ITKE Community Blog


December 4, 2013  3:32 PM

Special giveaway: Powerocks Portable Charger

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Magicstick

It’s the holiday season so we have a special giveaway in store for you. Courtesy of Powerocks, we’re giving away a “Super Magicstick Portable Charger” which will keep all of your USB devices powered, including cameras, game consoles, GPS devices and MP3 players. If you’re not near an electrical outlet, the portable charger will charge your electronics safely and quickly. Whether it’s for work, play or safety, you’ll never miss an important call or become stranded with no battery life again!

To win this great prize, tell us your best story of when you ran out of battery life on your electronic device. Good luck!

December 3, 2013  1:45 PM

Top ITKE blog posts of November 2013

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

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International Space Station image via Shutterstock

Now you might be thinking why there’s a picture of the International Space Station here. Well, it was actually included in one of our top blog posts for the month of November! Check out why it was included (HINT: It’s not good).


October 31, 2013  2:40 PM

Top ITKE blog posts of October 2013

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

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Microsoft image via Shutterstock

Microsoft and particularly Windows 8.1 continue to dominate the headlines as well as our top blog posts for October. Find out why these topics were so popular with our readers.


October 30, 2013  6:06 PM

New features: Discussions, Answer Wiki improvements and commenting upgrades

Ben Rubenstein Ben Rubenstein Profile: Ben Rubenstein

Later today, you’ll notice some significant improvements to the design and functionality of our community. These enhancements are the next step in a site-wide upgrade that we’ve been telling you about over the past few months, with new features that facilitate in-depth discussion, help you to discover new content relating to your areas of interest, and make interaction with questions and blog posts easier than ever before.

Discussions

The first big change you’ll probably notice is a tab on the homepage and on every tag page called ‘IT Discussions’.

IT Discussions link

This is different from the old Discussions tab, which showed recent comments made on questions. In this new section, you’ll find open-ended questions where you can provide your opinion about a range of technology topics (for specific, technical questions, you’ll still want to use the main Q&A section).

You might find questions about which cloud computing providers are best, or how to best prepare for a certification exam. To begin, these discussions will be started by editors within the TechTarget network (eventually, you’ll be able to start your own Discussions about whatever topic you choose). You can start participating in these discussions now by replying on the page just as you would in a comment thread.

Sample discussion question

Another type of ‘Discussion’ you’ll see is directly related to a piece of content published somewhere in the TechTarget network. Here, you’ll see a title and summary that explains what the article is about, along with a link to the original piece.

Sample editorial discussion

You can comment, and read others’ comments, on these articles. All comments will show with your name and avatar both on this page and on the original article page, which means users around the network will get to know and interact with you. You’re now no longer just an expert on ITKnowledgeExchange, you’re an expert in the TechTarget network.

New Question/Answer Page Design

You’ll notice that the Q&A pages look different (and hopefully, you’ll notice that they look better.)

We’ve removed the boxes from around the question, answer and comment sections to allow the page to flow more easily.

We’ve also rearranged the question section, so the question itself is allowed to expand to the full width of the content area (with the user information dropped below).

Sample question page The Answer Wiki section has gotten a major upgrade; in addition to improvements to the buttons and overall design, there’s now more space given to the answer itself, and less text used to display answer contributors and history (that information is still viewable by clicking the appropriate links). We’re also no longer showing avatars in the answer wiki section.

New Answer Wiki

Commenting

We’ve also made significant improvements to how comments work on both questions and blog posts.

Below any question or blog post, you’ll see a new, less cluttered commenting section which includes clear instructions for adding your reply. You can also sort all comments based on the time they were posted. You can also flag any comment for review by our team using the Flag icon at the far right of any comment – this will start an email that will be sent directly to us so that we can take a look.

Question discussion

Blog post comments

That’s all I’ve got, for now. Feel free to start exploring the new community and, as always, let us know what questions or comments you have.

A lot of hard work has gone into these new features in an effort to make this community as useful, and usable, as possible. Many of you have already helped us out a lot by offering feedback and suggesting features, and we’d love to hear more so we can continue providing a great experience for you. Thanks again for your participation on ITKnowledgeExchange!


October 30, 2013  5:56 PM

Book giveaway: Building Windows 8 Apps

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

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Windows 8 image via Shutterstock

If you’re looking to create Windows 8 applications, we have the book for you. Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML, by Jeremy Likness, is the first practical guide to building breakthrough applications for Windows 8 from project templates through publication to Windows Store. His book will help you dive into Windows 8 development and gain a powerful advantage for years to come. We have an excerpt of the book on our IT Bookworm Blog.

And yes, we’re giving away a copy! To win, tell us an application you would like to build in Windows 8. Good luck!


October 24, 2013  6:06 PM

ITKE featured member: Todd Nashville

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Todd

ITKnowledgeExchange recently had the chance to talk to ITKE power user, RPG specialist and this month’s ‘featured member’ Todd Nashville. You can find Todd under his username, ToddN2000, discussing AS/400 related problems on the forums.

ITKE: Tell us a little bit about yourself: What do you do? What’s your area of expertise?

TN: RPG programmer since the early RPG I & RPG II days through the current version. I made the change to the .NET world and VB just over a year ago after 30 years of green screen coding. Currently I’m writing web services to integrate our web presence with our green screen back office processes. RPG is my most comfortable environment currently.

ITKE: If you weren’t working in IT, you’d be…

TN: If I weren’t in IT?  There is no doubt I’d be working in a restaurant. I’ve been cooking at home for more than 35 years and have worked in the food industry and a second job.

ITKE: Who’s one person you look up to in the IT world, and why?

TN: The person I admire most in the IT world? I’d have to go with my current boss. No really. He has a lot of great ideas as to where to take the company and is not afraid to try new concepts. He invests time and money in our education to stay current with all new trends. He is open to ideas from subordinates and we have for one of the most open and friendliest work environments I have worked in over 30 years.

ITKE: How do you see the future of IT developing over the next decade?

TN: IT is going mobile and remote. That is the main reason for my switch from RPG to the .NET world. I see room for a lot of changes in the mobile applications to make things more user friendly and robust. I’m not sure if we will see desktops gone in the next 10 years but they will definitely still be on a downward decline.

ITKE: What advice would you give prospective IT workers (say college students)?

TN: My advice would be, if you’re currently working don’t get into a rut and get too comfortable. The IT field is forever changing and changing faster than ever before. It’s easier to stay current with technology than trying to play catch up after many years of being stagnant. That learning curve can be hard to overcome.


October 8, 2013  7:45 PM

Book giveaway: Windows Server 2012 Unleashed

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

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Windows Server image via Shutterstock

Whether you’re looking to migrate from Windows Server 2008 or upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Active Directory, Rand Morimoto, Michael Noel, Guy Yardeni, Omar Droubi, Andrew Abbate, and Chris Amaris’s book, Windows Server 2012 Unleashed, provides tips, tricks, best practices, lessons learned from actual deployments and practical information for using Windows Server 2012 to solve real business problems. We have an excerpt of the book on our IT Bookworm Blog.

And as you probably guessed…we’re giving away a copy! To win, tell us what’s your favorite innovation in Windows Server 2012. Good luck!


October 2, 2013  8:01 PM

Top 10 most active ITKE questions (9/15 – 10/1)

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

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IT questions image via Shutterstock

AS/400 expert? SQL expert? Some of our users could use your help as these topics came up in the most active questions from the past two weeks. Come see if you can help (There may be a surprise in ITKE points if you help).


October 1, 2013  7:23 PM

Top ITKE blog posts of September 2013

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

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The Rolling Stones image via Shutterstock

Now you may be asking yourselves why there’s a picture of The Rolling Stones here. Well, they were actually featured in our top blog post for the month of September! Check out the story and the rest of the top 10.


September 19, 2013  5:03 PM

Featured blogger: Tony Bradley

Michael Tidmarsh Michael Tidmarsh Profile: Michael Tidmarsh

Tony Bradley2

ITKnowledgeExchange recently had the chance to talk to ITKE blogger, President of the Bradley Strategy Group and this month’s ‘featured blogger’ Tony Bradley. His blog, Tech Strategy Trends, helps business owners and IT administrators wade through marketing hype and navigate the rapidly changing tech landscape.

ITKE: Tell us a little bit about yourself: What do you do? What’s your area of expertise?

TB: I am a principal analyst with Bradley Strategy Group. I analyze and write about emerging trends in technology—with a particular focus on security, Microsoft, mobile devices, and social networks. As a tech writer, I keep in touch with new technologies, services, and devices, and try to keep readers informed in plain English terms that non-techies can relate to. As an analyst, I work with companies to help them make smarter decisions about their own investments in technology. As a marketing consultant, I work with companies to craft effective marketing content and deliver it to the right audience.

ITKE: If you weren’t working in IT, you’d be…

TB: That’s a great question. Pilot would be my first choice. As a teen I wanted to be a pilot, and I joined the Air Force with aspirations of becoming a pilot, but got…”distracted” with the sort of college fraternity lifestyle of just being in the Air Force. If I wasn’t a pilot, I’d probably be a performer. I could see myself in an acting or singing career—as if there aren’t thousands of people more talented than me who can’t get a break.

ITKE: Who’s one person you look up to in the IT world, and why?

TB: Living? I respect Aaron Levie, and what he’s been able to do with Box. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with him personally on multiple occasions, and his vision is ambitious and infectious. Box is about much, much more than just storing some data online. If dead people are allowed, I’d have to go with Steve Jobs. Until recently I was staunchly pro-PC, and part of the irrational Apple-bashing crowd. Now that I’ve embraced the iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS X, I’ve gained more appreciation for Apple, and as I’ve learned more about Jobs, the man, I admire how he was able to get those around him to see his reality and how he made the impossible possible. He was the Walt Disney of the tech world.

ITKE: How to you see the future of IT developing over the next decade?

TB: First, I think the various platforms will matter less. There’s a new breed of technology—led by companies like Box—that transcends the device and operating system. Your experience, and your ability to access and sync will be constrained less and less by which vendor you choose. Second, although the comparison has become trite, our tech will be more and more like “Minority Report”. I’m not referring to Tom Cruise swiping his hands in mid-air to navigate windows a’ la Leap Motion. I’m talking more about the way information and ads sort of “knew” who people are, and delivered custom results. Things like Apple’s Siri, or Google Now will continue to evolve to become more intelligent, and more useful—more like Tony Stark’s “JARVIS” virtual assistant in the Iron Man movies.

TB: What advice would you give prospective IT workers (say college students)?

ITKE: Learn to program. I wish I had invested more time earlier in my life and career learning to program. You don’t have to become a developer per se, but having the foundation of understanding how program code works opens a lot of doors that you can’t open without that foundation. As a CISSP, I’d also say security is a good direction to go. Security in and of itself is very broad, but the bottom line is that there will always be a need for it.


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