Microsoft launches new tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad

Microsoft recently unveiled plans for their new tablet computer, called “Surface.”

Surface will be similar in size and price to the latest iPad, and will be released in conjunction with Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, in the fall.  It will be Windows-compliant, include a USB port and a kickstand to hold it upright, and incorporate a magnetic cover that can be used as a touch keyboard.

There are no details yet available about its pricing or availability in Canada.  Stay tuned!

A reminder that you can borrow Windows or Mac laptops for 48 hours at the loans desk of almost all of McGill’s branch libraries.  A number of iPads are available to borrow for a one-week period.

Image from SpicaGames

Alan Turing’s 100th birthday

Alan Turing Year LogoLast Saturday marked 100 years since the birth of mathematician and computer scientist Alan Mathison Turing on June 23, 1912. On this occasion, I offer some Turing touring of the Internet:

Image the ATY logo from The Alan Turing Year

Eating cereal out of the box

Puffed MilletWe couldn’t be more thrilled to bring you this blog. We at Schulich Library have been thinking about it for some time, bookmarking interesting sites and writing little notes with “idea for the blog?” on post-its. We get excited about science and technology and how it intersects with popular and scholarly communication. We hope to fill The Turret up with entries that are timely and topical and now that it is up and running there will be no more procrastinating.

I’m sure that everyone knows a thing or two about procrastination but one great tip for getting those projects off the ground is to write a little every day. A quote from Paul Rudnick that someone shared recently resonated with me:

As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write.

Writing a little each day can seem like a chore but here is a tool that was recommended to my librarian colleagues and me: It will remind you to get that writing done whenever you have some time. No one has to ever see it and it doesn’t have to be stellar – you just have to start writing. I promised myself to give it a few weeks to see if it will become habit forming. Wish me luck.

I would be remiss if I did not include at least one procrastination aid. Here is some fun with Google that got me through a patch: type ‘askew’ or ’tilt’ into the search engine or ‘do a barrel roll’ and watch it go, check out the “did you mean” options for ‘recursion’ or ‘anagram’, or just play around with Google Gravity.

If you are wondering what 750 words looks like – it is almost twice this length. I used to inaugurate The Turret and made it as far as 397 words. It is my first time after all. It wasn’t at all painful so I’m not sure why I had put it off for so long, although I did shamelessly fill up space with a block quote and pause twice for cereal.

Welcome to the blog. Happy reading (and writing)!

Image by Jimmy Coupe