Archive for November, 2012:

Windows 8 sales hit 40 million in first month

Hundreds of millions of computers remain on earlier Windows operating systems

Microsoft has sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses since Oct. 26 when the new operating system became available.

That includes all sales, corporate and consumer, although the company provided no breakdown for how many of each there were.

That’s up just about exactly tenfold from the first four days of the operating system’s availability when CEO Steve Ballmer announced the figure at the company’s developers conference.

RELATED: Microsoft greases the skids for Windows 8 developers

Ballmer said back in October that there are 670 million Windows 7 licenses that could be upgraded to Windows 8, plus the expected sale of 400 million new devices that he projects will be sold running Windows 8.

The sales numbers were issued by Tami Reller, corporate vice president and CFO of Windows, at the annual Credit Suisse technology conference Tuesday.

Reller also says the number of applications available for sale in the Windows Store has doubled since the Windows 8 launch from about 10,000 to about 20,000. Apps she highlighted among the new ones included CBS, ABC News, ABC Family, Engadget, Flixster, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), Vimeo – none of which is a business productivity app.


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Mozilla suspends work on 64-bit Firefox for Windows

Mozilla suspends work on 64-bit Firefox for Windows
Unlikely to restart x64 development in 2013
Mozilla this week suspended development of a 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows, citing add-on incompatibilities and low priority for the project.

In a message posted to Bugzilla, the company’s bug- and change-tracking database, Benjamin Smedberg, a developer with consulting firm Mozdev, and a regular contributor to the open-source browser, said that the organization was suspending, perhaps for some time, the work on a 64-bit version.

“Please stop building windows 64 builds and tests,” Smedberg wrote on Bugzilla Wednesday. In the same message, he told commenters the decision had been made, and not to argue it on Bugzilla, a warning that several people ignored.

The x64 edition of Firefox for Windows had been stalled in the build channel Mozilla calls “Nightlies,” a label for the unpolished daily versions, for months. Mozilla maintains three general-public build channels — Aurora, analogous to an alpha; Beta; and Release — but the x64 browser never made it to Aurora, much less the more stable Beta or final code.

An unknown number of testers, however, had been using the x64 Firefox on Windows; estimates on Mozilla’s discussion groups ran as high as 50% of those running Nightlies on Windows.

Some users were clearly disappointed in the decision, even while it was being bandied about internally in discussions going back to at least last February.

“Disabling Win64 build will be the last disappointment to me by Mozilla. I would no longer use/support Firefox,” said someone identified only as “Mr. T” on one thread last week.

The advantage of a 64-bit browser on a 64-bit operating system is that the browser’s memory-handling capacity is dramatically increased, letting users keep open literally hundreds of tabs, a scenario that would choke a 32-bit browser.

But there were more negatives than positives to maintaining a 64-bit Firefox on Windows at the moment, Smedberg and others at Mozilla contended.

“Many plugins are not available in 64-bit versions [and] the plugins that are available don’t work correctly in Firefox,” Smedberg said on a discussion thread Nov. 16. He also cited problems separating crash statistics submitted by x64 Firefox users from the greater number running the standard 32-bit version, low priority of fixes for x64 bugs, and the resulting frustration by users “because they feel (and are!) second-class,” Smedberg said.

Currently, only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) and Opera Software’s Opera are available in x64 editions for Windows.

But even Microsoft does not bundle a true 64-bit browser with Windows 8. On the new operating system, IE10 in the “Windows 8 Store” mode — formerly called “Metro” — is 64-bit, but the desktop version for the so-called “Classic” mode is only partially x64: Tabs are still rendered in 32-bit for extension and add-on compatibility reasons.

A Windows 7 preview in both x86 (32-bit) and x64 versions is also available.

It’s unclear how long Mozilla will suspend work, but Smedberg hinted it might be for some time. “It is already a done decision that we aren’t going to ship 64-bit Windows Firefox builds in the first half of 2013, and probably not at all in 2013,” he wrote in a Nov. 19 message.

Asa Dotzler, director of Firefox, concurred with the plans to discontinue work on x64 Firefox, but noted both that development would likely be restarted in the future and summarized why Mozilla was setting it aside for now.

“I do think we will eventually do a 64-bit release,” Dotzler said in a discussion group message last March. “That being said, I don’t think it should be a priority right now given the many other things we’ve got on our plate.”

Among the higher-priority items on Mozilla’s plate is a Windows 8 Store-style Firefox app, which the company has been working on since March, and which reached the preview stage in October.



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VMware cost calculator can show Microsoft is cheaper

In certain configurations, Windows Server 2012 is cheaper than vSphere

Which is cheaper: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 or VMware vSphere 5.1? Well, that depends on who’s doing the math.

A Microsoft general manager recently wrote a blog post pointing out that a cost calculator on VMware’s website shows that if a system is configured in a certain way then Microsoft’s Windows Server is less expensive for virtualizing workloads compared to VMware’s flagship software. “VMware (finally) admits that its costs are higher than Microsoft’s,” is the title of the post.

At least one analyst is chalking this up as Microsoft “mudslinging” aimed at VMware, but also points out that it could reflect the increasing competitiveness of the virtualization market.

The cost calculator on VMware’s website must be configured a certain way for Microsoft’s Windows Systems Server to come out cheaper than VMware. The configuration includes 100 virtual machines, an iSCSI SAN, using VMware vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus, with low electricity and real estate expenses. Microsoft says this represents a “common data center virtualization configuration.” When doing this, VMware’s vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus is 19% higher than Windows Systems Center 2012 and 12% higher than VMware’s Enterprise edition. VMware’s Enterprise Plus is priced at $257,385 compared to $217,226 for the Microsoft brand. When comparing the Windows version to the standard VMware edition, however, VMware comes out to be 7% less expensive than Microsoft.

In the blog post, Microsoft GM for Servers and Tools Marketing Group Amy Barzdukas says Microsoft could be even cheaper. VMware, she says is using a 2011 study which assumes that VMware ESX hypervisor can handle 20% more applications per virtual machine compared to Microsoft’s Hyper-V virtualization tool. Barzdukas says that’s “an assumption with little credibility or real-life customer evidence” by VMware, noting that application memory has been improved in the 2012 version of the software.

Public relations representatives that work with VMware did not respond to multiple inquiries to offer a response to Microsoft’s claims. VMware’s cost calculator Web page does note that VMware’s Enterprise edition includes more than a dozen features that Windows Systems Center 2012 does not, such as VM fault tolerance, dynamic resource scheduling and distributed networking switching, for example.

ESG analyst Mark Bowker says “this is basically just some mudslinging,” by Microsoft. Despite what can sometimes be higher priced products, Bowker says he’s hard pressed to find users who are not happy with VMware’s services. “It’s an investment in licensing, and the hardware to go with it, but people use it because of the management capabilities it gives you to run the shop more efficiently,” he says.

It’s not the first time Microsoft has taken some jabs at VMware. Earlier this year the company released a series of advertisements featuring “Tad,” a fictional salesperson for “VMlimited.” As Network World’s Jon Gold pointed out in April, it was attempt by Microsoft to paint VMware as expensive and outdated, by portraying VMware as working with only VMware’s hypervisors. VMware has changed that since then.

John Treadway, VP of Cloud Technology Partners, a consultancy, says the cost per VM price can be slightly misleading. “Enterprise buyers know that there is a difference between the list price and what the actual price turns out to be.” Plus, he says, VMware is trying to play a price game. “That’s not their value proposition,” he says. “Cheapest isn’t always necessarily the best.”

MORE MUDSLINGING: VMware and Microsoft are missing the boat on private PaaS, consultant says

Treadway says there are plenty of ways to set up a virtualized infrastructure that would be cheaper than both VMware and Microsoft. Commodity hardware could be used on top of an open source hypervisor to create a system that he guesses could be 20% cheaper than Microsoft’s price. The tradeoff is it would take more configuration and management, but it would be cheaper.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Windows Server 2012 in the enterprise though, Bowker says. More and more, enterprises are turning into multi-hypervisor environments, with Microsoft’s Hyper-V gaining traction in adoption. “There’s a comfort factor there with Microsoft,” he says.

And overall, Bowker says that competition is a good thing to keep these vendors on their toes and ensure that customers reap the benefits of a diversified marketplace.

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IT jobs on the other side of the cloud

IT jobs on the other side of the cloud
As companies turn increasingly toward the cloud, corporate IT staffers wonder if the grass is greener working for a service provider.

Jake Robinson remembers the day when he really understood what it means to work on “the other side of the cloud.”

It was Thanksgiving, a couple of years ago. A retail client of Robinson’s employer, Indianapolis-based cloud service provider Bluelock, posted on its site an iPhone app designed to give users access to coupons and discounts the following day, Black Friday.

It quickly became clear that the retailer had vastly underestimated demand for the app, and the database server at Bluelock was not prepared to handle the amount of traffic it generated. A solutions architect, Robinson was called in and spent most of the holiday tuning the client’s database server to handle the traffic.

Lesson learned? “You have to go above and beyond when it’s a client rather than users,” says Robinson, who formerly held infrastructure and field engineering positions in traditional corporate IT departments. That, in a nutshell, is the difference between IT at a cloud service provider and IT in the enterprise: You’re no longer an expense; you’re now part of the primary revenue stream, which means the pressure is on to perform.

As enterprises increasingly consider moving all or part of their computing infrastructure to the cloud, IT professionals wonder whether they should follow the migration.

To find out what it’s like working for a cloud service provider, and how it’s different from working in traditional IT, Computerworld spoke to a half-dozen IT professionals who are veterans of corporate IT and now have jobs at cloud service providers. They compared and contrasted their experiences in the two settings and discussed the pleasures and challenges of each. Ultimately, the consensus seems to be that, in the future, working in corporate IT may not be that different from working at a service provider.
Surging demand in the cloud

According to a study released in March by cloud staffing agency Hire On-Demand (download PDF), demand for developers of cloud-based applications spiked by more than 365% between 2008 and 2011, with another 90% bump anticipated for 2012.

The study notes that “the gap between the supply and demand of experienced cloud developers is causing salaries and benefits to skyrocket, especially in major metropolitan areas.” Cloud developers now command annual base pay of $75,000 to upwards of $150,000, depending on their skills, experience and location. In addition, cloud developers are often provided with “significant benefits,” the study said, including the ability to work from home — 39% of employers were open to this in 2011 — as well as annual bonuses and signing bonuses. In a separate, Microsoft-sponsored study, also released in March 2012, IDC estimated that in 2011, IT cloud services generated 1.5 million new jobs and projected that number to reach 8.8 million in the next four years. (Those numbers include both jobs with cloud computing providers and cloud-related jobs within corporate IT.)

Overall, IDC says “demand for cloud developers will likely remain high for the next five years, with another five years passing before supply catches up with demand. During that time, salaries and benefits will stay well above average, as will opportunities to advance into leadership roles.”
Three differences in the cloud

Leo Casusol has put in his time in enterprise IT. He started out in the ’90s writing ERP applications for the world’s largest publicly traded copper company, and was later tapped to be senior vice president of engineering and technology at Quadrem, a business-to-business network for the mining industry. Now he’s CIO of Miami-based Terremark, the cloud services division of Verizon.

He sees three primary differences working on the other side of the cloud. “First, on the service provider side, people have higher expectations. When you are delivering services to internal customers, sometimes you’re not as aggressive as you are when you’re [delivering services as] a vendor,” says Casusol.

“Second, when you deal with external IT managers, you need to adapt your processes to deal with them.” Specifically, account managers and others at the service provider must be better at both change management and at communicating proactively.
Working for a cloud service provider

And third, “you now have to think about how to maximize your P&L impact by increasing margin and lowering cost,” says Casusol. Specifically, “you need to think about scale, about deploying processes and tools that deal with volume,” he explains. “You become a business within a business.”

For those reasons, Casusol says, it may be difficult for traditional IT employees to make the transition to working for a cloud service provider. “You need to adopt a customer service mentality,” he says. “Traditional IT is not looked at as customer-friendly, especially when they’re enforcing policies. Going from being [a controlling influence] to being customer-friendly requires a cultural change.”

Pat O’Day, Bluelock’s CTO, echoes Casusol’s last sentiment, as did other IT professionals. He spent 10 years as a Web services manager at a hospital, and then a little over a year in pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly’s Internet group, running the security infrastructure. For him, traditional IT wasn’t always fun. “I’ll be completely honest: Sometimes we felt like we could almost hear the grumbles of people cursing IT,” he says. “Is there more gratitude on the service-provider side? Yes.”
High stakes

If there’s more gratitude, there are also higher stakes and more demanding customers. Users choose the service provider they want to patronize, O’Day cautions, and they’re free to choose to take their business elsewhere — which will have an immediate impact on the cloud provider’s bottom line.

“With a service provider, people get enraged if the network goes down for an hour,” says O’Day. “You have to give 110% service. The way you behave — how quickly you call people back, how quickly you address their issues — affects the health of that customer relationship. There’s a stress factor to consider.”

Beyond that, service providers work on a much larger scale than most traditional data centers — they may have as many as 2,000 machines in one cluster. Working on a platform of that scale can be intimidating, O’Day says. You don’t want to screw up 2,000 machines in one shot, he warns.

But that scale can also be invigorating. Ken Owens spent the early part of his career doing various kinds of network architecture for financial services and telecommunications companies. Now he’s technical vice president of security and virtualization technologies for Savvis, the cloud services arm of Internet and telecommunications provider CenturyLink.
At a service provider, you have more flexibility, because you’re not locked into a specific silo.
Ken Owens, vice president, Savvis

“At a service provider, you have more flexibility, because you’re not locked into a specific silo,” Owens says. “You have to understand the entire system, from storage to the network to the servers to security to how infrastructure is deployed by management systems. You have to have a much broader knowledge, and you have to go deep in any of those areas.”

That can be a big plus for IT pros looking to expand their capabilities. “I like working for a service provider more [than traditional IT] because I’m able to solve problems for a lot of different companies,” says Scott Grenier, a California-based consultant for Minneapolis-based Code 42 Software, a provider of cloud-based backup systems.

Having worked in IT at companies as diverse as Safeway, Industrial Light & Magic and Northrop Grumman, Grenier likens his career to being a musician. “The best way to get good is to play with as many people as possible,” he says. “Here, I get to play a lot of instruments.”
All jobs are cloud jobs now

As enterprise IT embraces a more integrated infrastructure, a flatter network and a more holistic perspective, tech professionals may have no choice but to adopt a service-provider mentality, no matter where they work.

With the advent of the cloud, “the world of IT is [becoming] way more complex and challenging for the IT professional,” says Bill Hilf, Microsoft’s general manager of platform strategy and a veteran of traditional IT himself.
As we move more and more to the cloud, IT professionals will have to become service managers.
Leo Casusol, CIO, Terremark

“To be a great IT professional, you have to know about networks, storage, software, operating systems and then all of the different management instruments for all your different cloud providers,” said Hilf. “I worry about IT guys who say they only specialize in storage. That works in yesterday’s world, but you need to know about the entire stack to be effective today.”


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Office 365 email conks out twice within a week

Office 365 email conks out twice within a week
Antivirus issue, infrastructure failures to blame

Microsoft’s Office 365 service has suffered two email outages within a week of each other that affected some customers in North and South America that stemmed from different causes but ended in the same result: failed email delivery.

The first outage Nov. 8 stemmed from an overwhelmed antivirus engine and the subsequent backup that caused the service degradation. The second on Nov. 13 resulted from the failure of unspecified network elements, routine maintenance and increased load that combined to degrade service, according to the Office 365 blog posted by Rajesh Jha, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Office division.

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He didn’t say how many customers were affected or where they were located other than somewhere on the two continents. Both outages affected just Office 365 Exchange Online mail services.

Affected customers are entitled to a service credit. Jha apologizes and promises a post mortem on the outages as well as an update on how the Office 365 service level agreement was affected.

The Nov. 8 incident started when an antivirus engine bogged down as it processed emails that the engine determined carried a particular virus. That delay processing emails led to retries that further bottlenecked email flow including legitimate emails, he says.

The issue was resolved by intercepting the tainted messages and quarantining them directly.

To head off similar problems down the line, the company has set a lower threshold for diverting problem emails and implementing faster remediation tools. It is also adding unspecified safeguards that automate remediation of this type of problem, Jha says.

The second incident Nov. 13 started with some scheduled maintenance that required shifting some of the load out of those data centers undergoing maintenance. During this work unspecified network elements failed but sent no alerts of their failure, he says. And finally the entire infrastructure was handling more traffic from new customers, all of which resulted in some customers being unable to access email services.

Traffic for affected users was shifted to healthy data centers while the issues were dealt with.

Jha says the company is in the midst of increasing capacity and is automating how equipment failures are handled to speed up recovery time.

In addition, the company is reviewing its processes to head off future outages.

“As I’ve said before,” Jha blogs, “all of us in the Office 365 team and at Microsoft appreciate the serious responsibility we have as a service provider to you, and we know that any issue with the service is a disruption to your business – that’s not acceptable. I want to assure you that we are investing the time and resources required to ensure we are living up to your – and our own – expectations for a quality service experience every day.”

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EMC E20-670 certification


With the development of electrical and electronic technologies, the increasing popularity of home appliances and electronic products, radio and television, post and telecommunications and computer networks become increasingly developed, increasingly complex electromagnetic environment and deterioration, making electrical and electronic products, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC and EMI Electromagnetic Interference electromagnetic anti EMS) problem by governments and the increasing emphasis on manufacturers. Electronics, electrical products, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a very important indicator of quality, it is not only the work related to the product itself, the reliability and use of security, but may also affect other equipment and systems work related to electromagnetic environment protection issues.


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EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) of the full name is Electro Magnetic Compatibility, which is defined as “equipment and systems in its electromagnetic environment, can work and does not constitute anything in the environment can not afford the ability of the electromagnetic disturbance” This definition includes two aspects mean, first of all, the device should be able to electromagnetic environment in a certain work, that is, the equipment should have a certain electromagnetic immunity (EMS); Secondly, the electromagnetic disturbance generated by the device itself can not produce other electronic products, too much effects, namely electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Order to regulate the electromagnetic compatibility of electronic products, all developed and some developing countries have developed standards for electromagnetic compatibility. EMC standards is to make the product in the electromagnetic environment of the basic requirements to work properly. It is called the basic requirements, that is, products to meet the electromagnetic compatibility standards even if, in actual use interference problems may also occur. Most national standards are based on International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards set.

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12 effective habits of indispensable IT pros

12 effective habits of indispensable IT pros
How do you keep your job — or get a better one — in an era when hiring is slow and budgets are squeezed? Follow these 12 maxims.

Some are practical advice you’ve heard before (and ignored). Being familiar with how technology can improve the bottom line is more important than ever. But so is expanding your portfolio of IT skills. You’ll also want to reach out and communicate with your colleagues across the organization, and take on dirty jobs nobody else wants. Eventually it may even mean leaving the comfort of a big organization and branching out on your own.

But remember: Becoming “indispensable” can be a double-edged sword. Get too indispensable, and you might find yourself unable to move beyond your niche.

Effective IT habit No. 1: Get down to business
You may be your organization’s most talented developer or dedicated systems administrator, but if you don’t know what the business is selling or what service it’s providing, you’re an unemployment statistic waiting to happen.

First step: Learn as much about the business as you possibly can, advises Mark A. Gilmore, president and co-founder of Wired Integrations.

“Once you understand how the company works, you can use your IT knowledge to improve the company — thus making yourself more valuable and less dispensable,” Gilmore says.

“Don’t look at things from strictly an IT perspective,” he says. “Widen your vision to see how things relate to the business world around you. That will make you more valuable than 20 technical certifications and a master’s degree will.”

Effective IT habit No. 2: Keep your eye on the bottom line
Your job isn’t just to keep the data center humming. It’s to help your organization use technology to improve the business.

Servers running at a fraction of capacity? If you haven’t already virtualized, now’s the time. Software licenses dragging down your budget? An increasingly broad choice of low-cost cloud-based apps awaits.

“IT professionals need to focus on areas that either drive down costs, such as virtualization, cloud computing, and converged networking, or on areas that help to generate revenue, such as social media, mobile marketing, and SEO,” notes Rick Mancinelli, managing partner for Cloud Computing Concepts. “Ultimately, those IT professionals who have a positive impact on the bottom line will be the most valuable to their employer.”

Effective IT habit No. 3: Keep your head in the cloud
With many traditional IT functions moving to the cloud, your company may no longer need you to flip switches, connect cables, or troubleshoot machines. But they will still need someone who can tell them what services are available, which ones are worth looking at, and which ones they should avoid.

“If your organization plans to rely more on public cloud providers, especially for basic infrastructure needs, you may find you need fewer in-house operations people to maintain, patch, and upgrade systems,” says Mark White, CTO of Deloitte Consulting’s technology practice. “But you’ll still require people with expertise in managing a catalog of cloud services, handling subscribers, brokering agreements with cloud providers, and intervening when problems arise.”


Effective IT habit No. 4: Broaden your tech horizons
Besides mastering your own tech domains, broaden your skills to include other areas. If a crisis arises — and the people responsible aren’t available — you may be able to step and save the day.

“This helps employers view them as valuable team players who can easily branch out to handle other jobs,” says Dr. Issac Herskowitz, dean of the Graduate School of Technology at Touro College.

The easiest way to develop new skills (and impress your boss) is by volunteering to help other areas of IT and to stay on top of emerging tech trends, Herskowitz adds. The more you know about the latest and greatest, the more likely you’ll be invited to contribute when those technologies are being considered for adoption.

Effective IT habit No. 5: Teach your co-workers to speak geek
Want to break down the walls between IT and business and earn goodwill in the process? Start a series of casual teaching sessions where you bring less savvy co-workers up to speed about the latest in tech, suggests Ben Dunay, founder of Sixthree Technology Marketing.

“Even if you start small and informally over brown bags in the break room, it is a very cool way to step outside the norm and boost your career,” he says. “By making the technical terms clearer to the business people, you can quickly become the go-to guy for your boss when he needs something technical explained to save the day.”

Effective IT habit No. 6: Ditch the slackers, find a mentor
Hanging with a crew that likes to take long lunches and knock off at five (or earlier)? You’re not doing your career any good, says David Maxfield, author of “Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.”

“The habits that hold you back are likely enabled, tolerated, or encouraged by others,” he says. “Use positive peer pressure by surrounding yourself with hardworking friends who share your career goals. Distance yourself from the office slackers.”

Instead, Maxfield advises you seek someone with more experience to steer your career in a positive direction. “Find a trusted mentor,” he says. “That will help you navigate the career development opportunities that exist within the organization.”

Effective IT habit No. 7: Do it with data
If your business users aren’t drowning in data, they will be. Taming the data deluge will make you invaluable.

“IT people who can make sense of business data, safely store it, categorize it, and especially analyze it are highly valuable,” notes Scott Lever, a managing consultant with PA Consulting Group.

George Mathew, president and COO of Alteryx, predicts one of the hottest jobs in the future will be the “data artisan,” a hybrid role that mixes data analysis with business savvy. “Data artisans will be asked to pull from structured and unstructured sources to drive the most important decisions within an organization — like where it should open its next retail location, whether to pursue a new market, and which products to push,” he says.

Effective IT habit No. 8: Take on jobs no one else wants
Safe, predictable jobs won’t get you into trouble, but they won’t earn you any glory either. It’s the tough jobs where you can prove your value, says John Paul Engel, principal for Knowledge Capital Consulting.

“The best career advice I ever received was from then president of Citibank California who told me, ‘Look for the biggest problem and solve it because therein lies your greatest opportunity’,” he says.

Take on a project that’s already going well, the best you can hope for is that it will continue to go well. Take on something that’s a disaster and turn it around — even just a little better — and you get a reputation as somebody who gets things done, Engel adds.

Effective IT habit No. 9: Don’t be a jerk
You might be a brilliant coder, but if nobody likes you, your head is on the chopping block.

“Personality goes a long way when it comes time to make cuts in an organization,” notes Nathan Letourneau, director of marketing for PowerWise USA. “Companies prefer people with positive attitudes and a good work ethic, even if they aren’t as highly skilled as another. Don’t be a pain in the butt or overly negative. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t speak your mind, but just make sure you’re respectful when doing it.”

Managers like to get rid of the troublemakers and malcontents first, says Engel: “It’s the person that makes the work environment better that gets promoted and is the last to leave in a layoff.”

Effective IT habit No. 10: Go public
The more people who know and rely on you — especially outside your department or organization — the harder it is to fire you, notes Engel.

If you have a client-facing job, you’re less likely to feel the ax on your neck because companies don’t generally like to fire people who have relationships with key accounts, he says — provided, of course, you obey Rule No. 9.

If your job doesn’t bring you into regular contact with clients, you can strive to become well known across different departments, especially in larger, more siloed enterprises.

“Look for projects and opportunities that cut across departments because this builds your internal network — thus making you more valuable to the company,” he says.


Effective IT habit No. 11: Don’t become literally “indispensable”
Being indispensable can become a trap. Your talents can become so critical that you can never leave or rise to a new position within your company, says Steven A. Lowe, CEO of Innovator LLC.

“A friend of mine is an excellent developer who has created a few critical software systems for the company that employs him,” Lowe says. “No one else can step in and do what he does, and the company can’t ‘afford’ to promote him to a more senior position or pay him much more money. So he’s frustrated and miserable — but he’s certainly indispensable!”

Don’t hoard information or expertise. Delegate responsibility. Start training your own replacement now, or find ways to outsource responsibilities so you can take on more challenging assignments.

Effective IT habit No. 12: Know when to fire yourself
Sometimes the best way to become indispensible is to step away from a stifling career path, even if that means branching out on your own.

“I boosted my career by starting my own company,” says Innovator’s Lowe. “I doubled my take-home pay immediately, set my own hours, and got to work on really interesting things with highly motivated people.”

When you’re out on your own, being indispensable means solving problems and letting others reap the rewards, Lowe says. “That’s pretty much the essence of my consulting career. I innovate, they prosper, we both win. The next time the client has a challenge, they call me first.”

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Best 9A0-142 practice test

Adobe Systems Incorporated is the American international company. It usually deals in computer software products. Headquarter of this corporation is situated in San Jose, California, United States of America. Adobe Systems Incorporated Company has done a lot of work in the multimedia and some other software products. The products of Adobe have become much admired in all over the world. Adobe is also offering so many vital certification exams for the IT persons. More and more IT professionals are moving toward the certifications of Adobe so as to make their resume more strong and eye-catching. All the prominent & famous organizations prefer to hire only those candidates who are quite experienced, knowledgeable, & have some additional degree in their relevant field. Having additional certifications relevant to the field facilitates the person in getting high ranked job, good salary packages and it also shows your worth and competency. In this way Adobe certifications can be very vital in order to capture the attention of these companies. 9A0-142 is one of the advantageous certification test of the Adobe. 9A0-142 is also known as “Adobe® In Design CS5 ACE Exam”.

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This certification exam of Adobe will enhance your career & increase your knowledge. But in order to pass the 9A0-142 one important aspect must keep in mind and which is selecting the latest training or coaching material and well preparation before the date of the exam. And these important things or online resources make easy to clear the Adobe exam of 9A0-142. There are many online resources that are offering the latest material for the 9A0-142 test. But all of these preparation materials are not considered as the latest material. You should hunt for the best and reliable online source for the latest material for the 9A0-142 exam. The latest material or the preparation material which is acquired from the online vendor must give the clear idea about the real exam questions & answers of the exam. Many of the online vendors also give the real exam questions with the money back guarantee. If you get the real exam questions which approximately come in the real exam of the 9A0-142 then you don’t need to worry. These real exam questions & answers are specifically very useful for the working professionals. Practice test can also be vital for the 9A0-142 exam. Practice tests comprise the real exam questions and answers which come into view in the ultimate paper of the 9A0-142. After acquiring practice tests you should be well practiced before the date of the exam. If you desire to clear the 9A0-142 certification exam of Adobe in the first attempt you should utilize the 9A0-142 boot camps, 9A0-142 practice tests and 9A0-142 exam questions & answers kits.

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10 handy Skype tips and tricks

10 handy Skype tips and tricks
Tutorial How to get better connected with Skype

10 handy Skype tips and tricksYou can add a ‘Skype me’ button to your blog, website or email signature

Skype lets you make free PC-to-PC calls anywhere in the world.

With a subscription, you can also make calls to external phones and receive phone calls using an online number.

The following Skype tips and tricks will help you make the most of the service.

1. Test your kit

The Skype welcome screen features a handy shortcut for testing your sound devices. Click ‘Check your sound works’, then click the button to test each device – speakers, microphone and video (if applicable) – in turn.

If the test fails, Skype will make some basic suggestions to remedy the problem, like making sure your headset port (typically the front mic) is selected as the default device. Follow the instructions to see if you can fix the problem.

Skype will offer to make a test call for you – you’ll dial a number, hear a female voice and then attempt to record a message. This will let you check the sound quality of your microphone and ensure it’s at the right volume.

Skype automatically adjusts your mic and headphone’s volume to try to fix potential problems, but you can also tweak these settings yourself by selecting ‘Tools | Settings | Audio settings’. You can click ‘Show advanced options’ to set default devices.

2. Try Bluetooth

Skype works with any microphone, speakers or headphones provided they’re properly installed. This includes Bluetooth headsets as long as your computer has a Bluetooth receiver.

With your PC’s Bluetooth receiver switched on and your headset in pairing mode, double-click the Bluetooth icon that appears in the notification area of the taskbar and click ‘Add’ under ‘Devices’. Tick ‘My device is set up and ready to be found’, then click ‘Next’.

Wait while Windows tries to locate the headset. When it appears in the list, select it and click ‘Next’. Select the appropriate settings according to your headset’s manual and, if necessary, enter the passkey. Click ‘Next’ to see the device connected and set up, then click ‘Finish’.

3. Import contacts

Having a full list of contacts saved in Skype will make setting up calls a much simpler process. You can add an individual contact by choosing ‘Contacts | Add a contact’, then entering the relevant information manually.

If the person you’re contacting is already on Skype, he or she will receive a contact request, but you can also import multiple contacts from a list or from an existing webmail or Facebook account.

Choose ‘Contacts | Import contacts’. Now select the type of account you want to import from and provide your username and password to connect to that service and transfer the data.

If any of these people already have Skype accounts associated with their email addresses, they will be listed. Click ‘Add those contacts’ to send them a contact request. Names and phone numbers will be stored for you anyway.

4. Instant messaging

When you’re signed into Skype, it can act as an instant messaging program similar to Yahoo or Windows Live Messenger. You can exchange text messages with online contacts or move to an audio call at any time.

Just select an online contact, type in your message and click ‘Send’ to start a conversation. In your settings you can choose whether other users can see an animated pencil while you’re typing something.

You can also set Skype to receive messages from people in your contact list only, and you can opt to keep a history of all your conversations. Choose ‘Tools | Options’ and move to the ‘IM and SMS’ tab before clicking ‘Show advanced options’. You can now change any of these settings to suit your preferences.

5. Start with Windows

By default, Skype is set to start when Windows launches. This is handy if you want to be available to talk at all times, but it can be an irritant if you need to get on with some important work without any interruptions. You can set Skype to only launch when you open it, by choosing ‘Tools | Options | General settings’ and clearing the box marked ‘Start Skype when I start Windows’. Click ‘Save’.

While here, you can also set the visual style of Skype. By default this is the Skype style, but you can choose Classic Windows instead. You can change the default sounds used by Skype by clicking the ‘Sounds’ icon and selecting the sound that you want to use.

6. Online number

To make calls to phones, you need to buy a Skype subscription or Skype credit. Click ‘Skype | Account’, then ‘Buy more credit’ or ‘Get a subscription’.

Most subscriptions give you a number that lets people call you on Skype from landlines. Start by choosing ‘Online number’ and clicking ‘Set up now’. Pick a country from the list – people calling you from that country are charged local rates, so it’s perfect for keeping in touch with friends and family abroad.

There’s a limited number of area codes available, so pick the one closest to you and then click one of the suggested numbers or try to pick one of your choice. Untick the box if you don’t want this number to be displayed when you call phones through Skype, then click ‘Activate number’.

7. Answer message

You can set up your voicemail to take messages when you aren’t online. To do this choose ‘Tools | Options | Calls | Show advanced options’. Now select ‘Voicemail’ from the left-hand pane. Tick the box marked ‘Send unanswered calls to voicemail’. Click the ‘Record’ button and use your microphone to record your outgoing message.

If you don’t record a message, a default one will be used instead, but it makes sense to record your own to give a more personal impression. You can also opt to send calls to voicemail if you reject an incoming call or if you’re already on a call by ticking the relevant options. Finally, click ‘Save’ to store these settings.

8. Get extras

Extras let you add more functions to Skype via plugins. In the latest version of Skype the Extras Manager is disabled by default, so when you choose the Tools menu, the ‘Extras’ option is greyed out.

If this is the case, you need to uninstall and then reinstall Skype. Download the version of Skype provided on the Extras page. This is a slightly older version of the program. While the software is installing, click ‘Options’ on the Hello screen, tick ‘Install Skype Extras Manager’ and click ‘I agree – Install’.

Once complete, sign back into Skype and choose ‘Tools | Extras | Get extras’. Browse through the catalogue of extras and click the green button next to one to install it.

Some extras let you share a whiteboard or play games with people on your Skype contact list, while others provide handy recording facilities.

9. Recording calls

One such extra is MP3 Skype Recorder. This is a free program that automatically records all your Skype audio conversations and saves them in MP3 format. It can cover Skype-to-Skype calls and SkypeOut calls to a landline. It sits in the system tray monitoring Skype and starts recording automatically when you make a call.

You’ll need to inform any other participants in the call that it’s being recorded, especially if you plan to rely upon the recording later on. Each call is saved as a separate MP3 file and stored in the default save location.

MP3 Skype Recorder is even capable of recording multiple calls that take place at the same time while one of the calls is on hold.

10. Skype button

You can add a Skype button to your website or blog that lets visitors know if you’re online. If they have Skype installed on their PC, they can call you with a single click. You can even add the button to an email signature so that the recipient of any of your mails can quickly click it to call you to discuss the contents of the email.

Get your own Skype button and enter your username. Select the button style that you want to use from those provided. Once you’ve provided these details, a preview of your button will be shown below them and alongside it the embed code that you can include in a web page or email. Copy and paste this code as HTML source into your website or email signature file.

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9A0-096: What are the steps involved to pass Adobe Aftereffects CS4 exam?

Adobe is one of the leading vendors that offer several certification programs to the candidates in order to help them to gain skills on various specializations. 9A0-096 exam is the Adobe certification exam that helps the candidates to gain skills in performing some tasks such as designing, creating motion graphics and creating visual effects etc. Even this certification also provides knowledge in altering, composing as well as animating media with 2D and 3D space with the usage of Aftereffects tools and resources. This certification does not target any particular group of audiences and candidates who are interested or have experience in creation of visual effects and motion can apply for 9A0-096 examination. By successfully certifying with this examination, candidates are eligible to gain advanced level certifications such as ACI (Adobe certified instructor) and ACE (Adobe certified expert) certifications.

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Exam registration process:

Candidates have to write this examination in any of the Pearson VUE centers and therefore, they should search for their nearby Pearson VUE center to register this examination. Registration is also possible through online in Pearson VUE website by paying the fee. The exam fee cost around 150$ in the United States and based on the USD fee, the exam fee differs in each country according to the country’s exchange rate in the market. Local taxes may also apply along with the exam fee and all details regarding the exam fee can be known in Pearson VUE center or in the website.

Steps involved in the 9A0-096 Exam:

Before applying or registering with the exam, candidates have to follow certain steps that are very important for the examination. They are as follows:

1) The initial stage is to select the best study materials for exam preparation. Recommended study materials/ study guides will be available in all reputed training centers. Certain study materials are also available in the internet from reputed websites that offer passing or money back guarantee. Candidates can invest their money in these reputed sources for getting best results.
2) Another important factor that has to be considered for the exam is regarding the time management. 9A0-096 exam consist of 80 questions in 100 minutes time duration. Candidates should complete the exam within the time frame. Since all questions are mandatory, it is very important to prepare a time management for the exam. Frequent practice with the free online test will help the candidates from this step.

I recommends Actualkey as Exam Preparation tool for IT Certification exams preparation like 9A0-096 Actualkey and 9A0-096 Study Guides. Visit to download Actualkey free.

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Learn Photoshop Now…Adobe Certification, the RIGHT Choice

Getting ahead in today’s market can be difficult. To stand out of the crowd and be noticed is more difficult than ever. One way to do this is to become Adobe Certified. Worldwide Adobe certification is an industry standard of excellence, and it is the definitive way to communicate your expertise in the leading products from Adobe.

As an individual, an Adobe Certified credential allows you to:Distinguish yourself from competitors,Get your resume spotlighted Attract and gain new business,Receive respect from your employer,Leverage the power of the Adobe brand

As an industry, you use the Adobe Certified credential as a standard so you can:Find the correct individual for the job Quickly ascertain the potential candidate’s skill level, Invest in, and endorse, your most promising employees In an ever changing world, students and instructors need to be more than general users of digital communications technology to be successful.

Certification can help provide the added credential for instructors as well as open new opportunities for students in the 21st century. Adobe offers multiple options for students and instructors to validate their digital media skills. Now educators and students can get certified for both beginner-level (Adobe Certified Associate) and advanced-level (Adobe Certified Expert) skills.

What is an ACE? An Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) is a person who has demonstrated proficiency with one or more Adobe software products. To become an ACE, you must pass one or more product-specific proficiency exams and agree to the ACE terms and conditions.

What is an ACP? Adobe Certified Professionals (ACPs) set themselves apart from other IT professionals. They consistently demonstrate expertise with Adobe products and platforms, and add value to colleagues, managers, and their own career.

What is an ACA? An Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) credential certifies individuals have the entry-level skills to plan, design, build, and maintain effective communications using different forms of digital media.

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