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Steve Watkins
Works at California State University, Monterey Bay
Attended Stanford University
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A little holiday cheer with a familiar theme.
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Steve Watkins

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Hi all, I'm afraid that I might be blaspheming here, but I have to say that for once, I was actually disappointed in the most recent Dave's Picks 12 show from Colgate University from November 1977. 1977 has to be my favorite year ever, so I was listening for the usual magic, but it just didn't seem to be there in most of the cuts. The liner notes from Dick Latvala have him claiming this as "the highest series of 1977." And he talks about "a real fine transition" into "Eyes of the World" which it certainly was. But "Eyes" itself is an excessively up-tempo version that loses much of it's lyrical subtlety as everyone tries hard to keep up.

Then I listened to the last few tunes from Dick's Picks 10 from December 30, 1977, at Winterland in San Francisco and was blown away by the contrast. There's an exquisite Eyes at a tempo that let's all of Jerry's nuanced guitar and vocals shine, bleeding into a Saint Stephen where he totally shreds the guitar leads, playing with that sense of surety and fun that characterized many of his best live renditions. To my mind, there was no comparison -- the Winterland versions were head and shoulders better. Which made me remember the March 1977 series of Winterland shows that wasn't considered part of the "tour" that year, which did include so many classic shows elsewhere in the country. The band had a history of trying out new material closer to home for those of us who were fortunate to be able to attend, and those March shows were incredible. I'd hold a couple of them up against the more well known May and June shows in terms of song selection, band energy, and that intangible sense of clarity, joy, and magic in the playing.

So, just curious if I'm totally off base here and whether others of you had a similar Bay Area experience. All in the context of realizing that the worst Dead show was better than the best day fishing.

Peace,

Steve
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I loved the palladium run in NYC
start 4/29/77
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Looks like some good stuff in this set of videos! Thanks to +Kevin Clarke for bringing it to our attention.
 
"The owners to the rights of the Bill Graham Archives have organized nearly three dozen shows worth of high quality Grateful Dead video into playlists on this YouTube channel entitled Music Vault.

The earliest show in the vault is the 6/18/76 show from the Capitol Theatre and spans all the way through the band’s Halloween show at Radio City Music Hall in 1980 and others, with the latest show coming in the form of the 11/3/91 show at the Golden Gate Park, played just ten days after the death of Bill Graham.

Most of the shows occur at Graham’s Winterland Arena, a proving ground for the band (as well as Jefferson Airplane and others). Graham and the Grateful Dead worked closely together for the majority of the famed promoter’s life before his untimely death in 1991."

via +Kristian Allen 
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Excellent videos but they made each song a separate video, with ads between them. It makes watching an entire show a bit of a chore.
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Listening to the third of a 3-night run at Winterland in SF on this date in 1974, including a light, spacey, jazzy 29-minute Dark Star
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Steve Watkins

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Students in the cinematography course in our Cinematic Arts and Technology program produced this great brief video for Banned Books Week. Check it out, it's nicely done.
 
A tribute to banned books from CSUMB's cinematography class:
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Steve Watkins

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Several weeks ago, a crew of Google contractors roamed through our library building with a floorplan app on their phones that measured the relative strength of wifi signals inside the building relative to their exact position on the floorplans that the campus had previously uploaded to Google Maps. Today when I turned on wifi location services on my phone and zoomed to my location on Google Maps, it correctly located me on the 3rd floor of the library quite close to where I was standing. So my first impression was "this is gonna be great for in-building navigation" until I started walking the building. There's a noticeable time lag for the location arrow to update to reflect that you've moved to a different area, but it does eventually catch up to you. In some areas it actually tracked my movements almost in real time, but in others the circle around the arrow that indicates how accurately they've identified your location is often quite large, encompassing a third of the square footage of the floor I was on, and the arrow was maybe 50-70 feet from my actual location. It did recognize that I had gone from the 3rd floor to the 1st floor and displayed the appropriate floorplan, but when I went back upstairs it didn't adjust automatically.

Clearly we'll want to test this on multiple devices, but while it appears that it'd be good enough for some degree of wayfinding in our building, it's not going to provide the kind of pinpoint locations that outdoor GPS can manage. I don't think we'll be trying to figure out how we could use it to lead users to the aisle of the book stacks where a call number is shelved, for instance. But if they're looking for the instruction room on the 2nd floor, well sure. Now if we could only get it to speak audible directions to support users with visual disabilities the way Maps Navigation can when you're on the road ... maybe next year?
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Okay, I gave NBC the benefit of the doubt this past week despite all the negative commentary, but tonight they returned to the absolute worst of their previous Olympics coverage. An overview of what's to come, followed by half an hour of frigging retrospective of the frigging 1996 gymnastics gold medal, complete with string section. Then the teasers about Michael Phelps and Misty Franklin, implying that they're up next, but NO, we've got volleyball and diving and they'll try to string us along until the last 30 minutes to see the marquee event.

Why the f*&% did you change formats in midstream, NBC, when your primetime coverage wasn't bad at all for the first week??? This really sucks in comparison and whoever made this decision ought to be fired.
#NBCfail

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Clearly you are not bowing low enough in deference to these Olympic gods and goddesses, as Chief Culture Minister Costas advises. I fear for you, comrade. The eco-state is only strong when we consume modern media as one! 
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Have him in circles
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Steve Watkins

Grateful Stories  - 
 
There are few terms in the American cultural lexicon these days more deeply familiar than the term "Grateful Dead.
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I'm fortunate to still live in Santa Cruz county and plan to visit the new exhibit in person next week. I was a bit surprised that the newspaper article didn't mention +John Perry Barlow as the other main lyricist, since he, too, brewed up some amazing lyrical magic behind many of the band's greatest tunes. I expect that his work will be represented in the exhibit, though.
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I really enjoy seeing posts from a bunch of you with links to a show from today's date sometime during the band's touring history. To give back and make it easier to find the shows from any given date during the year, here's a listing you can refer to. The links will take you to that show's entry in the Grateful Dead Archive Online, which almost always includes an embedded streaming link from the Internet Archive. By the way, I noticed that there's only one show from tomorrow's date, March 4th.
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+Steve Watkins Excellent!
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Steve Watkins

Systems Librarians/Staff  - 
 
 
Several weeks ago, a crew of Google contractors roamed through our library building with a floorplan app on their phones that measured the relative strength of wifi signals inside the building relative to their exact position on the floorplans that the campus had previously uploaded to Google Maps. Today when I turned on wifi location services on my phone and zoomed to my location on Google Maps, it correctly located me on the 3rd floor of the library quite close to where I was standing. So my first impression was "this is gonna be great for in-building navigation" until I started walking the building. There's a noticeable time lag for the location arrow to update to reflect that you've moved to a different area, but it does eventually catch up to you. In some areas it actually tracked my movements almost in real time, but in others the circle around the arrow that indicates how accurately they've identified your location is often quite large, encompassing a third of the square footage of the floor I was on, and the arrow was maybe 50-70 feet from my actual location. It did recognize that I had gone from the 3rd floor to the 1st floor and displayed the appropriate floorplan, but when I went back upstairs it didn't adjust automatically.

Clearly we'll want to test this on multiple devices, but while it appears that it'd be good enough for some degree of wayfinding in our building, it's not going to provide the kind of pinpoint locations that outdoor GPS can manage. I don't think we'll be trying to figure out how we could use it to lead users to the aisle of the book stacks where a call number is shelved, for instance. But if they're looking for the instruction room on the 2nd floor, well sure. Now if we could only get it to speak audible directions to support users with visual disabilities the way Maps Navigation can when you're on the road ... maybe next year?
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I don't know how fine the resolution is on the floormap images that you can submit to Google, but presumably as long as you could make the call numbers legible in the image you provide them, then zooming in with the mobile app ought to be able to display them.
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Steve Watkins

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A small horde of Google contractors spent part of the morning walking our library building with their smartphones, triangulating their positions on floor plans to the strength of wifi hotspots to facilitate better location services inside the building where no GPS satellites are in line of sight. Can't wait to see how finely we'll be able to map locations once they're done. Anything within a few meters of actual location would enable us to start developing some exciting new mobile services.
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That's definitely one of the things we'd like to look into, to at least get you close to the shelf location.
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Steve Watkins

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AWESOME.
Michael David Murphy blended together an entire year (1977) of the Grateful Dead tuning up at live concerts archived at Archive.org. It's curiously compelling. "Tuning '77"
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Lol its like d deep space dead
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People
Have him in circles
312 people
Gathering of the Vibes's profile photo
Robert Snyder's profile photo
YoungJoon Byun's profile photo
Suzanne Worcester's profile photo
Tosh Tanaka's profile photo
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department Library's profile photo
Katherine Gekakis's profile photo
Michael B. Scott's profile photo
John E. Silva's profile photo
Education
  • Stanford University
    B.S., Biology, 1969 - 1974
  • University of California, Berkeley
    M.L.S., Library Science, 1978 - 1979
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SciTech Librarian at CSU Monterey Bay
Introduction
I came to California State University, Monterey Bay, in 1995 as one of the three founding library faculty and have been involved in the evolution of the campus, its shared governance structure, and library services ever since. I currently serve as Coordinator of Library Technology Development, working collaboratively on web-based library services and resources, and serve as the subject librarian for the sciences and mathematics.
Work
Occupation
Librarian
Employment
  • California State University, Monterey Bay
    Coordinator of Library Technology Development, 1995 - present
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
    Assistant Head, Science Library, 1984 - 1994
  • SUNY Albany
    Life Sciences Bibliographer, 1980 - 1984
  • Stanford University
    Reference Librarian, 1979 - 1980
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Male