Work Journal For Week of November 15, 1999

Last Update: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 07:18 PM


Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


The person training me at work was not at work today, so today was a non event work wise. I did what I could on the calls that came in, but since I am still without a network ID, I have no access to the application setup files on the network, my hands were tied for the most part.

Most of what I have been shown and taken notes on at work, if it had been handed to me as documentation, I think I could have been productive day one on the job. Here it has been 9 working days, and I haven't done much of anything productive yet at my new job. Back when I did manual labour if it took 2 weeks to get me doing productive work I think both my trainer and I would have been out on the street looking for new jobs. The office environment I have found, especially in the IT world is lacking in procedures to get new employees up to speed and working at their jobs.



Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


Quote of the Week.

"If you were to put 64MB of DRAM in your PC today, you could do it for about $100 using one module containing 8 chips.

If you had put the same amount of DRAM in your computer in 1974, it would have cost you more than $3,000,000! (And you would have needed more than 130,000 chips to do it!)"


Semiconductor DQ Monday Report, No. 42,


I hate this, I sit on my ass all day at work doing very little and the slackness carries over to my home life. I sure how things pickup at work or I am going to turn into a slug. 

Today some woman was on the radio saying that metal detectors should be installed in the entrance ways of all schools. Then some other fellow is crying how shows like the Simpson's should be taken off the air. Last week was a cry to outlaw riding in the box of pick-up trucks. It seems to me all these people are crying for one law or another which will magically save lives, and/or correct the moral compass of our youth. Then when the police service asks for more money to protect the people they cry fowl cause they do not want increased taxes. But the point I want to make is that just because a law is put in the books does not make the world a safer place. Someone has to enforce the laws and there are already too many laws for law enforcement to deal with. What needs to happen is for people to deal with problems themselves and not expect the establishment to do everything for them which seems to me more the case everyday.

Now I step off my soap box and go see about getting some chores done.



Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


I think I did more work today than I have in the whole two weeks I have been at this new job. Still hamstrung by not having a Network ID, but doing my best to work around the situation and still get something done. The best thing is that I was working on my own and not with the trainer.

Today to pass time during a software install I picked up a few computer magazines and a catalogue for the summer of 1998. I was kind of interesting to look at prices and what was available in 98 verses 99. The most interesting thing I found of note is that in the summer of 98 Windows CE was seen as the big thing in Personal Digital Assistants, and today many companies are dropping production of, and support for Windows CE, and the Palm OS is king of PDAs. Just goes to show that Microsoft does not win all the OS battles.

I installed Microsoft Publisher to see if it produces booklets. I found that Publisher has lots to offer for making all types of things for signs to business cards. I was also able to make a booklet, though I would have liked to have more control when sizing tables.



Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


Had to bring the shovel out of storage today as the first substantial snowfall of the year has hit Calgary.

I am not sure if my memory is playing tricks on me or not but it seems to me that the coverage of Comdex on web by the likes of and PCweek is much better than ever before. Being able to read reports on the new computer stuff being shown at Comdex, by knowledgeable industry people, with in hours of them seeing the displays is one of the things I really like about the Internet.



Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


Gateway computers are now distributed in Canada by Insight. Now Canadians can buy Gateway products and not have to worry about customs and duty by purchasing from Insight instead of directly from Gateway. Insight also carries many other computer products, but check the price first, you can often payless at a local store for the same product.



Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


Flying solo at work today (Friday) as the trainer was off sick again. At least now I have a Network ID and password so I could get some work done. I did manage to do just that, get some work done, solved and closed several call tickets. Mostly it was very simple mundane stuff but one call was lots of fun. A remote user who was working from home needed to install Visio but does not have the rights on her laptop to do so. So while while she was remotely connected to the Domain at work, I used User Manager for Domains to connect to her Laptop and add her domain account to the local administrators group on her laptop. I had never read about doing this type of administration before, and I had no instructions on how to do it. I just poked my way around in User Manager for Domains for a few minutes till I figured out how to do what needed done. I did a quick trial run on my own PC, then called the user and then did the same process to her PC.

Needed some RAM so I walked over to Voodoo Computers in downtown Calgary. I knew that they carried Crucial memory which is what I wanted. 64 MB of Crucial PC100 RAM was $238 + taxes. They also had 64 MB Micron brokered PC100 RAM for $170 + taxes. I have never been Voodoo before but it was quite a different experience. I went in the door to find a receptionists and a small lounge, the receptionist set me up with a sales person who took me to his office. There he inquired what I wanted and I told him I was looking for a 64 MB DIMM. He quoted me price and availability of 64 MB of Micron RAM. When I asked if this was brokered RAM he said that it was. First I was surprised that he knew that it was brokered RAM, and when I said that I did not want brokered RAM he immediately told me that he had Crucial RAM in stock and got the price for me. All in all a good experience, I may return to purchase more hardware in the future.

Here is a good interview with president of Microsoft Corp. Steve Ballmer by Rob O'Regan and John Dodge of PCWeek. 



Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday / Sunday


Need a portable keyboard, check out Memory lane Computers. They have a flexible keyboard that can be rolled up and put in a briefcase. They also have what they call a TuffyMouse which uses magnet field technology to detect movement, so it does not have to be used on a flat surface.

I received the following email


I constru, from your notes, that 'brokered RAM' is not desirable.

But what is 'brokered RAM'? I never encountered the term.



The Ultimate Memory Guide by Kingston Technology provides a good explanation on pages 52 thru 54 of the computer memory market, and how brokered RAM can be of questionable quality due to way the market operates. For those of you who do not have Adobe Acrobat or don't want to download the 642KB pdf file, the relevant information can also be found here. There is also some good information in the Memory Guide to help you evaluate RAM.


Copyright 1999 John Doucette. All Rights Reserved


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