Keep Me Writing! Thanks, Keith

Friday, January 29, 2016

Daily Word: Granularity

Dear Friends and Visitors:

Today's word is GRANULARITY. The word that is the essence of this term is "granule" which means a minute or tiny amount like the size of a grain, from the literal side. From the conceptual side, granularity is how we refer to complex systems and the details in that system and especially how specific it is we want to get regarding such details.

In software documentation, you can write about a system with little granularity - with just high point drawings and charts showing major points. On the other hand, you can write about a system using software that details code and specific elements of code and code blocks and in this way you are really discussing the system with a high degree of GRANULARITY.

Best Regards, Keith 

Documentation: Your Road Map to Success

Hello everyone - my name is Keith Johnson (for those of you new to this blog) and I have been working as a Technical Writer for well over twenty years now. I first got my start as an Information Technology (IT) instructor and professor in Brazil where I had to write user guides for my students. Then, when I returned to the States in 1996, I applied those skills to the corporate world where I am still currently employed. As a longstanding Technical Writer with many years of challenging experiences behind me  - here is what I have to say - documentation is your TRUE road map to success.

Let me explain.

In many corporations, documentation is seen as a secondary resource. In other words, documentation is something you do AFTER a system has been created or AFTER a product has been created. This is like putting the horse after the cart. In actuality, documentation can be used as your literal road map to success because all details of a product or system are revealed in the documentation. So, in many ways, documentation should AT LEAST be a parallel endeavor alongside engineering and programming efforts as products and systems are created, tested, and deployed. Documentation loses its impact if it is done afterwards. Sure, you can consult with format product documentation after a project is done and before creating a second version. That is fine. But, better still is when you can use documentation DURING the product or system development process to fine tune details and the actual path of creation. Documentation REVEALS what is going well and what is not going well. Documentation is a true reality check. Documentation expedites your project time-wise and money-wise. Documentation is your wildcard ready to be played.

Cheers, Happy Friday.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Timeless Zen Story

There is a timeless Zen story I would like to share today. It contains profound insights into life, truth, and the path to enlightenment. Here it is...One day a spiritual seeker left his home in the suburbs to seek out a famous Zen master who lived high on the top of a mountain. The seeker had left his partner, job, and had given most of his possessions away in good cheer to the poor and needy. He already was a steady Zen practitioner - meditating every day and doing his best to lead a mindful life in a local Zen center. Still, he wanted to meet the greatest master alive. He wanted to expedite his path to enlightenment. So, the journey took about a month. He essentially hiked the mountain by himself after having traveled on the ground by bus and boat to get to the foot of the mountain. The hike was very difficult and he risked his life several times because he was inexperienced at scaling a high mountain. After about 30 days, he finally reached the top and encountered the Zen master, who was quite surprised to see him. The Zen master smiled at him and said "welcome to my home". The student was very happy.

The Zen master invited the student into his little hut and they both had a cup of tea. The student said the one question he had been wanting to ask the master now for many years "can you please show me the path to enlightenment?" The Zen master laughed and laughed and laughed. The student turned red out of embarrassment. The Zen master spoke the following words: "Dear student, you know like I do that the path of the Buddha and enlightenment is not necessarily a formal one with a temple and a physical master. What you need to do is make COMPASSION your master - practicing it all day and all night. This will help you become truly mindful and out of this mindfulness ... you will attain enlightenment." The student replied "Thank you master. But I thought if I was here, I could attain enlightenment faster". The Master again laughed and said "Dear student, my life here is harsh - no running water or electricity, cold weather with snow and rain, no medication and sometimes no food. These could be great obstacles for you. Just be a good person in society practicing mindful compassion everywhere you go. That is your path to enlightenment and of course every time you visit me here, we will enjoy a tea together." The student smiled finally and said "thank you Master for your great words. I will immediately become a disciple of mindful compassion at all times and everywhere I go".



Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lottery Fever: What I would do with 1 Billion US Dollars

Last night, three lucky souls won the Powerball lottery - and so will split the gross amount of $1.5 billions dollars (USD). I wish them happiness and also luck in being able to maintain their peace and live in a way that corresponds with their inner ethics and sense of freedom.

If I won the Powerball - there are three things I would do.

1. I would create a massive center for silent meditation - non-denominational, somewhere out in Montana or Idaho or the Dakotas where there is space. It would be 100% free and I would budget a percentage of the winnings to annual expenses for a retreat like this - for all to enjoy.

2. I would host a rock and roll show  - also in the middle of nowhere - like in Kansas or Nebraska where it is flat - and invite about 100 bands to play. It would be totally free and for all to enjoy. I would be challenging Woodstock in terms of actual people attending the show.

3. I would invest in great entrepreneurs - especially the ones who were denied by the bankers and other Venture Capitalists. It is one thing to be ambitious, but greed in our times is sometimes too much and the people with the money have little patience for good projects that sometimes require time itself. I would try to be that VC who would stand by great project ideas that will help humanity and that are not "good enough" for those at the top of the VC foodchain.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Windows 10 Productivity Guide: New Cover Art

I have finished writing about 50% of my new book that will be called the Windows 10 Productivity Guide. This book is a general and yet insightful guide for Windows 10 users - so as you upgrade from Windows 7 or even if you do a clean install of Windows 10 or buy a computer or Surface Pro or tablet that has Windows 10 as its OS - this guide is designed to help you with many tasks - navigation, settings, security, apps, Cortana and more. Here is a preview of artwork I am preparing for the book's cover. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section of this post if possible - I value the feedback of my readers greatly. Thanks, Happy New Year 2016 to you all.