Thursday, December 29, 2005

Seattle Public Library LibraryLookup bookmarklet

I fixed up a LibraryLookup bookmarklet for Seattle Public Library so it works correctly.

Just drag this link into your browser's shortcut/link/bookmark toolbar:

Lookup at SPL

I'll let Jon Udell, the LibraryLookup originator, explain what a LibraryLookup bookmarklet is for and how you use it.

"If your local public (or college) library uses one of the online catalog systems listed here, you may be able to create a bookmarklet that will help you look up books in your library.

After you've 'installed' your bookmarklet by dragging it to your browser's link toolbar, you can use it to look up books at your local library. Let's say you're on a book-related site (Amazon, BN,, All Consuming, possibly others), and a book's info page is your current page. (Specifically: its URL contains an ISBN. Choose a hardcover edition for best results -- see tips below.) You can click your bookmarklet to check if the book is available in your local library. The bookmarklet will invoke your library's lookup service, feed it the ISBN, and pop up a new window with the result."

There is a bookmarklet for Seattle Public Library on Jon's site, but I think a backend change at SPL broke it. If you try to use that one, you will get the following error from the SPL website: "Sorry, unable to execute search Shortcut was not found. Aspect = ISBN".

I just hacked the URL to change ISBN to ISBNEX, which makes it all work hunky-dory. To be precise, I changed this:


to this:


Thanks to Jon Udell for this in the first place, and to Finn for prodding me to finally figure out why it was broken. And three cheers for public libraries!

Browser compatibility:

Firefox 1.5 on Mac & Win: works.

IE7 on Vista Dec CTP (5270): works, but you may need to adjust security settings to add it to your link toolbar to drag and drop it to your links toolbar - try adding this website to the trusted sites list, or maybe add the bookmark by right-clicking.

Safari: doesn't work. Does not spawn a new window to execute & display the SPL search. Leave a hint in comments if you figure out why not, maybe related to the window open command?

Friday, December 09, 2005

IE7 gets Googled

Using IE7 in Vista build 5321, I went to Google. And what does Google offer me but an IE7-specific update to change the default search engine?

Funny. Google's certainly not waiting for Vista to ship.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Virtual PC Express for SA - and its use in the enterprise for Vista testing

So - Virtual PC Express is going to be "free" for Microsoft's large customers. That is, if they have Software Assurance - in other words, pay Microsoft a boatload of money annually for, fundamentally, upgrade rights.

(Of course, VMware's VM Player is free, too - all you need is a copy of VMware Workstation to create the VM - and what client IT pro doesn't have that? Or can't just download a 30-day fully working trial version?)

On to my real point.

Some folks on the Vista / Virtual PC Express teams need to write up a step-by-step "Here's how to create a VPC VM of Vista Beta 2/insert latest stable build here set up exactly as you'd want so you can hand copies around to people in your company for testing/early checking out in a portable sandbox environment."

I'd be happy to talk to you (and blog further) about what enterprise customers need here.

Friday, December 02, 2005

ssh for Vista: Yes, please!

From the 11/29 Vista Beta chat:

Q: Are there any plans to incorporate SSH? Telnet is ancient, archaic and
provides little security. While we still need it to talk to our hardware
devices, soemthing secure like SSH would be very helpful.

A: Gawain [MS] (Expert): We have an active issue on improving telnet /
adding ssh, so I know the development team is aware of it.

Vista dev team: Please do include ssh in Vista.

It's insane that Windows is the only OS still under active development which does not include ssh in a standard distribution. I say this as a professional whose job is Windows in the enterprise.

Same thing applies for sftp, too.

I won't go through the reasons why secure alternatives to completely insecure but common tools (telnet, ftp) should be available by default; if you need a lesson give Steve Riley or Jasper Johansen a call.

Microsofties, if you need an enterprise customer to weigh in on this to get the feature to make the cut, comment on my blog and I'll get in touch.