Posted tagged ‘business’

Keeping alert at work

June 23, 2009

For IT support staff, sometimes it’s drought, and sometimes it’s flooding.  For me at least, it’s rarely much in between.  And since our hiring freeze, incidents that are within my scope are scarce.  I read this article today on Tech Republic regarding night shift boredom on the help desk.  Now, I don’t do “help desk” per se, and I don’t do night shift, but I do have the same essential issue – my quality of work depends on my alertness of mind.

I like Jeff’s ideas.  He’s pretty much hit the nail on the head.  I would add a few ideas, though.  Here’s my comment I posted on the thread:

First thing (which you alluded to) is physically keeping the body alert. Walking, running, even having a treadmill or bike in the office (depending on your corporate culture) could be a help. Proper ergonomics (especially neck and back) are a must.

Mental stimulation is key as well. I love designing things, so designing a woodworking project or a guitar or a computer program will keep me rolling at all but the most sleepy of times. If you like to hack (in the old-school non-destructive sense), and you have the authority to set up an old ‘retired’ asset, set up a dev box and write code. Save all of it, too. That kind of analytical thinking will not only keep you awake, but will also sharpen your analytical skills and broaden your knowledge.

Eating right is a big factor. While a Coke can provide a short buzz, it also makes you crash afterwards. Eat plenty of fruits/veggies, and take a multivitamin. Stay away from fast food, etc… all the things we already knew but don’t practice. =D

So what are your secrets for ensuring that, when the next phone call or meeting comes, that you are at the top of your game?


IT workers and health

June 2, 2009

It’s an important topic, I think.  See the link for some more information on popular office problems.

Oracle buys Sun Microsystems…

April 21, 2009

… and I like it.  I was going to try to post a link to both a positive and a negative opinion, but I am having trouble finding a negative one.  I’m sure there’s one out there, so if you know of one, post it in the comments so we can get some good perspective.

Here’s a positive opinion:


I see some real good here.  Oracle is great at marketing, and Sun could use a marketing makeover at present.  Oracle presents themselves as a straightforward, professional kind of company.  I think that this combined with Sun’s passion for strong enterprise products will be a good addition to Oracle’s large enterprise product portfolio.

Please, let us know your thoughts.  Agree?  Disagree? – now the best rated online-only retailer

March 20, 2009

I have been buying parts from Newegg for my business for some time.  They have terrific prices and a better reputation than any other online computer parts retailer.  Then this came out – Newegg triumphed as the top-rated online-only retailer (over companies such as in customer satisfaction.  This is no real surprise to me, but to know they beat out Amazon is pretty awesome.  Here’s a link to the study:

My thoughts on Google Chrome’s performance

March 18, 2009

I resist change in some arenas.  Sometimes, I would rather have familiarity over functionality.  Such is the case in my Web browser usage.  I still have IE6 installed on most of the computers I use.  This is mainly because my company does not use IE7 due to app compatibility issues, but even if they did, I still appreciate IE6’s advantages over 7.  I have used Firefox enough to work well with it, and used Opera or Konqueror on the very rare occasion, but haven’t felt the need to change my default browser.  So I resisted the urge to use Chrome until my curiosity got the better of me.

I want to mention the performance pros and cons I have found with Chrome.  I will save my review of the interface and concept for another post.

Two things become immediately obvious about Chrome.  First, its startup time is virtually nil.  Internet Explorer can never claim that; rarely is IE fast enough for me.  So, my first real issue with IE is gone, and I’m happy.  In addition, load times are small and run time is fast in every respect.  

While I’m on the subject of performance issues, I like to listen to music on YouTube.  IE at work currently takes about 10-15 seconds or so to start the video.  I had thought that it was something related to the network, because at home I don’t have that problem.  But when I started using Chrome, the problem went away totally.

I have only had one issue with Chrome’s performance thus far.  Again, this one is with YouTube.  I listen to music, but I don’t always watch the video.  If I minimize the window during playback of a video, there is a very brief break in the sound.  It’s not a real problem, but it’s a bug I’d like to see fixed.  It doesn’t have an issue when I’m switching tab to tab; it’s only when I minimize or restore the window.

Another issue I have had (although it’s not performance-related) is that some sites are configured to check the userAgent and deny access to the site for anyone not using a “compatible” browser.  I wish they would just let me on so I can see if it works.  This has really only happened with one site for me, but it’s our company’s time-clock application (KABA Web Clock), so I access it at least twice a day, most days four times.

So all in all, I really only have one or two complaints.  The performance speed is terrific.  If nothing else, try it just for that.  Later on, I will write more about Chrome, especially about the peculiarities that make it unique.

A blog worth reading – Calvin Sun

February 25, 2009

I don’t usually promote other blogs here, but I keep going back to this one.  Calvin Sun is one of my favorites – his wisdom in relating basic common sense to work situations is commendable.  A great example of his skill at teaching business and life principles in very accessible form can be found here

I discovered his work through his Tech Republic posts, but he has been published other places as well (such as ComputerWorld).  He hasn’t been posting much on his blog lately, but the collection of articles on there is still well worth your time.  The link to his site is on my blogroll, or you can simply click this link:

You can read his bio on his personal web site here:

10 things that make Win7 better than Vista

February 25, 2009

Here’s a great synopsis of some of the improvements in Windows 7.