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Random Musings

By Stubby ·
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On my way .....

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

When I first started in IT, it became my experience and consequently a firmly held opinion <em>[sigh]</em>
that those in my trade - which at the time that was field repairs -
changed their jobs every 2 years (give or take) for better money,
conditions, whatever. Myself, I've always had the opinion that you
should commit to an employer for as long as feasible but realised
fairly early on that this was not really the way of the world in IT. <br />
<br />
Still, in 20'ish years I've done 5, 8 and 7 year stints (and a short
one we won't mention) at various employers. The first I would have
originally sold my soul to the devil (well almost) to stay there - but
in them days things had a habit of changing. They are now a worldwide
name, but I shall remain tight liped on wjom it is. Anyway, I'm
starting a new journey with a new
employer and whilst I'm looking forward to the challenges it is bizarre
that this time I am going with total serenity. I have no butterflies,
no worries, nothing ..... well not to do with my employment anyway. At
my age, this will likely be my last move and that will give
me 20yrs tops with them as I want to retire at least a few years early.
So is it just my opinion that personnel changes every two years or so,
or do others bear that out? Hmmmm. I shan't lose any sleep over it,
though I feel certain my 2yr old will make sure I don't get the
required number of hours.

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Staff Replacements

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

I'm acutely aware of my shortcomings as a techy. Yes, I'm one of those
brave souls who has no fear in saying "I don't know" or "Can you help
me" - why do techies and male techies in particular find that so hard?
Hmmm.<br />
<br />
I digress though. I have but 3 weeks left here and the SMT haven't even
begun to ponder my replacement and I can assure them, they will need
somebody. My post is a funded post from central sources and that is due
to expire in March 2006, to be precise, it expired last March but money
was found from <em>somewhere </em>to keep me here. My immediate line
manager is aware of my value but he's out recovering from a minor
operation. His plan was to re-work his budget to get me (or my
replacement) to fit within it should funding cease.<br />
<br />
So, apart from my manager seeing my value what about the SMT? Well two
of them could care less and the third I'm convinced has never really
liked me (not that this has ever bothered me). Still, I would have
liked to be able to pass on my legacy to someone in person and gave
them ample warning to find someone - as I type they haven't even placed
an internal advert. My engineers are already starting to bemoan my
loss. So why am I so valuable? That one's easy - internal politics and
inter-team relationships. Because of the structure here, it makes it
very easy to say "Not my problem, pass it on to X" - of course in my
case, X will no longer be here. So all the stuff I've been doing will
sit in a pile and rot .... until it blows up in somebody's face.<br />
<br />
By then, I'll be long gone and unfortunately <strong>I won't be</strong> past caring.<br />
<br />
I've often imagined starting a blog on management skills - or how not
to and have on my private vent my spleen blog posted a few "Managment
101" entries ...... whilst I have no great skill as a manager I have
seen many come and go and have learnt a lot in how not to do it, which
conversely teaches me how to do it right.<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />

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Typing

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

If I could type, I'd be dangerous. It's a phrase I'm often heard muttering, mainly at myself.<br /><br />I can type - well it's a two or three finger stab - at approximately 40 words per minute, but there are certain things I will always mis-type. Is it worth my effort trying to learn to type properly, I don't know, as I feel I'm getting old in the tooth and this way has served me well for 21 years.<br /><br />Am I alone in this? <br /><br />Is it worth learning to type, properly?<br /><br />Do others make the same silly mistakes, things like:<strong><br /></strong>
<ul>
<li><strong>teh</strong>
<li><strong>an din</strong>
<li><strong>others ites</strong>
<li><strong>and so on..............</strong> </li></ul>or am I alone. I suspect from looking at other blogs and articles on TR that I am not.<br /><br />

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Typing

by apotheon In reply to Typing

<div style="text-align: justify">
<p>I know this is something of a late response, but what the heck.</p>
<p>I've been a touch-typist since about ninth grade. There was a typing class and, for some reason, I took that as an elective. I'm glad I did. I type at about 80wpm on my slowest days. Perhaps more importantly, though, my final products contain less errors than they otherwise would, I believe.</p>
<p>It's not so much that typos don't happen, though I strive to ensure that's the case (being something of a perfectionist). When touch-typing, though, when a mistake is made (characters transposed or skipped), something just <b>feels wrong</b>. This causes me to look back at the last couple words and notice mistakes so that I can correct them right away. The ubiquitous "teh" error isn't one of mine, but sometimes transposing a space and the first letter of the next word does happen to me, particularly if that first letter attached to the previous word would make a complete word as well. I tend to notice right away, though, before my eyes even register what's on the screen.</p>
<p>In any case, I tend to feel that anyone that works with computers regularly would benefit from learning to touch-type. Whether or not that benefit is worth the effort to you is another matter entirely.</p>
</div>

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The things you mis-read ....

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

<p>
<p>Just pootled over to the random blog page and what was there but a post from "kiruthik" on MS Money 2006 Trials - however, in my haste I mis-read it as Microsoft <strong>Monkey</strong> 2006 Trials.</p>
<p>Which I thought was entirely more appropriate.</p>

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Proof Reading

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

<p>Has the art of proof reading gone forever in this modern digital age?</p>
<p>Because MS Word accepts the word 'there' when we meant to say 'their' does this abrogate our responsibility? Maybe it's my age showing but I was raised in the day when spelling and punctuation and structure was taught as being a necessary building block.</p>
<p>I'm not even referring to the mistypes that happen - I do them all the time and have previously blogged on this very matter. Words like "<em>teh"</em> insted of the. I was musing this point, again, just the other day and came to one of two conclusions. Either we simply don't care anymore or we are not trained. I am guessing it might even be a combination of the two factors. So, ok, lets accept that personal blogs or eMails are not the be all and end all of needing to be as correct as we can, instead I am referring to publications be they paper or digital that have a paid staff behind them.</p>
<p>I enter into the records a local, full colour, monthly 'free' magazine. It consists of lots of adverts for local services, a number of concise articles, an editorial and occasionally a competition or two. In a recent editorial it eloquently detailed that they were a magazine by and for the people and that they couldn't publish it without the proof reading done by the public. Excellent rhetoric, if only they came through with it. </p>
<p>Why? Well, just last month they had an inch high headline on the fron cover of: <strong>Are You Board Yet?</strong> Ah ha, I hear you say - it was a play on words for some carpenter, or an article on building a shed, so some such. Let me be clear here, it wasn't a play on words for any wood related products or articles, it was simply that the person who "proof read" that didn't know the difference between 'board' and 'bored'. My current, favourite slang word is numpty and whoever this was is definitely an A class numpty. That example is just one of many subsequent ones in each issue - items like the end of articles are missing, spellings, incorrect usage of words and so on.</p>
<p>I'm not offering to help - far too busy - but the family (and that includes my 15yr old) enjoys a good game of hunt the mistakes every time the latest issue is pushed through the letterbox.</p>
<p>So, is it a modern malaise?<br />Is it, as I like to believe, a fault that started with the liberal flower power generation and declining values?<br />Is it because teaches don't teach spelling and grammar or at the very least are not encouraged to do so?<br />Or something else?</p>
<p>The standard has definitely dropped and seems to be heading downward.</p>

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Proof Reading

by Beth Blakely In reply to Proof Reading

<p>Nice post. To answer your first question, I think proofreading will come back into fashion at some point. Maybe someday a misplaced comma will cost a large company some big bucks and proofreading skills will be in demand once again. Is that just wishful thinking?</p>
<p>By the way, thanks for teaching me a new word today. I had to look up "abrogate." That's a good one.</p>

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Hey, I got a comment!

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

<p>So, peeps do read this stuff. Not that it bothers me one way or the other as I find it a very relaxing process, almost cathartic, to just type out my thoughts.</p>
<p>I'm trying to avoid the confrontational stuff as theer are far too many of those around. Instead I just settle for getting stuff out of my head that's been bugging me. Anyway, was happy to get my first comment even though it's a TR member of staff. I also do a personal blog as a family diary, but whilst it is openly available I can't believe anybody would enjoy it outside of the extended family - and for me it is them it is aimed at.</p>
<p>This is rambling now and going nowhere so I'll shutup.</p>

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Written Confusion

by Stubby In reply to Random Musings

<p>As a further comment to my blogs on "Proof Reading", "The things you mis-read" and "Typing", then here is another.</p>
<p>I enjoy being and having penpals - I always have even when it was the hand written variant. In fact in those days I used to be able to stamp my uniqueness on the notes with line drawings and silly asides or even just writing it all back to front. The modern age can make things move so much quicker and sometimes this can be a problem.</p>
<p>I always open my new friendships with a quote along the lines of "I am open and honest and all I ask is that you are the same in return". I like to make sure the other end is aware of the only expectations I put on the budding friendship is that I want them to be as open as I am. If they don't want that then they can bail out immediately, no regrets, no hard feelings, etc ... I also love to get inside peoples heads and work them out just from their words.</p>
<p>Anyway, the point of this preamble is to introduce Exhibit A - a new penpal. An American person (I shall leave them sexless so as to not form any stereotypes) .... anyway, teh first barrage of eMails were exchanged and we seemed to be getting along and getting to know each other better when out of the blue their attitude does a 180 and everything written is a dig at me or my family or even at the words I've used. At first I put it down to me being British and them American and the differences in our usage of the English language. But then I realised they were also using some of my words back at me.</p>
<p>Having looked back through the eMails I can't spot the point of no return, bu it is obviously there and I guess what I'm ramblig about is that this modern digital age makes relationship failures (be they busines or personal) occur so much more rapidly than ever before. It also means we have to all be on our toes and so much more aware of every word we commit to differing media. Emotions are not easily visible in typed form, and the dreaded smileys don't mitigate the problem either - in some cases they make it worse. I have read of numerous folks losing their jobs because of something they blog'd about - equally I have read of prospective employers searching for all references to a prospective employee online and then deciding on their suitability.</p>
<p>Be alert folks .... as the saying goes, your country needs more lerts.</p>

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