Gosh. Hugh is on form.

I’ve never actually met Hugh face to face, but we have chatted a couple of times, we have several mutual friends, and his ebullient on-line presence means that I feel like I know him rather better than I probably do.

He is a cartoonist. I’ve followed his cartoons on the back of business cards since I started blogging, and they regularly bring a smile to my face.  I watched blue monster experiment with Steve  Clayton.

I’m finding his recent series on the Social Media Specialists really really funny.






Excellent stuff Hugh. Keep them coming. Making people laugh is goodness.

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You had six seconds to make your mind up

Today is a day for remembrance.

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!–An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime…
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

poem by Wilfred Owen.

SOA, laptops, and coffee

SOA is one of those things that is really tough to explain.  I’m often on the look out for new metaphors to help me explain it ways that don’t inflict too much pain and suffering on my typical HR audience. HR people normally have a high tolerance for pain, but talk to them about SOA and you can get them confessing to all sorts of things, just to make you stop.

Anyway, this morning on Twitter I noticed that several of my online connections had recently spilled beverages, adult or otherwise,  on their laptops.  Closer to home, my wife’s macbook still works after a coffee incident, but only when plugged in to the wall socket, also the range of the wireless has decreased to a few metres, and one of the shift keys doesn’t shift.   To fix the laptop would cost more than replacing it, and would mean being without it for a couple of weeks. It limps on. It is the Bruce Willis Die Hard  of laptops.

Tom provides advice that only experience brings.

Don’t leave a 2 year old alone with a laptop.

What does this have to do with SOA?

Well, one of the alternatives to a laptop is a desktop.  Here the main parts of the computer are separate but connected.  If I spill coffee while working with a desktop, I just end up replacing the keyboard.  The rest of the system goes on working fine. If you are accident prone, buy a desktop.

SOA is software’s attempt to limit the damage that a cup of coffee does. Much clearer now isn’t it. hmmm.  If you are looking for something more sensible on SOA and HR technology, my colleague Jim Holincheck has written a series of notes on this.

Moving swiftly on from SOA.

ASUS and Intel are asking users to help them design a better computer. Have a look at the site WePC.com. I think a coffee proof laptop would be a winner. Not sure that anything can be made to be  2 year old proof though.

This reminds that I have been planning to do some more research in to user led design in an HR context. TIme to get out the Von Hippel.

(cross posted on my Gartner blog)