IT Certification can lead to better visibility, opportunities, and a better position in your company. In today's increasingly complex and highly specialized information environment, credentials are everything. Sure, you know you've got the skills to do the job, but how do you convince potential customers and employers? For many career-minded professionals, certification is often the answer.
For many companies and the federal government, certification is recognized as a valuable way to prove your professional credentials to co-workers and to employers. Some may say Why become certified? Isn't a college degree and/or years of practical hands-on experience enough to establish one's credentials? Well, your college degree may have been issued when DOS 3.31 was current, but that doesnt prove you are current with todays technology. The fact is, today many employers are looking for both experience and certification.
Getting certified is the most effective way to increase marketability, job advancement, and salary in the stable IT field.
Discovery Training Center is Charlestons premier certification school offering Cisco, Microsoft, CompTIA and many other certification programs. DTC also believes in supporting our veterans and we accept GI bill.
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Apple has now partnered with Fox, CBS, NBC and The Walt Disney Co. and many others to offer 99-cent TV episode rentals through iTunes. Episodes will be available for rental within 24 hours after their initial airing and expire after 48 hours.
With so much television content now available online, and hardware like the iTV (formerly Apple TV), Roku box, Xbox 360, PS3 and GoogleTV on the horizon, it begs the now age-old question: Is it time to dump your cable provider and just watch all your TV content online?
Right now if you want a cable package that includes regular network television, specialty channels such as HBO and Showtime, plus any specialized sports content, you are probably looking at a cable bill somewhere around $80-$150. But along with that hefty bill come a lot of channels, shows and other TV-based junk you simply don't want.
I have found that I spend far less time flipping through channels than I used to. I can find most of what I want to watch online, and if I want to see something on a bigger screen it's relatively simple to hook my laptop up to the television.
But tech-minded people have been able to put together their own television alternatives for some time. For most users, however, the technological hurdles to go cable-free are still off-putting. Could an easy-to-use solution like the iTV change all that?
Powered by iOS4--the same operating system that runs the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch--the iTV is a simple set-top box able to run third-party iOS applications.
That means iTV has access to many content-based applications you can get on your iPhone or iPad right now. The new iTV can stream Netflix or download movies from iTunes. Television shows are available on HuluPlus or iTunes rentals. Even baseball fans (which I am a huge one) are covered with the MLB atBat application and a subscription to MLB.TV.
The biggest question, however, is how well iTV apps perform on your living room screen. Rentals from iTunes arent a problem since they are already designed with television displays in mind.
HuluPlus is offered by Hulu. It is just the same as Hulu but you get access to even more programming. With Hulu you usually get the latest 5 episodes of a particular show. With HuluPlus you get access to every show of every season. From my experience HuluPlus isnt worth shelling out the $9.99 just yet. It still lacks the amount of shows that justifies the pricetag. But it will get there soon enough.
Lets face it. Google is the search king. Enough said about that. Now, how many of you hate your cable or satellite providers tv guide? I am raising my hand here. Now combine Google search with your tv. You will be able to search for your favorite show, actor/actress, team etc. like you search for directions to that fancy new steak house downtown. I like that idea.
But that isnt it. GoogleTV has a built in web browser, Imagine watching a tv show and it reminds you of the funniest YouTube video you have ever seen. You can simply pull up the browser and go to YouTube and play that video all while the show is still being shown in picture in the corner. Awesome. It even has a customizable homescreen that lets you put your favorite shows on it so that every time you turn it on, your shows pop up and notifies you if there are any new episodes.
GoogleTV will be built in to some televisions and also come in a set-top box form. I personally cannot wait for this.
The specialty and Live TV issue
As far as content goes, the biggest missing pieces of the puzzle are live television events and specialty channels such as HBO and Showtime. For the most part, live TV online is improving. Newsworthy events such as the 2008 Presidential debates and President Obamas Inaguration were available online. The NFL has dabbled in live event viewing online with Sunday Night Football, and viewers outside of North America can buy streaming packages for regular season games as well as the Superbowl. Many other sports are also starting to offer paid online packages or even free streaming, but their availability within North America varies.
Channels such as HBO and Showtime, however, are very reluctant to offer a lot of content online compared with their network television counterparts. You can easily purchase the latest episode of Mad Men from iTunes, for example, but recent seasons of Dexter, True Blood and Weeds are usually available for purchase on iTunes after their DVD release dates.
So, if you're dependent on live sports or other specialty content (as I am), you may not be able to jettison your cable provider just yet. But if iTV and 99-cent TV show rentals, Google TV, HuluPlus and Netflix are your thing then there are probably a ton of you out there that are ready to set yourself and your wallet free.
As many of you may already know that the iPad has come out really strong in sales so far this year. So what is the big fuss? I have a phone, a laptop and desktop and now I need a tablet? How does a 10 screen with no keyboard help me be more productive? Lets start off on the journey of the tablet pc.
Microsoft was one of the first software companies to develop a tablet based operating system. You have seen them. The laptop where the screen flips backwards and looks like a 12 notebook. You have a stylus and you get to use your own hand writing to put in your notes and draw. I really wanted one when I saw them but they were like $2200 retail. They have been around for a while and have been mostly in the enterprise market. In the world of electronic successes, it was a flop. The idea was great but the user interface and the price was really scary.
Lets fast forward a few years and Apple the king of user interface introduces the iPad that sells for between $499 and $829. They destroyed both of the major deterrents that users had with the table pc. It is even smaller. With such a huge market share of iPhone users, this was bound to take off. This year at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) there were over 25 manufactures that had their own version of the small tablet. These pieces of electronics will be running everything from Windows, Android, Web OS and Chrome OS. This is a huge market to play in. So many of us just need something to surf the internet and check email. In the industry we call these users, content consumers. Smart Phones and Tablet computers are primarily for these users. Most folks out there just need to get their email and consume information. It is the content creators that need the laptop and desktop. This is where productivity goes up. You can sit and have your coffee and have your tablet and type a quick email. You dont need your huge laptop. It is much easier to do this on your tablet verses your phone.
The internet has really changed the world as we know it. As the bandwidth increases to our homes, pcs and phones, the information we have access to will be endless. For example, I took a trip to North Carolina a few weeks ago. On the way to where we were going my wife said she was hungry. Well I just went to my phone loaded up Places and the GPS in my phone told me what restaurants were close to me and then also provided me with reviews of the restaurants we were looking at. This sort of information is very valuable. Who needs the green road signs anymore, Fast Food Restaurant 3 Miles Ahead? Tablets will not only help us do this but Apple is now talking about using your iPad as your remote for your iTV. Just what we all need is another remote control.
If you have been following our blog post, I have been showing you some tips for Windows 7 and Office 2010. This time, I have compiled some more of the Windows 7 tips.
Aero Peek Your Desktop. A lesser-known versatile tool introduced with Windows 7 is the Windows Aero feature, Aero Peek. Just click the rectangle in the lower right hand corner of the task bar for quick access to your desktop. The keyboard shortcut Windows key +Space performs the same function.
Double-Up Your Windows. When working within an application, sometimes you just want more of a good thing. To open another window of the same application (assuming the app can run more than one instance), simply hold Shift and click the taskbar icon. You can also middle-click your third mouse button for the same result.
Change the Scenery. Windows 7 allows you to personalize your desktop background to suit your many moods with a new shuffle feature for your desktop. You can program your desktop background to shuffle through your favorite images and get a change of scenery as often as you like. To enable the shuffle feature, right click on your Desktop and select Personalize, then Desktop Background. Choose the folder where your favorite images or photos are stored and select as many as you like. Make sure you check the Shuffle box, and choose how often youd like your images to shuffle. Its a simple way to keep your desktop looking fresh and fun.
Crunch The Numbers. The new Windows 7 calculator is a number crunchers dream. New functionality allows the user to not only calculate in the Standard and Scientific modes, but also in Programmer and Statistics modes. And thats not all! Ever need conversion formulas for temperature, weight, area, or time? Finding the unit conversion option makes it a snap and takes all the work out of the users hands. There are even templates for gas mileage, lease estimations, and mortgage estimations.
This month, I thought I would try something different in our fun and informative section. As we prepare for the cooler weather, now is the time to start preparing your lawn for the winter months.
Bulbs - it's time to buy your spring-flowering bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus. Don't plant them yet, but wait for cooler weather. Store them in a cool place where temperatures will be 60 degrees F or lower.
Dividing - it's time to divide spring and summer blooming perennials.
Fertilizer - it's time for the second application of fertilizer for fescue and other cool-season grass lawns. Follow the recommendations on your soil test report for your lawn. DON'T fertilize warm-season grass lawns late in the fall!
Overseeding - many homeowners like to overseed their lawns with ryegrass for a green winter lawn. Mid-September is the best time to do this.
Irrigation - as this month progresses you will probably need to cut back on your irrigation amounts.
Trees and Shrubs
Leaves - leaves are beginning to fall. If you have space and a little time composting is a great option; if not, you can also till them into any fallow beds you have or the vegetable garden.
Planahead - if you plan to plant some trees or shrubs this year, begin thinking about which plants you would like now, and find retailers that carry those varieties. You have plenty of time, but you certainly do not want to miss your favorite at the last minute.