March 30, 2010

PhotoRescue Data Recovery

Ok, this is going to sound like an ad....but it's not...It's advice:

This software:PhotoRescue just saved my bacon. I was downloading images from my camera card using Picasa, and something went wrong/funny. I had 497 photos, but I only got 380 or so photos, but it erased them all from the card anyway, as if it were done downloading. The missing photos included some family vacation photos, and I was understandably pissed off. I tried several packages to recover lost files, but each one ended up recovering corrupt jpg files, and I even tried jpg restoration software, which showed me the recovered files weren't even the right ones, much less complete images.

PhotoRescue worked - and by worked, I mean, it recovered the files, the CORRECT files, and they were images - the images I expected them to be, and it worked beautifully, giving me images to select from as to what I wanted restored (so I didn't have to restore the movie files and 380 photos I already had downloaded). The software was $29, a price I was glad to pay once I saw that the software did what I needed it to do. After trying about 5 or 6 other packages, I was happy to finally have something that worked.

March 23, 2010

Trying out Windows Live Writer

I’m trying out a third-party blog post composition software called Windows Live Writer – I want to see how it does, whether it posts accurately, how the plug-ins work, like this sample photo attachment (my breakfast on a flight to Dallas).  IMG_0147

The options for word-wrapping and tilting the photo are interesting, but I want to see how they translate to the actual page.    I don’t like that they’re not using CSS to tilt, but instead recreating the image, so that it’s rectangular.  It doesn’t allow the text to tightly wrap around the image like I would expect or want.  Of course, beggars can’t be choosers, and this is a free tool. Interestingly, Windows Live Writer did not pick up the last blog post in my blog when it imported them.  Now that I’ve edited this post and re-published it, let’s see if those changes are implemented.


March 06, 2010

What would happen if you quit today?

This question occured to me the other day as part of a moment of self-reflection/analysis. It turns out that it's a very good question for self-criticism and thinking about yourself in terms of your career, both as far as options go and trying to understand how others see you.
To perform this exercise, imagine that you walked into your bosses office and handed him a letter of resignation. Don't even think about WHY you would do this, especially during a recession - just imagine it says "Effective immediately, I resign my position. Signed, You"

What would your bosses first reaction be? Try to be as truthful as possible with yourself. Now, if that honest answer doesn't include your boss asking what he can do to change your mind, you've got a problem..whether the problem is with you or your company's situation. See, if you're not someone he needs to try to keep, what's to stop him from getting rid of you all by himself.

If your honest evaluation is that he would try to keep you, then ask yourself why and go from there.

Each of us who are employees have a duty to bring value to the company we work for, and not just be some form of replaceable labor. Your value can come from anything, whether it be your personality, your dedication, your knowledge, your leadership, etc.... But note that it has to come from you, not the job you do. If you don't bring unique STUFF to your job, you can be replaced, and that's not a position you want to be in with your employer when times get rough.

I'd go so far to say that probably half of us are in this boat. A self-evaluation will help you think about and understand where you stand. If you were your boss, why would you keep you? If you wouldn't, what can you do to improve your position?

It's too easy to show up for work every day with the attitude that you just need to get through just one more week until Friday. Instead, you should be thinking about how you can bring new value to your company this week. If you attack your career in such a way, then success is all but guaranteed, for you and your employer (which cycles right back to you). As you improve others, you improve yourself, and others can tell the difference between those who are constantly adding value and those who just survive.

And as a last point...they won't tell you which they think of you until that moment that you resign or they have to lay you off. Don't let yourself be surprised - self-evaluate now.