ASIST/Cool Tool Days/Cool Tool Day 5

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Cool Tool Day #5: October 2, 2011

  • Adam: http://www.padmapper.com/ Not really a tool for school, but a cool use of information in a visual manner. [EDIT: Incidentally, I used Padmapper to find my current rental unit this past summer. Great tool! -Jamie]
  • Jamie: http://vpl.bibliocommons.com A couple unadvertised tips about VPL's Bibliocommons OPAC.
  • Trevor: citavi think of Zotero, Mendelay, or Refworks ... but useful! A combination of citation and knowledge management makes this program the best kept secret out there. Designed by a German university a decade ago, it has now been release in English and it is the tool that all researchers should have!
  • Andrew: I can do SpiderOak. It's like Dropbox, but more secure and less flexible (it's a bit of a trade-off). I could also do Dropbox if there's demand for it and no one else wants to do it. [Don't worry about installing this one. I just set it up on another laptop and the process is too involved to go through on a lab computer. - Andrew]
  • Jonathan K: If there's time, I can introduce people to http://codeacademy.com, a site that teaches the basics of programming in a unique way without any prior knowledge required. It should only take 2 or 3 minutes.

Note: if there's more demand for 5 minute spots, we can split up these 10 minute spots.


A couple of people added more tools/resources during the session:

  • Michelle talked about a couple of items:
  1. Digital Research Tools - A wiki with information about and links to digital tools designed to help people do research.
  2. Sente - This is a citation/reference manager aimed at academics. Michelle brought it up as a posisble Mac alternative to Citavi, which currently does not have a Mac version.
  • Andrew mentioned altternative.to - This site allows you to enter the name of a piece of software and search for alternatives that do the same or similar things. Very helpful if you see something that runs on one operating system and you want to find something similar that will work on a different system.