Taskbar Navel Gazing

In Cryptonomicon, Waterhouse beats himself up at one point (I think most people will not remember this part, but it stuck with me for whatever reason) for not being capable enough to decode the waves. The movements of German troops must, so the argument goes, have some seismic influence on the patterns of the waves in the ocean which we ought therefore to be able to decode at the receiving end. Our poor finite brains though, being poor and finite as they are, simply can’t cope with all the interfering variables and hence that information is lost to us. This is an observation that can keep me up nights when I think too much about it, but most of the time I’m content with the watered down version, which is that sometimes a seemingly trivial piece of information can allow a person of suitable constitution to extract deep and elaborate detail.

What with my previous post being a relatively low-res look at how my life has changed at work, I thought another might be in order because what is a blog, really, if not an uninteresting pile of introspective garbage? Behold, my taskbar:

Taskbar - annotated

This is my taskbar as snapped the moment this post idea occurred to me on, I believe, a Wednesday (full size). It is rather essential, if this should become a meme, that the snap be ASAP so as to avoid contriving an example that is more fun to annotate. For example, to be properly representative, some things would have to be added to this one, most notably a remote desktop session to my desktop PC at work, an ssh session to my linux box at home, and a VNC session tunnelled through the ssh session to my desktop machine behind my linux machine at home. Still I think this is actually a pretty fair picture.

So what can one derive from this? I’ve got 2 WebSphere products running, which tells you I care about cross-product interactions, which I do. I’ve got bug trackers open, which tells you things aren’t perfect yet. I’ve got a whole host of graphics packages running, which probably gives you a hint as to what part of the development cycle my various products are occupying because design work tends to be rather front-end loaded. I’ve got Lotus Notes open, so you know that at heart I am a broken and miserable person. 3 windows explorers and a command prompt might give you some hints to my technical proficiency, but the presence of Powerpoint might cancel that suspicion. Firefox tells you I’m cool.

And oh yeah, 23 IM windows. I hope one deduces from this that UCD is a discipline in which relationships and communication are essential, but I understand why it might lead one instead to the belief that I am a flibbertijibbet. C’est la vie.

Since I know that some non-zero contingent of my readers are living in the land of livejournal, where the memes spread like meme bacteria on a petrie dish coated with specially designed meme nutrient jelly stored in a highly memeogenic environment, let me suggest that I would be delighted meme to see others do meme likewise with their taskbars (meme). Just a thought.

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