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Showing posts from September, 2010

Not in ... What my out of office autoresponder should say ...

A rise to all of those in email land:

I want it tomorrow, give it to me,
I have sent you an email, now its your respons-ibil-ity.
My work is last minute,
My planning is none,
I give you an instruction,
Now MAKE SURE its done!

You are not my manager, I don’t report to you, if I am on holiday, this is how I can help you ...

I may ignore your email, let my out of office do the work, come back from my break, and think you’re a berk!

I may consider a response,
Maybe pen a reply,
I might do something about it,
Or go swat a fly.

Email is not a tool, to disavow your role, if you want anything, others need to know.

It may be urgent for you,
it is not for me,
you want to send,
go, email, do job, be free!

Making demands, will not encourage, giving deadlines, will not entertain, if you are lucky, you may get my distain.

The moral of this tale, is that,
interesting it is not,
whenever you send an email,
that may need to avoid the bin,
take the greatest care,
over content within.

Ok, rhym…

Floating towards 1000

In the world of the Open University, 1000 is an important number, but not an abnormal number with some courses attracting over 1000 students on each presentation. When we worked on the initial proposal for T155 Linux: an introduction, we envisaged 250-300 a presentation, considering it to be a valid niche interest course.

Well ... Yes it is a niche interest, but a slightly bigger niche than one had appreciated. Already averaging 500 students per course, in under six months, we have  reached over 1000 students. We are getting impressed noises from members of the Linux community.

The course does very much what it says on the tin, we originally mapped it to the CompTIA Linux+; with the change in certification, we are now mapping to the CompTIA Linux+, Powered by LPI 101, (and over 50% of the 102).

So, the question I ask myself and all others reading this ...

Is it the subject that is attractive? Why do so many want to learn more about Linux? Is the certification link a key element?

Your w…

Frumious ....

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two!  One, two!  And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day!  Callooh!  Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

So many words, so little interest, I think ...

Have you ever had the issue of trying to follow an email conversation, especially when the thread is drawn out.

    Not easy.

One thread can be a little bit of a challenge, when the threads are multitude the conversations many and worse still, many of these threads are interwoven.

    One could be excused for becoming a little confused.

I am sure there are many tools to manage the many threads, I have seen some in the past but alas they don’t keep a track of the many new emails you may spawn as a result of one conversational thread you may have generated.

    Resulting in potential confusion, more often a reduction in personal productivity.

The reality in my mind, is how many opportunities are missed as a result of this communication form and how unproductive this ‘high speed’ communication medium may be.

Colored Ribbon ...

Have just seen an email from sources, better not shared, but immediately in brought to mind a favourite quotation (recently ripped from the web).


"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon"
Napoleon, 15 July 1815. To the captain of HMS Bellerophon.

Misunderestimated :

I honesty cant remember if a misunderestimation is a Mayerism or a Bushism, to be fair to either the movie mogul or the former president of the united states, it is a great word.

Think about it:

Misunderestimation : to underestimate the opponent in the wrong way, not only have you underestimated them, but your assumption was based on an entirely flawed view of their potential.

Does this mean that the opponent who has been misunderestimated is oblivious to their minor victory, or have they in a Machiavellian accomplishment, orchestrated the deception.

If the latter is true, then the opponent is a worthy competitor.


Confessions of a Linux Convert ...

Ok, I admit it, there was a time when I used to be a complete Microsoft fan boy, it was shameful, taking the proverbial ‘Michael’ out of Linux enthusiasts. Before this I was working with Novell, having used both the Bindery and NDS, before acquiring an active directory and Windows desktop skill set.

Now, times having changed, using (or abusing) one operating system is a risky business, in my home, we have Windows 7, Mac, Ubuntu and XP running, at work I have a Windows 7 professional machine and various flavours of Linux running on different boxes in our server room.

Do I think Linux is the best ... Not really, do I think any other operating system is better, nope, not at all. Linux has many advantages, which gives it considerable commercial potential, until support and documentation is standardised. There will always be issues, but saying this there are many who could level this complaint against Microsoft and Apple.

Where I tend to sit, is on the line of technical and commercial expe…

Nature abhors a vacuum ...

After a few days distracted by other affairs (called work, one does do it occasionally), I started reading the email logs of one of the course forums at work.

A little later and somewhat awed by the frantic posting that had taken place, I could see that in the absence of  an immediate or reasonable answer to some questions. A group of souls managed to create their own version of perpetual motion with their posts (I did wonder what the carbon footprint was of the number of packets exchanged in this pursuit).

I am now of a mind to start trawling the literature to see if anyone has analyzed this ‘asynchronous behavior) .

Now to unpick the issues from the frenetic email debate.

Chaos Theory ...

What would you do if you could control chaos,
Could you,
Would you,
Do you believe that it is possible?

I don’t, there are many who try, spending lifetimes on experimentation and research to come one step closer to the unreachable.
Noble efforts in the maelstrom of reality.

Scientists are perplexed by dark matter, it undermines their understanding of other foundation principles, relativity, it appears simply does not add up.

Maybe it cant, or, maybe we cannot, but lets be fair it does not stop us from trying.

If you believe, or even if you doubt, or are one who is sure that there is nothing to believe.

Maybe we can agree on one thought.

If the universe is so chaotic, then what is the mystery holding it together, how are these incomprehensible factions all managing to keeping it going.

I am always up for a better answer than the one I have, yet I have found none as forgiving.

Couldn¹t stop laughing ...

The silly season is upon us, the national academic machine grinds forth, back in action after its brief seasonal hiatus.

As is normal, those in the system, allegedly making decisions about what is done when, by whom and for how much are starting to kick out ideas of which consultants are to do what work.

Was approached three times today for different ‘consultancy contracts’:

Number1: not bad, fee ok, just timescales and load means that may be best to give a miss, after some negotiation, may end up sharing with another esteemed soul, so not a bad result.
Number2: silly deadline, not a request, more of a ‘telling me’, no mention of fee, knowing work from the past it is not worth effort for return, so I share that one is busy.
Number3: left rolling around in laughter and tears, when shared with wife, the laughter continued, silly deadline, fee of £100 for what is five days work on complex subject.

I declined Number3 as well, didn’t quite feel that I was the right person for them.

Eco eh! What and uh!

Social taboos prevent me from describing the room in too many words, but as a norm, it supports a very human need to satisfy a call of nature.

On the wall, was too signs.

One above the paper towels declaring that these are not eco-friendly Another above the hand dryer, declaring that this is eco-friendly

In my somewhat slow and befuddled mind, my thought was that both are not eco-friendly, they both consume resources, both add carbon to the atmosphere. Just the where and when differs.

Can anyone out there help me, as my brain is having an emotional moment.

Up Down Up Down Up (one hopes)

Been an interesting afternoon working at home, fending numpty emails, seeing excellent news on virtualisation developments, calming down a panicking ‘service provider’, seeing emails on other positive developments and hitting head against wall with some c**p HND units I have to rewrite (I was not the original author).

Back to the c**p units.