Stepping Back

I was recently chatting to someone who has a plan. He is retiring at aged 50 and going off to live in the wilds of Canada. He’s Canadian so it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds, but the really scary part is that he is deliberately going to be “off-grid”. He’s a self-confessed geek so this is quite a step and, when he told me all this I suggested that it was some form of backlash against the grip of technology, a deliberate swipe at the lifestyle we all find ourselves living in modern society. “But of course it is” he grinned. I harbour a similar desire, namely to retire aged 50, but as yet have no plan to get …

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Recently Read

With the TICAD conference last week, a couple of days in my sick bed, and the imminent product release I’m working towards, I’ve not had a lot of time to post here. However, the RSS feeds keep trickling in, so here are a few items that caught my eye over the past couple of weeks. What Beautiful HTML Code Looks Like I’m a terrible coder. Which is just as well because I’m not a developer but as I do dabble in HTML and CSS quite frequently (hey, and PHP too), then this is a good reminder for me to develop my own best practises. Code is Tabbed into Sections: If each section of code is tabbed in once, the structure …

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(Don't) Call me

I need some advice. I want either cheaper TV, Broadband and Telephone calls, how do I get them? Actually that’s a lie, I only really want cheaper telephone calls. Currently we have contracts with both Sky and Virgin Media. We have Sky for our TV viewing and we take all the movies and sports channels, although I am considering cropping the ‘standard’ channel package down a little. My parents have Virgin Media for their TV service and, ignoring the fact I’d have to invest in a PVR system of some sort to get back the functionality I’d be losing, I happen to think the Sky service is better. It certainly seems easier to use and Virgin don’t give you the …

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Torrents of TV

In response to a plea on Twitter, where I’d just mentioned that I’d thoroughly enjoyed Episode 7 of Series 2 of Heroes (and with apologies for the delay), this post will take you through how I get the latest greatest episodes of my favourite US TV shows long before they are shown in the UK. This is illegal. I am a bad bad man. Torrents can be used for good and it is only my twisted evil that is using them for nefarious purposes… umm.. that and the people who are recording the shows, and posting them online to be downloaded. Ohhh and I’m presuming you’ve got an internet connection and a computer, then all you need is one piece …

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Dilbert does it again (again)

(What are the odds? If he smashes the nail on the head again tomorrow I WON’T post it here, I promise) I really don’t know how Scott Adams manages to tap into these things, or is the software industry REALLY that similar the world over? As the discussion of what we call ourselves, how much we should earn, what we do, why and what we need to justify, and why few seem to really GET what we can offer to a company (but that last one is kinda our fault), continues to rage across two mailing lists, this seems timely: (click for bigger)

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Dilbert does it again

I really don’t know how Scott Adams manages to tap into these things, or is the software industry REALLY that similar the world over? Regardless suffice to say that, in our Extreme Programming (XP) development group (XP is a form of Agile development), todays’ Dilbert raised a bit of a chuckle: (click for bigger)

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Quiet your moaning

I hate people who moan. Which is odd as I do like a good old-fashioned whine from time to time but that’s more a cathartic reaction to a crap day than a perpetual state of bloody-minded dourness. Some people probably spend large portions of their life wondering why they have few friends and why they never really feel happy. Actually that’s not true, the moaners of our world have a habit so deeply ingrained they are undoubtedly unaware of themselves and the annoyed by-standers who would really like them to just SHUT UP. Of course when it comes to any form of self-loathing, everything is relative. MY life sucks more than yours, MY day was worse than yours, MY luck …

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Site Notes

Just a couple of things to point out. RSS Feeds Adrian pointed out, quite rightly, that I have 4 RSS Feeds when I only really need 3, and even then they aren’t brilliantly titled. So I’ve sorted that out. If you have any issues you may need to resubscribe. Sorry for the hassle. Archives Switched out the “smart archives” plugin for “smarter archives” plugin. The archive page is a lot quicker loading now. Comments Thanks to a heads up from.. eh… someone in my RSS list, I’ve added comment previews. The buttons are a bit wonky right now but I’ll get them sorted soon. Logo Not sure if anyone else spotted this one but that vertical line between the head …

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FAO (some) bloggers*

Dear, …grayblog…, A beautiful revolution: blog, Amateur Shutterbug, An Unreliable Witness, Autoblography, Back in a Bit, Becky’s T-Blog, bitful, Blackbeltjones/Work, Blogging and Knitting; The Home of Domesticated Bloggage, Blogzira…, bloomfield.me.uk, Blue Witch, bob’s yer uncle, Boob Pencil, Boob Pencil, Chasing Daisy, Comfortable Disorientation, d4d, Dave Gorman, Day to Day Life of a Very Lazy Gardener, Delboy’s Daughter, diamond geezer, dooce, eachman.com, frizzyLogic, Fuddland, furtive minx, Girl with a one-track mind, GirlonaTrain, Glenn Wolsey, greavsie!, Hydragenic, I like, iand.net, JonnyB’s private secret diary, Justin Blanton, Kitchen Witch: a farrago of obscene witlessness., le petit hiboux | owls gone wild, Life Without Toast – Sibling Rivalry, little.red.boat, mattobee.com, McFilter, meish dot org, Mental Kipple, minor9th.com, My Boyfriend Is A Twat, naked blog, …

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This is not a video

As I mentioned previously, the opening presentation at TICAD was by Adobe and featured their vision of the future of Technical Communications and information development. Apparently that future includes video. Video has been available to many for a few years now, yet it is never really the main focus of a documentation team. Tom has questioned this as well: “For too long I’ve minimized the importance of the audiovisual. Captivate — the industry standard tool for creating screen demos — is actually a relatively simple application. Mastering it and integrating audiovisual into user help will take it to the next level.” This echoes what Adobe suggest, no big surprise there, but I have to admit that I don’t fully agree. …

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