Showing posts from October, 2010

Yesterdays mega-hype must have toy .... Is today's tat

By now you will have worked out I am a bit of a geek, ok lets face facts I am a lot of a geek, ok, totally geek. Over the years, I have seen many hype curves, with different technology toys that go from fashionable to every day then eventually become outdated.

That was the past and is also no different now. Who became excited when :

You could get a CD burner A USB memory stick (512K was something to aspire to) A MP3 player A DVD burner Flat screen monitors or televisions Optical mice (yep, they were cool once) SMS (text messages) Express on covers

Now, with mobile phones, iPads, touch screens, tablet PC’s, it would seem that the hype continues.

I wonder what comes next and what my inner geek will want to caress in the name of techno-consumerism.

Lacking imagination ... Rant, Rant, Rant

In the pursuit of all things wonderful in the development of IT vocational qualifications, I am frequently reminded that the standard of IT education in the UK is dependent on the quality of the teachers delivering it.

Some are good, some are fantastic, but there are many (far too many in my opinion) who have neither the passion or the ability to deliver good, robust and commercially relevant IT skills to youngsters.

My rants fall into three domains

Those who fear, fear itself and lack the drive to deliver The IT users who are abusing the minds of teenagers Unimaginative delivery and uninteresting assessment

So, are you one of those who fear, fear itself and lack the drive to deliver, the network manager wont let you, it may corrupt the minds of the students. You fear that they may become more technical than those managing the system, you fear that there may be a risk that they could do something irresponsible with the knowledge you have given them.

Do something about it ...

For F$$K’…

Now, i must admit that i did not expect this ....


Collective Tweeting ...

Been playing with twitter-feed and a way to link twitter-lists of many twitterers to a RSS feed, where one twitter account could become the voice for many.

What is the benefit, when you have a corporate tweet that has to represent many, why not get the many to contribute.

What's the risk, simply too many tweets, there needs to be a protocol (of sorts).

Iconoclasts apply here ...

By this stage in my blogging life, if you are a constant reader, you may have noticed that I do wander off down various mental cul-de-sacs shouting at trees and pondering ones own navel.

One of my ongoing thoughts is how we select potential employees/colleagues, job adverts and their supporting job descriptions ask for many positive and banal skills but seldom (meaning never) do we see:

Iconoclast required for growing team Mavericks need only apply Proven track record as a nonconformist Expert rule breaker

Yet, that is often what we want, many of us hope that we may become this and laude those who have accomplished this, yet will complain bitterly when the maverick iconoclast upsets our own little world.


The last of the rule benders ....

Rules are not limits, not restrictions, nor are they barriers to accomplishing great things they are mere .... opportunities.

Often they need some exercise, flex them, bend them, give them a good stretch, it will do them no harm.

But ...

Some rules are there for the common good, leave them alone.

It takes little imagination to understand which rules in an organization are driven by legislation, against those that are policy and politic.

So, don’t be afraid,don’t every ask permission (well not too often) and go for it, you will like the results.

Going to speak on T155 Linux today ... but, what do I have to say

Quickly reviewing the slides; those of you who have done this before, will understand. As I am sitting here, thinking, do I have anything to say.

Doubt it.

A couple of words from our sponsors ...

First the Cisco CCNA certification, then the CCNP, next Linux, then Microsoft, we are on journeys towards VM ware and what next you may ask?

In my mind, its very much a question of balance, we need to offer the vendor certification and commercial ‘skill set’. But we need to ensure the academic credo and discipline this encourages.

The challenge arises when the certification competes for space within the normal business model, funding is not finite and the timescales of the best intentioned vendor is never the same as those of a higher education institution.

So, the question in my mind and maybe one for discussion is “how far do we dare go”.

Juggling with chickens ...

The catchy title has no bearing on my thoughts at the moment, it is an entirely random phrase that entered my feverish mind in the last twenty minutes.

I am sure a catchy term could be created from this:

today managing the staff was like “juggling with chickens” my chances of getting on Xfactor would be improved if I could only “juggle chickens” dealing with the board, was akin to a session of “chicken juggling”

Hmmmm, this one could work :-)

Now back to listening to some Mogwai

UK Government adopts Hexadecimal to solve economic crisis

After some considerable soul searching and financial analysis, the UK coalition government in a flash of inspiration (powered by Boris on his bike based dynamo) have solved many of the financial issues by changing all calculations to Hexadecimal after listening to some computer boffins.

Instead of having ten digits (0 to 9), hexadecimal enjoys an inflation busing sixteen digits from Zero to F, using the letters A, B, C, D, E and F for 10,11,12,13,14 and 15. The value of numbers such as 10 will mean that you actually have 16 and 1A represents 26. Large numbers in their billions, will diminish as we have more digits to represent them and could have a more interesting meaning, as £:DEADBEEF would represent a debt of £3,735,928,559. Would it not be nice to clear nearly four billion in debt by one unit of DEADBEEF.

As a result, you will be expected to retire at 65 ((6x16)+5) = 101, so with your pension book in hand, you know that you have already received your much deserved telegram from t…

An Ivory Tower moment ....

Working where I do has many blessings, being part of an academic institution having a strong reputation and public regard is rewarding.

Yet occasionally, there is the odd moment, where it gets stuck in its own Ivory Tower, unable to connect with the reality of the educational environment it works in.

Today, was no exception, after watching an email exchange between bemused souls (who do have their feet on the ground) reacting to an even longer email thread on the inclusion of “younger” students on a particular course.

At no point, has the university gripped onto the fact that:

We are part of a larger community already delivering this (for the best part of ten years, we are the newcomers) Many in the larger community are already delivering this to ages 14+ Apart from our reputation and distance learning mode of delivery, there is little else that stands us apart from the teaching community in this domain

Hand palms forehead, sigh of resigned amusement ...