#atozchallenge – Like

The word “like” is ruined.

It sets my teeth on edge when kids over use “like” as an idiom. “That’s like, awesome. And then he was like ‘duh’, so I was like…” grr… I can’t even continue that example.

I had a friend who had hung a sign that says “When you use the word “Like” this way, it’s called an idiom. Do you really want to sound like an idiom?” I … uh… enjoy, this saying.

To top it off, everything on the internet has a freakin “Like” button. …this blog included. I feel sorta bad for the word “Like”. It’s gotta be awfully tired. It does a lot of work, don’t you think? It must get worn out.


#atozchallenge – Kids should not be allowed on your computer.

Before I get shit about “oh, it’s so good for kids to learn on” and what not, I’m not saying they should not be taught, I’m saying that if you take a computer home from your place of employment, don’t let your kids play with it. We know you do it, and you know who you are! I know about half of you are twiddling your thumbs, whistling tunelessly right now. Cut the shit.

I cannot begin to explain how many freakin facebook-born viruses and “free” video games, and corrupt spongebob screen savers I’ve had to remove from WORK computers over the years. NOW, I don’t mind so much, cause I bill by the hour, but back when I was “in house” it would drive me nucking futs. I had projects to take care of, real things to get done without having to clean up fucking Wizard 101 crap.

Your work computer is not a toy, it’s a tool! You think a carpenter comes home and let’s his kids play around with his nail gun? You think cops walk in the door and drop their god damned gun belt into the play pen?

Protect your work computer. Keep it safe, keep it clean. Just because you didn’t buy it doesn’t mean it was free, and just because you have an I.T. department doesn’t mean fixing it is going to be no problem. It could mean the difference between you hitting your deadlines or not, and if you don’t, it’s not the I.T. department’s fault.

…Unless they suck of course, in which case, maybe it is.

#atozchallenge – Jerks in I.T.

I.T. guys sometimes get a bad rap for being assholes. Sometimes, they just are.

It’s common that they tend to forget, the user CANNOT do their job without some help from them. I get irritated when I.T. guys act like they’re inconvenienced by the fact that there are problems to deal with.

…had there been no problems, you’d have no JOB!

With that having been said, please give us I.T. guys a break. We’re not ALL bad, but it’s very common that the few bad apples spoil the bunch. Like this guy:

I do occasionally say MOVE! though…

#atozchallenge – Internet Dependency

I made a similar post a few days back about Facebook…

The internet is vital these days, to almost every facet of our lives. Once upon a time a letter two two days at best to get from one coast to another. Now it’s typically around two seconds. This is a tool that industry has used to springboard from one era, to one completely different and infinitely more dynamic.

Sick days are far fewer, or at least days people call in on which they are ACTUALLY sick anyway. People may still call in as much, but the reality is that the sniffles don’t stop you from getting work done the way it used to. Most people have computers and an internet connection at home, and can get some work done.

I myself work from home almost every single day, and when I’m sick, I feel like a louse when I call in, because I could sit here and do my job with only marginal inconvenience, as opposed to sit in bed, and let my co-workers stress out over the added work load.

From within the office, the internet can be the ace in the whole, or the lynch pin. If it’s there, you come out shining. If it’s not, you’re in deep shit. Now that everyone CAN get it now, they want it yesterday. Without an internet connection, that’s simply not possible.

I’d like to know, have any of you NOT suffered from an internet outage at some point, be it professionally or personally? And I don’t mean “OMG NO EMAILZ!” I mean like really inconvenienced yourself. Took a long trip because you didn’t get the cancelation email, or didn’t get the flight change information, etc… ?

Facebook in the Workplace

The whole bloody world is on Facebook. I am. This blog is. My other blogs are. My company is. Almost everyone I know is, and most of their kids are too. Hell, even some of their pets are.

People seem obsessed with sharing everything. For instance:

Excellent movie, by the way.

The problem is though, that once you put something on the internet, it’s there. Forever. Someone saw it, they now know, for better or worse.

Some years back, Facebook was banned from most offices because people were doing a lot of goofing off. Lately, I’ve been removing said ban from a lot of firewalls and content filters because now, lots of companies are finding it beneficial to have facebook pages for marketing reasons.

It seems to me that there’s a big “If you can’t beat em, join em” movement. Sure, they can block facebook at the corporate level, but everyone has the internet on their phones now anyway. If they’re hell bent of fucking around on Facebook, they’re going to do it one way or another. If they’re going to be therethere, you should be to. If you can’t stop them, at least you can shove your product in their face.

Still though, as a company do you really think it’s smart to associate with your employees when they could be saying some pretty stupid things? Do you really want the world to know that the guy who has a picture of himself flipping off the camera is your employee?

“We’re Good day sunshine day care! Find us on facebook! Pay no attention to the fact that the page admin’s name is “David ‘Bluntman’ Smith” and his information says his interest is hookers and beer.”

How do you feel about this? What’s your company’s stance?

Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI)

Image from here.

Technology can be amazing, but like anything else, it’s got it’s quirks. The simple fact that it requires electricity means it’s producing an electro-magnetic field of some kind. These fields can and will cause problems.

Once upon a time, computer monitors were big. You may remember… They looked like the ones we have now, with a gigantic box on the back. 😉 Anyway, you may have experienced the screen flickering when your speakers were too close to it, or a power strip or something like that. This is EMI. The magnetic fields generated by the power strip, or the actual magnets in the speakers could cause distortion in the picture tube.

Likewise, I had a set of speakers that used to produce a sort of flickering sound when someone with a Nextel phone was about to get a call. Not sure if this was technically electro-magnetic interference, but same idea, I think…

I’ve seen modems and routers stop working because they were too close to the power adapter… Like, the one that CAME WITH them. If the power strip was too close, the user would be kicked off the internet.

EMI is why we can’t use our electronics on air planes. EMI is why cell phones are not allowed in hospitals. Not that they DO or WILL cause problems, but that they MIGHT… and it’s not a risk worth taking.

These days most things are “shielded” and aren’t as impacted by the EMI fields.

There’s so much flying around in the air these days, WIFI signals, radio signals, cellular signals, etc… This is why I NEVER recommend tape backups, and I am so excited that they finally seem to be on their way out. I hate that they’ve been the industry standard for so long.

What does a magnetic field do to a tape? It degrades the information on it, and sometimes completely erases it. Well, my friends, the Earth is a GREAT BIG MAGNET. This is why tapes have a shelf life.

One last thought: We really have no full idea of the effects of these EMI fields on our persons. One wonders…

Dust, the Silent Killer

Image from here

Computers get hot, and to counter act this, it’s got fans. As anyone who has ever seen a fan that’s been used for a week or two will tell you, they get dirty, and when they get dirty, they don’t work as well, and they are loud.

However, people don’t tend to think about the fans in their computers. They get dirty as well. They also get loud and inefficient when this happens. When your desk fan suffers like this, you’re only a little inconvenienced. When your PC fans suffer like this, you’re looking at possible (probable) hardware damage.

It’s very important to get a can of compressed air (which you actually need a valid ID to purchase in MA! Guess kids were getting high off it too much…) and open the case (after having properly turned your computer off and unplugged it!) and blow the crap out of there! I suggest doing this every four to six months.

Other tips, keep your PC off of the floor, especially if you have rugs, and PARTICULARLY if you have pets. Dogs, cats, etc. wreak havoc on PC fans. Fish and snakes, only if you stuff them into the fan physically…

How many of you do this on a regular basis? Don’t lie to me, I’ll find out.

A to Z Challenge 2012 – But My So-and-So Says This…

I can’t count how many times I’ve been called to look at something, and KNOWN what the issue was, only to be told that I’m wrong by the user who called me, because someone else once told them otherwise.

Look, if you’re calling me, it’s because you’re out of options, and the wisdom you’ve gathered thus far, has failed you. Please don’t tell me I’m wrong.

As Soon As Possible

I can’t freakin stand being told that something is required ASAP.

Let’s revisit my job description here. What’s the IT guy supposed to do? He’s (or she’s) supposed to take care of the techological aspects of whatever your job requires. He’s the support guy. You need something from the support department, it’s their job to get it done. They are well aware of what you need, and how important it is.

Most of the time, the tech support staff is BETTER aware of how much you need a particular piece of technology than you are.

And quite frankly, isn’t whenever you get something as soon as it was possible? If I sit on a project for a couple extra days, you still get it as soon as it’s possible, because while I’m sitting on it, surfing facebook, it’s impossible for it to get done, because I’m not doing it! So yeah, you’ll get it as soon as possible. Don’t tell me ASAP like that’s supposed to light some fire under my ass. All it’s going to do is make me want to find reasons that it wasn’t possible to get it done sooner.

And by the way, who the hell thinks it’s a good idea to light fires under asses anyway? That’s just mean. Sure isn’t going to make me want to help you, that’s for sure. You just remember that.