Clear and to the Point

30 March, 2009

Malware: beware the Conficker worm

Filed under: communication,Web — monado @ 11:22
Tags: , , ,

This computer worm has been quietly worming its way into Windows computers around the world. It’s scheduled to go off on April 1st. But that doesn’t mean it’s just an April Fool’s Day joke. The Conficker worm can take over computers and monitor keystrokes. You’re probably safe if you use Firefox, if you have strong passwords and updated virus-protection software, if you don’t open unsolicited attachments, including from your friends.

I for one am seriously thinking of not turning on my computers at all tomorrow.

24 March, 2009

Bad writing: Coat-rack articles

Filed under: writing — monado @ 04:25

Wikipedia asks its writers to avoid a category of rhetorical stalking-horses that it calls coat-rack articles. (The authors don’t hyphenate their term but I will, so that it’s read Coat Rack on the first try and not Coa Track.) A Coat Rack is a slender framework on which the author piles an elaborate accumulation of irrelevant or unlooked-for material. The Wikipedia description gives a number of amusing examples. Here is but one:

Some Dude Did It So It Must Be Good

Jim B. Ean is an athlete. One day he converted from religion X to religion Y. Isn’t it nice how he saved his soul that way? Here are some more fun facts about religion Y, the greatest religion in the world: …

18 March, 2009

Every newspaper in Canada

Filed under: online resources,Resources — monado @ 22:13

While searching around for some information about who owns which publications, I found this site, which gives you quick access to every daily newspaper chain published in Canada:

It includes Jobboom,, Torstar Digital, IT technology news, and more.

17 March, 2009

Tools for Help writers

Filed under: technical communication,work,writing — monado @ 12:09
Tags: , ,

The Writers’ User Assistance group surveyed its members and contacts late last year to find out what they were using to writer User Assistance materials. About four hundred people responded.

The survey asked which tools are used the most. The top three were Adobe Acrobat, TechSmith Snagit, and Microsoft Visio. Also, of five products that were used by more than 50% of respondents, three Adobe products.

It also asked which tools people were most satisfied with. TechSmith Snagit, Adobe Acrobat, and MadCap Flare all scored above 90%.

You can find complete results here: 2009 WritersUA Tools Survey.


12 March, 2009

Seneca College Tech Comm

Just discovered via FaceBook: The Seneca College Technical Communication program has a blog, maintained by Beth Agnew.


Mission:   To provide a real world, relevant, hands-on education in technical communication.

Overview:  Seneca’s Technical Communication Program has been producing capable technical writing graduates for 10 years now.

Seneca College is Canada´s largest college with more than 100,000 full and part-time students on campuses across the Greater Toronto Area. Seneca provides internationally and nationally recognized career education and training key to graduate success. Every Seneca diploma, certificate and degree program is developed to a high academic standard, in consultation with industry, integrated with information technology, combined with technical and transferable skills, and reinforced by opportunities for ongoing education and re-training.

9 March, 2009

Resources: Jargon File

Filed under: online resources,Resources,Web — monado @ 23:17

The Jargon File is an online resource for techie terms and old-fashioned hacker culture, maintained by Eric S. Raymond. I don’t know how much he’s updating it now, but it is still a good resource. You can read more at Welcome to the Jargon File.

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