Thinking Technology

Archive for the ‘General Technology’ Category

Subject Matter Expert

Not a lot of technology talk on my technology blog – That’s kinda sad……

Plenty of teaching talk, Talk about a FULL TIME JOB! Teaching really can eat up a lot of your life if you let it, some times even if you don’t let it! But the term is certainly winding down, I’ve posted all my learning modules and just have a last final to write. Then its all grading all the time. Starting with this week.

But lets get to the subject line, Subject Matter Expert. Have you ever wanted to be an authority on a subject, to know a subject intimately? Most recently I’ve had the strongest desire to dive into a topic and examine it t the most fundamental level.

In every job I’ve had, I’ve been a generalist and quite reactive. No real time to devote to studying a subject at length. I’m settling into this whole teaching thing and seeing time to devote to professional development. I’m already seeing the challenges of staying current with my knowledge and skillz. This is one way to try and stop gap the losses. So my topic of choice, Active Directory. The plan is to start with improving my foundation knowledge. There’s a lot of potential in the topic.

 Initial Reading:

Active Directory Administrator’s Pocket Consultant (Administrators Pocket Consultant) [Paperback]
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (January 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0735626480
ISBN-13: 978-0735626485
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches

 So far this is a reassurance of what I already know. Also this leads me back to possible Microsoft Certs. I’m always on the fence about the true value of a cert in my position as a full time instructor. We’ll see where my quest for knowledge leads me.

I did dust off my Self Test Cert study software. I purchased a full package  while back. Installed all of the test packages and performed an update. Who knows if I’ll use ‘em, but its done.

I guess I blinked

Because it’s already week 6 of the Term! Holy Crap! I’m keeping pace. Having a co-teacher has certainly helped lighten the load, but I’m still pretty dang busy.  It wears me out, but I’m enjoying teaching. It’s fun & certainly an occupation that offers challenges and rewards. Seeing students understand a concept, or even better get a job as a direct result of what they learned from me, equates to warm fuzzy.

EdD – I’ve made up my mind, I’m going for it. Starting in Summer I plan to begin a doctorate program to get my EdD in Community College Leadership. I’ll look to focus on technology in some way, shape or form. We’ll see how it plays out. It’s a daunting undertaking for sure. Watching Cyn (my wife) work through her program is both, inspiring and terrifying all in the same breath. I see the value down the road of having a doctorate.

Subject Matter Expert – Ever want to be an authority on a subject, or series of subjects. I’ve wanted to expand my knowledge in a subject so that I could talk in depth about something meaningful. I’ve picked my topic, Active Directory! I teach it, I want to know more than just the surface details, Domain Controllers replicate. I want to know the replication process, the message sent between servers. All of that.

So how do I become the subject matter expert. Reading everything there is to read about Active Directory. The best start is the textbook I’m using for one of my classes. Reading…. There it is again. I don’t do enough of it. I’m doing more professional reading than I have in the past. Not as steady as I would like, but its an improvement over – NOT READING AT ALL! So I’m moving it along.

I’ll keep you posted on….. (provided I can come up for air more frequently)

The IT certification ship has sailed. I have a hard time justifying the expense and time expenditure reqiured to successfully get IT certs at this stage in my career. For someone working in the field, looking for a job, certs make sense. Maybe in the distance future, my mindset will change. But I don’t think so.

Windows 7/Vista God Mode Folder

Basically Windows 7 god mode (may also work in Vista) allows you to aggregate all of the Windows 7 utilities in one place (IE local users and groups, error logs, network utilities).

Just make a folder on your desktop and rename it the following:


For more info check out this article here.

Linux – Class

So….. The all things Microsoft Instructor that I am, I’m taking a linux admin course.

I’m going to be teaching a Web Server admin class and 40% of all webservers are apache webservers. Huuuuummmmm, gonna need some Linux skillz for that.

So far the class hasn’t been to trying, basics of getting the OS installed on a virtual machine (VM). Not much different from installing a Windows OS onto a VM.

I’ve got a quiz to take, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to take a quiz… Even a cert test for that matter. A little nervous about that.

I am getting some new ideas for what to do in my own classes.

Upgrade to Windows 7

Over the break I decided to upgrade to Windows 7. I knew if I didn’t do it over the break I’d have to wait until Spring. 

I ran the Upgrade Advisor for Windows 7 and it looked alright, only problem. I’d installed Vista Ultimate because it was free (legal). Now I had no way to get my hands on a free (legal) copy of windows 7 Ultimate. That means – Fresh install. Which I didn’t feel was a BAD idea.

 I wanted to still have access to my old stuff so I planned to bring up a Virtual Machine of my Vista Ultimate laptop…… Technologically – it made since. BUT in practice – NOT so much!

 Tried a few different methods, Vista native backup, a few different back up apps. Then I came across a backup app that can turn a backup into Virtual Drive – yeah! I spent most of the time trying to do the upgrade making back ups with various programs. The backup app made the Virtual machine, but it wouldn’t boot – hung every time. Tried a repair and that didn’t work either.

 So I checked for my data and just blasted my laptop. Got the OS installed, most apps reinstalled and I was back online.

 I also decided to try Microsoft’s Expression Suite for my website management. That was wholly disappointing.  The Expressions web app doesn’t do well with WebDAV. I was unable to connect via WebDAV to my courses. Since that was the major portion of what I wanted to do I didn’t even try a regular FTP site. That meant back to Dreamweaver, from MX (2004) to CS4.

 Dreamweaver hasn’t changed much at all over the years. Still pretty simple to manage sites and get rollin. Didn’t want ot shell out the $$$ but oh well. Life can be rough like that.

 I’ve been happy with Windows 7, look and feel is a lot different from Vista, but overall – nothing to make me just up and down.

Virtual Box

For the Linux class we setup a virtual machine on Virtual Box. I’d heard of Virtual Box in the Fall term and wanted to give it a shot. Virtual PC doesn’t have any USB support and so I thought I’d try Virtual Box and see how it handles USB. That worked rather well.


I’m duly impressed with it and may move my classes to Virtual Box for setting up virtual lab environments. I’ll be using it this term to get a better feel for it.

Welcome to my Technology Blog

I started a blog a while back to cover certifications, teaching and misc tech stuff. It was easily overrun with my personal life. So I decided to seperate the tech blog From my day to day life blog. (Hopefully I won’t have to blogs setting around collecting dust).

The plan is to cover Certification Stuff, General Technology & Teaching Technology.