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Snow!

Well it’s not snowing here in Australia but I love the effect provided by WordPress. We have our snow usually on cue around June 1 and then only on the highest mountains, but we love it.

It’s my dream to visit a country where snow falls at Christmas time. We are usually sweltering here in December but this year is very mild, with even a good show of rain to break the drought.

Snow will fall on Ozlantis Rewired only until January 2, apparently, but it’s cheery stuff so we’ll enjoy it while we can.

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Death of the PDA?

PDAI love my HP PDA, but apparently it’s on the way out, soon to be replaced by converged mobile devices and smart phones.
I can’t deny that I’ve seriously considered buying an iPhone or something similar, but what has held me back until now has been the price and the added cost of the monthly service plan. I ask myself do I really need to be totally connected and online all the time? I can now download internet pages to my pocket PC and review them at my leisure, or catch up on my email on the way home on the train without having to think of an immediate response. It’s a much more leisurely approach to information retrieval and storage, and one I would hate to see superseded.

However, according to Ramon Llamas of IDC production of handheld devices has been shrinking to the point where it might indicate that vendors are considering exiting from the market.

I think there are enough die hard PDA fans out there to keep the market alive for a while yet, but let’s face it, like time, technology waits for no man (or woman). It just keeps powering ahead.

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Keep Your Blog Ideas On Track

Stay on top of all that information

When looking for blog topics ideas often come think and fast. And that’s the problem. That ballpointpen2_small2.jpggreat idea that was pushing to get out into global circulation might have been on top of the mind pyramid for about thirty seconds but unfortunately was swamped by other ideas in the general chaos of the brainstorm. How do we get back to it? Continue Reading »

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Writing Advice From An Ancient Sage

“When you have finished a piece of writing, put it away for nine years.”

This advice was offered by one of the ancients, Horace or Homer, I’m not sure which, to budding writers of the time. At least, that’s what I’ve been told…

While at first it may seHomer And His Guideem unbelievable that anyone could take this suggestion seriously, on reflection it might not be quite as silly as it sounds.

If we look at the statement in relation to its cultural and historical context, perhaps the idea seems to make more sense. Let’s assume the writer was working sometime around 5BC, with candle power to show light on his manuscript and with parchment and a simple wooden pen as the only tools of his trade.

What he was saying is this: if you’re going to write something, stand back a little from your work before you pass it around. A little distance might reveal some hitherto unseen connections, or perhaps the odd faux pas, and maybe even something vaguely libellous. In 5BC you could probably lose your life for an unintentional insult. Today you might just lose your house in a law suit. Continue Reading »

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Documentation Forever (or not)

Melbourne River Scene 

As a Technical Writer I’m often told: ‘Oh, so you’re here to write documentation. But of course you know no-one’s going to read it.’

This comment can be taken a number of ways. I could interpret it as: ‘You’re just wasting your time and ours.’ or ‘We know our jobs so well here that we’re never likely to want to read anything you could write.’  Or perhaps: ‘Well, we won’t read it, but okay, we need to have some record of our intellectual capital, so just go ahead and we’ll file it away somewhere.’

These flashes of memory were rekindled today when I happened to run into a co-worker from a previous contract. All of the above statements had been made in relation to that job, writing user guides, online help, systems documentation etc. for a financial application that managed grants to government beneficiaries. The friend, let’s call her Cass, went through all the usual office gossip, but then turned serious. ‘Hey, what happened to all that doco you wrote? We can’t find it.’ Continue Reading »

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