Originating Email Address Fraud

Originating Email Address Fraud

Today I got an email in my inbox that appeared to have originated from my Hotmail.com account. Obviously I did not send it to myself.  It's really disturbing that Microsoft's security allows someone to use my email to spam others when there are basic methods I’m using on my clients’ email servers to prevent this. My natural response was to find out where the email originated, so I looked at the properties which displayed the following.

Authentication-Results: hotmail.com; spf=pass (sender IP is; identity alignment result is fail and alignment mode is relaxed) smtp.mailfrom=Return@wyattian.brighterlaugh.com; dkim=none (identity alignment result is pass and alignment mode is relaxed) header.d=hotmail.com; x-hmca=none header.id=

The sender’s IP Address at the time of this fraud is “” which is being used by parrotdiseperch.com. I certainly do not recommend that anyone buy anything from these spamming frauds. So please be aware that any email coming from my hotmail email account recommending them is based solely on their illegal activity. This also goes for brighterlaugh.com and any domain that’s related to them; as you can see that the email came directly from their email server.
This demonstrates proof that you should always confirm any email with the trusted source before risking your hard earned cash. If an email appears to be out of place and not in line with what the sender would normally do, chances are it normally is.


Certification vs. College or Both

This is the question I get from most potential student aged 18-24. Of course the answer they expect is for me to promote the technical certification course I teach be telling them how easy it will be to get a job after they become certified. After all most colleges tell them that they have a placement department that will get them a job. Is either of these true?  The short simple answer is that certification will increase their chances of getting a job and a college placement department will assist them in their job search.
In your decision to go to back to school the first thing you have to do is get rid of the promotional myths. Do college graduates make more money? Bill Gates entered Harvard in the fall of 1973, only to drop out two years later to start Microsoft. Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College after just six months. He would eventually setup Apple Computer and is famous for McIntosh, IPad etc. I’ll stop here as this post is not about them and I’m sure college recruiters will quickly suggest that they are the exception, and I hope they are because of the college loan that some people take years to pay off and some never earn enough to pay it off. My point is if you are going to college just because you think it’s something normal people do as a rite of passage, you are dealing with a myth and you should snap out of it. For the same reason if you are taking certification exam because the credential will get you a job and more money you should also snap out of it. This is 2015 and you will need a skill, and you will be required to demonstrate that skill if you want to get a job. You’ll also need to use it if you want to keep that job. This means you need to avoid the third myth, where your professor tells you that the course just exposes you to the subject and you’ll learn on the job. If you’ll learn on the job why are you in school? This brings up a very interest all-purpose position called internship.
An internship is job training for professional careers where students exchange their services for experience. In other word the company gets your help for free in exchange for teaching you.  If you have already paid to be taught at a school, does it really make sense working for free to learn the job? Maybe you need to work for free to prove you can do the job. Really! Exams are supposed to demonstrate you can do the job! On every job you get you will also have 90 days to demonstrate you can perform the job or face being asked to leave by the company. The bottom line is if you were taught properly and you acquired a valued skill, you are basically providing a gift to companies when you choose to work for free. A lot of people generally don’t pay for what they can get for free, so as a result entry level jobs for college and high school students have become much harder to get. Since companies know 18 to 24 year-olds are offering their services for free, they are placing wanted ads for interns (free labor). At the end of their internship they place and add for another internship and never have to pay a salary to any of these young adults. As a result the unemployment for these youngsters will always be high. Paying people who are willing to work for free is simply not something that companies normally do. How often do you offer money for anything that’s given out for free?
Now that we have a better understanding of what’s happening, you are ready to decide whether you need Certification, College or Both. Start by asking yourself. What’s my goal? Why am I going back to school? If you answer is that you want to broaden your horizon and expose yourself to new ideas, try Google, the History Channel  and other similar entertainment that’s much cheaper and will not leave you with a student loan you can’t pay off. In this century there should only be one answer to that question, especially with the cost of going to school. Of course there are free schools, with free courses that all convince you to work for, yes you guessed it, FREE! They are sponsored by the companies that take advantage of your free labor. So why should you go back to school?
You need to go back to school to obtain a marketable skill that companies are willing to pay you enough money that you can make a living from it. If certification courses can provide that then that’s what you should choose, if a college course provides that, then that’s what you should choose. Most importantly you need to ensure that you learn the course. You need to ensure that you acquire the skill the company needs. Getting a piece of paper that says you’re certified or you have a degree does not help companies; you need the skill to get the work done. It’s the skill that will help you pass the interview and keep the job during the probationary period. That’s what you should pay for when you decided to go back to school and that’s what you need to make sure you attain.

Remote Desktop


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Remote Desktop/Terminal Services or The Cloud

I can't hand over copyright and patented content to the Cloud, but software for my mobile users require expensive laptops.  Can I still use Microsoft?

You can set up your own private Cloud on Linux, but if all your servers and system engineers are Microsoft-based there is no need to change operating systems. Microsoft has always had Terminal Services that allow client machine with very little processing power to log into a server and run application using the processing power of the server. Although Microsoft has only been promoting the Cloud for their Microsoft 2008/2012 Servers, they did not remove the technology that allows these Servers to do the heavy processing for these less powerful client machines that are referred to as thin clients.  This means that you can set up your Microsoft Server as an Application Server and have your mobile users log into it and do their work. Your copyright, patent, client lists, employees work, and everything else can remain on the server so even if one of your mobile users lose their laptop your company information will still be safe. Naturally you will be using the SSL protocol to secure the communication between the server and your employee’s laptop, iPad, iPhone or whatever else they are using. Just make sure your Application Server has sufficient memory, CPUs, hard drive space, (note that RAID is recommended) to handle your mobile client needs.
Under its new name which is now called Remote Desktop, client machines can run applications on Microsoft 2008/2012 Servers, so the big question now is, "Will this become a legacy application if the majority of small to medium size businesses are willing to give up their client information and their privacy? Should we expect Microsoft to keep this feature even if their Cloud System is successful?  I believe that Microsoft will keep this feature.  If they don't then company owners with enough common sense that do not want the competition to know their client lists, trade secret, copyright contents and other information that would reduce or eliminate their profitability would immediately start switching to Linux. We've already seen how the inconvenience of requiring Internet connection to authorize Windows operating system has encouraged the iPhone and iPad purchases and have motherboard companies such as Asus being shipped with their own mini operating systems. I suspect that Microsoft new CEO recognize by now that although they are a monopoly, if they fail to provide what the consumer wants someone else will, so Remote Desktop is likely to continue. Click the picture below to see how to configure the Window 7 client to access the company server.



Choosing the Best School and Courses for an IT Administrator

Choosing the Best School & Courses for an IT Administrator

What are the best courses for entry-level IT administration? Schools want students to take everything to be well-rounded, but is that what a company needs. Degree programs seem to be built on exposing students to different ideas and in this case different technologies. They make their income based on credit hours, which means the more subjects you take the more money they make. Small computer schools operate in a similar manner in that the more certificate they convince you to take the more money they will make. Of course this is nothing new because by now most people have recognized that a school is a business first and an educator second, because if they go out of business they will not be able to educate anyone. As a result it's up to you, the potential student, to do your homework on the school you want to attend and the course you want to take before choosing a school.
First you'll need to look at the credibility of each school and their degree program, as well as the credibility of the degree or certification you are seeking. For this you'll need to know what companies respect, and if they will be willing to pay for your service if you attain it. As far as the colleges are concerned the answer is fairly simple and straightforward. If employers are flooding the campus and interviewing the graduates because they know the students have received the training to do the job that is needed, then this is the college you should attend. If the graduates are being offered internships, it probably means the employer does not have enough confidence in the training that was provided to offer the graduate a real job. Unfortunately a lot of colleges have a problem, because exposing students to a little bit of this and a little bit of that have very little use to most companies. As a result degrees are not as respected as they used to be before Information Technology became essential.
Professional and technical schools are expected to double down and teach exactly what companies want; so are they the answer? Professional schools are your best choice to learn exactly what companies are looking for without the added distractions of unnecessary exposure to topics you are not interested in, allowing you to focus on starting your career immediately. Unfortunately finding the right school will be a challenge. The reputation of the school and whether they are simply introducing students to a little bit of this and a little bit of that is still a big obstacle.

How do I find the right professional school if all the people I know were not satisfied with their school? You can start with the process of elimination. First look at the information the course covers and the total questions you are going to be asked. If you look at a textbook like the A+ certification textbook that has about 700 pages, and you know that you are going to be asked a total of 200 questions on the certification tests, you can ask yourself, "How long will it take me to learn this?" If a school promise to teach it to you in one month in the evenings after work or on the weekends, you'll have to figure out for yourself if that's realistic. If the school offers to combine two certification courses such as the A+ certification and the Network+ certification in one course, you have to ask yourself again "Are these two courses similar, will the instructor be teaching twice as fast, or will I learn half of each? " It may sound like a good idea to get two courses for the price of one, but can you handle the pace. Are they omitting lessons you'll need to know for a job or to pass both certifications. Once again to avoid being taught a little bit of this and a little bit of that, simply walk into a store and look at the size of each book. You can even compare the contents in each book if you have the knowledge to do so.
Being a business it’s natural that they would want people to take as many certifications and exams as possible, but this should not be confused with the quality of each course. Unfortunately for the schools that are focused on test taking and not the skills required for the job, some employers are now automatically dismissing resumes coming from students who attend some of these schools regardless of whether they are certified or not.

What don’t I recommend for the IT administrator?
CCNA is a required starting point if you want to become a CCIE, but this entry-level Cisco exam is useless by itself because although you'll learn a few Cisco basics and commands, you will not be able to fully configure and secure a high end Cisco router. The one or two commands required by a Cablevision or Time Warner entry level field service technician is taught on the job in less than a day.
Network Plus also does not secure any network since it does not cover any operating system adequately. Even Time Warner pay people who pass the A+ more money but refuse to pay anyone who passes the Network + any more money, despite repeated requests by their union.  The bottom line is that suggesting to a potential employer that you know a little bit of this and a little bit of that is not something they can use. That’s why they ask for experience. It’s also why college degrees are losing their effectiveness. Companies need skills that they can use. Feel free to evaluate the other courses using the same method to decide what courses are best for the job you are looking for.

What do I recommend for the IT administrator?
A + allows you to fix computer hardware and recognize all the components needed to network them. Nothing else is required. You can unequivocally state that you can assemble and repair computer hardware etc.
Windows 7 Certification allows student to install, migrate, secure and troubleshoot Windows 7, etc. Nothing else is required.
Active Directory is used to administer a Microsoft network. Period!
The bottom line is that a student who has been taught these courses properly can tell a potential employer what they will be able to do for the company without any extra training.

In summary all schools are businesses otherwise they will not be able to teaching anyone for long. If you want cheap, free, test preparation only, or super-fast accelerated courses, the value you get from the course will be exactly what you pay for. College degrees are based on the school's reputation and the usefulness of that particular degree. In choosing a professional school you need to do your homework to ensure that the time they state that they will cover the course is realistic, and you should choose a course or a set of courses that focus on this skill you need to acquire to get the job you want.

Windows 8

Windows 8.1 is Okay

Windows 8.1 Start Screen

I believe once people get past the learning curve and start working with Windows 8.1 they will like it so if you are switching to Windows 8.1 just give yourself enough time to learn the new interface. Unfortunately when Windows 8.0 came out even the most die hard "I want all new gadget first" fans were disappointed and frustrated at the sudden unexpected learning curve. Apparently Microsoft staff forgot to beta  test it on the local communities that each version would be sold in. I could tell that things were bad when people started returning brand-new computers to the store and demanding that either they put Windows 7 on the computer or take it back. Hopefully they'll sample the local versions of Windows 9 in their local community before that is released.  
Windows 8.1 quickly followed, and it is much better than their initial release.  Compared to previous versions of Windows, the start menu is still different and lacking, but at least there is one there.  The start menu shortcuts for the applications are different but users will quickly find it and get used to it. The Desktop Shortcut requires uninstalling most of the spam and creating your own desktop shortcut manually but it should be okay. Of course do not try to uninstall the Spy Drive (whoops I mean the Sky Drive), it simply won't uninstall easily, apparently there is a strong need by Microsoft to have you save your personal data on their Cloud. It makes it so much easier for them to know everything about you. Most Windows 7 desktop users who simply jumped into upgrading to Windows 8 will only benefit from an early learning curve.  The question now becomes, will people use Windows 8 on their portable devices and what does business get out of it?
Since Microsoft discourage their Microsoft Certified Trainers by charging them a fee plus having them jump through hoops to remain certified as MCTs, Microsoft has failed to educate the American public on the benefits of their new products. A lot of personnel department have no idea what an MCITP is supposed to be able to do and so Microsoft is going back to the MCSE although it will no longer stand for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer; but will that help them  to educate American businesses on what's new about their Operating System and other software products? For the answer,  you simply need to ask the question, will the average business rely on spam emails or telemarketer from probably another country to educate them on what direction their business should go, and what software licenses they should lock themselves into? Is this why Microsoft has stopped growing at the rate it once was, and why Google and Apple despite their mistakes have held off Microsoft in certain areas? If businesses are moving away from depending on their own staff that rely on them and moving towards third-party strangers on the Cloud to handle their technical needs then this should just be a temporary setback for Microsoft.

Some people prefer the Windows 7 desktop
To customize windows 8.1 how you want it right-click the taskbar and choose what you prefer.

Windows 8 Looking Like 7

The Cloud

The Cloud

Goodbye Privacy?
Public Cloud Applications – so we are being encouraged to save our data on the cloud and use cloud software, now the question becomes how will it affect us. If Google uses Gmail to determine what to sell to us and Microsoft uses Hotmail to determine what to sell to us, is knowing everything else about us a good thing? When a business hosts their business on the cloud and expose their client lists, sales strategy, and pricing, are they comfortable with the fact that these larger companies hosting their software will not use the information to invest in a competing venture or simply sell the information to whoever is willing to buy it.  
Let's look at what the Cloud is, as well as the benefits and risks.
Public Cloud Applications, also known as Software As a Service (SAAS) allows you to use software run by third parties through a browser instead of buying and installing those software on your local computer. Instead of paying a lot of money up front for the software a small business can simply pay a monthly subscription to use the software and cancel the subscription when they do not need to use it anymore. There will be little need for an on-premise IT department since it is normally difficult to integrate cloud applications with on-premises applications.
These applications are normally Multitenant applications which are shared by multiple users. Since multiple users are using the same application users will not be able to customize the application on an individual basis. Multitenant applications which benefits from having multiple users using one application allows cloud companies to manage, maintain, backup and upgrade each application more easily. Software vendors are also able to sell directly to business owners without going through the technical department because it will not conflict with current applications and operating systems such as Linux, Apple Mac or Windows since you only need a browser to access the cloud.
The big, obvious advantage to the customer is that they will not have to spend a lot of money on a software they might not use, and do not have to worry about whether it's going to work as intended or not. If it doesn't work as intended the customer can cancel their subscription immediately.
Now the question becomes does cheap, easy and simple makes not having access to your data when you're having a problem with your network worth it? After you and your family or your staff if you're a company are trained to use customized software from a third-party, do you just keep paying more when the cost of subscription continues to go up. Most of all is privacy out of style. Do we really think a third-party offering services for free or just above free will not look at our data?
Some people might feel comfortable in knowing that if they save MP3s, movies or anything that may be questionionable or possibly illegal on their cloud drive, a third party will be able to delete it for you without you having to requested it, which we're already seeing with YouTube video.  Law enforcement also will not have to serve you a subpoena in order to view what you have on your Cloud drive. Your third party service will show it to them for you without the need for your intervention. So is privacy pre-21st-century?