So I’ve recently passed my third CompTIA certification: Security+. That makes three certs in the last 4 months. I’ve received my A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications as of today. Now, you’d be forgiven for thinking these certifications are impressive, they’re not. Respectable, sure, but not impressive. Personally, I don’t care how impressive the certifications are; I didn’t get them because of what other people would think of them (or me). I got them for myself.
See, I have a B.S. in Ministry. I know the Bible inside and out. I know theology and I have the paper to prove it. But when it comes to computers, or anything IT related, I have only my own empty promises to give when I tell others, “Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” While having certifications doesn’t necessarily mean I possess more knowledge than I did before, it feels good to have an organization back me and my skill-set.
These certifications are only the beginning. I’ve already started prepping for the first exam (of six) in the MCITP track. My goal is to finish that certification by Christmas 2013. After that I may take a break, but maybe not. I’m eye-balling Linux certifications as well as Cisco certifications because those are two areas in which I have a lot of interest.
Ran into an interesting problem today regarding an Intel motherboard, BIOS and some CPU’s.
First the hardware involved:
- Intel DZ68BC motherboard
- Intel i5 Ivy Bridge CPU
Continue reading →
Is there really such a thing as an “informed voter?” When it comes to politics it’s virtually impossible to discern who’s telling the truth and who’s lying. At this stage of the game (presidential elections) these men have made a living by catering to their constituency and winning elections. No one gets high in the political system by telling the truth and voting consistently. All these politicians happily change their political stance at the slightest sign their support may be slipping.
None stick to their guns or their convictions (if they have any at all, I seriously doubt it).
The men who actually deserve to be in office are quite literally “unelectable”. They don’t cater enough to political winds, they haven’t padded the right pockets with money and they haven’t the money to back their multi-million dollar campaigns. Money may not win elections, but without the right backers you’re sunk.
The Democrats see half the country has views of one type, so they cater to them and as a result get their votes by telling them what they want to hear.
The Republicans see the other half of the country has opposing views so they likewise cater to them, telling them whatever they want to hear.
Instead of attempting to bring the country together, each political party has adopted a warfare mindset of divide and conquer.
Both sides echo the refrain, “You’re not for our party? Then you’re unintelligent, selfish and should just leave the U.S. because our country was founded on freedom!” Hogwash, all of it.
Is it any wonder that people in my generation have become increasingly disillusioned about our current political system? I largely blame this disillusionment on the proliferation of the Internet. In generations past your sources of information were extremely limited to
local media outlets and your acquaintances. Now, seemingly all of a sudden, we all can access other points of view from people with whom we would NEVER otherwise interact. To borrow a scene from a favorite movie of mine, we can see the man behind the curtain. We can recognize that these folks who we’re supposed to be in a “political war” with are really just like us. They struggle ever day to live a good life and to make right decisions.
Maybe I’m just looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, but in the U.S. I believe that Democrats and Republicans have _far_ more in common with each other than not. And I do mean that in both a positive and negative way.
All men may be created equal in regards to their unalienable rights (cf. the Declaration of Independence). But in virtually every other sense they are definitely not created equal. Some men are created with an arm span three inches longer than his height (Michael Phelps) which has enabled him to go on to achieve great success in swimming. Some men had the good fortune to be born in the United States as opposed to a warring country in Africa. The fact of the matter is that the position in which we individually find ourselves today was largely determined before we were born or, at least, at our birth.
Mitt Romney isn’t a self-made billionaire, few men are. Note, there’s nothing wrong with being born into priviledge. Mitt had no more control over his parents than I did. But the circumstances surrounding our births greatly explain why he earns my annual salary in less than 15 hours. Understand, however, that this article isn’t about class warfare because frankly I think it’s a largely political construct. I’m here to talk about attitude.
Here, attitude refers to the related emotion in only a passing similarity. Think instead about piloting an aircraft. A plane’s attitude refers to its pitch, roll and yaw in relation to the horizon. In simpleton’s terms, it’s attitude is all about where it’s going; it’s all about where I’m going.
I told my dad this past month that my goal is never and will never be to become a millionaire. My goal in life is simply to be a little better off this year than I was last year. I strive to apply this attitude to other areas of my life as well, not just finances. For instance, my goal isn’t to be the head programming engineer at Google or Microsoft. My goal is to be a little better this year than I was last.
When I get down about my current place in life — which interestingly only happens when I compare myself to others — I try to remind myself of this simple yet powerful truth: I have no control over where I started, but I do have a great deal of control over my attitude.
A year and a half ago I stepped into the world of professional IT support and I’ve had the time of my life ever since. There is no other job on earth that I could enjoy more at this point than working full time with technology and people. As you’d expect, the learning curve from youth pastor to computer technician has been fairly steep and not without its own set of challenges. Let’s talk about some of what I’ve learned these past 18 months.
Define the problem
Once you accurately understand the problem you’re halfway to finding the solution. And when I say, “understand the problem” I don’t mean “the computer is broken.” Anyone can tell you the computer doesn’t work right. But as soon as you know why it’s not working correctly, discovering the solution will shortly follow.
Divide and conquer
First determine if the problem is hardware or software. Personally I find it easiest to rule out hardware first. For instance, if a computer can’t connect to the internet via an ethernet cable the first thing I’ll do is fire up my laptop and plug in physically into the same ethernet cable that the faulty machine is using. If my laptop gets online just fine, I can be sure the issue lies within the faulty computer.
At that point I’ll continue to divide the problem further until I reach the conclusion and resolve the issue.
Frustration is good, use it
There are two kinds of people in this world. The first kind encounter a problem, get frustrated and quit trying to solve it. The second kind get frustrated which makes them dig deeper into the problem. The key to solving the issue is taking that emotion and channeling it toward the task at hand. Don’t give up!
Research is essential
At one point in computing history it was possible to learn all you needed to know from books published by the software or hardware manufacturers. Today that is no longer true. The sheer breadth of the computer market means that it’s literally impossible to know everything about every piece of hardware and software. Never stop learning.