Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Ink jet printers are better than they used to be



Most of us don’t like to replace inkjet cartridges, because the underlying equipment feels fragile.
I had to take a refresher from HP.


The 7855 has the same instructions as the 5540.

You have to turn the power on and have properly aligned paper, and let it run the alignment and test print afterwards. This 3:1  ink-jet (about $165 at Best Buy when I bought it after the older laser gave out) is quite sophisticated as to firmware.
  
I got a power surge error when I plugged the cord in backwards to the computer.  I could clear it only by restarting the computer.


Monday, July 02, 2018

Windows 10 systems may need frequent restarts



A little Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1803) glitch, maybe.

Sunday morning (like in Britten’s Peter Grimes), July 1, I turned on the HP Envy (which at one time had been Windows 8.1 and has been retrofitted and updated), and it was very slow: to respond to the prompts to enter the password, then to boot up, and show all the icons. 

A restart fixed it (the restart took a little time), after which it behaved normally.

It seems that with Windows 10 Creators Update, you should restart at least every other day of heavy use to avoid any corruption of the quick start settings. 
  
Here is an article.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Workplace customs change a lot with the times; get use to it; AIG pimps insurance careers



Joann S. Lubin has a valuable piece in the Wall Street Journal, based on her own career with the paper,  about how to negotiate workplace policies as they change with time, especially on how employers reimburse moving expenses and certain other expenses (like hardships with overtime), link here .  These practices change with the times.
  
In the early 1970s it was common for employers to pay travel expenses for interviews and initial relocation, but that had stopped after the mid 1970s oil-driven recession, by the late 70s.
   
Here’s another curious link from the Washington Post’s “brand studio”, from AIG, which got bailed out after 2008, for millennials, to consider careers in insurance.  The site is a bit funky to use.  I got calls to get into this after I retired because I had worked in life insurance as a mainframe computer systems analyst, but I did not want to troll and recruit clients.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Legacy mainframe vendor IBM now vies for industry leadership in blockchain



Tonight on CNN, IBM advertised its own IBM Blockchainservice .

This is interesting to someone whose early mainframe career (in the 1970s and 1980s) was based on the idea of the need to “get IBM” on your resume if you had something else (like Sperry Univac, the biggest competitor until the late 1970s).


But control of a service by one corporation or vendor could provide an existential vulnerability, as Wikipedia’s article explains under “disadvantages”.

Any alien civilization will have mastered blockchain. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Workers today are much less mobile than a generation ago (even as I was)



A reader of the Wall Street Journal writes an LTE “Why workers aren’t as mobile as they used to be” in response to a heady piece “The Weekend Interview with Glenn Hubbard: A Conservative Economics of Dignity” (May 19), link .

The reader talks about family and filial responsibility, and interdependence of individuals in a family in hard times.  I have been a singleton all my life, and had to be very calculating on how I approached work.  Nevertheless, I “engineered” three relocations to new cities to my benefit, but returned “home” to near parents in pullbacks.  But I remained steadily employed in IT for 30+ years. 
  
But it’s true, only the most talented and able today can make relocation work in this “winner take all” world.  I do see teens making unusual accomplishments and entering college with huge financial independence already.  They are the minority.  But they are also the best parented. 

Note also the AP article today by Anne D’Innocenzio, “Entry-level jobs harder to snag”, link. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Underemployed actors work as undercover journalists, and more



Here’s an odd story about the workplace.  Underemployed or unemployed actors are hired to infiltrate companies that are on someone else’s hit list. 
  
Here is the May 15 Truthout story by Maura Stephens, here
  
Journalists have done this in the past, to investigate working conditions in companies like Food Lion, which have sometimes turned around and sued them and the news organizations for “breach of loyalty” or some such tort.
  
   
The other way this sort of conflict occurs is with associates writing about their employers in social media.  I even think when I was job-hunting in the 2000’s that some employers or clients feared I had a tendency to work somewhere, quit, and blog about the company after I quit.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Possible iPhone 8 bug; disruptive? -- solved by a retail clerk?



Today, I had a rather disconcerting experience with the iPhone8.
  
On the road, I was trying to locate an address in Google, and suddenly the screen went dark. I could barely see it, some bizarre message from Twitter.
  
I finally went into a retail store and a young clerk knew how to fix it – it had to do with the behavior of the activation button on the bottom.  You slide it a certain way and the settings for brightness come back and it lets you reset them.

This sounds like an unwanted feature that can disrupt normal operation.

I was a half hour late to an event because of this problem.
  
I feared it could be malware at first, but it sounds like a bug that a future release of IOS will fix.