Sunday, 19 April 2009

How Do You Keep Up With Blogs?

Nothing is more frustrating than checking your favourite blogs only to find that they haven't been updated since the last time you looked. And bookmark lists of blogs can look a lot like other bookmark lists. Surely there has to be a better way!

Well, there is and I'm going to tell you about one of my favourites: Google Reader

What is Google Reader?
Google Reader is a tool provided by our friends at Google that will keep track of your favourite blogs and let you know when one of them has changed.

Here is what my Google Reader page looks like:

From this, I know that 7 of the blogs that I've told Google Reader to keep an eye on have been updated since I last looked.

To have a look at the blogs that Google Reader is watching for me, I just double click on All Items (7) and then hit the space bar to move down the list a screen at a time. When All Items goes down to zero, I'm all caught up.

You can also see that I've organised the blogs I like into folders. If I don't have a lot of time to read blogs, I can pick which bunch I want to read first and save the rest for another time.

How do you get started using Google Reader?

If you are a total computer novice or would like to get an overview before you take the plunge, watch this tutorial. It lasts for about 10 minutes and covers lots of stuff that beginners would need to know and some that beginners won't need to know until later on. Worth a watch.

If you don't have a Google account, this tutorial will help walk you through this process. Remember that you don't have to use Gmail in order to have a Google account or to use Google Reader.

For more information about Google Reader, check out the FAQs (frequently asked questions, pronounced 'fax').
I hope you enjoy using Google Reader.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Vale Westpac

After 5 and a bit years, I have finished working at Westpac. It was painful and horrible and exciting and amazing ... like most jobs where you are doing what you are good at with really, really good people.

Now, when you have been a contractor somewhere as long as I was a contractor at Westpac and left as many times as I have left, farewells get a bit embarrassing. And I've been asked to come back so many times that when I'd tell someone that I was leaving, their response was, almost to a person, "Yeah, but for how long this time? A week?"

But this time, it's for real. And as part of the farewell festivities, I organised a lunch with a very select and special group of friends I've worked with or gotten to know over the last 5 and a bit years. And, because they are my friends, I organised the lunch so that I'd be sure to be invited.

Despite the rain and way too much to do and not enough hours to do it, my friends joined me for my latest Farewell Lunch.
This mob is a classic example of One Team with Westpac, BT, St George and IBM represented by some of the best.

My thanks to each of you for making the last 5 and a bit years more fun that we probably should have had at work. And please delete my mobile number from your phones. I don't care how important or complicated or stuffed up the project is, DON'T CALL ME!!!

But if it's the Opportunity of a Lifetime ... well, you have my email address. :-)