The Radar

Helping You Zero in on New and Exciting Technologies


Surfing the Solar Winds

I confess that I am not someone who is fanatical (or even modestly enthusiastic) about apps. This, however, is changing since discovering Solar Walk for my iPod. This interactive app is both fun and educational. One can zoom out to the breadth of the Milky Way (for a sobering awareness of how small we are) or zoom in to a satellite in orbit around our planet or drift over the topography of Mars.

There is an information option for every object on screen and even a menu to select a specific cosmic body natural or man-made.

The app also provides an additional music option if one wishes to hear some soothing tunes while taking a tour of our modest collection of astral bodies, and should you desire an added level of immersion the app gives you the chance to switch to 3-d mode (providing you have the appropriate eye-wear).

Other features on the app includes: movie clips, screen capture, and a true to scale option.


Posted under Mobile, Technology

Using the Download Station

[cross-posted to The Bookshelf]

We’ve received a number of questions about the download station in the Readers’ Services area. More and more people are discovering our downloadable collection and checking out ebooks and eaudiobooks. The download station makes it easier to pick up audiobooks while you’re in the building.

When it works, it works quite smoothly. Choosing an eAudiobook and downloading it to your player of choice should only take a few minutes.  But we’ve had a few curveballs lately that we thought we’d address here on the blogs.

Here are some key things to remember as you use the Download Station:

  • The station only works for eaudiobooks, not ebooks. The software on the Download Station is only configured to download audio materials.
  • The station should work with most mp3 players, including iPods. If you don’t have a USB cable or an iPod sync cable, ask at the desk and we’ll loan you one.
  • If using an iPod, make sure it’s set to Manual Sync. If your iPod is set to Automatic Syncing, the eaudiobook will replace everything that has been preloaded on the device.
  • If a download fails on the Station, you can still download the eaudiobook at home. All your checked out items will appear under your Digital Account.
  • If you’re still having problems, please see a librarian! We are happy to help with all your digital downloading issues.

As always, we welcome your suggestions for new titles. What other items would you like to download from our collection?

Posted under Books, Technology

Poetry on the Go mobile poetry

Get ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day!

The American Academy of Poets website has a new Mobile Poetry page. Billed as “woo or woe on the go,” Mobile Poetry is a palm-sized version of the website. The site provides unlimited access to more than 2,500 poems, hundreds of biographies, and essays. The collection is organized into two sections: occasion and theme and form. A search feature offers the option to search or browse the collection by poet, poem, and prose.

Mobile Poetry is optimized for the iPhone, but is formatted for easy use on most mobile devices. Simply surf to on your Web-enabled handheld device. You can also use the same URL to preview the site from a desk- or laptop computer.

Posted under Mobile, Technology, Websites