Magpie

I like new things, as my Belbin team role suggests, I am the person who likes to start projects and enthuse others about it before… eventually.. I get bored with it and… ohh shiny! .. something new comes along. I’m aware of this trait and have developed some internal habits that help me overcome it’s downsides, in other words I’ve figured out when I’m getting bored and so I start to change how I work to make sure that I see the project through to completion. However my enjoyment of new things is beneficial and I’m constantly looking for new ideas, new inspirations from which I can learn, and for ways in which those ideas can be cross-pollinated (ok ok, …

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the offended people

I don’t link to his column very often but he is routinely excellent and always readable, particularly this week. Charlie Brooker on “the offended people” ~ “They come in two flavours – huffy and whiny – and it’s hard to know which is worst… Combined, they’re the very worst people on the planet – 20 times worse than child molesters, and I say that not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it’ll upset them unnecessarily, and these readers deserve to be upset unnecessarily, morning, noon and night, every sodding day, for the rest of their wheedling lives.”

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Cocoon

I’m currently playing with the new O2 Cocoon, a mobile phone cum lifestyle friend, or whatever warm fuzzy marketing spin they are putting on it. Essentially a mobile phone with media player leanings, there are a few nice touches that elevate this above your standard mobile phone fare. I’ll post more about how it handles day to day usage in a week or so, but first impressions are good. And, these days, first impressions start with the box, or more accurately with the unboxing experience. When I picked up the phone from the Post Office I was a bit perturbed at the long thin box I was presented with, had I been sent a keyboard by mistake? I was relieved …

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On my Mac

Well I’ve had it for a while now so here are some of the goodies I have installed on my MacBook. I’ve tried a lot of apps over the past few months, the following are the ones I’ve settled on. One thing to note is that there does seem to be a different kind of software community built up around Macs, and I guess it is because the audience (whilst growing rapidly) is still small in comparison to the Windows community. There also seems to be more of an emphasis of home/fun usage, something Apple have concentrated on in the PC vs Mac adverts. I’m still not yet using the Mac as my main computer, largely because I can’t get …

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Recently Read

I’ve had my head stuck in various planning documents, so a shorter list than usual but, hopefully, thought provoking none the less. Documentation = dollars ~ “Software development without documentation is self-centric. Documentation is a signal that the developer actually cares about her downstream users. For projects that actually want downstream users, write good documentation. It won’t cannibalize buyers: it will create them.” TechComm Pros Wiki – could grow into a very useful resource, and as it’s a Wiki you can help. TICAD 2007 – OK, this one is a bit cheeky as I’m going to be speaking at it. More on that later, but the programme looks interesting and has some excellent speakers (I’ve shared dinner with Bernard Aschwanden …

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Content Analysis for re-use

The basic premise of “single source” can be summed up in one word. Re-use. Sounds simple enough but there is a wealth analysis and work that is required before that, somewhat elegant, aim can be met. Analysing your content for potential re-use opportunites is, by and large, an onerous task. Whether you do it all by hand, printing out reams of documentation and annotating by hand, or electronically compiling spreadsheets using colour coding or obscure (“they made sense to me at the time”) codes, it takes time to do it properly and there are no shortcuts. Sorry to break it to you so bluntly. However it does mean that you are forced to spend some time re-reading your content, content …

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Let Go

I’ve mentioned this before, and much as I hate to go on, it’s a subject I want to try and tackle one more time. I’m going to focus on one particular application, but the principals are applicable across many, they are not limited to a particular type of file but there are some thresholds which factor into this discussion. Specifically, I want to discuss iTunes and the MP3 phenomenon. I don’t want to discuss whether MP3s are ‘killing CDs’ or why Ogg Vorbis is a much better format, nor do I wish to bemoan the features of iTunes. However I think it’s easier to talk about a specific example, than to talk about “library applications” (applications which will act as …

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