LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
Your company's press releases are all verbs.
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
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In This Issue...
Digging a Hole by Friday. That's Important!
Recently The Committee to Figure Out What's Going On convened at Carl's Jr. on Middlefield. The subject of discussion was, "What's the Next Big Thing?"
We've all been in the tornado that hit The Valley in the early '90's and really revved up when the rest of the world discovered the internet. Since about '94 The Valley has been on over-drive fleshing out the net. Everyone and his brother has launched a web site. Some are good and some really suck. In 2000 we saw the beginning of the dot com shake-out.
The shake-out should not have been a big surprise. Shake-outs happen in all new markets. Those who built a really solid business will survive, the others die off to try again later. It's business evolution. Whether it's TV's, cars, or breakfast cereals, this type of shake-out has always happened. It doesn't mean the end of the world. It just means people have to stop selling dollars for 90 cents.
So assuming we're at the end of one cycle and will soon be at the beginning of another, what's about to spring up? The Committee firmly believes it is not wireless. Yes, this has emerged, and to some, is really a God-send. But this is not going to knock the world on it's ear. Wireless internet is not going to be as earth-shaking as the wireless phone.
The Committee did spend a lot of time discussing the wearable computer. The wearable computer is an extension of your brain. You tell it what you want to accomplish, and it helps you get it done. Let's say you get up, have your Cap'n Crunch and Diet Coke breakfast and notice that you are low on Snicker Bars. You say aloud, "We gotta get Snickers!" The computer hears this and stuffs that away.
Later that day you are in your car looking for stain remover after a really bad meeting. You ask, "Where can I get stain remover?" The K-Mart up ahead is broadcasting its inventory. The computer hears this, and navigates you not only to the store, but to the correct isle. It could even help you choose the stain remover best suited for getting thick red liquids out of white shag carpet. While in K-Mart, the computer also reminds you to get Snicker Bars.
You see, you were in a panic and not only couldn't find the item you needed right then, but were too distracted to remember the items you would need later that night when coding. This would have required you get up from the desk and make a special trip costing productivity, and possibly requiring you to put on shoes. Damn! Where are my shoes? The computer would know.
What else could this gadget do? How about take notes for you in meetings and during phone conversations? Say you're having your Thursday at 3 PM one on one with the boss. To you the boss's voice sounds like the adults in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Then you hear something important. They're giving you a raise. You say, "That sounds important." The computer makes note of it. Later that day, you ask "What was important at the meeting?" The computer answers, "Jim got fired for bringing his sheep to work, and they are giving you a raise."
Where can I buy one of these?
The wearable computer is a better use of voice recognition technology than pulling down menus. Real voice recognition needs to become a new platform with a unique interface. The applications on this new platform will be unlike anything on your desktop. It's a different type of work.
When might you see this? No time soon. Voice recognition still sucks. Language is a tough nut. There's a lot more work to do here. And whatever comes out of the lab needs to have the ability to learn the person it serves. The wearable computer has to be really personal so that it can pick up the voice, and more importantly the dialect and slang of the person wearing it.
What's the next thing? Honestly, we don't know. If we did, we'd be investing like mad men right now. But the wearable computer would be really cool. Like all technology, it will hit the market only when economics demand it.
This black-out stuff is getting a little old. I'm aware that in places like India, people have their "Black-out Day". If things don't get better here, we might have to do that on our way to vote in a new Governor.
So you'll excuse me if I from time to time, refer to The Valley as Pune.
On my first trip to Hawaii I paced the beach. I really couldn't sit still, relax and do nothing. "I'm in Maui! It cost me a bunch of money to get here. I can't just piss this away on the beach!" I was a very high-strung person in the '80s. It took me 15 years to sit down and relax.
During my recent vacation, Mrs. Fek'Lar would come home and ask me what I had done that day.
She'd ask about any movies I had seen.
Then she'd try to think of things for me to do the next day. Maybe dig a hole in the garden.
"I have a lot more nothing I need to do tomorrow. I might get to that say on Friday. Is Friday good for you? I'm on vacation."
Mrs. Fek'Lar said she knew I was on vacation because I wasn't shaving. Oh yeah, I never seemed to get around to that. Well I was still bathing regularly, and brushing my teeth and using my Water Pick. I didn't have an entourage of flies buzzing around me.
The backyard is quiet when there's not an ambulance headed for Kaiser. The dogs that live behind me think the ambulance siren is another dog howling. Dogs always return the howl to assure the other that it is not alone. Sometimes I howl with them. They think I'm the alpha dog on the block. I stare them down through the cracks in the fence. When they don't behave I growl at them. I'm not sure what the neighbors think, but who cares about them? The dogs have much more interesting personalities.
Now with vacation over, it's time to get back into the really important thinking. I have a performance review in seven months. Maybe I should think about getting one of the goals from my last review actually done. Either that or do something else really spectacularly, and claim I did it in reaction to an emergency, and therefore could not do the goal from the previous year's review.
I'm also thinking about writing a program. A big monster program that at this time, I do not have the skills to write. One of my "research" programs. This is a good way to stay busy for most of the year.
Maybe I'll just take an English class at the local Ju-Co and learn how to write a shorter column.
Scooter, Suppository, or Girl Stuck on Island?
Rolling Black-Outs Helpful Tips
Let's play, "Who said this?"
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"This document mentions getting rid of you, but I'm sure you'll read it with an open mind."
"There's nothing worse than a warm Diet Coke."
"Except a warm caffeine-free Diet Coke."
"You didn't come to work because you miss me, did you?"
"Just a minute. I need to get my ink pad and rubber stamp that says 'Stupid'."
"The CEO mentioned everyone in this God-Damned company but us!"
"I keep telling you no one loves Support."
"As soon as they put Windows 2000 on my machine, I became constipated."
"Well, it's full of shit, why shouldn't you be?"
"There's nothing as cold as a low sperm-count joke."
"Sun Microsystems: We put the DUH in DUMB!"
"Karma: Justice without the feeling of satisfaction."
I must call before I start.
(Inventor of Chocolate Cheesy Bunny - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
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