Trickle and Blink

“There is no such thing as too much information” We’ve all heard this statement at one time or another, and in the internet age it’s accepted as a statement of truth. Which is shame as it’s completely wrong. Turns out, that you only need enough information, not all of it. A while ago I wrote up some thoughts on how to integrate an authoring team into an Extreme Programming (Agile) development group. The post Trickle vs Traditional outlined a basic way of building up the required content throughout the various stages of an XP release and, to save you re-reading that post, let me grab the crux of what I was saying: The trickle method relies on the ability of …

Continue reading »

Morning Time

I don’t consider myself a morning person but, truth be told, once I’m up and about I’m fine, it’s just that I don’t do it that often at the weekend. I am a champion at eeking out the last precious moments of cosy-bedness. So it was with no small degree of wonder that I found myself sitting in the car at 8.55am this morning, waiting to get into the local dump waste disposal and recycling centre. By 9.05am I was heading for Glasgow, and as I sit here at 11.42am I have successfully bought several new shirts, two pairs of trousers, washed the car and had my haircut. A more typical Saturday morning would normally find me being cajoled into …

Continue reading »

London Calling

On Friday the 15th of February I will be flying to London, I’m only there for a couple of days and I’ll be attending a birthday party on the Saturday night. That does mean that I have, at present, Friday night free. So, my London-based blogging friends, are you about? Fancy a social gathering? I’ll be based in Wandsworth but I’m willing to travel. I have little to no knowledge of how far is too far when it comes to London, and I have little to no idea of where might constitute a reasonable place for some strangers to meet. Ohh yes, we are strangers, don’t kid yourselfs. I may know a lot about you, and vice versa but it’s …

Continue reading »

The happy luddite

Pen in hand I pause, tongue creeping out over my bottom lip in concentration (a McLean trait), and try to remember what the hell it was that I was about to write down. I’ve been doing that for the past week or so, transcribing lists from notepad to notepad, striking out completed items with slightly too much fervour, and replacing each one with another two things that need done, phone calls that returned and so on and so forth. I spent 34 minutes on the phone to New Zealand the other day, an incoming call thankfully as I was at home. And then spent a further 10 minutes talking to two different people from the same place, convincing both of …

Continue reading »

Five things

I haz been tagged. In fact I’ve two meme duties to fulfill, so let me get this one out of the road first (it was way easier than the next one). The idea of the meme is to list five things in your life now that you would have never thought would be in your life when you were 25. 1. A cat Louise and I both grew up with dogs. That is we both had dogs in our families, we weren’t raised, Mowgli-like, by packs of wild canines. However as we both have full-time jobs, and are out of the house during the day time, we knew it wouldn’t be fair to get a puppy. However we both like …

Continue reading »

Muji Manifesto

Can’t recall where I saw this but it struck a chord so I grabbed the main tenets with a view to expounding on them at a later date. However, as simplicity suggests, I really don’t need to bother. Because there is complexity in purity. Elegance in plainness. Intricacy in streamlining. Richness in reduction. Depth in minimalism. Surprise in uniformity. Innovation in re-use. Cool in the avoidance of cool. And there is true sophistication in simplicity. These were not written about Technical Communications but they might as well have been. I’m seriously considering printing these off and pinning them up on the wall.

Continue reading »

Grand Plans

Speaking to my Mum on the phone earlier, we both discussed the need to have a “good clear out”, something we’ll be forced into next month as we are getting a new kitchen fitted. What better time to declutter one room and try and build some momentum to carry into others. As we are getting the kitchen done then there is, of course, other things to be thought about. Tiles for the walls, flooring, heating (the kitchen is too small for a radiator), and assorted soft furnishings and final fittings. Today we visited a couple of tile shops and we’ve managed to agree on both tiles and flooring, it’s a miracle. Honestly, we have different tastes when it comes to …

Continue reading »

Leveraging the dynamics of writing

I’ve spent the last couple of days writing an article for an industry magazine. It’s not something I’ve done before and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. It was aimed at CEO/CFO level, so was heavy on business aspects and lingo, not something I’m comfortable writing to be honest, I prefer plain english. However, what really surprised me was how quickly I got into the mindset and soon I was “dynamically leveraging” and “interactively promoting” all sorts of things. Now I need shake myself to make sure it doesn’t creep into my normal technical writing. Still, it was an interesting exercise and the skillset is the same, it’s only the language that differs. I still needed to write with the correct …

Continue reading »

An open letter

Dear sitcom writers, I’m getting a little fedup watching endless repeats of Friends and Frasier, and whilst Everybody Loves Raymond has some funny moments it’s a little sub-standard. Of course I’m quite content to fill my time with QI, and the like but ultimately I miss watching a good sitcom. I’ve tried most, few are palatable. I’ll happily admit that I’m quite a fussy TV watcher (which is why I’m currently trying out things like The Wire) easily ditching bog-standard TV fare for a good (or bad) movie or live sport, after which you lose me to gaming, books or other non-TV activities. You seem to be aware you are losing this battle but you aren’t really putting up much …

Continue reading »

What of Scottish Blogs?

But first, a cat update: Ollie is fine, no cone as, apparently, they don’t use stitches any more? He was a little groggy last night but was up and hungry as usual this morning. And I said this wouldn’t become a ‘cat’ blog. Hmmmm. And so, onto Scottish Blogs. The website lost hosting late last year, and whilst I have a backup of the database that was only a week old, most of the site details in the directory are safe. However I’m now faced with starting over from scratch which, from a coding point of view, is a good thing. When I built Scottish Blogs it was largely done piecemeal as I was learning PHP as I went, leading …

Continue reading »