March 25th, 2009

snark maiden

bug report: poetry in feedback

If there is something going wrong in the software you use, you should always file a bug report. The best way to do it is to explain the problem, provide and example and say what *should* have happened. But sometimes it's more fun to be creative. With the syllable-counting help of co-conspirators sbisson and elimloth, I have just filed this bug for Word 2007 (and I had 123 characters left in the submission field):

AutoCorrect bug:
Not the word I expected...
Please fix it!

Wanted 'depending',
Never expected 'didn't';
cloud on the mountain.

bug: when choosing AutoCorrect on a mispelt word, although the substitution is saved correctly the word substituted in the document is a *different* word - so asking for deoending to be AutoCorrected as depending puts the right mapping in the AutoCorrect options but the word I see appear in the document is 'didn't'. This happens randomly and not on all occasions in Word 2007 and Outlook 2007. On Vista and Windows 7 too.


Recent writing

full steam ahead

Ada Lovelace Day

I think it's really important to have women in technology because women use technology and women have different needs and approaches. I want the full spectrum of human ideas and ingenuity tackling problems. To celebrate the first programmer and an early woman of significance in technology I wanted to randomly pick the last woman I came across in technology to re-enforce the fact that there are a lot of us. So it's Jana Eggers of Spreadshirt - a custom shirt printing company; I interviewed her for a piece in BT Upload on mass customization and along the way found out that she was responsible for the only significant new product at Quicken in a long time - QuickBase. This is a data munging tool in the cloud, like Excel meets FileMaker in the Web and lets me push and pull data around until it fits.

There's no special pleading needed for women in technology - and we shouldn't have to ignore or excuse comments that question our ability based on our gender or assess us by the way we look rather than the way we work. Comments in the DEMO facebook stream were all about the content for male presenters; put a woman on screen and there are comments about her dress being distracting. It's time we got past that. Women have been key to technology since the difference engine and wherever you look in technology, there's a woman doing a good job.