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Thread: Becoming a Computer Tech II

  1. #76
    Download a program called PeerBlock. It keeps a list of known-bad websites and it will prevent your computer even from contacting suspicious websites. I've been using it for a few years now, and, coupled with Microsoft Security Essentials running in the background, haven't had a virus in a really, really long time. Also, firewall is a must, and the firewall that comes bundled with Win7 does the job pretty well. Having Spybot S&D at hand is even better.

    I know it's a hassle dealing with all those programs, but rescuing data from an infected/malfunctioning computer is much more of a hassle. Think about it.

  2. #77
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    Just registered for CIT 181 Principles of Information Security at my school.

    Its about:

    PREREQUISITES: CIT115...This course provides students necessary background in the technical realities and legal and theoretical principles of computer and information security to help them identify and evaluate computer security crimes and incidents. Topics include information security components and models, legal and ethical issues in information security and privacy, basics of computer networks and data communication, common computer and network system threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities, as well as information security risk and damage analysis and assessment.
    Here's some info about what I'll be learning, basically.

    Basic Info about Information Security Threats

    So I think this class I'm taking now might be an asset to my future tech job.
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  3. #78
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    So far, we finally got the insulation in the upstairs dormers (or did I say this already)? Anyway, after getting the dormers just about done organized, I got around to practicing one of the hands-on exercises from one of my networking textbooks from school, this exercise was to create Ethernet cables from a coil of cabling (I now have both Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling in my tech workshop/office).

    Today I made my first Ethernet cable, Cat 5e, with the new RJ-45 terminators and the new crimping tool that we bought over this past summer.

    Here are the photos of my hands-on project:







    What do you think of my first cabling project?

    Comments are welcome - thanks in advance.
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  4. #79
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    Looks good from what I can see. Did you test it to make sure it works? Always test any cable you make.
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  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    Looks good from what I can see. Did you test it to make sure it works? Always test any cable you make.
    Yes, I understood this even before I did this exercise, but at the moment I don't have a cable tester. That's why I asked my folks for a Cable Performance Tester for Xmas this year.

    Will let you guys know for sure if this cable works or not (after receiving Cable Tester) - then we'll go from there?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 11-08-2012 at 08:17 PM.
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  6. #81
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    Reported Leslie508 as a probable spammer...

    It's hard to tell exactly from the pictures, but it looks like they are wrong. Not only that it looks like you don't have them the same on each end.

    They should both be the same on each end for a standard cable. Like this....



    That is the B pinout. That's what I normally use for whatever reason. But there is the A pinout as well, which just swaps out the green and orange pairs if I recall correctly.

    You should get a cable tester, but lacking that you can test it by simply trying to use it on a computer. If you don't get network connectivity then it is bad, if your network works good then the cable should be good.
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  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post

    That is the B pinout. That's what I normally use for whatever reason. But there is the A pinout as well, which just swaps out the green and orange pairs if I recall correctly.
    Yes, I'm aware that there's an A pinout - isn't that the cross-over cable?


    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    You should get a cable tester, but lacking that you can test it by simply trying to use it on a computer. If you don't get network connectivity then it is bad, if your network works good then the cable should be good.
    I'd rather wait until I get a cable tester. It can wait, really.

    But if the cable test fails after I get this tester, is there any way I can fix it so as to get the correct pinouts (either A or B)?
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  8. #83
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    But if the cable test fails after I get this tester, is there any way I can fix it so as to get the correct pinouts (either A or B)?
    Cut off the ends and do it again.

    Yes, I'm aware that there's an A pinout - isn't that the cross-over cable?
    No, A is just an alternative pinout for a regular cable. Crossover is entirely different. Read through your networking documentation.
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  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    Cut off the ends and do it again.
    I'm aware of this, but what I was really concerned about was, what about these terminators that I've used for this cable if the cable test fails (b/c of incorrect pinout) - won't these terminators go to waste?
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  10. #85
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    Alien,

    The RJ45 connectors are dirt-cheap anyway, so just toss them and start over again as jlreich suggested.

    This video might be worth watching to help you make your first cables.
    "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" ~ Ben Franklin

  11. #86
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    Once they are crimped they are done. Use new ones. As Loch said they are cheap.
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  12. #87
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    <update>

    How's this for me gaining tech experience, guys?

    First instance:

    Just wanted to tell you guys how I troubleshooted my Dell Dimension 8200's speakers:

    Problem: Testing my Driver's Ed '99 application - no sound.

    --1 checked the sound volume (software) to see if sound was muted;
    --2 powered off PC, disconnected PC's and Memorex Power console's power cables from wall socket, disconnected CRT video cable from rump of PC, after ensuring speaker cables were connected into appropriate colored ports in rump of PC (they were);
    --3 disconnected CRT power cable, moved CRT onto adjacent table, ensured that power console has auxiliary power sockets (it did);
    --noticed that the speaker PSU was plugged into the power strip (this is not the power console that the CRT was resting on during computer use) that was attached to the side of the desk cabinet;
    --4 disconnected the speaker PSU from power strip and plugged it into the auxiliary socket on the power console;
    --5 replaced the CRT on top of the power console, re-connected all cables;
    --6 powered PC on, started the application (Driver's Ed '99), sound from speakers extremely loud, so turned vulume down, ensured that the speakers were working fine.

    In the past I'd have to rely on someone else to do this for me, had to wait long periods of time for him to come and do this, he was way too-too-too busy and even if he did come over, he usually didn't have time to do this, so I'd get frustrated, etc.

    But today, I saved myself a lot of anger and frustration by learning how to be a tech/learning how to troubleshoot.


    Second instance:

    Another time recently (b/c I'm currently on disability payments) I have a pre-paid SafeLink Tracfone cell phone that was given to me by the govt, and I get free monthly minutes, well, for Oct. I had around 1700 minutes, and this month b/c I forgot to leave my cell phone on at the beginning of Nov., I never received my Nov. minutes, so Mom came to me and she tried pressing buttons on my cell phone, we had the instructions down in front of us, and Mom kept going in circles trying unsuccessfully to get me my minutes, so she gave me the phone and I followed the instructions, and when I was finished, I had over 1800 minutes.

    Thus, having received 1800 minutes tells me that I was successful in solving this cell phone minute-receiving problem.

    This SafeLink Tracfone issue about the minutes experience could come in handy after my recovery from my disabilities have fully manifested and I get someone that uses a Safelink Tracfone that hasn't received their monthly minutes and I get called to help them, I believe.

    What do you guys think of this?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 11-12-2012 at 06:40 PM.
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  13. #88
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    <update on tech schooling>

    Since I had to drop both of my classes for the Fall 2012 semester (or did I say this already?) as I had too much going on in my life that was unrelated to school, I'm retaking my Principles of Information Security class starting this coming Jan. 2013.
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  14. #89
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    Classes started this week.
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  15. #90
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    Woo! Is this thread still going? How are the classes?

    As far as gaining tech experience, yes, those two instances count. Tech support in its pure form is the process of understanding what could be wrong and then systematically applying the most logical fixes to achieve a highly efficient solution. Fix it fast, fix it smart. Also, try to keep emotion out of it as long as possible. Becoming angry and frustrated at inanimate objects rarely yields fruit. It is a lot of fun to smash a broken mobo with a sledge hammer, though...

  16. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by saphalline View Post
    It is a lot of fun to smash a broken mobo with a sledge hammer, though...
    My favorite is the guy that hooked old motherboards up to arc welders.
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  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by saphalline View Post
    Woo! Is this thread still going?
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by saphalline View Post
    How are the classes?
    Passed Exam 1 of my Principles of Information Security class (open book test) the other day, getting 20 of the 20 questions correct, so it looks like I got an A on the test.
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  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich
    My favorite is the guy that hooked old motherboards up to arc welders.
    Link! I need link!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by AlienBZ
    Passed Exam 1 of my Principles of Information Security class (open book test) the other day, getting 20 of the 20 questions correct, so it looks like I got an A on the test.
    Good passing!

    I like open-book tests. They are more realistic representations of job situations and tasks, IMHO. No manager ever said to me "fix this server without researching anything or taking a break" because that would be a horrible business decision!

  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by saphalline View Post
    Good passing!

    I like open-book tests. They are more realistic representations of job situations and tasks, IMHO. No manager ever said to me "fix this server without researching anything or taking a break" because that would be a horrible business decision!
    Thank you very much for the encouragement, Saphalline, I really needed it.

    And also thank you so much for the comment about open book tests - I never realized this. You just taught me something pretty cool.

    Regarding my class, I just finished it back on the 5th, and got my finals about a week ago. Made an A, and an A on project # 4 (last class project).

    Teacher comments that
    my comments for all projects (1 - 4) are well stated, demonstrates good understanding/comprehension of the material.

    EDIT - I like open book tests, also. They're swell!
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 05-26-2013 at 11:00 PM.
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  20. #95
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    That is seriously awesome feedback from your prof! Kudos!

    It never ceases to amaze me how utterly inept some IT people are with words, both spoken and written. If you are already well stating things then you have an advantage that I fear some people will never have in IT. That can get you farther than raw knowledge in most companies. People like hiring and working with other people, not walking dictionaries of doom. Demonstrate that you can learn and communicate well with others and you just might grab a job for which you are not technically qualified.

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by saphalline View Post
    Demonstrate that you can learn and communicate well with others and you just might grab a job for which you are not technically qualified.
    Pardon me? I don't quite get it.
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  22. #97
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    He is saying that if you communicate well then it is possible you can get a better job then you are currently qualified for.
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  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    He is saying that if you communicate well then it is possible you can get a better job then you are currently qualified for.
    Thank you very much.
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