coworker

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I'm blogging this.

I'm blogging this.

Through the grapevine, a coworker heard in another organization a top administrator wants the rank and file to start blogging. My coworker was opposed. I thought it could be a cool way of internally communicating. Though the conditions to make it work very much depend on the organizational culture:

    1. Encouragement not forced. Managers are asked to pay attention to the things about which the rank and file are proud or excited. Encouraging employees to post about how they created or solved things provides an outlet to express good pride. Something arbitrary like everyone must post something every week will become forced and a drain on morale.
    2. No rules or judgement from on high. The more rules there are around what employees should say or how will stifle them offering real ideas. Instead, only regurgitated ideas from managers would be offered. An echo chamber of everyone imitating each other becomes boring really quick.
    3. Peer judgment is not discouraged. Knowing my peers throughout my organization read this blog cause me to delete about 30% of the potentially work-related posts I start. I value what they think. When I realize what I wrote is not good enough, I am willing to dump it in favor of a complete rewrite or more time to think more to maintain my reputation. Self-editing to make sure I present only my best work requires me to understand myself.

Writing is a good skill to have. Writing for a blog is different than writing an email, a web page, a report, or a presentation. Like presenting, blogging is a useful way for an employee to grow in interesting ways. The hard part is the readiness people have and growing into becoming bloggers. One especially does not want them to become discouraged early. Because then you end up with a morale problem.

At work, we have a blog built into Sharepoint. While the CIO uses it, I am not sure it is the place for me. The audience there is internal to work. My audience is both internal and external.

There is also the idea getting the rank and file to blog is some kind of weird study in improving internal organization communication. Walking around to find out what everyone is doing takes too much time. Regular reports become, “I am working on exactly what I think you want me to be working on,” regurgitation. Blogging is an interesting and difficult to pull off right idea.

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Facebook and Google+ both have ways of categorizing people for targeted sharing.

The first way I attempted to handle my Facebook lists was basic categories like Coworkers, Family, Friends, Internet, and Locals. Then I switched jobs. It became a little weird to gripe about the new job to both, so I went down the crazy path of splitting lists in more and more specialized so I could include and exclude very targeted photo albums and posts. I have four family lists: Dad’s family, Mom’s family, Sister-in-Law’s, and Extended (beyond aunts, uncles, and first cousins). I also have VSU IT, VSU library, and VSU other former coworkers, USG coworkers, and a random cloud of friends who happen to work at UGA. There are 64 lists. It surprised me it was not closer to a hundred.

A goal for a while was identifying the supernexuses of my clusters of friends. (Malcolm Gladwell in the Tipping Point described them as “Connectors“.) Many of my contacts were due to my social connection with a specific person or a couple people. We friends form a ring around these…. A halo. An example are the high school and college friends of my brother and his wife. Maybe an electron cloud would have been more appropriate? Anyway, the point is I used an allusion to a round object for naming some of my Facebook lists.

Google+ has circles instead of lists. It struck me as odd Google and I both would use a round shape for categorizing people. Of course, Google using “Halo” might invite lawsuits from Microsoft who owns Bungie, makers of the game Halo. More likely it is all coincidence.

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I knew some things about William “Dink” H. NeSmith, Jr. a relatively new member of University System of Georgia Board of Regents through a friend and former coworker, Andy Fore, who personally knows Dink.

  • Jesup, Georgia
  • publishes newspapers
  • nice guy

Dink dropped by to tour our facility and answer questions.

One of the more interesting answers to a question about expanding distance learning had to do Dink’s belief online is the direction of the future and with the University of Phoenix operating in our state. He would rather see the money students give them come to us instead. The sense I get is Georgia ONmyLINE intends to help Georgians locate the online class options available to students. The project I work on, GeorgiaVIEW, provides the online class infrastructure. Another project I help intends to provide a more seamless integration between schools for those registering with Georgia ONmyLINE. Guess we are cutting edge?

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The state gives employees 15 holidays in addition to the generous accrual of sick and vacation. Where I work only schedules 12 of the holidays. So we get 3 to take whenever we wish. I poorly planned and ended up having to take two this month or lose them. Today ended up being one of the better days to take.

Friday I worked on the last test upgrade. One part of that was a script to capture the settings prior to the upgrade. (That’ll be Wednesday’s post, I guess.) Turns out the loss was greater than expected. Instead of just the settings table losing data, we found another half dozen with the similar loss. So I added them to the script and created a new script to restore the lost settings.

This morning was the first production upgrade. My coworkers took over what I was doing Friday just like it was me doing it and kept me apprised of the changes.

Back when it was just me at another job, my taking holidays or vacation meant working really hard just to leave and upon coming back having to work harder to deal with the unforeseen in my absence. It caused me more stress to take a vacation than to just stay at work. I had to go into the hospital just to take a decent vacation.

It also helps that I can follow their work and pick up where they left off when they take vacations.

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Linux Adventure Part 1 | Linux Adventure Part 2 \ Use these to catch up on the story.

After work and much ridicule from a coworker over this Ubuntu mess, I come home to play some more on this wireless mess. I was even somewhat leaning towards giving the firmware cutter stuff a try. After all, it is just a card, right? I could get another miniPCI card in a pinch, right?

I looked at dmesg and syslog but there were few mentions of the card. So back to research… Lo, the BCM4312 I thought was supported was actually 14e4:4312 when what I have is a 14e4:4315 which is “in progress”. WTF does that mean? Without a date on the page, how do I know how long ago that was?

Now, purely farting around I clicked the Network Tools to turn off the wired connection only to see a list of wireless networks. It was easy to setup the network and get online.

Huh.

Yeah, computers hate me.

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m4s0n501

For about a week now I’ve been without my personal laptop as anything much more than a brick. I think tonight I am going to copy off the pictures and other important information to my desktop. From there, anything I do to make the situation worse will no longer matter as much.

Monday night, I shutdown the laptop. Microsoft Vista Automatic Updates said it was working on some updates post-logout. Rather than babysit, I went to bed. I should have babysat it.
:(

The next morning, Tuesday, starting the computer told me I had a corrupted or missing \boot\BCD. The Boot Configuration Data file is pretty important, as without one the Windows operating system doesn’t even give me a command prompt. After some research I found out I needed my Windows installation DVD only 250 miles away. This caused me so much distress I even forgot I had a spare computer with me.

So I decided to download a Linux Live CD and use that while stuck away from home. At least I would be able to research the problem and possibly fix it later. The first Live CD I tried was a downloaded iso flavor called Knoppix, I remembered from many years ago. Ick. Knoppix Adriane is intended for the visually impaired slipped by me, so the computer reading everything got annoying extremely quickly. Finally turned off the reading stuff, but I had a new problem. Wireless wasn’t working.

Macintosh LC III … And I was out of CD-Rs.

So a newer memory was a few years ago, a friend with a barely functioning Macintosh LC III (pictured right) wanted to get her stuff off it. She brought it up again a few times since, the most recent occasion to ask me to explain why her Windows computer cannot just read 3.5″ floppies from the Mac without any computer-ese. A coworker mentioned a Live CD of CentOS could mount the drive and transfer the data.

So, I downloaded an iso of the CentOS Live CD while I went to the store to get some disks to burn. While starting up CentOS, I downloaded Ubuntu just in case this second Live CD failed. It was a good thing because the CentOS Live CD was prettier without any improvement in getting on the wireless.

Nor was the Ubuntu Live CD any better.

By this point, I had found a site offering a torrent to a Vista Recovery CD. The quandary was to go back to Windows or stick with Linux. The recovery CD off a random web site could just not work or at worst infect the non-functioning computer. So I installed BitTorrent and downloaded the recovery CD. I tried the Startup Repair, System Restore, and Command Prompt (to manually rebuild the booter). Since this failed, I decided Windows Vista was dead.

So I started looking into how to make Ubuntu work for me.

Linux Adventure Part 2Linux Adventure Part 3 [SOLVED]

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Yesterday Gina, a coworker, joined me for lunch. She asked about where GeorgiaVIEW‘s attention is focussed since we recently completed our upgrade to Blackboard Learning System Vista Enterprise 8.

She pointed out students are the most affected by and most important constituent for any decisions we make. Yet the student point of view is almost never considered. Capturing what is good for students might mean installing all the possibilities where students and faculty could compare. It might mean surveys, however, I think self-reporting provides so much erroneous data we could do without it.

My job’s focus is more toward what is the most efficient, least problematic system for me to start/stop, install, upgrade, and review logs. I am still mulling what job position we have who would focus on ensuring whatever we do will provide for the best student experience. Guess really that should be all of us.

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Woman fakes kidnapping to avoid work – Yahoo! News:

A 21-year-old German woman who did not feel like going to work at a fast food restaurant sent her parents a text message saying she had been kidnapped.

Police in the Bavarian town of Straubing said Wednesday they had launched a massive search throughout the region for the woman who disappeared on December 23 but turned up unscathed the following morning, saying the kidnapper had set her free.

A spokesman said the woman was questioned over the Christmas holiday and admitted she made up the story because she owed a colleague 25 euros ($32.9) and did not have the money to pay her debt. She now faces a fine of up to 1,000 euros.

She did this to avoid paying 25 euros. So what is she going to do for the fine of 1,000 euros, fake her own death? I mean, I feel like I would like to skip work at times. If I owed a coworker 3 times my hourly wage and didn’t have it, then I probably would be thinking about how to get out of it. However, faking a kidnapping seems like a really bad idea.

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This is just a personal exercise to track what I have done and might ought to try.
Done To-Do No way

Welcome to MY world: 31 ways for you to use your blog

Not sure what to blog about? You can blog about anything that interests you. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Keep a daily journal of your life.
  2. Post a quote du jour.
  3. Document your daily successes.
  4. List your goals.
  5. Describe a recent adventure.
  6. Compliment a friend.
  7. Write a restaurant review.
  8. Detail a recent date.
  9. List your favorite hang outs.
  10. Share a poem of yours.
  11. Offer tips in your area of expertise.
  12. Write about your favorite hobby.
  13. Describe a class you’re taking.
  14. Review a movie.
  15. Gossip about celebrities, coworkers, or friends.
  16. Outline your diet and exercise plan.
  17. Share interesting bits of information.
  18. Rate a book you’ve read.
  19. Describe your dreams.
  20. Write an editorial about a current event.
  21. Ask questions of other bloggers.
  22. Share jokes and funny stories.
  23. Describe a project you’re working on.
  24. Tell heart-warming pet stories.
  25. Offer dating or parenting advice.
  26. Write a short story.
  27. Speculate about the direction of the stock market.
  28. Highlight your favorite clothing stores.
  29. Share a mouth-watering recipe.
  30. Post a photo of the day.
  31. Share twenty things others should know about you.

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