London Calling – Take 2

Back from Spain, unpacked and back into the routine. The next few weeks will be busy, preparing for a new kitchen, finishing off a website (two on the go at the moment) as well as a few other things that have cropped up in our absence that need dealt with. However, before all that and as I’ve already mentioned, I’m in London this coming weekend. Friday evening will find me in Charing Cross in the Ship and Shovell pub from around 4pm. At the request of some, I’ve setup an Upcoming event for this momentous occasion. As I was told (or at least this is how I remember it) this is an incredible opportunity for you all to meet and …

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Day in the Life

“Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head” sang Paul. And everyday I do the same thing, except the comb thing as there isn’t really that much there that needs combing… I recently completed an article outlining a day in the life of a technical writer (well a day in MY life as a technical writer), and thought I’d take a stab at filling out the rest of the day on here. I can’t publish my ‘working day’ article until the magazine comes out, so there will be a big gap there but it’d just bore you anyway. My typical weekday starts at 6.30 am. Well it used to, it now starts whenever a small black …

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Music I've forgotten

There is one major downside to owning a lot of music. It’s not the worry of storage space, nor the concern of quality, instead it’s rather more trivial than that. I can’t remember what I’ve got. In any given month I’ll buy at least 2 or 3 albums (not CDs), and they’ll go into rotation at home and at work. Of course I don’t always pick up new albums, sometimes older ones grab my fancy, for example I went through a spate of purchasing old Rolling Stones albums a couple of years ago. Those months are pretty easy to handle, as the new stuff slots into rotation easily. The problems arise when I purchase multiple CDs, which I do tend …

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Interviewing

How do you do it? I’ve conducted a fair number of interviews over the past few years, not a huge amount but definitely into double figures. Some have been good, some not so good, and some just embarassing. I recently read about an interview that was more like a planning meeting, outlining the job in terms of the issue that was being addressed, discussing requirements and asking for ideas. As a way to evaluate how a prospective employee works, and how they would fit into your organisation or team, it makes some sense. I’d still use the more traditional question and response session as well, but this has gotten me thinking. Are there other, better ways, to conduct an interview? …

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Beginner's Guide to Guitar Hero

We got a Wii in January, and Guitar Hero arrived this week. I’ve not played it much but there are a few tips I thought I’d pass on. The first one is obvious, if you don’t have it (and you like rock music) GET IT! I know it’s hard to find, I ended up ordering mine online. I first played it at about 2am on New Year morning, and was instantly taken with it. It’s quite a straightforward game but is completely absorbing, mind you I’m not sure the word ‘game’ is adequate, it’s more an entertainment experience or something… The next tip is to make sure you’ve closed the curtains, drawn the blinds, and generally are free to prance …

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Why AuthorIT?

As I mentioned before, we are planning to migrate content from FrameMaker to AuthorIT, staging the migration across two different product sets (and no small amount of time!). I’m in the process of evaluating AuthorIT for, despite having used it before, it has recently been overhauled with a spiffy new UI and some new features. AuthorIT is a single source system, with content stored in a central database, which can publish to most (all?) of the formats that anyone would ever need. It includes an editor, supports multiple users, and has some additional add-ons for localisation and so on. Their website is very good if you want more information on their product. After downloading and installing the trial version, which …

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Kid for a day

Cue dream sequence. wibblywobbly ~ wibblywobbly ~ wibblywobbly When I am grand poobah, leader of all and ruler of the land, my first act will be to create a new law which will read: “You, my loyal and humble subject, are entitled to choose one day of the calendar year during which you will be free from the constraints of adulthood and allowed to act and think like a child.” Actually, that’s not strictly true. My FIRST act as grand poobah, leader of all and ruler of the land will probably be to order a bigger robe and crown, then do a little jig in celebration of my, somewhat unexpectedly, acquired position. After I’ve calmed down, beheaded a few oiks …

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ClipX

Working with text, and graphics, can be a time consuming job. If you are like me you’ll know many keyboard shortcuts, some of which will be used repeatedly throughout your working day. For example: CTRL+C ALT+TAB CTRL+V Go on, who can hit that oft repeated key combination without even looking at the keyboard (you touch-typists can shush). Cut and paste is so frequently used that it is often overlooked, yet it does warrant some thinking. I’ve tried adapting the way I work in the past but it turns out that I use a variety of different tools for a variety of different, yet very similar, tasks and the tool chosen largely depends on my mood. I sometimes take text from …

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