MonthApril 2015

Evolve or Die: How IT Can Damage Your Company

Recently I had a customer come to me with an HR problem – it was a bit odd, I admit, until they explained it to me. Due to their company’s policy of not offering Mac as a choice of computing platform for their employees, they’d had prospective employees turn down job offers and go to competing companies because they could not use the platform of their choice to get their job done. They also had seen an uptick in IT training spend due to new employees who were fresh out of college having never used Windows before. Let that sink in for a minute – employees that had never used Windows before. I thought it was an interesting problem and having given it some thought, there’s a few very good reasons as to why this has happened.

Source: Evolve or Die: How IT Can Damage Your Company | Nerdily

This entire piece sums up perfectly how large IT infrastructures are being left.

The very first paragraph of the post is true and if you don’t think it is, you’re deluding yourself.

Times change, users do, users can, and if you tell them, “no,” they’re simply going to see where you erected the last fence post and do an end-run around it.

I added the emphasis because this is such an important point. If you put up arbitrary roadblocks in front of people trying to get work done, they’ll find another way. The example has been 100% true in every organization I’ve ever worked in support.

For example, does your organization attempt to block services like Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud? Very likely. Do you have an internal cloud so that users get that cloud functionality? Very likely not. In that case, I can guarantee that your corporate data is on Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and other services outside of your control.

In 2015, you can’t block services that help people get their work done and not offer a solution of your own. All of this is being done while asking more and more of people.

Blackberries and smart phones tether people to their corporate responsibilities longer and later in the day. Telework, laptops and VPNs mean working from everywhere, anytime goes from a luxury to an unspoken requirement.

Before, I worked at a place where Macs, Linux, Irix, Unix and Windows all worked in harmony to support an overall mission. Now, I’m in a place that views anything outside of Blackberries and Dells as alien technologies. I’d forgotten how limiting it is to try to pretend half a world of technology doesn’t exist.

My new role is no longer straight IT Support. I describe it as part event planning, part troubleshooting and part evangelism. And everyday I have struggles with technology here. I realize I am one of the edgiest edge cases because I work directly with all parts of the agency where I am. And it’s clearly not setup for that.

It’s 2015 and I’m still fighting battles in trying to move 1GB files across our network to other agencies. I’ve done my part in working around the limitations of my job to better serve my customers. But it’s a struggle that shouldn’t exist.

#BaltimoreUprising

In light of the recent uprising in Baltimore, here is the important information to know.

On April 19, 2015, Freddie Gray was killed by a Baltimore City Police Officer, sparking sustained unrest. We expect that the officers will be held responsible for his murder and many people have come together to demand justice.

We will update this page daily with key information regarding the organizing underway in Baltimore as we are in contact with many folks on-the-ground. And this isn’t meant to replace twitter, but to be a central space for information that can be updated in real-time.

We are all on the right side of justice.

http://baltimoreuprising.org/ takes you to a Google Doc with information about the ongoing unrest in Baltimore. This is a beautiful use of technology to get information out to people who need it.

It takes the immediacy of Twitter and filters out the noise. I love seeing technology being used to help people.

BaltimoreUprising.org

One google doc.

One domain name.

Providing updates to a city in crisis.

what3words | Addressing the world

what3words is a global grid of 57 trillion 3mx3m squares. Each square has a 3 word address that can be communicated quickly, easily and with no ambiguity.

Source: what3words | Addressing the world

This is a fascinating project to give a location anywhere in the world when standard addressing fails or does not exist.

I take a train from clown.stay.themes to palace.bride.single. Just be sure to get your words right. Trying to meet me near palace.bridge.single will not help you.

Even in developed countries, addresses can change. In my lifetime (about 3 decades) my father’s address has changed three times.

First, it was a Rural Route and a Box number: Route 2 Box 4794.
Then, when the county decided it needed to have real addresses to aid emergency response, it changed to 1511 Kimble Road. Finally, it has changed yet again to a new road name and number because of a shift in how the county decided to handle addressing.

So even in the United States, 60 miles from the Washington, D.C. addressing is still a problem. He lives out near hogs.dogs.improving which is a fitting address for my hometown.

The less I understand the world around me. 

Aphex Twin treasure trove

Lesley informed me there is a treasure trove of new Aphex Twin music. It’s on Soundcloud under the name user48736353001.

Struggling to keep 150+ demos — all with RDJ’s obtuse naming conventions — straight? There is now a multipage Google Document detailing not only the demos, but also RDJ’s discography, song list and gear. We’re told it comes via the intrepid folks over at We Are The Music Makers — big thanks.

(From Aphex Twin fans annotate entire demo dump on Genius)

The original article has a link to a playlist that’s no longer there. So act fast to fill your ears with this collection of early Aphex before it’s gone.

Here’s a short sampling of the tracks.