Friday, August 5, 2011

Progress is Slow, Using LibreOffice Writer to make a Charactersheet

Progress is slow. Here is a sample sheet which allows me to write characters, player and description. This process is taking a while. Unfortunately, (libreOffice) writer is not the only program I have to learn to use. I have to learn to work with LibreOffice base.

Making a database is also another challenge. I recently figured out how to make list (shift + enter) in writer, but I can't seem to make a list selection for some fields typical of characters like powers level and genre for Base.

There is a huge gap of things to know. Also I realized that google Forms is the EASIEST way to make automated testing, unfortunately one can't just do it all without having to have an internet connection. I though Forms shifted between a spreadsheet and its test paper GUI, I was wrong. When exporting Forms, it becomes a spreadsheet with the answers. I made the wrong assumption it exported everything: the questions and choices.

So when we transcribed our psychological profiling tests at work to google forms, we can't store the test independently. I was completely wrong about how much work it would take to create an automated testing system with just LibreOffice Suite, I thought it would be as easy as Google Forms but not as pretty.

I failed to factor having to learn LibreOffice Basic. There is not much in terms of exercises for LibreOffice basic in the current set of manuals. I still have to find out more about Macros and I haven't successfully executed one except the "hello" exercise.

Now finding time to learn all that between work is going to be another problem.

All hope is not lost, there may be a program out there that can let me make forms easily and allow me to export it to a spreadsheet and vice versa.

Reading. I just finished Lost Fleet Dreadnaught and in the middle of Honorverse Mission of Honor. Now I have the hankering for a Traveller Game, another distraction.

Time and Motion Study. I'm learning to do time and motion study at work. My boss and our new recruitment person is going to help, check, my papers. I wonder if there is a GM out there who has been influenced by the Time and Montion study? A GM who can quickly create man-hour estimates based on complexity, coordination loss, competence, organization, and available manpower for PC actions?

I've mentioned before my sources comes from the BPO industry and practices. Then there are those in military and naval/maritime sources also have such metrics and enough circumstantial details that allows a GM to create a heuristic based on the factors I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I realized there are also such metrics in IT books, like the sources cited by my previous post as well.

If I look at The Combat Leader's Field Guide, there are many heuristics in planning and intelligence analysis found in the book. Particularly when processing data for navigation and forward observation.

Declassified Social Engineering books, also has metrics for conducting very difficult social interactions when it discusses interrogations, interviews, persuasions and negotiations. It shows these metrics in the trials and the amount of time needed for such long actions.

I bought a dummies guide to writing fiction and several writing books I plan to skim for their metrics. I think writing is one of the most useful metrics for mental actions. When i compare the different kinds of writing like: when my wife writes her financial reports, my blogging, the kind I do for my games, the reports at work, it appears to be one of the core skills underlying a multitude of many mental tasks or processes.

I was surprised at how proficient our financial auditor writes his reports and recommendations. It makes me makes me jump to conclusions to how attention to detail and process may have a strong correlation in how organized and clear one writes.

Seeing a Master at work. The way gamers identify various tricks and techniques, I can't help but watch the techniques my boss employs. He is a process expert, a veteran of many mergers, audits, turn-arounds, computerization (which is essentially process overhauls) and difficult negotiations.

In moments, like what I witnessed recently, some clue of what hides behind that vast experience sometimes shows. the clue being that he's done everything and remembers such details so vividly he's got it down to a game. the way he quickly formulates a template and memo, how he actually improvises within a framework shows me the limits of his own abilities, still awes me at how much he's mastered so many templates and processes of not just operations but social approaches.

He has mastered the playbook of how to act and make people feel a certain way. That there really is a playbook, and he's mastered it to a point that he can navigate with his eyes closed. It makes me realize how much time I wasted when I was younger, and I should have been learning such things at the foot at a master instead of wasting time daydreaming.

Well I understand the theory, hopefully my son will benefit from my regrets.
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