Borrow eBooks from the State Library of NSW

If you are a resident of New South Wales you are entitled to a library card, and if you have a library card you can now borrow eBooks from the library online.

Go to http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/databases/athome.cfm and find Ebook Library (EBL). Once you are signed in you can access EBL and choose from over 2500 books. I found Noeline Kyle’s Writing Family History Made Very easy (2007) and I can download it to read at my leisure:

SLNSW EBL book borrowing

As you can see I can borrow it for a maximum of 14 days. I wonder if it is unavailable to others until I return it?

You need Adobe Digital Editions to read the book that you have downloaded, and so far I have not the patience to do this, so if you have a go for yourself please let us know how you go!

Postscript

I have downloaded and installed Adobe Digital Editions, which is eBook reader software. When you sign in you can open books. I had to double-click on the book I downloaded from the State Library NSW website, and it opened in the reader.

I have an Asus eeePad Slider, and I can’t use Adobe Digital Reader on it. Yet.

Where do you fit in the world’s population?

I have been playing with an interesting calculator on the BBC News website. You can see the rise in the world’s population and find out where your birth came on the graph by entering your birthdate. They don’t store any of your information, they just use it to calculate the numbers for the display for you. Here’s mine:

BBC population calculator

Of course this is only an estimate based on the date; it cannot be exact. When I went through the same exercise for my husband, who was born nearly four months before me, the difference in our numbers was over 18 million. 18 million people were born in four months around the world!

You can then enter your country to find out about your country’s population. Make sure you watch the world population counter rising steadily before you enter your country; it’s astounding!

BBC population world

It is almost beyond comprehension to imagine 15,000 babies born every hour around the world. I wonder when the counter will get to 7,000,000,000?

Here is Australia the numbers are not quite so staggering, but they are still surprising:

You can then watch the population counter of your country tick over. Even in Australia, with 33 births per hour, you will see some action there.

I clicked to find out why Qatar has such a rapidly-growing population. This is what I was told:

In developing nations, where improvements in health care and sanitation are seeing death rates fall, birth rates still remain relatively high. This is leading to rapidly rising populations. In fact, 97 out of every 100 new people on the planet are currently born in developing countries. Qatar – which has a large immigrant workforce – has seen its population rise rapidly in recent years.

Moldova is shrinking because of emigration.

Then you can find out your life expectancy based on the country you entered previously:

BBC population gender

Finally you are shown a summary of what you have just seen:

BBC population summary

It is staggering to think of how quickly the population is rising and how much higher our life expectancy is than it was for our ancestors. How many of your ancestors lived past this age? My two Australian grandparents both lived past ninety so my odds are good!

The website is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515. What number were you in the world’s population?

Ask Google!

GoogleIf you are having problems with a computer application, or a new wireless router, or a printer, or even a cake that won’t rise, type your problem into Google and look at the answers.

I’ve been struggling since Wednesday with a new wireless router. It worked fine for all the computers and phones in the house except my Windows 7 Professional laptop, and despite spending hours on the phone with technicians at Netgear and Dell I fixed it myself by finding the answer in a forum that I found by using Google.

Then I couldn’t get the printer to work, and I used Google to find the answer, which was to delete the printer and then reinstall it.

Then the printer would print the same document over and over again until I took the paper out of the printer. I typed this into Google: “hp laserjet p1102w printer prints multiple copies” and read through the first 3 results, and one of them had an answer. I had to uncheck a box that was ticked in the printer configuration options. Now it works fine. Only one copy.

I have a fair few years experience with computers from my days as a computer programmer. If I have trouble getting things to work, I can imagine how hard it must be for people who have spent their time more productively. And I am always encouraged to see that other people have the same problem as me.

Ask Google! There are people out there who have had the same problem, and others who know the answers and take the time to write them in a blog post or a forum question. If you don’t understand the answer, or the next person in the discussion says it didn’t work, move on to the next result in the Google list. Find one that spells out the steps you have to take in a way you can understand.

Here’s another example. One day a few years ago my husband’s ageing laptop wouldn’t start. I went looking in Google for suggestions. One of them said take the hard drive out and put it in the freezer for a while, then put it back in and try starting it up. We didn’t try that one. Another person had suggested turning the laptop upside down and pressing the power button. We tried that and it worked! The laptop started up normally and we were able to get everything backed up.

Remember what you did so you can undo it if necessary, especially if it tells you to change a setting somewhere. Write it down if you think you may not remember, or keep the page open that has the instructions so you can go back and do it again in reverse it didn’t work. The chances are it won’t matter if you don’t change it back, but it might.

You are not alone.

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