Upgrades, Professionalism, and more – The Roundup 09-22-2015

2015-09-22 Peanutized croppedUpgrades, Professionalism, and more – The Roundup 09-22-2015

It was a week of upgrades!

If Facebook’s “On This Day” feature is to be believed, then this is a common time of year for a new iOS version to be released. At my house, this meant upgrading an iPhone 6 and an older iPad mini.

We also had a significant security and maintenance release from WordPress. Automation helped to ease the burden of that upgrade – especially useful if you’re taking care of routine maintenance for more than half a dozen sites and growing.

And just to make life even more interesting, I decided to add a Windows 10 upgrade into the mix. To be safe, I chose an old laptop that’s been relegated to providing treadmill entertainment ever since the after-Christmas clearance sales encouraged the purchase of a new one. Data had long-since been backed-up and transferred to the new machine, so there wasn’t much overhead involved.

I’m happy to report that none of this blew up or backfired, which I’m taking as an encouraging forecast for the remainder of the current Mercury retrograde 😉

Here’s how the week went:

WORDPRESS and RISK MANAGEMENT

Solopreneurs without staff will understand – you can never REALLY be on vacation. You try to unplug from work, but there’s no one to handle things like critical software updates while you’re away. Therefore, there can’t really be any “away” for you. Fortunately, automation can help! Turn on automatic updates where possible. I’d rather have a software update break my site than a case of malware. Of course, a critical part of this strategy is to run frequent backups – you can automate these, too – and to have the latest one handy for a quick restore, should things go wrong.  

Here’s the introductory video for WordPress 4.3. Happy about the strong passwords! And I can see where clickless formatting shortcuts might be convenient if you’re blogging from a touchscreen mobile device, where clickable icons can be much tinier than the average finger.  Looking forward to exploring more!

MOBILE and RISK MANAGEMENT

My first iPhone was a 4S, and I was keenly aware that both sides were made of glass. Resulting from this awareness, the phone spent its entire existence encased in armor. It was regrettable, because the iPhone is really a thing of beauty that should be gazed upon and admired endlessly. However, it paid off at upgrade time – after three years in swaddling clothes, it was worth $200 on trade in, and I paid a whopping $11 and change (plus a two-year commitment to AT&T) for the iPhone 6. Moral of the story: protect your device!

iOS and INFORMATION SECURITY

 

Some welcome new features of iOS 9 include a longer unlock passcode (not available on my older iPad Mini, looks like), and the opportunity to use 2FA (two-factor authentication). Curiously, this upgrade just spun and spun when I tried via iTunes, but over WiFi it took only about 7 minutes on the iPhone 6 and slightly longer on the Mini. On the minus side, I am not thrilled about Apple’s propensity to fix things that aren’t broken. Was the former method of swiping apps to shut them down really in need of an overhaul? As a friend put it, seems like this was done as a nod to the left-handed.

WINDOWS and ONLINE PRIVACY

2015-09-22 Windows 10 Update

After weeks and weeks of impatiently flicking aside the enthusiastic banners and notifications about Windows 10, I decided to take the plunge with my old laptop. It’s a Lenovo Think Pad X220i, purchased in June of 2011 with Windows 7 Professional. The upgrade proceeded without a hitch. Unlike my panic-stricken first experience with Windows 8 (it was also my first Photoshop class), the switch to Windows 10 hasn’t been all that traumatic. You do have to proceed carefully through the setup screens, eschewing the temptation to allow the defaults to ride. By going through all the screens, you will at least know what sort of information Microsoft is collecting from you, should you choose to respond to those requests with a “yes”. If you accept the defaults, then you can assume that you said “yes” to sharing anything that can be transmitted back to the mother ship.

PROFESSIONALISM and THE WORKPLACE

It wasn’t until I left the corporate environment, where I’d spent nearly two decades, that I began to comprehend the necessity of a variety of management and leadership styles, and when it might be appropriate to apply each. For instance, managing employees is very different from managing volunteers. And leading volunteers is an enormous departure from leading military personnel.

One of the key differences is motivation. Do you supply it, or do they come equipped with their own? Is it a common motivation, such as with salaried employees (the paycheck!), or are there a variety of reasons why they volunteer and show up (prestige, resume fodder, passion, altruism)?

While I freely acknowledge that there are circumstances under which management and leadership styles must adapt, I cannot say that I believe treating millennials with the kid gloves they became accustomed to in school is doing anyone any favors – least of all, the millennials themselves. If it’s a matter of professional development, then yes, let’s coach and develop them. But something as basic as consistent punctuality (see article) is an expectation, not a coaching opportunity. In the real world, at a real job, you show up on time. YOU adapt. Managers are not nannies, babysitters, or parents. They expect you to be an adult. Be one.

POP CULTURE

2015-09-22 Peanutized!
The author, on her way out for a nice hike.

Just for fun, here’s a link to Peanutize yourself:

CLICK to PEANUTIZE ME.

You can generate your own Peanuts character. Mine looks JUST like me – I swear! I’m looking forward to the new movie – how about you?

That’s it for this week. Check my about.me landing page for links to where you can find me on the web.