Oct 072003

Spent the last few weeks writing this in between coding stints at work. It’s helped me clear my head.

EDITED to give proper credit where credit is due

My apologies to Chicago Tribune writer Mary Schmich, with nods to Baz Luhrman and Chris Rock.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the internet community : Use Spell check. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, spell check would be
it. The long term benefits of spell check have been proved by sociologists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable
than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your blog. Oh, nevermind : You will not understand the power and beauty of your blog until it has been deleted. But trust me, in twenty years you will look back at entries you made today and realize how insignificant most of the things that are bothering you now really are. You are not as important as you imagine, and chances are the people who are reading your blog spend more time laughing at you than admiring you.

Don’t worry about blog drama; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as the latest security patch from Microsoft. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never appear in the pages of your blog; the kind that blindside you at 4PM on a Thursday.

Visit one web site every day that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s computers, and don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time forwarding jokes. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are not…Life is short, and in the end a brief letter saying hello is much more exciting to receive.

Remember the good web sites you visit, forget the bad ones ; If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your personal emails, delete the spam.


Don’t feel guilty if you find cute flash movies entertaining…the most interesting people I know have spent time watching a little round blob that looks like a weeble yelling about pie.

Get plenty of printer cartridges.

Be kind to your speakers. You will miss them when they finally blow.

Maybe you’ll design a good web site, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll get hundreds of hits every day, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll end up at the top of every major search engine on the ‘net. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself or berate yourself either. Your hits are half chance, so are everybody else’s. Enjoy your site, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it. It’s the greatest communication tool you will ever own.

Punctuate, Capitalize, and use proper Grammar…if you are too tired to do this, go to bed.

Read the friggin’ manual, even if you don’t follow it.

Get to know your tech support representatives. You never know when the company will go out of business for good.

Be nice to the guys down at the local office supply store; they are your best source for quick support problems and more likely to help you than not.

Understand that your friends list will expand and contract, but that calling it a friends list doesn’t necessarily mean that the people in question are your friends. Remember who your real friends are, and if they don’t happen to have a blog give them a call once in a while.

Visit Rotten dot com once, but leave before it makes you too hard; Visit Hampsterdance dot com once, but leave before it makes you too soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths : Your computer is already obsolete, Miscrosoft will continue to grow, you too will one day be laughed at by a bunch of prepubescent teenagers who have never heard of the first game console you owned, and when you do you will fantasize about beating their heads in with an Atari 2600.

Respect your game pad.

Don’t expect anyone else to solve your self-induced software problems. Maybe you have a warranty, maybe you have a friend or relative that knows more about computers than you do; but you never know when either one might tell you to bugger off.

Don’t mess too much with your settings, or you’ll have to reformat your hard drive every six months.

Be careful in choosing the web sites you buy from, but, be patient with the ones that are offering you the best prices. E-commerce is still a very new concept, and there are, unfortunately, many people who think it is a key to getting rich quick. There are some wonderful diamonds in the rough out there, though, and when you find them make sure you share your discovery.

Some of the things I have said may not apply to you.

Some of the things I have said may offend you.

But no matter who you are, you must remember this one thing:

Use spell check.

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