Manage-mental Issues

I don’t usually talk about my work life, but the past couple of days were a roller coaster ride that so rocked the management – something that went live the day before brought half the system down and we for the life of it couldn’t figure out what the heck was going wrong.

The entire corporation met to discuss this in endless meetings and I had the privilege of being in one such meeting with the top of the top management. The following are excerpts from that meeting.

(The statements in quotes were made by one of the morons managers. The italics are my thoughts at the time.)

“We need to fix this as soon as possible”
Tell me something I don’t know!

“I’m starting to lose my patience here with this problem”
You moron, I lost sleep last night, had to skip lunch and breaking my skull over this, you think I’m having fun here?

“The way I see it, there are two things that could have gone wrong”
The way you see it? Dude, when was the last time you looked at code. There’s a zillion things that can go wrong.

“You guys go ahead with your work, we’ll take care of the management issues”
So why the heck’d you bring me to this meeting? This isn’t exactly a technical discussion.

To another person on a call:
“Don’t worry; we have our people working on this as we speak”
No you’re not! I’m right here - listening to this stupid call.

“Do you require our assistance here any longer”
Any longer? Since when did you help us with to begin with? And what are you gonna do, compile a couple of programs for us? Maybe load a library?

“If we have to work over the weekend, then we will work over the weekend”
We? You mean “I” am going to work over the weekend. You’re probably gonna be sitting home watching TV asking me for a status every half hour.

Now, everybody has told me top managers are a waste of time, but after that call, I was convinced! How do these guys run the business without a clue of what’s going on!


In his own inimitable way, Charlie Brown once said to Snoopy:
“When a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it still make a sound”

Now unlike Snoopy, I’m guessing most of us never really give it much thought, but when I equated this with problems in our own lives, I found myself in a bit of a sticky situation:

Is it still a bug in my program when no one knows there’s a bug in my program?

Do I still owe Bob the €15 if he doesn’t remember I owe him money?

Do I still have to be in office at 9 o clock when no one will see there at 9 o clock?
The list goes on.

And unfortunately, I’m not too sure we answer ‘yes’ all the time. I don’t wanna go into deeper philosophical or moral consequences of the answers, but I’d just like to say that sometimes, there’s more to it.

After all, that tree did make a crash, whether you heard it or not!

Apple TV

Yup, I’m back again with another round of Apple-bashing…and this time, it’s the not-so-hyped-up AppleTV.

I 'm not sure why this caught my attention, but I guess there were two main reasons:
a) I’ve heard about it but wasn’t sure what it was and
b) because of the recent price slash Apple made

For the uninitiated, AppleTV is a device that allows you to seamlessly connect your existing tv to the internet and take advantage of Apple’s Online store to purchase or rent movies, tv shows, podcasts, even music, and play them out on your very own big screen. Watch what you want to from the comfort of your couch: the wide world of online content was no longer tied to your PC or the 3” screen of your iPod.

At least, that was the idea.

I think the biggest flaw developers failed to overlook is the fact that apart from bringing online content onto a TV screen (which is quite readily available on your PC without all this); it doesn’t do much else….at least, not enough to justify its €229 (slashed from € 299) price tag.

To top things off, you are paying for the broadband separately. Remember, the AppleTV is just hardware – to get it to work, you’d also have to subscribe to high-speed broadband.
Of course, this may not be a huge problem for most people, but the idea of needing something additional just to get something else to work is annoying me.
I mean, I have wireless broadband that gives me 5gigs a month…which is okay for most of my needs but why would I wanna get something that eats up my bandwidth AND needs my credit card to work too? Which brings me to my other point:

Apart from the videos on YouTube, there isn’t much you could see for free. And even though movie rentals are priced quite sensibly, no one really wants to swipe their credit cards every time they wanna watch TV.

And judging by the way the sales figures are looking, I’m not wrong. So while this might have been a good idea in theory, bringing online content on TV is an idea that just doesn’t seem to ‘click’ with the customers.

Boot me up, faster

I don’t hear many people complaining about this, but to this day, computers take up way too much time to boot up and become ready for working on.

I remember how things were over 10 years ago when my dad got us our first computer back in 1997, with probably the first Pentium processor ever made and less memory than my phone has today.
And I remember timing it: it took 2min and 32sec to boot up Windows98 at the time.

Over a decade later, my Core2Duo powered workstation supposedly clocks at over 2Ghz, has 2gigs of memory and all the fireworks. But still takes it over a minute to boot into the OS, setup everything and in short, become useful.

Leaving aside all the facts and jargon about all the advancements in computing technology, memory management and the boot sequence; for the average guy on the street who doesn’t give a hoot about all this, it’s still a long shot.

Once when I was showing off my new laptop, my brother (who’s not too much into technology) remarked,
”Yeah I’m sure its got the fastest processor on the market, but can’t this stupid thing turn itself on any faster than that? When are they gonna make ‘em like a TV so you can just pop it on and get to it right away?”

And coming to think about it, I don’t think that was ever on any manufacturer’s mind. True, you have blazing graphics, real surround sound and enormous number-crunching capabilities. But a computer that just boots instantly?
We are still waiting...

World Autism Day

Today on the second of April, just a day after fooling the wits out of everyone, the world unites together to create awareness on Autism.

News channels here have been going into overdrive, bringing stories upon success stories from families who are coping with children with this condition.

Even though I personally do not know anyone with this condition, I would like to take a moment to pause, and spread this concern.
Autism has no known medical cause, can affect children in one of several bizarre ways, and so far, does not have a proven medical or therapeutic cure. But recent advances in therapy can assist in rehabilitating the person, and help them lead a better, if not complete life.

But one thing still bothers me…most of those ‘success’ stories on TV were from the United States. And as long as everyone knows the kid is autistic and is getting help, things are okay.

But what about the millions of others with this condition, who need help just as bad; but have no access to proper facilities? Have no money? Are stuck in a war zone?
CNN does not cover that.
Guess it’s up to each one of us to take this up and give a hand to those who we might know with this condition.

God save us all!