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Called it.

December 11th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Your Tech Weblog -

See my post of 21st Sept. here.

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OS X Leopard and USB keyboards

November 13th, 2007 · 7 Comments

When I’m at my desk at work, I keep my MacBook Pro plugged in to an external monitor and to a USB keyboard and mouse connected to a USB hub. In particular, I have a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite keyboard, with which I’m quite satisfied.*

As most Mac users know, there is a small difference between PC keyboards and Mac keyboards, and it’s not just the presence or absence of the Windows or Swedish campground symbols. The default key mapping for a PC keyboard swaps the position of the keys mapped to the Mac’s Command and Option keys. The Windows key serves as the Command key, but rather than appearing just to the left of the space bar, it is shifted one position further to the left, and the Alt key, which has the function of the Mac’s Option key, appears in its place. Here is a not particularly helpful illustration:

PC keyboard
PC keyboard

MacBook Pro keyboard
MacBook Pro keyboard

Under OS X 10.4 Tiger, in order to keep the Command and Option key functions in the same physical place on both of my keyboards, I had to go in to the system preferences each time I plugged in or disconnected my USB keyboard, and re-map the keys. With the help of Quicksilver (best. utility. ever.) I got pretty quick at it, but I still had to do it 2-3 times a day.

Leopard has saved me literally seconds per day by allowing me to set key mappings per keyboard. It remembers!

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard keyboard preference pane

Not only does the OS automatically swap the keys on my PC keyboard when I plug it in, but the keys on the MacBook stay in their default mapping regardless of whether the PC keyboard is attached. About damn time. Thanks, Apple!

* I’ve always felt that one thing Microsoft does particularly well is hardware. With one glowing exception, that is.

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MLA 2007

October 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

I had the pleasure of presenting today at the Minnesota Library Association’s annual conference in Mankato. My presentation was called “Podcasts, Screencasts, and Social Media”, and it was sponsored by MLA’s Academic and Research Libraries Division and the Public Libraries Division.

My slides are available here, and here are relevant links.

Screencast links:
Camtasia –
Captivate –
Jing Project – –
Screencast-o-matic –

Podcasting resources:
Freevlog tutorial –
Podcasting Resources for Libraries –
Library Success Wiki: Podcasting –
OurMedia Learning Center –
Mashable Podcasting Toolbox –

Accessibility resources:
How to provide audio descriptions for video or animated content –
W3C accessibility guidelines –
MAGpie –
Hi-Caption Studio –
Automatic Sync Technologies (transcription) –
Casting Words (transcription) –

YouTube videos:
Monks’ help desk –
My Books music video –
Michael Wesch’s “The Machine is Us/ing Us” –

Here’s my post on last year’s presentation.

→ 1 CommentTags: books · library · mla · video