on a standard computer hard drive. In devising this system I had several goals:

  • Documents should be stored as files in regular file system instead of in a proprietary database. This is so links and shortcuts can be created to point to the documents from just about any software that allows linking to files.
  • Consistent/persistent location so links to and between files don't get broken.
  • Easy to follow rules for naming folders and files.
  • Relatively easy to find what you have without using a database program.
  • File name and folder structure based on Library of Congress (LOC) classification system so no one has to make up their own classification system.
  • The path to the file should read almost exactly as if you are reading the actual call number to make it quick and easy to find your books.

I am intentionally avoiding technical "Library Science" terminology as much as possible within this document so it will be accessible to regular people who may not be familiar with Library of Congress terms. Besides, I am not sure I have all of them exactly correct anyway. I am still learning myself.