Install, Configure, Test, Use, Tune, MaintainWe get so mired in the details we tend to forget the big picture. software that has moved from the development phase to either alpha, beta, or general availability involves six things.1. Install2. Configure3. Test4. Use5. Tune6. MaintainThese items will certainly require iteration. For instance, we typically do not know how to tune something optimally until we begin using it in its intended environment. Then once we tune it for a particular environment we use it some more. And of course tuning usually requires going back and tweaking the configuration, which in turn requires us to re-test.We certainly need to drill down on each of these entities and provide more detail, but before doing so we need to come to consenus that these are the actions items involved in any piece of software.Without getting too wrapped up for the moment in the "how" let us try to answer the following questions.First up: Installing SoftwareQUESTIONIs there any software out there that you know of that does not need to be installed? Somehow it just magically appears and we can begin using it :-). Of course not.MISSION STATEMENTWith the exception of configuration, we cannot test, use, tune, or maintain software until we have figured out how to install it. So might it be a good idea to put together a procedure for installing the software?SOME NORMS* We should always strive to install software in a manner that can be fully automated. No, I did not fall off the turnip truck and realize that this is not achievable for all software. But, if this is not doable you better have some compelling (in writing) reasons why not.* If we cannot install software via a fully automated process then we should achieve to install software in manner that we could train a chimp to do. In other words the procedure should be so easy to understand that anyone could pick it up and accomplish it. Of course if we can achieve this then we are pretty much back to the first bullet.* Staffing a configuration management team costs money and resources. The more complex the software the more of this you need. The more complex and/or convoluted your software development methodology is the more of these people you need. Frankly, a good "software development" methodology should seeks to minimize this function. Sorry, I have nothing against configuration management. It certainly is a needed and vitial function. My point is that it largely exists to deal with the crap and kludge, and general mess the development staff has lobbed over the fence.* If your configuration management team is unable to move and manage files, directories, and do builds through an automated manner that can be accomplished by toolsets then it is likely that you have 1) hired a bunch of doofs to serve this role, or 2) are having some degree of crap being lobbed over the fence by your development staff. If you do not like these two choices you had better be prepared to defend in writing, in detail just what the problem is. The goal is reduce variance. By reducing variance we reduce installation complexity. As a trivial but common example to this point I work with a product that in each of last five releases the development staff have relocated the same set of files that make up our runtime application api. They have had absolutely no compelling reason for doing this. Does this causes our configuration management group to have to redo tool and redo deployment procedures and processes. I am not advocating that there is never a reason to do something like this, I am merely stating that if you do you need to have 1) a compelling and bone-fide written reason for doing this (as in an engineering order, or new design requirement); and 2) you had better articulate this up front so everyone can prepare for the impact this change is going to have downstream for everyone that will be accepting these changes.* For software installation that requires configuration during the installation process itself you will need to ensure that your procedure contains a pre installation requirements section. For example, oftentimes one is required to create a default directory, or set a default location, enter a url, select a communcation protocol, have a password and login, a license key etc, etc... . Make sure the person doing the install has all of this information before they begin. Seldom have I seen where an installation does not actually requires a decision point (a fork in the road). Generally you can provide the answers to these forks in the road up front. For example, installing SQL server askes you to select a communication protocol. This is a decision point that should be known up front and provided to the installer.* Installing software on different operating systems or different version of an operating system can be quite variant. As a general rule of thumb if the variance is more that 10% (collectively, no more than!!!) create a separate procedure.
In the world of computers being used for business, it is essential to have quality software regardless of the type of business you offer or the size of it. While technology is a great thing, it can be complicated especially when it comes to the issue of software. You dont want to purchase general applications that are difficult to use and maneuver. You also dont want to have additional features that you will never use. This is why custom software development is often a much better choice.Custom software development starts with identifying your goals and the needs of your business. In many cases custom software development is less expensive than a general application because it is designed to meet your business needs. You also dont have additional programs and features that you will never use. You will also get the software to do exactly what you need it to do, saving time for yourself and the other employees who may use the software.It is important to choose a software programmer or developer who has taken the time to understand the type of business you conduct and what you want the software to do for your business. Check their references and that they are credible. You will want to find out about training, customer support, and a refund in the event you are not happy with your software. There are many reputable software programmers you can find in the newspaper, the yellow pages, and on the internet. It is a good idea to get an estimate for the work, what the software functions will be, and the completion date. You also should discuss what guarantee they offer. Some companies will make changes until you are satisfied, or in some cases, there may be a third party to enforce the contract terms. All of this information as well as the training time and customer support should be in writing before you pay any money for services.
So what does a novice do in this amazing wonderland of computers? Whereas on the one hand, toddlers seem to be Coming out of their mother's womb, well-armed with knowledge of advanced techniques online, old-timers like me struggle to grasp the basic concepts. Take for instance my travails with an inkjet cartridge. Tell me, is it not logical that a printer should cost much more than its consumable. For instance, would you expect a vacuum cleaner bag to be much more expensive than the vacuum cleaner itself? Well, that is what happens when you buy a buy inkjet printer. You need to go and get low priced cartridges that can overtake the price of the printer in no time. Probably the solution is to refill older printer cartridges.Armed with this deep knowledge of inkjet printers, I ventured out into the the labyrinth that is the Internet and tried to find my way around. So, I visited site after site after site - well you get the idea - just to find that there are a lot of people who want me to perform a lot of online tasks. One of the most common tasks is to download wallpapers. I can get all kinds of wallpapers, be they about fishes, celebrities, movies, scantily clad women, flowers, and a whole lot more. I do not get it. Why do people want me to download wallpapers? Especially since they all want me to download wallpapers for free. Surely you cannot beat that price. But, still why do people want me to view particular wallpapers? Is this some kind of mass hypnosis, where all the characters in the wallpapers will suddenly come alive and make me do their bidding? Of course what what takes the cake is the offer for me to download a bunch of smileys. These are little smiling faces which have now gotten animated and rather noisy.In any case, I tread through the path of life soaking in the deep philosophical learning of inkjet printers and wallpapers. On to my abortive tread through the path of life to have my own website...If you thought that learning about inkjet cartridges was amusing, wait till you hear about my attempts at hosting. Though you may never have realized it, but there is actually a computer somewhere that "hosts" your site. It literally has all the stuff that you create - called web pages. Hosting can be your friend or it can be your enemy. If you go to a good hosting service that values good technology and excellent customer service, you will get a good night sleep in the knowledge that your servers are in good hands.
Its a dangerous internet out their kids. There are many unscrupulous individuals who work hard every second of their waking lives to destroy your computer, erase your hard drive and steal your bank details (you better lock up your daughters too).What can you do to combat these nefarious evildoers? If you have a computer, and I presume you do, there are two things you must have in your armory. They are: a virus scanner and a firewall. These two items are you sword and shield in the ongoing battle of good against evil. But, how do you use them to protect yourself?First things first, if you dont have a firewall, go get one. There are many free ones out there that will do the job. Make sure the one you get can block both incoming and outgoing connections from your computer. If you are unfortunate enough to receive a piece of software which is up to no good on your system, the firewall will alert you when it tries to use the internet to contact its mother ship. If you are ever in doubt about the aims of software when theyre trying to access the internet, just block them, you can always unblock later when your web browser stops working.The sword will be our trusty virus scanner. Once again, there are many free ones around that will do quite nicely. They will sit there on your machine, tirelessly scanning your storage areas for nasty bits of code you may not know about, but are there to cause mayhem and untold damage. When found, the scanner will work magic to delete the infected items and remove the source before the damage becomes too great.Another tool that virus-free knight shouldnt be without is the spyware scanner. This handy utility can be fired up once a week to perform a scan to check whether any devious miscreants have slipped through and are ruining our web viewing experience with annoying pop-ups.So, you see, its quite easy to protect yourself. There are decent programs out there, produced by people in shiny castles, which will help you sleep at night. And, best of all, theyre so cheap theyre free!
Shure headphones. As a company, this top quality company has long been known among musicians and the music industry for their incredibly high quality microphones that have become somewhat of a standard for recording or live performance.With all the brands out there, why Shure? What's so special about their Ipod type earpieces?Making use of their powerful Sound Isolating technology in their earphones to provide a unique quality... that's far beyond what the most expensive earbuds can offer, and beyond what even the best headphones could give.Isolation was originally created as an in-ear monitoring system for musicians during live performances (it allowed them to hear their performance clearly without cheering from the crowd, venue or interference of the other instruments.) This corporation from Illinois now brings this technology to the average user. By using various pieces that block the background noise and direct a high-performance definitive sound straight into the ear.Shure has designed their devices to create a separate listening area within the ear by having the earbuds fit directly into the ear canal. The soft, flexible sleeves on these are able to mold to your ear shape and therefore create a seal around the ear. This way, all outside noise is completely blocked out and your ears feel comfortable in every respect, meaning there is no listening fatigue or irritation from the earbud (s).Isolation vs CancellationWhen comparing noise cancellation technology (which many cans have) and isolation technology, sound isolating technology is better in many respects. First, you get a pristine high-definition sound from the earphone design. Cancellation headphones are usually battery driven, heavier and of course much larger than earbuds. Second, this cancellation technology makes use of a process that cuts off certain frequencies within the music, and therefore brings in unwanted noise of a different sort (hissing, cracking etc.) This technology does not tamper with the original highs and lows of the music, but provides the best quality directly into the ear.Specific Models:Shure's earphone products all come with isolating technology, and each model is created with a specific genre and user in mind. The SE modular earphones from Shure are ideal for all kinds of music listening, whether it be your MP3 device, hi-fi, Ipod or computer. The E-Series: E2, E3, E4, E5 and E500PTH are designed specifically to provide the ultimate in top quality for gamers, delivering all the tiniest of elements and sounds straight into your ear during your gaming experience. You can listen only to what you want to listen to, so you can fully immerse yourself in the game world. Isolating technology is the best choice to listen to music traveling on the bus, exercising, driving or any activity outside of a controlled environment.Wireless HeadphonesTheir product line ranges are also wireless and cordless, which has an incomparable advantage compared to wired sets. Too many times have cords become entangled and broken through regular use, rendering the them useless. They produce excellent wireless sets for convenience, quality and affordability.The ultimate quality continues to be delivered through Shure products, and this is just a small fraction of what they are producing.