Apr. 26, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Education

Twenty years ago if you wanted to get a college education, you had to physically attend a lecture on campus. There were a few correspondence courses. Some universities would broadcast their lectures on public television. Others would mail students videotapes of lectures that they would watch and then mail them back. All of this was slow and expensive.

The internet allowed you watch a lecture, take a test and talk to an instructor anywhere in the world. It sped up the process and showed a way to educate billions of people without building millions of college campuses.

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Square 9841 Chair Gray

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Square 9808 Sculpture 3D

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Square 9805 Turbine 3D

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Square 9799 Chair Purple

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Square 9691 Brass Q

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Square 9585 Chair Ivory

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Apr. 19, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Finding Jobs

Twenty years ago if you wanted to find a job you looked at the help wanted ads in a printed newspaper. You could respond to the ad by calling the company, mailing a resume, or if they were really high tech, faxing it.

Finding a job in another city required buying a week-old newspaper from a specialty bookstore or news shop. You could have people in that city buy a more recent paper and call you about the ads. You could travel to that city and buy newspapers locally.

You could join a national professional organization with local chapters. Sometimes companies would put ads in newsletters. Companies would send ads to local chapters and some volunteer would leave a voice message of the ad on an answering machine. Members could check for messages and respond to the ads.

A company might start with phone interview and follow up with an interview in person. This meant staying close to a landline phone or booking a flight on short notice.

All this cost time and money. The internet allowed you to see an ad on a website and send a resume by email. It speeded up a process that used to take months. You could have a new job in a new city in 24 hours.

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Square 9383 Fountain Steel

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Square 9254 Shopping Cart Red

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Square 9251 Shopping Cart Orange

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Square 9209 Cigar Store Man

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Square 9208 Cigar Store Woman

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Square 9207 Man Marshmallow

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Apr. 12, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Web Anniversary

Remember what life was like before and after the internet? Twenty years ago I loaded Mosaic on a Sun Indigo Workstation and began surfing the Internet. Later, I loaded Netscape onto my Apple Macintosh to surf the web. I still remember that scratchy screeching noise of dialing up over a twisted pair landline connection at a 56k baud rate. You logged on, did your prepared search and logged off, because you were paying by the minute. When you got an email, it was an event because there were so few people online It was like getting a telegram in 1850, you read it like it was the Gettysburg Address.

Stay tuned.

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Square 9201 Sculpture Basket

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Square 9189 Tower Microwave

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Square 9143 Chair Metal

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Square 9140 Window Spanish

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Square 9123 Geese Snow

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Square 8991 Stonework Woman

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Apr. 5, 2015 Blumbers

Little Brother

I was at a Silicon Valley birthday party and noticed that many people had at least two children. Invariably, the oldest was a girl and the youngest was a boy. One family had five older sisters and one brother. Parents with one child invariably had a boy. Was this startling pattern a coincidence? The guests were from all over the world so it was not specific to one culture. Is there some sort of selection process going on? What is the reason? What are the long term implications if every sister has a little brother?

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Square 8978 Stonework Mayan

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Square 8921 Skylight Victorian

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Square 8858 Chair Metal

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Apr. 1, 2015 Events To Attend

Here are some events you might want to attend. Check with the respective organizations for more information.

Date: Apr. 2, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC East Bay

Topic: Five Ways to Add Interactivity to Online Help

Speaking: Nicki Bleiel

Venue: Mimi’s Cafe, 4775 Hacienda Dr Dublin, CA 94568

Date: Apr. 7, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC Los Angeles

Topic: TBA

Speaking: TBA

Venue: TBA

Date: Apr. 8, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC Berkeley

Topic: Making Yourself Marketable in 2015

Speaking: Andrew Davis

Venue: Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, Oakland, California

Date: Apr. 14, 2014 6:00PM

Org: STC San Diego

Topic: Creating Mobile Apps without Coding – A New Avenue for Tech Comm

Speaking: Neil Perlin

Venue: Elijah’s Restaurant and Delicatessen, 8861 Villa La Jolla Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037

Date: Apr. 15, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC San Francisco

Topic: Ten Years of DITA: Are We There Yet?

Speaking: Mysti Berry

Venue: Salesforce Community Meeting Room, Rincon Center, on Howard Street between Steuart and Spear in San Francisco

Date: Apr. 15-17, 2015 9:00AM

Org: WritersUA West

Topic: User Assistance Boot Camp

Speaking: Joe Welinske and many others

Venue: Renaissance Hotel Seattle, 515 Madison St, Seattle, WA 98104

Date: Apr. 16, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC Willamette Valley

Topic: Future of the STC Willamette Valley Chapter

Speaking: Valerie M. Ball

Venue: Benson Hotel, Cambridge Room, 309 Southwest Broadway, Portland, OR 97205

Date: Apr. 20, 2015 6:00PM

Org: STC Silicon Valley Chapter

Topic: Creating a Documentation Portal

Speaking: Steve Anderson

Venue: IHOP, Santa Clara, 4200 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Date: Apr. 20-22, 2015 9:00AM

Org: CIDM

Topic: Content Management Strategies/DITA North America

Speaking: JoAnn Hackos and many others

Venue: Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 2233 S Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Chicago, IL 60616

Date: Apr. 21, 2015, 6:00PM

Org: STC Orange County

Topic: Planning Your Financial Future

Speaking: Christopher Quinley

Venue:  Doubletree Club Hotel, 7 Hutton Centre Drive, Santa Ana, CA 92707,

Date: Apr. 21, 2015, 6:00PM

Org: STC Puget Sound

Topic: From writing to UX: How to think like a designer

Speaking: TBA

Venue: Coast Hotel Bellevue, 625 116th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA 98004

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Square 8851 Light Bulb

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Square 8836 Clock

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Mar. 29, 2015 Blumbers

Big 20: Dart

My friend Dart was a WWII vet and a pioneer in technical communication. He was the first person I helped become an STC Fellow. One of the last times I saw him was twenty years ago in a hospital outside of Wright Patterson Air Force Base. We talked about the Internet and his work with its network predecessor Arpanet. He thought it would was a good idea to pursue. I’m glad I took his advice. He is missed.

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Square 8726 Building Hotel

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Square 8702 Tile

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Square 8701 Tile

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