Category Archives: Top Tips

Advice, sometimes frivolous

£18 billion scandal as Whitehall’s IT plans spin out of control – Times Online


It is time government discovered agile software development: Some of Whitehall’s biggest computer projects have spiralled out of control, with total cost overruns of more than £18 billion, an investigation by The Times can reveal. Plans for new computer systems are years behind schedule and have ballooned in cost; others have been scaled back or even scrapped. Yet companies continue to make hundreds of millions of pounds in profit, with £102.3 billion forecast to be spent on government IT projects […]

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Advanced driver coaching: relax, focus, flow


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During a good session coaching advanced driving this Saturday, I was reminded how useful driving can be in developing a different approach to doing anything well. We concentrated on personal state management, which ties in with Don Palmers’ Driving Handbook: At the core level you manage your personal state – that is, your physical, mental and emotional state. Being in a fit state to drive is fundamental to effective driving. No amount of knowledge or skill will allow you to […]

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First Windows 7 beta puts fresh face on Vista – The Register


Everyone expects release later this year. A leaked briefing paper for OEM vendors suggests that the date when buyers of Windows Vista machines qualify for a free upgrade begins “for planning purposes” on July 1, 2009. via First Windows 7 beta puts fresh face on Vista • The Register. Hold me back!

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Enable innovation; don’t ask for it.


(From my professional site) Everyone wants their staff to innovate, but how to get them to do it? It’s a popular word: it means “to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas or products”. That has consequences. Be a transformational leader Obvious? But most organisations force transactional leadership, because it’s easy to monitor. Have a vision, develop your charisma, provide people with an intellectual challenge, and be there every day, committing to the change: get on […]

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Outpost: Basecamp project management on the iPhone


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Basecamp is an excellent online project management tool for anyone with a browser: WHY BASECAMP? Basecamp takes a fresh, novel approach to project collaboration. Projects don’t fail from a lack of charts, graphs, stats, or reports, they fail from a lack of clear communication. Basecamp solves this problem by providing tools tailored to improve the communication between people working together on a project. It’s simple, effective and fast. It’s not Microsoft Project, and that’s an advantage: Basecamp is a tool, […]

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New Amazon Bookstore


Available here.

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Now using Twitter


Right, I give in: I’m going to start using Twitter. There’s little excuse with applications like Twitterific on iPhone. You can find me here: http://twitter.com/sjbaker

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A free 20% improvement in fuel economy


I am pleased to report a sustained 20% improvement in average fuel economy for my Saab through the simple expedient of returning to driving for economy at the expense of lively throttle response. The speed limits are still reached briskly enough and of course, they are limits: my journey times have become no longer. Subject to safety, try to drive using no more than half throttle and the next gear up (once you have pulled away in first as usual). […]

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How I learned to love double glazing


The Casa Rural Hospedería El Convento is charming and the staff friendly, but I thought roosters were supposed to crow at dawn, not constantly from 3 am. The blasted thing sounds quite hoarse now and I am happy to announce that I am ready to put it out of its misery. In the meantime, I have learned to treasure modern double glazing over traditional, lightweight balcony doors and shutters. Now, if only the hotel were capable of the simple task […]

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Snow Patrol!


Don’t let “Take back the city” fool you: Snow Patrol deserve their iTunes genre of “Alternative”. An acquired taste?

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