My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Archive for March, 2007

Am I Speaking Another Language?

Posted by Iszi on March 22, 2007

I’m really getting tired of dealing with idiots.

Generally, I try to be careful about how I word things and express myself. Particularly when it’s going to be in writing, and especially when I’m at work. In communications with end-users, all it takes is one poorly-written e-mail from IT to create hours of cleanup work. With that in mind, I like to say I try to “idiot-proof” my e-mails.

But of course, once someone makes something “idiot-proof” someone else is bound to come up with a smarter idiot. Or – in my case – three.

Consider this quote from an e-mail I sent regarding an access change request that was not properly submitted.

Due to security policy and audit requirements, I cannot process requests for access simply based on “match to” criteria. There needs to be a specific list of roles outlined in any given request, which should be tailor-fit to meet the individual user’s access needs.

The e-mail goes on a little longer to describe the approval process for after the list of roles has been laid out, but those were the first two sentences in that message, and they were also the most pertinent to why I could not process the request.

Please, if I did something wrong here or was ambiguous in any way, somebody let me know because I obviously can’t figure out why I received the following replies from some of the people CCed on the e-mail:

(From the requester, to the Service Desk support person who had originally contacted me regarding the case.) –

Per our discussion this morning, I am forwarding you the email that I spoke of.
Could you please intercede on this matter and work on getting me the appropriate access?

(Reply to the above, from the Service Desk person. Names changed to protect identities.) –

It basically looks like Iszi and Joe Security are saying the same thing:

We need approval from your manager.
We need approval from John DataOwner (which we already have below)
Then that would be forwarded to ID Admin.

(Reply to that, from the requester.)

But all 3 steps below have been done. (including the email to ID Admin).
What’s the next step?

Yes, all three steps in the Service Desk person’s e-mail were done, but that’s not the problem! Did no one read the first two sentences of my e-mail?!?!

(From the person the requester wanted their access matched to, in reply to my original e-mail.) –

The reason I asked for the role to be copied from my ID, is that he will need it. If not, I would not have asked for it. Please duplicate his ID with the same roles I have set up

Finally, after re-sending my original e-mail – with font emphasis on the pertinent lines – and discussing the issue over the phone with several individuals separately, the request got re-submitted properly and everything fell in line.

Still, could somebody please tell me what I did wrong in the original e-mail? Why is it that three people couldn’t seem to get the message right?


Posted in IT, Venting, Work | Leave a Comment »

Bullrun – Overview

Posted by Iszi on March 14, 2007

Last night, I watched the premiere episode of Bullrun on SpikeTV. I’m usually not a big fan of reality shows, but when someone decides to send 12 teams in their high performance vehicles racing cross-country, I can’t help but watch. I’m glad to say that it looks to be a great series, and one that I hope is kept running for a good few years. Or, at least long enough to see the day when I can afford a shot at it. 😉 I’ll be posting more details and a review of this week’s episode after I get home. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, since this is one of the few shows that has caught my attention enough to actually mark on my calendar. (In my cell phone, with a reminder alarm 1 hour ahead, so I can’t miss it!)

A few comments on some of the aspects of the show in general:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Science Fiction becoming reality again!

Posted by Iszi on March 10, 2007

Okay, call me slow but my brain just now made this connection. I just find it interesting that when we in the real world developed hand-held computers, the name that we gave them ended up being not too far from the name given to the fictional hand-held devices in the Star Trek universe.

PADDs – or Personal Access Display Devices – are rather proliferate in the Star Trek universe, particularly starting in STNG and carrying on through DS9 and Voyager. I haven’ t seen much of Enterprise myself, but I’m sure they put them in there too, even though TOS didn’t show many if any of these devices.

While – according to Wikipedia – the (primitive and not at all physically similar) origins of today’s handheld devices pre-date the modern form of the PADD, the particular term we use most often to refer to them wasn’t coined until several years after the PADD made its debut.

So, PDAs are yet another science fiction dream come into reality. Does anyone else find it interesting that we only needed to take one letter off from “PADD” and flip the last two, to get there? After all, stranger things have made their way into the real world from sci-fi, and I’m sure I don’t have to give references for those.

Posted in Random Musings, Science Fiction | Leave a Comment »

“Not recommended for children under 12?”

Posted by Iszi on March 8, 2007

Okay, I just don’t get this.

I regularly drink XS Energy Drinks to keep me going at work during the day. I used to be a Full Throttle guy, but one day my mom said “Why are you spending your money on Full Throttle when I’ve got cases of this stuff at home?” So, I figured I’d help her get rid of it by drinking those twice a day now instead of my usual.

Then today I actually read the can. Normally, when I toss something down the hatch to keep me going I really don’t much care what’s in it, as long as it works and it’s legal. I was only really checking the can out ’cause I was bored at the moment and it was there. However, I got really bothered when I saw “4900%” RDV of B12 on the Nutrition Facts chart! That means that for the past couple weeks, I’ve been getting at least 98 times the recommended daily consumption of vitamin B12, five days a week!

This is almost more disconcerting than the one time I found out that caffeine overdose could lead to hallucinations! (Although if it weren’t for the stomach pump through the nose that would later be necessary, that might actually be fun!) So, I went around trying to look up whatever I could on the XS Energy Drink and Vitamin B12. This wasn’t too easy, since the XS website is blocked by my work proxy under the category “Unregulated Substances” or some other birdsplat, but Google and Wikipedia are great alternative resources. While I did not find anything particularly regarding Vitamin B12 overdose, I was able to pull up Wikipedia’s entry on XS which actually had something almost more disturbing to me than the issue I’d originally come to look up!

The article mostly references the XS website to back its content, so for one who has access to that (I’ll be checking when I get home.) it would be relatively easy to verify its claims. What bothers me is this: Near the end of the article it is mentioned, “The distributor does not recommend it for children under 12.”. That’s not so bad on it’s own, but not two sentences later it is said “According to the distributor, the drinks are packaged in 8.4 ounce (250ml) size cans because that size… can be more comfortably held by children.”

Seriously now, WTF?

Posted in Random Musings | 1 Comment »