22 January, 2006
Q. May I use your Dictaphone?
A. No! Use your finger like everybody else does.
Unfortunately both blogging and blog-surfing have become a bit problematical of late.
Firstly, MegaCorp Inc have actually been expecting me to do some work for them recently. I work in an IT specialism which is both necessary and rather difficult to outsource but which Management would rather not face up to the existence of -- keeping small legacy systems going and cleaning up the unauthorized departmental quick fix solutions that people doing real work sling together after they've given up on The System. There are an awful lot of highly ingenious but undocumented and seriously unstable systems of linked Excel spreadsheets out there, as well as a frightening number of clinically obese MS Access applications. Generally Management regard my team as a nasty stain on their strategic escutcheon, so They try to pretend we're not there and leave us to our own devices. Recently we've actually been picking up some new work.
Secondly, and perhaps more to the point, I don't currently have Internet access from home, which means I am almost totally dependant on the generosity of the office LAN. The corporate web-nazis have finally woken up to the existence of blogs and as might be expected regard them as a threat to corporate order, if not civilization as we know it. Blocking decisions seem to be random and largely of individual sites; there is no obvious or consistent pattern. Pub Philosopher was blocked several months ago. You are in good company; Harry's Place went at the same time. From last week the whole of typepad.com has been blocked en masse.
The irony is that, as often as not, the web filter policy gets in the way of real work on behalf of MegaCorp. When I'm googling for a solution to some software problem, there's a better than even chance that the most promising sites will be blocked as "Blogs, chat rooms, newsgroups" and similar evils.
I always think these legacy systems are interesting becuase they don't fit with a company's corporate image. It made me laugh when loads of supposedly Hi-Tech comanies had to admit to running old Cobol systems in 2000.
I reckon you'll be in a job for a while yet.
I am missing the likes of you and Joe90 on the blog. I am getting a lot of nutters of late and I need help to keep them in line!