Shaun Stanislaus’s Tech blog

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Business Software Alliance Has a Sense of Humor

For those who don’t know, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) is the RIAA-equivalent of software, representing such copyright holders as Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec. They recently released a very bizarre video, according to ZeroPaid, called “To Catch a Pirate”. I found it really odd, so I figured I would share it here. Check it out

As for HiTechVNN, apparently that site has shut down… these leech sites are up one day and down the next, so it is difficult to find a good one that lasts. When I find one I will be sure to post it for you guys.

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Games, Hack, hacker, Industry Best Practice, IT News, Life skills, Security, social engineering, Technology | , , , | Leave a comment

List of Full WEB 2.0 API

Advertising

Google AdSense Advertising management
Google AdWords Search advertising
Microsoft adCenter Online advertising services
UrlTrends Link tracking and search optimization
Wordtracker Search engine optimization services
Yahoo Ads Online ad management
Yahoo Search Marketing Search advertising platform
Answerbag Questions and answers service
Blogwise Blog and feed search service
SplogSpot Database of spam blogs

Blog Search

Blogwise Blog and feed search service
SplogSpot Database of spam blogs
Tailrank Blog search and news aggregation service
Technorati Blog search services

Blogging

Akismet Blog spam prevention service
Blogger Blogging services
FeedBlitz Blogs by email service
FeedBurner Blog promotion tracking service
LiveJournal Blogging software
Performancing Blog management
TypePad Blog management
Weblogs Blog ping service
Windows Live Spaces Blog services

Bookmarks

Blogmarks Social bookmarking
del.icio.us Social bookmarking
linkaGoGo Social bookmarking service
Ma.gnolia Social bookmarking service
OnlyWire Social bookmarklet service
Shadows Social bookmarking and community
Simpy Social bookmarking

Calendar

30 Boxes Calendar service
Google Calendar Calendar service
Spongecell Online calendar service

Chat

AOL Instant Messenger Instant messaging chat service
AOL Presence Online presence service
Google Talk Chat application
IMified Instant messenger buddy
Lingr Online chatroom services
MSN Messenger Chat and messaging
WebAIM Web based instant messaging
Yahoo Messenger Instant messaging

Community

Blue Dot Content sharing community
coRank Distributed user reviews service
Facebook Social networking service
PartySpark Social events service
RockYou Super Wall Content sharing platform within Facebook
Twitter Community site

Email

Email Address Validator Email address validation service
ExactTarget Email delivery services
IntelliContact Email marketing service
JangoMail Bulk email service
Mailbuild Email forms and templates service
Publicaster Email marketing management
StrikeIron Email Verification Email verification service
Vertical Response Email management services
Webmail.us Email hosting service
WhatCounts Email management services
Yahoo Mail Web based email system

Enterprise

Employease On-demand human resource management
Google Provisioning User provisioning for Google Applications
Lokad Time series forecaster
NetDocuments Enterprise document management service
NetSuite Business application suite
Salesforce.com CRM services
WebEx Conferencing and collaboration services

Events

Eventfinder Events calendar
Eventful Events discovery and demand
Spraci Events and clubs database
Upcoming.org Collaborative event calendar
Zvents Local events search and community

Financial

Blinksale Online invoicing services
Currency Rates Currency rates
Dun and Bradstreet Credit Check Credit check
FreshBooks Online invoicing and time tracking
KashFlow Online accounting software
Moneytrackin Expense tracking
NetAccounts Online accounting service
Prosper Peer-to-peer network
StrikeIron Historical Stock Quotes Stock price quotes for US equities
StrikeIron Mutual Funds Historical mutual funds
StrikeIron Stock Quotes Basic Real-time stock quotes
Wesabe Personal finance management and community

Government

Cicero Lookup service for US elected officials by address
Civic Footprint Political geography lookup for Illinois
Democracy In Action Advocacy services for nonprofits
FedSpending.org Database of US government spending
Follow The Money Database of US campaign contributions
GovTracker Rhode Island state data services
LOUIS US federal documents database
Open Patent Services European Patent Office web services
Sunlight Labs US Congress database service
TheyWorkForYou Track the UK Parliament
Who is my Representative Database of US congressional representatives

Internet

Alexa Site Thumbnail Thumbnail images of web site home pages
Alexa Top Sites Web site traffic rankings
Amazon EC2 Elastic Compute Cloud virtual hosting
Clicky Web site analytics
Compete Internet web site metrics and analytics
Cordurl Geo coordinate translation
Dapper Service for API creation
Domain Tools Internet domain name lookup
Durl.us URL shortening
Ecommstats Web analytics
Hostip.info IP lookup
HTML2PDF HTML to PDF conversion
Internet Archive Non-profit Internet library
IP Address Lookup Determine IP address from domain name
Mint Web site metrics and reporting
Mon.itor.us Web site monitoring services
MyNotify Feed publication
Nenest Web forms and application framework
Outune Web map engine
Pingdom Web site monitoring and reporting
Qurl URL redirection
SoftLayer Systems management and monitoring
UnAPI Proposal for web clipboard
W3Counter Web site metrics tools
Webride Attaches discussions to any site
WebThumb Thumbnail image generation
Windows Live Custom Domains Web site administration
Yahoo Site Explorer Web site analysis service

Job Search

Indeed Job search services
SmashFly Job board posting service

Mapping

ArcWeb Mapping and GIS services
BigTribe Location based advertising
deCarta Location-based services
EarthTools Web services for geographical information
FeedMap Blog geo-coding
Garmin MotionBased GPS services and mapping
geocoder Geocoding services for US
geocoder.ca Geocoding services for Canada
GeoIQ Geospatial analysis and heat mapping service
GeoNames Geographic name and postal code lookup
GetMapping Aerial photography and mapping service
GlobeXplorer Mapping services
Google Maps Mapping services
HopStop Mass transit and walking directions
iShareMaps On Demand UK Postcode Geocoder
Map24 AJAX API Mapping services
Mappr Photo mapping
MapQuest Online mapping service
Mapstraction Mapping API abstraction layer
MetaCarta Location and geotagging services
Microsoft MapPoint Mapping services
Microsoft Virtual Earth Mapping services
Multimap Global online mapping service
NASA Satellite mapping images
Naver Maps Korean mapping service
Nearby.org.uk Geocoding service for UK
Ontok Geocode any US address
OpenLayers Mapping API abstraction layer
OpenStreetMap The Free Wiki World Map
Platial Collaborative geographic service
Plazes Location discovery service
Poly9 FreeEarth 3D mapping service
Pushpin Mapping service
Urban Mapping Urban geo-spatial data services
USGS Elevation Query Service Determine elevation based on latitude and longitude
ViaMichelin Mapping, directions, and travel booking
Wayfaring Map creation and sharing service
WHERE GPS Mobile GPS widget platform
Where Is Tim Web Service Location tracking
Where2GetIt Geospatial Non-mapping geospatial services
Where2GetIt SlippyMap Online mapping service
Whereis Australian and New Zealand mapping service
Wigle Wireless network mapping
Yahoo Geocoding Geocoding services
Yahoo Map Image Map image creation service
Yahoo Maps Mapping services
ZeeMaps Embedded maps and international geocoding
ZoomIn Australian mapping service

Media Management

BBC Multimedia archive database
Grouper Video Video sharing service
Orb Digital media remote access and management
Phanfare Photo and video sharing service
Streamload Online media storage

Medical

cPath Medical database lookup
Kegg Bioinformatics data services
NCBI Entrez Life sciences search services
SeqHound Bioinformatics research database

Messaging

411Sync SMS, WAP, and email messaging
Aql SMS solutions portal
Clickatell SMS Messaging services
Jaiku Social messaging service
Mobivity SMS marketing messaging service
Movil SMS messaging
PartySync Messaging services
Sabifoo IM to RSS conversion service
SmsBug SMS messaging services
StrikeIron Global SMS Pro SMS messaging services
StrikeIron Mobile Email Mobile email messaging service
Textamerica Moblogs
Trekmail Messaging services
Twittervision Location based data for the Twitter service
Userplane Communication software for online communities
Vazu SMS messaging service

Music

AOL Music Now Music playlist management
Digital Podcast Podcast search
Faces.com Photo and media sharing service
Feedcache Feed caching service
Freedb / CDDB Online CD catalog service
Last.fm Music playlist management
MP3Tunes Music services
MusicBrainz Music metadata community service
MusicDNS.org Music fingerprinting service
MusicMobs Social music service
OpenStrands Music recommendation and discovery
Rhapsody Online music services
SeeqPod Music recommendation service
SNOCAP Digital music marketplace
Soundtoys Visual artists works repository
Tunelog Music metadata management
WebJay Music playlist management
Winamp Customizable music player
Yahoo Music Engine Desktop music player

News

AmphetaRate News aggregator
ClearForest Semantic Web Services1 Natural language processing tools
Daylife Online News Service
Digg
Findory Personalized news aggregation
Macromedia News Aggregator Data access service
Moreover News delivery
NewsCloud Social news service
NewsIsFree Online news aggregation

Office

Backpack Online information manager
Big Contacts Web based contact management
EditGrid Online spreadsheet
Google Documents List Document management services
Google Spreadsheets Online spreadsheets
Numbler Online spreadsheet service
SlideShare Presentation sharing community
Zoho Online office suite

Photos

AOL Pictures Online photo management
Buzznet Photo sharing
Flickr Photo sharing service
Fotolia Royalty free stock photos
Google Picasa Photo management and sharing service
imageLoop Animated slideshow service
Panoramio Photo upload site with organizer
Pixagogo Online photo services
Riya Photo search
ShutterPoint Stock photography service
Smugmug Photo sharing service
Snipshot Online photo editing service
WebShots Photo sharing service
Yahoo Photos Online photo service
Zoto Photo sharing service

Recommendations

Criteo Distributed recommendation service
EasyUtil Recommendation service
RapLeaf Portable ratings system
Yelp Local user reviews and city guides

Reference

Aonaware Dictionary Dictionary lookup service/td>
City and State by Zip Code Address lookup service
Dun and Bradstreet Research company background data
Bussines Verification Business research services
FUTEF Wikipedia API Third party Wikipedia web service
ISBNdb Books database
Library of Congress SRW Information database search
Microsoft MSDN Technical reference library
OpenDOAR Academic research repository
PhoneVal Phone number validation service
RealEDA Reverse Phone Lookup Lookup address and name via phone
SRC Demographics Demographic reference data
StrikeIron Address Verfication Global address verification service
StrikeIron Do Not Call Telephone number verification
StrikeIron Insider Trading Insider trading transaction information
StrikeIron Phone Number Enhancement Adds address and statistical data based on phone number
StrikeIron Residential Lookup Residential directory lookup and validation service
StrikeIron Reverse Phone Lookup Reverse phone lookup services
StrikeIron Sales Tax Basic Sales and use tax data service
StrikeIron Super Data Pack APIs for variety of reference data sources
StrikeIron US Census Census data information service
StrikeIron Zacks Company Profile Corporate profiles web service
Talis Library 2.0 reference services
UrbanDictionary Slang dictionary lookup
US Yellow Pages Telephone directory
Yahoo Answers Community driven reference service

Search

Alexa Web Information Service Web site information and traffic data
Alexa Web Search Web Search Engine
Amazon A9 OpenSearch
Gigablast
Google Ajax Search Web search components
Google Code Search Code search service
Google Desktop Desktop search and gadgets
Google Search Search services
Kratia Democratic search engine
Naver Korean search engine
Vast Structured web search
Windows Live Search Internet search
Wink Social search service
Yahoo Image Search Image search services
Yahoo Local Search Local search service
Yahoo My Web Search Personalized search services
Yahoo Related Suggestions Search suggestion service
Yahoo Search Search services
Yahoo Term Extraction Contextual search service
AOL Open Auth Authentication services

Shopping

Amazon eCommerce Online retailer
Amazon Historical Pricing Historical product sales data
Authorize.Net Internet based payment gateway services
AvantLink Affiliate marketing network
CNET Shopping services
Commission Junction Online affiliate programs
DataUnison eBay Research eBay pricing and sales trend data
Direct Textbook Book price comparison service
eBay Online auction marketplace
GoodStorm Online retail ecommerce
Google Base Platform for structure and semi-structured data
Google Checkout Shopping cart services
PriceRunner Shopping comparison engine
Shopping.com Online retail shopping
SwapThing Community driven swapping site
UPC Database UPC lookup service
Windows Live Expo Online classifieds service
Yahoo Shopping Shopping services
Zazzle On-demand product creation service

Storage

Amazon S3 Online storage services
Box.net Online file storage
MoveDigital File delivery and management services
Omnidrive Online storage services
Open Xdrive Online data storage service
Openomy Online file system
Tagalag Email tagging
TagFinder Tag extraction service
Tagthe.net Tag recommendation service
TagTooga Tag based Internet directory

Video

Truveo Video search
Blinkx Video search
Dave.TV Video distribution network
LiveVideo Video repository and user community
Revver Video services
Veoh Virtual television and video network
Video Detective Film trailers, cast, images, and related information
Yahoo Video Search Video search
YouTube Video sharing and search

Widgets

ClearSpring Widget creation, distribution, and tracking services
Google Gadgets
Netvibes Personalized home page with widgets
Pageflakes Personalized start page and widgets
Serence Klip Desktop gadgets
SpringWidgets Widget platform
TagWorld Social web services
Windows Live Gadgets Online gadgets service
Windows Sidebar Gadgets Desktop gadgets
Yahoo Widgets Desktop widgets
Yourminis Personalized start page

WIKI

DBpedia Structured query interface to Wikipedia
JotSpot Wiki-style collaboration tools
PBwiki Consumer wiki farm
WikiMatrix Wiki search and comparison service

April 5, 2009 Posted by | IT News, Life skills | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Analyzing Your Business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

GETTING STARTED

SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is a method of
assessing a business, its resources, and its environment. Doing an analysis of this type is a
good way to better understand a business and its markets, and can also show potential
investors that all options open to, or affecting a business at a given time have been
thought about thoroughly.
The essence of the SWOT analysis is to discover what you do well; how you could
improve; whether you are making the most of the opportunities around you; and whether
there are any changes in your market—such as technological developments, mergers of
businesses, or unreliability of suppliers—that may require corresponding changes in your
business. This actionlist will introduce you to the ideas behind the SWOT analysis, and
give suggestions as to how you might carry out one of your own.

FAQS

What is the SWOT process?

The SWOT process focuses on the internal strengths and weaknesses of you, your staff,
your products, and your business. At the same time, it looks at the external opportunities
and threats that may have an impact on your business, such as market and consumer
trends, changes in technology, legislation, and financial issues.

What is the best way to complete the analysis?

The traditional approach to completing SWOT is to produce a blank grid of four
columns— one each for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and weaknesses—and then
list relevant factors beneath the appropriate heading. Don’t worry if some factors appear
in more than one box and remember that a factor that appears to be a threat could also
represent a potential opportunity. A rush of competitors into your area could easily
represent a major threat to your business. However, competitors could boost customer
numbers in your area, some of whom may well visit your business.

What is the point of completing a SWOT analysis?

Completing a SWOT analysis will enable you to pinpoint your core activities and identify
what you do well, and why. It will also point you towards where your greatest
opportunities lie, and highlight areas where changes need to be made to make the most of
your business.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

Know Your Strengths

Take some time to consider what you believe are the strengths of your business. These
could be seen in terms of your staff, products, customer loyalty, processes, or location.
Evaluate what your business does well; it could be your marketing expertise, your
environmentally-friendly packaging, or your excellent customer service. It’s important to
try to evaluate your strengths in terms of how they compare to those of your competitors.
For example, if you and your competitors provide the same prompt delivery time, then
this cannot be listed as a strength. However, if your delivery staff is extremely polite and
helpful, and your competitor’s staff has very few customer-friendly attributes, then you
should consider listing your delivery staff’s attitude as a strength. It is very important to
be totally honest and realistic. Try to include some personal strengths and characteristics
of your staff as individuals, and the management team as individuals. Whatever you do,
you must be totally honest and realistic: there’s no point creating a useless work of
fiction!

Recognize Your Weaknesses

Try to take an objective look at every aspect of your business. Ask yourself whether your
products and services could be improved. Think about how reliable your customer
service is, or whether your supplier always delivers exactly what you want, when you
want it. Try to identify any area of expertise that is lacking in the business. as you can
then take steps to improve that aspect. For example, you might realize that you need
some more sales staff, or financial help and guidance. Don’t forget to think about your
business’s location and whether it really does suit your purpose. Is there enough parking,
or enough opportunities to attract passing trade?
Your main objective during this exercise is to be as honest as you can in listing
weaknesses. Don’t just make a list of mistakes that have been made, such as an occasion
when a customer was not called back promptly. Try to see the broader picture instead and
learn from what happened. It may be that your systems or processes could be improved
so that customers are contacted at the right time, so work on boosting your systems and
making that change happen rather than looking about for someone to blame.
It’s a good idea to get an outside viewpoint on what your weaknesses are as your own
perceptions may not always marry up to reality. You may strongly believe that your years
of experience in a sector reflect your business’s thorough grounding and knowledge of all
of your customers’ needs. Your customers, on the other hand, may perceive this wealth of
experience as an old-fashioned approach that shows an unwillingness to change and work
with new ideas. Be prepared to hear things you may not like, but which, ultimately, may
be extremely helpful.

Spot the Opportunities

The next step is to analyze your opportunities, and this can be tackled in several ways.
External opportunities can include the misfortune of competitors who are not performing
well, providing you with the opportunity to do better. There may be technological
developments that you could benefit from, such as broadband arriving in your area, or a

new process enhancing your products. There may be some legislative changes affecting your customers,

offering you an opportunity to provide advice, support, or added
services. Changes in market trends and consumer buying habits may provide the
development of a niche market, of which you could take advantage before your
competitors, if you are quick enough to take action.
Another good idea is to consider your weaknesses more carefully, and work out ways of
addressing the problems, turning them around in order to create an opportunity. For
example, the pressing issue of a supplier who continually lets you down could be turned
into an opportunity by sourcing another supplier who is more reliable and who may even
offer you a better deal. If a member of staff leaves, you have an opportunity to reevaluate
duties more efficiently or to recruit a new member of staff who brings additional
experience and skills with them.

Watch Out for Threats

Analyzing the threats to your business requires some guesswork, and this is where your
analysis can be overly subjective. Some threats are tangible, such as a new competitor
moving into your area, but others may be only intuitive guesses that result in nothing.
Having said that, it’s much better to be vigilant because if potential threat does become a
real one, you’ll be able to react much quicker: you’ll have considered your options
already and hopefully also put some contingency planning into place.
Think about the worst things that could realistically happen, such as losing your
customers to your major competitor, or the development of a new product far superior to
your own. Listing your threats in your SWOT analysis will provide ways for you to plan
to deal with the threats, if they ever actually start to affect your business.

Use Your Analysis

After completing your SWOT analysis, it’s vital that you learn from the information you
have gathered. You should now plan to build on your strengths, using them to their full
potential, and also plan to reduce your weaknesses, either by minimizing the risk they
represent, or making changes to overcome them. Now that you understand where your
opportunities lie, make the most of them and aim to capitalize on every opportunity in
front of you. Try to turn threats into opportunities. Try to be proactive, and put plans into
place to counter any threats as they arise.
To help you in planning ahead, you could combine some of the areas you have
highlighted in the boxes; for example, if you see an external opportunity of a new market
growing, you will be able to check whether your internal strengths will be able to make
the most of the opportunity. For example, do you have enough trained staff in place, and
can your phone system cope with extra customer orders? If you have a weakness that
undermines an opportunity, it provides a good insight as to how you might develop your
internal strengths and weaknesses to maximize your opportunities and minimize your
threats.
The basic SWOT process is to fill in the four boxes, but the real benefit is to take an
overview of everything in each box, in relation to all the other boxes. This comparative
analysis will then provide an evaluation that links external and internal forces to help
your business prosper.

COMMON MISTAKES

Focusing just on a few issues

Don’t just focus on the large, obvious issues, such as a major competitor encroaching on
your business. You need to consider all issues carefully, such as whether your Internet
system provides everything you need or whether your staffing levels are as they should
be.

Completing your SWOT analysis on your own

Do take advantage of other people’s contribution when you’re completing your SWOT
analysis; don’t try and do it alone. Other people’s perspectives can be very useful,
particularly as they may not be as close to the business as you are. This distance can often
help them see answers to thorny questions more easily, or to be more innovative: we all
get stuck in a rut at points.

Using your analysis for the next ten years

Don’t do a SWOT analysis once and then never repeat the exercise. Your business
environment will be constantly changing, so use SWOT as an ongoing business analysis
practice.

Relying on SWOT to provide all the answers

Use SWOT as part of an overall strategy to analyze your business and its potential. It is a
useful guide, not a major decision-making tool so don’t base major decisions on this
analysis and nothing else.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Hack, Industry Best Practice, Life skills, Movie | , , , , | Leave a comment

30 Skills Every IT Person Needs

In this article: Can you call yourself an accomplished information technology employee? Find out by reading about the 30 IT skills you should have.

I noticed an article called “75 skills every man should master.” It included some skills I have and some I don’t. For example, I can tie a knot and hammer a nail, but frankly I can’t recite a poem from memory, and bow ties still confuse me.

It was an interesting read and made me realize I could be more well-rounded than I am. To be honest, we all could be.

So in the spirit of personal growth, I developed a list of skills every IT person should have.

1. Be able to fix basic PC issues. These can be how to map a printer, back up files, or add a network card. You don’t need to be an expert and understand how to overclock a CPU or hack the registry, but if you work in IT, people expect you to be able to do some things.

[ If you have IT staffers who aren’t up to snuff, fire them. Learn how to do it right. ]

2. Work the help desk. Everyone, from the CIO to the senior architect, should be able to sit down at the help desk and answer the phones. Not only will you gain a new appreciation for the folks on the phones, but you will also teach them more about your process and avoid escalations in the future.

3. Do public speaking. At least once, you should present a topic to your peers. It can be as simple as a five-minute tutorial on how IM works, but being able to explain something and being comfortable enough to talk in front of a crowd is a skill you need to have. If you are nervous, partner with someone who is good at it, or do a roundtable. This way, if you get flustered, someone is there to cover for you.

4. Train someone. The best way to learn is to teach.

5. Listen more than you speak. I very rarely say something I didn’t already know, but I often hear other people say things and think, “Darn, I wish I knew that last week.”

6. Know basic networking. Whether you are a network engineer, a help desk technician, a business analyst, or a system administrator, you need to understand how networks work and simple troubleshooting. You should understand DNS and how to check it, as well as how to ping and trace-route machines.

7. Know basic system administration. Understand file permissions, access levels, and why machines talk to the domain controllers. You don’t need to be an expert, but knowing the basics will avoid many headaches down the road.

8. Know how to take a network trace. Everyone in IT should be able to fire up wireshark, netmon, snoop, or some basic network capturing tool. You don’t need to understand everything in it, but you should be able to capture it to send to a network engineer to examine.

9. Know the difference between latency and bandwidth. Latency is the amount of time to get a packet back and forth; bandwidth is the maximum amount of data a link can carry. They are related, but different. A link with high-bandwidth utilization can cause latency to go higher, but if the link isn’t full, adding more bandwidth can’t reduce latency.

10. Script. Everyone should be able to throw a script together to get quick results. That doesn’t mean you’re a programmer. Real programmers put in error messages, look for abnormal behavior, and document. You don’t need to do that, but you should be able to put something together to remove lines, send e-mail, or copy files.

11. Back up. Before you do anything, for your own sake, back it up.

12. Test backups. If you haven’t tested restoring it, it isn’t really there. Trust me.

13. Document. None of the rest of us wants to have to figure out what you did. Write it down and put it in a location everyone can find. Even if it’s obvious what you did or why you did it, write it down.

14. Read “The Cuckoo’s Egg.” I don’t get a cut from Cliff Stoll (the author), but this is probably the best security book there is — not because it is so technical, but because it isn’t.

15. Work all night on a team project. No one likes to do this, but it’s part of IT. Working through a hell project that requires an all-nighter to resolve stinks, but it builds very useful camaraderie by the time it is done.

16. Run cable. It looks easy, but it isn’t. Plus, you will understand why installing a new server doesn’t really take five minutes — unless, of course, you just plug in both ends and let the cable fall all over the place. Don’t do that — do it right. Label all the cables (yes, both ends), and dress them nice and neat. This will save time when there’s a problem because you’ll be able to see what goes where.

17. You should know some energy rules of thumb. For example: A device consuming 3.5kW of electricity requires a ton of cooling to compensate for the heat. And I really do mean a ton, not merely “a lot.” Note that 3.5kW is roughly what 15 to 20 fairly new 1U and 2U servers consume. One ton of cooling requires three 10-inch-round ducts to handle the air; 30 tons of air requires a duct measuring 80 by 20 inches. Thirty tons of air is a considerable amount.

18. Manage at least one project. This way, the next time the project manager asks you for a status, you’ll understand why. Ideally, you will have already sent the status report because you knew it would be asked for.

19. Understand operating costs versus capital projects. Operating costs are the costs to run the business. Capital equipment is made of assets that can have their cost spread over a time period — say, 36 months. Operating costs are sometimes better, sometimes worse. Know which one is better — it can make a difference between a yes and no.

20. Learn the business processes. Being able to spot improvements in the way the business is run is a great technique for gaining points. You don’t need to use fancy tools; just asking a few questions and using common sense will serve you well.

21. Don’t be afraid to debate something you know is wrong. But also know when to stop arguing. It’s a fine line between having a good idea and being a pain in the ass.

22. If you have to go to your boss with a problem, make sure you have at least one solution.

23. There is no such thing as a dumb question, so ask it … once. Then write down the answer so that you don’t have to ask it again. If you ask the same person the same question more than twice, you’re an idiot (in their eyes).

24. Even if it takes you twice as long to figure something out on your own versus asking someone else, take the time to do it yourself. You’ll remember it longer. If it takes more than twice as long, ask.

25. Learn how to speak without using acronyms.

26. IT managers: Listen to your people. They know more than you. If not, get rid of them and hire smarter people. If you think you are the smartest one, resign.

27. IT managers: If you know the answer, ask the right questions for someone else to get the solution; don’t just give the answer. This is hard when you know what will bring the system back up quickly and everyone in the company is waiting for it, but it will pay off in the long run. After all, you won’t always be available.

28. IT managers: The first time someone does something wrong, it’s not a mistake — it’s a learning experience. The next time, though, give them hell. And remember: Every day is a chance for an employee to learn something else. Make sure they learn something valuable versus learning there’s a better job out there.

29. IT managers: Always give people more work than you think they can handle. People will say you are unrealistic, but everyone needs something to complain about anyway, so make it easy. Plus, there’s nothing worse than looking at the clock at 2 p.m. and thinking, “I’ve got nothing to do, but can’t leave.” This way, your employees won’t have that dilemma.

30. IT managers: Square pegs go in square holes. If someone works well in a team but not so effectively on their own, keep them as part of a team.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | IT News, Life skills | Leave a comment