Friday, October 30, 2009

Being the Bad Guy at Work

Why it could help your career

By Anthony Balderrama,

In film and literature, the villains are the most entertaining characters. We root for good to triumph over evil and we're connected to the protagonist, but we're most interested in the bad guy.

Think about classic films and pick out the best characters. In "The Wizard of Oz," I'm glad Dorothy ends up with her family, but the Wicked Witch and her winged simians were the coolest part of the story. In "Psycho," the focus is on creepy Norman Bates. Let's face it, being bad is fun.

Why, then, do we become so skittish about embracing the role of bad guy at work? Think back to times during your career when you were too afraid to take an unpopular stance. Whether you've been working for three months or three decades, you've probably had at least one of those moments when you didn't want to be the lone voice of dissent. No one wants to be disliked by everyone else.

"This doesn't mean that people shouldn't be strong, assertive and provocative at times, but they better understand the potential impact of what they are choosing to do," says Rick Maurer, achange management expert at Maurer & Associates.

The question becomes, how do you embrace these maligned roles without ruining your career? Here are three instances when you might find yourself being the bad guy or gal and what you should think about:

Standing up for what you think is right for the company or team
Opinions clash in every team effort. No decision involving a group vote ever happens without someone voicing concerns that ultimately slow down the process. Is it worth being the cheese that stands alone?

"This is one of the most difficult issues a person can face at work," says Paul R. Damiano, president of Good Works Consulting. "The key is that you legitimately have to be concerned about the best interest of the company." When expressing your trepidation, keep the focus on how the company benefits from your idea and how a bad decision is detrimental to everyone. Don't put the focus on how it affects you, because people will make assumptions about your motives.

"If the group finally does override you, be sure to vocalize your support for the final decision, otherwise, they may see you as subtly trying to sabotage or undermine the decision to prove you were right all along," Damiano says.

Playing devil's advocate
Sometimes the unpopular opinion isn't one that you believe in, but it's the one that gets people thinking. That's when you're tempted to play devil's advocate merely to challenge everyone to consider the reasons for their opinions. If you can rile people up and make them think about all sides of a situation, you can prepare them for controversy that might come their way as a result. But you could have your own controversy to deal with as well.

"Even when the meeting is over, something called role transference can occur and people may still truly believe that you are against the issue at hand, when in fact you may have been merely trying to get people to think more broadly or deeply," Damiano says.

To avoid any confusion, Damiano suggests a visual cue to separate you from your role as antagonist. It might sound silly, but it gives everyone a focal point for their frustration.

"For example, you could hold a Koosh ball, wear a certain hat or sit in a designated seat when playing the devil's advocate," he suggests. "Then when you separate yourself from the tangible object (pass the ball, remove the cap, take your normal seat) it will be easier for your colleagues to separate you from your role-playing opinions."

However you choose to separate yourself from the role as naysayer, remember to emphasize your goal of challenging the group. Playing devil's advocate is a worthwhile exercise only if you make people re-evaluate how they look at an issue, not how they look at you.

Standing up for yourself
Hopefully you never have to encounter this situation, but it could happen: You share an idea with a co-worker, he presents it to the boss, she showers him with praise and you're left as the fool who doesn't have any good ideas. Do you let someone steal your hard work? What do you say if you're criticized for not being as productive and creative? Ultimately, this is a showdown of your word against his.

"This is often a matter not of what we say, but how we say it," Damiano says. "In these instances, you definitely need to confront the issue, and you need to talk about the emotional impact it had on you without becoming emotional in the process."

Can you be passionate without being irrational when you're trying to defend yourself? We are talking about your hard work and integrity, after all.

"The best way to do this is to actually practice or role play the conversation a few times with a friend or colleague before talking to the person who unfairly took your ideas," Damiano says. If possible, he also encourages you to record yourself so you can analyze how you come across and judge whether or not your message is effective. Then you'll be ready to stand up for yourself.

The gender effect
Lurking beneath each of these issues is that reality that women often know that things they do could backfire because gender still factors into some people's perceptions. Some women might be hesitant to be the office villain, even momentarily, because of the sexist stigma associated with assertive females in the workplace.

On the other hand, if you're a woman who doesn't want to stand out for the wrong reasons, are you also a worker who's not standing out at all? If you're invisible at work you could be feeding into the stereotype of a meek female worker who's more wallflower than leader.

"There's a big cost to women who shun the role of bad guy," says Debra Condren, author of "Ambition is Not a Dirty Word." "It keeps you from going for your share of the opportunities pie at work, from taking risks that can have huge  payoffs, from standing up to people when you need to, from being tough even if it brings on disapproval from others, from taking the credit you deserve.

"It keeps you from being taken as seriously in the workplace as those who stand up for themselves and play bad-guy hardball. It keeps you from earning what you're worth (i.e., it can cost women between $500,000 and $2 million in earnings over the course of their careers) and from earning as much as your male counterparts who are willing to play the bad guy in negotiations do."

When she puts it that way, do you really have a choice?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

47 simple ways to waste money

Words of wisdom: Eat before you visit a grocery store . . . or the state fair.
This post comes from Paul Michael at partner blog Wise Bread.

How are you doing with your money? Do you have everything under control, or are you spending a little more than you should? 

Well, if you'd like to blow even more of your money, this list will help you empty your bank account in half the time you usually do. Enjoy.

  1. Gamble in Vegas. Sure, some people get lucky. But most of us blow a wad and leave feeling like reckless morons.
  2. Spend your spare time surfing the bargain sites. It doesn't matter if you don't actually need anything. You'll find something to buy.
  3. Shop hungry. It's amazing how much extra food you'll throw in your cart.
  4. Draw more money out of the ATM than you need. If you get $20, you'll spend $20. If you get $40, it will disappear just as quickly.
  5. Become an impulse buyer. See something in a shop window, grab it immediately and worry about the cost later.
  6. Pay bills late. That will eat up some serious cash in the form of late fees and interest rate hikes, and sometimes will damage your credit rating.
  7. Lend money to people who won't pay you back, even when they say it will be different this time.
  8. Don't shop around. The first place you look is almost certainly not the best price available.
  9. Don't buy online. Those High Street retailers have lots of extra overhead, and they pass it on to you by marking up products.
  10. Go to a state fair or carnival and buy lunch from a concession stand for your family: $8 for a hot dog, $4 for a can of Coke. Multiply by number of family members.
  11. Feed $1 bills into those crane machines that tempt you with stuffed animals. You may get lucky, but only after you've paid twice what the crappy toy is worth.
  12. Buy complete albums instead of cherry-picking the songs you want from a music download site. (Unless, of course, you always buy albums that are 100% brilliant from beginning to end.)
  13. Never double-check your measurements on a DIY project. You'll make at least one big mistake and have to buy another round of materials.
  14. Forget to take back movie rentals on time. Red Box may be only a buck a night, but rent two and leave them behind the sofa, and that can add up quickly.
  15. That goes for library books, or any other type of rental that fines tardiness.
  16. Buy food, throw it in the back of the fridge or in the vegetable crisper and forget about it. Then, a few weeks later, you can throw it away. Cash in the trash.
  17. Become completely disorganized and forgetful. You have no idea how quickly you'll spend money if you are buying things that you already have, or can't find the library books that were due three months ago.
  18. Ignore special offers and coupons. Why pay $3 for an item when you can just as easily pay $5?
  19. Take your car in for an oil change and proceed to get every single recommended repair. I just took my car in for an oil change; they wanted to change all four brake pads. Little did they know my car has a warning light that tells me when my brake pads need replacing. I also have a mechanic for a father-in-law.
  20. And speaking of oil changes, get yours done every 3,000 miles. True, modern engines and synthetic oils mean most vehicles can do 5,000 to 7,000 miles between changes, but so what.
  21. Use credit cards without paying off the balance in full each month. You will rack up some delicious interest.
  22. Fly first class. You'll get to your destination at the same time as the folks a few rows behind you, but you'll pay substantially more for some legroom and a nicer meal.
  23. Never read a contract. Ever. You will later be taken by surprise with all sorts of fees and penalties. And legally, you signed on the dotted line so you're obligated to pay them all -- or in some cases, like a secured loan, lose your house.
  24. Buy an extended warranty, especially on a car. Most of the time, you'll be paying a huge percentage of the cost of the item and when it comes time to make a claim you'll be battling with legal eagles who will do anything to make sure you don't get any money.
  25. Don't take advantage of your company's 401(k) match, because another great way to waste money is to decline free money.
  26. Buy a monthly gym membership, work out once, then sit at home for the next year and watch TV.
  27. Buy in bulk stuff you'll never be able to use or consume before the sell-by-date.
  28. Smoke. If you go through one pack per day, you'll literally burn more than $2,000 per year.
  29. Walk past the perfectly functional coffee machine at home, drive to work and pick up a grande half-caf, double-mocha-vanilla-chai-peppermint cream coffee from Starbucks or any other "premium" coffee chain. That's an easy way to blow up to $5 on something that should cost you only pennies.
  30. Buy books, DVDs and CDs at bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble. Last time I checked, the regular price for a new DVD averaged $25 to $30 in one of those stores. Even when they're on sale, they're more expensive than the same copy at Target.
  31. Throw away your leftovers. Whether they're from a home-cooked meal or from dining out, just put them in the fridge covered in cling wrap and then pop them in the garbage a week later.
  32. Buy bottled water. It's dollars for a bottle, pennies from the faucet. And let's not forget the environmental costs of bottled water either.
  33. Use 411 instead of (800) GOOG-411. The first costs you a hefty fee each time you dial, the second is free. Both offer the same service.
  34. Buy the high-octane gas. Modern computer-controlled cars will alter ignition and timing profiles to allow the use of low-grade gas, but why bother taking advantage of that?
  35. Purchase bags of baby carrots. In actuality, they're large carrots shaped into smaller, bite-sized pieces, but you're way too busy to cut carrots to size.
  36. Don't take the time to read street signs. I got myself a lovely $25 parking ticket recently because I thought the road was meter-free. It wasn't. The meters had been replaced by one parking fee booth about 20 feet down the road.
  37. Oh, and why not speed as well? You'll get a big fine and a few points on your license just to get somewhere a few minutes quicker.
  38. Rent from Blockbuster instead of RedBox -- $4 vs. $1 per night. And never remember to return it so you get charged a big fat fee to keep the disc.
  39. Never monitor your bank account(s). That way, you can occasionally overdraw an account and get charged a lovely big fee.
  40. Don't take care of your teeth, and avoid dental checkups and cleanings. You'll save a little money at first, but worry not: The dentist's fees will come pouring in when your mouth looks and smells like the inside of a garbage dump.
  41. Don't haggle. Whether it's a small bag of apples at a farmers market or the purchase of a new home, just accept the first price and call it good.
  42. Play the lottery. Sure, there's a roughly 1-in-120 million chance you could bag the jackpot, but it's a slim chance. Even the odds of winning just a lousy $10 are about 1 in 35. Imagine closing your eyes and picking one white ball out of a bag containing 34 red balls. Yep, doubtful.
  43. Never question a dubious charge or bill. If in doubt, let the restaurant, grocery store, cable company, phone company or any other mega-corporation keep the money. They need it for all the lawsuits.
  44. Buy brand-name everything. Yes, many of the store-brand products are repackaged brand names at lower prices, but why pay less?
  45. Buy a new car. It loses about 20% of its value the second you drive it off the lot.
  46. Don't turn off the lights or appliances. Keep them all going, even when you're out of the house. That should push your electricity bill way up.
  47. Don't read Wise Bread or our personal-finance book. But as you're reading this, maybe you will end up saving some money today.

Don't worry. Follow the rest of the advice here and you can soon spend way more than you need to.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

На смену LCD и OLED дисплеям идут более эффективные и экономичные дисплеи TMOS.

Дисплей TMOS

Представители компании Uni-Pixel из Вудлэнда, штат Техас, сообщили новость о том, что компания готовится запустить массовое производство дисплеев нового поколения, маленькой толщины и выполненных по технологии Time-Multiplexed Optical Shutter (TMOS), что в переводе означает «оптический затвор с временным мультиплексированием», которая использует инерционность сетчатки человеческого глаза. Представители Uni-Pixel утверждают, что новые дисплеи будут значительно дешевле в производстве, обеспечивать более качественное изображение, чем дисплеи CRT, LCD и OLED, и потреблять меньшее количество энергии.

Структура дисплея TMOS

Большинство технологий изготовления дисплеев, применяемых в настоящее время, используют синхронизированное пространственное смешение трех основных цветов, красного, зеленого и синего. Меняя интенсивность каждого цвета, смешение цветов позволяет получить миллионы оттенков. Дисплеи TMOS, вместо смешения трех цветов, используют инерционность человеческого зрения, чередуют через очень короткие интервалы времени вспышки трех основных цветов с необходимой интенсивностью, дальнейшее «математическое» смешение и получение результирующего цвета происходит уже в мозгу человека.

Принцип действия технологии TMOS комбинирует в себе и электронную и механическую составляющие. Чередующиеся вспышки красного, зеленого и синего цвета производятся светодиодами соответствующего цвета, расположенными по краям дисплея и освещающими стеклянную подложку. На эту подложку наложена специальная тонкая пленка, сделанная по технологии микроэлектромеханических систем (MEMS), и содержащая крошечные электронные и механические устройства. Под воздействием электрических сигналов с матрицы, расположенной уровнем ниже, эти микроэлектромеханические элементы деформируют пленку, вследствие чего миниатюрные зеркала, диаметром всего 10 микрон, расположенные на поверхности пленки, приближаются к освещенной подложке первого уровня и отражают свет, формируя, таким образом, изображение одного пиксела.

Принцип действия дисплея TMOS

Новая технология, несомненно, имеет ряд значимых преимуществ перед ныне используемыми технологиями. Количество микротранзисторов, коммутирующих сигналы для управления элементами TMOS, уменьшилось в три раза, по сравнению с LCD дисплеями. Это, несомненно, отразится на стоимости конечного продукта в сторону уменьшения и позволит увеличить надежность устройства. Опять же, по сравнению с LED дисплеями, количество слоев, расположенных между освещаемой подложкой уменьшено до одного, собственно слоя пленки TMOS. Это позволило в десять раз уменьшить мощность, требующуюся для освещения нижнего слоя, что положительно сказывается на характеристиках энергопотребления.

За счет маленьких габаритов каждого пиксела, на базе технологии TMOS можно будет добиться рекордного значения разрешения таких дисплеев, перешагнув предел в 300 точек на дюйм. Скорость реакции используемых микроэлектромеханических элементов, расположенных на пленке TMOS чрезвычайно высока, что позволит получить частоты регенерации изображения в 1000 раз превышающие типовые значения LCD дисплеев. Но самым внушительным достижением новой технологии является прогнозируемый срок службы нового типа дисплеев, который составляет 300 000 часов, что намного больше, чем аналогичные показатели LCD или OLED дисплеев.

По данным компании Uni-Pixel в настоящий момент идет ограниченный выпуск матриц TMOS, которые рассылаются в качестве опытных и экспериментальных образцов различным изготовителям дисплеев и другой электронной техники. В новом, 2010 году, компания планирует скачкообразное увеличение выпуска новых матриц, которые уже пойдут в конечные изделия

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Windows 7 Review


By Harry McCracken, PC World

Windows 7 gets the basics right. Here's what you need to know about the new OS.

What if a new version of Windows didn't try to dazzle you? What if, instead, it tried to disappear except when you needed it? Such an operating system would dispense with glitzy effects in favor of low-key, useful new features. Rather than pelting you with alerts, warnings and requests, it would try to stay out of your face. And if any bundled applications weren't essential, it would dump 'em.
It's not a what-if scenario. Windows 7, set to arrive on new PCs and as a shrink-wrapped upgrade on Oct. 22, has a minimalist feel and attempts to fix an noyances old and new. In contrast, Windows Vista offered a flashy new interface, but its poor performance, compatibility gotchas and lack of compelling features made some folks regret upgrading and others refuse to leave Windows XP.
Windows 7 is hardly flawless. Some features feel unfinished; others won't realize their potential without heavy lifting by third parties. And some long-standing annoyances remain intact. But overall, the final shipping version I test-drove appears to be the worthy successor to Windows XP that Vista never was.
Microsoft's release of Windows 7 also roughly coincides with Apple's release of its new Snow Leopard; for a visual comparison of the two operating systems, see our slide show "Snow Leopard Versus Windows 7" Read on here for an in-depth look at how Microsoft has changed its OS -- mostly for the better -- in Windows 7.
Interface: The new taskmaster
The Windows experience occurs mainly in its Taskbar -- especially in the Start menu and System Tray. Vista gave the Start menu a welcome redesign; in Windows 7, the Taskbar and the System Tray get a thorough makeover.
Windows 7 Review // The new Windows Taskbar; Windows 7's revamped Taskbar introduces several new features and gives users much more control over how it looks. (Image courtesy of PC World)
The new Taskbar replaces the old small icons and text labels for running apps with larger, unlabeled icons. If you can keep the icons straight, the new design painlessly reduces Taskbar clutter. If you don't like it, you can shrink the icons and/or bring the labels back.

In the past, you could get one-click access to programs by dragging their icons to the Quick Launch toolbar. Windows 7 eliminates Quick Launch and folds its capabilities into the Taskbar. Drag an app's icon from the Start menu or desktop to the Taskbar, and Windows will pin it there, so you can launch the program without rummaging around in the Start menu. You can also organize icons in the Taskbar by moving them to new positions.
To indicate that a particular application on the Taskbar is running, Windows draws a subtle box around its icon -- so subtle, in fact, that figuring out whether the app is running can take a moment, especially if its icon sits between two icons for running apps.
In Windows Vista, hovering the mouse pointer over an application's Taskbar icon produces a thumbnail window view known as a Live Preview. But when you have multiple windows open, you see only one preview at a time. Windows 7's version of this feature is slicker and more efficient: Hover the pointer on an icon, and thumbnails of the app's windows glide into position above the Taskbar, so you can quickly find the one you're looking for. (The process would be even simpler if the thumbnails were larger and easier to decipher.)
Also new in Windows 7's Taskbar is a feature called Jump Lists. These menus resemble the context-sensitive ones you get when you right-click within various Windows applications, except that you don't have to be inside an app to use them. Internet Explorer 8's Jump List, for example, lets you open the browser and load a fresh tab, initiate an InPrivate stealth browsing session or go directly to any of eight frequently visited Web pages. Non-Microsoft apps can offer Jump Lists, too, if their developers follow the guidelines for creating them.
Other Windows 7 interface adjustments are minor, yet so sensible that you may wonder why Windows didn't include them all along. Shove a window into the left or right edge of the screen and it'll expand to fill half of your desktop. Nudge another into the opposite edge of the screen and it'll expand to occupy the other half. That makes comparing two windows' contents easy. If you nudge a window into the top of the screen, it will maximize to occupy all of the display's real estate.
The extreme right edge of the Taskbar now sports a sort of nub; hover over it, and open windows become transparent, revealing the desktop below. (Microsoft calls this feature Aero Peek.) Click the nub and the windows scoot out of the way, giving you access to documents or apps that reside on the desktop and duplicating the Show Desktop feature that Quick Launch used to offer.
Getting at your desktop may soon be come even more important than it was in the past. That's because Windows 7 does away with the Sidebar, the portion of screen space that Windows Vista reserved for Gadgets such as a photo viewer and a weather applet. Instead of occupying the Sidebar, Gadgets now sit directly on the desktop, where they don't compete with other apps for precious screen real estate.
Old tray, new tricks: Windows 7's Taskbar and window management tweaks are nice. But its changes to the System Tray -- aka the Notification Area -- have a huge positive effect.
Windows 7 Review // System Tray changes: Changes in Windows 7 transform the System Tray from an intrusive eyesore (in Windows Vista) into a useful set of shortcuts and other controls. (Image courtesy of PC World)
In the past, no feature of Windows packed more frustration per square inch than the System Tray. It quickly grew dense with applets that users did not want in the first place, and many of the uninvited guests employed word balloons and other intrusive methods to alert users to uninteresting facts at inopportune moments. At their worst, System Tray applets behaved like belligerent squatters, and Windows did little to put users back in charge.

In Windows 7, applets can't pester you unbidden because software installers can't dump them into the System Tray. Instead, applets land in a holding pen that appears only when you click it, a much-improved version of the overflow area used in previous incarnations of the Tray. App lets in the pen can't float word balloons at you unless you permit them to do so. It's a cinch to drag them into the System Tray or out of it again, so you enjoy complete control over which applets reside there.
More good news: Windows 7 largely dispenses with the onslaught of word-balloon warnings from the OS about troubleshooting issues, potential security problems and the like. A new area called Action Center -- a revamped version of Vista's Security Center -- queues up such alerts so you can deal with them at your convenience. Action Center does issue notifications of its own from the System Tray, but you can shut these off if you don't want them pestering you.
All of this helps make Windows 7 the least distracting, least intrusive Microsoft OS in a very long time. It's a giant step forward from the days when Windows thought nothing of interrupting your work to inform you that it had de tected unused icons on your desktop.
File management: The library system
Compared with the Taskbar and the System Tray, Explorer hasn't changed much in Windows 7. However, its left pane does sport two new ways to get at your files: Libraries and HomeGroups.
Libraries could just as appropriately have been called File Cabinets, since they let you collect related folders in one place. By default, you get Libraries labeled Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos, each of which initially di rects you to the OS's standard folders for storing the named items -- such as My Pictures and Public Pictures.
To benefit from Libraries, you have to customize them. Right-click any folder on your hard drive and you can add it to any Library; for instance, you can transform the Pictures Library into a collection of all your folders that contain photos. You can create additional Libraries of your own from scratch, such as one that bundles up all folders that relate to your vacation plans.
Libraries would be even more useful if Microsoft had integrated them with Saved Searches, the Windows feature (introduced in Vista) that lets you create virtual folders based on searches, such as one that tracks down every .jpg image file on your system. But while Windows 7 lets you add standard folders to a Library, it doesn't support Saved Searches.
HomeGroups, sweet HomeGroups? Closely related to Libraries are HomeGroups, a new feature designed to simplify the notoriously tricky process of networking Windows PCs. Machines that are part of one HomeGroup can selectively grant each other read or read/write access to their Libraries and to the folders they contain, so you can perform such mundane but important tasks as providing your spouse with ac cess to a folder full of tax documents on your computer. HomeGroups can also stream media, enabling you to pipe music or a movie off the desktop in the den onto your notebook in the living room. And they let you share a printer connected to one PC with all the other computers in the HomeGroup, a useful feature if you can't connect the printer directly to the network.
HomeGroups aren't a bad idea, but Windows 7's implementation seems half-baked. HomeGroups are password-protected, but rather than inviting you to specify a password of your choice during initial setup, Windows assigns you one consisting of 10 characters of alphanumeric gibberish and instructs you to write it down so you won't forget it. To be fair, passwords made up of random characters provide excellent security, and the only time you need the password is when you first connect a new PC to a HomeGroup. But it's still a tad peculiar that you can't specify a password you'll remember during setup -- you can do that only after the fact, in a different part of the OS. More annoying and limiting: HomeGroups won't work unless all of the PCs in question are running Windows 7, a scenario that won't be typical any time soon. A version that also worked on XP, Vista and Mac systems would have been cooler.
Federated Search, a new Windows Explorer feature, feels incomplete, too. It uses the Open Search standard to give Win 7's search "connectors" for external sources. That capability allows you to search sites such as Flickr and YouTube from within Explorer. Pretty neat -- except that Windows 7 doesn't come with any of the connectors you'd need to add these sources, nor with any way of finding them. (They are available on the Web, though. Use a search engine to track them down.)
Security: UAC gets tolerable
Speaking of annoying Windows features, let's talk about User Account Control, the Windows Vista security element that was a poster child for everything that rankled people about that OS. UAC aimed to prevent rogue software from tampering with your PC by endlessly prompting you to approve running applications or changing settings. The experience was so grating that many users preferred to turn UAC off and take their chances with Internet attackers. Those who left it active risked slipping into the habit of incautiously clicking through every prompt, defeating whatever value the feature might have had.
Windows 7 Review // UAC changes: Whereas Vista's notorious User Account Control gave users no control over the feature other than to turn it off, Windows 7's version of UAC lets users choose from two intermediate notification levels between 'Always notify' and 'Never notify'. (Image courtesy of PC World)
Windows 7 gives you control over UAC, in the form of a slider containing four security settings. As before, you can accept the full-blown UAC or elect to disable it. But you can also tell UAC to notify you only when software changes Windows settings, not when you're tweaking them yourself. And you can instruct it not to perform the abrupt screen-dimming effect that Vista's version uses to grab your attention.

If Microsoft had its druthers, all Windows 7 users would use UAC in full-tilt mode: The slider that you use to ratchet back its severity advises you not to do so if you routinely install new software or visit unfamiliar sites, and it warns that disabling the dimming effect is "Not recommended." Speak for yourself, Redmond: I have every intention of recommending the intermediate settings to most people who ask me for advice, since those settings retain most of UAC's theoretical value without driving users bonkers.
Other than salvaging UAC, Microsoft has made relatively few significant changes to Windows 7's security system. One meaningful improvement: BitLocker, the drive-encryption tool included only in Windows 7 Ultimate and the corporate-oriented Windows 7 Enterprise, lets you en crypt USB drives and hard disks, courtesy of a feature called BitLocker to Go. It's one of the few good reasons to prefer Win 7 Ultimate to Home Premium or Professional.
Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7's de fault browser, includes many security-related enhancements, including a new SmartScreen Filter (which blocks dangerous Web sites) and InPrivate Browsing (which permits you to use IE without leaving traces of where you've been or what you've done). Of course, IE 8 is equally at home in XP and Vista -- and it's free -- so it doesn't constitute a reason to upgrade to Windows 7.
Applications: The fewer the merrier
Here's a startling indication of how different an upgrade Windows 7 is: Rather than larding it up with new applications, Microsoft eliminated three nonessential programs: Windows Mail (née Outlook Express), Windows Movie Maker (which premiered in Windows Me) and Windows Photo Gallery.
Users who don't want to give them up can find all three at as free Windows Live Essentials downloads. They may even come with your new PC, courtesy of deals Microsoft is striking with PC manufacturers. But since they are no longer tied to the leisurely release schedules of Windows, they are far less likely than most bundled Windows apps to remain mired in definitely in an underachieving state.
Still present -- and nicely spruced up -- are the operating system's two applications for consuming audio and video, Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center. Windows Media Player 12 has a revised interface that divides operations into a Library view for media management and a Now Playing view for listening and watching stuff. Minimize the player into the Taskbar and you get mini player controls and a Jump List, both of which let you control background music without having to leave the app you're in. Microsoft has added support for several media types that Media Player 11 didn't support, including AAC audio and H.264 video -- the formats it needs to play unprotected music and movies from Apple's iTunes Store.
Media Center -- not part of the bargain-basement Windows 7 Starter Edition -- remains most useful if you have a PC configured with a TV tuner card and you use your computer to record TV shows à la TiVo. Among its enhancements are a better program guide and support for more tuners.
Windows 7 Review // Backup and Restore Center changes: The Backup and Restore Center in Windows 7 gives users greater specificity in selecting files to back up than Vista did, but most versions of Win 7 can't back up to a network drive. (Image courtesy of PC World)
Windows Vista's oddly underpowered Backup and Restore Center let users specify particular types of files to back up (such as Music and Documents) but not specific files or folders. Though Microsoft corrects that deficiency in Windows 7, it deprives Windows 7 Starter Edition and Home Premium of the ability to back up to a network drive. That feels chintzy, like a car company cutting back on an economy sedan's airbags. It also continues the company's long streak of issuing versions of Windows that lack a truly satisfying backup utility.

The new version of Paint has Office 2007's Ribbon toolbar and adds various prefabricated geometric shapes and a few natural-media tools, such as a watercolor brush. But my regimen for preparing a new Windows PC for use will still include installing the impressive free image editor Paint.Net.
The nearest thing Windows 7 has to a major new application has the intriguing moniker Windows XP Mode. It's not a way to make Windows 7 look like XP -- you can do that with the Windows Classic theme -- but rather a way to let it run XP programs that are otherwise incompatible with Win 7. Unfortunately, only Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate offer it, and even then it comes as an optional 350MB download that requires you to have Microsoft's free Virtual PC software installed and that works only on PCs with Intel or AMD virtualization technology enabled in the BIOS.
Once active, XP Mode lets Windows 7 run apps that supposedly aren't compatible by launching them in separate windows that contain a virtualized version of XP. Microsoft clearly means for the mode to serve as a security blanket for business types who rely on ancient, often proprietary programs that may never be rewritten for current OSs.
Device management: Setting the stage
Windows 7 offers you numerous ways to connect your PC to everything from tiny flash drives to hulking networked laser printers -- USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, slots and more. Devices and Printers, a new section of the Control Panel, represents connected gadgets with the largest icons I've ever seen in an operating system. (When possible, they're 3-D renderings of the device; the one for Sansa's Clip MP3 player is almost life-size.)
More important, the OS introduces Device Stages -- hardware-wrangling dashboards tailored to specific items of hardware and designed by their manufacturers in collaboration with Micro soft. A Device Stage for a digital camera, for instance, may include a battery gauge, a shortcut to Windows' image-downloading tools and links to online resources such as manuals, support sites and the manufacturer's accessory store.
You don't need to rummage through the Control Panel or through Devices and Printers to use a Device Stage -- that feature's functionality is integrated into Windows 7's new Taskbar. Plug in a device and it will show up as a Taskbar icon; right-click that icon, and the Device Stage's content will at once ap pear as a Jump List-like menu.
Unfortunately, Device Stages were the one major part of Windows 7 that didn't work during my hands-on time with the final version of the OS. Earlier pre-release versions of Win 7 contained a handful of Device Stages, but Microsoft disabled them so that hardware manufacturers could finish up final ones before the OS hit store shelves in October. The feature will be a welcome improvement if device manufacturers hop on the bandwagon -- and a major disappointment if they don't.
Even if Device Stages take off, most of their benefit may come as you invest in new gizmos -- Microsoft says that it's encouraging manufacturers to create Device Stages for upcoming products, not existing ones. At least some older products should get Device Stages, though: Canon, for instance, told me that it's planning to build them for most of its printers. And Microsoft says that when no full-fledged Device Stage is available for a particular item, Windows 7 will still try to give you a more generic and basic one.
Input: Reach out and touch Windows 7
Windows 7 Review // Touch-based input: Microsoft’s Collage tool shows off the power of touch-based input to good effect. (Image courtesy of PC World)
The biggest user interface trend since Windows Vista shipped in January 2007 is touch-screen input; Windows 7 is the first version of the OS to offer built-in multitouch support (see "Windows 7 Hardware: Touch Finally Arrives").

Windows 7's new touch features are subtle on a touch-capable PC and invisible otherwise. Swipe your finger up or down to scroll through document files and Web pages; sweep two fingers back and forth to zoom in and out. Dragging up on icons in the Taskbar reveals Win 7's new Jump Lists. The Taskbar button that reveals the Windows desktop is a bit bigger on touch PCs for easier use.
I installed the final version of Windows 7 and beta touch-screen drivers on an HP TouchSmart all-in-one PC. The touch features worked as advertised. But applications written with touch as the primary interface will determine whether touch becomes useful and ubiquitous. Until they arrive, Windows will continue to feel like an OS built chiefly for use with a keyboard and mouse -- which it is.
You might have expected Microsoft to reinvent familiar tools such as Paint and Media Player for touch input. But the closest it comes to that is with the Windows 7 Touch Pack, a set of six touch-based programs, including a version of Virtual Earth that you can explore with your finger and an app that lets you assemble photo collages. The Touch Pack isn't part of Windows 7, but it will ship with some Win 7 PCs, and it's a blast to play with.
Still, ultimately, the Pack is just a sexy demo of the interface's potential, not an argument for buying a touch computer today. Third-party software developers won't start writing touch-centric apps in force until a critical mass of PCs can run them. That should happen in the months following Windows 7's release, as finger-ready machines from Asus, Lenovo, Sony and other manufacturers join those from HP and Dell. And even then, touch input may not become commonplace on Windows 7 PCs. But if a killer touch app is out there waiting to be written, we may know soon enough.
Bottom line: Is Windows 7 worth it?
Reading about a new operating system can tell you only so much about it: After all, Windows Vista had far more features than XP, yet fell far short of it in the eyes of many users. To judge an OS accurately, you have to live with it.
Over the past 10 months, I've spent a substantial percentage of my computing life in Windows 7, starting with a preliminary version and culminating in recent weeks with the final Release to Manufacturing edition. I've run it on systems ranging from an underpowered Asus EeePC 1000HE netbook to a po tent HP TouchSmart all-in-one. And I've used it to do real work, not lab routines.
Usually, I've run the OS in multiboot configurations with Windows Vista and/or XP, so I've had a choice each time I turned the computer on: Should I opt for Windows 7 or an older version of the OS? The call has been easy to make, because Win 7 is so pleasant to use.
So why wouldn't you want to run this operating system? Concern over its performance is one logical reason, especially since early versions of Windows Vista managed to turn PCs that ran XP with ease into lethargic underperformers. The PC World Test Center's speed benchmarks on five test PCs showed Windows 7 to be faster than Vista, but only by a little; I've found it to be reasonably quick on every computer I've used it on -- even the Asus netbook, once I upgraded it to 2GB of RAM. (Our lab tried Win 7 on a Lenovo S10 netbook with 1GB of RAM and found it to be a shade slower than XP.)
Here's a rule of thumb that errs on the side of caution: If your PC's specs qualify it to run Vista, get Windows 7; if they don't, avoid it. Microsoft's official hardware configuration requirements for Windows 7 are nearly identical to those it recommends for Windows Vista: a 1-GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of free disk space and a DirectX 9-compatible graphics device with a WDDM 1.0 or higher driver. That's for the 32-bit version of Windows 7; the 64-bit version of the OS requires a 64-bit CPU, 2GB of RAM and 20GB of disk space.
Fear of incompatible hardware and software is another understandable reason to be wary of Windows 7. One un fortunate law of operating-system upgrades -- which applies equally to Macs and to Windows PCs -- is that they will break some systems and applications, especially at first.
Under the hood, Windows 7 isn't radically different from Vista. That's a plus, since it should greatly reduce the volume of difficulties relating to drivers and apps compared with Vista's bumpy rollout. I have performed a half-dozen Windows 7 upgrades and most of them went off without a hitch. The gnarliest problem arose when I had to track down a graphics driver for Dell's XPS M1330 laptop on my own -- Windows 7 installed a generic VGA driver that couldn't run the Aero user interface, and as a result failed to support new Windows 7 features such as thumbnail views in the Taskbar.
The best way to reduce your odds of running into a showstopping problem with Windows 7 is to bide your time. When the new operating system arrives on Oct. 22, sit back and let the earliest adopters discover the worst snafus. Within a few weeks, Microsoft and other software and hardware companies will have fixed most of them, and your chances of a happy migration to Win 7 will be much higher. If you want to be really conservative, hold off on moving to Win 7 until you're ready to buy a PC that's designed to run it well.
Waiting a bit before making the leap makes sense; waiting forever does not. Microsoft took far too long to come up with a satisfactory replacement for Windows XP. But whether you choose to install Windows 7 on your current systems or get it on the next new PC you buy, you'll find that it's the unassuming, thoroughly practical upgrade you've been waiting for -- flaws and all.

By David Murphy, PC World

Squeeze the very best performance out of your PC with these Windows 7 optimization tricks.

Windows 7 comes as a significant performance improvement over its predecessor, Windows Vista. But if you want to get the very best performance possible, you should make a few system tweaks to eliminate resource-hogging programs and features. In this guide, I'll show you a few good ways to boost your PC's performance without upgrading your hardware.

First, one warning: A quick Internet search will lead you to treasure-troves of advice for making the most of your operating system, but beware -- many of those suggestions are fool's gold, myths inherited from Vista and XP optimization guides that could actually do more harm than good for your Windows 7 system's performance.

The tweaks and suggestions I offer here won't transform your rusty old junker into a screaming new Porsche, but they will help you squeeze some extra speed and space out of your native Windows 7 installation. If you intend to perform additional modifications to Windows 7 beyond the options I describe here, be sure to run a quick search for "Windows 7 performance myths." Don't be fooled by the more outlandish tweaking claims and tutorials you'll find on the Internet. Investigate the changes you intend to make to your system before you do anything, or you might find yourself in an undesirable (or even irreparable) situation.

Speed up a fresh Windows 7 upgrade

When you reach the first, fresh desktop after completing a successful Windows 7 installation, you might be stunned to find your components in perfect working order. For the most part, Windows 7 is quite good about setting up drivers for networking, video, input devices and other elements -- good, that is, but not great.

To maximize your PC's performance, first hunt down and install Windows 7 drivers for all of the critical components attached to your system. Motherboard drivers are the most important consideration, especially if your system's video and sound are integrated onto the system board. If those components aren't integrated in your PC, add drivers for your video card and sound card to the list, followed by your input devices and any additional parts you've attached to your system in some capacity (including, but not limited to, a Wi-Fi card, any PCI-based devices and printers). If you're not sure what components you have, grab the free program DriverMax and use it to scan your system for components and for potential driver updates.

Optimize Your Windows 7 PC // Troubleshoot Compatibility Windows 7's compatibility functionality gives you the opportunity to run legacy programs that don't play well with the new OS. It's also a good way to fool Windows 7 into using Vista drivers. (Image courtesy of PC World)

Can't find Windows 7 drivers for a product? Try using Windows Vista drivers instead. If you run into trouble, try right-clicking on the executable file and left-clicking Troubleshoot Compatibility. Run through the wizard and select the option that refers to the program's running fine in an earlier version of Windows but not in Windows 7. Select Windows Vista as the subsequent operating system, click Next through the offered prompts, and then run the installation executable again.

Finally, though it might sound odd, don't use the Windows Updater to install drivers for your machine -- Microsoft is notorious for releasing old and/or incompatible drivers through this service.

Optimize your storage

If you installed Windows 7 as an upgrade from Windows Vista, you'll find a folder labeled C:\Windows.old. This folder, as you might expect, holds the full contents of your old Windows Vista system. It's huge, and it's a waste of space. Scroll through the folders for any files that you want to save in your new Windows 7 OS, and then delete the entire folder from your drive. Space saved.

Optimize Your Windows 7 PC // Paging File Although allowing the system to manage the size of your paging file is the best option, for maximum performance you should move this file to a hard drive that doesn't include your OS. (Image courtesy of PC World)

If your PC has multiple hard drives, you can boost performance by moving the location of the system's paging file from the drive containing the C:\ partition to a separate hard drive. To do that, open Control Panel and choose System. From there, click Advanced System Settings. Select the Advanced tab, and then click the Settings button under the Performance category. On the new window that pops up, choose the Advancedtab. Finally, click Change. Uncheck the box labeled Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. Select C: from the Drive box and switch it to the No paging file option. Next, select a different hard drive and choose System managed size. Click OK and restart your computer.

Pushing your performance

Optimize Your Windows 7 PC // Windows 7 Registry Editing the Registry can be a perilous process. Make sure that you're editing only the menu delay values, else you might find yourself in a heap of trouble. (Image courtesy of PC World)

To create a faster Windows 7 experience, start by modifying the amount of time that mouse-over boxes and clicked menus take to appear. Click on the Windows Start button and type regedit into the "Search programs and files" box. Welcome to the Windows 7 Registry -- don't touch or modify anything without good reason. Left-click on the expandable arrow next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Expand the Control Panel folder, and then click directly on Desktop in the hierarchy. In the right pane, look for and double-click MenuShowDelay. Change the value from 400 to any lesser number that's one or greater; this figure represents the milliseconds of delay between your click and a menu's display. Restart the computer to apply the changes immediately, or continue to the next tweak.

See the folder labeled Mouse (below Desktop)? Click that, and then search for and select the MouseHoverTime Registry key. Just as before, change this value to any lesser number that's one or greater. Close the Registry Editor, restart the computer, and you'll have faster mouse-overs.

Performance Options If you're willing to sacrifice the pretty looks of Windows 7, you can improve your system's performance by disabling some of its fancier eye candy. Either nuke them all, or pick some according to your personal tolerance.

If you're willing to sacrifice looks for speed, you can modify the visual settings of the Windows 7 interface to emphasize performance over presentation. Go back to the System section of Control Panel and click on Advanced System Settings again. On the System Properties window that appears, choose the Advanced tab and then click on the Settings box underneath the Performance category. The Performance Options window will pop up. There, you'll see a list of checked boxes that correspond to all of the window dressing in the operating system.

If you don't mind transforming your OS into a clone of Windows 2000, click the button that tells Windows to adjust its visual settings for best performance. It's a harsh step to take, though -- if you'd prefer a piecemeal approach, uncheck only the boxes that relate to Windows Aero (such as Aero peek and transparent glass). You'll retain a semblance of a pretty desktop while still improving performance a teeny bit.

Conserve resources

Once you've installed a fair amount of programs on your PC -- your "core base" of apps, as it were -- you'll want to check that your system doesn't have any unwanted applications running in the background that could otherwise impede the machine's general performance. These programs launch themselves during the operating system's startup process, and are often designed to help you load their corresponding applications faster. The problem is that they run every time, regardless of whether you intend to use the application during a given session.

Click Start and type msconfig into the "Search programs and files" field. Press Enter. In the System Configuration window that appears, select the Startup tab. Move your mouse between the headers of the Manufacturer and Command columns, and shrink the Manufacturer column; the Command column is the one you care about.

Optimize Your Windows 7 PC // Startup Apps Speed up your Windows 7 start times by disabling unnecessary programs that rush to load as soon as the OS pops up. (Image courtesy of PC World)

A number of the startup applications that launch on your machine sit in the background, consuming resources. For example, take iTunes: If you've installed this application, you'll find iTunes and QuickTime listings in the Startup tab. Both iTunesHelper.exe and QTTask.exe are unnecessary additions to your system -- the former launches when you start iTunes anyway, and the latter places a QuickTime icon in the corner of your system for easy program launching. Uncheck them both.

As for the other programs on your list, try running a quick Web search of each application's executable-file name to find out if the program is worth keeping or removing. Once you've checked the programs you want to launch at startup and unchecked the programs you don't, click OK.

In addition to startup programs, you'll find services on your PC; Microsoft recommends trimming both to squeeze the most performance out of your system. For the services, click Start, type services.msc into the search field, and press Enter. Up pops the Services window, a list of options and executables that's even more confusing than the startup window.

Optimize Your Windows 7 PC // Windows 7 Services Use Black Viper's suggested tweaks to Windows 7 services to enhance your machine's performance. It's better that you follow his instructions as opposed to going at it yourself, because certain services are critical to the operating system's functionality. (Image courtesy of PC World)

You can't identify which services to turn off (and which to leave on) without taking a close look at how each one affects your system's overall performance. Thankfully, someone has been doing that exact task since Windows XP: Charles Sparks, under the alias Black Viper, has listed every single permutation of Windows 7's services across all of its versions, along with a "safe" and "tweaked" list of which services you should modify and how you should set their parameters.

To follow his advice, just double-click on any listed service. You need concern yourself only with the "Startup type" listing in the screen that appears next. By switching among the Automatic, Manual and Disabled modes, depending on his recommendations, you'll be able to control exactly how services launch -- if at all -- during Windows startup and during your general use of the operating system. Every little bit helps.

Maintain top performance

If you want to keep your system fast, be sure to clear out your C:\Windows\Temp folder on occasion. Do it as soon as you boot into the OS, or even through Safe Mode, to ensure that you wipe every last unused file from your drive. In the same vein, don't use Windows 7's uninstall function or a program's default uninstall executable to remove the application from your drive. Instead, use the free Revo Uninstaller utility; this awesome application removes programs using their default uninstall routines, but it also goes one step further by scanning your system and Registry to clean away any and all traces of the program from your hard drive.

Tweaking the operating system to increase its performance helps you achieve better results with the equipment you have, but the surest way to boost your PC's prowess is to upgrade the hardware. Once you've done that, remember to keep your system free from clutter -- what good is a performance boost on a messy system anyhow?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 Simple Life Lessons Every HR Professional Should Embrace…

by Alan Collins

This article is a bit of a change of pace.  If you’ve read Chapter 22 in book, Unwritten HR Rules, you know I’m big on people who use life lessons  as inspiration to drive their HR careers forward.  In that spirit, here are five more for you…

Life Lesson #1 – The Cleaning Lady

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was confident that I had nailed this test and breezed through the questions until I read  the last one: ‘What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?’
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had passed by the cleaning woman many times.  She was short, white-haired and in her 50’s, but how would I know her name?
I handed in my paper, and left the last question blank.  Just before class ended, someone asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
‘Absolutely,’ said the professor. ‘In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say ‘hello.’
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Olivia.

Life Lesson #2 – Pickup In The Rain

One night, at midnight, an older African American woman was standing on the side of the highway in Alabama during a terrible rainstorm. Her car wouldn’t start and she desperately needed a ride.
Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, clearly something that didn’t happen everyday in the South during the 1960’s.  The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance for her car and put her in a taxi.
She left in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man’s door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached.
It read: “Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband’s bedside just before he passed away.  Thank you for helping me and unselfishly serving others.”
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

Life Lesson #3 – Serving More Than Ice Cream

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.
“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.
By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.
“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.
The little boy again counted his coins.
“I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.
You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Life Lesson #4 – The Obstacle In Our Path

In ancient times, a king had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
The peasant learned what few people in the world truly understand: Within every obstacle lies a golden opportunity to improve your current situation.

Life Lesson #5 – Giving When It Really Counts

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness.
The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes I’ll do it if it will save her.”
As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”
Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her but he had chosen to save her anyway.

Here are the five HR takeaways….

1) In our HR careers, we will meet many people. All are significant. They all deserve our attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say “hello.”

2) As HR professionals, we all have a unique opportunity and platform for serving others. Never underestimate it.  Even our smallest gestures that show we care can affect lives profoundly.

3) Always remember your team members who serve you, even in the smallest way.  Never take them for granted, even if they take you for granted!

4) Within every obstacle lies a golden opportunity to improve your current situation and to move your HR career forward.

5) Give when it counts. Give without counting. Give!

For additional life lessons as well as stories, anecdotes and examples that can help move your HR career forward, check out:  Unwritten HR Rules: 21 Secrets For Attaining Awesome Career Success in Human Resources (including two free chapters you can download immediately) at

I’d like to thank Geir Ove Knutsen for sharing these stories.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ослиная жопа!!!

Я сидел у стола и вдруг вспомнил, что нужно сделать очень важный звонок.
Я нашел номер и набрал его. Мужчина приятно сказал, "Слушаю...", на что я вежливо ответил: "Меня зовут Дмитрий и я хотел бы поговорить с Владимиром Ивановым".
Внезапно трубку с грохотом повесили даже не ответив!
Я не мог поверить что кто-то может быть настолько груб! Я постарался найти точный телефонный номер Владимира и выяснил, что последняя цифра была неправильной.
После разговора с Владимиром я снова набрал неправильный номер телефона.
Когда уже знакомый мужчина поднял трубку, я зверски закричал :"Ты ослиная жопа!" и повесил трубку.
Возле этого номера я написал слово "ослиная жопа" и оставил этот листочек на самом видном месте на письменном столе.
Теперь каждый раз, когда у меня было плохое настроение или же я просто заполнял налоговые декларации, я звонил своему "знакомому" и каждый раз кричал :"Ты ослиная жопа!".
Это подбадривало меня каждый раз и сглаживало плохое настроение. Позже телефонная компания предложила услуги Автоматического Определения Hомера (АОH). Для меня это было настоящим крахом, потому что я больше не мог звонить Жопе.
Hо однажды у меня в голове возникла гениальная мысль. Я набрал номер Жопы и услышал его голос "Слушаю...". Hа это я ответил так: "Здраствуйте. Я сотрудник телефонной компании я мне поручено узнать Ваше мнение о качестве сервиса Автоматического Определения Hомера. Вы знакомы с этим сервисом?" - "Hет!"-ответила Жопа и громко повесила трубку. Я быстро позвонил ему назад и крикнул :
"Это потому что ты ослиная жопа!".
Причиной этого пролога является желание показать Вам, что если у Вас плохое настроение, то не нужно расстраиваться. Вы можете с этим быстро покончить просто набрав номер 23-40-40.
Hеуклюжая старушка возле супер-маркета очень долго старалась выехать из своего парковочного места. Я уже перестал думать, что она вообще собирается это делать. Hаконец, машина старушки начала двигаться. Облегченно вздохнув, я отьехал немножко назад, чтобы дать ей побольше места для разворота. Круто! Я думал, что она уже окончательно собирается уезжать. Вдруг, ни с того ни с сего, выезжает черный BMW и словно на крыльях влетает на мое место.
Я начал сигналить и кричать: "Дружище, ты не можеш это просто так сделать! Это мое место! Я был первый!"
Мужик вылез и своей BMW-ухи абсолютно игнорируя меня. Он пошел в сторону супер-маркета делая вид, что не слышит меня. Я подумал, что он ослиная жопа, ведь в мире есть очень много ослиных жоп. Я заметил наклейку "Машина для продажи" на заднем стекле. Я
записал номер телефона и нашел другое парковочное место. Hесколько дней спустя я сидел в офисе, возле письменного стола. Я только что позвонил Жопе по номеру 23-40-40 и крикнул :"Ты ослиная жопа!". (Теперь это делать очень просто, поскольку я добавил номер Жопы в память телефона). Далее я заметил телефон мужика, что продавал свой черный BMW. Я набрал его номер и голос ответил:
-Это Вы продаете отличный черный BMW?
-Да, это я.
-Можете сказать где я могу Вас найти и осмотреть машину?
-Да, я живу на Пушкинской 8, первый подьезд справа, квартира 7.
-Отлично, как Ваше имя?
-Меня зовут Hиколай Малый. Можно просто Колян.
-Хорошо, Колян. Когда я могу Вас застать дома?
-Вечером. Лучше после семи.
-Слушай, Колян, хочешь, я тебе кое-что скажу?
-Колян, ты ослиная жопа!.
Я громко повесил трубку. Hесколько дней спустя, около семи вечера, я набрал телефон Жопы 23-40-40. Приятный голос ответил:
Я закричал :"Ты ослиная жопа!", но не повесил трубку. Жопа спросила :"Эй, Вы еще там?".
-Конечно, жопа.
-Послушайте, прекратите, пожалуйста, мне звонить.
-Hет - я ответил.
-Как Вас зовут, дорогой?, -спросила Жопа.
-Меня зовут Hиколай Малый. Можно просто Колян.
-Где Вы живете, Hиколай?
-Я живу на Пушкинской 8, первый подьезд справа, квартира 7.
-Я уже иду,- сказала Жопа,- тебе лучше начинать молится, придурок!
-Ага, очень испугался, ослиная жопа! -ответил я.
Позже я набрал номер Коляна. Колян ответил:
-Колян, ты самая натуральная ослиная жопа!
-Если бы я знал где ты, я б тебя...
-Что ты, ослиная жопа?
-Я б тебя убил!
-Отлично, у тебя есть шанс. Я к тебе иду, ослиная жопа!
Я повесил трубку и набрал милицию. Я сообщил, что на Пушкинской 8 я убью моего голубого любовника как только он вернется домой. Другой звонок я сделал на канал новостей, сообщив, что на Пушкинской 8 очередные разборки мафии.
Позже, я сел в свою машину и поехал на Пушкинскую 8 посмотреть, что будет твориться.
Фантастика! Hаблюдение за тем, как два придурка выбивали один из другого мозги в присутствии шести бронированных машин ОМОHа, милицейского вертолета и кучи репортеров было одним из наиболее удивительных переживаний в моей жизни! :)))))))))))))))