Working smarter, not harder…

I need to go back to school. Not that I feel I necessarily need to learn anything, but just for the simple fact that I need documentation of my knowledge. It’s so hard to get a job doing IT, or computers in general, without some type of certificates. Unfortunately, I own none. Having worked in technical support and dealing with so-called ‘IT People’, I realize how much more qualified I am than many people who help run some companies technology departments. It’s amazing to me how some of these companies don’t even know how inept their IT departments are. However, those companies, who look at candidates are often not interested in my. My lack of actual work experience is a deterrent, which makes it difficult to get my foot in the door. My only avenue is school. I need to take classes, and get some certificates. It’s becoming imperative for me now, as I try to forward my career, and begin doing something I enjoy. I’d be a fool not to take advantage of Verizon Wireless’ educational benefits, so it’s time I got serious. I think I’ll start right now by enrolling in an online course. A+ maybe? Start with the basics?

Caught up…

I’m finally caught up–well, mostly. My mini-vacation last week allowed me to get a ton of administrative projects done, such as filing receipts and miscellaneous paperwork. I also did some cleaning, and got things in my room manageable again. I even got some writing done, though that was just before I went to bed last night. Coming back to work feels different today. One of my co-workers, who’s been there since before I started, left last week for another job. The fact that I’ve been gone for five days, and now return with one less friend makes it so I can’t help feel somehow different about work. It’s still very much the same job, which I hate, but since I’m pretty well rested, and have been able to concentrate on everything but work, I feel somewhat more relaxed, and ready to handle my daily frustrations. I’m also about to be caught up financially. My bonus at work gets deposited tomorrow, which will allow me to catch up on all my bills, and just about pay off my car. With the extra money this affords me, I can’t help but be excited by the prospects the future holds. I think it’s time to setup my 401k and get my eyes checked. I believe I’m in need of glasses, since things farther away appear to be blurry. I’ve only just realized that I need glasses, and I find it slightly disturbing. It’s the first sign that I’m truly degrading with age. Until now, I’ve had few signs of this occurring, other than decreased energy levels. I simply can’t expend energy like I did when I was younger. Nevertheless, it’s nice to be caught up with things, if only briefly. Jenny and I are still preparing for our move in a couple of months, and we’re really no closer to a decision on where we’ll live. That decision will likely come at the end of March, when we’ll be able to get final pricing on rent, and pay a deposit. The actual moving details will come soon thereafter, as we have to get movers, furniture, and buy all the things necessary for our new home. Change of address, etc. will be the final step in transitioning. I’m fairly excited about moving in with Jenny, and have no doubts at all that things will work out well. Now begins the wait. I’m glad that I’m caught up.

Good tidings…

This week has been a little more eventful than normal. On Wednesday, I picked up my new digital camera at Best Buy. I’ve spent the past few days playing with it, learning all the settings. I think I’ve finally got it figured out, mostly. One of my favorite features so far, is the ability to focus on very close up images, and to get some great artistic shots. I’ll have to get some of the pictures posted soon. At 7.2 megapixels, they take up a lot of room, though. In addition to getting my new camera, Jenny and I had our first ‘fight’, though it was short-lived, fortunately. Saturday, we went to a reception for some friends of Jenny’s family. I refused to dance, as is customary. Sunday was spent mostly sleeping, and working on my computer. I’m now using my desktop PC almost exclusively again. Not that I’ve stopped using my laptop, just that I’ve modified my uses for it. I’ve decided to use remote desktop and network sharing in the interim for daily use. We also went to the movies Sunday night and saw Firewall, Harrison Ford’s latest not-so-blockbuster. The movie was okay, but lacked a lot of the twists and turns, or drama expected in these kinds of movies. Also, while I looked for it, I was unable to see the ‘Finger of Doom’ that’s so famous. I have to say that this movie wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. The technology that the movie was based around wasn’t all that good to begin with. The solution to the ‘problem’ seemed decidedly low-tech, also. To it’s credit, it was fairly accurate in the portrayal of the technology. Surveillance equipment was fairly short-ranged, camera phones took realistic pictures, and laptops run Windows XP. Kudos for not trying to wow us with inaccurate depictions of technology that does not exist. Overall, not a bad weekend.

You've got mail…

Email is a pain in the ass. Yet we still rely on email daily, and it still represents one of the most convenient, and swift methods of communication available today. At work, I spend most of my free moments either reading or responding to email. Then, when I get home, I’ve got even more email to sort through, most of it junk mail. It is therefore with little enthusiasm that I respond to emails. Yet I love email, and I despise it at the same time. I’ve never been much of a letter-writer, preferring to correspond in person. I have, of course, always had a passion for reading which may explain my desire for RECEIVING email, though I’m growing increasingly annoyed by the amount of junk mail I receive. Part of the problem nowadays is with the sheer number of email accounts that people have. Most people I know have at least two or three accounts, and others have even more. I have at least six that I can recall, and rarely check more than two of them. With the prevalence of spammers, email has grown into a genuine problem. Now, companies are forced to spend considerable time, effort, and resources to block junk email, and are forced to be so strict that some legitimate emails are rejected or blocked. There has to be a better way. Some companies are working on technologies to help make email more secure, but many of these solutions are either early in development, or targeted toward businesses with large technology infrastructures. Something has to give for us consumers. We have very few options, other than largely ineffectual antivirus software, or 3rd party spam filters, which often filter out the email we actually WANT. Why is email, once such a promising technology, such a nuisance now?

You can run, but you can't hide…

Police in Los Angeles are going to start using a new tool to end high-speed car chases soon: GPS darts. Read the article here. It’s an interesting idea, and one that should save lives, but ultimately, the devices may fail. The police seem to be going on the assumption that they will be able to stop a car, after tagging it with a GPS dart, by cutting the target off, based on their heading. However, any intelligent person could realize that by randomizing their route, going at relatively slow speeds, the police would have a difficult time setting up a roadblock, or any type of trap. Surely, it would be possible to keep tightening the perimeter, and boxing the vehicle in, until there were no other means of escape, but at what cost? It would take a massive and coordinated effort to capture a fleeing vehicle. More police personnel would be necessary, and trying to imagine the impact to traffic, and other metropolitan services that would be caused by multiple police blockades is difficult to picture without cringing. Only one solution seems workable: to allow the perpetrator to escape–seemingly–and to wait to move in until after the target stops moving, by returning home, etc. Even this solution is fraught with difficulties. How long will the GPS trackers function? Does the crook simply need to outlast the battery? Also, if not within constant visual range, what’s to prevent a criminal from removing the tracker and attaching it to another vehicle, or using it another way to mislead police? Though the idea is a good one, designed to save lives, will it really work? What do you think?