Monday, 21 February 2011

On when iPhones annoy you

This isn't really about the standard subjects. In fact, it rather resembles the User Tolerant Liveware blog. But what the hell?

As most of you know, I am a librarian. Being a librarian goes beyond your 9 to 5 job. I once said to a colleague that you know you are possibly of the librarian-ish disposition when you notice that when you visit someone's house, your eye is inevitably drawn to their bookshelves. Not necessarily to judge what is on the shelves, just to see what it there. (However, if you start to rearrange the books on the shelves, you are possibly certifiable. Probably certifiable if you arrange the books according to Dewey and definitely certifiable if according to the Library of Congress.)

One the occupational hazards of being a librarian is that one is drawn to bookstores. I think I mentioned before that when I was in London in May, I was in a decent sized bookstore in search of batteries. When told that batteries were to be found in the stationary section that would only open in 15 minutes, I made a comment along the lines of "Oh! What a torment for a librarian!" Anyway, I was in a French language bookstore yesterday with my iPhone. I took notes on it about potential books worth buying. However, I had to type in the ISBNs manually. Thirteen digits is a lot, especially when you know that barcode readers are available for iPhones.

Consequently, when I got home I installed a barcode reader on the Divanita. While it works on UPC and ISBN-13 barcodes, it doesn't work on the 14 digit barcodes that my library uses on its books. I tried finding a relevant iPhone app for this particular task, but I am unable to find one. While it is above and beyond the call of duty for me to have an app capable of reading ITF-14 barcodes on my personal iPhone, I find both surprising and annoying that there doesn't seem to be iPhone app for it.

At the same time, what a time to be alive! We are living in the future!

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