At the Ref Desk (10/4/14): 8 Hours at the Ref Desk -- please bring out the stretcher. [more...]
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Speaking on Panel about Drupal at 2012 UIC IT Professionals Forum

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/14/12 (9:14pm)

The 2012 UIC IT Professionals Forum is in two weeks at the UIC Forum (Roosevelt & Halsted). My particular contribution will be appearing on a panel for the following session:

"Which Web Content Management System Should I Choose?"

Many different Web content management systems (WCMS) are in use within the U of I system. They all have both advantages and disadvantages. Come see a panel of Web developers show us the features and deficiencies in the WCMSs their departments use, so you can choose the best one for your department.

I figure I'll talk about the history of Drupal in general, how we've implemented it at UIC's Academic & Enrollment Services, the support we've gotten (mostly pretty good) from Campus IT, plus all the crazy content types we handle: 'Final Exam Locations' for the Office of Classroom Scheduling, 'School Record Types by Country' for Grad Admissions, Registration 'tickets' for the UIC Summer College Program, etc.

(I can't think of one project I've done that consisted of plain-vanilla webpages. Maybe that's why I'm using Drupal.)

UPDATE: Following up on the final thought above... My central theme will be:

"If it's going to be a complicated mess -- best to do it with Drupal!"

UPDATE (4/5/2012): Just finished the panel discussion on CMS's. All we got was 45 measly minutes! I talked mostly about Drupal and how we've implemented it for various projects. That was one half. The other half was giving people tips on what to look for -- and things to avoid -- when shopping for CMS's in general. We could easily have gone for an hour and a half. Nice turn out, just the same.

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Slides: UIC Webmasters Brownbag on Responsive Web Design

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 2/2/12 (8:12pm)

Okay, so here are the slides from my presentation on Responsive Web Design that I gave today at the UIC Webmasters Brownbag. It's not the longest thing in the world -- I was only supposed to talk for 30 minutes but ended up going the whole hour. The group was great -- very engaged and asking a whole lot of good questions.

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Yes, Virginia, Deep Dish Pizza is Real Pizza

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 10/22/11 (1:44am)

Here we go again. Everyone's talking about the following comment by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia:

[Chicago's Deep Dish Pizza is] ... "very tasty ... but it should not be called ‘pizza.’ It should be called ‘a tomato pie.’ Real pizza is Neapolitan. It is thin. It is chewy and crispy, OK?”

Here's the third report I've come across, this time in the Chicago Sun-Times.

This is a complete myth based on ignorance of what qualifies as 'pizza' in Italy. It's not just thin crust! Naturally that's what you get if you only go to sit-down pizzerias but there are also places, particularly in Rome or Naples, called 'Pizza Rustica' which are walk-in carry-out places where you can order elaborate thick-crush pizzas that put our Deep Dish variety practically to shame. These are the forerunner of Deep Dish! It's there for anyone to go and see.

Another example is 'Pizza Bianca' which is a staple of good Italian breakfasts -- served up practically at every Cafe/Bar in the country: a totally plain very thick crust which is filled with cheese and other delicious things and then toasted and served crispy hot along with your cup of cappuccino. Again, a harbinger of Deep Dish.

So I'm sorry, but this really is a sort of idiot test: if someone doesn't like Deep Dish or claims it's not Italian, bingo, they win the Bozo Award!

UPDATE: Here, eat this....

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Big Day: Work Then Library Conference Then Drupal Meetup

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 10/19/11 (10:28pm)

Today was a big day. I started it off at MPOW with a meeting at 9am sharp. At noon I left for Rosemont and the Illinois Library Association Conference. They were featuring not only a free pass to get in to see the exhibits but a free lunch as well: carved roast beef and turkey along with two kinds of pasta and either a tomato or cream sauce. Heaven! Following a quick stop home, I next headed downtown for the monthly meeting of the Chicago Drupal Meetup Group. The meeting this month was starting early because they had three people giving presentations instead of the usual 2. One was on the switch to Drupal over at the Field Museum.

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Beginning of Fall Quarter 2011 at DePaul

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 9/8/11 (11:39pm)

Picture of Your's Truly at the Ref Desk on my first day for Fall Quarter 2011. Lots of questions about whether we have textbooks for classes (generally we don't). Plus to add to the excitement, our Chat Reference pooped out for a couple of hours.

Last but not least, Are These Fighting Words? -- a shot of the flavors available at the Bean Coffee Stand at DePaul including the (controversial) "Decaf Librarian's Blend".

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Move In Day at DePaul

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/3/11 (4:00pm)

Actually I think it's move-in weekend. The quarter doesn't start till next Tuesday but people are moving in already. I saw one guy with this huge large-screen tv maybe 5' x 6' that probably cost a fortune in the 1990s. It's strange to think he's moving that monster into his dorm.

P.S. The sign says,

'LOADING ZONE: Please limit your time in this space to 20 minutes so that other students can move in. Thank you."

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1st Day - UIC Fall 2011

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/22/11 (2:20pm)

Yippie! The students are back!

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Give Me a Chicago Butt - Or No Butt at All!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 7/19/11 (10:55am)

You know, when we look up the dress of a 26-foot statue in the middle of downtown, we have every right to expect the butt we see there to scream, 'Chicago' from cheek to cheek.

So if they ever do this again, I suggest they use Mrs. O'Leary maybe or Oprah Winfrey -- clad of course in nothing but a bra and girdle. That way they'll have someone with connections to Chicago (finally) while still appealing to boys in 5th grade.

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Dries Speaking at DrupalCon

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 3/10/11 (11:00pm)
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Dries Buytaert speaking on the exhibit floor at DrupalCon Chicago. Topic: "The Drupal Revolution - Buckle up, we're just getting started!"

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Library BoF at DrupalCon Chicago

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/9/11 (9:29am)
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We were able to squeeze in more than 50 librarians into the Library BoF. Topics of discussion included migrating to Drupal from other systems, integration with ILSs, creation of research guides, etc.

I put together a complete write-up for Library Hi Tech who'll be publishing it at some point.

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