The “must own” book of 2007: LifeHacker

Today Maryam, Patrick, and I went to see Sanaz’s new office at Microsoft. She is lead program manager on Live.com’s home page. Not a small job. Anyway, during the interview we were talking about what makes us say someone “gets it.” We bandied about a whole bunch of things. She told us a few questions she asks in interviews about Flickr and Del.icio.us to see if people going for jobs on Live.com have kept their skills and interests both up to date and aligned with those who “get it.”

I remember other places where we’d use similar terminology.

“Are you on the Cluetrain?”

Anyway, I just got a pre-release version of Gina Trapani’s LifeHacker book (my publisher, Wiley, sent me one). This is the owners manual for the always on, always connected person. Official title? Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day.

What does it have? 88 tips for being more productive, living life better, and using your computer and online systems to their fullest extent. This is the most useful book I’ve seen in years.

From now on I’ll be able to tell if you care about being productive by asking whether you’ve read this book. If you don’t care about getting things done you won’t get it.

29 thoughts on “The “must own” book of 2007: LifeHacker

  1. Perfect stocking stiffer. As an Executive Pastor at a growing 1,200-attender church that uses technology a lot, this is the sort of book that can help our folks blaze a path through the wheatfields of technology and get more productive. I highly recommend this book.

    Steve Lavey
    Executive Pastor
    Park Community Church
    Chicago IL
    http://www.20millionminutes.com

    Like

  2. Perfect stocking stiffer. As an Executive Pastor at a growing 1,200-attender church that uses technology a lot, this is the sort of book that can help our folks blaze a path through the wheatfields of technology and get more productive. I highly recommend this book.

    Steve Lavey
    Executive Pastor
    Park Community Church
    Chicago IL
    http://www.20millionminutes.com

    Like

  3. “From now on I’ll be able to tell if you care about being productive by asking whether you’ve read this book. If you don’t care about getting things done you won’t get it.”

    And just when we thought you couldn’t get more arrogant, condescending or patronizing you go and raise the bar.

    So, if I understand this now, your screening process for interacting with people or hiring them is if they have a blog and if they’ve read this book? Lovely.

    Like

  4. “From now on I’ll be able to tell if you care about being productive by asking whether you’ve read this book. If you don’t care about getting things done you won’t get it.”

    And just when we thought you couldn’t get more arrogant, condescending or patronizing you go and raise the bar.

    So, if I understand this now, your screening process for interacting with people or hiring them is if they have a blog and if they’ve read this book? Lovely.

    Like

  5. Johnny: if you click the link above and buy the book from Amazon, I get a buck or two. But, if you buy it any other way I don’t get a thing.

    Like

  6. John: no, not quite. But if you don’t use at least 40% of what’s in the book, you certainly won’t last through one of my interviews.

    Like

  7. John: no, not quite. But if you don’t use at least 40% of what’s in the book, you certainly won’t last through one of my interviews.

    Like

  8. Johnny: if you click the link above and buy the book from Amazon, I get a buck or two. But, if you buy it any other way I don’t get a thing.

    Like

  9. “From now on I’ll be able to tell if you care about being productive by asking whether you’ve read this book. If you don’t care about getting things done you won’t get it.”

    So, wait, your way of telling if I am ‘productive’ is whether or not I buy/read a analog rehash of a digital zine/blog/whatever which is in itself a rehash of content found elsewhere on the web with a little dumbing-down spin added to keep it palatable to the masses?

    No wonder the US is going down the drain. Here in Europe, we don’t care much about being ‘productive’, we just get the job done. I’ve worked for US corporations long enough to know your definition of productive. It sucks balls. It consists of meetings, more meetings, covering your ass to your manager, some more meetings, some websurfing, and maybe a little actual work in between. Don’t forget to report on all that productivity, prefarably five times a day. If you are not generating 200 emails a day you are not productive.

    Do I sound snarky? 5 years of working for US corporations in Europe will do that for you.

    Like

  10. “From now on I’ll be able to tell if you care about being productive by asking whether you’ve read this book. If you don’t care about getting things done you won’t get it.”

    So, wait, your way of telling if I am ‘productive’ is whether or not I buy/read a analog rehash of a digital zine/blog/whatever which is in itself a rehash of content found elsewhere on the web with a little dumbing-down spin added to keep it palatable to the masses?

    No wonder the US is going down the drain. Here in Europe, we don’t care much about being ‘productive’, we just get the job done. I’ve worked for US corporations long enough to know your definition of productive. It sucks balls. It consists of meetings, more meetings, covering your ass to your manager, some more meetings, some websurfing, and maybe a little actual work in between. Don’t forget to report on all that productivity, prefarably five times a day. If you are not generating 200 emails a day you are not productive.

    Do I sound snarky? 5 years of working for US corporations in Europe will do that for you.

    Like

  11. Robert, if it’s one of those vaunted MS-style “let’s torture the interviewee” it wouldn’t be a problem, as you’d be interviewing my back as I walked out. Interviews are not stamina contests nor are they tests of will. They’re a way to find out more about the person on the resume. I stopped talking to dot-coms in the 90s after my 3rd “let’s fuck with the interviewee” exercise.

    I stopped them and said “We’re done here, no, I can find my own way out. I’ll leave the badge with the receptionist.” As I stood up, they started sputtering, and I said “Look, let’s get something straight. I’m almost 30, I’m ex-military, and I’m good at what I do. While the one you should be concerned with is the last one, the first two mean I’m not going to sit here and be treated in an unprofessional, and quite frankly, mean way. I never treat my interviewees like this, because I value their dignity. If this is the way you treat me after you call me and ask me to come in, then I have no faith whatsoever in your professionalism. This is where you are also supposed to have your best foot forward. Instead, you choose to play infantile penis games. That is certainly your option, but not with me. There is nothing you have here or could offer me that is worth being expected to put up with this kind of shit. You all have a nice day, and think about treating prospective employees the way you’d like to be treated yourself.

    About a week later, one of the prats interviewing me emailed me an apology, and asked me for some tips on interviewing people. Hopefully he took them to heart, it was basically “Don’t be a dick, show them the respect they deserve, and no, sunshine doesn’t come out of anyone’s ass.”

    Judging by inane howtos in a book is as stupid as someone blowing you off because you’re overweight. It ignores the fact that productivity is not a math problem. You can’t say “well they don’t do this thing that I like, so therefore, they’re unproductive. In fact, telling yourself you can judge productivity in an interview is silly. Productivity is measured over time Robert, over days and weeks and months.

    But once again, you reveal that tendency you have towards being an acolyte, and a rather blind one at that.

    Like

  12. Robert, if it’s one of those vaunted MS-style “let’s torture the interviewee” it wouldn’t be a problem, as you’d be interviewing my back as I walked out. Interviews are not stamina contests nor are they tests of will. They’re a way to find out more about the person on the resume. I stopped talking to dot-coms in the 90s after my 3rd “let’s fuck with the interviewee” exercise.

    I stopped them and said “We’re done here, no, I can find my own way out. I’ll leave the badge with the receptionist.” As I stood up, they started sputtering, and I said “Look, let’s get something straight. I’m almost 30, I’m ex-military, and I’m good at what I do. While the one you should be concerned with is the last one, the first two mean I’m not going to sit here and be treated in an unprofessional, and quite frankly, mean way. I never treat my interviewees like this, because I value their dignity. If this is the way you treat me after you call me and ask me to come in, then I have no faith whatsoever in your professionalism. This is where you are also supposed to have your best foot forward. Instead, you choose to play infantile penis games. That is certainly your option, but not with me. There is nothing you have here or could offer me that is worth being expected to put up with this kind of shit. You all have a nice day, and think about treating prospective employees the way you’d like to be treated yourself.

    About a week later, one of the prats interviewing me emailed me an apology, and asked me for some tips on interviewing people. Hopefully he took them to heart, it was basically “Don’t be a dick, show them the respect they deserve, and no, sunshine doesn’t come out of anyone’s ass.”

    Judging by inane howtos in a book is as stupid as someone blowing you off because you’re overweight. It ignores the fact that productivity is not a math problem. You can’t say “well they don’t do this thing that I like, so therefore, they’re unproductive. In fact, telling yourself you can judge productivity in an interview is silly. Productivity is measured over time Robert, over days and weeks and months.

    But once again, you reveal that tendency you have towards being an acolyte, and a rather blind one at that.

    Like

  13. >They’re a way to find out more about the person on the resume.

    Well, there’s also some other things I interview for.

    Are they clued in?
    Will they be interesting people to hang with?
    Will they keep their skills up to date?
    Are they able to learn new things quickly?
    Are they able to keep up with the workflow?
    Do they keep up to date on the leading thinking in their field?
    Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work?
    Are they reading the latest business and technical thinking and bringing that into the workplace.

    If you’d read the book, you’ll understand. I bet we’d even have an interesting conversation after you do. Even if it’s just that you have another way to do it.

    But, being clued in? If I ask you “name one interesting thing you’ve done with your mobile phone lately” and you don’t have an answer, you probably won’t appreciate hanging around me for eight hours a day.

    Or, if I asked you “tell me about a way you use a computer to make your life more productive” and you don’t have a good answer, you probably won’t be someone who’ll bring an innovative approach to the workplace.

    I could go on…

    Like

  14. >They’re a way to find out more about the person on the resume.

    Well, there’s also some other things I interview for.

    Are they clued in?
    Will they be interesting people to hang with?
    Will they keep their skills up to date?
    Are they able to learn new things quickly?
    Are they able to keep up with the workflow?
    Do they keep up to date on the leading thinking in their field?
    Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work?
    Are they reading the latest business and technical thinking and bringing that into the workplace.

    If you’d read the book, you’ll understand. I bet we’d even have an interesting conversation after you do. Even if it’s just that you have another way to do it.

    But, being clued in? If I ask you “name one interesting thing you’ve done with your mobile phone lately” and you don’t have an answer, you probably won’t appreciate hanging around me for eight hours a day.

    Or, if I asked you “tell me about a way you use a computer to make your life more productive” and you don’t have a good answer, you probably won’t be someone who’ll bring an innovative approach to the workplace.

    I could go on…

    Like

  15. Are they clued in?

    Do you mean clued in or do you mean “reading the things I read, because that’s the only definition of clued in I accept”?

    Will they be interesting people to hang with?

    Who cares? You work with them, you ain’t dating them or taking long walks in the park. What is this idiocy with “Can I hang out with outside of work?” crap. Yeesh, you see them 8-9 hours a day five or more days a week. I thought that crap had died screaming with the dot-bomb collapse.

    Will they keep their skills up to date?

    First, you can’t predict the future. That’s the wrong question. you’re going to need to see if they HAVE done so, and then make damned sure that you provide a solid amount of company sponsored and PAID ways to do so. None of this “do it on your own dime or we fire you” bullshit.

    Are they able to learn new things quickly?

    How the hell do you tell this in an interview? Answer is, you can’t. You can get an idea if you know how to ask them questions, and listen, but that’s a crapshoot, because “quickly” is undefinable, and “new things” has no meaning out of context. What you need to ask is “Can they learn what I need them to learn if they don’t already know it and fast enough for my company”

    Are they able to keep up with the workflow?

    Whose workflow? Jesus Robert, look at the language you’re using. Could you be any more vague? Workflow isn’t even quantitative, it’s descriptive. Workflow describes how you get work done, not how much work you do in that workflow. God, is this the kind of crap you’re asking?

    Do they keep up to date on the leading thinking in their field?

    If you ask me that, I’d chuckle and ask you how you’d ever be able to know. You can’t tell that unless you know their job as good as them, and you know the difference between “latest thinking” and “mindless faddism”. What you want to know is not can they spit out buzzwords and win your bingo game, but rather, can they look at that thinking, then analyze it properly so they can tell if it’s legit, or pie-in-the-sky bullshit, and then correctly decide if it has any bearing on what they need to do. Lame man, really lame.

    Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work?

    This is why a gadget freak isn’t an IT person. YOU look for ways to use tech to improve your work. That however is finding a solution, and then making the problem fit. It’s backwards. What you want are people who find the best solution to improving their work and quality of work, regardless of the tech level of that solution. That’s not looking for people who think intelligently and innovatively, that’s looking for someone you can go to Fry’s with and giggle at the blinkenlites.

    Are they reading the latest business and technical thinking and bringing that into the workplace.

    Sigh…lord, you’re just a big game of buzzword bingo aren’t you.

    If you’d read the book, you’ll understand. I bet we’d even have an interesting conversation after you do. Even if it’s just that you have another way to do it.

    Dude, I’ve been making tech do my bidding for nigh – on 20 years and at levels you’d need a month to comprehend. I’ve got more scripts running to make my life easier than the author of that book can even guess at. From what I read on line, it’s a nice book for beginners.

    But, being clued in? If I ask you “name one interesting thing you’ve done with your mobile phone lately” and you don’t have an answer, you probably won’t appreciate hanging around me for eight hours a day.

    If you require people to be making love to their gadgets, shit no, and be glad of it. My phones, both of them, do what I need them to do silently and efficiently, with no mucking about. So does my laptop, so do my servers. I don’t diddle with them, I get work done on them. Pissing around with your crap all the time is a gadget freak trick.

    Or, if I asked you “tell me about a way you use a computer to make your life more productive” and you don’t have a good answer, you probably won’t be someone who’ll bring an innovative approach to the workplace.

    Define “productive” in this context. I’m an IT geek who writes Robert. Tech for tech’s sake is a pain in my ass. My favorite server is the one I forget i have because it works quietly and efficiently all day long. My current happy application is Nessus, because it makes keeping track of how secure my systems are a LOT easier. If YOU don’t know what things like Nagios, Cacti, Snort, and Nessus do, or what folder actions are then even if I tell you, you still won’t know.

    You should start rethinking some of your interviewing style, unless you’re hiring giggling gadget freaks.

    Like

  16. Are they clued in?

    Do you mean clued in or do you mean “reading the things I read, because that’s the only definition of clued in I accept”?

    Will they be interesting people to hang with?

    Who cares? You work with them, you ain’t dating them or taking long walks in the park. What is this idiocy with “Can I hang out with outside of work?” crap. Yeesh, you see them 8-9 hours a day five or more days a week. I thought that crap had died screaming with the dot-bomb collapse.

    Will they keep their skills up to date?

    First, you can’t predict the future. That’s the wrong question. you’re going to need to see if they HAVE done so, and then make damned sure that you provide a solid amount of company sponsored and PAID ways to do so. None of this “do it on your own dime or we fire you” bullshit.

    Are they able to learn new things quickly?

    How the hell do you tell this in an interview? Answer is, you can’t. You can get an idea if you know how to ask them questions, and listen, but that’s a crapshoot, because “quickly” is undefinable, and “new things” has no meaning out of context. What you need to ask is “Can they learn what I need them to learn if they don’t already know it and fast enough for my company”

    Are they able to keep up with the workflow?

    Whose workflow? Jesus Robert, look at the language you’re using. Could you be any more vague? Workflow isn’t even quantitative, it’s descriptive. Workflow describes how you get work done, not how much work you do in that workflow. God, is this the kind of crap you’re asking?

    Do they keep up to date on the leading thinking in their field?

    If you ask me that, I’d chuckle and ask you how you’d ever be able to know. You can’t tell that unless you know their job as good as them, and you know the difference between “latest thinking” and “mindless faddism”. What you want to know is not can they spit out buzzwords and win your bingo game, but rather, can they look at that thinking, then analyze it properly so they can tell if it’s legit, or pie-in-the-sky bullshit, and then correctly decide if it has any bearing on what they need to do. Lame man, really lame.

    Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work?

    This is why a gadget freak isn’t an IT person. YOU look for ways to use tech to improve your work. That however is finding a solution, and then making the problem fit. It’s backwards. What you want are people who find the best solution to improving their work and quality of work, regardless of the tech level of that solution. That’s not looking for people who think intelligently and innovatively, that’s looking for someone you can go to Fry’s with and giggle at the blinkenlites.

    Are they reading the latest business and technical thinking and bringing that into the workplace.

    Sigh…lord, you’re just a big game of buzzword bingo aren’t you.

    If you’d read the book, you’ll understand. I bet we’d even have an interesting conversation after you do. Even if it’s just that you have another way to do it.

    Dude, I’ve been making tech do my bidding for nigh – on 20 years and at levels you’d need a month to comprehend. I’ve got more scripts running to make my life easier than the author of that book can even guess at. From what I read on line, it’s a nice book for beginners.

    But, being clued in? If I ask you “name one interesting thing you’ve done with your mobile phone lately” and you don’t have an answer, you probably won’t appreciate hanging around me for eight hours a day.

    If you require people to be making love to their gadgets, shit no, and be glad of it. My phones, both of them, do what I need them to do silently and efficiently, with no mucking about. So does my laptop, so do my servers. I don’t diddle with them, I get work done on them. Pissing around with your crap all the time is a gadget freak trick.

    Or, if I asked you “tell me about a way you use a computer to make your life more productive” and you don’t have a good answer, you probably won’t be someone who’ll bring an innovative approach to the workplace.

    Define “productive” in this context. I’m an IT geek who writes Robert. Tech for tech’s sake is a pain in my ass. My favorite server is the one I forget i have because it works quietly and efficiently all day long. My current happy application is Nessus, because it makes keeping track of how secure my systems are a LOT easier. If YOU don’t know what things like Nagios, Cacti, Snort, and Nessus do, or what folder actions are then even if I tell you, you still won’t know.

    You should start rethinking some of your interviewing style, unless you’re hiring giggling gadget freaks.

    Like

  17. >Do you mean clued in or do you mean “reading the things I read, because that’s the only definition of clued in I accept”?

    No, again, it’s not about READING. It’s about doing. You haven’t read the book yet so you have no clue what I’m talking about here. Read the book and come back.

    >Who cares? You work with them, you ain’t dating them or taking long walks in the park. What is this idiocy with “Can I hang out with outside of work?” crap. Yeesh, you see them 8-9 hours a day five or more days a week. I thought that crap had died screaming with the dot-bomb collapse.

    “Hang with” means “work with.” The people I work with are around me a lot more than other people in my life.

    >That’s the wrong question. you’re going to need to see if they HAVE done so,

    Exactly. If you use the tips in the LifeHacker book (or know the principles) you’ll have kept your skills up to date.

    >Are they able to learn new things quickly?
    How the hell do you tell this in an interview? Answer is, you can’t.

    I disagree. If someone can discuss the concepts in LifeHacker, and, maybe, even come up with some of their own, demonstrates that they can learn new things quickly.

    >Whose workflow? Jesus Robert, look at the language you’re using. Could you be any more vague? Workflow isn’t even quantitative, it’s descriptive. Workflow describes how you get work done, not how much work you do in that workflow. God, is this the kind of crap you’re asking?

    No, I don’t ask that. But, can someone keep up with 400 emails a day without going crazy? I don’t know, but if they’ve implemented LifeHacker’s tips, they sure would be better at it.

    >Do they keep up to date on the leading thinking in their field?
    If you ask me that, I’d chuckle and ask you how you’d ever be able to know.

    I wouldn’t ask that. But if I was hiring a Photographer, I’d ask them to demonstrate to me how they would color correct an image. Here’s a computer with Photoshop and then with Apple’s Aperature. It’s pretty easy to see if they have kept up their skills.

    I’m sure a programmer could ask someone some technical questions about Ruby on Rails or Java or PHP to find out quickly if their skills are up to date.

    The people I hire need to handle hundreds of emails a day. It’s very easy to ask them whether they’ve read David Allen. Or, ask them how they handle their email. It’s pretty easy to see if they are someone who would survive in a high-output world.

    >Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work?
    That’s not looking for people who think intelligently and innovatively, that’s looking for someone you can go to Fry’s with and giggle at the blinkenlites.

    This isn’t about gadgets. Do you know how to use rules in email? Do you know how to write an Excel Macro? Do you know how to encrypt your email? Do you know how to batch resize your photos or re-compress video files?

    >>Dude, I’ve been making tech do my bidding for nigh – on 20 years and at levels you’d need a month to comprehend. I’ve got more scripts running to make my life easier than the author of that book can even guess at. From what I read on line, it’s a nice book for beginners.

    I already know you have nothing to worry about in this department. But there are a lot of people who DO have something to worry about here. Look at the guy at Google who copied that page from Yahoo. He shouldn’t have gotten hired. Wasn’t clued in and, worse, didn’t even know about how to write decent validatable HTML.

    You totally misread me. But, that’s OK. I’m not hiring you and you aren’t the one in my audience who needs to read LifeHacker.

    Although I bet even you would get a tip or two out of it, certainly enough to make it worth the price of buying.

    Like

  18. >Do you mean clued in or do you mean “reading the things I read, because that’s the only definition of clued in I accept”?

    No, again, it’s not about READING. It’s about doing. You haven’t read the book yet so you have no clue what I’m talking about here. Read the book and come back.

    >Who cares? You work with them, you ain’t dating them or taking long walks in the park. What is this idiocy with “Can I hang out with outside of work?” crap. Yeesh, you see them 8-9 hours a day five or more days a week. I thought that crap had died screaming with the dot-bomb collapse.

    “Hang with” means “work with.” The people I work with are around me a lot more than other people in my life.

    >That’s the wrong question. you’re going to need to see if they HAVE done so,

    Exactly. If you use the tips in the LifeHacker book (or know the principles) you’ll have kept your skills up to date.

    >Are they able to learn new things quickly?
    How the hell do you tell this in an interview? Answer is, you can’t.

    I disagree. If someone can discuss the concepts in LifeHacker, and, maybe, even come up with some of their own, demonstrates that they can learn new things quickly.

    >Whose workflow? Jesus Robert, look at the language you’re using. Could you be any more vague? Workflow isn’t even quantitative, it’s descriptive. Workflow describes how you get work done, not how much work you do in that workflow. God, is this the kind of crap you’re asking?

    No, I don’t ask that. But, can someone keep up with 400 emails a day without going crazy? I don’t know, but if they’ve implemented LifeHacker’s tips, they sure would be better at it.

    >Do they keep up to date on the leading thinking in their field?
    If you ask me that, I’d chuckle and ask you how you’d ever be able to know.

    I wouldn’t ask that. But if I was hiring a Photographer, I’d ask them to demonstrate to me how they would color correct an image. Here’s a computer with Photoshop and then with Apple’s Aperature. It’s pretty easy to see if they have kept up their skills.

    I’m sure a programmer could ask someone some technical questions about Ruby on Rails or Java or PHP to find out quickly if their skills are up to date.

    The people I hire need to handle hundreds of emails a day. It’s very easy to ask them whether they’ve read David Allen. Or, ask them how they handle their email. It’s pretty easy to see if they are someone who would survive in a high-output world.

    >Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work?
    That’s not looking for people who think intelligently and innovatively, that’s looking for someone you can go to Fry’s with and giggle at the blinkenlites.

    This isn’t about gadgets. Do you know how to use rules in email? Do you know how to write an Excel Macro? Do you know how to encrypt your email? Do you know how to batch resize your photos or re-compress video files?

    >>Dude, I’ve been making tech do my bidding for nigh – on 20 years and at levels you’d need a month to comprehend. I’ve got more scripts running to make my life easier than the author of that book can even guess at. From what I read on line, it’s a nice book for beginners.

    I already know you have nothing to worry about in this department. But there are a lot of people who DO have something to worry about here. Look at the guy at Google who copied that page from Yahoo. He shouldn’t have gotten hired. Wasn’t clued in and, worse, didn’t even know about how to write decent validatable HTML.

    You totally misread me. But, that’s OK. I’m not hiring you and you aren’t the one in my audience who needs to read LifeHacker.

    Although I bet even you would get a tip or two out of it, certainly enough to make it worth the price of buying.

    Like

  19. Wow… snarky!

    An interview with Robert sounds way more entertaining than “can you do this with linked lists?” and “You have 1001 bottles of wine and 1 is poisened, you also have an hour to find out which one, the poison takes 40 mins to kick in and you have 30 prisoners at your disposal – what do you do?” (yes that is a actual question I didn’t quite get at the time but I figured it out in the car on the way home).

    How many points do you get for flagging the chapters in your RSS reader?

    Like

  20. Wow… snarky!

    An interview with Robert sounds way more entertaining than “can you do this with linked lists?” and “You have 1001 bottles of wine and 1 is poisened, you also have an hour to find out which one, the poison takes 40 mins to kick in and you have 30 prisoners at your disposal – what do you do?” (yes that is a actual question I didn’t quite get at the time but I figured it out in the car on the way home).

    How many points do you get for flagging the chapters in your RSS reader?

    Like

  21. No, again, it’s not about READING. It’s about doing. You haven’t read the book yet so you have no clue what I’m talking about here. Read the book and come back.

    Half the book is on the friggin’ website dude. I read that. Said “Been doing that for a LONG time” for pretty much all of it. Not gonna pay ten bucks just to hold it in my hand with a nice index, and have yet to see a hint of monstrously compelling content to make me part with the cash.

    “Hang with” means “work with.” The people I work with are around me a lot more than other people in my life.

    Only to you. if you mean “work with”, then perhaps you should say that. Being precise in your terminology helps people get the meaning you wish them to get. Communications 101 Robert, it’s not other people’s job to read your mind and know what you mean.

    Exactly. If you use the tips in the LifeHacker book (or know the principles) you’ll have kept your skills up to date.

    So when I point out that some of those tips are years old in one form or another, that won’t make a difference? Because they are. Furthermore, you’re using the book as a friggin’ checklist in an interview from now on, because that’s what that statement sounds like. Lame-ER man.

    I disagree. If someone can discuss the concepts in LifeHacker, and, maybe, even come up with some of their own, demonstrates that they can learn new things quickly.

    Outside of your blog, I’ve not even HEARD of this book. So what, if they don’t read your blog, you won’t hire them? They haven’t read your latest “Holy Book” so they’re Untouchables?

    No, I don’t ask that. But, can someone keep up with 400 emails a day without going crazy? I don’t know, but if they’ve implemented LifeHacker’s tips, they sure would be better at it.

    I dunno, I handle 3 times that in a day, and I’ve never read the damned book. Oh wait, it’s a collection of tips that have been around for YEARS in some cases. I’m not sure why you think this is NEW. None of it it, it’s just a collection of stuff. Handling a large email load is really not that hard man.

    I wouldn’t ask that. But if I was hiring a Photographer, I’d ask them to demonstrate to me how they would color correct an image. Here’s a computer with Photoshop and then with Apple’s Aperature. It’s pretty easy to see if they have kept up their skills.

    Asking someone to demonstrate their skills is rather different than asking them if they’ve “kept up with leading thinking in their field” by reading whatever sources you’re currently all giggly about. Again, what is this mental block you have against saying what you really mean clearly and concisely

    This isn’t about gadgets. Do you know how to use rules in email? Do you know how to write an Excel Macro? Do you know how to encrypt your email? Do you know how to batch resize your photos or re-compress video files?

    Dude, that’s tool use not tech use. That’s finding out how well people use the tools of their trade, whatever they may be, and how well they can solve problems. But that’s not what you said. You said Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work? when what it looks like you meant Do they use their tools in ways that help them work efficiently. Conceptually, that’s different, because you can’t apply an arbitrary set of “technostandards” to everyone and expect them all to do the same. There’s folks who are going to have personal workflows that look seven kinds of cracked out, but are blindingly efficient for the way their brains are wired. As long as they are able to work well, and get the job done, who cares? Don’t be so rigid.

    Look at the guy at Google who copied that page from Yahoo. He shouldn’t have gotten hired. Wasn’t clued in and, worse, didn’t even know about how to write decent validatable HTML.

    No, he was lazy. There’s a difference, and while being lazy is not inherently bad, (in fact, it’s the sign of a great sysadmin. That’s why we script stuff. We’re lazy as hell.), it’s how that person went about being lazy that sucked. Oh, and before you go pointin’ that “can’t write decent valitable HTML” there sparky, you might want to have whomever does PodTech’s site check out the results of what the W3C validator says. 473 errors, and that contrary to your doctype, it is not in fact, valid XHTML 1.0 strict. And yes, I know mine makes the validator cry too. 77 errors, but I got tired of fixing Ecto’s problems, and recoding the ads. However, if you want to point out the mote in someone else’s eye, clear that beam out of yours.

    You totally misread me. But, that’s OK. I’m not hiring you and you aren’t the one in my audience who needs to read LifeHacker.

    You were unclear in what you said. Work on your clarity and focus of message more, you’ll find that happening less.

    Although I bet even you would get a tip or two out of it, certainly enough to make it worth the price of buying.

    Not based on what i’ve seen. If it shows up in B&N, I might just do that, but probably not. I tend to not buy computer books, they go stale too fast. The last book I bought was “This Kind of War” by T.E. Fehrenbach. It’s a thorough history of the Korean War, and the parallels between that conflict and Iraq are rather disturbing. My dad was in Korea and had always said that was the book to read if you really wanted to understand it. Also grabbed a nice book on the early history of Delta Force. Gotta have the non computer stuff man, it keeps you sane.

    Like

  22. No, again, it’s not about READING. It’s about doing. You haven’t read the book yet so you have no clue what I’m talking about here. Read the book and come back.

    Half the book is on the friggin’ website dude. I read that. Said “Been doing that for a LONG time” for pretty much all of it. Not gonna pay ten bucks just to hold it in my hand with a nice index, and have yet to see a hint of monstrously compelling content to make me part with the cash.

    “Hang with” means “work with.” The people I work with are around me a lot more than other people in my life.

    Only to you. if you mean “work with”, then perhaps you should say that. Being precise in your terminology helps people get the meaning you wish them to get. Communications 101 Robert, it’s not other people’s job to read your mind and know what you mean.

    Exactly. If you use the tips in the LifeHacker book (or know the principles) you’ll have kept your skills up to date.

    So when I point out that some of those tips are years old in one form or another, that won’t make a difference? Because they are. Furthermore, you’re using the book as a friggin’ checklist in an interview from now on, because that’s what that statement sounds like. Lame-ER man.

    I disagree. If someone can discuss the concepts in LifeHacker, and, maybe, even come up with some of their own, demonstrates that they can learn new things quickly.

    Outside of your blog, I’ve not even HEARD of this book. So what, if they don’t read your blog, you won’t hire them? They haven’t read your latest “Holy Book” so they’re Untouchables?

    No, I don’t ask that. But, can someone keep up with 400 emails a day without going crazy? I don’t know, but if they’ve implemented LifeHacker’s tips, they sure would be better at it.

    I dunno, I handle 3 times that in a day, and I’ve never read the damned book. Oh wait, it’s a collection of tips that have been around for YEARS in some cases. I’m not sure why you think this is NEW. None of it it, it’s just a collection of stuff. Handling a large email load is really not that hard man.

    I wouldn’t ask that. But if I was hiring a Photographer, I’d ask them to demonstrate to me how they would color correct an image. Here’s a computer with Photoshop and then with Apple’s Aperature. It’s pretty easy to see if they have kept up their skills.

    Asking someone to demonstrate their skills is rather different than asking them if they’ve “kept up with leading thinking in their field” by reading whatever sources you’re currently all giggly about. Again, what is this mental block you have against saying what you really mean clearly and concisely

    This isn’t about gadgets. Do you know how to use rules in email? Do you know how to write an Excel Macro? Do you know how to encrypt your email? Do you know how to batch resize your photos or re-compress video files?

    Dude, that’s tool use not tech use. That’s finding out how well people use the tools of their trade, whatever they may be, and how well they can solve problems. But that’s not what you said. You said Are they geeks who look for ways to use technology to improve their work? when what it looks like you meant Do they use their tools in ways that help them work efficiently. Conceptually, that’s different, because you can’t apply an arbitrary set of “technostandards” to everyone and expect them all to do the same. There’s folks who are going to have personal workflows that look seven kinds of cracked out, but are blindingly efficient for the way their brains are wired. As long as they are able to work well, and get the job done, who cares? Don’t be so rigid.

    Look at the guy at Google who copied that page from Yahoo. He shouldn’t have gotten hired. Wasn’t clued in and, worse, didn’t even know about how to write decent validatable HTML.

    No, he was lazy. There’s a difference, and while being lazy is not inherently bad, (in fact, it’s the sign of a great sysadmin. That’s why we script stuff. We’re lazy as hell.), it’s how that person went about being lazy that sucked. Oh, and before you go pointin’ that “can’t write decent valitable HTML” there sparky, you might want to have whomever does PodTech’s site check out the results of what the W3C validator says. 473 errors, and that contrary to your doctype, it is not in fact, valid XHTML 1.0 strict. And yes, I know mine makes the validator cry too. 77 errors, but I got tired of fixing Ecto’s problems, and recoding the ads. However, if you want to point out the mote in someone else’s eye, clear that beam out of yours.

    You totally misread me. But, that’s OK. I’m not hiring you and you aren’t the one in my audience who needs to read LifeHacker.

    You were unclear in what you said. Work on your clarity and focus of message more, you’ll find that happening less.

    Although I bet even you would get a tip or two out of it, certainly enough to make it worth the price of buying.

    Not based on what i’ve seen. If it shows up in B&N, I might just do that, but probably not. I tend to not buy computer books, they go stale too fast. The last book I bought was “This Kind of War” by T.E. Fehrenbach. It’s a thorough history of the Korean War, and the parallels between that conflict and Iraq are rather disturbing. My dad was in Korea and had always said that was the book to read if you really wanted to understand it. Also grabbed a nice book on the early history of Delta Force. Gotta have the non computer stuff man, it keeps you sane.

    Like

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