Archive for the 'Productivity' Category


WHY I haven’t blogged

Dec 02, 2008 in Personality, Productivity, Technology

So I says to my wife, “you know, I’d really like to work as an independent contractor for awhile and really get to see the world.” The following day, my manager told me that they’d lost my contract as a technical writer. I wanted to say, “Would you like me to help you find it?” Instead I played it cool. “Great! Lots of time for blogging.” As I wrote my last full post on November 6, obviously I didn’t spend as much time blogging as I thought. What did I do instead? It couldn’t have been because I ran out of things to say.

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ExtJS befuddles me

Oct 09, 2008 in Creativity, Productivity, Technology

I have only one more week on my current contract. My final responsibility is to finish off this über cool web view of one of our documentation products, which will be integrated as an output stream from the newly-installed XDocs XML content management system. The best part about technical communication is that I get paid to write all day, and when I need a break, I can fix the CSS for an embedded help system or hack some JavaScript. My Technical Communication department manager gave me permission to showcase the web output with obfuscated text in my portfolio, so be on the lookout for samples in the near future.

For the last month I’ve been going nuts trying to hack the ExtJS javascript application framework, recommended by the Technical Adviser from the company’s Web Services department. I have no problem applying different plugins to my project. However, when I try to add custom behaviours to the objects, I get that little red Firebug that shows me the hand and says “not so fast, cowboy!”

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Virtual meetings can make a real-world difference

Sep 17, 2008 in Creativity, Productivity, Technology

On September 16, RJ Jácquez, Senior Product Evangelist for the Adobe Technical Communication Suite, presented a remote meeting for the Society for Technical Communication Canada West Coast chapter. His involvement actually went above and beyond a mere sales pitch. RJ hosted the entire meeting through Acrobat Connect Pro, which combined a live video feed from our meeting location, prerecorded audio and video files stored on the Connect server, and his own presentation about the enhancements to the Adobe Technical Communication Suite for version 1.3. As part of the A/V team I was stoked to try out this technology. I wrote an article about our rehearsal for Coast Lines, the newsletter of the STC Canada West Coast chapter.

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Days like these

Jul 04, 2008 in Creativity, Productivity, Strategy, Technology

Some days it feels like I hit the ground running. Today it felt more like I lost my breath as I chased the ground as it ran off well ahead of me. I never did catch up; and you know, for the first time in my life, I felt like shutting down my computer, waving a white flag, and sitting on the beach sipping a triple venti soy peppermint macchiatto with extra caramel drizzle.

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Canada helps students to find summer jobs

Jun 27, 2008 in Philosophy, Productivity, Strategy

The Service Canada Centre for Youth (SCCY) program, under a different name, helped me find my first summer job in 1986. All my friends were working at McDonald’s; I was a junior “professional”. This job paid me enough to explore Expo 86 in Vancouver, buy new clothes, and date the receptionist. Job hunting had never been easier in my life.

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I can’t believe I did it

Dec 06, 2007 in Productivity, Technology

My wife got sick of my whining about it for almost two years, and gave me the go-ahead and the debit card with her blessing. I am now the proud owner of an HTC TyTN II.

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Standby for take-off

May 09, 2007 in Productivity, Strategy, Technology

While using Google to search the web for solutions to my Toshiba M400 Tablet PC stylus problem, I found new terms to use in the search. For the past week I’d been asking for results that included the words “Tablet PC”, “stylus”, “resume from”, “standby” and “hibernate”. After a few days with no success, The thought occurred to me that I should returning to the source: Wacom’s website.

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