Almost finished

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Bye bye 2009, almost. It’s been…. well for the most part it’s been fun, it’s been good, I’ve learnt a lot, and will take some of that into the coming year. Christmas was, as ever, a mixbag of anti-climax, lots of food, laughter, some alcohol and a nasty hacking cough. I have resolutions ready, one…

Santa is on his way

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So, go on then, which list are you on? Naughty or Nice? Naughty for me, without doubt, and frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way. Those “Nice” kids have no fun whatsoever, life is too short. I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve already, but then as my sleeping patterns are all fucked up as…

Present and Future

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As we roll into the holiday season, I’m going to be pausing this blog until the New Year. I’ve found it tricky at times to get into a regular posting schedule here, so that’s something I’m hoping to rectify in 2010. Looking back it’s been a good year for me, and I’m hoping to take…

MNTKOT*

Reading time: 2 mins

I can remember the first time I heard it, in the Clyde Bar in Helensburgh. Raw, explosive, vitriolic and, to my 17yr old ears, a spitting hammer blow through my music collection. I bought the CD that weekend and as soon as I got home, rushed up to my room, closed the door (I’m not…

Technical Documentation Know-how

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A few days ago I received an email about a new website. I’ve seen it mentioned on other blogs but think it’s worth repeating as there is some useful information there. I am contacting you because I have just thought that maybe a post about my new web site on software documentation and user assistance…

A new view

Reading time: 3 mins

A few years ago, having bought my first digital camera, I realised there was much more to taking a photograph than just “point and shoot” and I started to consider the machinations of photography a bit more seriously, I read up on things like exposure, aperture, f-stops and other things with odd names to make…

How to Write

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What a wonderful group of people you are, my dear readers and fellow Twitterers. I asked for some suggestions as I’m pulling together a short, internal, workshop covering some simple techniques and tips for the “non-writers” in our organisation. I received some great suggestions and a couple of excellent links and, as promised, here is…

Frosty Spruce

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Frosty Spruce, originally uploaded by Gordon. The freezing fog cleared and left little droplets of sparkle on everything. Sometimes words aren’t enough.

CategoriesUncategorized

Mystery

Reading time: 2 mins

Two things happen to me on a semi-regular basis. Well, a lot of things happen to me on a semi-regular basis but I’m only going to mention two of them in this blog post. Frankly if I was to list all the things that happen to me on a semi-regular basis I’d be here all…

Always Learning

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In using up the last of my holiday allocation for the year, I find myself finishing up on the 17th December and not returning to work until the 5th of January. Previously I’d have viewed that as a good chance to get some things done (and there are two things I MUST get done before…

Writing techniques

Reading time: 2 mins

How do you get started? Faced with that pristine new document, all that whitespace, what do you generally do to start writing that document? Like most companies, we have a number of people who create content in a number of different styles and formats. The main producers are, of course, the technical writing team, but…

Curious Daylight

Reading time: 2 mins

I’ve spent most of the evening retagging MP3s in my iTunes library in an effort to get them all cleaned up. I tried this with a bit of software before but it did more damage than good so I’m just slowly working my way through by hand and, as it turns out, it’s quite fun…

Why I am a Technical Writer

Reading time: 3 mins

Having been in a bit of a lull, I recently asked those who follow me on Twitter what I should blog about. This post is in response to a suggestion from Peter Anghelides who replied: “Blog about why you became a technical author?” Which is a good a topic as any as, like many people…

Dear Comment Spammer

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To the lovely people who have left some comments on my blog recently, and who may be wondering why they haven’t appeared. It’s because you have a URL that takes me to a completely unrelated product website. That and it’s obvious that you’ve not fully read the blog post in question. I realise you are,…

Numbers game

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Better documentation lowers support calls, is a widely held assumption and one I’m hoping to prove in the coming months. With our new knowledge centre in place, and Google Analytics tracking how many people are visiting it, I’ll soon have stats for my side of the fence. Early numbers (from the past two weeks) show…