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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Collaborative Learning

collaborative-learning

Collaborative learning is a great way to teach for the 21st century. Today’s largest companies create and move their businesses by using collaborative meetings. Companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft have teams that meet often to come up with the next big thing. Even programming companies work on large code projects with many programmers coming up with ideas and each writing a piece of the code.

Today’s education, for the most part, is leading this new way of educating children from elementary to high school and even in the college setting. With the help of great tools such as interactive whiteboards, Google Suite and Office 365 and much more. Smartphones can also be a great collaborative learning tool. The focus is getting students to learn together much like the businesses of today.

I enjoy walking into a classroom and seeing a teacher walking around the room and assisting the students in learning in group settings. The day’s of the teacher standing in front of the classroom and lecturing have been put back into the dark ages of education.

If you do teach or even lead teams in a business find ways to have each person or student contribute to the overall lesson. You will find great rewards when you see how much your students or staff know.

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Teaching for Modern Times

Tech Teaching Tools

Teaching students to be prepared for the modern world is a hard task. Teaching using technology can be default because it is ever changing. Adapting to those changes can be a challenge. But as you can see from the picture above many great tools have been created for us to use in our lessons. I try to adopt at least one new tool a year to help with education. You also have to have a good clear vision when adopting new tech tools. You never want to have your students feel that they are on tech overload.

I like to see a blend of online learning with a mixture of book and classroom instruction. This way we can reach all types of learners. Some students will learn better at a self-pace while others strive to keep pace in the classroom. Using a good mixture of both will keep all of the students engaged on the subject matter.

I do believe in digital notes. How many times have you wanted to refer to a note to find you left it in the office or classroom? With digital notes and using a tool such as Evernote or Google Keep, I can always have my notes on every device I carry. Besides, it is easier to carry my phone in my pocket then carry around my paper notebook.

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Today’s Technology Motivator

Tech Worker

Today’s technology workers have to be vast in what the can handle. The day has long past to just be a simple computer repair person or even a networking guru. Working for school districts has transformed the way I look at technology and how I approach each day. When you work for a profit company you may begin to get a little rusty because you are working with one system or another and you don’t get to invest time with many forms of technology. I always instruct my staff to learn about all forms of technology because the students and teachers that we assist deserve the very best from their tech teams. Not only do we watch over servers, network switches and Windows computers we also get involved with Smart Boards, Macs, iPads, Tablets, Video Production and Education software. We are the experts that people rely on daily to enable them to teach and learn. Microsoft Office is a great tool and has been around for a long time but Google and G Suite has been taking over schools by storm. So we as technology motivators have to curve our way of thinking and assist in finding new and better cost effective ways to educate the young people of today. iPads are very predominant in education and we must know how to push apps out to the teachers and students while still securing the devices. A very good school technologist will never stop learning and investigating new ways to help the district educate with technology while keeping an eye on the budget to make it cost effective for everyone.

As you can see the World of Technology is always changing. And I have worked for a profit company where you don’t get to see innovation because making money is the key to their success. But in education we innovate with Technology all the time to show students that technology is changing and we get to help show them the new World they will be stepping into.

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Was I Hacked Or Not?

Hackers

If you tried to visit my site over the past few days it might have been down? I was e-mailed from my hosting company and they told me they found a virus on my site. They really didn’t have the time to fix the site. I was out of town at a conference. When I did have sometime to look at the site I found it down. I don’t know how long it was off line.

Once I got home I was able to dig into the issue. I was able to re-upload the entire word press blogging site. Once I did that the site came back to life. I feel very lucky.

I can say I am still not sure of what happened. I think that their virus scanners caught an old file and flagged it. One thing that is good I have no one who logs into this site. There are no members to worry about. The main thing is the site is back up and the reviews will once again be live.

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