So now I become a product shill for Logitech

I used to use MS mice and keyboards but have found over the years that they can be a bit iffy regarding quality, they always look nice but after a few weeks they either quit working or seem to require unplugging/replugging (rebooting) every few days or hours and then quit working altogether.  I also found that the early big wireless USB keys were annoying to damaging.  Then I found Logitechs ittle bitty USB keys, at first one per device but now they have a unifying key that works with up to six devices per ea, now every computer I own has one of the keys and one, two or three devices connected.  They just work and the software for managing the devices and the key system is simple intuitive and again just works.

I just bought my second set of wireless mice + Keyboards this evening, an M525 mouse I got for 24.99 and a K360 (compact) keyboard (29.99) to connect to my old ThinkPad T42 that I have just dual monitor connected to my big DELL 24 in monitor sharing it with my DELL psuedoUltrabook from work.  My work setup has a M515 mouse on a unifying key and they don’t bother each other a bit.

By the by, Dells are inexpensive but solid, easily managed machines for the working drudges in the world (like I me when thinking for a buck) but I bought a Leonovo ThinkPad for myself and my writing habit.  While I did not go overboard on hard drive (and maybe should have) I did put in a big dollop of main memory and paid for the upgraded graphics.  Those splurges plus the inherent ruggedness of the ThinkPad have served me well.  I have typed many hundreds of thousands of words on the world class keyboard (the A key plastic is word down so its ridged and the graphic has worn off) but it still boots up faster than any of my Dells, XP is still rock stable and II still love the trackpoint mouse knub in the middle of the keyboard.  It’s lighter than most of my Dells up until the latest little devil and the 14 in conventional aspect screen is better for a writer than the movie slot screens that are so popular today.

So anyway, there you have it, Logitech rocks, Thinkpads rock, Dell has its place in the scheme of things.

Cheers out there

The Lefty Bosco Picture Show, a cartoon or soul teaser?




You are the co-star of The LeftyBosco Picture Show. In a variety of styles and subjects, from playful to poignant, Keith DuQuette, aka LeftyBosco, presents a drawing a day. Daily drawings by Keith DuQuette engage, inspire and challenge you to add your witty and wise comments. Play along with LeftyBosco and his friends – or have fun watching from the sidelines. The punch line starts here.

Catch it at

What is the meaning of the word Customer?

cus·tom·er   /ˈkʌstəmər/  noun    

  1. a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron
  2. Informal. a person one has to deal with: a tough customer; a cool customer.


Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English; see custom, -er1; compare Middle English customercollector of customs < Anglo-French; Old French costumier,cognate with Medieval Latin custumārius;see customary

American Psychological Association (APA):

Customer. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved October 19, 2011, from website:

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Customer. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed: October 19, 2011).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

“Customer.” Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 19 Oct. 2011. <>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):, “Customer,” in Unabridged. Source location: Random House, Inc. Available: Accessed: October 19, 2011.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@article {Dictionary.com2011,
    title = { Unabridged},
    month = {Oct},
    day = {19},
    year = {2011},
    url = {},


So I have a discussion about this word with someone, they insist that when it is used in company documents the word customer means the corporate entity the counter party (other person) represents and not that person, and moreover that at work I am representing the company not myself.

The word  corporation  ( ˌkɔrpəˈreɪʃən/ [kawr-puhrey-shuhn]  noun :an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.) is clearly a person in the eyes of the law. 

So I get that we have caught bureaucrati-itis or tech-speak-itis from lawyers and MBAs and use the noun ‘Customer’ when referring to the organization/people we do business with.  The use of the word Customer is a reasonable short hand personalizing while generalizing the business relationship vice the more functional terms of buyer, contractor, purchaser, user, etc.   And its also obvious that I represent the company not myself when on company time and talking business. 

But when I read a direction that says Customer I assume that this means the person and company since one or both could be within the meaning of the word.  The word is singular and while intellectually I realize a Corporation is a person and the person I speak with only represents that company there is clearly good reason to think that the intent of the instruction is aimed at the person and company.

In fact in business development we are supposed to know both the company and its stated goals / objectives and the person/people we interlocute with because it’s critical to building a relationship. In fact we always speak of the customer as the person @ the company when getting down to details and putting plans together.

So why is it that when I suggest that at the point of direction we use the word company (which was the intent of the direction) and not customer (which I think could mean the company or the person or both) do I get crap?  

Is it because the word is the safe lawyer one?  Is it that the processes we are so proud of mainly aimed at covering the company’s and maybe the bureaucrats ass rather than being easy to use/understand?  Is it also possible that they understand that ambiguity is in fact in the interests of some folks because it provides more opportunities to pin a scapegoat if something goes south?

Sorry a long a wordy rant on a stupid topic I know. 

But I hate it when I hit a walll when I’m quite willing to accept the other persons viewpoint as valid while they see my point of view as stupid/invalid/worthless. I don’t like being any of those things….though I’m sure I am every once in a while….but of course not on this topic.

Sigh…I still need to go and do some meditation techniques I guess, good night.

Work a day World….which will come

Another article about the end of work as we know it and I have to agree that this is the ‘feeling’ i get when looking and listening to the world at large. My jobs over the years have taken me to many companies, many new, some middle aged, a fair number ‘old line industrial.’ And the way I see it now is that we’ve been overlooking profound changes that were happening without causing much of direct stir while looking in the wrong direction and perhaps (probably) pursuing the wrong ‘solutions’ to what may not be real problems.

The story I would tell is this, that the heyday of the giant integrated conglomerate as a generic solution in the technology arena was probably sometime around the middle of the twentieth century. Not that anyone realized it or noted it, but after that smaller companies were often able to outmaneuver the big guys and started carving away chunks, not directly but by making managers/owners make decisions that marginalized pieces of their business. These middle sized companies started small and sometimes grew big and became conglomerates but on average the company size got smaller and more focused.

Many of the companies I visit have huge factories built in the heyday of mass production. Today these factories instead of producing just one product, produce several, or dozens and the people who service the machines are a fraction of the ‘old’ work force, or much of the facility stands vacant while the still sell just as much in raw value as they did when they had hundreds if not thousands of workers. Many stay in these old factories, because they’re essentially free and/or tearing it down would open them up for problems with the EPA re ‘Brown Field Remediation’ etc.

What happened to all those workers? We’ve heard about the hollowing out of our manufacturing for a long time but the pain was ‘mostly’ pretty low level, why? Because for the first forty years most of the the effects were hidden. Those smaller, mid sized companies were usually, less automated and less efficient but less expensive in terms of human driven overheads (generally younger staff, lower wages, small efficient shops, small effective teams, managerially efficient), and they sopped up, the workers no longer needed by the ‘mainline’ shops.

So why the agony now? I think that the internet bubble then the financial bubble hid the tailing off of the gentle transition, or maybe it kept more of the old line industries / jobs in play and then dropped them on the floor in one steaming pile. And suddenly the staid old like companies appear to have vanished, and the jobs appear to have vanished, but they had mostly vanished a decade and more ago, the rest was financial illusion.

If there had been no 911 and a need to hide the cost of the wars it sparked and a Ranch and Cancun Vacation (instead of bread and circuses) program put on to distract our attention, we would probably have seen the pain earlier and I think less severely. Now we probably are going to undergo a painful decade of recession, maybe more until we understand that the world has changed and work and the economy have to evolve.

How that evolution is going to happen is a blank to me. But what I see as happening over the next several decades is an ongoing evolution of work to highly automated mass production of basic needs, and the creation of more and more boutique, even artisanal companies often supported by constantly shifting teams of people who are engaged for short run needs.

And perhaps the gov’t and many folks who are still looking at the past to guide the future, will stop trying to save industrial age health and retirement systems that are unsustainable in the long run, and look to a much more personally focused system one that is portable across the country and across the globe if we have any sense.