Monday, January 30, 2012

Same old, same old, same obsolescence

I have a pretty standard routine for settling into my workday, almost all of which of course I do in the same order every day primarily so that I don’t forget anything I’m supposed to be on top of. Drop my workbag, hang my coat up, start my computer, take chargers out of my workbag for anything that needs charging (cell phone, Kindle, portable DVD player) and get them plugged into an outlet and hooked up to the device, sign in on the emergency contact sheet near the department secretary’s desk, stow any perishables I brought for lunch in the communal fridge, hit the men's room to bid farewell to my extra-large morning coffee, brush my teeth (which I couldn’t do at home because I was, as always, finishing the last of the extra-large morning coffee on my way out the door), back to my cubicle, record my voicemail greeting for the day. Another benefit of going through all of those activities first thing in the morning is that, generally, the computer has finished booting up and/or unlocking by the time I’m back in my chair. Because, yes, it takes an inordinately long time for my machine to wake up when I arrive at the office every day, which you may add to my previous laments about the GFE.

By the same token, once the computer is receptive to the notion of performing actual tasks, I have yet another virtual set of routines I go through every day. Fire up Internet Explorer, (which defaults to the Army intranet portal), launch Outlook, Excel and Word, open the documents I’ve recently been working on, then usually wait a couple of minutes and see if the GFE decides to crash because four whole programs are running at the same time. If everything seems stable, I can go ahead and open my coding and database management software.

The intranet portal is fairly useless to me but I do log in every day because I more or less assume it’s expected of me. This does afford me the opportunity to verify that I don’t have any stray messages inadvertently delivered to the redundant webmail account in my name on that system, and it also allows me to take a quick look at the announcements and make sure there isn’t anything crucial or vital being promoted there. Since I tend to skew wildly one way or the other, if I didn’t check the portal every single day I would probably never check it at all, and inevitably at some point I would miss an important deadline that had been touted on the site for the previous six months.

This morning when I logged into our portal – which, I hasten to point out, has both its technological underpinnings maintained and its content managed by the DoD – I did not see any earth-shattering announcements with future deadlines or the like, but I did see a system message in a banner across the top of the page informing me that “To improve performance, it is strongly recommended you upgrade to Internet Explorer 8.0 or higher.” I wish I were joking. You might recall, if you read the post from earlier this month I linked to above, that I bemoan that laughable fact that our standard browser around here is the severely deprecated IE 7. I assumed that was because the DoD did not officially endorse any of the higher versions, but apparently IE 8 (or higher!!!) is not only vetted but recommended by those in charge of the DoD-wide intranet. So having IE 7 on my computer just became even more laughable. I am half-tempted to submit a work ticket to the Information Technology Help Desk requesting IE 8 just to see what happens. But I’m afraid I already know the answer.

Anyway, the IE alert on the intranet got my morning started in a bit of a grumpy mode, but then I did some image searching for Internet Explorer logo variants …

Sometimes the obvious jokes are the best
… and this made me chuckle. So the day wasn’t a total loss.

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