Thursday, August 27, 2009

Computer Pain Scale

Inspired by the little chart they give you at the hospital, I present the Computer Pain Scale, a handy device for determining the severity of someone's computer problems.

(click image for full size)

If you use this I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Suggested email footers

A few humble options for closing your next email, ready for copying-and-pasting pleasure:

This email contains PRIVILEGED and CONFIDENTIAL information. If you are not the intended recipient, any Disclosure, Action, or Dissemination is PROHIBITED, and you must DELETE this email, FORMAT your hard drive, BURN your printer, and POKE your eyes with NEEDLES, after which you must DRINK toxic levels of VODKA until you forget what you have seen here. Who knew our little email screw-up could so catastrophically ENCUMBER and OBLIGATE you? Our LAWYERS, that's who.
Sent from my full-sized keyboard, not my smartphone. I have no excuse for all these comical typos.
"What man does not here place a sagacious quote, an author's affectation as antidote to the fatuous twaddle typed above?" --Hullifer Gimlet
***Antivirus engine v2.001.733701*** This email scanned for viruses by a self-promoting anti-virus program, or perhaps a virus created this footer. Who can say? Why not click the link?
Like bath paper streaming behind your shoe, your free email provider tags your every outgoing message. We could advertise high fructose corn syrup here, and you wouldn't even know it! www.yippieyahoo!.com

How about you?  Do you have a favorite email footer that adds flavor to your messages?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The end of Digital Cool

Discovered in my basement--an 80s order form for video gaming merchandise; a scan of the front is below.

With video games now a mainstream form of entertainment, it's easy to forget that early gamers were rebels, genuine outcasts.

Anyone wearing these clothes and accessories in the 80s was a true dissident, a free-thinker, the fullest expression of self in a world that scorned and ostracized the gamer.

Look upon these garments, you the young, you the adolescent, and weep. The ladders have been tipped, the giants scattered, the bar lowered until it rests on the surface. These heroes, this digitized brotherhood--how now will you ever walk among them?

(click for full-size)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A new model of Responsibility Assignment Matrix: BSAD

Those familiar with project management will recognize the RACI model, a means of assigning roles and responsibilities to people on a project. RACI stands for:
  • Responsible
  • Accountable
  • Consulted
  • Informed
Several RACI variations have cropped up, because of critical semantic differences between, say, the letter A being "Accountable" or "Assist," leading to hours of productive bickering, followed by snarky Gantt charts. In that spirit, we present a new accountability matrix, BSAD:
  • Blamed - The lamentable sod standing wide-eyed and alone at ground zero as the project clears the bay doors and hurtles earthward. The career of the Blamed is subsequently identifiable only through DNA analysis.
  • Screwed - Not responsible for the project outcome, the Screwed are yet implicated through the contribution of tasks and activities. The project's magnitude determines whether the Screwed should dust themselves off and walk away or simply lie motionless on the ground for some while.
  • Appeased - The Appeased's input is solicited for the sake of ego soothing or political necessity, and then quietly discarded. The Appeased contribute primarily gossip and reside safely outside the project blast radius.
  • Deceived - People allowed no input but receiving regular status propaganda. The Deceived are typically disinterested or amused by the proceedings.
Use BSAD at your next kickoff meeting and the fate of your project is virtually sealed!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For network engineers - IP CIDR and dot-decimal grid

This one is strictly for the network engineers. Noting the simple pattern in network masks, I sketched a grid to simplify the conversion of IP notation between dotted-decimal and CIDR notation, eliminating the need for a tedious CIDR listing of all 32 possibilities.

The dimensions are that of a US dollar, so it can be printed into a convenient wallet size.

Let me know if you find this useful.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Coleco games of yore

I loved electronic games back in the 80s; nothing was more engrossing than the small frames of blinking diodes that passed for state-of-the-art back then.

From my Frogger game (yes, still in the box!) came this folded catalog.  I scanned this one (click for full size); many more such scans can be found at the Electronic Handheld Game museum.