Hot Damn

There’s a great reason I stay subscribed to Rands. Sometimes I’m tempted to drop it, because I don’t get a chance to really, really read him. And his posts are dense. I have dozens of posts flagged to read later and I never get to it. And they are longer than many of my own emails.

And that’s saying something.

But sometimes I take a moment and read one of them, in full. Twice even. There’s multiple topics covered, really. But two things jumped out and hit home. In introspection about a question about technology – asked by a Dean of the local College:

The next generation already knows more about computers than you do and they haven’t even made it to college yet.

The current generation never knew a home without a computer. They assume they have ready access to just about any piece of information… and they’re probably working on their own Linux distribution right now.

The point is actually about the the worthiness of the College experience in software devs. But I pulled it out to focus on the point I wanted to highlight. The current generation of students knows way more than we do about technology. Repeat that a thousand times until it sinks home and you begin to rethink about how you approach technology (hint you are already behind. So think more innovatively).

Something else I’d like to point out – and it’s not about outsourcing from America – it’s about making a difference and innovating, period.

  • You can’t outsourcing creativity. * You can’t outsource thinking. * You can’t outsource passion.

Rands gets it. Do you?

Examples of what not to do

Examples of what not to do – courtesy of Yours Truly.

Although, you got to spill a little milk to get it from the barn.

No, I have no idea what the hell that means either. I just made it up.

But if you are going to screw up, you might as well let everyone know about it. So keep your unixhiearchysep – aight?

Spolsky on Management

Joel Spolsky is running a great little blog essay series on three different management methods. While I don’t ever agree completely with Spolsky – and you probably won’t either – you ought to read them.

For the few managers/director-types that may be reading this blog. You really, really, really need to read the essay about Command and Control Management and make sure that you don’t identify with the subject of the essay. And if you do. You better seriously think about your own philosophies.

Joel sums it up with the Identity Method as his heralded method. The summary statement is:

In general, Identity Management requires you to create a cohesive, jelled team that feels like a family, so that people have a sense of loyalty and commitment to their coworkers.

The second part, though, is to give people the information they need to steer the organization in the right direction.

Dr. Phil Windley, comments on this too, addressing some of the points.

A quote:

For the identity method to work, employees have to be comfortable arguing with the boss and the boss has to be comfortable with that. As Joel says, if you give people information and then discuss the ramifications of actions with them, the group will typically come to a good decision.

I’m very, very, very thankful that I’ve had direct managers that knew that I wasn’t disrespecting them when I questioned (or even argued) directives that flew in the face of where I knew the technology was. And I hope that I openly encouraged the staff that I’ve managed to ask questions, and even flat out tell me that I was wrong about something, because they’d often know better than me. That honest, open, reflective exchange, being willing to admit when you are wrong, and building a core philosophy and vision in your team and letting each team member up and down the “ranks” contribute ideas/details/work to achieving that philosophy and vision is the only way you get trust and respect (and success) in your team.

Friday Discussion Question – The Fax

Discussion Question

So when in the samheck are we going to get rid of the Fax?

Commentary

So let’s go down the list of things that are so early 19th century

  • It generally requires an Analog line (1)
  • The resolution is generally terrible (2)
  • The general workflow with faxes is terrible (3)
  • Security, Schmurity (4)
  • Two Words: Paper Jam (5)

FootNotes

  1. No, I don’t want to hear about internet-steal-your-money fax services. Or the fact that you faxed over your cellphone. I mean honestly if you fax over your cellphone, or you are applying a crappy resolution analog data transmission over TCP/IP you are a complete geek. But not a modern geek, you are like the geeks that build their own telegraph, or re-record your Peter Cetera on your way rad Edison wax cylinder. Actually the latter crowd is way cooler than you.
  2. Okay, so I know that Group3 faxes are like 400 lines an inch. But really give me a dollar for how many messed up, illegible faxes have you seen. Now give me five dollars for each clean, clear, fax you have seen. HEY LOOK OUT THERE’S NEIL DIAMOND RIGHT BEHIND YOU.
  3. Play along with the home game. Make word document. Print it out, fax it. Recipient gets it, carries it to the IT person to scan it in and give them a word document of it. IT person forces intern to use pirated 5 year old version of OCR software running on Windows ME. Which they do because Myspace keeps crashing. I mean really, why print it out when you can just email it to that person and 14 other people on the CC: line?
  4. Like they don’t get enough practice already forging their spouse’s/significant other’s/parent’s signature already. Really, when are we going to allow digital signature admissibility? Sure, they aren’t secure, but it’s not like crappy resolution forged signatures are any better
  5. Damn it feels good to be a gangster.

Okay. Discuss amongst yourselves.

Pardon me while I linkblog

But, hey, it’s a technical blog, and it is Friday. And I was going to be on vacation today, and may even call this vacation, because it’s almost work, only not quite. But it is Apple and Linux, and about developers, developers, developers and that is pretty relevant you know?

Okay, I’ll just shut up already – and link to Wil Shipley. Because if 50 people a day walk in and sing a… wait, that’s not right. Just read the article, because there’s choice quotes like:

It’s like saying, “Should McDonald’s worry because vegetarians are boycotting the restaurant?”

Although I’m a little worried about my paint now.

Fun with FileMerge

So you think you want to be a elite security researcher? Maybe, just maybe, hypothetically – one of your favorite open source projects releases an announcement touting a mysterious, but CRITICAL, GIGANTIC, MOTORCYCLE DEATH MACHINE security hole – so what do you do?

One, you could crash the python-based bug tracking system trying to read the code – or you could just download it and break out FileMerge – a great little GUI diff tool free for the spelunking with Apple’s Developer Tools.

Kick it off with Quicksilver (you are running QuickSilver aren’t you?)

filemergelaunch.png

And drag and drop your Super Sekrit Intelligence Folders, er, Sources into the comparison panes:

compare.png

And Volia! You now can unlock the Mysteries of the Railsians. Quarters not included.(*)

diff.png

(* It’s a joke man, they got that release out there aight? Quit your bitchin)