Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another One of My Documents Made the Scribd Hot List

My document on Mail Servers made the Scribd hot list.

Mail Servers

Thoughts about the SharePoint Convention

I got back from the SharePoint Convention (SPTechCon) in San Fran late last night, so I thought that I would give some highlights about the conference.

  • Overall, I was really impressed with the information at the conference. Granted, there were some sessions that left me cold. The "live examples" didn't work or took too long to do, and the presenter spent more time trying to get the demo to work rather than discuss the topic at hand. However, the majority of the presentations were really informative and productive, and I came out of the conference with more knowledge than I originally had.

  • It was also a great networking opportunity. I was able to meet a number of professionals from all walks of life in IT (managers, administrators, developers) and all levels of SharePoint knowledge. I was able to learn about how these people were using SharePoint, and I learned about the trials and tribulations of using SharePoint in their respective environments.

  • It was great to place names with faces. A number of presenters were authors of SharePoint blogs and/or books about SharePoint that I've read. One of the presenters (Errin O'Connor) co-authored one of the SharePoint books in my personal library.

If you are working in a SharePoint environment, I would suggest going to their next convention, which is being held in Boston in June. It's actually quite reasonable, especially if you register for the extreme early bird. In my case, the cost of the convention, flight from Pittsburgh to San Francisco, and hotel stay was $1000 less than a SharePoint Designer class that I took locally. Visit the SPTechCon site for further details on the next conference.

P.S. - I'll start publishing tutorials again on Monday!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Off to San Francisco for a SharePoint Convention (and note about this site)

San Francisco SharePoint Convention

Next week I'll be at the SPTechCon (SharePoint Technology Conference) in San Francisco. I'm pretty excited to go. The workshops look interesting. Since I'm arriving in the city around lunchtime on Monday (PST), and the conference starts on Tuesday, hopefully I get a chance to go to Chinatown.

If you're going to the SharePoint convention at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport on January 27-29, I hope to see you there!

Note About This Site

From what I can tell from the access logs and the comments left on various posts, it looks like my tutorials seem to be very popular. While I'll still feature essays and commentary geared toward IT students, I will probably start putting more focus on publishing tutorials in my posts.

What kind of tutorials would interest you? Do you like documents, videos, or both? Please let me know my leaving a comment or by contacting me. My contact information is on my profile - click on my profile for my contact information.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting a Job in an EVEN TOUGHER Economy

Since the time that I wrote my original article on getting a job in a tough economy, the economy has gotten worse around the world. Unemployment rates are rising around the world, and businesses of all sizes are closing. We are in a global recession, and some economists are opining that we may be in the beginning of a depression.

On the plus side, the Information Technology market (in general) has not been affected by the recession as other markets such as manufacturing have been affected. On the minus side, most companies are looking to slash costs. Unfortunately, one of the places where companies will slash costs is Information Technology. Translation: spending on projects, new technologies, and human resources will be cut or suspending, and outsourcing to countries who pay workers less than their American counterparts will be an option again.

In a bad economy, it's an employers' market. Employers are choosier in selecting candidates for positions. Some employers will go so far as to pass over a job candidate if they don't meet the exact requirements for the job. The reason why employers are choosier because companies are watching their spending in the rough economy, and the employers want to make sure that they get a maximum return on investment on their human resource.

What do you need to do to get a job in a tough economy?

  • Re-read my original article on getting a job in a tough economy. All of those tips will help you with distinguishing yourself from the other job seekers.

  • You can no longer rely on being a pure "digithead" anymore. You need to be business-savvy as well. Unfortunately, a number of IT workers focus only on being an expert in their chosen technology, which leaves them lacking in the following skill set that companies also want in their IT workers:

    • They don't understand general business operations

    • They don't know how to devise solutions under time and budget constraints.

    • They don't understand how to devise solutions that increases worker productivity or improves a worker's day-to-day job

    You need to know general information about your company's industry and how IT impacts the company's "bottom line". Do you know how to implement IT solutions that will increase productivity, reduce errors, reduce costs, make the company an industry leader, make compliance with government regulations easier, and increase profits without spending a lot of money? Do you know the restrictions that you have to follow because the company's industry has strict government regulations?

  • The New York Times wrote an article about US Cities in recession and US cities that are actually growing or not affected by the recession.
    New York Times: For Most Cities, Recession Has Arrived

  • You have to resign yourself to the fact that you may have to relocate. This is tricky, and I understand that it may be a difficult decision because of financial or familial reasons. However, it's an option that many workers are taking because they need to pay the bills. It may be an option that you have to consider.

  • Network, network, network! Remember the "six degrees of separation" principle - there are up to six degrees of separation between you and the person who can help you find the job. The people in your immediate network may not be able to directly find you work, but there may be people in their own immediate network that may be able to help you. Here's a perfect example of the "six degrees of separation" principle: a friend of my mother's recently was laid off from her marketing job at a retirement community. My mother couldn't find her anything, but she told me about her friend's plight. I knew that the school where I teach was looking for a community relations representative. I told my mother, who then told her friend, about the position.

Friday, January 16, 2009

VB.NET Tutorial: Integrating Flash In Your Application

Click the link to download the source code for this post

Licensing and Warranty

You may use the code as you wish - it may be used in commercial or other applications, and it may be redistributed and modified. The code is provided "as-is". No claim of suitability, guarantee, or any warranty whatsoever is provided. By downloading the code, you agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Author and the Publisher from and against any claims, suits, losses, damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses (including reasonable legal or attorneys' fees) resulting from or relating to any use of the code by you.


You may have a situation where you want to or need to integrate a Flash film (swf) in your application for a variety of reasons. You can easily do this in Visual Basic .NET using the Shockwave Flash Object. I have created an illustration of integrating Flash and VB.NET by creating a very simple flash player written in VB.Net

You can download the sample code from the link that appears at the top of this post. Note that you may have to modify the code to your environment. If you want to see a demonstration of this application, view the video below:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another End of an Era?

Yesterday, news outlets reported that Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence from his job. This is the biggest news in IT business since Bill Gates announced his retirement from Microsoft.

Unfortunately for Apple, this wasn't good news for the short term.

After the announcement of Jobs's leave of absence was made, Apple's stock dropped 7% in after-market trading, and RBC Capital Markets cut the stock rating to "underperform". From what I've seen on the business news channels, the business analysts are speculating that stockholders are losing confidence in Mr. Jobs because they think that he is not being forthright with the severity of his illness.

Personally, I think that the stock fell because of a combination of the recession and the fear of the unknown. Tim Cook will be assuming Steve Jobs's responsibilities while he is on medical leave. Although Mr. Cook assumed the CEO responsibilities in 2004 when Mr. Jobs was recovering from cancer, he is still a relative unknown. The charismatic Mr. Jobs was the "face" of Apple for so many years. People saw the enthusiasm and energy when he unveiled a new product. It was obvious that Apple enjoyed being the technology innovator. Many in IT watched Apple grow exponentially in other markets other than the personal computer market. After all, the term podcasting wouldn't be in our lexicon today if Apple didn't invent the iPod. With Steve Jobs, the public knew where Apple stood. Without Steve Jobs, questions arise: What direction does Mr. Cook plan on taking with Apple? Will Mr. Cook demonstrate the same enthusiam over inventions and innovations in IT, or will he be just "the substitute teacher" until Mr. Jobs returns or until they hire a new "Steve Jobs"? What is the real chance that Steve Jobs is coming back? Those are the questions that would make an investor think about whether the stock will give them a high return on investment or a low return on investment.

This is the time to watch what Apple will do next. I also hope that Mr. Jobs's illness isn't serious and he makes a speedy recovery.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

THREE of my whitepapers made the Scribd Hot List

This weekend, three of my whitepapers made the Scribd Hot List.  Those papers are:
  • TCP/IP
  • Accessing SharePoint Data Using C# Without Running Code On the SharePoint Server (Part 1)
  • Linux Console Commands
If you are interested, you may read them here or visit Scribd to view all of my whitepapers.TCP/IP                                       
    Publish at Scribd or explore others:            Internet              Technology                  TCP/IP              Networking      
Accessing SharePoint Data Using C# Without Running Code On the SharePoint Server (Part 1)                                       
    Publish at Scribd or explore others:            Internet              Technology                  SharePoint              C#      
Linux Console Commands                                       
    Publish at Scribd or explore others:            UNIX              Technology                  linux              unix      

Thursday, January 8, 2009

SharePoint Tutorial: Creating a Custom List Form for a SharePoint List

SharePoint has built-in forms for various actions on a list.

  • There is a form for displaying a selected item

  • There is a form for adding a new item

  • There is a form for editing an item

While the built-in forms are sufficient for the tasks at hand, you may run into a situation where the built-in forms do not satisfy your needs. For example: I had to recently create a list on a site collection. My business user wanted the other users to be able to enter their information in the form when adding it to the list. However, when they modify the record, the user should not be allowed to modify certain fields after they entered the information.

With SharePoint Designer 2007, you can create a custom form for any of the actions (display, add, edit) and attach it to the list.

I've created a document which illustrates how to create a custom list for a SharePoint list and attach the custom list to a list action.

I've also created a video illustrating how to customize the edit action.

If you have any questions, please post a comment or send me an e-mail, and I will answer your question to the best of my ability. You can get my e-mail address by viewing my Blogger profile.