Saturday, February 2, 2013

How I Work

I recently discovered Lifehacker's How I Work series. Since they're never going to ask, I'll just have to do it myself.

It also helps that they rely heavily on an out-of-the-box questionaire.

Occupation: One of the carbon blobs in Sector 7G
Location:By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...
Current computer:an HP Pavillion Elite HPE alphabet soup desktop
Current mobile devices: a crappy Siemens cellphone
One word that best describes how I work: recalcitrant

What's your best time-saving trick?
Seriously overestimate the amount of time it takes to do anything.

What's apps/software/tools can't you live without?
I love Microsoft Acess and Excel, though I think they peaked at 2000 and it's been downhill ever since. That said, even Excel 2010 is still better than any other spreadsheet that I've tried; It'll take MS another couple iterations at least to ruin it completely.

For radio/electronics stuff, I've got a nice middle-tier Harbor Freight DMM that works surprisingly well for its relatively low cost; a couple of old test instruments that work well considering they're older than I am; and I've got a big 1/2-inch drive socket driver that makes as a beat-down tool for anything that needs to be seriously whapped. Oh yeah, and my Swiss Army knife.

What's your workspace setup like?
I have three. At my joe-job I've got the usual, or at least what was usual before cubes really took over: an old steelcase desk, a steel file cabinet, a small table and a bookcase. At home I've got the computer area (where I am right now) which is a big table with the computer stuff, and the rest of the house as support. In the garage I've got the classic technican's workbench: a normal wood bench top with a shelf above it where the electronic gear sits.

What do you listen to while you work?
The photo above really rings true for me. If I'm just cruising I'll listen to talk/news radio or a spoken-word podcast; if I really have to buckle down and concentrate, I pick a song that I know will work from past experience, set it on an endless loop, and go into almost a zen state with it. The music blurs into something like white-noise and allows me to close out the rest of the world.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?
Avoiding dreary smalltalk. I hate it, and I know many people who do it, also loathe it, but feel like they have to do it to be polite. I disagree—I think I can be polite without it. But it could also be why I don't have many friends.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. (Henry Ford)