LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
you go to a book store in the dead of night in America to find the parking lot full.
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.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
If I had a watch I could set it by the comings and goings of managers. A little history. Until the Twinkee showed up, I was going through a manager on a six month average. I went through five in two and a half years. The Twinkee showed up and stayed five years to double the average life expectancy to one year. Slightly more than a year ago, Manager #6 arrived during my first trip to Bangalore, and just one year later, she's gone.
To be fair, there's no shame in her tenure being so short. Being the manager of my group is a thankless job, dealing with constant chaos, and people screaming at you. (That's just the staff meetings.) The Twinkee was particularly well suited for the daily brawls. So I've got to say that it's not the managers who are the problem, it's WTHAIS. The company is extremely political. As they say in poker, if you go to your first meeting, and wonder who the sucker is - it's you. You have to come into this position with the attitude that you need to collect a pound of flesh at each meeting.
I'm optimistic about Manager #7. (Code Name: Lucky) He was promoted up through the ranks. He knows our technology, but more importantly, he knows our politics, who is friend and who is foe. If he can't survive in this position, I think it will become a revolving door.
This is funnier than Matt Peters trying to answer a Yes/No question! I got this letter from my new Managing Director...
The firm's goal with PTO is to ensure staff have adequate time off to re-invigorate themselves, and ensure some quality personal time. Additionally, carrying large PTO balances impacts the financials of the firm. For these reasons we are encouraging everyone with large PTO balances (greater than 100 hours) to use them during the current quarter to ensure that the maximum carried load is minimized.
Hi Managing Director,
I've certainly been trying to go on PTO, but the world has interceded.
I was trying to go to Cambodia in December. But I was told I wasn't allowed by my direct Manager because we didn't have enough people. (This was when we were fully staffed.) By the time the Director countered that order, the plane fares had become too high. One needs to book Asia early. Trip cancelled.
Right after the holidays I headed for Bangalore. On the way back, I took four days of PTO in the UK. (You can thank me for that insane profitability last quarter!)
I was going to go to Rome about now. But after being burned out on travel after the trip to India, and needing to be here to cover while Lucky was out, I have postponed Italy until October. I know it's not this quarter, but as they say in Rome, "Merda Dura".
I feel a life-style shift coming on. I'm getting a little bored with the status quo, and believe I will be doing a hell of a lot more travel starting in a couple years. I'm going to want to be able to travel anywhere in the world, and yet stay connected to family, friends and other folks I know all over the planet. Although I'm willing to drag my camera everywhere I go, I'm not looking to take a computer with me.
I'm going to want to be able to stay connected using the cybercafés that have flourished in the rest of the world. Cybercafés aren't economically viable in The States because we all have our own computers, and our internet access is so cheap. (The only one I've seen work is The Ugly Mug where you can use your own computer on their bandwidth for free, or you can use their computer free. Just buy some coffee. Great economics, the more people surf, the more coffee gets sold.) But everywhere else, cybercafés seem to work.
As Monty Python once said, "The best way to not be seen is to not stand up." For this reason, any time I open an internet connection on my laptop, I fire up a VPN then I route my traffic to my home network where a proxy server flings it onto the net. This slows my surfing speed, but it also keeps the low-life sitting next to me from sniffing the packets. Yes, after the packets leave my home network they're in the clear, but that's no different than surfing from home.
If I'm going to travel the world without my laptop, it means I can't use my VPN without installing software in the cybercafé. That's not going to fly. Instead, I'm building some secure tools that use SSL to post requests and get data from a server on my network. I should be able to write and publish articles, and maintain the server from anywhere. Also through SSL, I should be able to use a web-based mail client to keep in touch. Finally, via SFTP, I should be able to upload pictures from the road.
The tools of which I speak will be on a thumbdrive. But thumbdrives get lost and nicked. The solution is to encrypt the contents of the thumbdrive. This is done with TrueCrypt which also resides on the thumbdrive. The tools are on an encrypted volume and nothing needs to be installed on the cybercafé's computer. So if the thumbdrive is lost or stolen, I've lost a few bucks in hardware, but really haven't compromised security.
The only tricky bit right now is that TrueCrypt doesn't run on the Mac. There's a declared project, but no bits. Currently, I have to launch Winders in a virtual machine to be able to launch TrueCrypt. But I am getting work done this way. I'm trying out a new policy that no unencrypted thumbdrive is allowed to leave my house.
We Americans are an interesting lot. We want our own transportation, our own phone, music player, computer, etc, etc. Do you really want to carry all this crap and their associated power bricks around? I don't. I want to travel extremely light. I'd like to take only Mrs. Fek'Lar, change of clothes, the camera, the thumbdrive, and money. With a little software and an eye for security, and I think one can travel light and still be connected.
Alberto Gonzales Receives Ronald Reagan Award!
Attorney General Appears to Have Forgotten Everything Since 1986
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"If it doesn't have bugs, it's not software."
"My mother was a big giant checkbook with legs."
"The best part of being a Director is there's one less person shitting on you."
"Wouldn't it be great if Cheney's Secret Service code name was 'Cyborg'?"
"The building industry makes the software industry look legitimate."
"I'm held together with nicotine and nitrates."
I'm just up to the part in Harry Potter where Hermione is taking a shower.
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people in the Bush Administration.
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