Economy Size Geek - Organizing a Library
At first glance, you might assume that I'm going to discuss code libraries in this article, but instead, I'm talking about an actual library—one made of books, magazines and other dead-tree sources of wisdom. I have always collected books, and each new project or pastime becomes an excuse to expand my library. I don't always know what I have or, more important, where a certain book is. I try to keep my library organized in a physical sense, but I've always wanted a system that kept better track of my books.
The goals for this project are pretty straightforward. I need something that can track all of the books I own. A big part of my collection is in my library at home, but I also have a large set of technical books at my office. I'd love to be able to see images of the covers (à la Delicious Monster—a Mac program that originally inspired me to sort this out). I also need something to show me where in the library the book is physically—the cabinet and shelf would be nice. One last thing is data entry. I have several thousand books, and I'd prefer not to have to type in a lot of information.
The cool part about the Open Source world is that you can access software that is way beyond the scale of what you need. In the case of this project, I found Koha. According to the Web site, “Koha is the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS). In use worldwide, its development is steered by a growing community of libraries collaborating to achieve their technology goals.” The project is targeted at actual libraries, which sounded like overkill, but I could not resist downloading and taking it for a spin.
I decided to play with the development version (as the last release was June 2009). The first step was to check out the code repository:
git clone git://git.koha.org/pub/scm/koha.git kohaclone
The repository actually had install instructions for several distributions. Because I'm running Ubuntu, I followed those instructions. Based on the differences between the Web site instructions for installing on Hardy (8.04) and the instructions in the development version, it looks like a number of packages outside the standard package tree have been added. That is a good sign, because it means installation will get easier and easier. Be warned though, Koha is built using Perl, and a few Perl libraries are not currently packaged in Jaunty. The instructions show you how to use CPAN to install them properly (although that means you will have CPAN versions that are not controlled by the package system—a side effect of working with CPAN). After following all the instructions and getting everything installed, I ran through the Web install to set up the database.
Once everything was up and “running”, I was ready to dive in to the heady world of running my own library. After spending an inordinate amount of time figuring out that I needed to provide some default values for the library and the type of content I was going to track, I was ready to add my first book. Pulling up Koha's add form presents a huge page of options, most of which meant very little to me (such as Leader, Control Number Identified and Fixed Length Data Elements). I forged ahead by trying to search for one of my test books by ISBN. I had to do something called a Z39.50 search. This is a protocol used for getting book information from other libraries. In the process, I learned that I had to add my own Z39.50 sources. I used the Library of Congress, because I figured it would have the most complete records (Settings are z390.loc.gov:7090 Database:Voyager - Syntax USMARC). Once all that was set up, I was able to add the book.
All of the above was a lot of work, and I added only a single book. As much as I would like to use an industrial-strength tool, the system was too confusing for me as a layperson (my wife was kind enough to point out that there is a reason it is called Library Science). If you want to see what a properly configured Koha system is capable of, go to the Plano ISD library system (see Resources), which is running a version of Koha. It shows the book covers and even has a shelf browser. So if you have your own public library, Koha is really neat, but I realized I needed something else.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide