A few days of misc

OK, a conscious decision to not think about this blog has meant a fair amount of stuff is getting ‘done’. But I won’t bore you with the minutiae of the past few days as it mainly consisted of shuffling stuff about (mainly into loft), a fair amount of tidying up, a large amount of throwing crap out, and a growing pile of stuff to be “put in car to take to charity shop”. You know how it is. Aside from that a few things have floated to the top of the pool of things “to be considered”, whilst others have merely skimmed the surface leaving only minor ripples in … yeah, enough of that.. Some thoughts from the past few …

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Jack of all trades Pt. 2

My name is Gordon McLean, I am a Technical Communicator* and I am proud to be a jack of all trades. I recall once being asked to breakdown all the skills required to be a Technical Writer, and then to provide a list of daily work tasks. The list of skills was to be used as part of a skills/training matrix, and the work tasks were to be mapped to a timesheet system. At first I concentrated solely on the Technical Writers role, but even then you need to wear a number of hats; researcher, analyst, information architect, publisher, indexer, illustrator, proof-reader, editor… ohh and writer. All of those are unique job roles in some places yet, as a Technical …

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Jack of all trades Pt. 1

My name is Gordon McLean, I am a Technical Communicator* and I am proud to be a jack of all trades. Working in the software industry, and particularly for a company that has embraced the XP development methodology, I have exposure to, and contact with, most of the other roles in the company. I talk to Marketing to understand to who, and where, we sell our software. I talk to Deployment to understand the real issues they experience when using our software (they are our customers). I talk to Training to make sure we are promoting the same message. I talk to Testing to make sure the bug that I have found IS a bug and should be logged. I …

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Planning ahead

In my hangover fug I’ve been thinking about stuff wot needs to get done. One of those things is to sort out my WordPress install as the recent upgrade has left it littered with errors. It seems to be working OK but… well.. it’s annoying. Other than that, with the bulk of last week concentrated on Louise and her new job, there’s loads to do in the house. Nothing major, but a small pile of “stuff” has slowly grown and needs dealt with. I’ve also got my presentation for the TICAD conference to hand in this week. So, I’m going to dial back on my ‘online’ activities this week. Not disappearing but less conspicuous. Maybe. You know how it is…

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The Architects of Information

I’m a member of the Information Architecture Institute (IAI) but I’m still not really sure why. I joined about a year ago, although I’d been following the website and reading articles in this area for some time before that. During that time I developed a sense that, at a fundamental level, there is a lot of crossover of knowledge and approach between practitioners of Information Architecture and those of us in the land of technical communications. The IAI website states that: As the information age rolls forward, our businesses, markets and societies are being transformed into adaptive, connected networks. The Internet of today only hints at the ubiquitous communication infrastructure of tomorrow. The construction of this brave new world requires …

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Dreaming of dreams

I had a lucid dream the other morning. Louise had gotten up early and I dozed off again to grab a final 15 mins in bed. When I say dozed off, I really mean that I was vaguely aware of her alarm going off before nodding back off some seconds later. Nanoseconds that is… When I woke I was aware that I’d just had a very lucid dream. I can remember thinking, whilst dreaming, that the dream I was having was a familiar one and that it would an excellent source for a story. Let me backtrack a little here. Some of you may have noted the occasional comment from my Mum, asking me when I was going to start …

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Life with the Cocoon

DISCLAIMER: I was given an O2 Cocoon by a PR firm. I am under no obligation to blog about it at all, nor was I to only mention it if the ‘review’ was favourable. If this post offends you, then feel free to leave. But if you were thinking of buying one… read on. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been playing with the new O2 Cocoon. I’ve been using it as often as I can and ‘living’ with it since then, bar a week away in Spain, and overall I’m reasonably impressed. What a wonderful word “reasonably” is… It’s not a stunning ‘must have’ gadget, but it does have some nice touches, alongside a few annoying …

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Recently Read

Another week, another quick set of links. I really should start using one of these new fangled “social bookmarking” sites for this, shouldn’t I. Problem is I already have a del.icio.us account for personal use, and I like being able to add some thoughts about the links but it limits that slightly. In saying that, it does mean I give each link proper consideration, rather than just bookmarking them in passing. With that in mind, I thought I’d change the format of this post a little and offer a little more thought on each. Hopefully the links remain interesting and useful to others. In a (short) post entitled Identical vs derivative reuse Ann Rockley suggests that “one thing is certain, …

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WordPress 2.3

Upgrade complete – sidebar borked. Apparently the introduction of the new tagging doo dah means a table is now no longer valid, the table that quite a few plugins were using, one of which was powering my miniblog posts. Hence why they’ve all, suddenly, appeared here. So, until I get some free time to get the code sorted out myself, this is how it’s gonna be… mind you, maybe a switch to single column…

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apple insider

Apple Insider is doing a set of posts, in the lead up to the new version of OSX (Leopard), entitled “Road to Mac OS X Leopard”. So far they’ve covered the history of the Dock and the Finder. Despite the titles, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour do not appear.

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