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Ouatic-7 [userpic]
So Long, Farewell

I'm off to beautiful Nashua, New Hampshire this afternoon. At least, it might be beautiful. I won't be able to tell because I will be holed up in a hotel with 500+ engineers for the duration.

Every year (except last year when the system was way behind schedule so they canceled the thing) my company has what they call a "Technical Summit". It is mandatory for all engineers, even those of us from far afield. It is partly pep rally, partly educational. We're supposed to learn about the technologies we will be using in the next version of the product; basically 3 days of powerpoint slides presented in a monotone.

For us remote engineers, it's also a chance for corporate folk to put faces to our names and voices and vice versa.

Anyways, the thing is very tightly scheduled with not much time to relax so I'm not bringing the laptop. pilgham thinks I should. He thinks I will get twitchy being away from LJ until Thursday or Friday and he's probably right. *sob* *sob* I'll miss you guys!


aaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwww we will mish you too

(Mental note to self...I need to ask pilgham on how much booze to bring for the poker game...ooops...wait...still typing in Ouatic's journal...delete everything NOW!)

Have fun

Thanks. Thanks, alot.

The house was in such disarray from that drunken binge you led pilgham into that this is the first time I've had a chance to really get on LJ.

And MD stabbed herself in the eyes after seeing you dance on the table in your skivvies to "YMCA". She will never be the same.

heheheheheheheforgot about the YMCA incident...BTW, did you see me talking pet rat Fred. He was helping me cheat...er...getting drinks for me during the poker game?

Ummm, yes. Boo is very, very sorry. He thought Fred was a snack.

Probably too late, bring your laptop. You know you want to, and sleep is out of the question anyway.

It turns out I could have used the laptop but it does a body good to suffer, as long as it is only rarely.

If you say so. I have my doubts about suffering in a yellow Hawaiian though.

We are having a blizzard this morning. Isn't that nice?

Even with a t-shirt under, I was freakin' cold. It was very feminine of me, suffering for fashion.

Do you have to go anywhere in the snow? We were happy to miss it as it had previously been scheduled for Thursday.

Have fun! Bring me back something pretty! ;o)

Oops, I gave the two carabiners with the company logo to pilgham and MD. I have a logoed, black, 100% synthetic sweater in men's XXXL if you'd like that?

Kick ass. Send it on over. ;o)

PowerPoint is EVIL!

First of all: TAKE YOUR LAPTOP! You know that if you don’t, you’ll be queuing up in the middle of the night to use the “Business Center” (or possibly trading favours for access).
Secondly: Make sure that it is fully charged, so that you can take it to the sessions. (Or do you enjoy Death by PowerPoint?)
Third: The idea of three days of “Engineers Gone Wild” kinda scares me. And I’m sure that it TERRIFIES the suits.
Fourth: PowerPoint IS EVIL!

I’ve always known that PowerPoint was evil, but it was made totally clear to me when I went to Edward Tufte’s (http://www.edwardtufte.com, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Tufte) “Presenting Data and Information” seminar (http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/courses).
I was working in the DCAM OR at University of Chicago Hospitals, and to my suprize, my manager approved my request for a Class Day (with pay) and reimbursement to attend Tufte’s one day seminar. It was on the nine-hundredth floor of the Aon Building in downtown Chicago, so I figured that the convenience of parking in the building was worth the cost (I’d maxed out my reimbursement on the cost of the seminar, so everything else was out of pocket). What I hadn’t expected was having my car strip searched at the garage entrance. (The Aon is the same architectural firm & basic design as the WTC, but smaller; so they were paranoid about being hit.) The employees of the building were pulling up to the entrance, showing their IDs, and having their cars searched (including undercarriage inspection mirrors). I pulled up and the guard asked for my ID. I showed him my Hospitals ID and told him I was there for the Tufte seminar, and asked if it was OK for me to park in the building or if I had to park in the municipal garage blocks away. (In Chicago our blocks are 1/8 of a mile, so “a few blocks” is a big deal—and what is the British equivalent? Their “block” is a “block of flats”, that is: an apartment building.) He checked his clipboard to confirm that the seminar was that day, and waved me into the garage without being searched or showing a state or federally issued ID.
(*Tangent Alert* When I was talking to the guard, I almost had a slip of the tongue, and almost said that I was there for the DIFFIE seminar! I’m sure that it would have meant nothing to the guard, except that it would not have been on his clipboard. But if he had recognized the name, I’m sure that an unintentional reference to the Big Man of cryptography (http://research.sun.com/people/diffie/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitfield_Diffie) in a building that was paranoid about being blown-up would have gotten me detained, at the least!)

PowerPoint is EVIL! (Con't)

Tufte was amazing! Everything that you liked in good lecturers, he is. Not only was the information interesting, but he made it more-so. And his visual materials were astounding! At one point, he had his white gloved assistants (grad students?) walking around the room showing the throng of assembled geeks & nerds (and a few suits and academics) his personal FIRST EDITION, FINE CONDITION Newton! And Galileo! (Amongst others.) (During a break, I told him that I would manage his library in exchange for room and board, if I got to sleep on the floor so that I could be closer to the books.) Included with the seminar was a set of his three volumes on graphical presentation of data: “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”, “Envisioning Information”, and “Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative”. The fourth volume is not yet completed. But he told us that while the working title had been “Volume Four”, and he had been satisfied with that as the final title, he had had an inspiration and changed his mind, and the final title was to be “Beautiful Evidence”. When he said it, the entire room went “Oooooooooooh!”
After a break, he explained that PowerPoint is evil, and as an example showed how (the reliance on) PowerPoint (rather than traditional Engineering Reports) was materially responsible for the Challenger disaster. His complete essay is available as a monograph (http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint), although he published a very short version in “Wired” (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/ppt2.html). And it has even been spoofed by being itself converted into a PowerPoint presentation (http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/000931)!

In sum: Take your laptop. PowerPoint is evil. See Tufte (if you haven’t)!

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL! (Con't)

Did he do the little thing with the USA Todays that day, too?

Excellent course, that one.

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL! (Con't)

THe main problem at the conference is the shallowness of powerpoint. We were there to learn technical stuff, at least as much as can be gleaned in 50 minutes but I only had one class with a handout, one of the classes I successfully stayed awake through.

All the slides are available for further study but as you and whosie point out, they have no detail, they are like visual notecards. So when I want to refresh my memory on agile estimating, a class I slept through, I will just have a bunch of slides to look at.

I did take notes in one class and was referred to a book my boss has been wanting me to read but, yeah. Not a fan of the Power POint.

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL!

Good Lord! That does sound a might involved!

Maybe she wants to duck us.

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL!

I told you where I was. THere was nothing to keep you from driving one or 2 hundred miles in an attempt to look me up.

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL!

Oh, but there was. My good (fairly new) car was totaled by some gormless bitch in a 2-ton SUV and the Sable is just not up to that sort of stress anymore. Poor thing. She has over 200K on her odometer.

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL!

Excuses. Excuses.

Hope there was no one injured except the gormless bitch in her wallet.

Re: PowerPoint is EVIL!

The only one really injured was me. But yes, if all goes well, the gormless bitch will be feeling it quite a lot in her wallet. As in, "Ouchie, I promise I will never barter influence or lie my way out of a citation again!" Kind of ouchie.

Noko is very annoyed over this and Noko is seldom out for blood.

Oh, be careful. Exposure to too much Powerpoint can be toxic. Seriously. Look away as often as possible. Good luck. :)

I just closed my eyes. A lot.

Noooo, what will we do without you!

When you begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms, you'll have no one to blame but yourself!

I'm still waiting for chapter 1 of our bad!fic. Are we gonna start a comm, or what?

I owe you an e-mail. So about the bad!fic comm, should we make Frost, Evil and Boo mods perhaps? Certainly Raven Dhancer might like to help.

I should just create own uncer my own LJ, I suppose, cats being the fickle creatures that they are.