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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

XML: How to get the benefits without the heartache, part 2

Sean McGrath, ITworld.com

From bitter experience, I have learned that the only way to approach document-centric XML applications is from the content creation and modification side of the application functionality spectrum. There is little point in having a wonderful back-end system for content management and exploitation if there is no author-friendly way of creating and modifying that content. ...continue reading 'XML: How to get the benefits without the heartache, part 2'

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XML: How to get the benefits without the heartache, part 1

Sean McGrath, ITworld.com

Much has been written and continues to be written about the "angle bracket tax". Now let us start by calling a spade a spade. XML is not a silver bullet and if you unilaterally spray it over your application space you can get into trouble. ...continue reading 'XML: How to get the benefits without the heartache, part 1'

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Five Mac maintenance myths

Dan Frakes, Macworld

You know you need to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles, clean your house's gutters every fall, and brush your teeth at least twice a day -- but do you know what's necessary to keep your Mac in good shape? Despite what you may read in online forums or on email mailing lists there are some things you just don't need to do. Here are 5 such Mac maintenance myths. ...continue reading 'Five Mac maintenance myths'

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Making a USB flash drive letter persistent

Mitch Tulloch, ITworld.com

If you're like me, you've accumulated an astounding number of flash drives. And, if you're like me, you've found that when you plug two flash drives your workstation, you don't know which window belongs to which drive. Wouldn't it be great if you could assign a flash drive a persistent drive letter? Well, you're in luck. ...continue reading 'Making a USB flash drive letter persistent'

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Virtualizing onto mainframes: Analyzing workloads to determine fit

Andrew Hillier, CiRBA

Consolidating application workloads onto the mainframe platform is a great strategy to consider in many IT environments. By properly assessing the suitability of applications to consolidate, the results they will give, and the overall TCO of the solution, it is possible to simplify IT infrastructure, improve reliability, increase resilience, decrease power consumption and ultimately drive down the costs associated with servicing these workloads. Here's some advice for getting started. ...continue reading 'Virtualizing onto mainframes: Analyzing workloads to determine fit'

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Verify web server availability using portqry

Mitch Tulloch, ITworld.com

Say you have an IIS7 Web server somewhere on your Intranet, and users start calling Helpdesk complaining that "our internal website is down." Here's one solution for verifying if this is really the case. ...continue reading 'Verify web server availability using portqry'

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Removing robots from your web traffic analysis

Sandra Henry-Stocker, ITworld.com

The top visitors to web sites are often robots, crawlers and spiders -- the programs that run on systems whose job it is to index the contents of the web so that the rest of us can effectively search it. And those robots can so distort web traffic reports as to make them practically useless. Here are some steps you can take to identify robotic traffic in your web log files. ...continue reading 'Removing robots from your web traffic analysis'

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Unix tip: ZFS administration

Sandra Henry-Stocker, ITworld.com

From the looks of it, ZFS administration is significantly simpler than administration of other complex file systems such as Solaris Disk Suite and Veritas Volume Manager. You can get a lot more done with fewer commands and the chance of making an error that is difficult to back out of is practically non-existent. On the other hand, it's still new to most Unix sysadmins and even those of us who have been working with other Unix file systems such as ufs or efs are going to have to devote some time to getting used to new vocabulary, commands and ways of thinking. ...continue reading 'Unix tip: ZFS administration'

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Remotely obtain MAC addresses

Mitch Tulloch, ITworld.com

If you're logged on locally to a computer running Microsoft Windows, you can determine the system's MAC address by typing ipconfig /all and looking for the entry labeled Physical Address. But what if you're system is somewhere else on your network? ...continue reading 'Remotely obtain MAC addresses'

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Windows XP SP3 reboot hell (and how to get out of it)

Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Microsoft's having a tough year with reboots. First it was a reboot ad infinitum in February, brought on by a flawed update to Windows Vista. Now the same thing's happening to some users who have updated to Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3). Here are some answers to the most pressing questions about this latest Windows snafu. ...continue reading 'Windows XP SP3 reboot hell (and how to get out of it)'

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Leopard tamers: 9 terrific interface tweaks

Ryan Faas, Computerworld

At first, modifying Leopard required a level of comfort and experience using the Mac OS X command line and/or modifying system files. Over the past six months, however, the options for tweaking Leopard have become more sophisticated and easier to manage. Today, most changes can be done easily by any Mac user without trepidation. Here, we'll highlight ways to make Leopard more Tiger-like, customize its look and feel to reflect your personality, and show you how to improve certain Leopard features. ...continue reading 'Leopard tamers: 9 terrific interface tweaks'

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Verify web server availability using portqry

Mitch Tulloch, ITworld.com

Say you have an IIS7 Web server somewhere on your Intranet, and users start calling Helpdesk complaining that "our internal website is down." Here's one solution for verifying if this is really the case. ...continue reading 'Verify web server availability using portqry'

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Removing robots from your web traffic analysis

Sandra Henry-Stocker, ITworld.com

The top visitors to web sites are often robots, crawlers and spiders -- the programs that run on systems whose job it is to index the contents of the web so that the rest of us can effectively search it. And those robots can so distort web traffic reports as to make them practically useless. Here are some steps you can take to identify robotic traffic in your web log files.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Beware of 'free' infosec

By Brent Huston, MicroSolved, Inc.

There has been a lot of hype in the last few weeks about security vendors who offer assessments on the "we find holes or it's free" basis. What's wrong with this approach? First off, security testing choices should not be based on price. They should be based on risk. ...continue reading 'Beware of 'free' infosec'

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Preventing unplanned reboots

By Mitch Tulloch, ITworld

I like the "set it and forget it" aspect of having Automatic Updates automatically download and install updates when they become available, mainly because I'm a procrastinator. Unfortunately, things that are automatic can sometimes get in the way of things that have to be done manually. Here's Group Policy's answer for this. ...continue reading 'Preventing unplanned reboots'

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Intranets have eyeballs too

By Sean McGrath

We live in a world that is fixated on the idea of aggregating eyeballs. Advertising is the obvious example of eyeball aggregation writ large. Print, radio, TV and now Internet technologies are heavily involved in finding better, faster, cheaper ways of getting more and more eyeballs tuned in to particular world views, particular value propositions, particular products. At a blogging event I attended recently, Michael Breidenbr├╝cker put it bluntly in the title of his talk: "Let's face it: Web 2.0 is all about advertising." ...continue reading 'Intranets have eyeballs too'

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Rescuing files from lost+found

By Sandra Henry-Stocker

The lost+found directory included in (Unix) file systems is usually empty. Only used when fsck doesn't know what to do with files that have lost their place in the file system, they stand as a temporary holding place for those rare instances in which fsck can't put everything back together after file systems have become corrupt in some way. Moving the files back to their proper places in the OS and renaming them is largely an exercise in recognizing them and issuing the proper mkdir and mv commands to rebuild the contexts in which they previously resided. ...continue reading 'Rescuing files from lost+found'

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Three rules for entry-level hiring

By Virgina Robbins, Computerworld

What could be easier than filling an entry-level job opening? You just match the skills you need, narrow the candidates down to those you click with in the interview and then go with a youngster -- someone who might stick around for years. After all, you have real work to do. ...continue reading 'Three rules for entry-level hiring'

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FAQ: What you should know before installing Windows XP SP3

By Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

To paraphrase -- and, at the same time, contradict -- Winston Churchill, although this isn't the end of Windows XP, it's certainly the beginning of the end. But we come not to bury XP, but to praise it -- and to answer a few last-minute questions now that service pack 3 is really, truly, yes-indeed available to anyone who wants it. ...continue reading 'FAQ: What you should know before installing Windows XP SP3'

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The Sun system life cycle

By Sandra Henry-Stocker, ITworld

If you have ever tried to contract for hardware support for an older Sun system, you are undoubtedly aware of the fact that Sun systems eventually reach an "end of life" stage. This is the equivalent of a retirement age for computers, the date at which Sun informs customers that support for those systems is coming to an end. While the systems may still be performing extremely well, Sun maintenance will have been assigned a predictable end date. ...continue reading 'The Sun system life cycle'

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Six downloadable boot discs that could save your PC

Lincoln Spector, PC World

Way back in the 20th century, Windows came with a program that formatted a bootable floppy disk, complete with diagnostic and repair utilities. If you had the forethought to create that floppy while Windows was still working, you were ready when it eventually failed. Since Microsoft no longer supplies you with the ability to create an emergency boot disk, others have stepped in to fill the void. Here are six worthwhile emergency boot CDs, all downloadable, and most of them free. ...continue reading 'Six downloadable boot discs that could save your PC'

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Monday, May 05, 2008

How to protect against IM threats

Did you know that IM programs automatically create and store logs of all conversations on a user's computer? Do your users know that? They should. Your first step in protecting against IM threats is to learn about the best safety and security practices, educate users, and create policies around instant messaging.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When choosing an integrated development environment, prefer lumberjacks to magicians

By Sean McGrath, ITworld

There are two types of integrated development environments (IDE) in the world, which is convenient, because there are two types of developers in the world. To make things even more symmetrical and just super peachy, there are two types of opinions about IDEs in the world -- those that make grand generalizations and make everything look nice and binary and those that do not. ...continue reading 'When choosing an integrated development environment, prefer lumberjacks to magicians'

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3 lessons CIOs can learn from successful politicians

Matt Eventoff, PPS Associates

CIOs do not often look to politics for examples of better ways to run their IT organizations, but there are lessons to be learned. Let's begin with three rules that work well for politicians that may help CIOs operate more effectively within their IT organization and within the larger confines of their company. ...continue reading '3 lessons CIOs can learn from successful politicians'

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