#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 – took a hiatus

Sorry folks. I took the week off to spend time with my family while the kids were on April Vacation, and as such, I made the conscious decision to stay away from the computer for that time.

I will be back, and I will not only pick up where I left off, but I will also make it a point to answer all unanswered comments and visit commenters’

#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… ?

#atozchallenge – HP Printers

I’m irritated with HP lately.

Once upon a time, say four or five years ago, I swore by HP when recommending printers. Their printers were by and large the best. They weren’t bullet proof, obviously, but as far as printers went, they were the best of the bunch, in my opinion.

Enter Windows 7 and the 64-bit architecture.

Many of the older printers, and lots of the new ones too, don’t seem to have drivers that are specifically designed for Windows 7, 64-bit. In some cases there are Vista drivers that work, but in other cases, you’re expected to use a “Universal driver”, which typically has less features, and is really kind of hit or miss.

It’s like they got tired of writing new drivers for each release of Windows, which in fairness I get. I’m sick of re-learning how to do the same old shit with new commands and what not, but… C’mon!

Another favorite is when you go to download drivers for SOME HP printers now, on a machine with Windows 7, the HP website tells you that you have to get the driver from Windows Update. Like… seriously? You can’t host your own drivers? I mean, presumably you wrote them, and then… gave them to windows for distribution, and deleted your copy?

Do you have an HP printer that’s disappointed you recently? I’ve had many…

Gaming #atozchallenge

So as with any useful tool, someone who gets comfortable enough using a computer is going to start to play games. Now, if you bought your computer yourself and put it in your own home, you have every right to do so. However, your computer at work is NOT a toy. You are probably not supposed to be playing games on it.

Now, Minesweeper or solitaire, not a huge deal really. The only beef I could see an employer having with that is that your productivity may not be what it should be. You may be distracted. When I get pissy is when I start having to rush over and fix virus and malware issues because you clicked a link in Facebook to play Farmville, and now all of a sudden you’re getting popups for anti-virus programs that are really viruses…

Ok. I realize we’re all human, and if your work is done, you probably deserve some screwing around time. It’s really not that big a deal. But honest to god, it is the most difficult thing to be dealing with something that a user caused, WHILE getting grief about their computer being unavailable. I know you didn’t intend to install the malware, but you did. I can’t go back in time and prevent it, I can only fix it.

It’s like trying to drive through a six foot deep puddle, and then complaining that you have been without your car for the last two days while the mechanic is replacing your engine. I’m sure he’d realize that you thought you could make it, but you didn’t. Now there’s work to be done.

Facebook games are the worst. Most are legitimate, but the ads that come on the page aren’t always.

If you can’t simply use your work computer for work, and you’re hell bent on playing games on facebook I recommend using a browser other than Internet Explorer. Use FireFox, and install Adblocker plus. This will lower your risk of infecting yourself.

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…