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Thank you Paul for inviting me to contribute to Digital Chalkies. I am honoured. I trust this little scribbling will be of interest to someone.
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Whilst trawling the internet at Christmas Time, looking for software installers for the grand-kids’ presents, I came across Delicious Library at Delicious Monster. I downloaded the demo (up to 25 scans free) and after trying it, have paid for the full version. The full licence is US$39.95.

My Delicious LibraryBasically it turned my beautiful new iSight camera that I was given for Christmas (being inspired by its educational potential using iChat AV - another story really, considering our DET’s propensity for blocking the ports needed to utilise this powerful educational software) into a barcode scanner, and it worked straight out of the box. Just aim at the barcode and it does the rest. Don’t have a shaky hand though, and make sure you have good lighting aimed towards the barcodes.

I have also since used this software with a late model Sony digital video camera and it worked well. Take care that it doesn’t go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity though. This suggests Delicious LIbrary should work with any late model digital video camera.

The database relies on Amazon; maybe not the best information source but an good link nevertheless. Preferences can be changed to various different Amazon locations. For example my first scan took me to Amazon Japan with a very interesting result. Changing to UK was better. You can also link to Canada, US, France and Germany.

You do need broadband but it’s very clever software. Last weekend we scanned all our CDs and it worked really well. A number of Aussie labels weren’t recognised, particularly some “Best of” international stars, but you can also do a web search using ISBN numbers or even by typing in the title and author/creator. Failing that, simply type in all your own details and do a ‘google’ search for the album/book cover, dragging any subsequent pic into the picture window. If that doesn’t work, I guess you scan the label yourself.

You can set it up for different rooms, bookshelves etc. I set ours for the study, loungeroom, school office, classroom etc, then entered all our borrowers and simply dragged the books to the borrowers’ folders. It links to iCal and will issue a warning when the books are due. Intriguingly it also searched my Address Book and put all those with our family name into the borrowers’ list. Presumably you could also drag others in too. I’m not sure if it links to Mail and sends a reminder email though. That might be a nice option!

The website boasts a number of impressive awards; two 2005 Apple Design Awards, 4.5 Macworld Mice, MacMinute MacWorld Award, and an O’Reilly Innovators Award.

This is Mac OS X only software; Quoting Delicious Library Support:

Delicious Library is very dependent on Mac OS X-only technologies and that is a major contributing factor to its success. Rather than porting the application to Windows or Linux, we would rather invest our time and resources in improving Delicious Library.”

Be inspired by the clever simplicity of this software. Spend time reading the Profiles here. Think about how the creativity of these people change our world for the better. Reflect on how we can influence the young leaders of of our future, who are in our charge now.

Reg