Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hullward Bound!

Tomorrow I am off up to Hull for the first time in over a year! In the inimitable words of the great Oscar Wilde - "w00t".

It will be awesome, staying with Emi until Tuesday - meeting up with a whole bunch of people I haven't seen in years on Saturday and generally drinking and being merry. OK, slightly less frowny.

Amongst the people I haven't seen in a while is Emi's hirsute boyfriend Paddy, who I was looking forward to seeing until he said some deeply accurate hurtful things about my blog and the upcoming egotrip podcast. Beards are highly flammable, that's all I'm saying.

Errrm. There will be a strid there, which is always a spectacle. I am hoping to meet up witha few old housemates too, but will have to play that one by ear - and by that I mean wait for a phone call from Gemma. Anyway, it will be awesome despite the fact that due to McFly commmitments a key Hannah ingrediant is missing. I will try to remember to take photographs or at least steal other peoples.

Oh yeah Emi is taking us on a field trip to Santa's grotto on Sunday - I hope to perform a daring raid and make my fortune selling spinning tops and candy canes on the black market.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Apple Online Store

[/Rant]If you only ever listen to one piece of advice that I give, listen to this. Never, ever order anything at all from the Apple online store. It is the single most painful online shopping experience I have ever had and by some considerable degree. They are awful, it's taken 2 weeks so far for something to arrive that they have in stock so I shudder to think what happens when they have to get soemthing in.

My advice? Go to the store, ignore the online thing - even if you get discount through work - because they don't have the first clue.[/Rant]

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post production

We recorded some stuff last night, and I don't think it's completely awful. Luckily Nick spoke for some of it so there are some actual facts in there. We did go through quite a lot and we are currently bumbling through a post production process so there is less of me and less random pauses.

Anyway, watch this space - we are organising some hosting as Nick seems to be under the misguided impression that people who aren't Olivia, Hannah and Pete will listen to us. The problem is, as I say, we weren't sure how much stuff we'd need as we assumed it would mostly be cut but as it turns out we are keeping a lot of it - and the editing is actually quite time consuming. So, it'll be here soon.

This will be a podcast of indeterminate length but we are going to try and keep it under 45 minutes for the most part and we are including handy chapters so you can skip the bits where I go off on a ramble. All comments, suggestions and pleas to make us stop should go to geeksnammo[at_symbol_here]gmail.com. This doesn't mean we are sticking with that as a podcast title, we just couldn't think of anything else!

[Addendum] Nick is in work from about 1am tomorrow and I am in from about 5am. It's unlikely we will do anything further with this until Wednesday night! I might see about putting a random audio clip up here that didn't make the edit in the interim.[/Addendum]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Podcrastination

I've not been blogging, instead choosing to spend ridiculously long hours at work. That's right, no one knows how to have a good time better than me.

Anyway. Podcasting, it is happening and soon with our semi-official, first recording happening on Sunday (possibly, maybe). Current working title is the 'Where the F*!K is my Macbook?!' edition. Unless of course Apple pull their finger out.

I thought I needed to post something, you are all getting a little too interested in the mechanics of the forbidden love between man and velocipede.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Invasion of Privacy

We are in a terrifying times at the moment, in the US and UK you can be held without charge for looking a bit foreign. 'Anti-Terror' laws gradually erode the freedom they claim to protect. There is an MPAA backed bill up for a vote in the US that, if passed, will enforce educational institutions to subscribe to media download services. the idea is that it will prevent piracy. This does two things : firstly it assumes peer to peer file sharing guilt on ALL students, regardless of whether they own computers or not. Secondly it places the onus on the University concerned to enforce the useage - basically making it the business of the US government to secure revenue streams for large media corporations. The penalty for non-compliance? The revocation of federal funding for the institution concerned. An analogy for us Brits: London has it's transport budget removed because someone shoplifted from the Virgin Megastore.

It won't pass but the very fact it;s made it to the floor is mind-boggling.

But that is nothing compared to the travesty that has happened in this country - it's a step too far by an overzealous and controlling state that could spell revolution. That's right, a man can no longer have sex with his bicycle in the privacy of his own room without "The Man" getting involved. It was only a matter of time before the nanny-state mentality of this labour government started to encroach on the sacred love a mentally unstable Glaswegian (is there any other kind?) shares with his velocipede, but who could have predicted that it would happen so soon?

Friday, November 09, 2007

More on meetings...

Currently on a conference call playing buzzword bingo. Just gave myself bonus points because one of the sycophants added a d to the word Strategy. Stradigy. Nobber.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Zen of Meetings

Meetings at work can be the bane of your life when you have 'shit to get done', they certainly interfere with my working day on an increasingly regular basis.

I've had a meeting where Nick and I implemented something that someone else disagreed with and tried to get reversed. We said that people really like it, it was easy to do, had minimal impact and lots of people want to use it. His argument back was 'In many ways that is part of its downfall'.

Unfortunately, his worst fears were realised and it stayed put and increasing numbers of users took advantage of this terrible and apocalyptic break from tradition. Even now we suffer the effects of pleased clients and users.

Anyway. Meetings. Sometimes they can be incredibly useful - especially when you have nothing pressing for them to interfere with. For example, this morning I had a meeting which could have caused me some frustration had I not finished a bunch of work (the correct plural term for work) before leaving last night. Rather helpfully this meeting came with an agenda and a set of previous minutes, all nicely numbered, which helped my productivity no end.

The Agenda is essentially a numbered crib sheet, you can skim read the agenda and see where your input is expected and, so long as you are vaguely aware of what number in the agenda you are at, you can get a lot done whilst appearing to participate in the meeting. Though this may not be that important as on many occasions agenda items can be kind of like talent contests - one person does most of the speaking in the hope of convincing everyone else in the room they have some useful abilities or skills - resolving whatever issue is on the table is of minor importance. These people are a friend to your productivity and they should be encouraged as they are unlikely to interrupt you with requests for input or your opinion.

During these parts of the meeting you can use the otherwise lost time to do other things. For instance, improve your creative side by working on your drawing skills - who knows? This could possibly lead to a future career change provided you attend enough meetings:


Fig 1: Extract from this morning's meeting.

Writing your grocery list is another excellent way of appearing to take notes and also serves the purpose of reducing the amount of time it takes you to order the food from your desk/pick it up at the supermarket during your extended lunch break.

Once you are proficient at both drawing and writing whilst appearing to pay attention, you can combine these skills to design increasingly elaborate world domination plans and draw sketches of underground lairs/minion uniforms/biomechanical supercreatures with deathrays and chocolate milk dispensers. These are just some suggestions, feel free to think of your own chocolate milk dispensing variations on the world domination theme. It can also be healthy to draw representaions of any antagonists at the meeting in various scenarios involving your inky doom-bringers - red pens can be a help here but it's a lot harder to conceal what you are doing if you brink a full set of coloured pencils and finger paints are a dead give away. It's all about moderation people.

There are myriad other possibilities, just remember - make the meetings work for you! Good luck everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Gadget of Doom

I suspect the Macbook is going to have a similar effect on me that the new phone did. ie demonstrating that Windows Mobile really hadn't come as far as I'd thought. The problem here is that my Windows PC is becoming increasingly unstable and wobbly so there may be elements of Transference. Anyway, I'll save this for the techblog - but if you see elements of fanboyism please eviscerate me and remind me of things I've said about those types in the past.

I'm so very weak!

 
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