April 18th, 2009


I've been cataloguing the books (and DVDs and computer games), using the mostly wonderful (but see below) Delicious Library 2 (Mac only, I'm afraid). In theory, it uses the MacBook Pro's built-in iSight camera to scan the barcode and retrieve the details from Amazon, which can save a lot of data entry.

The results to date can be seen here. (Warning: the page on this link contains all the books, and so has over 2000 images. If it breaks your web browser, you get to keep the pieces.) That's having done all of the DVDs, graphic novels, computer games and large-format fiction, and the small-format fiction up to Ellison (plus random other unfiled books). Still got to do the rest of the small-format fiction and all of the non-fiction. Cover images are the correct one for the edition we've got, as far as is humanly possible, but are mostly not scans of the actual physical copy on the shelves. 1,984 books done so far, and I think probably 1,200-1,500 to go.

The cunning plan behind this is to make it easier to sell a thousand or so books on Amazon and make some more room on the shelves. But I've not yet tried out that part of Delicious Library's functionality.

For anyone doing the same, here are a few random notes and tips based on the experience so far. Collapse )

In Which I Become a Medical Statistic

Just got a letter asking me to take part in UK Biobank, which is apparently the largest long-term longitudinal study of health outcomes. Since they're trying to sign up 500,000 people between 40 and 69, which is probably around 1 in 40 of that total age group, it's quite likely that one or two of my friends list will get similar letter.

I have to go along for a 90 minute assessment in June (on a Saturday, how sensible of them), when they'll ask some questions and do some basic measurements (height, weight, waist size, bone density, blood pressure and lung function) and take blood and urine samples. Should be interesting, and this kind of study will eventually be immensely helpful in working out things like whether or not obesity really is bad for your health.