What is our value?

a.k.a Knowing when to stop Hey, here’s a good reason for more technical writers to start blogging, it’ll cut down on the vast amounts of prose, rhetoric and general bile that seems to be clogging up some of the mailing lists to which I am subscribed. Now, I’ve covered this topic before, but it seems my glib suggestion of “When X replies to a thread you can safely start deleting emails from it?” might actually be of use. When I first came across such mailing lists I quickly learned just how many pedants and procrastinators our profession has, and whilst I’m keen to be grammatically correct there comes a point where the value of said conversations becomes zero. As I’ve …

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Quack, quack

Ladies and Gentlepeeps of the blogerati, I stand before you today, humbled and modest, to accept this sumptuous award. The rather lovely (and still on my list of bloggers to meet) Mike, has passed this gorgeous trophy to me and took a moment to give me that most very British of compliments. Yes, let it be broadcast across the land (or at least as far as the Aldi at the bottom of the road), that I am “an all-round good egg”. I cannot express my emotions at present, so overcome am I with feelings of joy and elation. I must pause here to wipe away a small tear of happiness that has welled in my eye, desperate to escape and …

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Weekender

The main focus of the past weekend was the engagement party for my sister and her fiancĂ©, and if I’m not mistaken it went without a hitch. It was a self-catered affair in a local bowling green (cheap booze!), the DJ was good, everyone seemed to have a good time and there are rumours that I was spotted on the dancefloor. There may also be rumours that I was seen downing cola flavoured Stiffy’s Shots. Aside from that we’ve done bugger all. Yay!

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My PC

ss001, originally uploaded by Gordon. Since I was asked, here is my current Windows XP desktop. I keep the desktop clean, it’s my “inbox” where things are then filed or moved. The taskbar fades out when the mouse ISN’T over it, and yeah Xentient Thumbnails to get the icon of an image to display as the image itself (a la the icon on my desktop).

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A new shiny browser

Boy, am I ever glad I held back from posting about the new browser from Google. It’s been an interesting couple of days though, starting with the comic book style introduction which I kinda like. This raised several flags in my professional circle, both amongst the geeks (ohh we re-use the Javascript engine..) and the technical writers (a comic? but there is no navigation or structure!), but was interesting enough to hold my attention so, hey, it worked for me. Then the download was made available and, gosh, isn’t it BLUE. And looky at the clever things it does, and all the new shiny stuff. Wow, it’s .. a browser. OK OK, it is fast, and there are some really …

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Driving Development

Recently Daniel Brolund posted an idea around something he termed User Guide Driven Development, it’s an interesting read and, you know what, he’s almost right. Almost. First up you should note that Daniel works for the company that created the application he name drops in his post, Bumblebee. However his approach did ring a few bells with me, as it would sit nicely alongside my belief that, when working in an agile development environment, you have to eschew traditional writing processes and aim to grab and pillage information from wherever you can, trickling into what will become the final publication. What I’ve realised is that by partly adopting the process suggested by Daniel we, the technical writing team, can be …

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I shopped

Having managed to drag myself out of bed on Saturday morning, I found myself walking across the footbridge into Glasgow at some ungodly hour (anything before 10am on a Saturday is illegal, in my world). My plan of action was to head up to Buchanan Galleries and work my way back down to the train station. However before any shopping could be had there was a first stop required, caffeine! As I mentioned I was also planning on visiting the Apple Store so I headed up Buchanan Street, ordered my Tall Skinny Latte (which is a small milky coffee made with skimmed milk), and indulged in a breakfast panini of sausage, egg and bean. Yum. I took my food and …

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