Even incident reports can be funny

16 04 2009

I just saw this incident report from a client (who shall remain nameless). Normally I just skim these, but the first line of the incident caught my eye, so I kept reading. The incident wasn’t funny, but I laughed out loud at the final sentence 😉

BTW, “IP” is “Injured Person”.

There's even humour in incident reports

There's even humour in incident reports

The interview

28 03 2009

One of the things planned for the time I was in California was an interview conducted by my friend Whitney from Connecticut. Whitney had suggested me as a potential subject for an “After Hours” column in the STC’s Intercom, and to put her money where her mouth was, she also offered to ‘interview’ me about my quilting.  We did that yesterday afternoon — and it’s interesting how much in common quilting has with technical writing. Who’d have thought? 😉 When/if the article gets published, you’ll be able to read all about the connections…

An MCSE is…

21 11 2007

Lots of interesting discussion is happening today on one of my technical communication/writing lists about certification (again!). In amongst all the arguments for and against (mostly against), was this definition of an MCSE:

“Minesweeper Consultant and Solitaire Expert”.

LOL! The real definition is “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer”, but I like the alternative better.

I worked with someone like this

9 11 2007

My Google Alert for ‘Technical Writing” threw up this blog post this morning.

My first reaction was that he (?) hated women in positions of authority, but then I kept reading. He could have been in my head writing about a documentation manager I had a few years back when I worked for a Large Company.  I haven’t had enough experience working for doc managers to know whether his diatribe applies across the board, but it definitely applied to the person I worked for.

Somebody got burned…

31 10 2007

I came across this warning list of things to look for when trying to identify a scam publisher. It’s pretty comprehensive and mostly good advice. I get the feeling from the tone of the writing – especially the list of nasty companies and websites at the end – that the person has been badly burned by the ‘get rich quick by publishing your own book’ schemes.

I like the title of the page too – ‘Preditors and Editors’. Clever.

Two great resource lists

31 10 2007

The Online Education Database has two terrific resources in its online library:

You could spend WEEKS checking these out…


Pixel to em converter

26 10 2007

Cool tool for anyone trying to figure out what a font size in pixels is in ems (Yes, I know that’s maybe three of my readers, but what the heck – by posting it here I’ll remember it!)

It’s here: http://riddle.pl/emcalc/

Thanks to the Boagworld RSS feed for alerting me to this cool tool.

Typo… set in steel!

15 10 2007

Just posted on one of my tech writing lists today: http://tinyurl.com/2efb43 (photo of typo on a drain hole cover; suitable for work)


Search MYOB Help files

11 10 2007

UPDATE: The information below only applies to versions of MYOB prior to v17. I received v17 the other day, installed it today, went to make these modifications only to find that MYOB v17 now uses the excellent Zoom Search (I installed Zoom for a previous client’s intranet – it works really well and I can highly recommend it). The new MYOB search now allows you to specify the number of results per page.


Another thing I don’t like about the MYOB Help is that only 10 items per page get displayed when you do a search. This means a lot of clicking if the results are well over 100, for example.

So I’ve fixed that too! Here’s how:

  1. Go to where your MYOB program files are stored (e.g. C:\MYOB16; NOTE: the information below is not applicable to MYOB 17 or later).
  2. Open the Help folder.
  3. Find the searchtopframe.html file and open it in a text editor. (NOTE: I use EditPlus but any text editor will do; I just prefer text editors with colour coding as the syntax is easier to read.)
  4. Near the very top of this long file, find the line that starts var displaymatches = 10; (it’s around about line 18).
  5. Change the value from 10 to whatever you like – 25, 50, 100, or however many results you’d like to see on a single page of search results.
  6. Save your changes.
  7. Refresh your MYOB Help window.
  8. Do a search for something with a lot of results, such as balance. You should now see the number of results you asked to display on a single page, with appropriately labelled Next and Previous buttons.

Woohoo! I’m on a roll!

MYOB Help files

11 10 2007

I’ve been using MYOB for my business and personal accounts for some years now. And it does what it’s meant to do, though there are times the user interface is frustrating. Anyhow, as with most software, you eventually learn to live with it and work around it.

Some versions ago they made all their Help browser-based. Which is a good thing (even though it takes up most of the installation time of upgrades!).

What’s NOT a good thing is how these MYOB Help files resize your default browser window on opening. To hell with whatever your browser has open right now, or how you’ve resized your window to fit how YOU work – no, MYOB ‘knows better’ and resizes your browser for you… to a ridiculously small size!! (350 px wide, 600 px high for those of you who know what these dimensions mean; and 350 px wide and 500 px high for the Search window—which opens in a new browser window too, by the way)

I put in a complaint to MYOB’s support team about this a couple of years ago in January 2006 and suggested that users get the option to set their own browser window size, or, even better, for MYOB to open in the browser window size you currently have set (<sarcasm>now, that’d be novel!</sarcasm>). I got the most ridiculous answer (reproduced here with typos and all):

Although the code supplied would generate a new browser if you where using it in the HTML code of a website, when asking a program to open a website the program has no HTML code and simply asks Windows to open a web browser.

It is infact windows that is fiinding an open browser and using this.

All programs when opening a web page will simply ask Windows to load the webpage and Windows finds an already open page.

For example i selected Help and then Online help in Microsoft Word and it used my Browser that was already open.

However that beinig said we only support the operation of MYOB not its interaction with other programs and this information may need to be checked with an IT Professional.

Even after trying to figure out what it meant (!) it still didn’t answer the question or address the problem.

So today I opened MYOB Help looking for how to do something, and the browser resize p***ed me off that much I decided to find the cause and fix it myself if it was something I could do.

A little bit of digging into the Help file code and I found the culprit – and fixed this window resizing once and for all (until the next upgrade anyway, when I’ll have to spend one minute changing these settings again).

For those who want to do this themselves, here’s how:

  1. Go to where your MYOB program files are stored (e.g. C:\MYOB16).
  2. Open the Help folder.
  3. Find the webby4menu.js file and open it in a text editor. (NOTE: I use EditPlus but any text editor will do; I just prefer text editors with colour coding as the syntax is easier to read.)
  4. Find the text that starts with self.name in the Exposed Menu Events section. NOTE: Make sure you’re at the real code, not the commented out ‘self.name’ bit above it. For those unfamiliar with JavaScript, any line starting with // is a ‘commented out’ line – ignore those lines.
  5. Change the values in self.resizeTo(350,600);self.moveTo(450,25) to something more reasonable, like self.resizeTo(950,900);self.moveTo(250,25). The first set of values specify the browser width and height; the second set the position of the browser window from the top right (?) edge of the screen – these aren’t as annoying so you can leave them if you want.
  6. Go down a couple of lines to the search window specifications, and change the height and width (500 and 350 respectively) to something like 900 and 750.
  7. Save your changes.
  8. Refresh your MYOB Help window (or open MYOB Help if it’s not already open) and you should see the contents in a decent-sized window. Yay!
  9. Adjust the height and width settings to suit, if the ones I’ve documented here aren’t quite what you want.

Hopefully this will help someone else who is as equally annoyed with this ‘feature’ of the MYOB Help. Let me know how you go!