My eThings in Overdrive on Friday Night

Friday night and I’m excited! No, not by knitting!

I  mean it … I AM excited by this latest innovation in my eWorld.

I’ve really liked the idea of being able to borrow ebooks and audio books from my community library.  I admit – I tried it.  But I found it just one-step-too-many-clunky.  You know – log onto the computer – log onto the library catalogue – log onto Overdrive – download the item – transfer to my device.  No – not for me. Kindle ‘air-wave’ downloads I liked. Not this.

But then I noticed in my blogstream that Overdrive had released an App for the iPhone/iPad.

So I downloaded an App to test it – quickly searched my local library – and five minutes later was listening to my test book as I wrote this post.  Superb!

This is a fantastic option for all education settings, and your community library.

I am so glad that my community library has Overdrive!

I AM excited!

Here’s some of my screen shots from my iPhone.  Below you’ll find more information.

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From an OverDrive Press Release via No Shelf Required:

Public, school, and college libraries now provide direct eBook downloads on the iPad® with the free OverDrive® Media Console™ app. The optimized app enables users at more than 13,000 libraries worldwide to wirelessly download and enjoy eBooks and digital audiobooks from a local library on the Apple® device. Popular and best-selling titles, including “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson, “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand, and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, are a few of the Most Downloaded Books from the Library ( These digital books and more in popular genres like romance, mystery, thriller, and virtually every subject can now be borrowed from libraries and enjoyed in an optimized iPad app.

The OverDrive Media Console app for iPad is available in the App Store ( To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit

OverDrive’s app for iPad gives users wireless access to their library’s EPUB eBook and MP3 audiobook catalog without a PC. Users can find their library using the app’s “Get Books” feature, then browse for titles, check out with a valid library card, and download directly to the iPad. Brightness and text-size controls allow them to customize their eBook reading experience. Users can also create bookmarks and resume from the last point accessed. The eBook and audiobook titles from the library automatically expire in the app, so there is never a late fee.

The iPad app joins the previously released OverDrive apps for iPhone® and Android™, which have been downloaded by more than half a million users worldwide. In addition to iPad support, OverDrive’s app for iOS devices was updated to enable new features, including landscape and portrait orientation, support for hyperlinks, and an updated interface with a lending countdown calendar.

OverDrive provides digital distribution services for more than 13,000 libraries, retailers, and schools worldwide with support for Windows®, Mac®, iPod®, iPhone, iPad, Sony® Reader, NOOK™, Android, and BlackBerry®.

Pass the [password] test

Here’s a great tool to demonstrate password strength to staff, students, family and friends.  Try out your usual favourites and see how they fair!

I ran some of my trusty passwords through it and found pretty much what I expected.

One regular password I use for sites that I don’t care about much in terms of security came up as taking 13 minutes to crack.

The next regular password I use,  which is alphanumeric,  rated a score of 2 hours.

My best score ? 15 thousand years for a desktop PC to crack!  Nice!

Regrettably my online banking password failed miserably – at 3 minutes!!    Ok, back to the password drawing boards for me.

No idea how valid this is.  But it’s useful for making people think!

Thanks for the fun tip from Yvonne @southoz

A novel way to cover your MacBook!

A novel way to cover MacBook.

The real story. No two are alike.

Each BookBook is brought to life with hand craftsmanship and distressing, ensuring no two are exactly alike. From dual zippers with leather pulls, that at first glance look like bookmarks, to the sturdy reinforced hardback covers, BookBook is a vintage work of art built to protect modern day Macs.

I think I would like to see one of these in real life 🙂

Starwars ~ fine bit of whimsy

Last day of the school holidays – yes indeed! Tomorrow is the first day of a new academic year.  Surely that makes it a good excuse to share a bit of starwars fun to round off the summer holidays.

Stormtroopers 365 is a funny collection of daily shots of StarWars Stormtroopers. Some of these really are funny and the collection is a great bit of whimsey.

Stormtroopers 365 is a photo project starring TK455 and TK479, Stormtroopers in the Galactic Empire Army. The project began on April 3rd 2009 and should end on April 2nd 2010. Each day during this year, a new picture is added to the series. The pictures are posted to Flickr. This is where you need to go. You can also go to the Gallery page here but honestly that’s the same, you’ll eventually end up on Flickr. Face it, there’s no escape.

I’m having fun with Star Wars weather forecast today as well – and posted a screen shot from my iPhone to my 2010 photo blog too.

Time to dig out my StarWars mousemat I think!

Google Earth across the Curriculum

Many teachers hear “Google Earth” and think it’s only something that social studies or geography teachers can use.

But, in fact Google Earth can be used across the curriculum. Thanks to Richard Byrne, Free Technology 4Teachers, for creating and sharing this document!

Watch out for the next instalment – Richard is working further on this. Follow Richard on Twitter to hear his alerts or add his blog to your RSS reader.

UPDATE: An alert on Facebook from Stephen Heppell pointed me to Google Earth Lessons. Thanks Stephen!

Random happiness with Heyjude

I love this! It fits with the randomness of people happiness ~ just one in a crowd!

Thanks to a tweet while I was sleeping I was led to this ~ via @artykel ~ and it brought a grin to my face.   Hope it cheers up your day too!

PS:: Check out Kelly’s 365Project. For those of us getting hooked into daily photoblogging, I thought this was a fabulous alternative – which I didn’t know about 🙂

WordPress at your fingertips!

The new update WordPress for iPhone 2.1 is very nice.

Blogs (including mine) view very nicely if they have a mobile-enhanced version. I’ve been able to surf-around from one to another and of course (with the iPhone) I can grab screen shots as I go.

It’s easy to add a screenshot or photo to your post. On the other hand hyperlinks will need some HTML!  Also, notice how my blog shows up the default title field which is hidden on normal web view when a custom graphic is in place? The header would adapt to a mobile version correctly without that custom image – but I’m happy to keep the identifying image in place 🙂

Being able to review comments and see the image I usually associate with a person is also helpful. Also the blogging feature is nice for quick posts (like this one tapped out over breakfast). Categories are also available to grab and tags can also be dropped in.

What will this mean for classroom blogging?

[update: watching the video below I discovered the URLs are easy to manage too!]

Love the vision ~ future travel

It’s holiday time for me “downunder” so I have time to play, dream, and generally relax.

Imagine my amazement when I came across the AutoMotto’s post about the VW Breathe private delivery commuter (forget car)!

Well I want one – if I’m still around 🙂


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