I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.
When you don't know what you're talking about, it's hard to know when you're finished.
When dealing people, I always try to leave things in such a way that they are glad they talked to me.
Sounds a little egotistical spelled out like that, but I'm serious...
This really happened to me...
[User] (a nurse, calling my office for help) You have to get over here right away and fix this computer.
[Me] What's wrong?
[User] (getting madder) I don't know. You're the expert. Get over here.
[Me] Can you tell me what you are having problems with?
[User] (angrier) The computer. It won't even turn on. I keep pressing the "on" button and some green lights come on, but it isn't working. Look, I'm a nurse and I'm really busy and I don't have time to fool around with this. Just get over here and fix it.
[Me] Could you take a few minutes to answer some questions? It might be a simple problem.
[User] No! Get over here. Now.
[Me] OK. I'll be there in 30 minutes. I have to get a spare computer and monitor and drive on site.
[User] Whatever. (phone click)
(25 minutes later...)
[Me] (out of breath from hauling computer and monitor up 3 flights because the elevator was taking too long) OK, can you show me the problem?
[User] Yeah. Look, the screen's black.
[Me] (pressing the "on" button on the monitor) Looks OK now.
[User] Oh... (mumbles something incoherent and probably unrepeatable)
If you are in IT, you may have worked on, and definitely will end up calling, a Tech Support help line. If not Tech Support, then at least customer service.
Here's my advice: always, absolutely always, be nice. In fact, be nicer than nice.
Sometimes you have to be firm, but always be nice. Some environments make it difficult for the service people to really help you, but it usually isn't the person you are talking to's fault. If you need something, be resolute, but always be nice...
Only the paranoid survive.--Andrew Grove
I'm not talking about paranoia with respect to your co-workers and your boss, though that might make sense in your situation. I'm talking about being paranoid about your own work product.
Whether you are writing some code, designing a network, or just opening a few ports on your firewall, being paranoid is a very good thing...
I had a user that had problems with IE7 such that it wouldn't open when he tried to open a link saved to his desktop or the one on the "Quick Launch" shortcut.
The window would open, the "I'm doing something" indicator would spin, but only a white page would be displayed.
What I did was...
Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Are you committed to life-long learning? I am.
Why? Because, to paraphrase George Santayana, "those that don't learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them."
How do you learn? Some might answer, "I'm a kinetic learner" or "I learn by reading" or "I am an auditory learner". And that would be true for them, to some extent. There are many learning styles, preferences, and methods, but there is only one common method that is makes such an impact that almost everyone learns something from it. I'm talking about FAILURE.
Many of the most memorable lessons I've learned have came from my failures, not my successes.
People who think they are smart tend to think that when they are asked a question, they should be able to immediately provide an answer.
The problem with that is, because we are human, we tend to misunderstand the question and provide either the wrong answer to the right question or the right answer to the wrong question.
If you really want people to think you are smart, and you want to answer the actual question, first, ask some good questions. That way, you know what the question really is about, only then should you start answering the question. AFAS: Ask First, Answer Second.
Won't that annoy the person asking the question? Yeah, sometimes, but I'd rather answer the right question correctly than any of the alternatives.
There are many reasons why people ask the wrong question, but some of the ones I've run into include:
* They are trying to solve the wrong problem
* They don't understand the problem correctly
I'm using rsync.net's Windows Backup Agent at a client's to sync between a Windows Server and a Linux Server. It is being used as an intermediate backup solution while I work out some other issues.
Anyway, I initially configured the backup agent to run a one-time job to backup everything (per the instructions for setting it up) and it ran correctly.
However, when I went to change the profile to a scheduled job, or go to change ANYTHING on the profile as it turns out, I get an error that says, "NOTE The server you are trying to access is not covered by this software license" and it won't let me save any changes...
Everybody makes mistakes. Even I made a mistake once. One time I thought I was wrong, but it turned out I wasn't.
--Me (among others)
Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody.
Think about the people you know. Is there someone that stands out in your circle that you consider to be wise? If not in all things, I'm sure you know someone wise in a particular area of life or work. How do you think they acquired that wisdom?
Was it by reading what others were doing? Maybe a little...
Was it by hanging around watching smart people succeeding or others failing? Maybe some...
Neat set of photos showing how Netflix handles all those DVDs behind the scenes.
I really like the VLC open source media player. It is a great little (17mb) player that handles just about everything with a clean and tidy interface. It runs great using default settings, yet provides either a simple or complex view into all of the possible options you might want in a media player.
While I still use Windows Media Player for my music collection database, I use VLC for everything else.
Some of the uses I've had for VLC include...
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