If you’re starting your research on Wikipedia, you’ll need to see what books are available on a subject for further study. Previously, you’d need to trawl the references manually, but John Mark Ockerbloom‘s Forward To Libraries (FTL) service makes that a whole lot easier. What FTL does is allow you to reach into nearly any library’s catalogue search from a subject link on Wikipedia.
It’s not actually that hard to add Library resources boxes to Wikipedia articles. There’s a tutorial in the Template:Library resources box page that shows you how. Researching the locator is the most difficult part, and that gets a lot easier the more you add.
I got Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael from the library on a friend’s recommendation. I tried, but I don’t feel the love for the psychic gorilla.
It’s not that the wise protagonist is a psychic gorilla. I can get past that. It’s just that the conclusions are so pat. I wonder how many readers come away with the romantic notion that they’re the only Leaver in a Taker society? (they’re wrong, of course; I’m the only one to which this applies …)
I also didn’t get the “Takers need prophets” deal. if you decide to follow the ideas in the book, what is Ishmael but a prophet? A not-for-prophet?
Writers like Jared Diamond (though flawed) and Julian Cope (though fried; but at least can play mellotron) wrote it better. Ain’t but the one way, as the Drude sang.
What I did like about the library copy that I borrowed was that it had clearly made an impression on a previous reader. Crabbed on every page in tiny, infra-neat madperson handwriting was a seemingly endless thesis about something. What, I can’t tell; the diligent guardians of the Toronto Public Library erased almost every word, so I couldn’t tell if a worldview had been shattered or affirmed. Maybe it was the wisdom of the ages. Who can tell?
Christmas came early. With money from Carlyle, I bought a reproduction of Knight’s American Mechanical Dictionary, a three-tome work from the 1870s which catalogued mechanisms, devices and machinery known at the time. It’s the ultimate nerd read.
# itunes_sanity.sh - fix dir names created by iTunes
# only works for mp3s, and not actually tested on a Mac
# created by scruss on Sun Sep 4 22:05:00 EDT 2005
find "$@" -type d -mindepth 1 | while read directory
firstfile=$( find "$directory" -type f -iname '*.mp3' | head -n1 )
year=$( id3info "$firstfile" | egrep ' TYE ' | sed 's/=== TYE (Year): //; s/[^0-9]*//;' )
album=$( id3info "$firstfile" | egrep ' TAL ' | sed 's,=== TAL (Album/Movie/Show title): ,,;' )
echo mv \'$directory\' \'$artistdir/\[$year\] $album\'
So if you were in the terminal, in your music library (one up from the individual artist directories), and you did:
itunes_sanity.sh Dan\ Jones Tripping\ Daisy
mv 'Dan Jones/Get Sounds Now' 'Dan Jones/ Get Sounds Now'
mv 'Dan Jones/One Man Submarine' 'Dan Jones/ One Man Submarine'
mv 'Tripping Daisy/Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb' 'Tripping Daisy/ Jesus Hits Like the Atom Bomb'
If that looks okay, run the output through the shell:
itunes_sanity.sh Dan\ Jones Tripping\ Daisy | sh
and all should be well.
You’ll need id3lib, which is probably most easily installed from Fink. Also, this only works for mp3 files; I can’t grok the tag info for AAC files. And finally, this might go seriously screwy on weird characters in filenames. You know my feelings on that …
How lucky that Thunderbird uses the same text mail format for storing messages. All I needed to do was scp individual server directories from under .thunderbird to ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/saltname.default/Mail — that did the job!
I didn’t use the shared global inbox that Thunderbird uses by default. If you do what I did, you probably shouldn’t either.