Be cyber smart this week (and every week)

Do you think much about your cyber Security?

27 November to 1 December 2017 is New Zealand Cyber Smart Week.

It is being promoted by CertNZ, an agency that exists to understand and advise both government organizations and New Zealanders about threats to their online security and how to minimize and respond to them.

They work closely with organizations such as the Police, NetSafe and Internal Affairs.

Like many things, prevention is better than cure. So, whether it is an offer that is too good to be true from a Nigerian Prince, or the fact that your password is – ahem – password, take a moment this week to think about how you can take a few simple steps to protect yourself and your family.

Cover of Internet security made easy Cover of Future crimes Cover of Understanding the digital world

Find out more

Digital Library Services

Ada Lovelace – Computing before it was cool

Cover of the bride of scienceToday is Ada Lovelace Day. Celebrated on the second Tuesday in October Ada Lovelace Day is a day for celebrating the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and science.

But who was Ada Lovelace?

Born in 1815, Ada was the daughter of Lord Byron and his wife Annabella Milebanke. As a child she was fascinated with machines and this was fostered by the education she received, which for the time was rather unorthodox, with its emphasis on mathematics, logic and science.

Through her friendship with Charles Babbage she became intimately familiar with the earliest clockwork and punchcard “computing” devices. In 1842 she contributed to an article about Babbage’s latest machine or “Analytical Engine”. Part of her contribution to the article were several “computer programs”. This is why she is often described as “the first computer programmer”. She is also credited with seeing the possibilities of computing, greater even than Babbage, who saw his machine as an advanced number-cruncher, where Lovelace imagined more creative possible outputs –

Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.


When Alan Turing undertook his work that led to modern computers, it was Ada Lovelace’s notes that informed his work.

As many legends do Lovelace died young, at just 36 years of age, with only half a life’s worth of genius lived.

Today, Ada Lovelace Day is an opportunity to honour and celebrate the scientific achievements of women and to encourage the women technologists, mathematicians and scientists of the future.

If you know an inquisitive, tech/maths/science-obsessed girl, why not introduce her to one of the following titles?

Cover of Amazing applications and perfect programs Cover of Awesome algorithms and creative coding Cover of computer networks Cover of The science of computers Cover of Cool biology activities for girls Cover of Cool chemistry activities for girls Cover of Cool engineering activities for girls Cover of Cool physics activities for girls

Or consider nudging someone you know along to our Minecraft Club for Girls or Girl Zone computing and tech skills course.

More recommended reading

Our previous Ada Lovelace Day posts

Get ya geek on: Really useful resources for NCEA Computing

Cover image of "Create your own wesbiteDream of becoming the next young IT whiz who transforms the technological world and makes billions? Take the first step towards your goal by studying hard for NCEA Computing.

So where did we find these great resources? On The Pulse, the library’s website for teens.

Safari Books Online – Keeping up with technology

Whether we like it or not, computers and their various applications are now a fact of life. Another fact is that as soon as you figure out how to use new technologies then they will change and update on you!

This where the library can help. Recognising the need for up to date information, the library has subscribed to 150 titles in the Safari Books Online electronic reference library for those with an interest in computer science. The information needs of amateur dabblers, IT professionals and programmers are all met here. Other areas covered include business and management.

Below is just a small sample of available titles:

This easy to use electronic library is one of the many benefits of library membership. You can access this database and its titles and many other useful databases from home with your library card number and PIN through Premium Websites, or from any of our libraries.

The upside of down time

A cheery note on my broadband usage meter recently informed me that usage limits had been doubled until mid January. So while the servers and the towers may have been down recently, there was a definite upside!

You can guarantee that some of my bonus bandwidth will be spent on the most recent addition to the library’s  Christmas page – NZonScreen’s Christmas collection. There’s everything from Gliding on to Outrageous Fortune to Shortland Street – it’s quite a mix.

Remember, if you’re are worried about hitting your broadband limit, come and use the internet at your local library! There’s plenty of film resources in the collection as well. And while you’re at it, tell us your favourite end-of-year TV special. Is it something that gets you singing while you do the dishes, or a movie to fall asleep to?

The Meta-blog

The rough guide to bloggingThe prefix meta- is generally used to describe something that is self-referential, or about itself.  Metadata is data about data.  A metamovie might be a movie about movies and so it’s only right that there should be a blog about blogs or blogging.

Until relatively recently having your own web presence required a reasonable amount of IT geekery and was not free.  With the advent of blogging anyone with basic computing skills can carve out their own niche in cyberspace.  For more information on how to set up your own blog check out our Creating your own online space page from the library website.

Continue reading