CompTIAs Certification Renewal Program

by Nathan Darling - Jan 15, 2010


CompTIA recently announced plans to require a certification renewal program for individuals certified in A+, Network+, and/or Security+. Previously these three have been lifetime certifications, meaning for example the A+ certification I obtained in 2000 is still valid today. This “certified for life” has been challenged by a perception that certified individuals may not be up to date on the latest technology. Wireless technology for example has changed drastically in the past ten years.
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Getting America Back to work.

by Nathan Darling - Jan 05, 2010


Despite the high unemployment rate in the United States, there are more than 450,000 IT job openings in the country.  If you look around carefully you may see that it’s not a matter of not enough jobs to go around, it is a matter of not enough qualified and trained individuals to fill the jobs that are.  Police, Medical Practitioners, Instructors, and as noted above IT jobs are going unfilled. It is into this atmosphere that CompTIA, Industry leader in technical certifications, selflessly rushes in with thier “ Initiative”.   Read more »


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2010

by Nathan Darling - Dec 31, 2009


An optomist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old one leaves.” – Bill Vaughn

Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle. Eric Zorn

Whatever your reason for celebration this holiday season.  May it be a time of reflection, and resolution.  As you look over your past year may you find there to have been more successes than failures, and as you look forward to the new year may it be with a sense of wonder and opportunity, for this upcoming year. Wishing you all a brave, uninhibited, fierce Year of the Tiger.


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The Death of Microsoft Windows?

by Nathan Darling - Dec 28, 2009


There have been a number of articles and blogs recently proclaiming that Windows 7 is the end for Microsoft. Or at least for Microsoft’s stranglehold on OS (The Operating System that most PC’s run on.). Sure, Microsoft has competition. Apple has always served as an alternative to Windows, and more recently Linux has taken a chunk of the market share, but Microsoft has maintained it’s “king of the mountain” position.  According to the latest news, that may be about to change.

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Why Web Browser Updates are Necessary

by Colin - Dec 01, 2009


Your web browser is a portal to limitless information. Sometimes referred to as “the little E in the corner”, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is one of the most popular browsers. It comes with Windows pre-installed, so for Windows users it is by far the most easily accessible browser, but it is not the only choice. For those of us who prefer other options, there is Firefox, Safari (a standard on Mac OS X, also available for PC), Google Chrome, Opera…the list goes on and on.  Which browser you use, even different versions of the same browser, affects how you view the internet a lot more than you may think.

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Computer Forensics the CSI of IT

by Nathan Darling - Nov 11, 2009


Have you ever been hit with a computer virus?  MyDoom, Melissa, ILOVEYOU, Sobig.  There is some seriously dangerous software out there, and when it hits, it seems impossible to track down where it began.  That is unless you are highly skilled in the knowledge of Computer Forensics and Digital Recovery.

The discipline known as Computer Forensics has many uses beyond law enforcement.  You may have had a hard disk fail and not be willing to part with the information you neglected to back up.  There may be an employee that you suspect of misusing company equipment.  You may simply be interested in a better understanding of how computers work for debugging, performance optimization, or reverse-engineering.

Whatever your reason, LearnKey has the course for you.


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Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

by Nathan Darling - Nov 09, 2009


As companies grow they enevitably reach a point of saturation from which further growth is impossible.  Whether it be a restaurant that suddenly needs a larger kitchen, or a grocery store that needs more parking, or even a website that just needs more bandwidth.

ITIL is a system of standardizing IT Infrastructure so that as companies grow and merge, and splinter and such, there infrastructure continues to function in a flexible, functional format.  There is a standard set of instructions for how to deal with a problem, even down to the definition of what a problem is.   There are in depth detailed methods of proper Configuration Managment, Change Management, Release Management…etc, all put together with the design of helping folks take care of things in the simplest most standardized way possible.  Some of the provisions are meant to minimize downtime by ensuring that upgrades, backups, and virus scans are run at the least busy time of day (or over the weekend if possible).

The ITIL framework is simple enough to be applied to a single server environment, but it is designed to handle the complexity of companies that are growing from having an IT person to having an IT department to having an IT division etc…


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VMWare Certification Requirements

by Nathan Darling - Nov 05, 2009


 As stated on the product page for our Virtual Infrastructure Administrator Course; “This course will provide students with the knowledge needed to take the VMWare Certified Professional Exam VCP-310.”  A question has been raised regarding a requirement VMware insists on for certification.  It is required of candidates who wish to certify that they attend a VMware authorized course.  Generally a VMware authorized course runs around $2,400-$2,900 and is a four day intensive hands on experience.  Research shows that many students fail the exam after attending only this course. 

Why then does VMWare require you to take a costly course with such a low success rate?   The following excerpt from a vmware forum explains the reasoning behind this requirement :

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Dreamweaver MX 2004

by Nathan Darling - Oct 30, 2009


Adobe’s newest version of Dreamweaver is CS4 (Creative Suite), which is sometimes unofficially identified as the 10th version of Dreamweaver.  Dreamweaver MX 2004 would be the 7th version, so it clearly is a little behind the times.  If you don’t have a version of Dreamweaver by all means spend the $399 to get the new one.  But if you are on a budget and happen to still be running your old Dreamweaver MX 2004, you may be happier with a $34.95 price to help you make the best use of the software you are already using.

Dreamweaver MX 2004 Comprehensive CourseBook

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How Great is Your IT Department?

by Nathan Darling - Oct 26, 2009


For a tax preparer, it is an audit.  For an athlete it’s the big game.  For a chef, it’s a food critic.  Many jobs have an ultimate test of strength and skill.  A test to prove you have what it takes to continue doing what you do.  For the IT department it is a server upgrade.  What does it take for an IT department to change and move services to ensure that customers have adequent and reliable services when they need them?    To the IT department it means they’ve got work ahead of them to do.  Work that cannot fail, that has to be implemented in the best timeline, with a perfect failover in case it doesn’t work and the time set aside to make sure that the mission critical server upgrades are seemly transparent to implementation.  This is when the super heroes really shine, where all the IT skills and learning pays off.

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