Carry on saving those pennies!

October just keeps getting better for Hitchcock fans!

Universal have just officially announced the region 1 “Hitchcock Presents: Season One” box set.


(image courtesy of DVD Times)

Hopefully we’ll have an announcement soon from Universal about the possible UK release of the set on October 31st.

So, that now means the following are potentially going to be released in October 2005:

Phew!

Start saving your pennies!

Many thanks to Mr_Lowery for spotting the following DVDs that have just appeared on play.com:

If play.com have got the details correct, then October is going to be a very expensive month (R1 “Lifeboat” is due on 18th, and the remastered R1 “Masterpiece” collection is out on the 4th).

Paolo emailed me to say that Sony are releasing “Suspicion” in Italy in September.  Some of you may remember that MGM had announced several Hitchcock DVDs in 2004, but these were postponed indefinitely after Sony bought out MGM.  Hopefully this means Sony are starting to think about releasing further Hitchcock titles?

I’ve also uploaded the following South Korean DVDs to the site:

creating a "3D" navigation bar

Due to some “Saturday morning boredom”, I’ve put together a tool for generating a set of replacement HIP navigation bar GIFs:

The idea is to replace the standard set of HIP graphics:

before

…with a set of more rounded ones:

after

I’ve also put together a “how to” guide for HIP 3.04 (which may work with other versions of HIP too):

Have fun and try not to break your HIP!
:-)

More budget US DVDs and Lifeboat

It looks like Fox are finally going to release Lifeboat on DVD. The unconfirmed release date is October 18th.

I’ve also got hold of a pile of US budget releases from Westlake Entertainment Group. I’ve yet to add screen grabs to the site, but the transfers appear to be similar to the old Laserlight/Delta releases. I’m not sure if these count as some of the cheapest Hitchcock DVDs to date, but they only cost $0.89 (?0.50 GBP) each at DVD Pacific!

DUG/HUG – Friday

Friday started off with a session about the RFID implementation at Middlesex, with Alan Hopkinson, Tim Pond (D-Tech Direct), and Gregor Hotz (Bibliotheca). We’re planning to implement RFID at Huddersfield during 2006.

Next up, James Castle (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer) and myself did a 45 minute session entitled “HIP Ideas”. James talked about the issues involved with setting up multi-language subject indexes. You can find my presentation (“Break Your HIP!”) here. Once again, many thanks to eagle-eyed Polly who spotted what had caused the “wheels to fall off” my live floor plan demo!

Finishing off the morning, Jill Osborne (Dynix) gave a series of HIP 4 demonstrations – here are my brief notes:

  • the built in spellchecker is able to offer a range of possible correct spellings (similar to Google’s “did you mean xxx?”)
  • the optional “Thesaurus Expanded Search” includes synonyms for each search term
  • printer friendly versions of search results and full bib pages are available
  • the ADA and Kids HIP profiles won’t be available until HIP 4.1

Finally, Jill ran through some of the things that won’t be carried across from a HIP 3 to HIP 4 upgrade:

  • XSL stylesheet changes
  • some look and feel options
  • any tabs or subtabs that are links

…like many at the conference, I can’t wait to get my hands on HIP 4!

Sadly, we had to rush off after Jill’s session to get back to the airport on time.

Many thanks to everyone involved with organising the conference – especially the Dynix staff!

DUG/HUG – Thursday

Thursday started with a demo of Web Reporter from Phil Coles – here’s my notes from the session:

  • 140 reports supplied as standard
  • reports processed on the Web Reporter server, using live data from the Horizon database (i.e. no data mining)
  • reports can be scheduled to run overnight
  • reports can be exported as PDF, Excel, CSV, etc
  • new reports can be created from scratch, or you can use one of the existing templates
  • current version of Web Reporter is not Unicode compliant, however the Horizon 8 version will
  • no knowledge of SQL required
  • handles non-January financial years
  • SQL can be imported from ReportSmith

This was followed by a presentation from Eric Keith (VP Operations, SirsiDynix US) about the company’s current and future developments – my notes from the session are available here.

Finishing off the morning sessions, Polly Dawes (Bradford), and Ian Haydock & Jan Broad (Staffordshire) ran a session about Telecirc – including a live demo via mobile phone! We’re hoping to finally get Telecirc running live at Huddersfield by the start of the new term.

Starting off the afternoon, Phil Coles gave a short presentation about HIP 4 and Horizon 8 before attempting a live demo – unfortunately technical gremlins caused one or two problems with the demo. Here’s my notes about HIP 4:

  • works with Java v1.4.2, although Dynix are currently testing it with more recent releases of Java
  • allows pickup locations, search types, limits & sorts, and search location defaults to be set
  • built in spell checker and thesaurus
  • borrower history display
  • list of new and/or top circulating items
  • tighter integration for consolidated searching
  • Lucene indexing/search engine

…and about Horizon 8.0:

  • FRBR support
  • MFHD (MARC Format for Holdings Data) support
  • e-commerce integration
  • Electronic Resource Management (ERM) module
  • one-click sorting of colums
  • more integration between Horizon 8.0 and Web Reporter
  • new acquisitions workflows available
  • notes fields are all 1,500 characters (although Phil thought this can easily be increased if required)
  • EDI functionality built into Horizon (i.e. no need to use separate FTP software)
  • graphical serials prediction

This was followed by “Moving to MARC21″, with Ray Delahunty (Dynix UK), Polly Dawes (Bradford) and Ian Jennings (Huddersfield). It highlighted the two extremes of converting to MARC21 – Bradford had very few problems running the conversion under Dynix ILS, but the Huddersfield conversion (under Horizon) was a long and fairly painful process! Hopefully future conversions under Horizon will be much smoother.

The last session of the day was “My Favourite SQL” with Tim Fletcher (Birkbeck) and myself. I’ve uploaded my presentation (“Using SQL to Create Web Based Reports & Applications”) here. I’ll upload the advance notices Perl script as soon as I’ve finished debugging and documenting it.

Towards the end of the session, Anders F̴k (Link̦ping University) gave a quick demonstration of their web based reports (which uses Microsoft .Net and Crystal Reports) Рvery impressive stuff!

DUG/HUG – Wednesday

In the morning, Jill Osborne from Dynix gave a very impressive demonstration of the new HIP 4 administrator interface.

One of the biggest problems I found with HIP 3 (and below) was doing the admin configuration – the options were here, there and everywhere. HIP 4 brings everything together into a single (fairly) intuitive interface. If this is a taster of things to come with Horizon 8.0, then the wait will be well worth it.

There’s some more notes from Jill’s presentation here.

The afternoon saw a very honest keynote speech from Peter Gethin. Peter’s style might not be to everyone’s taste, but it marks the start of what should be an interesting few years for SirsiDynix.

If anyone is looking for the “Systems Managers Forum” presentations from Tim Fletcher and myself, then you can find them here.

An evening in Exeter

After a fairly uneventful cheap flight down from Leeds/Bradford, we’re here in breezy Exeter for the DUG/HUG 2005 Conference.

Sadly, the nearest bar (in Hope Hall) only seems to be open for an hour every day. So, a group of us headed down in to Exeter for some sight-seeing and pub grub at the Ship Inn – supposedly one of Sir Francis Drake’s favourite haunts.

Ship Inn, Exeter Ship Inn, Exeter

replacement inactive tab GIFs

The default GIF images used in HIP 3.04 for the inactive tabs only really work if you stick with the grey colour. Once you change that background colour, they no longer match:

Not only that, but the two corner GIFs are actually a different colour (more olive/brown than grey):

You can call me “sad”, but things like that niggle me! :-D

So, after a few minutes with Paint Shop Pro, I’ve come up with some replacement GIFs that use transparency to match whatever background colour you use for your inactive tabs:

If you too are niggled by your default GIFs, then you can download the replacement ones here: inactive_tab_GIFs.zip

You’ll need to overwrite the existing files, which are normally located in the “appserverjbossserverdefaultdeployhipres.warimages” directory:

…all of this assumes you’re on HIP 3.04 – so it might not work with other versions. Also, don’t forget to back up the original images (just in case!)

On a similar vein, I replaced the tab GIFs on our HIP a while ago with slightly more rounded 3D versions, although I’m not sure anyone actually noticed the change!