All is not me

Having my iPhone not quite working properly over the past few days made me realise just how hooked into the ‘online world’ I am. I think I have a good balance though, it’s not like I spend all day staring at screens of information, cherry-picking things I’m interested in, things I might find useful in the future, or things that I think others might want to read. Because if I did that, then I’d probably (knowing myself as well as I do) have to have a system or two in place to cope with that “information overload”. So, for example, I might use Instapaper to track blog posts that I want to read later (either from the website or using …

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Tell the truth

In direct contrast to my recent experience with Royal Mail, I’ve also had some issues with my iPhone and had to deal with the Geniuses at the Apple store in Glasgow. Genius might be over-egging it a bit but suffice to say the experience was far far more positive and is an excellent example in how to get customer service right. So, my old iPhone (just over a year old) had, over time, developed a crack on the back of the case, running a 1cm up the phone from where the cable dock is located. Not something I noticed as I have a case which covers that area. A quick Google suggested that I should take it back to the …

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Author-it Web Help Configuration Wizard

For version 5.3, Author-it released new web help templates and having played with them a bit I have to say I like them. However I was struggling to see how to enable some of the options that you can see in the example Author-it provide, so off into the HTML and CSS files I headed to see if I could see anything useful in there. And there is, several of the options are commented out in the HTML code and with a little bit of poking and prodding I got some of them to work. Pretty straightforward, if you know HTML and CSS that is. But what if you don’t? Well the good news is that the ever productive Hamish …

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Manchester bound

All of a sudden, from being weeks, nay months!, away my trip to Manchester to see Elbow finish out their live performances of The Seldom Seen Kid is almost upon me. Friday I travel down to sunny Manc land, go for a wander (must remember my camera), head to the gig, and then back to the hotel. Another wander before jumping on the train back to Glasgow. I’m getting quite excited about the thought. I’ve only been in Manchester once, many many years ago for a family wedding and even then it was on the outskirts. No idea what I’m gonna do whilst I’m there but I’m sure I’ll manage to fill the time. And, of course, the Elbow gig …

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ISTC West of Scotland Group

The ISTC West of Scotland area group will meet on Thursday 22nd October from 7.30 p.m. onwards at the Waxy O’Connors pub, 44 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1DH. Please make your way to McTurk’s Room on the middle level. The evening will start with a discussion of “Conferences and how we benefit from them”, followed by an opportunity to network and chat with your peers (and hey, the bar will be open too!). You don’t need to be an ISTC member to attend, and the more the merrier. Mine’s a Guinness! Thanks to Katja McLaughlin for organising this. See you there.

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Strange season

Walking through Glasgow yesterday, my eye was drawn to a few window boxes. Dashes of scarlet red and vibrant yellow were glowing in the early morning sun, people were walking about in short sleeves, sunglasses hiding their eyes. As I walked on, a burnt orange leaf helter skeltered towards the ground then, as the chilled breeze picked up, more and more leaves fell to the ground. So summer is over, and autumn is already knocking on the door. But, is it just me or do the seasons seem to be overlapping more and more? Flowers are still in bloom whilst the trees take on their autumn rust. The only reason I ask is that autumn is my favourite season, especially …

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Please don't lie

This post is prompted entirely by my recent interactions with Royal Mail, but the hold true for many organisations. Life, as we all know, has times when it just seems to be ganging up on you. Nothing seems to go right, nothing happens the way you expect and you are left in an uncomfortable place and without enough, or some times any, knowledge or information you quickly become frustrated as you are not sure what to do next. So when, as a customer, I reach that place the last thing I want to hear are lies. They may be lies offered in good faith, but they are blatant and completely without excuse. The most common lie I’ve heard is the …

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Measurements and Metrics

It’s funny how these things come together sometimes, when two separate discussions, one here in the office and the other in the Author-it Forums, nicely lead me to a conclusion on something I’ve been pondering recently. How to measure what we produce? The first discussion was with a new guy in our team, who was voicing concerns about the amount of information he was producing. He stated that, when describing some of the concepts our product uses, he would spend a lot of time figuring them out, talking to people about them and understanding them, but that usually translated into “not a lot being produced”. I pointed out that, as far as I’m concerned, the more concise and effective the …

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Music Futures

Prompted by some questions about Spotify on Twitter, questions which sparked a heated debate that is still raging*, I thought I’d revisit my own music purchasing and usage habits and see where I sit in the consumer spectrum. First things first then, I do purchase music mostly, these days, through iTunes. Mostly because it’s handy and I’m a total Apple fanboy (yeah, Windows SUCK!!). That last bit is a lie, of course, as my home PC runs Windows and I’m really enjoying using Windows 7 (something else I’ll be purchasing soon). I digress. I spent a long time digitally converting my CDs, and as they now reside in boxes in the loft I don’t see the need to purchase anything …

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Small differences

Tomorrow morning I’ll be at Glasgow Green to cheer on Louise’s cousin Sharon as she completes the 10K that is organised as part of the Great Scottish Run. I don’t care how heavy the rain is, nor how hard the wind may blow because I owe her a few cheers. Roll back the clock to June 2007 and having hauled myself round 9K of the 10K course I enter the final kilometre, I’m going slower than I had hoped and I’m a bit disheartened, yet determined to finish. That last kilometre was dominated by those two thoughts, disappointment and determination. For those of you who haven’t gone jogging, it’s a very good way to focus the mind, I used to …

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