￼I’m a big fan of the Simpsons, and recently Sky in the UK have been showing them in order from the first series. It makes you appreciate how long it’s been on but also how good some of the early stuff is. The more recent series have been a little unmeroable, although there is one that sticks out.
This is the episode where Elon Musk visits Springfield and automates the Nuclear Power plant. However my favourite part of this episode is that Homer becomes his Muse and his ramblings or homerisms in a car journey trigger inspiration.
This got me thinking what crazy ideas I could come up with that could be real products.
Window wipers that refill from rain water, why do they always run out of water at the wrong time.
Artificial intelligence that knows I don’t want to hear Christmas songs when shuffle is on music in the middle of summer, or in fact any time other than December!!
A toaster that can charge your tablet or phone via wireless charging, must pop when charged. Imagine placing your device in that slot. (This probably would t be that hard with a wireless charger and the heating ripped out of a toaster)
I was Listening to a podcast recently (App Stories) and the topic was game design and the different approaches. One game they were discussing was Pac-Man.
The point being that Pac-Man is so simple it doesn’t tell you how to play the game, you learn this as you play. You may choose to eat all the pills or not. You may choose to eat a ghost but will learn you can’t do this h TIL you have eaten a giant pill.
The point being that the game is designed so simply that you learn as you play. There is no need for manuals, documents, or tour guides. It is what it is!
It’s struck a chord with me and has made me think we all should consider this when creating systems and processes and take the Pac-Man approach.
One of the big challenges that we have faced with the Service Now project has been the data within the system. Due to the way that it has been setup there is no accurate single source of information.
Normally you would pull the data in from somewhere like Active Directoy, however while this has been done it’s not the only data within the system.
We had a situation where due to data errors we had 6 variations of one site address, where no one had tides up the data. Initially the thought was to do a data cleanse post project but it became apparent this couldn’t wait as it was going to affect the quality of the product we would deliver.
So a day was spent correcting typing mistakes, removing sites and correcting issues in AD. It’s not perfect as there is some further tidying up but this will require effort from other business areas.
So the idea of starting this site as well as to be a stream of consciousness, is also to share some of the projects I am involved in, things I create either myself or through the day job.
It occurred to me today that I am currently leading on a major relaunch of our ITSM toolset (ServiceNow) and it would be an interesting thing to talk about on here.
When I joined my current employer in October 2017 there was already a project underway to relaunch Service Now internally. For what is a powerful but expensive toolset it was under used internally. It was outdated and badly maintained, but also not just used by IT with HR, Facilities and Finance also using it. This brings some complexity and increases the difficulty of moving to a new toolset.
When I joined my employer I was tasked with looking at how we could improve the onboard processor new starters. When a new person joined they would have to wait for equipment, multiple requests would be made for access to systems and all of this took time and affected engagement. A new starter raised around 13 requests when they joined. By looking at the requests and the process we found we could reduce this and control the requests through workflow design in Service Now. It was at this point that I started to become more involved in the design process and the project.
Give a choice between the various browsers I will use Chrome. I find it more responsive, nicer to use and also the integration of plugins is so useful. The ability to sign in and maintain your history and bookmarks against multiple devices is really handy as well
There is though a whole world of shortcuts they you may not know about that add another level of awesomeness to Chrome. For example one I have found myself searching for is if you hold down CTRLand the – key it opens the last closed tab.
There is the situation where you may need to restart chrome but don’t want to close all the tabs you have open. There are two options, CTRL SHIFT D will save all your open tabs to a folder, if you then right click on the folder when your back in chrome it reopens the, for you. The other option if you can do this is in the address bar type chrome://restart. This Wil then close Chrome by reopen the tabs you had open.
These and may more tips can be found on this fast company article,
For the last 6 months or so I have been running on my iPad Air 2 the iOS beta’s. I have had no issues in this time, and the odd thing I have experienced has been minor. This weekend I updated to the latest version of the beta and for 48 hours had no issues. However Monday morning I picked up my iPad where it had been on standby, and found a major issue.
All the app icons had disappeared and the entire screen looked corrupted. I then noticed that my email accounts had gone and I had lost WIFI. Later that evening I set about trying to resolve this and struggled.
Things I tried included, resetting the iPad, wiping the iPad, doing a recover and restore. While they would initially recover the Ipad after 30 minutes it would degrade again.
I was getting frustrated and debating what to do next. I then found an article that showed me how to install an older firmware manually. This involved downloading an ipsw file, which is an Apple image file. Once this was done I had to go through the usual restore process via ITunes BUT rather than do a normal restore I had to hold shift when selecting the restore option. This allowed you to select the file. Afer around 30minutes this completed, iPad rebooted and my iPad looked good.
A day later the Ipad is working fine with no issues. One thing that I did do though was setup the iPad as a new install just in case there was any corruption in the iCloud backup. This is a bit of a pain, but it’s gov e me a chance to clear out the Ipad.
I started a new job two months ago, and it’s fair to say that the last few weeks have been busy, stressful, tiring but a lot of fun. I decided a few months ago that I needed a new challenge and something to test me. Before I took this role I had turned down two other offers because they didn’t excite me,
This role was in an organisation that had decided to build a new I.T team in an new location due to a verity of factors. It meant there was going to be a lot of work to do and challenges ahead but that excited me. Plus the organisation is a not for profit working in the social housing sector, and is doing a lot of positive work.
Today it’s been a tough day both at work and personally and I have just found myself feeling a little sorry for myself. Then I thought about some of the people I have met in the last 8 weeks and thought you know what I have a roof over my head, food, family and been able to buy Christmas presents for loved ones. There are people out there who are not so lucky.
Then I found myself remembering I knew there were going to be days like this and that’s what I signed up for and that I need to remember the mission of improving the I.T service that we provide to the business to better allow them to support the people who need our help.
I’m starting again on an experiment to see if I can move completely digital with notes and to stop using paper. I don’t think I will completely remove paper d making notes in a book. Sometimes it’s not appropriate and also at times it feels slicker to just use a Pen and paper.
I had tried a couple of years ago to make the move but never really committed due to practicality and also gaps in technology. I had tried to use Evernote which I am a fan of but they had started to introduce barriers with features that were free but now charge for. Also this was a personal account and never felt right. However when my last job switched to office365 I started to use OneNote more but struggled with the switch,
However having started a new job a few weeks ago and agile and smart working being encouraged with hot desking it’s time to give it another go and with the ability to work remote it’s time to give it another go. I have access again to One note but armed with an IPad which also has a data sim, I’m able to freely capture notes digitally when its not easy to use my laptop. I have started to capture copies of my physical notes as well as scans. I need to give some thought to my note structure though as this is something I find different in OneNote compared to Evernote.