Birthday cards in the workplace

The human resource manager does this in some workplaces, they passing the birthday cards around hoping someone writes some birthday wishes for on a birthday card. That is nice but what’s totally unnecessary is hiding the card.

We all know we are going to receive the card in due time but the card is always hidden from us. We don’t write our own cards but we aren’t supposed to see our card? So our birthdays are now surprises?

The odd things in the office.

Microsoft Office 2013 at $99.99/year

Microsoft prices Office 2013 at $99.99 — a year. That’s quite reasonable for me.

Microsoft debuts Office 2013, a modern reimagining of Word, Excel, & more with subscription

People can choose to pay $99.99 a year for a single subscription that covers up to five users or devices, an extra 20 GB of SkyDrive cloud storage (on top of the free 7 GB of space), 60 minutes of Skype calls per month, and premium licenses that ensure households get as-they-happen software updates.

Folks can instead opt for the nonfrills, single person Office Home and Student 2013 package that costs $139.99. But this has a bunch of catches. With the one-time price option, you won’t get software updates, the additional SkyDrive space, those handy Skype calling minutes, or Outlook, Access, and Publisher. If you want Outlook, you’ll need the pricier Office Home and Business 2013 version, which costs $219.99. Source: VentureBeat

With Adobe also doing the subscription model, I am convinced this is going to be the common model in future.

Since when did I even install Office 2003

I have Office 2007 installed and somehow Office 2003 creep in too. I wonder what did that installation.

Since when did I even install Office 2003
Since when did I even install Office 2003

I can’t even find in in my start menu. Now I have to upgrade something I didn’t install. This is amazing. And my update is almost 700 MB. Really huge.

Any good chairs to recommend?

Asides Herman Miller’s Aeron which is probably US$$899. I’m kinda looking for an office chair to be placed in my home. Ergonomics is of importance. I’m not so much into the design of the chair but it would be a bonus definitely. I’m looking for a chair that can be purchased in Singapore at a price SG$500 or lesser preferably. Any recommendations?

The most perfect chair for Extreme Programming

Cenqua have partnered with Herman Miller, makers of the legendary Aeron, to produce the ultimate must-have for Extreme XPers: The PairOn. Read more about PairOn here. By the way the Aeron seems like a very nice chair.

Extreme Programming chair PairOn
Extreme Programming chair PairOn

Key Features:

  • Fully unit-tested in our ego-free ergonomics lab
  • Essential office furniture for any eXtreme XP Pair (XXPP)
  • Fully adjustable via individual or pair control
  • can be levered to standup-meeting height
  • 40-hour-week alarm buzzer built in
  • Available in a range of attractive colours

It sure is a little too extreme but what you need in extreme programming is not just two brains, it’s two chairs.

Extreme programming practices pair programming in which two programmers work together at one keyboard. One types in code while the other reviews each line of code as it’s typed in. The person typing is called the driver. The person reviewing the code is called the observer or navigator. The two programmers switch roles frequently (possibly every 30 minutes).

While reviewing, the observer also considers the strategic direction of the work, coming up with ideas for improvements and likely future problems to address. This frees the driver to focus all of his or her attention on the “tactical” aspects of completing the current task, using the observer as a safety net and guide. (Source: Wikipedia)

I went to try Windows 7 Beta

I was going to totally ignore Windows 7 till it is released but I couldn’t resist anything that is marketed to be with the words “faster”, “stable” and yeah basically “faster”. I mean who could resist “faster”. Henceforth, I grant my fingers the liberty to click around and downloaded Windows 7 64-bit. And burnt. And installed. And played. Windows 7 is the yet to be released operating system from Microsoft.

I thought this is be a good time I try if the software I use would work in 64 bit. It did. Well accept a lame anti-virus software but that’s okay. Some software didn’t work on Windows 7 because it requires Windows Vista unfortunately.

I basically want to see these programs running:

  • Java (64 bit)
  • NetBeans
  • XAMPP (I couldn’t get 1.7.0 to work out of my download, perhaps my download is corrupted. But I downloaded xampplite 1.6.8 and it’s runs fine in Windows 7)
  • Microsoft Office 2007 (My guess is that it will run since it’s from Microsoft)
  • Photoshop CS4. (Yes, but I downloaded the 32-bit one. The 64-bit one probably would work too)
  • Notepad++ (I need this.)
  • Windows Live Messenger 2009 (It worked)
  • ESET Anti-virus (I downloaded the 64-bit one)
  • Dropbox (A must have)
  • Live Mesh

The great news is that all of the programs I tried to install actually worked just like that. Live Mesh did not work right and went to disable Windows Aero but a later update has that issue fixed.

But after I played with it, I’m back to using Vista. Most of my school and work stuff is all back in Windows Vista. I probably would migrate to Windows 7 when the operating system has been released. So far, I am very pleased with the new software. It also boost my confidence in 64-bit software. If not for my Windows Vista having so much of my user settings customized, I would have switched to Windows 7. I felt it was indeed, as advertised, faster. There are lots of subtle improvements to the interface too. I probably blog about it some time later next week.

Ubuntu destroys college dream

Ubuntu destroys someone’s college dream:

US woman says Ubuntu can’t access internet

According to WKOW TV, Abbie Schubert recently ordered a Dell laptop, expecting “your classic bread-and-butter computer.” But when she unboxed the $1,100 machine that arrived, she didn’t find bread and butter. She found Ubuntu.

WKOW TV called Ubuntu “an operating system for your computer similar to Windows that runs off the Linux system.”

“It’s been a mess,” Schubert said. “I regret ordering the computer.”

She had never heard of Ubuntu. So she called Dell. Dell said there was still time to replace her Ubuntu. Then Dell told her not to. “The person I was talking to said Ubuntu was great, college students loved it, it was compatible with everything I needed,” she explained.

So she kept Ubuntu, then decided that Ubuntu doesn’t always work like Windows. Her Verizon internet wouldn’t load. She couldn’t install Microsoft Word. And she said without Word and the internet, she couldn’t take online classes at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

So she dropped out of the college’s fall and spring semesters. (Source: The Register)

She’s quite unresourceful it appears. First time I heard someone accidentally buying Linux. Never purchase a computer without knowing what you’re buying. Get a friend who at least know something.

New Year’s almost ending

And assignment submission date is coming. My assignments are more or less completed. Yes they look a little like rushed work but they’re completed. I had this crazy obsession with formatting in Word 2007. And that of course is the reason why I can’t move away from Word. Whoever tell me Open Office is cool apparently does not work on numbered document listings and table of contents much. So please save your voices, Office Word 2007 rocks for me and I will not convert at this point of time.

Looking like Word does not mean it is Word.

Holy! The Microsoft Church Package

Korean retailer, GODpeople Mall, introduces the Microsoft Church Package. Pastors and reverends can now get excited for a lower fee:

Introduce the Microsoft Church Package

Microsoft is probably not involved in this. The Microsoft Church Package consists of the Microsoft Office Standard, Office OneNote, Office Visio, Office Publisher and Expression Web for 199,000 won, which is roughly USD$190. The Microsoft Office Standard retails at 99,000 won (around USD$95).

(via Long Zheng)