R & D?

Posted by on Sep 8, 2009 in Blog | Comments Off

R & D?


I actually worked in a real R&D department for a while: White walls, ergonomically optimized furniture, glare free colour balanced lighting, double filtered ion enhanced air supply, equipped with state of the art digital workstations manned by eager, fresh faced young boffins in crisp lab coats toiling diligently under the condescendingly avuncular direction of a *supremely* overconfident man who’s official job title was (at his own insistence) ‘Chief Science Officer’.

I escaped before murder ensued.

Here at Eccentric Manors the R&D facilities are of a significantly more modest nature. Productivity has not been compromised.

I’m in the midst of a technical devolution, to tell ya the truth: The aggro inherent in maintaining a modest 3 box Windows network on technologically primitive machines grew to the point where I just said ‘Fuck it’ and snagged a low end Toshiba laptop running XP, which now constitutes the entirety of my digital infrastructure. Software wise, I pared down to Corel Draw and the free-as-in-beer version of Sketchup.

Yes, I know all about Linux, and no, I can’t /don’t want to be arsed.

I was more-or-less forced into adopting Word and the rest of the (oxymoron alert) MS Office productivity suite during the course of writing the book, in an attempt to keep the number of ‘Kaden, we can’t open this file’ emails from O’R down to a minimum. As it was, the Draw and Sketchup files caused enough headaches. I tell ya, for a supposedly tech savvy outfit, O’Reilly has some serious issues dealing with file formats outside the category of Mac/ Industry Standard/ Current Version. It was kinda disappointing, and an enormous pain in the ass having to not-batch-because-Corel-doesn’t-have-a-freakin’-batchfile-utility convert hundreds of illustrations into a format compatible with the Corps. datastream. Tim, dude, you’re a multi-bazillion dollar operation: Creativity is not limited to the Cult of Mac. Spring for a token PC or two for your production department, wouldja?

Anyway, the streamlined tech framework has proven to work just fine, thanks, with the only peripherals needed being confined to a succession of $50.00 inkjets for printing out templates, and a thrift shop LaCie USB CD burner which, when disassembled, turned into a quick ‘n dirty universal IDE to USB adaptor that lets me do nightly system wide backups on a stack of drives harvested from derelict boxes around the house. It’s a tad noisy, but for $3.99, waddayawant?