Blog entries from November, 2005

Second stage of construction begins…

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005 at 6:10 pm

Following our move last friday and the removal of our old furniture on Monday the demolition has commenced. So far they have ripped up the remainder of the old carpet, removed old power and network points, and started pulling apart what was the old board room which had a movable wall.

It was interesting (yes, I also find it strange what I find interesting) to see an old serving portal exposed once they removed a shelving unit from inside a cupboard. It appears that on one side they build the shelved and on the other they simply layed a sheet of plasterboard…

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My precious has gone away

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005 at 3:27 pm

This morning I dropped my precious (aka my 12″ PowerBook) off to get fixed. For a number of weeks now the hard drive has started to make a noise and over the past few days it has been locking up as if it is waiting for the hard drive to respond.

Unfortunately there is currently a four day wait before they will even be able to look at it which means I will be without it for at least a week. Hopefully they can simply replace the hard drive and I can duck away from OSDC2006 next week to pick it up. I may finally pick up a copy of Tiger at the same time…

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Hopefully the last move…

Friday, November 25th, 2005 at 7:39 pm

This afternoon we moved from our desks of the past eight weeks out to the new and improved™ open plan environment.

Technically we were only supposed to finish packing all of our stuff into boxes so the removalists can move them the fifteen metres on Monday morning. We would then spend between half and all of Monday unpacking at our new desks. However as the final clean of our new desks was done by mid afternoon I started a trend of simply carrying my own stuff out to my new desk and setting it up. We avoided one occupational health and safety issue by using the drawer pedestals as trolleys instead of just carrying them.

Now it will be possible to do some work when I come in on Monday instead of wasting the whole day doing what took three hours… The removalists are still coming in at 7AM on Monday as almost all of the furniture we were using is being tranferred to another department.

And here it is… my new desk:

My new desk

And a closeup of my protest against the low positioning of the power outlets:

My protest against the low positioning of the power outlets

More photos from today are available.

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Requirements are always the key

Thursday, November 10th, 2005 at 7:52 pm

One positive aspect of the renovations that are underway at work is that it is a practical example of the problems that incomplete requirement elicitation can cause.

<disclaimer>be warned, the following is a rant</disclaimer>

The architect who designed the new floor plan was given an initial brief and it seems to have been something like: “x offices for these people, a large meeting room, some other meeting rooms, and as many people in open plan as possible”. This is obviously a very cynical view…

A set of requirements such as that is probably going to be ok for those who are getting offices but for the rest of us (the majority) it pretty much sucks… Irrespective of our job function and required resources we have all been allocated identical work areas:

  • A 1800mm x 2000mm corner desk
  • A single drawer unit (two small drawers and one filing drawer)
  • Maybe some shelves that attach to the screens that two thirds of us have against our desks.

For a number of people this will be adquate. But what about the people that we think should have offices but policy dictates they don’t? At the upper end are a couple of people with three drawer filing cabinets full of work, shelves full of stuff and in one case a free standing electronic whiteboard.

My requirements are more modest but still exceeds our allocation as I will require around two metres of shelf space for my books, folders, etc. This means that I will have to put up with part of my view (I’m lucky enough to be by a window) cut off by a screen so shelves can be attached to it…

And that is just the desks. What about:

  • Zero whiteboards (which may not be so bad as it should force people to go to one of the two (only) breakout rooms for discussions)
  • Zero coat space. Are we expected to hang them on the back of our chairs? Isn’t that unprofessional? Considering the fuss the architect made about all new desks and chairs so the colours would match…
  • No consideration for bicycles. There will be a minimum of five bicycles every day. Maybe up to a dozen…
  • A smaller kitchen. It currently maxes out at eight. How will it handle fifty when it is reduced in size?

I know it is futile but what if this had all been taken into account…

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