You sound funny

Reading time: 1 min
Since moving jobs, Louise now has her own email address. We ping the occasional email back and forth, usually to confirm plans for the evening. A couple of recent emails were a bit longer and I found myself a little puzzled. My wife sounds very different in text. That is, whilst I can hear her voice, the phrasing and tone implied when she writes is quite different from her everyday voice. Of course that is only to be expected, and frankly I’m a little embarassed to only really be considering such a thing after having spent a fair chunk of the last few years online. I’ve met a few bloggers and none have “sounded” the same as the way they …

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Internationally Speaking

Reading time: 2 mins
Just visited the McAfee website and on one of the forms encountered a, shall we say, anomaly presented itself. I am a patriotic kind of guy, and I’m not in any way anti-American (I’m well aware that the percentage of idiots over there matches the numbers we have here), and when you actually consider what I’m about to tell you isn’t really about patriotism, jingoism or somesuch. Rather it’s a wonderful piece of bad programming that I’ve seen before, centred around the fact that (at least for the purposes of this discussion) the country I am identified with is known as both the United Kingdom (UK) and Great Britain (GB). I’m Scottish, and my country is part of Great Britain …

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Nice! Cool!

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I miss spam comments. Running WordPress with Askismet means I see little to no spam here which is a shame because I received some real belters in my time. I’m not talking about the large list of links to various shady corners of the internet, I’m talking about the somewhat random poetry-esque spam that would crop up about once a week. A random sampling of text from Byron and Keats or somesuch, it made checking my spam lists all the more fun. These days there seems to be only 3 types of spam comment: The Fast Show Jazz Man spam – Usually “Nice!” or “Cool!”. The most boring of the bunch, saved only by the image in my head of …

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It's time to stop when…

Reading time: 1 min
You take a break from work, fire up Google Reader and idly flick through a few feeds. Your eyes alight on a delicious link and you think, ohh must check that out. Only then do you realise that you are reading your OWN RSS feed, and you’ve already bookmarked said link in delicious so you’ll check it out. Sometimes the internets really is confussing, round and round it goes.

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Hot black liquid

Reading time: 2 mins
Each lazy blink draws my eyelids down, heavy and bloodshot, a constant dryness that no tear can salve. My head is full of freshly picked cotton wool, burrs grate inside my skull and everything is hazy and soft, removed. Every inhalation pulls a yawn to my lungs, saps another trickle of precious energy. Willing myself to focus, ignoring the incessant call of sleep, the lure of drowse. Caffeine is the cure, the elixir, the nectar that will tame the blurry-eyed beast. I watch, mesmerised, as my hand hovers over my mug pouring my saviour into my cup, the dark awake sloshing up the sides. I know the bitterness will pull me back from the brink and as I lift the …

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Recently Read

Reading time: 2 mins
Another week (and a bit) has passed. Time is tight for me at the moment, and I’m not posting here as often as I’d like so, for now, here’s a quick roundup of everything that’s zipped past my inbox in the past week: Resources on presentation design … advocates an assertion-evidence design, which serves presentations that have the purpose of informing and persuading audiences about technical content Needless to say, with my first ever conference presentation looming, I’m fairly focussed on both topic relevant stuff and anything that will help make my presentation better. An XML CMS is simple as 1-2-3 Creating an XML-based Content Management System to single-source technical publications is as simple as 1 – 2 – 3. …

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For the Fallen

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There is little else to mention here today as everything else pales into insignificance. Draft posts have me pondering the moaners of the world and listing pet peeves, all of which seems so petty. Remembrance Sunday seems old-fashioned and trite at times but fundamentally it is worth taking time not to remember but to consider. The life we live in 2007 bears little to no resemblance of that in either of the World War eras. Much has changed and it is all too easy for us to forget, or worse, to stop teaching the lessons learned. The conflict in Iraq is all that should be needed, the war on terror may invoke different thoughts yet it too remains a conflict. …

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Who do you write for?

Reading time: 3 mins
I started this blog to have a separate place to write about my “professional” thoughts and I guess I thought I could maybe add a little value to the cluttered world of technical communications, or at the very least raise my profile a little. Yes, I have an ego, but it’s kept in check for the most part. However, like my other blog, the main reason this blog exists is to give me a place that I can consider and process my thoughts. I’ve always found writing things down helped me get a good sense of what they were, even if I didn’t necessarily start with a cohesive picture in mind. Sometimes the simplest issue, one that has eluded me …

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OSX Help

Reading time: 1 min
Having recently upgraded my MacBook to run the latest version of OSX, I’ve been using the built-in Help to figure out how to configure things to the way I like them. It’s an excellent example of well designed and integrated help. Of particular note is the effect shown in the screenshot below. An excellent example of integrating user assistance with an in-built online help system. Don’t you think? Typing in your question to the text box, top-right of the window, dims the contents and ‘spotlights’ the items which possibly match what you are looking for. Smart, huh. There are many more examples of this kind of thing but this one caught my eye.

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Because it's all that's in my head

Reading time: 3 mins
Don’t hate me. Please. I don’t do this kind of thing on purpose. Honest I don’t. But it does seem to follow a pattern, doesn’t it. Ohh wait, you don’t know what I’m talking about yet, do you. Let’s start over. Don’t hate me. Please. But I’m really REALLY busy and just want to jot down everything in my head so that I don’t forget. I COULD do that on a piece of paper of course but then that wouldn’t get posted and as I’m feeling that weird bloggers remorse thing of not posting regularly then.. well… ohh look. It’s my bloody blog. If you don’t want to read on, then don’t. Presuming anyone has gotten this far (I’m beginning …

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