Writing ... or Just Practicing?

Random Disconnected Diatribes of a p&p Documentation Engineer

  • Blog Post: I Wished I Was ... in Iceland

    Birthdays are usually celebrated with a day off work, perhaps a trip to a garden centre, or just a lazy afternoon with a good book. However, as the milestone 60 loomed it was decided for me that I was going to have a week's vacation and go somewhere exciting. Somewhere that really had that "Wish you...
  • Blog Post: Monkeys, Castles, Seals, and the Seaside

    With our Big Data guide now finished (at least for the preview release) I managed to grab a few days off to clear my head of pigs, ants, beehives, and furry yellow elephants. And to try and figure out where we go next on the Azure guidance path. Mind you, much of my vacation time seems to have involved...
  • Blog Post: Measuring Distance by Journey Duration

    At a meeting of our remote workers group the other day I noticed how competitive people are about how far they are away from their Microsoft office. It's almost like you get a prize for being the remotest (hopefully measured by location and not character trait). What set me thinking was how the different...
  • Blog Post: A Green Train Of Thought

    It's safe to assume that nobody could accuse me of being an eco-warrior. I buy cars that have more engine than I need, and computers with more power than is required to run any software I might ever use. And I quite happily squander electricity on a waterfall in the pond and lights in the trees, just...
  • Blog Post: An Unmoving Experience

    It seems, from the regular emails containing instructions about the delivery of packing boxes and the matching status updates confirming the allocation of my new work area, that I'm about to move to a brand new office. Our beloved old Building Five (or, to use the correct terminology, "Bldg5") is about...
  • Blog Post: Monkeying Around

    So I finally managed to grab a week away, and spent a restful few days disconnected from both Windows Azure and the Internet. Other than a frustrating sat-un-navigation experience, it was a refreshing change and a chance to see some more of our wonderful English countryside - with the direction and destination...
  • Blog Post: Welshest Wales

    One of the nice things about working for a UK company but being on permanent assignment to a US one is that you get twice as many public holidays. While I'm not sure we want a Black Monday here in Little Olde England, maybe we could come up with some excuse for celebrating Thanksgiving. Perhaps without...
  • Blog Post: Gone OOF the Radar

    As I very rarely actually go anywhere, and even more rarely by train, I'm not an expert on the current digital device habits of rail travelers. However, the attraction of a nice comfy seat and table in some wonderful air-conditioned, piped music for free, even has a power socket railway carriage is that...
  • Blog Post: In England's White and Pleasant Land

    I received an invitation to attend a "highly recommended" course this week on how to maximize use of Office Communicator, Live Meeting, and the Office Conferencing System. Specially timed, no doubt, to coincide with the rather interesting weather we are currently experiencing here in Britain. And obviously...
  • Blog Post: Getting Knitted

    So it's been an interesting couple of weeks. I've been enthralled by some ancient mechanical technology, discovered that I can no longer buy a very ordinary item of computing equipment, pondered on the business logic inside foreign ATM cash dispensers, and become very familiar with ladies stockings....
  • Blog Post: Monuments To Our Brief Moment In Time?

    I can't help wondering what people will actually make the effort to go and see in a hundred years time. What are we creating now in terms of engineering marvels or wondrous architecture that our grandkids' grandkids will pay money to visit? Compared to the places we went on out recent tour of England...
  • Blog Post: The Only Place I Can Phone Is Home

    OK, I might as well admit it - I'm a mobile technology dinosaur. My mobile phone is obviously of no use at all these days because the only thing you can do with it is make and receive phone calls. As I discovered a couple of weeks ago while on a brief touring holiday around England by car, I'm no longer...
  • Blog Post: It's Cornwall, So It Must Be Thursday

    Is it still a holiday when you never seem to stop travelling, you can't quite figure out what day it is, you're not really sure where you are, and you can't remember where you are supposed to be tomorrow? It sounds a bit like a mystery tour, which is somewhat worrying as I was actually doing the driving...
  • Blog Post: What's In Your Sandwich?

    One of the most amazing things about being in the US is the unending choice of stuff - everywhere. And that fact that everything seems to consist of all kinds of other things. Waiters in restaurants (except for the very high class ones) look at you gone out if you try to order a steak without three different...
  • Blog Post: Cum On Feel The Noize

    Why is it that the U.S. manufacturing industry seems unable to make anything with an electric motor in it that works without generating enough noise to wake the dead (or, at least, the sleeping)? Its 2:00 AM in the morning, so the bathroom light has been turned off for more than three hours. And I'm...
  • Blog Post: I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

    Oh well, back to work, holidays over for another year. At least I managed to morph from a sickly shade of pale to a faint shade of tan, and without catching airplane 'flu or any other weird tropical disease (at least not one that's shown up so far). In fact, it was one of the most hassle-free and relaxing...
  • Blog Post: Another Bowl of Peeled Grapes Please, Waiter

    If all goes according to plan, I should be spread-eagled in a sun lounger on a foreign beach as you read this, with a copy of some second-rate espionage novel in one hand and a large and very cold beer in the other. Maybe even nodding to the passing waiter to bring another plate of canapés and...
  • Blog Post: Boeing, Boeing, Gone to Seattle

    Travel, they say, broadens your mind and narrows your arteries. Now back home in wonderfully green and Springing England after a couple of weeks in downtown Redmond, it looks like I survived the combined effects of altitude sickness, jet lag, and airport aggravation. Perhaps I'm becoming a "seasoned...
  • Blog Post: Snake Oil Salesmen

    I reckon that, last week, I broke a World record. I managed to cycle through 38 TV channels in turn that were all showing commercials. OK, so I was in a hotel in the U.S. and maybe that's to be expected. And some of the commercials are more interesting than the programs. Of course, it's probably the...
  • Blog Post: Head in the Clouds

    What is it with airports? I mean, if I built an airport in the town called Mansfield, I would probably seriously consider calling it "Mansfield Airport". It seems a good name since it identifies where the airport is, and what region or area it serves. The island of Madeira has only one airport (which...
  • Blog Post: Time Flies Like An Arrow, But Not At Frankfurt Airport

    As a writer, I enjoy the weirdness of words. In the English (and US English) language, and particularly in technical writing, words often mean something distinctly different from their initially apparent meaning. When I'm looking at text provided by other members of the teams I work with, such as developers...
  • Blog Post: Take Two Aspirins And Call Me In The Morning

    I seem to have spent a large proportion of my time this month worrying about health. OK, so a week of that was spent in the US where, every time I turned on the TV, it scared me to death to see all the adverts for drugs to cure the incredible range of illnesses I suppose I should be suffering from. In...
  • Blog Post: Sunless In Seattle

    They probably won't invite me over to Redmond again. After telling me for weeks about the wonderful summer weather there, it rained for most of the two weeks I was on site. Not many people would suggest that I have a magnetic personality, but it sure looks like the English weather followed me across...
  • Blog Post: Random In-house Publishing

    Due to a combination of wild assumption and striking incompetence, I recently ended up repeating a long and pointless journey and overnight stay in the following week. I'm pleased to say that only the wild assumption was on my behalf - I assumed that an email containing details of a definite appointment...
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