Hungary bound

Camera, check. iPod, check. Books, check. Ohhh! Clothes.. check (kinda). Ummm… toiletries, check. Ehh… passport, check. Cash, check. Right. We’re off to Hungary. Back on Sunday. Ohh don’t worry, there’ll be a couple of posts along soon to keep you occupied. Viszontlátásra!

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Learning from others

I spent most of the weekend laying, re-laying, cutting and swearing at laminate flooring. I read the provided instructions, measured twice (hell, four or five times in most cases) but still it proved problematic. I re-read the instructions, googled a little and then, after some experimentation finally figured out what the problem was… me. Well not just me, but my interpretation of the instructions which were a little vague in one key area. Namely, where to start. This is crucial as, most laminate flooring needs to be laid the correct way to make it possible to snap all the pieces into place. It’s a one-directional jigsaw puzzle, if you will. The details here aren’t important, but what it taught me …

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We Haz Teh Kitchen!

Laminate flooring is a bugger (or maybe it’s the instructions?). But, finally, it’s done!! Well, technically speaking there are a couple of small jobs to do but that’s the big stuff out of the way. You should’ve seen us when we laid that last bit of flooring, high-fiving like a couple of NBA All-Stars we were. Anyway, nothing else to say about it, just wanted to mark the occasion.

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Recently Read

Blimey, another week has flown past and, as ever a few things have caught my eye. 9 ways to gather user feedback It’s often a struggle to get true user feedback on your documentation, Craig Haiss offers some suggestions to improve things in this area. Whilst I’ve tried some of these, and had heard of them all, it’s worth a look to jog the memory: You can write the most detailed instructions in the world, but if they aren’t the instructions users actually want, you’re wasting your time. That said, how do you go about gathering feedback to flesh out your documentation? Tech Comm Job to Job Title: Something Lost in Transit? Ben Minson is musing on job titles and, …

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Distracted

Looks like a day of constant drizzle ahead so I’m stuck indoors. Louise is away out to do some shopping and catchup with a friend over lunch and freshly brewed coffee is currently gurgling away in the kitchen. Tasks for the weekend are to finish the flooring in the kitchen. We failed last weekend as the starting point, cutting back the flooring in the hall, took much longer than we thought (lifting a few boards of laminate, against the lay pattern, is bloody hard!). I’m also toying with installing Ubuntu on my old PC, and if I still have time I WILL make a start on organising my books. But, of course, that doesn’t account for any distractions. The internet …

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Got TED?

Have you heard of the TED conference? (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) No? It’s been going a while now, and got started back in 1984 …out of the observation by Richard Saul Wurman of a powerful convergence between Technology, Entertainment and Design. The first TED included demos of the newly released Macintosh computer and Sony compact disc, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals and AI guru Marvin Minsky outlined his powerful new model of the mind. As well as the conference they share some of the sessions on the internet (freely under Creative Commons license). The quality of these sessions remains high with some of the brightest minds of current times …

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Web 2.0 and Communities

The timing of this post, and the announcement by the Cherryleaf blog that they’ve created a Facebook group for technical authors, is completely coincidental. However there does seem to be a genuine move towards online communities, or perhaps it’s just the latest fad? It’s an interesting time to be building an online community, and I’m lucky that I can pull from the past ten years or so that I’ve had an online presence. When blogging first started there were few tools available, but in a short space of time they started cropping up all over the place and these days there are many different ways you can post to your blog (as well as many different ways/places to host it). …

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Merge

I really shouldn’t use that as a title for a post, all I now have in my head is Chandler (from Friends) talking about how funny it would be to have a Merge road-sign above the bed (“MERRGE”). Anyway, the week is rolling past at a fair old lick, and the countdown to our trip to Hungary has begun. Louise has nabbed the book on Budapest my Dad gave us, and each morning I’m regaled with a new set of facts about either Buda, Pest, Budapest, the Danube or the surrounding area. We are slowly gathering a list of places to visit but, at some point, we’ll need to stop as we are only there for 5 days (really 4 …

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What do YOU do?

Re-reading the article I submitted to the ISTC Communicator magazine, I realise that my average day isn’t: particularly average at all a true representation of everything I’m involved with I lead a team of writers so my typical day may not apply to everyone, and I also have a tendency to stick my nose in and get involved in other areas if I feel I can be of help. Simply put, if I hear someone talking about “information” my radar pings and I see if I can be of any benefit. Other non-typical items include collation of Product Release Notes, my team proof-read Marketing brochures and website collateral, we try and monitor consistency in the UI of our customer facing …

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Don't panic

Watching the news, watching the cars queue at the garages, sucking them dry. Which is all fine aside from the fact that OUR tank is close to empty. The car computer reports we have 94 miles left, so let’s presume we can squeeze that to around 120 miles (at the very very most). Given that we put about 55-60 miles on the car each day for our daily commute (kill the planet!!) and… yeah, I’m a little concerned. I will be going out later to fill our tank. And next time we buy a car, we’ll be getting a hybrid of some sort. Performance be damned (mark my words please, I’m quite serious about this and have been watching the …

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