The 2016 STC election is currently open. If you’re a member, you should have received a link to the election website (send email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not). It’s important to vote! The Society needs your active involvement. You can find out more about the candidates here. Here’s who I voted for this year.
One of today’s hottest technical trends is the Internet of Things (IoT). The idea is to network together physical objects containing electronics, software, and sensors on the Internet so they can collect and exchange data, offering improved efficiency, accuracy, and economic benefit. Each “thing” is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system (that is, byContinue reading “Making Sense of the Internet of Things”
In 1986 I was already a veteran computer software technical writer, documenting applications with command-line interfaces on operating systems that were the grandparents, uncles, and aunts of UNIX and then Linux. (One of my colleagues wrote an entire manual for a sort utility—excuse me, the Sort. I tell you, those were heady days.) My division’s softwareContinue reading “The Mac Plus User’s Guide, 30 Years Later”
Stephen Pinker, publicizing his book The Sense of Style, kicked up a fuss with his piece “The Source of Bad Writing,” which appeared in the Wall Street Journal last September. He began: Why is so much writing so bad? Why is it so hard to understand a government form, or an academic article or theContinue reading “The Source of Bad Writing: Don’t Let It Be You”
The 2015 STC election is currently open. If you’re a member, you should have received a link to the election website (send email to email@example.com if you have not). Please vote! The Society needs your active involvement. You can find out more about the candidates here. Not that anyone asked, but here’s who I votedContinue reading “STC Election 2015: Who I voted for”
I haven’t been able to say anything about certification for quite a while now, but there’s news from STC. From president Kit Brown-Hoekstra’s mid-term status report, in the February 2015 Intercom magazine: For the past year and a half, we have been working to restructure certification to improve scalability and ensure its financial stability. WeContinue reading “Update on Certification”
Recently one of the engineering managers at work mentioned a bizarre error message he’d read about: “Shut ‘er down, Clancy, she’s pumping mud!” Thanks to Google, I quickly verified that it was a real message, from the Texas Instruments 990 minicomputer, indicating a condition that the programmer never expected would happen but eventually did. (Isn’t thatContinue reading “Error messages: Does anyone really care?”