Tag Archives: Technology

Question: Digital preservation: fixity checks/virus scans

Two women operating ENIAC (U.S. Army Photo)

We are passing on a request for help that you might also have; and a few answers sent in to help. If you have other suggestions, please post them to the comments!

“I’m the archivist and part of a digital preservation team at a small Catholic academic library.  We have about 1500 full-time students.  Some colleagues and I attended a Digital POWRR preservation workshop last year (which I highly recommend if it makes its way to your area).  As part of our action plan to strengthen our digital file preservation methods and storage capabilities, we’re wondering what software/tools other similarly-sized academic libraries/archives are using for fixity checks and virus scans.

We learned about some tools at the workshop, but we’re not sure what’s best for our particular situation, and our campus IT department wants us to research what other benchmark institutions are using.  We are NOT looking for a complete software package that includes hosting our files.  Our files are hosted on the university server and will soon be backed up to cloud service.  We just need recommendations for fixity checks and virus scans.

If anyone is doing something similar, can you tell me more about what products you are using for fixity checks and virus scans, and if you recommend them?  Is there a one-time cost to implement the tools or do we need to allocate money annually for digital preservation?

Anything else you would like to share about digital preservation, including written preservation plans, would also be helpful.

Thank you in advance!


Continue reading Question: Digital preservation: fixity checks/virus scans

The Best Ransomware Protection of 2017

Ransomware-pic(excerpt of this article is below!)

“When ransomware turns your most important files into encrypted gibberish, and paying big bucks to get those files back is your only choice, you’re in big trouble. One of these top-performing utilities is your best bet to stay safe.

Ransomware on the Rise

Bank robber Willie Sutton reputedly explained that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.” That same logic applies to the malefactors who write malware—they’re in it for the money. Stealing and selling credit card numbers, renting out botnets to spread spam, these are penny-ante operations. The real money is in ransomware, and so it’s a growing threat. When your essential files (or business documents) are encrypted, locking you out of them, chances are you will at least consider paying a considerable price to get them back if you don’t have them backed up. Ransomware is on the rise, but so are techniques to defeat ransomware attacks. Continue reading The Best Ransomware Protection of 2017

Museum Computer Network Gives Scholarship


“The Museum Computer Network (mcn.edu) was founded in 1967 with the purpose of supporting professionals who seek to transform the way their cultural organizations reach, engage, and educate their audiences using digital technologies. Every year MCN explores topics of relevance to museum practitioners working with, or affected by, digital media and technology. In 2017, MCN is focusing on how museums can use technology to innovate and emphasize transparency, individual action, and institutional bravery. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in Pittsburgh, we welcome applications for our scholarship program.

MCN is offering scholarships for 15 qualified applicants to attend the annual conference.
Continue reading Museum Computer Network Gives Scholarship

Raspberry Pi activities

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
A listserve discussion was asking about different programs or activities people are doing in their libraries using Raspberry Pi devices. We are sharing them with you here:

  • We are using Pi mostly with a camera for Social Media campaigns.  Our IT department uses them to monitor wireless networks.
  • A few weeks ago we deployed Screenly open source. It’s been working great. We were displaying PowerPoint from a laptop and moved to this. PowerPoint can save as MP4, which we then load to the Pi.
    Continue reading Raspberry Pi activities

Let’s learn technology: A Sideways Dictionary!

English-English and English-Persian dictionaries
One of the coolest things about being in the library profession is seeing the big diversity of dictionaries, and other exciting reference sources! (Yes, I’m a big library nerd – it’s a happy thing!)

And now there is a neat new dictionary: a Sideways Dictionary of technology terms. “It’s like a dictionary, but using analogies instead of definitions. Use it as a tool for finding and sharing helpful analogies to explain technology. Because if everyone understands technology better, we can make technology work better for everyone.

Here are a few samples:

Bandwidth —
  • It’s like a water pipe
    that serves the shower, washing machine and dishwasher in your apartment. If you run all three at the same time, you’ll notice a drop in pressure and whoever’s in the shower will get annoyed.
  • It’s like a road.
    A single-lane highway has low bandwidth and things clog up, especially in rush hour. A multi-lane highway is wider and faster, so even if a big file is chugging down the inside lane, there’s plenty of room to overtake.
  • It’s like a stream supplying several paddy fields.
    Sometimes your neighboring rice farmer will try to hog the supply or sneakily divert some of your water into his field. Time to change your WiFi password.
  • It’s like the stairway in an office block.Easily big enough for the normal comings and goings of the hundreds of people who work there. But suddenly pretty narrow when there’s a fire alarm and everyone rushes out at once.
IP Address —
  • It’s like a postal address for the internet.
    This is a numeric address that identifies where a destination computer is attached to the Internet, similar to a postal address for a destination residence or business.
  • It’s like telephone numbers.
    The telephone system works because each number is different. The numbers also contain general information about which country and region you are in. With IP addresses, you can have a static address (the same number all the time – like your landline), or a dynamic address (a temporary number assigned each time you make a call – like using a random payphone).
  • It’s like the number on your team shirt.
    Michael Jordan will always be 23. Wayne Gretsky will always be 99. But most players will take whatever number they’re given.
  • It’s like the postal system of the internet.
    You address a package, drop it into the system, and someone gets a nice web page through their letterbox.

Check it out for yourself, and share it with your patrons!