CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Website, Website, Website! And IT, too!

This was actually an IT-related week for me at work...

So, time for yet another work-related update. (smile)

Before I say more, I want to note that I didn't spend a second on work either Saturday or Sunday (Jan. 19 and 20) last weekend! That's a very big deal, and I'm proud to mention it. One of our 2008 goals is to spend less time on work -- and more time on the house and on us. (I've said it before, but I'll probably keep saying it...)

Monday was a holiday. Supposedly. I did end up doing some work from home, along with getting in to see my eye doctor (and getting my contacts).

I worked in the office three days (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and worked from home on Wednesday. So it was a busy week.

Last night I spent three hours on the website. I'm trying to edit something complicated -- and I haven't quite figured out what's not working. But I'm stubborn, and I'll get there! (I didn't give up on the SSIs -- Server Side Includes -- after all!)

Today I spent two and a half hours doing sponsor logo updates. Mandy has suggested we spend 'an hour a week' on this -- but if today was any indication, that's never going to cut it...

We had a website-related meeting yesterday (Friday), from 4:00-5:00 that included Jeff, Marilyn mistressmarilyn, Mandy and me. That doesn't begin to cover website-related things, but it's enough to note for now. (smile)

On the IT side, nine more computers went out on Thursday for rebuilds! As I've said over and over again, I'm very proud of how this has worked out for the festival -- and of my part in it. It's also a good thing for Donn and Denise, who are both good people and deserve this. (Donn is being very generous with the festival concerning the cost, which also pleases me.) And Denise was good enough to come with the van and pick the computers up, so we didn't have to figure out some way to transport all those towers! (yikes)

That means that the following people will all be getting one of the rebuilds: Christina, Dennis, Jodi, Jordan, Peter and Rich. Plus three soon-to-be-filled positions (I don't know names, yet) -- and one is ending up Graphics Computer that several of us can share. (Probably that will mainly be Carol, Christina and me. But anyone else who needs to use the graphics softwares that we only own once or twice, in order to save on getting more licenses.)

These people are going to think they've died and gone to heaven! Especially people who who've been on computers still running Windows 2000, with very little RAM. We're talking computers with Windows XP, 1 gig of RAM and 200 gig hard drives. These will probably run better than some of the newer 'good' computers that some of the staff are now using, believe it or not.

Everyone is already upgraded to the flat screen monitors. My dream would be to see all the stations in the office have optical mice, but I'll settle for getting some decent chairs next! I mentioned it again to Charold, who is one of the people on the Capital Improvements Committee. She was in on Friday for hours, doing the folding and stuffing for her own mailing! That woman so rocks. I can't even say how much. She mentioned that they're also working on the solution to our missing Pepsi machine problem. I guess that's supposed to happen very soon (by the end of the month?). I can't complain much, since Charold brought in her mini-fridge for Marilyn's office. I've been keeping my own soda there, so I'll have it on a daily basis.

But at the lunch table on Friday (I had another large salad -- I've been eating a lot of these for lunch recently), Christina was mentioning how she wished she had pop. Several of us had brought our own, knowing that we'd go without if we didn't...

The Capital Improvements Committee makes all of us feel far more secure. We know there are people out there looking out for the building -- and those of us who work here. It's a very good feeling!

So, I was moving computers around much of the week, lying on the floor under desks -- sometimes with my hair resting in dust. Being the IT Manager is a very glamorous position, don't you know. (grin) I got a ton of exercise, what with running up and down and up and down stairs all the time. And that, I think, is a really good thing. I actually enjoy it! Never a dull moment for me at work.

I've been working on typing up my notes and creating an IT Manual, both last week and this week. It's coming along really well. I wanted each page of instructions to be so simple to understand that anyone could follow them -- even if they've never been on the Server before, or used Outlook before. I don't skip a single detail -- and I include a lot of navigational instructions. (Sometimes it's hard to find things if you're not sure where to look.)

On a frustrating note, I was typing up one set of instructions that simply weren't making sense. What I do is take my notes and type them up in Word. Then I print out the sheet and go to the IT Room and log on to the Server. Then I try doing whatever it is, using my notes -- and making massive corrections and additions as I go along. Marilyn had been there for this set of instructions, so I knew she had notes she'd taken, too. Kent tends to reel off how to do things so fast that I can barely keep up to write things down -- which isn't the best way to learn things. Marilyn confirmed that she felt the same way -- and she's a fast note taker!

Anyway, she was literally in meetings all day (six? seven? more?), so I had to use my own notes, without the benefit of seeing her set. I'm proud to say that I figured it out, which was the good part of the whole thing! Very satisfying! Later when Marilyn and I compared notes, she had the exact same WRONG instruction (a major mistake, by the way) that I had -- so it wasn't me keeping sloppy notes, anyway. You know, there's something so great about just figuring it out for yourself. I was pleased that I didn't need to phone Kent or check a manual to do it. And those notes are perfect, now!

I might add images to this manual at some point, too. But even without images, it's going along really well. I'm going to eventually get to the point where I have every instruction I need. But more importantly, this will be every instruction anyone else would need, too. I'm eager to share what I know with others -- and to empower others, if I can. While I'm happy to do this work -- and really enjoy it -- I don't want times when people are stumped because I'm not there to do it.

I've been told literally dozens and dozens of times in my life that I should be writing text books/manuals (especially computer manuals) for a living. I do try to make things as clear as possible. That's why I used to go into a company and spend a couple days learning the basics of a software -- so I could teach it to the people who worked there. I never had time back then to write up many instructions, though...


This reminds me how much I like doing my tutorials here at LiveJournal. I haven't done a Paint Shop Pro (or Animation Shop 3) tutorial in some time. I do hope to get back to it, though. It's a lot of work, but I really enjoy it...

So, while I'm typing this, Marilyn is out at a housewarming for a friend, who recently moved into a new apartment. She wasn't anxious to brave the elements, considering the temperature was dropping and it's really wet out there. But at least we never got the freezing rain they were talking about!!! (whew)

There's talk of possible snow tomorrow. We'll see!

Speaking of manuals, I spent my Christmas money (adding to it just a little) from Jeff on an Outlook 2003 manual (have I mentioned that before?) -- but I haven't really had time to look at it, yet.

And I spent my gift card from Frank (who is on the festival board) to get an Excel 2003 manual. (Yeah, I had to add quite a bit to the card, but I didn't mind. It's a big deal that he gave every staff member a $10 gift card, after all!)

Jeff said he'd love to see the book, so I guess he wants to learn Excel, too. Frankly, I'm finding Excel pretty easy to use -- even without reading the manual! Actually, I think I could get addicted to creating lists in Excel. (grin) I had no clue it was that simple to use. I don't think I'd done more than edit work other people had done in Excel prior to this. I might have created a list or two, but not many...

If you have the software and have never tried it, please do! You'll be surprised how quickly you pick it up. I think in many ways it's easier than working in Word, for example (another Microsoft Office software, of course).

Well, that's enough gabbing (mostly about work) for now. I need to share more -- especially about what happened with sister Sue and her tests. But I'll try and do another entry later...

I hope everyone is doing well -- and keeping warm, wherever you are. Hell, I guess some of my Aussie friends need to worry about keeping cool! Isn't that true? (smile)

Tags: 2008, cold-weather, computers-at-work, denise, donn, excel, eye-doctor, festival, it-related, january-2008, jeff, mandy, marilyn, martin-luther-king-day, work

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