Category Archives: Computer technology

RANT! Long statements in instant messages that are broken up

A lot of us use instant messaging (IM) in our private and professional lives. It is a convenient and quick way to talk to others without the formality and delay of email. A new jargon has been created to talk in this medium and emoticons are often used to express feelings and emphasis.

You can tell a lot about someone by reading their instant messages. The biggest thing you can tell to see if someone is just plain clueless is if they send you messages like this:

IDontKnowHowToIM: Did you watch the game
IDontKnowHowToIM: this weekend? I thought
IDontKnowHowToIM: it was great and I was
IDontKnowHowToIM: amazed at how well Tom
IDontKnowHowToIM: Brady played he must be
IDontKnowHowToIM: the best player in NFL

What IDontKnowHowToIM meant to type was this:

IDontKnowHowToIM: Did you watch the game this weekend? I thought it was great and I was amazed at how well Tom Brady played he must be the best player in NFL

RANT! Internet browsers need to handle favicons better

Do you even know what a favicon is? It is the little image that sits just to the left of the URL in your address bar. For this site the favicon looks like this: Angry_1185 If you can’t see it then that pretty much proves my point!

When you surf to a page that you have previously visited, the browser checks to see if anything has changed since the last time that you visited. It then downloads the new text and graphics and combines this with data in your cache and displays this to you. This technique can greatly reduce your surf time.

Unfortunately, most modern browsers (Firefox and Internet Explorer) do a pretty lousy job of checking and updating if the favicon for a site has changed. In fact, if you using an older version of IE, it may not even display a favicon. Even Firefox will occasionally display the wrong favicon for a site.

RANT! PC’s and the Disabled: 20 Molehills that Become Mountains

I recently came across a post on a different kind of top 20 (or worse 20) list. This list is of bad software (or at least poorly behaving software). The focus of the article was on web applications but, too be honest, I think there are still some ‘regular’ applications that make these same mistakes as well.

I don’t want to reproduce the entire 20 items, you can go to the original article here and read those. I would like to point out that that author forgot some of my personal least favorites:

RANT! Desktop Index ideas

Like a lot of people, I have become hooked on “desktop search” products. These products index your hard drive’s documents so that you can quickly and easily search for that piece of information you know that you have but are missing. The most popular version of this is Google Desktop but there are others and I particularly like Copernic Desktop Search because I find it more stable than the other utilities on the market and it can read my calendar in Outlook which is a big deal to me.

As much as I like these tools, I find that there is one big thing that they all miss. They don’t rank my favorite sites higher than other sites if I am doing a web search. This simply doesn’t make sense. Obviously, I have been to that site before (or else it wouldn’t be in my Favorites/Bookmarks folder). Therefore, I trust that information more than other information.

RANT! emails again – 2 of 2

Your signature on an email is essential. It should contain the information that allows the reader to contact you without sending you an email. It should not contain images as these will only slow down the transmission of the email and may not be read by the reader’s email program (remember, assume they are reading this on their phone).

Your original email should have quite a bit of contact information. This may include your full name, phone numbers, address, and a link to a website about you or your company. However, don’t be a bandwidth hog and include that same signature on a reply email since it is likely the person already has most of that information. For replies, you should only have the basics e.g. your name and a pertinent phone number.

INCLUDE A SIGNATURE AFTER EVERY EMAIL BUT DON’T OVERLOAD IT WITH WASTED JUNK – EMAIL IS ESSENTIAL SO KEEP IT SIMPLE!

RANT! emails again – 1 of 2

It is time to rant about email again. Yes, I know that email is the greatest thing of the Internet. It has become the “killer app” that has truly driven corporate America to provide computers to all of its white collar work force. More than Word or Excel, email has become essential to today’s workforce. For this reason, we need to chastise those that screw it up.

EMAIL IS ESSENTIAL SO DON’T SPEND TIME TRYING TO MAKE IT PRETTY!

Putting tables and graphs in an email is bad. You should use the rule of thumb that the reader is going to look at it in a pure text view (like on a phone). Don’t use bullets – use dashes instead or an asterisk (*) instead.