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New user guide to TechRepublic

I have searched all over TechRepublic for a new user guide. I'm sure there's one out there but I haven't been able to find it so I decided to write my own. Hopefully, this introduction to the features of TechRepublic can be emailed or linked to an associate who knows nothing about why we spend so much time online here.

I have searched all over TechRepublic for a new user guide. I'm sure there's one out there but I haven't been able to find it so I decided to write my own. Hopefully, this introduction to the features of TechRepublic can be emailed or linked to an associate who knows nothing about why we spend so much time online here.

I write this from an quasi-outsider's point of view. I'm not a TechRepublic employee. I am a contractor, paid to provide content. So yes, it will be a little biased, but I will try to be as objective as possible. Here are my top ten reasons for visiting TechRepublic and why I would encourage any tech professional to participate.

Top 10 reasons to visit TechRepublic

1. The stories - Nowhere else can you get the in-depth and behind the scenes stories on how technology is being used in the real world. These stories are written by tech pros. Most are writing about their first-hand experiences in rolling out new equipment. They share the successes and the failures of using the technology.

2. The forums - I almost rated this first on the list. One of the greatest hidden secrets of TechRepublic is the immediate access you can have to thousands of other tech professionals. Ask a question or start a discussion. Click on Hot Discussions to see where the action is and join right it. The topics and comments go all over.

3. The blogs - The top three are on the top for a reason. They are each excellent. I know how hard it can be to come up with interesting stuff every day. Jason and Toni and Bill do a great job of it. I recommend that the new visitor to TechRepublic read their blogs. Of course, you should also read my blog - Tech of all Trades.

4. The Newsletters - If you didn't sign up to receive the email newsletters when you joined TechRepublic, you should. There is something for everyone - IT News, IT Management, Consulting, Networking, Servers - Windows and Linux, Desktop support, Database, Career Management, Development and several others.

5. The videos - These videos are new and already extremely popular. Jason presents news and happenings of the industry, Bill's IT Dojo presentations are easy to follow techniques for doing tech better, and TR OutLoud has now moved from audio to video. The video features have added so much to the TechRepublic experience.

6. Webcasts - You get the notices in your emails every day if you subscribe to the newsletters. It can be difficult to fit them into your busy day when doing tech support or are up against a project deadline. But did you know that you can view these webcasts on demand? Browse through the content for a wealth of help.

7. White Papers - Doing research for a new tech project and need a better understanding of the issues involved? Check out the white papers. Yes, they are mostly written by vendors - software publishers and hardware manufacturers, but they can be invaluable in getting up to speed on the technology involved.

8. Job board - I'll bet you didn't know TechRepublic sponsored a job board, did you? There are hundreds of new jobs added daily. You can sort by category and by location to find that new job in your neck of the woods. I just looked and found dozens of IT Manager jobs within 25 miles of my hometown. Check it out.

9. Books and training - The store contains books, CDs, policy templates, and a flashdrive containing all kinds of goodies. Check out 500 things every tech professional needs to know. You've probably received catalogs from Global Knowledge in the mail. You can also check their course offerings online in the training section.

10. Downloads and photos - I can't tell you how many 10 things lists I have downloaded and saved to my personal tech library. Click on the Most Popular tab and see if something interesting doesn't jump out at you. Under photos, click on the More Photos link to get the complete list. Wow! What a selection of content.

TechRepublic is easy to use

Now that you're gone through the list, you may be thinking to yourself, "Hey, that's nothing more than a description of what each of the tabs on the TechRepublic site contains. Nobody needs an explanation on how to click on a tab." True, but I'll bet you clicked on some of the items in this list that you didn't know about.

I conclude with this last piece of advice for new subscribers to TechRepublic. I don't think new visitors feel comfortable enough to participate in the forums. I wish more people would take part and add their two cents. We have some great regular readers who never write anything. I invite you to join in and contribute your ideas.

Basic rules for successful forum navigation

All we ask is that you remember a couple of things: 1) Not everybody is at your level. If you are an expert in something, help out the new guy who is trying to get some task done for the boss breathing down his neck. 2) If you are new to technology, please let us know. We won't jump all over you for asking dumb questions.

And finally, please give the writers of the essays some slack. While we are professionals ourselves, we don't know everything. Sometimes we share ongoing dialogs of our experiences in implementing new technology. For example, as the Tech of all Trades, I am a generalist and use outside professionals for serious tech stuff.

Here's to TechRepublic - coming up on ten years of providing great tech content for the tech professional.

81 comments
Ocie3
Ocie3

I thought that it was the [i]guide[/i] that was new!!

john.a.wills
john.a.wills

I can't find them. Under which tab should I look?

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Odd that the "Top 10 reasons" doesn't mention the "Top 10 Lists" ;-)

jowan631
jowan631

I also am very confident that this guide is very useful! After that you already suffer from the responsibility of this beautiful setup congratulate you and successful. .... I have a very long way to freedom...!But In My country (Iran),Freedom cry on the throat to suffocate and kill the Neda(cry) for freedom be killed ... In my country the Iran_land of ancient civilization, human rights Charter of Cyrus the king for the world to figure , now know is a crime of ignorance and superstition and ignorance worship the value is considered... Help me, help me went scathing to the ignorance with knowledge and Know... Know, freedom is the right of all people of the world...

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

If I was a new user, the guide would be an excellent entry point to start searching out all the things that I've found - one way or another - and enjoyed. But... as a new user, I'm not sure I'd go here very often. There are so many links that just don't go where they're supposed to, good information available in a video (which I can't download and save as a document, pdf, etc) or... today, for example, a 'sweepstakes' where the entry button is ovelayed by an add for your products. Must be a cheap way to run a sweepstakes when all entries are blocked. In short, for all the good information and features, this is one site where I'm less forgiving when things don't work.

bernie.winn
bernie.winn

Hey Tim. It was great to read all about TechRepublic as this site was recommended by friend who is heaps IT literate and I'm so not. I now have an idea of what it is all about. I thought I had subscribed to newsletter but have not received any. Also put through a help question about using all of Office 2007 except Word and continuing to use 2003 Word and whether that is viable but not even sure where to find out if anyone responded. Thanks again for giving me a heads up on what it's all about. Have a great day. Bernie

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

thanks to Nick, Palmetto, JD and others for pulling together some of the other helpful links on TR. This post and discussion could become the go-to spot for new users.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

on an 11 year old site. That's less than 20% of the age of TR! Seriously, it might be time to revisit this after the upcoming site retcon.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Unless you're looking for a job with CNet? If that's the case, go to the bottom and look for the 'Jobs' link (white text, blue background).

Michael Jay
Michael Jay

Welcome to TR Jowan, and welcome to freedom to post.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I don't have that problem with either Firefox or IE. In fact, there are no ads on that page at all unless you aren't logged in, and in that case you get a "log in or register" prompt.

jdclyde
jdclyde

When a user creates a new account, have this link show up for them? Just a thought.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Is there a way to put it at the top of the Discussions and Questions pages and make it stick?

GSG
GSG

1) Do not ask for hacks of any kind or you will be flamed and ridiculed. You have been warned! 2) Do not say anything bad about TiggerTwo, as she is one of the nicest people in the forums. 3) Do not make MaeCuff mad. She has a Shovel. 4) JD likes girls 5) Do not ask questions in the discussions or post discussions in the questions. 6) If you are a student, do not ask a question, and expect anyone here to do your homework. It's obvious when you do that, and if you use the answers, you're likely to get an "F". 7) Swag is fun. Everyone needs more TR swag. 8) If you get mad, and say that's it, and you are quitting TR, then you will be taken at your word and your account disabled. 9) Don't be a TROLL. You will be ridiculed, and Mae may just whip out her shovel. 10) NO SHOUTING!

semphys
semphys

Some points raised about double posts, timeouts, this Forum has fallen to giddy and maybe stupid format of "latest trend (5 years ago) for discussion. The Standard post one post after another, line by line, page by page, without the constant refresh to get to the next reply really is not at all trendy, and slows the place down. Just my opinion, I'm not that trendy, but I like to be able to speed through posts, not constantly refresh and old post, silly, what me ?

tech
tech

I guess that's as new as I can get at it. The information you wrote was interesting and informative to me. Thank you.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

as a newbie, I brought a few years old threads to life. A fresh batch of newbies is currently doing the same.

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

IE 6.0.2800.1106CO according to the Help About screen, running under W/2K. All auto patches have been applied as of last patch Tuesday. and I've tried FireFox as well. The bottom half (I assume it's half, or third or two thirds for all I know)) is overlayed by a big blue blob showing three "Premium Downloads". And, of course, that covers whatever entry button might be there... And, of course, I've logged in.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

I've programmed this post to be the permanent #2 carousel spots on the Home door and the Forums door. Hopefully that will give it some "stick" factor.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

At the bottom right of each forum post, under the Previous | Next links, is a link titled "Print/View All posts." Click on that and all posts in the thread will display in thread sequence. There's even a reply button. Now all you have to do is scroll the mouse or press page down.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Feelings and opinions commonly change over time, I like to see old threads dug up and have done it myself before too. Why not, somebody obviously searched the net and found a topic they were seeking, old or new its usually worth a rekindle. Now where did that evolution thread disappear to?

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

and I have done so unawares in several cases, and awares in a few others.

jdclyde
jdclyde

and admit to joining in a post or two before catching it myself. In MY defense, I only looked at the post I was replying to.... :D

$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$

I forgot something: Do any of the guides posted so far say anything about the well-known double-post? If you press "Submit Post" then encounter an error message, do not press "Submit Post" again until you have viewed the discussion, refreshed the page, and verified that your post has REALLY not been received and posted by TR's crappy servers. Or, we might suggest a course of action that would exacerbate the symptoms in order to encourage the management to finally fix the problem. Yes, I think that is a better idea.

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

It probably won't come as a great surprise to anyone in this group, but when I installed Microsoft's latest patch release - including a cumulative update for IE6 - the screen diaplays as it should. Problem symptoms are gone. Go figure....

tcavadias
tcavadias

..since the last tweak they tried didn't work for you - they are checking out other things. But it is a strange issue as no one has been able to duplicate what you are seeing. -Tammy :-)

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

There's really no big hurry, other than curiosity on my part since everything else I'm access seems to work fine and I can get to the screen in question using FF. I have done some experimenting here, changing IE config items and such, but nothing I've tried made a difference. Interestingly, I installed a Java update (6.0.11) - which didn't fix anything in IE (and in fact, crashed my brokers Java app displaying streaming quotes) but FF had no problem once again. Guess I should just stick with FF, but... there are some things in IE that I like better, mostly having to do with printing.

tcavadias
tcavadias

Hopefully we can get an answer for you shortly. The screenshots help greatly so we can see what you are - I tried myself using IE 6/XP but was unable to see what you are. I'll keep you updated. -Tammy :-)

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

Thanks for all the advice so far. I'll pass on Spybot for now since the first (and last) time I tried it TurboTax went away. I am running McAfee and ran mbam last week so I don't think it's an infection. The screen snaps are on the way. And yes, I am occularly disadvantaged, but haven't had any trouble with any other sites so it's gotta be something in the way that screen and IE don't play well together.

OldER Mycroft
OldER Mycroft

If I was running at anything above 1024x768, I'd have the magnification factor turned up within the browser window. That wouldn't be your problem, would it? ;)

tcavadias
tcavadias

As that section is not made to float - so it shouldn't be overlaying anything. Can you take a screenshot of what you are seeing - and email me that along with your OS/browser You can permail it to me at tammy DOT cavadias AT cbs DOT com -Tammy :-)

Datacommguy
Datacommguy

OK, in answer to the questions/suggestions, my resolution is 1280x1024, and I do have AdAware 2008 which I updated and ran two days ago with nothing more than some tracking cookies shown. And to compound the mystery, FF worked like a charm today - although IE6 is still giving me the overlayed screen... Wierd....

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

I just opened the above blog page, which I assume is what you'rer tslking about, using IE6 without being logged in and I didn't have any problems. Maybe it's time you cleaned out your system with Adaware 2008 and Spybot Search and Destroy, or choose you own poison. For whatever reason I can't reproduce your problem on my fully patched XP Pro SP3 system.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

If you're running at less than 1024x768, try upping your resolution.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

It almost sounds as if it's an OS issue. I'm using FF 3.0.4 and IE 7.0.5730.13 on WinXP SP3. I have my problems with the TR website, but that's not one of them.

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Thanks, Palmie. What a very sweet thing to say. :-)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You're functional AND ornamental, everything one wants in a cyberbabe.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

the links are all dead though, it's just a shell of the discussion. phew, that was close!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It lives only in myth and legend, a tale of a discussion gone wild, one old-timers tell to newbies to chill their blood. In this post neilb claims to have it all in a WordImperfect file: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html;jsessionid=TQIto3hwr1c1tQ1MWr?forumID=8&threadID=199753&messageID=2083268 I was hoping Google had it cached, but a search for "Evolution Lie" specifying site "techrepublic.com.com" turned up 14 pages of results, none of them the original discussion. I didn't think it was possible to remove something from the Internet so that it left no trace; maybe someone with better search skill can take a crack at it. Edited - spoke too soon. Found a link maxwell posted to a partial copy: http://web.archive.org/web/20050309214528re_/techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=8&threadID=165453&start=0 I'm sure the rest of it is on this same site, but I didn't bother to learn how to dig it out. I leave that as an exercise for the truly motivated.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Right before I had Jay 'let go' from TR for deleting our favorite threads. http://techrepublic.com.com/error He made a post about which topic to delete, and The Evolution Lie topped the list.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Did it have something to do with a "Lie"? I'm sorry but we have no memory of that. We are unaware of its current location. We will be unable to present it as evidence before the jury.

CaptBilly1Eye
CaptBilly1Eye

.... OZ is waking the dead! [b]ZOMBIE ALERT ![/b]

gadgetgirl
gadgetgirl

I still say that's what sent my last laptop to the big laptop disposal unit in the sky! I'm beggin' ya! DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!! :p :d GG

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

Nah. Just so happens you've replied to stuff I'm interested in too. Jellimonsta posted a discussion a few days ago about zombie threads and how there've been a lot of them lately. I don't remember what I said but, having thought about it, I don't mind the zombies much either. Who knows how they find them? It could be the 'also read' lists at the bottom of a current discussion. I've made up my mind, if it interests me I'm going to reply.

jdclyde
jdclyde

got a friend that does that, but never got around to doing it myself. Might have to pick some up after work and try it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jckly-BKiiE an example that will amuse all. :D Anyone got ideas for excessive ear wax as a side result of the infection?

jdclyde
jdclyde

after all, I am sweet enough already! :p More onto the spicy or zesty foods. I end up adding a few hot sauces to get the combination of heat and flavor because I haven't ever found one that has it all.

jdclyde
jdclyde

after all, I am sweet enough already! :p More onto the spicy or zesty foods. I end up adding a few hot sauces to get the combination of heat and flavor because I haven't ever found one that has it all.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I think Dave's Insanity is one of the most overrated products on the shelf. If all a hot sauce has to offer is heat, I don't bother with it. I'm looking for some flavor in addition to the heat. Sure, peppers should be the primary ingredient, but put in some other veggies (carrots, onions, horseradish), fruits (mango, citrus), or sweeteners (molasses, honey) and get something going on other than just capsaicin. Residents of the southeastern US should look for sauces from Palmetto Pepper Potions. Retail locations listed at http://www.pepperpotions.com\ Good stuff.

jck
jck

yeah...that is pretty good stuff, jd. had it before. there's a sandwich chain called firehouse subs. the one in pinellas park, fl keeps a cabinet of hot sauces in the corner of the dining area for customers to use on their sandwiches. the last one i put on a sub there was some 300,000 scoville units. two drops on a footlong sub, and i was sweating for 30 minutes lol if i come to chili night ever, i'll bring you some "da bomb" that i have. that stuff will be good...3 drops in a whole pot of chili will do ya ;) lol

jdclyde
jdclyde

http://www.chilliworld.com/FactFile/Scoville_Scale.asp I put two [b]DROPS[/b] in a big pan of chili and it is HOT enough to make you sweat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave's_Gourmet the first sauces to be made directly from capsaicin extract, allowing it to be hotter than the hottest habanero-pepper sauces of the day. It was the only hot sauce ever banned from the National Fiery Foods Show for being too hot. It has been rated at 180,000 Scoville units, compared with 2,500-5,000 for Tabasco sauce, which, before the 1990s, was the hottest sauce known to the average consumer. The introduction of sauces made from capsaicin extract started an arms race. Dave's Gourmet has since introduced sauces with increasingly greater concentrations of capsaicin under names such as Dave's Commemorative Insanity, Dave's Total Insanity, and Dave's Ultimate Insanity, which has been reported variously as from 90,000 to 250,000 on the Scoville scale and comes with a caveat Use this product one drop at a time." Keep away from eyes, children and pets. Not for people with heart or respiratory problems. Also offered is Dave's Private Reserve which comes in a coffin-shaped package and has been reported variously as from 500,000 to 750,000 Scoville units.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

takes on new meaning. Eewwww....

neilb
neilb

Slu-u-u-u-rp. Splot... Job done!

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

a good whiff of fresh horseradish will clear 'em up, too. Wow!

neilb
neilb

in boiling water. Head over the bowl, towel over the head and inhale the vapours. Watch out, might be hot! I found this: "Scientists in Sweden believe they have found a cure for sinusitis: humming. Sinusitis is an inflammation caused by a build-up of bacteria feeding on stale air trapped in a blocked nose. Humming refreshes the air, helping kill off the bacteria, and appears to unblock the openings between the sinus and nose. According to Dr Jon Lundberg, if you have blocked sinuses and you hum, you have higher oxygen levels and higher ventilation levels all the time. He said that if you could hum your way through the day, you wouldn?t get sinusitis." Can't hurt! :D

jck
jck

i'm invited to chili night, am I? lol i'd bring some stuff for your chili that'd take it up about 5 notches...hehe. (it's even too hot for me to eat in a whole can of beans lol

jdclyde
jdclyde

take a bite of my chili straight out of the fridge and you break out in a sweat. :D sounds like what the doc would order if I were to actually talk to one. My doc is out of town for the rest of the week. :(

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Spicy hot liquids helps me a lot. Chinese hot and sour soup, or tomato soup with a large shot of Tabasco or a big spoonful of hot salsa. It helps loosen 'stuff' up in your head.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

take care of that, those can get ooooogly.

jdclyde
jdclyde

some music I need to listen to a few times before I really make a decision of how it stands with me. The first few times, I like it to be just background noise. Then I will actually sit down and check it out. That, and dealing with a sinus infection, so can't hear out of my right ear at all right now... :( gotta call the doc tomorrow. After I am back in action, will let you know. B-)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

but did you listen to it? :D edit: popped the whole 'Circle of Nomads' album out there. Different, but good.

jdclyde
jdclyde

and went directly to your site and was seeing what ya had to offer. Had seen that you had "uploaded 22 songs". B-)

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Am grading quizzes and I prefer quiet for things like that. Did you listen to the Farshid Etniko that I posted?

jdclyde
jdclyde

the radio program "The Saint" that I posted? B-)

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

I just ran some scans and nothing really came up. It appears they are running Apache though, and I'd be willing to bet they aren't running it on Windows boxes. Grant it, my Nmap skills aren't what they should be, but interesting nonetheless.

jdclyde
jdclyde

but they have always been very tight lipped about the tech gone wrong in the running of this tech site.

rkuhn040172
rkuhn040172

All problems can be traced back to Microsoft? :) I can think of a lot of major size wise operations that operate on Windows software without issues. Before you wildly speculate on the cause of a problem, why don't you collect some facts first? It would be interesting to hear the TR staff's take on this issue.

jdclyde
jdclyde

when you run major operations like TR on windoze servers that just can't scale for the job. B-) It also seems to go in streaks, where it doesn't happen for a few months and then it is everywhere. Major issues all last week. :(

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

We were then warned not to do it again. Double posts usually happen when server timeouts at TR return a 404 page after you submit your post; you hit the Back button and resubmit. The post itself is USUALLY accepted properly, the error occurs in the response from TR. I've even gotten a "post not accepted because it duplicates your last post error. This thread is about double posts: http://tinyurl.com/y6d2xa