Productivity hints: Get a better monitor (today)

One of the best things you can do for your personal productivity (and the productivity of those you manage) is to make sure that people have the right tools for the job.

To keep it brief:  monitors are cheap, your time is expensive.  23″ and even 27″ 1920×1080 monitors are regularly on sale.  Check the usual suspects: SIG Electronics, Newegg, NCIX, TigerDirect. Full disclosure: I have no financial interest, and I don’t get an affiliate marketing fee; I just feel strongly about this, and I worked on a laptop with a great external monitor both in my home office and my corporate and consulting offices for years.  It makes a big difference!

Cheers,
Dak

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The ongoing evolution of technology…Cameras

Digital cameras continue to evolve very rapidly.  (VERY).  Back in April, I passed on a link about a high-speed digital camera, reviewed by David Pogue of the New York Times.  Since then, the field has evolved to the point of having a DSLR that is capable of shooting movies. (And thanks again to Chris Schmitt for sending this along.)

Er, wow. This elevates the DSLR from the ‘better image quality, and, by the way, status symbol’ camera to a real, high-value imaging tool.  It’s also a brilliant move on the part of Nikon:  leverage camera owners existing lens investment; this is what marketing folks call ‘stickiness.’

Aside from being extraordinarily cool in its own rite, this is an important reminder:  innovate, or die.  If you aren’t working to obsolete your product line, rest assured, your competitors are!

Camcorders are now just waiting to shuffle off this mortal coil, in my humble opinion.

Regards,

Dak

A brilliant management two-for-one

There are two excellent ideas in this posting on ZDnet, aside from the observation that you can scale Ruby on Rails if you avoid hitting the disk farm for static content:

1) Have a team devoted to rapid scalable prototyping.  (LinkedIn Light Engineering Development)

2) Use free apps for both proof of concept testing and marketing.

Read and enjoy.

Ruby on Rails: scaling to 1 billion page views per month by ZDNet‘s Dennis Howlett — While a lot of attention has been focused on Twitter with questions about whether Ruby on Rails scales, LinkedIn has been quietly running a RoR application on Facebook that is beating down around 1 billion page view per month. Bumpersticker, a relatively trivial Facebook application that allows you to create a cartoon that you can […]

Best,

Dak

Getting cranky about “IT Policy,” and improving your password practices

I just read a helpful article about tuning organizational password policy but I’m afraid it rubbed me the wrong way.

What it says is helpful and mostly good practice, but it fails to address the problem from the perspective of the users, and does the usual “well, this will be a pain for the users, but it’s good policy, so we’re recommending it,” which is one of many reasons why people hate IT departments. (I say this as a seasoned IT professional, and I hate us, too. 😉

IF you notice that YOUR passwords violate any of these rules, chances are that they are already broken. Change them now.

To all password users, everywhere: Make your passwords unguessable as best you can. If someone guesses your password, change it. Corollary 1: Since you can’t know if someone might have guessed your password, change it from time to time. If you feel that you have to make a list of passwords, make a list of reminders, not the actual passwords, and keep it safe (not where someone can look at it without you knowing about it). More detail below.

HOW: Continue reading “Getting cranky about “IT Policy,” and improving your password practices”

Tieing it all together [tips, opinions, musings]

So, what, on earth, do all these postings have to do with each other?

Like you, I am a “person in the loop” system. I observe, tune myself to what’s going on, act, observe what happens, and repeat. What I’m sharing with you is what I’m currently observing, that’s “on the fringe” that is my “reading outside of my area.”

I personally view reading outside of my area as being critical to success. We have to be able to bring all kinds of ideas into play when we are looking for creating consulting and management solutions, and bring them up in a heartbeat.

The challenge is maintaining focus while doing this. One solution is setting a limited time budget, and a low energy time, when other, more critical things need to be done, so that it adds value rather than rationalizing distraction. It’s also a heck of a lot of fun, which is all the more reason to put it as a ‘time reward’ or ‘play period’ with limits.

Best,
Dak

Sources of inspiration, part 2: Dr. Randy Pausch and the Last Lecture

Being on vacation, I’m taking it easy on the business and software development management topics for a bit.

A friend of mine sent me this link, on another video of a source of inspiration.

It’s worth your time. It’s a real-life example of an answer to the question: if you were to give the last lecture of your life, knowing that you only have a few months to live, what would you say? If you had to live your life that way, what would you do?

Have an excellent week,
Dak