The web lives forever – put a date on it!

Dates are important!

Many things on the web live forever, or at least they can. I know some people have had an issue with this when various foibles from their past come back to haunt them when it’s time to get screened by a future employer or something, but I’m really speaking more on articles and references you place on the web. Many people in the tech world give freely of their time and knowledge, posting hints, answers, tutorials and all manner of resources on the ‘net so that others can learn.

Let me assure you, this is appreciated by many! I have over the years tried to pay this back in various ways, although I’m sure I haven’t been very successful.

There is also a growing trend toward minimalism on many web sites. That’s all well and good, and can make for some nice, easy to read displays. Regardless of the esthetic of the site, I implore you to do one thing:

DATE YOUR POST

Recently I have found more and more blog entries, tech postings or whatever with no obvious (or sometimes unobvious) way of finding when the posting was made. If it’s a comment about your like or dislike of hamburgers, it’s probably not that important when you posted it (although as your tastes change, you might find it of interest later), but for a technical article, it’s of great value to know if this is current best practice, or a fix that needed to be applied to the 2007 release of the software.

Marco Arment, of Instapaper fame, made a recent post regarding posts of lasting value. He didn’t explicitly mention dates, but rather how few of his posts were timeless and how technology items have a lifespan. If there is no date visible, how do I know if its current information or not?

Software often has a "version history" page with an outline of changes over time. Many of these, again, have no dates. Without dates, you don’t know how often a project is updated, or even if it is totally dead with no new development.

eBooks Live Forever

eBooks live forever

In the old world of physical books, printed on a printing press, you had a relatively short time to get that book out there and sold. Books went out of print, were returned or destroyed, and that was the end.

Guess what – eBooks live forever

You don’t have a deadline. Leave them available. It might not be hugely successful right away, but maybe later. That slow trickle of sales might grow. You might write a second, third or tenth book that hits the charts and suddenly people are clamoring after your early works.

Things on the web never go out of print.

http://www.bubblews.com/posts/the-internet-is-forever

The Internet is Forever

Related in some ways, remember also that “the Internet is forever”. If you have ever put it “out there”, it’s probably still available. Don’t publish, even on your private blog, something that you don’t want related to your reputation.

It’s that new math…

OK, so your company hires a big-name consulting group to provide "turn-key" upgrades to some major applications.

You know where this is going… nowhere good, that’s for sure.

So, after 5 months or so, they have done enough "planning" to present their full costs. They came in with an initial bid back when of about what things would cost, +-10%.

We later re-assigned a LARGE part of their work to another vendor (who is actually getting something done, while these guys are still planning). So their work has gone down significantly.

The current price? Three times (3X) the initial estimate.

Really?

Involved with this same project was another sub-project that I had gotten 3 bids for. Came in low, medium and high. The low was probably too low, but either medium or high would have been a fair price and I would have expected them to be fairly well done. The vendor I was forced to use (the big-name consulting group) was 3x the amount of the next highest bid. Really. They are now multiple months late and over budget, and I think their "experts" have been learning on the job.

(added later, 2015-10-14 17:36:55, long after the project was done)

They never did finish the sub-project. We finally pulled the plug on it.

Realistic Irrationality

2015-10-14 17:22:46

Way back when, I had a small web site, Realistic Irrationality, that never really went very far. I retired it later, but decided to put the content here on brucedillahunty.xyz, for old time sake. So anything you see with the Realistic Irrationality tag, that’s where it came from.

I work in a high-demand, high-stress IT position. Our users expect things to happen right then, no matter what. I know, you’re saying “yeah, just like all users”.

Well, I thought so too, until I came to work at this place, but anyhow a co-worker and I were exchanging emails about yet another user and his current set of demands. Amazingly, he was willing to wait until after the holiday weekend (which had just started) for us to work on the issue. Her closing comment was, and I quote “I’m just happy he’s not demanding an answer tonight. I can deal with realistic irrationality.” That phrase was too much for me… it just summed up so many things in life so well.

Not sure what we’ll do with it, but we had to own it 🙂

Thanks Tammy!


realistic adj

1. showing awareness and acceptance of reality
2. practical or pragmatic rather than ideal or moral
3. (of a book, film, etc.) depicting or emphasizing what is real and actual rather than abstract or ideal
4. (Philosophy) of or relating to philosophical realism
realistically adv


irrationality, irrationalism n

1. the state or quality of being irrational
2. irrational thought, action, or behaviour

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


So, from the viewpoint of this web site, the word realistic really refers to a combination of meanings encompassed by definitions 1 and 2 above.

Showing awareness and acceptance of reality in a practical and/or pragmatic way. This is something that apparently a lot of people just don’t grasp. We’ve all been there… users call and expect the world, who cares that it is patently impossible. Users that make statements that have us biting our tongues trying to to laugh. Other support technicians or “professionals” that miss the obvious (we’ve all been there… don’t be too quick to laugh).

Some users understand that we may have personal lives and even take days off… they still want it fixed, but realize that “you know, maybe it could wait until Monday… I’m not using it this weekend anyway”. For those people, we say Thanks!

Organized sports leads to the downfall of civilization

Just to get this out there at the beginning… I don’t like sports. Never have.

Individual athletic activities, fine. I’m not overly athletic (should be more so), but if you like that, go for it.

Intermural sports where all the participants play and just want to go have fun, ok, I guess I can see that.

Organized sports, especially college and "pro" teams? No, just get rid of them.

Why am I forced, by the government, to contribute part of my hard-earned money to go to taxes to build stadiums to support teams raking in millions of dollars?

Why was I, a non-scholoarship student on campus, relegated to worse housing, no free tutoring, etc., etc. when guys with great athletic skills (or so I’m told) get the best of everything and can coast through school?

This could go on and on… most of my friends and co-workers have learned to not even bring it up near me, but to get around to the title of my post, have you ever noticed that in history, civilizations that are soon to decline/collapse are the ones that have developed organized sports and begin to worship sports?

Look at ancient Rome.

Think about it.

Voices – Coming from the computer

A trouble ticket we once received

Customer Statement: I have something for different for you

Actions Taken: In the back of the computer there is a blue line that plugs into the wall. The light flashes and then there is talking (voices). States they’ve been hearing this for a while but finally realized where the voices are coming from.

Best we could ever figure out, they had a tab/web page open with a video or audio feed. When they unplugged the "blue line" (ethernet in our organization), the voices stopped.