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“It’s new and it’s shiny! I want some! The cool kids all have it!” Unless you’re not yet quite six, hearing this kind of thing sets off all sorts of alarm bells. For me… well, it’s just another thing that makes me Always Grumpy.

Over the past week or so it’s occurred to me that some of our corporate decision-makers might have become infected with the Agile bug. It’s a horrible thing! Like some plants (or people) it’s exactly what you want in one small part of your metaphorical garden, and a noxious weed everywhere else. Read on, there’s a song coming up!

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Once upon a time I wrote something on my whiteboard. I wrote it there because I really wanted everyone to see it. I repeated it in advisory councils and technical presentations and executive briefings, in staff meetings and vendor negotiations and user groups… and I still do. It’s a lesson that bears repetition. “Faster, Better, Cheaper. Pick One. Sometimes Two. Never Three.” People who try to ignore this make me Always Grumpy.

OK… if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I shouldn’t exaggerate. It does happen – rarely – that you can get two of these benefits in one swell foop. And once in a blue moon you might even get all three. But don’t let on, or your boss will expect you to do it three times before breakfast, and that’s on Sundays. Most of the time, any change you make will give you one, usually at a cost in both of the other two. This is called a trade-off. Read More »

Really, the picture says it all. As the Patent Wars continue to make me Always Grumpy, the Apple seems to have the Little Green Man by a very sensitive part of his anatomy while Windows is just background. On careful inspection you can see that this makes the Android very sad. Yes, my colleague Simon and I were busy at our desks again!

 


With the great reviews BB10 is getting (see here in IT World Canada and here in The Register), maybe we need to add a fourth ecosystem to our little dioramas.

Jonathan Gladstone is alwaysgrumpy at jbglad59@sympatico.ca or follow me on Twitter @jbglad59.

Back in April I wrote a post about What Googorola Needs. At the time, I suggested they needed an Android Accelerator, which a colleague of mine and I designed and photographed. They never took us up on our offer to sell our device, and by June it had become obvious that they needed more. Commentators were observing some of the reasons that development of apps for iOS had continued to outpace that for Android: see this article in IT World Canada, for example. In a fit of premonition between bouts of throwing small objects at one another, my colleague Simon and I repurposed the parts of the Android Accelerator. Since then, the events of the Patent Wars have made it obvious that Googorola’s little man is locked in an Android Prison, pictured here:

Poor little green man!

The Patent Wars. Ah, now that makes me Always Grumpy! Read More »

That’s “ineffectual communications”… if you use your spell-checker and maybe, just maybe, engage your brain.

Earlier this week I rejected a document at work. I rejected it because the grammar and syntax, the spelling, the punctuation and the general composition were so poor that I had to struggle to guess what the writer meant. So what am I, someone’s fourth-grade teacher? No, I’m just Always Grumpy.

That’s right, it’s me; I’m back after a long summer hiatus: Frequently Happy, Sometimes Sneezy, Often Dopey, Rarely Bashful and always, Always Grumpy.

As a cube-dweller in a sometimes sensitive position in a large corporate environment, I review documents all the time. I reject them when I feel I need to. When I do, it slows people down, delays their projects and makes them work harder. Read More »

If you’re chanting along with that, the volume and pitch should rise to a demented and enraged scream towards the end, accompanied by the sound of machine-gun clatter and mortar fire / shattering glass as some device flies through a window  / a rude thump as I pound on my desk and shatter the calm of my fellow cube-farm inhabitants. Read More »

So there we were in Panama, way back last winter. In a previous post I explained how we decided when to take a family vacation and where to go, and described how we got there. Travelling makes me Always Grumpy, but arriving helps! We’d arrived on time, starting with a harrowing journey from boyz’ high school term exams to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport but proceeding uneventfully through check-in,  security, the flight itself, luggage pick-up and the bus ride to our resort on Panama’s Pacific coast in Cocle province. As the excellent tour operator reps from NoliTours had explained to us when they met us at the airport, our luggage was sent to our rooms separately – we were sent to have a free drink and check in. We wave our goodbyes to the friendly couple we’d met on the plane and talked to more on the bus – let’s call them Sue and Dan. They’re here to attend one of three weddings the resort will host this week.

Hello, all-inclusive resort! Read More »

Every now and then I run out of things to say. (Really, I do!) But when I want to keep up with the news or I need inspiration or sometimes just a break, I usually go to the interwebs. I’ve gotten pickier over the years, and the interwebs have changed. At many sites, the articles you see are barely even teasers. At those sites you don’t get any real content unless you pay for it either by sending dollars or by receiving ads. Those sites make me Always Grumpy, so I won’t tell you about them. But these sites on the interwebs make me Frequently Happy instead: I can usually go to them and learn something or crack a smile or both :-). I’ll start with I/T sites and move on to other stuff:   Read More »

 

As we’ve heard, lots of things make me Always Grumpy. And after a long week at work I’m Often Dopey and a drink or two on Friday evening makes me Quite Sleepy. Spending time with my family helps me be Frequently Happy though, and a few months ago I got to spend a solid week with my wife and our two giant teen-aged boyz.

Our taller and elder boy is much taller than Dad – that’s me, and maybe that’s why I’m All Seven Dwarves. Taller Boy is finishing high school this year and planning to head off to live in residence at university next fall. Our shorter and younger boy is now only a little shorter than Dad and catching up fast. Shorter Boy will still be in high school, but if he gets his way he’ll be in residence at a boarding school that’s more than a handful of time zones away from home. So we thought we should take the opportunity to get in at least one more full-family vacation this winter. Carpe Diem, as they say!

We talked to those boyz about what kind of vacation we wanted. The first decision: cold weather or warm? The vote went unanimously to somewhere warm. Next decision: land or cruise? Since three of the four of us have issues with motion sickness, a cruise seemed risky. Land it is. Now: beach or adventure? We were a little torn about this. All of us wanted some relaxation time, but we all lack the lassitude it takes to sit in a plastic lawn chair for a week, no matter how good the passing bipedal scenery. J So we needed some sort of activities. But where? There are so many choices. Read More »

Sometimes I have trouble keeping up with the world of IT. The constantly changing technology makes me Frequently Happy, Very Surprised and Always Grumpy… sometimes all at once, which is more than a little confusing!

Take this article from ZDNet UK, which is one of my favourite sources for fairly straight-up news and reasonably unbiased analysis of all things IT. Deprinting? What on earth is that? And why?

It turns out that deprinting is laser-based technology by means of which one can remove baked-on laser toner from printed pages. And it’s being touted as “environmental” or “green” technology because it could allow people to re-use sheets of paper up to two or three times. Really?!? Come on now.
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