Reading Best Affordable Entertainment

Books

As I was sitting in my office at lunch the other day a thought crossed my mind. Reading is the most affordable entertainment that you can give to yourself. It also opens your mind and allows you to sink into the world of the writer. I read across many genres and enjoy being lifted into new worlds that our mind imagens. It is the job of the writer to not only tell a story that you can sink into but to paint the scenes in our minds and to pull us into the story. As you can find on this site I have written a few short stories as well as one novel and I enjoyed the way I had to create the scenes so that the reader is pulled into the world I saw when I wrote the book.

Here is an example of scene building. In the first act, I will show you what a book would be like with no scene building then I will follow it up with a scene that your mind will see.

Act 1: The little boy was carrying a ball and thinking about finding some friends to play with. (No Scene building)

Act 1: Sammy was carrying a ball down a street and noticed a basketball hoop hanging from the side of an old run-down building. He thought to himself that he needed to run three houses down the block to the house with the chain-link fence and get two of his friends Billy and Jimmy to come down and play a little basketball. (With Scene building)

Sometimes people say writers build to much fluff into their stories. That is why some books have 600 pages and some others have 300. But it is the fluff that will pull you into the story and allow you to understand a character better. This is the reason, Stephen  King’s books are so long. He has a remarkable way of pulling you into the story and keeps you there throughout the entire book no matter how long it is.

And these days if you have an e-reader you can find so many great FREE books which makes the reading endless. I would recommend signing up for a free account on Book Blurp. I get FREE book offers every day. I would also suggest that you read works from authors you have never heard about you will be surprised how it will open your world.

 

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Teaching Computer and Network Security

Security

I have a new title at work to add to my list. I am the new HIPAA Security Officer. Since we deal with some medical information we needed a point of contact for all of the HIPAA Security-related concerns. The first step the company did was send me to a HIPPA Security training where I became certified to perform this new duty.

I always take the jobs given to me with great respect. When someone puts their trust in me that I will be performing a job for them and in return keeping us from ever having to worry about court cases. I started what has never been done at our company. I created a security and computer training once a month that is mandatory for everyone to attend. Doing this I get to answer questions about security issues. It also allows me one on one time with the staff to hear about any security concerns. I received positive feedback and everyone was scared and much more aware of Passwords and how to better secure not just the workplace but also their personal lives.

Another way I stay in constant contact with all of the staff members is to use Microsoft Teams. This is a great communication tool that all of us use every day. We are a technology-driven company. We only use the phones on our desks to conduct business outside of the company. All internal communications are completed using Teams. So I sent up a new Team and it allows me to post current topics on Security and Technology.

If you ever need someone from the outside to speak to your companies or educational staff about security please email me and we can set something up to help you out. You can never take security lightly.

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Coffee To Start The Day

Black Coffee

I have been drinking coffee for as long as I can remember. When I was very young I can remember sitting with my mom at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee with her. But I also remember it was more milk and sugar than coffee. These days I normally use Almond milk at home but when I get to work I just like it black. I think part of that reason is I don’t keep any Almond milk at work and there is normally no creamers around so black it is.

So where do you like to get your coffee from? are you a Start Bucks type of person or are you more of a McDonald’s kind of maybe some other little store on your way to work? We like 1/2 cafe at home and straight-up 100% caffeine at the office. Let me hear how and where you get your coffee fix?

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Automating Tasks By Programming

Visual Studio

If you plan on or even if you are working in the technology field you need to learn and have an understanding of programming. It really does not matter which language you want to learn as long as you have a good understanding of how to automate tasks. I have been writing custom code and automating tasks for nearly 20 years. I have found a use for this talent in every job I have had in the technology field. Even working at a school district recently I was able to automate importing new students into the library software from the student information system. Once I had the connection up and running I was told that no one else has been able to do this. They were asking for this to be done for 10 years. The reason I tell you this story is because once you learn how a process works and if you can write some code you to will be able to automate a process.

I am currently writing a large project to automate build SQL statements. Right now the job is done by hand each time the database needs to be updated or split I am asked to run my SQL UPDATE query by hand on the SQL database server. This is time-consuming so it is a great time to automate this process. I will keep you updated on this process. The bottom line is not to be afraid of programming and take your time. You will hit snags once in a while but take it from me you will be saving hours of manual coding in the future.

If you have a process and you do not want to program it please contact me. If you can show me what the process is and what you need it to do I will be happy to contact writing the program for you.

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New PRTG Deployment

PRTG

I have been asked many times what I prefer to use to monitor my servers and networks. I have found that using PRTG has made it so I can watch my networks and my servers no matter where I have them. I monitor servers in the cloud as well as networks all over the World.

If you need help with your PRTG deployment please drop me an email and we can set up a time. I am also available for on-site work and travel.

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Upgrading My Home Server with VMWare 6.7

VMWare

I spend some time upgrading my home server to the newest VMWare 6.7. We have been using this new version at work and I wanted to dig into more if the features. At home, I like to run to servers for testing. I run Windows Server 2012 as well as Ubuntu Server.

I have spent most of my weekend setting up a new VM of Ubuntu Server and preparing it for testing out automation scripts. I want to create my scripts using Ruby. I am using the IDE called Ruby Mine from JetBrains.

If you have any projects that you are working on or need assistance with any of your servers or need new scripts please let me know. I am also always available for remote training.

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Swift Programming for IOS

Swift Programming

If you are in the computer field in today’s World you can never stop learning new and exciting computer topics. As you can see from the title I am currently taking a course on writing code for IOS. I have a few projects in mind for the iPhone and the iPad. I have been coding for Windows for years. You can see from my past blog posts that I have also been writing bash and power shell scripts for Windows and Linux Servers.

I have also spent a lot of time programming MySQL and MSSQL Databases and writing front end programs in both Visual Basic and PHP for Web Development. The simple truth is once you get one programming language down and learn how to debug syntax other programming languages are not hard to follow. Well back to the lessons.

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Upgrading Computers with SSD Drives

SSD Drives

Upgrading a computer from the old spinning hard drives to a new SSD will make your computer faster. With no spinning disks, the computer will be able to seek your applications and data so much faster. I have also found that this will add new life to your computer and you will get a few more years out of an aging PC.

We have been seeing hard drive failures over the past few months. This makes sense because all of the computers were purchased around the same time. Replacing a drive is a simple process and you should also re-install everything onto the new drive. I never like cloning the drive because you will most likely be pulling over old information that was making your computer run slow in the first place.

One thing to look out for is the connectors for the hard drives. I hope by now that you have SATA cables in your computer. If you have the older cables you can buy adapters to convert the connectors to the new SATA style. Remember to check first before you buy your new SSD drives so you can order connectors if you need them. If you want to upgrade your computer and you are not sure how to do this please reach out to me and I will be able to help.

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Setting Up New iMacs

 

iMacs

At work, I am responsible for all of our Apple products from iPads to iMacs as well as all Mac Laptops. On top of this, I am also responsible for all security cameras and recording devices. I am also the Software Engineer which mean I take care of all of the databases and client software for well over 5000 devices.

We were lucky enough to get new 21″ iMacs. I am working to get all of them set up exactly the same way. By doing this I know that when each user sits down to work on these devices they will all have the same experience.

If you are looking for a new computer for your house I would have to suggest an Apple Mac. The operating system and the software are the most stable that you can get. And if you need help learning or just setting it up please reach out to me.

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Writing and Coding Scripts

Scripting

The words I truly enjoy at work is when I am told that no one could get this automated program or connection to a database to work. They feel it can not be done? I have been connecting programs and automating software programs for years. I also enjoy writing automated scripts for our servers.

When you are learning how to work with scripting languages I would advise you to choose a few different ones. Just as there are many tools in a toolbox you will find there are many different scripting tools to get the job done right. I would also advise you to comment your work as you go. You should also keep clear notes on the process that you used to build the script. This is really handy if you ever have to go back and change something as programs or servers change. Or you never know if you get promoted you might have to hand off the scripts you wrote to someone else?

The truth is if you are working in the IT field and are responsible for software or servers you will want to learn and be the best you can be with scripting. When you can automate a program or process you will have more time to work on other projects.

If you have a process or a daily software task that you would like to be automated look me up. I might be able to give you some guidance and be able to share my knowledge with you.

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