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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Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu Server

I was once asked on an interview what do you know about Linux? Of course, I responded with the answer that I can get around the OS pretty well. I am a long time Windows Server person like many of you out there. But the simple truth is that when you work as an IT Director or a Network Administrator you have to work in many types of server environments.

I was asked once in another interview years ago what I knew about Novell Netware? My response was that I have never seen Novell but I have heard of it. I then followed up with if they had a book lying around I am sure I can do what they needed me to do with the OS. Well, I got the job and my first day they wanted me to create some file shares. They handed me a book on Novell and within an hour I came back and said the file shares were ready to use.

What I have told many interns that I have trained over the years is that you can never be scared of any Server OS. Every time you come upon a new system go into it as a learning experience. Also if you can go home and set up a VM with the OS and begin poking around. And when you are learning to take the time to take notes on what you learned, they will come in handy down the road.

Once you do get the feeling for a new Server OS is to remember to revisit it and keep brushing up on your skills. You never know when you might take an interview and be asked questions about one of these systems.

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Moms Are So Important

Moms are so important to our everyday lives. I was checking my phone tonight and seen that my mom called. Normally I am the person calling my mom so it was a joy to see that she called me for a change.

I was a single dad for some years with my daughter. But I have always felt that moms are the ones that enable us to be who we are. I don’t know if it is because we are born from our mother or if they just understand us a little better than our dads?

But for me I know that anytime and for any reason I can call or visit my mom she knows what to say to make things better. But I loved my dad. Don’t get me wrong dads are just as important just in different ways.

At the end of the day both parents will help to shape your live either for the better or worse? But I always tell my kids we have two parents and they also have step-parents which can also effect our lives in many ways.

The most important thing I can tell you is that if you ever become a parent is be the best you can be. There are no books on what you should do with your kids. From my point at least be there when they need to talk to you.

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Programming for IOS

X Code

I have always wanted to start programming for IOS for both the iPhone and the iPad. I have plans designed to take some if not all business from some Pittsburgh based companies. I have always wanted to design this system I am working on and I figure if I can build the right team this will be a great part-time work. I still really enjoy where I am working now and I work for a great company. But it is time to take this project to the masses. First I have to learn more about programming using Xcode.

I have been a Visual Basic as well as a PHP programmer for years now. For this project I am working on it will require the use of the iPad. If you are reading this and you feel you would like to be a part of this start-up please get in touch with me.

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