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ISO Nexus

By JodyGilbert ·
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Worst cliches of '05

by DC Guy In reply to Worst cliches of '05

<p>At times like this I realize how fortunate I am. I never hear anyone use these terms, with the exception of the occasional salesperson.</p>
<p>"Synergize" particularly galls me, since it's not even a word. It's not automatically evil to invent words of course, because that's how language evolves and adapts. But the very concept of synergy implies the application of a good deal of thought and planning in order to optimize the interplay of resources in any individual situation. A speaker who casually tosses out the make-believe word "synergize" assumes this can be achieved merely by turning the crank on a standardized process.</p>
<p>Many of these words and phrases merely elicit a groan from me, "Oh well, not everyone is as eloquent as Winston Churchill." But I would run away from a manager who believes in "synergizing"!</p>

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Worst cliches of '05

by sMoRTy71 In reply to Worst cliches of '05

Gee, Jody. Why do all of those sound so familiar?

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Worst cliches of '05

by NEES In reply to Worst cliches of '05

<p>Hahaha--and add my personal favorite, "Putting out fires." </p>
<p>Thanks for an irritating while amusing article.</p>
<p>Irritating for obvious reasons of wanting never to hear or read the phrases.</p>
<p>Amusing because it's all so true. </p>
<p>I can identify with that. </p>
<p>Enjoy your day. </p>

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Project-to-PowerPoint add-in: Not too shabby

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>I was just sifting through some of Microsoft's
business-focused add-ins available in its <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/Search.aspx?displaylang=en">Downloads
Center</a>. Not a bad place to poke around from time to time. What caught my
eye today is this little Project-to-PowerPoint add-in (official unwieldy name: The
<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5a4d6d5b-069a-401c-9de1-440546836b85&DisplayLang=en">Project
Report Presentation Add-in for Microsoft Office Project 2003</a&gt.</p>


<p>Once you install the add-in, you can open a project and
click Create Report Presentation on the Project Report Presentation toolbar.
Specify the tasks and fields you want to include and the tool will build a new
presentation with a tasks summary table that shows the status of project tasks
(e.g., Start, Finish, % Complete). You can get about eight tasks on a slide, but
if you need to include more, the tool will create an additional slide and
summary table to accommodate them. Along with the task summary, the
presentation consists of slides for the title, introduction, agenda, overview,
outstanding risks and issues, budget, schedule and scope, acceptance review,
and next steps.</p>


<p>If you spend a lot of time reporting on project issues,
conducting meetings to communicate project objectives or changes with
stakeholders, and/or debriefing management and staff on project status and
what's needed for successful completion, you should definitely check out this unassuming
little tool. As far as I can tell, it does exactly what it's designed to do, offering
the potential for saving you tons of legwork. </p>


The presentation design could be improved -- there's
a sort of anemic putty-colored background, along with those dopey, ghosted-out
clip art effects and stylized geometric distractions. But that's a small
concern. If you don't like the looks of the presentation, just go to Format |
Slide Design and choose something you like better.

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Top Ten Frenzy

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>Part of the year-end retrospective reflex seems to involve
ranking everything conceivable that occurred or existed in 2005. We've done it
at TR: You can see all our <a href="1200-22-5554742.html">top ten lists</a>, which
include such things as the hottest downloads and discussions of the year.</p>


<p>I came across another interesting collection of top ten
items, a couple of which are IT-related, thereby giving me a pretext for including
the collection here.</p>


<p>Alternet's Tai Moses put together <a href="http://www.alternet.org/story/30157/" _target="blank">The Ten Best Top-Ten Lists</a>. There
are things like the top ten baby names (Emma, Aidan), worst jobs in science
(manure inspector, volcanologist), and most-wanted fugitives (their resumes are
pretty good: "Donald Eugene Webb, who is considered a career criminal and
master of assumed identities, specializes in the burglary of jewelry stores. He
is reportedly allergic to penicillin, a lover of dogs, a flashy dresser and a
big tipper."). The list also includes Merriam-Webster Online's 10 most
looked-up words, interesting because it appears to be disaster-driven. It
includes <i>refugee</i>, <i>tsunami</i>, <i>pandemic</i>,
and <i>levee</i>. And oh yeah, <i>inept</i>.</p>


<p>Also included are Top 10 <a href="http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/hoaxes/recent/">Most Commonly Encountered
Hoaxes and Chain Letters</a> (Elf Bowling? still??) and the <a href="http://www.physorg.com/news8870.html">Top 10 List of Strangest and
Funniest Data Disasters</a>. The latter is based on reports shared by Ontrack Data
Recovery, and of course the message is that recovery is possible if you use its
services. Nevertheless, I found it slightly mollifying to compare my humdrum
catastrophic hard drive crash (see my list of top ten personal disasters? nah,
I'm not going there) with things like dogs eating memory sticks and a laptop computer
full of dead cockroaches.</p>

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Top Ten Frenzy

by NEES In reply to Top Ten Frenzy

<p>I loved this article and enjoyed reading the various Top-Ten Lists.</p>
<p>Thanks. Keep me coming back with  more like this. </p>
<p>Enjoy your day. </p>

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Top Ten Frenzy

by NEES In reply to Top Ten Frenzy

<p>I loved this article and enjoyed reading the various Top-Ten Lists.</p>
<p>Thanks. Keep me coming back with  more like this. </p>
<p>Enjoy your day. </p>

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Workstation pretzel

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>No, no -- this isn't a snack entry. And if it were, believe
me, pretzels would be near the bottom of my list, between Funyuns and rice cakes, maybe. It's about ergonomics and the
lack thereof. I just realized I'm sitting in this crappy old chair all twisted
and contorted to work around my overloaded desk and breaking every rule of how
to arrange a work environment and how to sit properly and align yourself correctly. (This
is my home workstation, btw -- my sumptuous TechRepublic cube is well appointed
with all the best posture-promoting accoutrements.) But here at home, my laptop
has been nudged to the brink of my desk by my creaky old Gateway, a cheap photo
printer, books, notebooks, dishes, a dog toy I had to confiscate (from the
cat). A good candidate for our <a href="2300-10877_11-5980423.html">messy workspace
photo gallery</a>, as it happens.</p>


<p>This is how I've been operating for several years now, and I
think it's possibly starting to take its toll. So I decided to revisit Becky
Roberts' download <a href="5138-10877-5655259.html">"Eight
cost-free steps to improve workstation ergonomics,"</a>
which talks about
simple changes she's made to help her users work more comfortably. And
then I
popped over to OSHA and discovered some great resources there, too.
Among other
things, I read about the hazards of poorly designed workstations. As I
suspected, I'm embracing every one of them, and I feel a little worse
for reading
about it because of course I have ALL the symptoms: numbness in the
hands; reduced grip strength; reduced range of motion in the shoulder,
neck, or back; dry, itchy, or
sore eyes; loss of color in affected regions; weakness (presumably they
mean physical
weakness; I guess I can't blame my character flaws on this chair.
<i>hmmmm...</i&gt.</p>


Anyway, OSHA offers some useful info and a
couple of pretty slick checklists, which I'd recommend to anyone who's trying
to change their pretzel ways and head off the resulting debilitating effects.
The <a href="http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/checklist.html">evaluation
checklist</a> runs through items for identifying workstation problems; the <a href="http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/checklist.html#purchase">purchasing
guide checklist</a> offers criteria for selecting the healthiest components
(not just monitors and keyboards, but telephones, lighting, pointing devices,
and document holders).

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Workstation pretzel

by nickrusso In reply to Workstation pretzel

<p>Also check this link to MSDN article "Neck or shoulder pain? Try these 10 healthy computing tips" with my comments: <a href="http://blogs.msdn.com/tiptalk/archive/2006/01/10/510256.aspx?CommentPosted=true#commentmessage">http://blogs.msdn.com/tiptalk/archive/2006/01/10/510256.aspx?</a></p>

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Catharsis and snarkosis: A support tech's best friend?

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>Every so often I think it's a good idea, in fact an
excellent idea, to publish a piece of content that gives IT folks a chance to
go (more or less) YEAH!! And <em>another </em>thing?! That's why
you'll find the occasional pet-peevish item on the site, such as:</p>


<ul>
<li><a href="5138-10877-5679809.html">"The
top 10 peeves of a support tech"</a> </li>
<li><a href="5138-6240-5620427.html?tag=search">"The
top 10 pet peeves of an IT manager"</a> </li>
<li><a href="5138-10877-5731233.html">"Users
share 11 complaints about IT support"</a> </li>
<li><a href="5138-10878-5714930.html?tag=search">"IT
managers share 15 complaints about CIOs"</a> </li>
</ul>


<p>The latest entry in this field, <a href="5138-10877-6029712.html">"Top 10 signs
you're getting burned out on your support tech job,"</a> has already
elicited some choice commentary in <a href="5208-11189-0.html?PromoFeature=discussion&PromoByPassed=1&forumID=5&threadID=188330">the
associated discussion</a>, and I have every hope that more will be forthcoming.</p>


<p>In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say I've never
worked as a support tech (although I've done a fine job on the flip side, dancing
close to, if not beyond, the user idiocy encountered by the beleaguered techs
posting to the discussion). But let's face it: Any profession where you're
providing a service is bound to entail an aggravation overhead -- often a really
big one. Ten-plus years of tending bar and waiting tables during my misspent
youth, and I STILL have bad dreams featuring the obtuse, the deliberately
moronic, and the despicably narcissistic and self-involved. In general, I have to say (to myself, at least) that's the real
world, get over it? BUT: Enjoy the solidarity that comes from sharing those
soul-cleansing comments with your peers. Bring on the snark.</p>

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