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Get Your Shit Together: Work Edition

  Photo Credit: Jeremy Keith - https://www.flickr.com/photos/adactio/5757457657 Three years ago, I wrote a piece about organizing your personal electronic life ( https://blog.tectonicspeed.com/2017/09/personal-archiving-get-your-shit.html ), which I sub-titled “Get Your Shit Together” in an homage to George Carlin’s routine about the last two minutes of your life. ( https://youtu.be/LkIqccMRTNo?t=93 ) Recently I’ve been thinking about the equivalent process at work. We are dealing with an over-abundance of electronic files on our shared network drives - and I'll wager that it’s similar for most workplaces. ( NOTE 1 , notes at the end.) ************************************************************************** Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. ************************************************************************** Extra Disclaimer: I want to g

The Tectonic Speed of Government, Part 4: Momentum

https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/11/20/meet-ivan-savkin-russias-human-mountain-a68246 This “Tectonic Speed” series is about why Government IT Projects take such a long time. The name refers to tectonic plates, rubbing against each other. No visible movement for a while then… CRACK! Government change is like that; it can take a long time to build, but when it happens it can be intense.  For more on that here is my 20:50 speech on this theme from the Code for America Summit 2020 , which turned into a virtual event. (I can tell you that it’s 20:50 because of the PechaKucha-ish format: 25 slides for 50 seconds each.) ************************************************************************** Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. ************************************************************************** One impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is a shake-up of p

Tectonic Speed of Government – PechaKucha Version

Video link is below!!    This is not my favorite screengrab, but that's what YouTube picked... In March, I was scheduled to speak at the Code for America Summit about the “Tectonic Speed of Government,” which is my metaphor that Government change happens slowly (after the exertion of a lot of force with no visible result), but when it does happen it can be disruptive.    Then the Pandemic hit, the conference was canceled, and… we went through a Tectonic Shift (to a remote workplace). ************************************************************************* Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. ************************************************************************* In March, like many of my peers I was too busy dealing with the Shift to have time for much else. However, in April and May, I had a little more time and some new perspective so I re-wro

But First... Let Me Take a Selfie

Excel 3D Map of my drives home. Colors are waypoints and height is the trip duration. Read on to see what the hell this is. This piece began before the pandemic, but the use of our phones as tracking devices for contact tracing prompts tough questions about privacy and tracking that make this timelier than I expected. See the middle section for thoughts on this. *********************************************************************************************** Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. *********************************************************************************************** “OK Google… Track Me All Day Long”  Google Location History logs your every move, every day – if you turn it on. (To their credit, it’s off by default.) It’s worth asking - why would anyone want to do this?  Well, I did it for a few years because I was curious about the r

Movie Theaters - R.I.P.

From wolfstreet.com - https://wolfstreet.com/2019/01/13/movie-ticket-sales-1995-2018/Add caption Last week, I posted an upbeat blog update about my system for managing vendors .  This week's update on a past blog is far bleaker: Movie Theaters as we know them are done *********************************************************************************************** Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. *********************************************************************************************** In January, I wrote piece about the movie “1917” and the movie-going experience, and how streaming services were hurting attendance.  You can find it here: https://blog.tectonicspeed.com/2020/01/movie-theaters-end-is-nigh-1917-and.html Little did we know that two months later would come this crushing combination of events: 1)    Movie theaters were forced to c

Update: A Success with Vendor Spam

Photo: Chris Garrity - www.flickr.comphotosgarritylex4479671291 How I'm managing vendor e-mails and phone calls... I’m posting this to suggest that my peers may want to try it, also! For the past few months, I’ve been setting aside Thursday afternoons from 4-5 to take vendor phone calls.  This was my response to the problem I wrote about as " Thank You for Your Sales Call/e-mail... Here's Why I Didn't Respond ". ********************************************************************************************* Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. ********************************************************************************************* Setting aside this one hour has proved to be a success on several levels: I feel zero guilt about ignoring the tsunami of incoming phone calls and e-mails.  ( Note # 1 ) What led me to write the firs

How To Videos: Lucity Queries with Microsoft SQL Server and Excel

What follows is not a blog, but some suggestions on using Microsoft SQL Server "Views" to query your Lucity data using Excel.   This information is intended to assist Lucity software users, and not for any nefarious purposes. I recommend watching the videos in Full Screen view and with HD resolution.  They're not as blurry as they look on this page!!  Each of these about two minutes long, but the original actions only took 50 seconds each.  (After recording them, I decided to slow them down to make them more watchable.) 1. How to create a SQL Server "View".   The video shows how to create a new View from the core Work Order table.  (WKORDER - see the data dictionary here .)  The video first shows the simple method of creating a view with all fields, then shows the more effective method of including only needed fields, and re-labeling them with their on-screen names. Music: "A View to a Kill" - Duran Duran 2. How to Connect to the Vi

Working for Government IT Sucks... and You Should Do It, Too

I tried to find who to credit for this image, but it's all over the Internet with no one to thank Are you an IT worker who is dissatisfied with your current job? Are you burnt out from repetitive projects? Too much travel? Seeking something more fulfilling than company stock? (And if you’re not those things, do you know someone who is?) Then this is written for you! ********************************************************************************************* Disclaimer: All of the ideas expressed in this article are my personal statements and opinions, and do not reflect the opinions/statements of the City of Urbana. ********************************************************************************************* You are needed because government IT is going through a wave of employee retirements (along with the rest of government... it’s not just IT!)  Like employees, technology systems and devices are also retiring after serving well for many years. That’s a l

Movie Theaters, the End is Nigh! 1917 and Netflix

Courtesy of Dreamworks Pictures Thoughts on Netflix and its Impact on Movie Exhibition After Seeing 1917 First the review (with no plot spoilers beyond what's in the trailer) As a film, 1917 is excellent. The story is exciting, plausible, and well-told. The leads are likable and underplay their roles effectively. (These are British soldiers, after all.)  Some of the action scenes are stunning – the plane crash teased in the trailer is a high point. Another sequence in a bombed city was flashy (in both senses of the word), but I don’t understand what was lighting up the town he ran through at night. (Bombs? Flares? Who was firing them? Why?) The famous actors play their bits well, particularly Colin Firth, but I’m glad that the two leads are not well-known as it helps with the “it could be anyone” idea of a soldier grabbed at random on whom so much depends.  More relevant to this post is that 1917 is a BIG SCREEN MOVIE . On the big screen the movie’s visually immersive, s