Using Google Search to Search Only One Web Site

two tip jarsIf you want to use Google to search for a term on only one specific Web site, enter your search term this way. Continue reading

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Community Post: List of IBM i Content Providers

digital contentThis post is an in-process centralized shared list of all organizations or individuals who provide content-specific information on the IBM i platform (no marketing-oriented pages, with the possible exception of IBM). Feel free to pull the information from this post into other posts to disseminate to the broader IBM i community.

Here the starter list of individuals and groups who provide information on the IBM i platform. Continue reading

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Rules & Pitfalls for Personalizing Your LinkedIn Invitations

linkedin official iconI recently received the following two LinkedIn invites. Which one do you think I accepted?

Invite #1: I’d like to add you to my professional network(note: this is LinkedIn’s default invitation text)

Invite #2: I am a subscriber to joehertvik dot com. I use LinkedIn to keep track of my professional network, and would like to add you. 

I obviously linked to the person who sent invite #2 because even in one sentence, he gave me a personal reason for why I should connect with him.

Personalizing your LinkedIn invites is a surefire way to increase the number of people who accept your LinkedIn invitations. Continue reading

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What Does IT Operations Management Do? (ITOps)

network operations center--wikipediaWhen I tell people I work in IT Operations, I sometimes get a blank stare. While IT Application programmers are well understood, people are  a little fuzzier on what an IT Operations department does. To clear up any confusion, here’s my take on what IT Operations is, how it differs from IT Applications, and how IT Operations can be managed in an overall IT department. Continue reading

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RPO, RTO, RTA: Explaining 3 Common Disaster Recovery Terms

If you work with business continuity (BC), disaster recovery (DR), or high availability (HA), you’re bound to run across the following terms:

  • Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
  • Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
  • Recovery Time Actual (RTA)
  • The RTA-RTO Gap

Because these acronyms are so similar, it’s easy to confuse them with each other. Here’s a primer on what each of these terms mean and how they can help your IT shop in BC, DR, and HA planning. Continue reading

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The Animal Farm Rule of Help Desks and Network Management

farm hogsRunning a Help Desk or a Data Center can be confusing in that while you try to treat all customers the same way, there are just some people who need extra-special assistance. You may go all out for your internal and external customers but there are always certain classes of people who you really have to go ALL OUT for.

We call these people executives and people of power, such as customers, business partners, presidents, vice presidents, owners, administrative assistants to people of power, etc.

It may not matter how small or piddly their call is. When the phone rings or the email comes, they immediately go to the top of queue and you solve their issue as fast as you possibly can. No matter how hard you work at resolving user issues, you must work harder and faster in resolving these people’s issues. And if you don’t believe that, there’s usually all kinds of people insisting that you go into hyper-drive to get the people of power’s interests resolved.

It’s part of the job.

I call this the Animal Farm rule of IT Support, since the core spirit comes from George Orwell’s Animal Farm where the animals start with this commandment after they’ve overthrown the farmer and took over the farm:

All animals are created equal

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Help Desk Management: What is Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Help Desk support?

Help Desk tech from commons wikipedia orgIn one of my roles, I run a Help Desk for two companies outside of Chicago. One of the confusing things about Help Desk management and talking to people about an IT Operations Help Desk, is that people don’t understand what Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Help Desk support is (as well as Level 0 support and Level 4 support, which not everyone talks about). Here’s my quick primer on what each of these functions do. Continue reading

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