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readers comments

Readers comments.

My reader complained that she (kaff) could not leave a comment. Worse than that, after crafting a nice reply in the discuss window, having got herself a OpenID, she lost it when it did not work.

Whoops! There is nothing in the logs that suggest any errors and I have just added a comment to a discuss page using the web and it all looks okay. I have upgraded to ?ikiwik 1.48 recently so that may help. If you do get some time then have another go and drop me an email/im/voip if it does not work.


Posted Thu Apr 12 12:33:07 2007 Tags: general
computer training

Should all staff be trained in MS Access?

As part of one of the government initiates for IT they require all of their staff who use computers to go through the Computer Driver training course. This might be considered great and for a lot of people it is probably a real help at the start. It gives them a good grounding in what to do with the big scary box on the desk how to make it do some of the stuff that they might want it to. This is a good thing as computers are still not as simple as they could be ( considering the type of tasks that most uses want to accomplish they are hellishly over complex) but at what level should it stop?

I propose that the average user should not be sent on a course to learn how to do complex spreadsheets or databases but should instead be sent for training on how to set out what they are trying to achieve. This would then aide the Business and IT analysis to fit what they are doing in with the rest of the business needs and stop the them wasting their valuable time creating another copy of the data.

Take for instance the average database that is created. It will have a fairly poor user interface (They are very hard to do properly). It will probably duplicate data found elsewhere in the business. It will probably, if my experience is anything to go by, mean re-entering data that is held electronically elsewhere and more than likely overlap more than one other database or report elsewhere in the business.

My proposal is simple. Train the users in defining what they want to do, not how they want to do it. By this I mean not asking for an access database but asking for a way that their staff can change or report on a set of data. Then hand this off to somebody who has a larger understanding of the business systems and can slot your request into it with ease. Then get staff who understand user interfaces, the tools they are using and the business systems to code the required extensions to the main applications in a structured manor.

I think that this can work but it takes a large shift in how managers see IT. It has to be less of a basic support need and more of a crucial part of the business. The benefits of that swanky new billing system or customer management platform are fully dependent on the end users being able to spec out what they want and then for that to be integrated in a timely manner. The main change in this will be that you don't see the major costs of an IT project being soft and hard wares but in the people who are implementing the solutions.

Posted Fri Mar 9 11:09:16 2007 Tags: general


Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen. Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.

Taken from the offlineimap manual page.

Posted Wed Feb 7 14:14:01 2007 Tags: general
saving a web page

Saving a webpage

Sometimes when I have brought something over the internet I like to print it to PDF so that I have a copy to use later. I would save the html but that means that it creates a html file with a separate directory with all the images in.

I propose a new zhtml file that is a zip file containing the html and the directory of the required images and stylesheets to create that file. Then you would not need to save as a PDF and also all the links on the page would work as well. If browsers could be made to handle these compressed files then I think that it would work quite nicely. This is similar to the Open Document Format (ODF) which is basically a zip file of all the relevant info.

The other way I suppose is to inline all the images and stylesheets in some way so that you get a huge html file but it feels like a bit of a kludge.

It has probably been done already but if anybody asks I thought of it first!

Posted Mon Feb 5 17:05:25 2007 Tags: general

ASP (Acronym Saturation Point)

While trying to remember what GIT stood for I decided that I had reached ASP (Acronym Saturation Point) and my brain was just not going to be able to remember any more TLAs (Three Letter Abbreviations).

For those that are interested Git is not a acronym but just a name which explains why I could not remember it. This kinda shoots my theory about out the water but I like the ASP acronym so I will post it anyway!

Posted Mon Feb 5 17:04:22 2007 Tags: general
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