TechPublishing Now MS Certified

TechPublishing Now MS Certified
Professor Robert McMillen, MBA Microsoft Certified Trainer and Solutions Expert

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I think the giant retailers have finally done it. They crept into one of the two sacred holidays in our country and are forcing workers to give up time with their family to go into work. Once Thanksgiving is done then Christmas is sure to follow.
I am a capitalist. I employ people to go to work, and I wouldn't think of sending people in on Thnaksgiving.
There were two times I have had to work Thanksgiving because of server emergencies, but I did them instead of sending in my employees.
One of those two times was in the early 2000's. I had to work to resolve a server crash that happened the day before the holiday. I was so depressed that I ended up having to work Thanksgiving I decided to do some retail therapy. I added up all the money I made having to work those four days and I realized I could afford to buy a plasma TV. Up until then we all just had the big boxy TVs that weighed a ton and a half.
I blew the entire amount on a 37" plasma and I have never regretted it. It still works great and it definitely made me feel better.
Too bad many folks won't have that kind of ability this week as they are forced to work at low wages on the holiday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I missed all my meetings and appointments today. We even had to change the recording of the radio show because I got sick yesterday. Now, normally this isn't interesting news, but it's how it happened.
I went in for my weekly allergy shots on Monday. I get shots to not sneeze around my wife's dogs. I say her dogs because I would rather not have anything that makes me so miserable around the house.
But, that's another story.
While I'm getting the shots I think that it would be a good time to get a flu shot. I've been getting them every year for the past few years without incident.
I filled out the forms and got the allergy shots and the flu shot at the same time. Within a few hours my immune system went absolutely nuts.
I felt like I've had an allergy attack and the flu all at the same time. Sore throat, aches, sneezing like crazy, runny nose. Except for the nose the I ran through each symptom in just a few hours.
Here I am 36 hours later with just a runny nose.
That will teach me to try to be efficient. Back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I just unboxed a new Nikon DSLR D5100. It's my first DSLR in a few years. The last one I bought was an Olympus. It worked well but had a paltry 10 MP compared to over 16 on the Nikon. I know what you're saying, that MPs don't tell the whole story, and that is true.
The new Nikon also has some other cool stuff though. It has night vision, although it doesn' work as well as I had hoped. You can't film in total darkness and expect anything good out of with this camera. I think you would need infra red for that like you see on ghost hunting shows.
It also can film full HD movies with sound. I put in an Eye-Fi card so I could wirelessly upload movies to the internet. This is great to avoid having your storage card get filled up with data. It just sends it right up. I have tethering on my phone so I can upload videos even when I'm away from my home or work wifi units.
My big plan is to upload video as fast as I can shoot it at CES in January of 2013.
That is, if the world doesn't end by then.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exciting night for an election. I spent the evening at channel 6 in Portland making sure the technology ran properly during the election. We needed to make sure the results posted in real time to the station and keep the network up and going.
It reminded me of four years ago when they asked to be on a live segment to discuss email hacking that had been going on with some of the candidates. The information was not all that interesting, but the experience was.
I paced the halls of the station and tried not to think about it. I had been on radio for years but people never actually saw me. I started to psych myself out.
I remember just before going on live I was sitting at the news desk. The same desk I had been staring at on TV for years, and now I was sitting behind it staring at the camera!. It was really freaky for me.
I was so nervous as they were announcing me. Picture yourself in that situation with Twitter and Facebook just waiting for you to screw up and live in infamy.
Just as the anchor finished introducing me he turned to me to ask a question and he accidentally spit on on my jacket lapel.
At first I couldn't hear him. I could only see the spittle flying from his mouth and onto my jacket. I almost forgot the question he was asking me. Somehow that was enough to break the tension for me and I relaxed and we went on with the interview.
I was so glad it was over but it was only the first of many more TV interviews over the last four years. It got much easier after that first one, but I will never forget it. I'm glad I didn't choke literally and figuratively.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Backups are funny things. I tell the backup to use certain hardware and it gets ignored and uses hard drives I don't want it to use. I think I'm getting a full backup only to have Windows updates reboot in the middle of the backup and kills it off. I do a test run that says it fails, but then find out there's no errors.
I attempt a restore and the catalogs say the data isn't there despite the fact that I can see the backup files.
It reminds me of when I was at Price Waterhouse in the late 90's.
In San Francisco, where the main hub was, they had a power issue and the servers all shut down due to an air conditioning outage. I was managing the Portland IT at the time. Even though they said they had good backups everyday, the backup tapes were blank. People down there were fired when the partners couldn't get their data back.
Backups provide a false sense of security and they are difficult to trust. I prefer to have servers that sync to others rather than backups because you can test to make sure the data is actually there. Not many companies have the money for this though, so we go on trusting our backups will be good.
Online backups are a joke for so many reasons. If you have to ask why then you don't understand why they don't work in a disaster. If I have had a good night's sleep for once I may have the patience to one day explain it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Microsoft Surface Tablet

I pre-ordered my surface tablet and received it on Friday the 26th. This is the tablet Microsoft makes and has spent a bundle on advertising.
I love it. It is much smoother than the Nexus or Galaxy Tab. It has an attachable keyboard with a mouse pad that I think tablets have been missing. If you don't want a keyboard then just snap it off but if you want to use this like a laptop then attach it and you get a cursor.
There are still more apps to make it complete but I do have Netflix and Hulu Plus. It also works on a lot of sites with Flash, but not all of them. The site has to register with Microsoft in order to be trusted.
I think the best thing is the pre-loaded Office 2013. It works great!