All I have to do to share my PC is go to Join.me and click the share button and in about 20 seconds I am sharing my PC. In order to view my desktop the other party goes to the same website and enters the meeting ID that appears at the top of my screen. Honest, that is all there is to it. What I love about this service is that it just works and the fact that it is free doesn’t hurt.
In addition to being able to share your desktop you can also let any of the viewers take control of the mouse. It also includes a conference bridge phone number that can be used for audio.
It doesn’t offer all of the features you find in a service like WebEx, but it provides everything I need 90% of the the time. If you do need additional features, you can always sign up for a free personal WebEx account.]]>
Another nice feature that is offered on this site is videos. The videos are intended to be companions to the workbooks. At this point in time there are only 10 videos, but more are promised to be on the way, but not until after April of 2011.
If you are studying to pass the CCNA exam or just interested in learning more about Cisco routers and switches, check out this site.]]>
That’s when I remembered a utility I used a few years back that changed those asterisks that filled the password field into plain text so you can see what the password is. After scratching my head for a few minutes and entering various keywords into Google, I was able to find it. It is called Asterisk Key and is pretty simple to use.
Once you install Asterisk Key, start the program that you are trying to retrieve the password from and make sure the password screen is open (figure 1).
Now start Asterisk key and and click the recover icon (figure 2).
The password will now appear in text area of Asterisk Key. That’s all there is to it. It sure helped me out of a jam. Hopefully you never have to use it but you might want to keep it handy, just in case.]]>
The name of the report is The Information Dividend: Why IT makes you happier. The main goal of the report is really to create interest and debate in this topic. According to the report, not much study has been done in this area and encourages more to be done. The results of the report can be summarized by one key statement, “Our analysis of global and UK data sets shows that IT has a direct, positive impact on life satisfaction, even when controlling for income and other factors known to be important in determining well-being.”
However, the deeper you read, the more interesting things get. For instance, it claims that “Women… gain greater increased life satisfaction than men from the use of IT.” The article is about 76 pages and the more I read, the more interesting it becomes. All in all it seems pretty interesting and seems like a worth while read.]]>
Basically, they have taken the form factor of the Commodore 64, added a little style to it, and slammed an Intel Core 2 Duo system into it. They offer around ten models and the prices range for $475.00 to $1295.00. You will also have to shell out another $125.00 if you want Windows 7. The one for $475 looked like a very good deal until I looked closer and found out it was a bare bones system with no CPU, memory, or hard drive. On the top end of the price spectrum the specs look pretty nice: Intel Q9650, 4GB RAM, 2TB HD 802.11b/g/n, DVD, and Bluetooth.
It’s a pretty slick system, but it’s probably the nostalgia that is creating the most interest for me. True, purest will look at it and say that it doesn’t look like the original Commodore 64, but they need not worry. According to the website, they will be coming out with one that look just like the box so many of us longed for when we were younger.]]>
I told him to use DYNDNS.org. To my surprise he had never heard of this site. I consider this person to be very technically savvy and figured if he didn’t know of it, others may not as well.
DYNDNS.org is a service that allows you to select a domain name that is associated with your Dynamic IP address. A small application needs to be installed on your system that monitors your IP address and notifies DYNDNS.org if it changes. This allows DYNDNS.org to assign the IP address to the domain name you selected. In many cases, you don’t even need to load an application on your computer as many routers allow you to configure them for DYNDNS.org. The router will then send a notification whenever the IP address changes. I have used this service for years and the only thing better than the service is the price - it’s free.]]>
In short, it is an online store that offers a variety of E-learning products. Of course, most of these products revolve around Cisco technology. But, when you dig deeper, you find a few topics that don’t seem to be Cisco centric, such as Video Acquisition Architecture or Introduction to Video Compression.
The type of products you can find here range from a $6000 CCIE course (OK it’s not $6000, it’s only $5999) to a $4.99 CCNA level learning module that you can watch on your iPhone. They also offer full courses and certification preparation bundles that run somewhere between $500 to $2000.
While this site does seem to hold a lot of content, there are areas in which they offer little or no products. The Voice arena in particular stood out. When I clicked on the Voice/Unified Communications link, I was greeted with a page that said, “There are no products available in this category at this time.” Seeing how this technology is such a large part of Cisco’s business, I was somewhat surprised by this. I think this is most likely due to the fact that even though this site seems to have been active since early 2009, they are just now starting to really get things rolling. Most likely, more offerings in all technologies will start to appear in the coming months.
While I personally believe nothing beats a live instructor-led class, there are many factors that make E-learning attractive. Next time you find yourself in need of learning a Cisco technology but can’t take a live class for one reason or another, you may what to check out the Cisco Learning Store to see what they have to offer.
In the interest of full disclosure, Dave Bateman is employed by a Cisco Learning Partner and has been involved in the development of many Cisco learning products, including Cisco instructor led and E-learning courses. In addition, he is an author for CiscoPress.]]>
Having spent the better part of the last ten years traveling across the country teaching, I am surprised this never happen to me. As a matter of fact, I always thought it would happen to me, so I always had a backup plan. I would carry a copy of the presentation on a USB stick. I know that isn’t very creative, but I am amazed how many people don’t think to do this when traveling. Also, having your documents on a USB stick won’t do you any good if the PC you end up using doesn’t have the required software. For example, a PowerPoint file is useless if the PC doesn’t have PowerPoint loaded on it. This is where the other half of the plan comes in.
In addition to having the presentation files loaded on USB memory stick, I also have a number of portable software programs installed on it. If you are not familiar with portable software, it is software that can be run directly from the USB stick without having to install it on the PC. Here’s the programs I keep on my memory stick:
Portable OpenOffice – Allows you to create, edit, and view Word, PowerPoint, and Excel docs
Portable Firefox – A portable version of the Firefox web browser
Portable FileZilla - FTP Client
Portable Foxit – PDF Reader
Having a memory stick with my presentations and these applications installed allows me to get my work done even if my laptop decides to take some time off. So, the next time you are getting ready to go out of town on business, you might want to make sure you pack a memory stick with these essential tools on it.]]>