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Archive for 'Tech Tuesdays'

Tech Tuesday: The Internet, Diapers, and Access to the 1940 Census (What they have in common)

It wasn’t so intimidating after all.

We ended our last blog, announcing the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program Symposium held on February 17 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The purpose of the symposium was to reflect on what the NITRD Program has accomplished over the past 20 years.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, wandering into the Knight Conference Center, an humble archivist – a fish-out-of-water, feeling lost in a sea of black suits and aging baby-boomers. Every now and then, I’d spot an important face or two, people whom I’d recognized from huge posters of computer pioneers at the Microcenter computer store in Rockville. In fact, it was kind of like a red carpet event for science, academic, and computer geeks, or probably more appropriately, spotting rock stars of the computer world.

My first thoughts were, “Oh, no, what if the panels were way over my head?” Should I take a seat by the door for a quick escape just in case?” then suddenly, “Is that who I think it is sitting across from our table? Would I embarrass myself if I asked for an autograph?”

Here’s why I’m glad I stayed…

Sharing the Video Metadata Love

Most archivists, librarians, and digital preservation folks love metadata — and we at the Archives are no exception.  Metadata is the sort of invisible information stored within or alongside a digital copy of something like a cool, older video about a NASA space flight.  Metadata allows us to keep track of things in a detailed way.  It […]

Making the Right Connections (Part II): At the Heart of the Internet

Our hiatus is over, and we cheerfully bring you the next installation of our TechTuesday blog post, “Making the Right Connections.” At our last offering, we highlighted the contributions of Dr. George Strawn, former CIO for the National Science Foundation (NSF) – now on a special assignment as Director of the Executive Office of the President’s Networking and Information Technology Research & Development (NITRD) Program. In our follow up interview with Dr. Strawn in December, we focused on his main charge to lead a NITRD initiative to move government information into the clouds. And at a special event this Valentine’s week, we celebrate another anniversary that includes Dr. Strawn, so keep reading!

Searching 40 TB of Electronic Records with the Swipe of a Finger

Imagine that you want to find electronic records related to a particular geographic location in a very large collection (40 TB and about 70 million files) of archival electronic records. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could pick up an iPad, have a map pop up on the screen, run your finger over the area […]

Tech Tuesday: Making the Right Connections

Many of us have met long-time computer types who began working with computers long before PCs began appearing in the late 1970s. We recently interviewed a fascinating man who celebrates 50 years of working with computers. He loves explaining how computers moved from being complex, monstrous beasts run by certain “intelligentsia” into practical, analytical tools for everyday people; to how computers today help us communicate and work with each other, within different, newer social frameworks.

His career led him to some fascinating developments in computer science, including early contributions to the beginnings of the Internet, where he now sits at the helm of a strategic team that is braving the most challenging tasks of dealing with Government information in the clouds.

Dr. George O. Strawn is not just another computer/IT official who rose from the ranks – he is one of the most important thought leaders within Federal Government IT circles today. Plus, he loves the National Archives, because he says, “we bring to the table some of the toughest IT problems for all of the federal government that need to be solved in our time.”

Read the first in our series of Applied Research interviews called “At the top of our List: Thought Leaders You Should Know”

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