Monday, July 27, 2009

Saving Blogs & Webpages of Interest At The Library

Here's a great way for people on dial-up (or those who may have a second computer in the house that is not attached to the internet) to save material for later reading or for reference use.

The present Albany Public Library computers have "A" drives. A local odd-lot type store was recently selling boxes of 100 floppies for $5! (And don't forget that, unlike CDs, floppies can be easily erased and re-written over and over and over again!)

When I go to the library, I have a list in hand of articles and/or specific blogs or websites I want to visit and material I want to save. I also email that list of URLS to my gmail account, and open it up at the library. One by one, I visit each of the sites on my list. Once the browser indicates loading is complete, I do a "save as" or "save web page as" right onto my floppy in the A-drive. Sometimes you can get two websites saved on a single floppy. I carry a sharpie marker with me and label the diskette as soon as i take it out.

At the end of the session I usually have anywhere from 5 to 10 floppies with reference material I either want to save or read later. It sure beats trying to read everything at once... I can also load pages from the floppies while I'm online doing something else (they don't need any internet connection to be read).

There are two ways of reading the floppies: thru Internet Explorer (just select the "read offline" setting) or by using an HTML reader. The great thing about "preserved material" is that if the website changes, rearranges or deletes something, I still have the proof that it really and truly existed, one digitial moment in time!

If you're dealing with an incredibly busy, ad-laden webpage or blog posting, look for a "print" option on the site. Have WORD open. When the page to be printed appears, hit "cancel" on the printer display box. Now cut and paste the entire contents of the "page to be printed" into WORD. Save as "whatever name you give it" onto your floppy, and you're good to go!

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