A unique perspective on using technology everyday.

Fixing Computer Problems

November 11th, 2008 Posted in Computers | No Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

When you are known as the “computer geek” to friends and family, you give an implied impression that you are there to solve every and any technology question or mishap. As we all know, if you know anything about computers, you must know everything about about technology. To some this may be a burden; while other may enjoy the challenge. Personally, I enjoy helping others.

I am faced with various computer problems throughout the day: from trivial, user related questions, all the way up to complex server questions. The amount of things that can go wrong with computers is almost infinite; there are too many problems for any one person to be able to resolve without the help of an IT community: the IT community being the Internet. One of the greatest resources, as you already know, is the Internet. Where am I going with this? I am saying that every user has the ability to diagnose and fix their own computer problems. 

As much as I love to lend a helping hand, sometimes it’s hard to help others who don’t help themselves. Now in a work environment, I wouldn’t expect someone to try to fix their own computer problems unless they worked in the IT Department; but when dealing with home computers, I believe that the first step in solving a problem shouldn’t be calling someone. Instead take 10 to 15 minutes to research your problem. If you are getting an error message Google the error message verbatim, if there is an odd behavior try searching for that behavior. When searching for computer problems online, also be sure to add your operating system to the search to help get more specific results.

Remember that most computer problems can be fixed through a little bit of research, and at the same time you will have learned that much more. In the event that you are unable to diagnose and solve your computer problems within those first 15 minutes, then go ask your go to computer geek.

Election Time

October 22nd, 2008 Posted in Internet | 1 Comment »Print This Post Print This Post
McCain vs. Obame

Election time is right around the corner, and what better than some links to help keep you in the loop. Here is a collection of some links that are helping me stay informed and educated on the 2008 election. Remember, if you are note registered to vote and you qualify, visit Rock The Vote.

Drudge Report

The Drudge Report is one of the best places to find your news on the Internet before it breaks. Although this site isn’t a dedicated election site, there seems to be a lot of news revolving around the election; which makes Drudge Report the one of the best places to get the information first.

Real Clear Politics

I use Real Clear Politics to see the the 2008 election spread. They chart out the under/over in a easy to understand graph, and the information is always current. In addition, they provide all the polling resources that they used to gather their data to ensure validity and allow you to research yourself.

CNN Election

If you are a fan of CNN, then I would recommend that you check out CNN’s Election site

FOX News Election

On the other hand, if you are more of a FOX News kinda person, you may find that the FOX News Election site more appealing.

Stay informed and Rock The Vote.

Virtualization

October 5th, 2008 Posted in Technology | 6 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post
Virtualization

Earlier this week, I went to a Microsoft seminar which the underlying theme was virtualization. I dabbled in virtualization for the past three years, thinking of it as more of a hobby or a playground to test environments; however, after watching some of the Microsoft presentations and listening to some case studies, I started to look at virtualization in a new light: it is the way of the future in technology.

What is Virtualization

Some of you may be asking yourself, “What is virtualization?” Simply put, virtualization is the process of using one physical server (or computer) to run multiple virtual computers. If this is still a little confusing, I will try and give you an analogy. When you go to Best Buy and purchase a new computer, bring it home, power it on, set it up, and then finally log into Windows you will notice that there are some programs that you can run. Lets say your computer came with Microsoft Office, you can then open Microsoft Word. After you open MS Word, you can open another instance of Word, and another and another. If we compare this to virtualization, we have the physical server being like the Windows operating system that comes with the computer, and each new Virtual Server would be like opening another instance of MS Word. Hopefully that will help give you an idea of what virtualization is. Read the rest of this entry »

Be Nice to the IT Department

September 18th, 2008 Posted in Career | 10 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

 

When you are in the Information Technology profession, people come to you with every question that has to do with anything technology. There is rarely a buffer to their questions or an understanding of what we go through; people just assume that “The computer guy can fix it.” In most cases, that is true; however, people never realize that each new problem takes time to research, understand, and execute a plan. Most importantly, time that is spent fixing the little problems can consume a majority of one’s day. This is a double edged sword, because having the mindset of a technology guru gives us a logic that differs from that of a normal user (this is a generalization), creating a thought process or problem solving ability ideal for solving computer problems: nine times out of ten we can come up with a solution. That is great. But ten times out of ten, we will spend the time trying to come up with that solution. Read the rest of this entry »

Google Chrome Users Beware

September 3rd, 2008 Posted in Internet | 28 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

UPDATE: Google Chrome has modified their EULA !!

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is a new web browser, competing with Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc. I will admit, that I downloaded Google Chrome and gave it a test run; however, USERS BEWARE. I will agree that it is much faster than both Internet Explorer and Firefox, but does have increased speed make up for waiving the right to content you post and publish?

As an IT Professional, I try to evaluate products on multiple levels. When reading the Google Chrome EULA, I was SHOCKED. Posting anything via Google Chrome gives Google the right to your content. Why is this bad, well for the blogging community, a bloggers content is what makes a site worth visiting and unique; if bloggers start to post pages using Google Chrome, they no longer have a unique post…..it becomes the property of Google as well. Below is the portion of the EULA that concerns me: Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator

August 28th, 2008 Posted in Career | 9 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post
MCSA

It is official, I am a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA). You may remember from my previous post, Starting a Technology Career Path, that the last exam required to complete this certification gave me a hard time. After writing the post, I was inspired to finish my certification track and started studying. I owe a lot to the free training material I received through Microsoft TechNet; for those of you who are interesting in becoming an IT Professional I would strongly recommend that you visit Microsoft TechNet and browse through all that they have to offer. To learn more about how I used Microsoft TechNet visit my first guest post on the WNY Technology Blog; which will help lead you in the direction of free Webcasts, Virtual Labs and Podcasts.

Review of TechSagar

August 25th, 2008 Posted in Reviews | 3 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

Recently, Pras of TechSagar had entered and won my contest to determine what my first post should be for the WNY Technology Blog. After his victory, I have decided to spend some time poking around his site to see what he had to offer.

TechSagar may not be a site that you want to visit everyday, as posts are spread out. However, I would highly recommend stopping by at least once a week (but who am I to judge, I am the same way). The quality of the TechSagar posts are what should bring readers back. I would like to highlight a few of posts from TechSagar that are worth visiting.

  1. At the time of this post – TechSagar’s most recent article, is about an interesting form of 3D modeling of photography through Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth.
  2. TechSagar’s Rewarding the Commentor’s With a DoFollow helps educate readers on the DoFollow, include the benefits of the DoFollow and how to effectively use it.
  3. For those of you who use Google Adsense, TechSagar has a post on how to Monitor Your Adsense Account With A Browser Plugin.
  4. And I’ll save the best for last, TechSagar features a post that will help Improve The Performance of Windows Vista Using ReadyBoost.

TechSagar demonstrates a great Technology Blog, providing useful information at a level that eveyone can understand. Please check out TechSagar, and spend some time reading through the posts. You should not be disappointed.

WNY Technology Blog Contest

August 13th, 2008 Posted in Contest | 2 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

UPDATE: I am extending the entry period, as I would like to choose from more entries.

I am now officially an author for the WNY Technology Blog. This is very exciting for me as I just started blogging a couple months ago; I will be writing a minimum of two posts per month for WNY Technology Blog. I want to ensure that my first post is a quality post: one that catches peoples attention and keeps their attention. This is where I am asking for your help!! I am officially announcing the What Should I Write for WNY Technology Blog contest.

Contest Rules

There aren’t any real rules per se, more so guidelines.

  1. Ideas are to be left in the comments section of this post.
  2. If you haven’t figured it out, it’s a technology blog. Topics must be technology related.
  3. If two people have the same idea, the first to leave a comment will be considered the owner of that idea.
  4. Ideas will be accepted up until this Saturday: August 16th.
  5. The top three ideas will be selected by verITableLIFE.
  6. A poll of the top three ideas will then be run for 3 days.
  7. The prizes will be as follows:
    1. First Place – 300 EntreCard credits, a post about your blog, and a link on the verITableLIFE blogroll
    2. Second Place – 150 EntreCard credits and a link on the verITableLIFE blogroll
    3. Third Place – 50 EntreCard credits and a link on the verITableLIFE blogroll
  8. If for some reason there is not much of a response, I reserve the right to prolong the entry period; however, the polling period will only be 3 days.

Record Entrecard Drop of 8 minutes and 13 seconds

August 6th, 2008 Posted in Internet | 30 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

UPDATE – Aug 7th: I have shaved over a minute off of that time – new record time 7 minutes and 11 seconds.

As an IT professional, I spend most of my time trying to identify efficiencies and determining how to take advantage of them. More often than not, I spend more time trying to figure out how to do something easier and more efficiently than it would take to just go sit down and do it. Ever since joining Entrecard and getting my first entre-credit, cupidity has come over me to earn as much as possible. I came up with a plan to drop as much as I could ever day, and hopefully in turn I would start getting reciprocal drops back. Last week I received over 300 drops, for the first and only time. I was excited!! I also made the top 65 blogs in terms of Entrecard popularity. I was living the high life; but now I wanted efficiencies. I wanted to drop 300 cards in under 10 minutes, and I did. Read the rest of this entry »

Starting a Technology Career Path

August 2nd, 2008 Posted in Career, Technology | 5 Comments »Print This Post Print This Post

Server Room
Five years ago I stumbled upon a job as an IT administrator for a professional hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres, with minimal knowledge of Windows Server and a basic understanding of network concepts. Since then, I have acquired and accumulated a plethora of IT skills and working knowledge of information technology as it relates to business; I start managing one room of five or six servers to managing a large scale computer network that spanned eight states. If this type of career path is interesting to you, read further as I will give you the tips and tricks I have acquired through the years.

Before My Technology Career

In my years prior to having any career in IT, I always spent time fixing computers or building new computers for myself, friends or family. Whenever there was a problem, I would assure people that I could fix it, even if I had no clue at all on how to. In my opinion, this is the most important part of who I have become today, this is how I learned to effectively and efficiently scour the internet in search of solutions to problems (and I am not referring to Scour.com, I am referring to Google.com which is the best search engine for this job). During this time in my life I was able to fix a wide range of problems, I learned how to deal and handle customer support, I figured out how to create small home networks, and most importantly is I learned how to find a solution for everything. Read the rest of this entry »