Friday, 23 February 2007

Reflection on NET11

When we started the course I found many of the initial tasks annoying, as I would already have considered myself an 'advanced internet user'. Many of those Mod 1 tasks I was already very familiar with as I started using computers over 20 years ago.

I tend to have a very hands on approach to maintaining my personal computers. This means I have often had to research and learn many of the aspects we covered in the early modules. On reading many threads on the discussion board, I was, not exactly surprised, but maybe perplexed, by many other students who found these tasks either challenging or very enlightening. I should know from my own experience in helping people, that many computer users turn on their computers and never want to know what goes on in the background. Incidentally, it is these people that keep my brother's business busy and continually growning.

Usually they are frightened by the fact that they don't know much about how computers operate. I have come to believe NET11 or a study program like this would be good for a large part of the population that need to use computers, particularly in the work place. Ignorant computer users in the work place cause many lost hours of work, because they're unwilling to learn how to do the basic tasks that we covered in Modules one - four.

Some of module three and all of module four is where the unit became interesting for me. Particularly Boolean searching etc, probably because of my library background.

IM chatting was not something I have ever been interested in but I did push myself to do a little with MSN and I will continue to make an effort when it comes to continuing my NET studies.

Nor I have ever been interested in having my own blog previously, which is why I chose do two blogs: one for my resource assignment as required and obviously one for my learning log. I found it easier to use blogger for the convenience. However, I will look at a different blogging tool for the local community house website, which want to have an interactive aspect to their site.

To continue extending my comfort in blogging I am going to record my studies in creative writing and my creative arts course in a blog while I take SP1 off.

Until SP2


Module Five - Info-Communication Concepts

The concept of an information ecology wasn't surprising to me, but I hadn't actually thought about this too much. In my working life I have always been involved in an educational information ecology. With a library background, particularly in the education sector, I have always just accepted the different information ecologies that the internet & web have or comprise. Long before the Web became commonplace, I studied Information Ecologies, yet that term was not used. Therefore, I have always viewed the internet & web in that light. For me it has meant easier access to those sources of information that we find in 'the deep web', 'the invisible web'. I have always known it was there as I was creating and typing up abstracts for databases twenty years ago.

Info-Communication - P2P
I no longer have an involvement in P2P networks, but I did back in the day when I wore a patch on my eye and had a parrot on my shoulder. That was many years ago. However I am interested in Freenet. With the time that I have in SP1 I am going to spend it exploring the Freenet P2P system. I want to learn more about the use of P2P in Academia.

Info-Communication - Publishing
I have read The Age and other online newspapers and magazines, both Australian & overseas for at least the last four & five years. I buy and use e-books all the time.

I am excited by the changes and growth in the social information exchange. In large part, this is why I am studying, so that I can combine my library history and knowledge and advanced studies of an academic nature in knowledge management. With a deeper understanding of the Internet gained through this study, I want to be able to guide this generation and the next generation of secondary students to be able to think beyond Google.

Module Four - Evaluating the web

Barker, J. (2006) Finding Information on the Internet: Table of Contents. Retrieved 29, 2007 from

As a prominent university library site, the reliability and authority of this site is fairly high.

It covers several broad areas of the Internet that are of important interest to academic students. It explains cleary what the Internet is and what the World Wide Web is. It clarifies for those who may confuse the two that the Internet and the Web are two different, but complimentary services, and without the Internet we couldn't have the web. It covers the different categories of search tools, different search engines, meta-search engines, subject directories, the how and why of web page evaluation, citation, plagiarism and a glossary of Internet & web jargon is detail, as well as providing further links to explain terms.

The site page "About this tutorial" gives information on the history of the site and the why of the Teaching Library created it. The objectives of the site are spelt out quiet clearly.

This site is an excellent resource for all Internet Users. It is clear, concise and gets the information across to the reader without confusion.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Module Four - Organising search information

Choose the best three sources found in the previous task. Using whatever software or tool you think appropriate, record the following information about those sites:

* URL.
* author,
* institution,
* blurb/ summary / screen shot

Record this information in your learning log, and also detail how you saved this information, what software you used and why

AUTHOR: Joe Barker, Librarian, The Teaching Library, Program Coordinator Internet/Web Instruction
INSTITUTION: University of California Berkeley Teaching Library
SUMMARY: The library provides Internet Workshops year-round. It provides both the beginner and the Advanced Internet user with information on a miriad of sources such as specialised directories, databases, search engines and meta-search engines.
Its' pages have extensive information on the Internet & WWW including boolean searching, a glossary of internet & web jargon and how to "evaluate web pages" and much more.

Reference: Barker, Joe Retrieved January 29, 2007
This site was found using Google Advanced search. Google brought up Vicnet as the second hit. The title shown was - Advanced User's Internet Training Resources.

The Teaching Library FindInfo link was the sixth link of the list on Vicnet. see image below

AUTHOR: Angela Elkordy, Present: Director of Learning Technologies, MIA (Michigan Islamic Academy?)
INSTITUTION: Previously: Assistant Professor, Librarian & Coordinator of Electronic Resources, The Sage Colleges, Albany & Troy, NY.
SUMMARY: The stated objective of the site is: "To explore a variety of Web tools and search techniques in order to find useful information in a variety of formats." Angela Elkordy states it is "not" an advanced course, although some advanced techniques are used. While it may not be an advanced course it covers many important and useful subjects. Directories, search & meta-search engines, web indexes, evaluating & selecting resources, search techniques including boolean as well as how to find images. It also gives assignments so that users can put into practice what they read about. Both Berkeley Library and the Albany Library at the outdated URL are both given as Internet tutorials that are especially recommended. It seems that the site has not been officially updated since 2000, although the copyright statement is up to 2001.

Reference: Elkordy, Angela Retrieved January 29, 2007.

It is important to make some effort to substaniate a persons claims, particularly if they purport to be learned on a subject. I do not consider a hotmail email account as an only means of contact, to contribute to being taken seriously. I had to do a little research to track down what MIA was. My best guess is Michigan Islamic Society. On finding this I decided that perhaps due to the political climate permeating the western world and the USA in particular, it would be understandable for Ms Elkordy to be cautious.

This site was found using Google Advanced search. Google brought up Vicnet as the second hit as seen previously. The Web Searching, Sleuthing and Sifting link was the twelfth link of the Vicnet list. see image below

AUTHOR: William Stewart
SUMMARY: The Living Internet was written from 1996 through to 1999, posted on the web in January 2000, and last updated August 28, 2006. It provides 700-odd pages of in-depth information on the Internet, Web, Email, Usenet, IRC MUD's (Multi User Dungeon - adventure games with multiple players) and lists. The site covers the history, design, use, advanced features, key features, security, help and more on each of the previously mentioned applications.

Reference: Stewart, William Living Internet Retrieved January 29 2007

Module Four - Boolean searching tasks

Task: find the following using the search term "advanced internet users" = 'aiu'

To get the biggest number of hits relating to "advanced internet users" I choose to use the boolean or implied boolean operator AND. I did this because the phrase was "Advanced Internet Users' not 'advanced' 'internet' 'users'. Not internet users, but advanced internet users. In looking for "advanced internet users" we are not looking for general internet users, or advanced users of any kind other than of "the internet".
  • the biggest number of hits relating to 'aiu'
    1. Google Advanced Search - Results 1 - 10 of about 45,200,000 English pages for advanced internet users. (0.11 seconds)
    2. Clusty - Top 216 results of at least 2,990 retrieved for the query "advanced+internet+users"
    3. Dogpile - 1 - 20 of 62 Results for "advanced internet users". Search Engines: Google, Yahoo Search, MSN Search, Ask.
    4. Windows Live Academic - advanced+internet+users 1 - 3
    5. Seekz - 1 - 10 of at least 54,500,000 results for advanced+internet+users.
    6. Surfwax - Displaying 27 of about 74,900,000 pages found.
Surfwax Results Stats - Prepare: 12 milliseconds, Search: 5998 milliseconds, Processing: 19 (16 for safety checking)milliseconds, Display: 20 milliseconds, Total Time: 6049 milliseconds.

[Found: 41, Displayed: 27, Invalid: 12, Bandwidth: 1, Duplicates: 1, Stale: 0 ]
Yahoo: source not currently returning results (100)
AllTheWeb: 10 pages found in 367 ms (parsed in 2 ms)
WiseNut: 10 pages found in 336 ms (parsed in 1 ms)
YahooNews: source not currently returning results (6)
CNN: 10 pages found in 905 ms (parsed in 8 ms)
LookSmart: 11 pages found in 2831 ms (parsed in 3 ms)
MSN: source not currently returning results (100)

  • sources relating to skills-based information on 'aiu'
This question is a little loose for my liking. What 'skills-based information' on "advanced internet users" am I looking for.
  • Google - Results 1 - 10 of about 260 English pages for skills and"advanced internet users". (0.50 seconds)
Using Google I've found my own, Dewa's and many other past and present NET11 student blogs.

Now I will look at different types of skills-based information relating to "advanced internet users"

  1. Your search - skills-based "advanced internet users" -net11, -assessment, -module, -net -11 - did not match any documents.
  2. Google - Results 1 - 10 of about 188 English pages for skills OR based OR ftp "advanced internet users" -net11, -assessment, -module, -net -11. (0.40 seconds)
  3. Google - Results 1 - 10 of about 25 English pages for ftp "advanced internet users" -net11 -assessment -module -net -11. (0.06 seconds)
  4. Google - Results 1 - 10 of about 407 English pages for skills OR based OR email "advanced internet users" -net11, -assessment, -module, -net -11. (0.37 seconds
  5. Google - Results 1 - 2 of 2 English pages for "advanced internet users" telnet -net11 -assessment -module -net -11. (0.35 seconds)
I chose to try an eliminate any student blogs, which appear to have been reasonably successful, more so than finding skills based information for advanced internet users.

  • information on 'aiu' coming only from university sources
  1. Google Advanced Search - Results 1 - 10 of about 4,140,000 English pages for advanced+internet+users+university. (0.12 seconds) - the term "university" doesn't mean the results will be from university sources.
  2. Google Advanced Search Australia - Results 1 - 10 of about 498,000 for advanced+internet+users+university. (0.10 seconds) - the term "university" doesn't mean the results will be from university sources.
  3. Google Advanced Search - Results 1 - 10 of about 376 English pages for college OR university "advanced internet users". (0.07 seconds) - the term "university" doesn't mean the results will be from university sources.
  4. Google Advanced Search - Results 1 - 3 of 3 English pages from for university "advanced internet users". (0.28 seconds) - the search terms "university" & "" means the results will be from Australian universities.
The above results vary greatly. If I did similiar searches on the differing search engines that I used in the previous task I would likely get varied results as above. Any sort of database searching involves constant modification and often narrowing of search terms.

I don't require any results that are not in English. If I require results relating to Australian Universities, I wouldn't use the term "college(s)" as in Australia we call our government run academic tertiary institutions "universities". ie Curtin University.

The term "college" is generally considered to be an American term for their tertiary institutions, or for many of our secondary schools.

If I wanted to cover all tertiary institutions I would then start adding search terms such as "tafe(s)", which would widen the search. I would definitely contain my search to australia and I would also use as a search term "", which would narrow my search.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Module Four - Boolean searching

I learnt Boolean searching over 20 years ago. It has been a long time since I have used it properly or in any depth.

Boolean searching
A precise method of searching online indexes and databases, the Library catalogue and the WWW using 'Boolean Operators' (the words 'and', 'or', 'not', 'with', 'near') to link search words and combine them in various ways to narrow or broaden a search as required.University of Melbourne, Library Basics

Simple, non boolean logic:
  • one concept, can be expressed by a single term.
    • I want to find some information on Alzheimer's disease.
      • alzheimers
    • I want some information on aluminum (American spelling only).
      • aluminum
Simple boolean logic:
  • more than one concept, but each term can be expressed by a single term.
    • I want to find information on the role of aluminum (American spelling only) in Alzheimer's disease.
      • aluminum AND alzheimers
  • only one concept, but can be expressed by more than one term.
    • I want to find information on aluminum (American spelling) OR aluminium (British spelling).
      • aluminum OR aluminium
    • I want to find information about Alzheimers disease, but I do NOT want anything which mentions aluminum.
      • alzheimers NOT aluminum
Complex Boolean or nested logic
  • more than one concept, and at least one concept can be expressed by more than one term.
    • I want to find information on the role of aluminum (American and British spellings) in Alzheimer's disease.
      • alzheimers AND (aluminum OR aluminium)
    • The use of parenthses in boolean searching is the same as in the basic mathematics we learnt as primary students. Process what is in the brackets FIRST. This is required for proper processing of the boolean operators AND's and OR's. If the parenthses are left out many search engines read the query left to right. This would result in it finding pages with alzheimers and aluminum on the same page and all pages with aluminium.
Taken from: Colgate University Libraries.

  • AND is used to narrow a search
    • can be written as "AND" or "and"
    • synonyms: &, +
  • OR is used to broaden a search
    • can be written as "OR" or "or"
    • synonyms: |, ||, comma, ;
  • NOT is used to narrow a search
    • can be written as "NOT" or "not"
    • synonyms: -
  • "" double quotes turn search terms into exact phrases
  • * an asterisk is a wildcard operator, it can replace one or more characters
  • ? a question mark can replace a single character

Module Four - Woe is me

On Wednesday I installed Copernicdesktopsearch v.2.02 and Pagesucker. By the evening I had lost all my bookmarks! The last backup of bookmarks was in early December.

While studying each module, I have been recording bookmarks in folders such as:
  • NET11 Module 1
  • NET11 Module 2 etc...
  • NET11 Referred sites
  • NET11 Blogs
I've lost nearly all of these. In this log I've often recorded a decision I've made to not install a particular program or piece of software etc... due to this very type of thing.

I used the opportunity to update my Firefox browser to version I will update the Clusty add-on, which I don't mind using for searching. Clusty is the web search version of Vivisimo.

It was a bad evening made worse by the fact I managed to slam my thumb into the door. This before I realised I had lost my bookmarks.

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Module Four - Searching the web: search engine task cont...

I've gone back to the WebCT NET11 discussion board to check a problem. I have installed Copernic Meta. This only works in IE. I normally try to use Firefox only, unless checking how a web site I'm creating works in IE. Anyway after reading the board posts regarding 'search engine task' I've decided maybe I should have installed Copernic Agent Basic. I was sure I had read Copernic Meta. So I'm about to install more software.

2. Using copernicus or similar, set it up to search at least three search engines (including one that will search the 'deep web') and repeat eactly the same search

  • record the number of hits in your learning log, and compare to your first search. What differences did you notice? Why? Which search, on first glance gave you the most promising results?
Well I've been searching for the last nearly three hours using Copernic Meta & Copernicus Agent Basic and I can say if I did this at work (I'm a Library Technician who specialises in creating sites within Intranets for secondary students) my boss would string me up for not getting the job done. What a dratted waste of time. All I've found, mainly, is previous NET11 students' blogs.

I will be uninstalling what I've installed today and breathing a sigh of relief. I won't be changing my searching style overly much, that's for sure.

Rather than aimlessly putting in a query into a search engine, I would find the relevant authorities, education institutions, specific organisations & libraries and search within their sites, ensuring authoritive information.

Module Four - Searching the web: search engine task

1. Choose your most commonly used internet search engine and do a search for the words: advanced internet users.
  • record the first hit and number of hits in your learning log
Results 1 - 10 of about 118,000,000 for advanced internet users. (0.30 seconds)

Well like many, I commonly use Google. The results are as follows:

Advanced Internet Users Tutorial - CIESE
Information about using your internet browser's Help Menu is available and linked ... Choose what web page will be shown when you start Internet Explorer. ... - 16k - Cached - Similar pages

The tutorials may well be useful to some but I wouldn't consider them 'advanced'. Nor could I find a date on the page or in the code.
However, I will explore the main site later.

- Advanced User's Internet Training Resources
VICNET Internet Training - More Advanced Users. Been connected to the Internet for a while? Want to get more out of the services it offers? ... - 15k - 28 Jan 2007 - Cached - Similar pages

This was a list on VICNET. While some links were dead, others were quite good.

Advanced Internet Users, School of Continuing Education ...
Advanced Internet Users. Nearly everyone knows how to use the Internet, but are you an expert? Can you find the number of people currently living in the ... - 13k - Cached - Similar pages

After a quick peruse, I didn't find much to excite me.

News @ Cisco: China Supports Advanced Applications for Internet ...
Professor Li Xing, deputy director, of the CERNET Network Center said, "With the increase in the number of Internet users and the development of advanced ... - 48k - Cached - Similar pages

This was a link to a news page on the CISCO site.

China Supports Advanced Applications for Internet Users and Educational Centers

Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System Chosen to Power China's CERNET

BEIJING, September 21, 2005 - Cisco Systems® today announced that the China Education and Research Network (CERNET), the world's largest education network, will deploy the Cisco® CRS-1 Carrier Routing System to upgrade its national backbone network and enhance overall network performance. CERNET is a nationwide education and research computer network funded by the Chinese government and directly managed by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

StatCounter Free invisible Web tracker, Hit counter and Web stats
Detailed visitor stats and a choice of graphical counters. An invisible counter is also available. - 20k - Cached - Similar pages

Totally irrelevant. Nor could I find the word "advanced" on the page.
I have put the first five results of this search rather than just the first as this was the better result, of this task and the next.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Module Four - Using the infosphere: taking & organising

Basic applications for reading different file formats:

1. PDF files

I have Adobe's Acrobat Reader v. 5. I had thought it was a later version but apparently not.
I will update this soon. I have this set as the default to read any pdf's I download or receive by email. As I don't generally have a need to make any PDF's I haven't downloaded and used any opensource PDF applications.

2. Flash / Shockwave Players
I have the Flash player as standard as I have in the past made Flash movies. It is also quite simply a required 'plugin' for any browsing. My second computer particularly has Shockwave, as it is our games computer. I will check what versions etc and update if necessary.

3. Media Players
I have Windows Media Player, although I haven't updated it recently. As well as iriverPlus2 which is required for one of our MP3 players. iriver is our default for music on the main computer. And I also have Quicktime, of course. I don't bother with Real Player as in the past I have found I had continual problems with it and I don't have the time to spend on computer system maintainance. I will update WMP when I acquire a copy on disc.

4. Search Managers / Combiners
I have downloaded Copernic Meta for PC & Glooton 1.5.1 for Windows. Neither are installed as yet. I need to create a restore point in XP before installing either application. As I use Firefox I have also started using the search option.
I am trying to upload a jpeg to demonstrate the search option in Firefox but at the moment blogger isn't cooperating. oh well! Will upload it when it decides to work.

Here it is.
5. Bookmark Managers
As Bookmark Buddy for Windows is not a freeware application I have not downloaded it. At present I am investigating freeware options. One of the options is NetVisualize. While looking for Bookmark Managers is ended up at Feedbus. This has loads of links to managers like, A1-Webmarks, Blinklist, Bookmark Buddy, Complore, &, an open source clone of I noticed that many were beta and unfortunately I simply don't have the time to explore very many of them.

6. Offline Browsers / Copiers
Well I have once again choosen not to download another application. Webcopier for Windows, as it only has a 15 day trial. Pagesucker seems very old, however I have downloaded what appears to be the latest version, 3.2.

Well, I've managed to do this much, but its taken all day. I haven't been doing much for the last 2-3 weeks as I apparently have Sciatica, and I got bitten by a spider, a White tail, I think. I haven't been able to sit at my desk for more that about 15 minutes, which isn't great when you need to be able to spend time and concentrate on searching. Oh well! I'm starting to get back to study, which I've missed.