One of my favorite bloggers, Michael Casey, posted on a new web goodie, Desktop on Demand. It sounded intriguing, so I figured I'd try it out.
I like it. A lot.
In a nutshell, the service provides users with a Linux-based online desktop that features online file storage, email client, browser, multi-platform IM client, GIMP (photo editing), file encryption, and more - and you can access your desktop, securely, from any internet computer. It's really cool. I have not played with all of the options yet, but the free gig of online storage space alone is worth taking a look at.
I think introducing this type of service to our patrons would make life so much easier for some of them. Our computers have a locked CD drive, meaning that they have to save their stuff to either floppies or USB drives. Most of the patrons use floppies, but soon computers - and that includes ours - won't have floppies at all. And while some of us have been using USB drives for years, most of my internet patrons have no idea what a USB drive is, or are unable/unwilling to buy one (I am trying to get small drives donated to us). Also, patrons leave floppies and USB drives behind all the time - floppies get turned in to lost and found - USB drives do not (imagine that). DoD's online storage would make library computing much more manageable.
The potential for patron and staff applications with this program.... I get excited just thinking about it.
DoD is still in BETA at this point, and snooping around in the forum sheds some light on kinks that need to be worked out, but once the program makes its public debut, I am hoping to develop a class on it for our patrons (and staff).
I had to wait a couple of days to get a log-in, but if you are interested in trying it out, I have 25 invites I can hand out - drop me a line.