On baking and Harry Potter

A nothing weekend started with a wonderful meal on Friday night, courtesy of my parents. Well they didn’t cook it, but they did pay. If you are ever near Bothwell, I thoroughly and highly recommend The Grapevine. Has yet to fail us. Saturday morning started early, with plans of heading into Glasgow to see just how big a fuss the Apple Store was making, before heading off to wander, camera in hand, round the People’s Palace. Dreich is the best way to describe the weather, a thin pall of grey lightly drenching us as we wandered up Buchanan Street. Arriving outside said store at around 9.15am, the queues were already snaking up and down a few times, neatly contained by …

Continue reading »

Do you RSS?

Over the past year or so, as I’ve started to struggle to keep up-to-date with the multitude of websites that interest me, I’ve increasingly turned to RSS feeds to help me manage the load. With that in mind, I’ve been compiling a list of Technical Communications feeds that I find interesting. Some are by Technical Writers, some are not, but I generally skim through the new items daily and I’ve yet to have a day when I didn’t read or find something interesting and useful. If you have an RSS newsreader, then feel free to grab a copy of my subscriptions. If you right-click that link you should be able to download the file, and then just import it into …

Continue reading »

KVM Recommendations

More techy questions, I wonder if I’ll ever have the perfect setup? Anyway, I have, as I may have mentioned, a MacBook. It’s a wonderful little laptop but the screen is quite small and I do find that I miss having a mouse. The obvious answer is to plugin a mouse, and hook up the laptop to my nice LCD screen but, there are still sometimes when I want to use my PC and… Well, long story short. Rather than having a spare keyboard and mouse lying around cluttering up my little office, I think it’d be much easier to install a KVM switch (Keyboard, Video, Mouse). But which one? Price is a LARGE factor, which is a bit of …

Continue reading »

Writing is hard

Most of you probably know, by now, that my day job is writing software documentation. Actually it’s a hell of a lot more than that but that’s a discussion for another place, which nicely brings me round to my topic du jour. I’ve been blogging for so long now that I easily slip between “work” writing mode and “blog” writing mode. One is conversational and prone to grammatical faux pas, the other is what I use when I’m blogging… These two writing modes are joined by a third mode, which is far more eloquent. Alas it doesn’t deign to hang around with the riff-raff too often and spends most of its time offline in various documents and files. Over the …

Continue reading »

Recently Read

I’m not sure if this is lazy blogging, or a useful feature but here, again, are a few of the articles and blog posts that caught my eye over the past week. Audrey Carr on Design Briefs ~ “After a series of small projects involving undefined requirements, fuzzy objectives, and an aparent lack of truly insightful customer insights, I’ve spent a good chunk of this week thinking about the strategist’s favourite tool for communicating with creative and account teams: the brief.” Inline Linking is bad for usability – whilst it’s aimed at those people concerned with optimising their content for search engines, the examples are interesting from a writing point of view as well, swap out “usability” for “readability” perhaps. …

Continue reading »

Random Stuff

A question for the Gents in the audience. In a male toilet, which has both cubicles (for Number Twos) and urinals (for Number Ones), why would you put the seat UP? And, to revisit an old topic: If there are three urinals, which one do you never stand at? Toilet enquiries aside I’m in a glorious mood which is entirely down to the wonderful weather we have had over the past two days. Yesterday was blanketed, from horizon to horizon, in vibrant shimmering blue and we actually held a short de-brief session outside and I guess there is a possibility that we ran the meeting a little longer than strictly necessary. Today is a little cooler but equally sunny, these …

Continue reading »

Wandering

A young girl skips by, her entire world reduced to the doll she holds out in front of her. As she passes an old man he breaks into a muted smile, her carefree abandon reflected in shallow water. Struggling with the wheels on the uneven pavement, a young woman graciously declines an offer of help. She flashes a heart wrenching smile and wheels herself away, slowly, determined and with no little effort. In a cafe a baby coughs, a concerned mother turns only to shake her head as the first gurgle of laughter trickles out. Soon a gentle, contented giggle wafts over to the other patrons. Heads slowly turn to the noise, listening,  smiling. Infected. Outside, staggering on heels, bags …

Continue reading »