Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thank a techy with cheese?

April 3rd is Cheese Weasel Day!

It's a real holiday.  I had no idea.  None, until +Bobby Lehew told me about it last week.

Cheese Weasel Day is a holiday to thank the geeks in your life in a very, very geeky way.  Evidently, you are supposed to give cheese to a techy you appreciate.  I really have ZERO interest in getting a bunch of cheese from people on April 3rd, but it can't be any worse than our Harlem shake video.  So here are some options for you  on April 3rd to show some tech love to your favorite techy:
  • Arrange secretly for a slice of cheese to be placed under the mouse pad of a tech person you know and appreciate.
  • Plan a Cheese Weasel Day party with all the trimmings.  Melt fondue, make grilled cheese sandwiches, eat nachos, anything cheesy works.
  • Send a link to the Cheese Weasel Song and learn it so you can use it at your own CWD celebration.
  • Give your favorite tech person a Thank You shout out on Twitter using the hash tags #cheeseweaselday
  • Anything to do with cheese on April 3rd is acceptable.  
So have a little fun this April 3rd and give some cheese to your favorite techy.  For the record, I like blue cheese or goat cheese... :)

A little history of this "holiday" from

The Cheese Weasel Day  story  started in Silicon Valley in the early 90′s. A couple out for a day in the park on April 3rd noticed a weasel carrying a piece of wrapped cheese and wondered what was going on. They decided they must have had a rare sighting of the Cheese Weasel. Their story eventually morphed into the urban myth of the Cheese Weasel who brings cheese to the good little tech industry workers, leaving a piece of cheese under their mouse pads on April 3rd.

Since that time, the celebration of the Cheese Weasel has grown and become an Internet holiday tradition that celebrates the contributions of workers in the tech industry. Tech workers get a lot of grief from people and are often under-appreciated. Cheese Weasel Day is a fun way to say thank you to them.

Geiger CIO Dale Denham, MAS+ provides practical insights on how you can benefit from technology in no nonsense terms. Follow him on Twitter: @GeigerCIO

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Office 2013 is horrible

Immersion is the best way to force yourself to embrace new technology which is why I gave up Office 2010 for the last 30 days.  Sadly, I'm worse off for it and I am not one of those people that complain about every little change. (Remember all your friends whining about Facebook changes when they occur?).   Office 2013, as far as I can tell, has added no worthwhile features for typical business users. (I do address exceptions at the end of this article)

When Office 2010 came out, it was only slightly better than Office 2007 but after using it for awhile, there were several small improvements (like the quick access toolbar) that became very valuable to me. Unfortunately, with Office 2013 Microsoft has focused more on their long term strategy than providing value for users.

For example, they are working very hard to make Microsoft Skydrive an integral component of your workday so that you don't need to use Dropbox. But if now takes extra clicks to save files or you have to go into settings and change the default to avoid this "benefit". Kudos to Microsoft for thinking about long term but lousy execution.

And Microsoft Outlook 2013 is truly the worst part of the Office 2013 upgrade.

I'm a huge fan of Outlook but unfortunately Office 2013 eliminated numerous things that make Outlook great. Simple things like being able to drag an email onto a calendar and have it automatically create an appointment or the ability to show more than 1 month in the todo bar while working in email. And it takes nearly a minute to open your calendar the first time each day.

While I personally try to upgrade with every new release to be ahead of the curve, for Geiger and our users, I take a different strategy with Microsoft. Skip every other upgrade because Microsoft gets it right every other time. 

  • Windows 2000-Dud. Windows XP-winner. Windows Vista-Dear god help me. Windows 7-Awesome. Windows 8-Helpful if you want to move to touch screen but otherwise, bleh. 
  • Office 2000-meh. Office 2003-good improvements. Office 2007-meh. Office 2010-nice. Office 2013- This might be on par with Windows Vista... 
There are 3 things that I see that could make it worth upgrading to Office 2013:

  1. You have bought a touch screen laptop.  Office 2013 is optimized for touch.
  2. You have Office 2003 or older version.
  3. You have multiple computers at home and want to share the licensing.  Office 365 allows you to pay $100 per year and share the license on up to 5 personal computers. This is much cheaper than buying 5 licenses.
If you are using Office 2007 or 2010, do not upgrade to Office 2013 unless you have a specific feature you want/need. If you are using anything older, it will probably be an improvement overall with a few drawbacks.

And if you haven't started using Google docs, give it a shot before upgrading.  I'm personally not ready to give up Office yet but we are using Google docs much more for collaborating on documents.  This is why I can support what Microsoft is trying to do, but the execution is disappointing.

Have you upgraded?  What are your thoughts on Office and Google Docs?

Geiger CIO Dale Denham, MAS+ provides practical insights on how you can benefit from technology in no nonsense terms. Follow him on Twitter: @GeigerCIO.