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Windows 8.1: It is a Good Operating System! December 27, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Technology.
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windows8Many end users find Windows 8 a terrible experience. The main reason for this is because Windows 8 itself has a high learning Curve. Most end users are only comfortable with what they know. The inherent danger with this is that technology is always changing. The main evidence to support this is the transition away from the traditional mouse and keyboard to touchscreen interface. Fifty years from now technology will most definitely evolve to a different interface from touchscreen.Devices like the iPad, iPhone, and Android tablets and phones support operating systems that are primarily geared toward the touch interface. With the iOS and Android, end users can have a simple and easy to understand experience. But Microsoft takes it one step further. With Windows 8, you essentially get 2 operating systems in one. The Metro UI interface that is completely touch friendly and supports an ever growing library of apps, and the traditional Windows desktop experience with a few minor changes. As computer technology advances, the only reason one needs a keyboard, in the future, would be to type documents such as letters, emails, spreadsheets, and the like. Everything else with be interfaced with touch. The presence of full desktop computers will diminish and end home users will be migrating to mobile technology. Although this right now includes laptops, their presence will diminish as well, as tablet pcs will become more accessible and more predominant.

I personally have just purchased a Windows tablet PC. My experience so far has been quite streamlined. Not only can I get work related things done, but I can also play casual games on my downtime at home. I recently upgraded to Windows 8.1, which is free if you’ve purchased Windows 8. Now many IT technicians are geared toward the traditional desktop experience and find Windows 8 and 8.1 daunting and useless. Their biggest gripe being the change of the start button interface. For most people who are familiar with Windows, Microsoft has incorporated the start button since its earliest incarnation, streamlining its use by the most popular incarnation of Windows, Windows XP. I don’t consider myself a typical IT technician. I’m always interested in new technology and new ways of computing. I always found the start menu interface dogmatic and clunky. And although Windows XP may have been the most popular version of Windows, I found the default theme such an eyesore. Many improvements were made by Windows 7, and many more by Windows 8.1. One of the neat features they’ve added in desktop mode to copying files is showing the frequency and rate at which the file is copying or deleting. Another thing I enjoy is the color scheme. It is very easy on the eyes and has one of the sleekest looking interfaces out of any operating system I’ve seen so far. If one can get past the task of learning the interface, one would realize that it isn’t that arduous at all. Microsoft even gives you a brief tutorial when you first install it. Thinking of the future without forgetting the past, I believe that Microsoft has assembled their best operating system to date.

Michael Truesdail
CCLD IT Assistant

Downton Abbey – Loved By Many December 9, 2013

Posted by patchettd in West Elmira.
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Downton AbbeyI recently realized that the copies of Downton Abbey owned by the West Elmira Library have a combined circulation of nearly 250.  And although season 1 has been available since February, 2012, all three seasons are still being checked out.  So we asked patrons what it is, specifically, about Downton Abbey that has them eagerly waiting for season 4.  These are some of the responses we received:

Anna-“It is so well written and I love the development of the personalities.”

John-“The multiple characters and their challenges captivated my interest.  Each episode ended with me wanting to know what will happen.”

Kathleen-“Historical fiction helps us understand the past and appreciate our current lives.”

Nancy-“The attention to detail and the intelligent dialogue-it is a delight to become wrapped up in the characters and events.”

Dianne-“Excellent acting!  Many times you can tell what the characters are thinking and feeling by the look on their face.  No laugh machines needed here.”

Sarah-“It makes Britain in the time period seem less stuffy and more interesting.”

Walt-“Excellent acting and effects work to transport you to another time and period to experience the drama.”

Mary-“I love the setting and the go between the staff and family.”

Doreen-“The scenery is spectacular and the costumes are amazing!”

Amanda-“I enjoy that time period and the changes taking place in the world. “

So there you have it!  Downton Abbey- loved by many.  To prepare for the release of season 4, West Elmira Library is having a tea.  We will be showing the last episode of Season 3 while enjoying a light lunch with tea on Thursday, December 12th from 11:30 to 1:30.  We are asking that you let us know if you plan to attend.  Period dress encouraged!

Dianne Patchett
Branch Manager
West Elmira Library

Beneficial Bits n’ Bytes – Google Trusted Stores December 4, 2013

Posted by CCLD in Beneficial Bits n' Bytes.
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Google Trusted Store LogoIt’s the season to shop! Are you hesitant about shopping on the internet, wondering if the site is legitimate and whether you will actually get the item you are buying and that your credit card information will remain private? If so, in October of 2011, Google launched a new service for you; Google Trusted Stores. Online stores apply to Google, who will verify that they meet Google’s standards of good quality and service and then allow them to put a badge which consists of a large green check mark in a multicolored circle in the lower right of the site. The customer can then shop knowing they will receive reliable shipping, excellent customer service, and free purchase protection (Google will reimburse a dissatisfied customer up to $1,000.00.) The benefit to the store is the increased confidence of new shoppers and attracting new customers from Google. Large well known stores such as Macy’s or Landsend don’t need to do this so not every site you can trust will have a Google Trusted Store logo, as they must apply and give information about their sales and service.

Phyllis Rogan
Central Library Reference Department
Chemung County Library District

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