November 21, 2004, 9:22 PM —
This is a fun time of year, because we can all enjoy creating our holiday wish lists. We all revert to childhood when making our lists and remember back to when we didn't really know about money, and believed all things were possible. And if we're quick, we can imagine our list before the mood is ruined by getting lists from others.
So drop your cynicism (OK, realism) for a moment and wish for what you truly want, regardless of the restrictions of angry accountants and malicious managers.
Remember Mr. Potato Head? How would you like to get Mr. Patch Head, the modern software toy. Open the box, plug in the ears and nose and security updates wherever you think they look good, and you're done. Show Mr. Patch Head to your friends and compare yours to theirs. If someone finds a body part or software module you forgot, just slap it on Mr. Patch Head. Update done, just like that.
Didn't you hate unwrapping a box and finding socks? Still hate socks? How about SOX?
Thought so. Let's ban SOX from gifts and your daily to-do list. After all, creating more paperwork won't really catch the corporate white collar criminals who do their dirty work off the books anyway, will it? And who's washing all this SOX nonsense, C-level executives or the people downhill? Right, the SOX rolls downhill as it always has. SOX begone.
My favorite holiday gift for technical people is a magic user amulet that protects users from seeing and hearing technical advice from neighbors, brothers-in-law, and snooty eastern seaboard newspapers. The amulet protects them from hearing and believing technical nonsense. It even stops them from hearing and believing technically correct, but irrelevant, information.
When users have the magic amulet, they never say things like: "I was talking to my neighbor, actually his son, who's quite bright you know, so much so that even builds his own PCs, and he said our problems with secure mobile access from PDAs and laptops can be solved by ..."
Wouldn't these be wonderful gifts? Enjoy them, at least during a few minutes break today.