TechStop


July 29, 2012  8:12 PM

Is Jeff Bezos the Next Steve Jobs?

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Forbes seems to think so. Amazon’s Bezos is not afraid to take a risk or a loss today for gains in the future.

It’s paid off.

While Amazon used to be the place to go for books, it has become a massive and trusted online marketplace and portal for pretty much everything… new and used.

Regarding Bezos, Forbes states that ten years ago, “he was roundly mocked for having a business that supposedly could never show a profit, and yet it was because of those investments that Amazon survived the dotcom busts and became the most profitable online retailer.” Full Forbes Article

I know that when my wife or I plan to order something – a cable, kitchen appliance, birthday gift or a book, the first place we head is Amazon. While what we order may ultimately come from another supplier, we’ve used Amazon Marketplace and, in the end, often don’t even know the name of the actual shipper. Amazon is the name we know and trust.

What will Bezos envision next? I don’t think we were ever able to predict Jobs’s next move. If Jeff Bezos can dream like Steve Jobs did, then he’s definitely a man to watch on the tech front.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)

July 29, 2012  6:43 PM

Flash Card App

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

If you’re an IT person who finds yourself in a constant loop of studying for a cert or exam, flash cards can be a great tool for remembering a lot of those terms or command structures.

Check out gFlash+ in the App Store. The app gives you the ability to create Flash Cards right on your iPhone, or you can create a file in Google docs and download it straight into the app for instant card creation.

Features include a quiz setting to keep score, reverse Q&A, a random shuffle, and a multiple choice setting that tosses a few of your answers in for you to select from and moving the flash cards you quickly learn into a “known” box so they drop out of your rotation for as long as you want.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


July 29, 2012  1:40 PM

BlackBerry No Longer in Top 5

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

My wife and I were recently at a wine and food pairing event. At our table, when everyone pulled out their phone over the course of the evening, there was only one type of phone at our table: the iPhone.

I can’t help but recall that a few years back, the smartphone you’d see most often was the BlackBerry.

We all knew that RIM was taking a beating, but when recent news showed that the once-powerful BlackBerry has been knocked out of the Top 5 Smart Phones category according to market share, it was still a bit of a surprise to hear.

Canada’s newspaper The Globe and Mail reports:

“RIM is in uncharted territory now,” says Kevin Restivo, an analyst with IDC, noting that since the firm started tracking the statistics in 2004, RIM has always been in the top five. “Its newfound standing in the world is a direct result of intense competition and share losses to the likes of Apple, Samsung and other Android-powered phone sellers. RIM needs new products in market soon if it’s to staunch the bleeding.”

The BlackBerry 10 operating system is set to release next year. Will it be what RIM needs to boost itself back into the Top 5… or is it just too late? Time will tell.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 30, 2012  8:55 PM

Project Glass from Google

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

With how much we interact with the Internet in a given day, it isn’t a surprise that tech giants are coming up with ways to make it – yes – even easier to access information.

In April, Google announced Project Glass, a pair of Internet-connected glasses. Then this week they announced they’re close to bringing them to market. Developers have first grab at them – perhaps to come up with some apps to make them even better. Then they hope to sell them to the rest of us in 2014.

So, what exactly do the glasses do? They let you watch online videos, take photos and post them online, get directions, shop online and read text messages. All from a super close-up view in the corner of your eye.

Perhaps not appealing and maybe a little distracting to the everyday user who’s walking through a mall or driving a car, but I think where I see them having value – at least for me – is when I go for a run or jump on a treadmill.

That said, with close to two years before they come to market, who knows? It’s pretty much a guarantee they’ll evolve a lot more before then. I guess we’ll see…

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 30, 2012  7:43 PM

How to Prefer Wired Connections on Windows 7

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all,

A friend recently was very frustrated about wired/wireless options on her laptop. She has a hard network connection at her home office, but also uses the laptop elsewhere in the house. What she was doing was just using wireless wherever she was (including her desk) and never plugging in. Then… one day, she plugged in and realized how much greater the Internet speed was. “But I have to turn off the wifi to use it!” she said. “I don’t want to keep manually turning it off and on every day!”

Her computer was using wireless as the primary connection. But… since Windows uses the network connection with the lowest metric when there is more than one connection available, this means you can force it to use wired by changing the metrics. We went ahead and changed her settings to prefer wired… meaning no manual changes needed as she went from wireless to wired and the assurance she would be using the faster wired connection when she was plugged in. (She says it changed her life. Perhaps a bit dramatic, but nonetheless, it’s a fantastic tip to be aware of to ensure a good Internet speed experience.)

Here’s how you do it with Windows 7:

1. Go to the Start menu. Type in Run, hit enter and type ncpa.cpl then OK.
2. Right click on your Wireless Connection.
3. Choose “Properties.”
4. Doubleclick “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).”
5. Click on “Advanced.”
6. Uncheck “Automatic Metric.”
7. Enter the number 15 in “Interface Metric.”
8. Click OK on all windows.
9. Next, right click the Wired Connection.
10. Choose “Properties.”
11. Doubleclick “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).”
12. Click on “Advanced.”
13. Uncheck “Automatic Metric.”
14. Enter the number 10 in “Interface Metric.”
15. Click OK on all windows.

Essentially, you can enter any value under “Interface Metric” as long as the Wired is lower than the Wireless. Then Windows 7 will choose Wired when you have both on. And… no more manual switching.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 30, 2012  3:06 PM

Tablet Competition

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, in the last few weeks there have been announcements by Microsoft and Google that they are making their own versions of tablets. This creates a situation of confusion for consumers because the average person doesn’t have the time to sort through all of the pros and cons to know which tablet can browse the net, FaceBook and play Angry Birds with ease.

It is likely that companies like HP and Sony and Asus are none-to-pleased with the work that they have done given that their tablets are now being challenged by the people who make the OS’s for their devices. Manufacturers have gone through the trouble of making their own versions of a tablet in their eyes and now they are seeing a new competitor where they used to see an ally.

Those are the potential downsides. The upside is that everyone has to up their game now. The slow iterative process that was occurring will need to stepped up a notch or three and that is good for consumers. Competition in this area has been stale given that the iPad and Samsung Galaxy have been cleaning up the higher end of the tablet market and the Amazon Kindle has been taking home the lower end part of the market. Hopefully this new set of competitors will spur on the market to even higher levels of greatness.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 30, 2012  2:09 PM

Internet Explained

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, my friends and family ask me what I do for a job from time to time. It is hard to explain because there really isn’t a single analogy that explains it. Below is a link to a video that lays out the Internet, routing and webpages in a really basic sense. It might be just the information that your family needs to understand a little bit more about IT. I have included a few in case the first one doesn’t have the needed effect.

http://www.flixxy.com/how-the-internet-works.htm

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 28, 2012  11:58 PM

Future of TACACS

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, central authentication is key for any distributed network. If you have more than 8 or 12 network devices like switches, routers firewalls or similar you will want to have a way to control logins in a centralized manner. Cisco TACACS has been the core method for a lot of Cisco centric companies to achieve this goal.

Given that Cisco has come out with what many expect to be a replacement for the ACS box we are all wondering when the ACS product will be going away. Since that is what we all expect it was very good to hear one of the speakers at Cisco Live 2012 say that the ACS “will definitely eventually be rolled into ISE”. His logic was very clear on the topic. Cisco is making sure that the ISE product does everything that I needs to in order to make ISE the goal standard in the BYOD strategy. After that is done they will work on updating and merging the ACS box into the ISE product line.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 28, 2012  7:22 PM

Cisco Virtual Router for Training

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, if you have studied for any certification you know the value of having some hands on experience with any product that you are working on. The benefits of sometime at the keyboard is pretty high. For most products virtualization was a huge benefit allowing you to setup reasonably large labs in order to practice for the exam you were going to take.

Hardware products like Cisco or HP have not benefitted as greatly from these advances given that their product creators rightly focus on the hardware side of their products. With Cisco’s announcement that they are creating a virtualized router and given their virtualized switch it isn’t a surprise that there are rumours that the IOS product line will have a training product that run in a virtualized environment soon. That is at the hope and unofficial word from the Cisco people. The expected timeline for this training product is the fall but no current pricing is available for the future product.

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


June 23, 2012  10:01 PM

HP ComWare CLI Guide

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood Profile: Joshua Wood

Hi all, HPs acquisition of 3Com’s ComWare based product line has the market trying to adjust to the reintroduction of the player that left the North American field a while ago. With it is reintroduction is a reintroduction of the command structure. In order to ease the transition for IT professionals back into the command line world of ComWare is the CLI reference guide that gives you the equivalent commands for Ciso, Provision and ComWare.

The link below is connected to the guide which is named the “HP Networking and Cisco CLI Reference Guide”. It is laid out in an easy to understand manner and hits the highlights of the commands that you would normally use in a generic network install. The logical and through nature make the PDF a necessary tool if you transitioning from one of the other two switching/routing platforms.

HP Procurve, HP ComWare, Cisco CLI Guide

http://h17007.www1.hp.com/docs/interoperability/Cisco/HP-Networking-and-Cisco-CLI-Reference-Guide_June_10_WW_Eng_ltr.pdf

Until next time,
TechStop (JW)


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