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ISO Nexus

By JodyGilbert ·
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Policy to allow IT pros access to sensitive data

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>One of the best things that happens in the discussion
threads is that people discover that someone has invented the particular wheel
they need. Best case, the wheel gets shared among those who need it, and maybe it gets
customized or enhanced--but no reinventing is needed. </p>
<br />
For example: When <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=7&threadID=152642&start=0">a
member asked if anyone had a data access policy</a>, Chris Snell stepped up and
offered to share the one he created. The thread, which wound its way through assorted
suggestions and some skepticism that a policy could ever be effective at
protecting sensitive data, soon became peppered with "Could I get a copy
please" and "I want a copy too." Taking the hint, we worked with
Chris to publish the policy, and over the last three weeks, more
than 5,000 IT pros have downloaded it.


If that sounds like a wheel you could use, <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10878-5841908.html">check it out</a>.<br />
<br />
<br />

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Office 12 prerelease sneaks out ahead of the beta

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

Yikes, November. Good time for an end-of-the-year resolution: more
diligent blogging. Yessiree, I popped the clutch on this blog and I
think I've got it rolling again.
<br />
<p>I'm having one of those spells where you know the universe hates
you, or at least, its machinery does: I have a failing main circuit
breaker, so my power keeps cutting off on this chilly morning. My phone
lines are out, thanks to some careless excavation up the road. (And
yes, I use a dial-up modem because that's the price of living out in
the wilderness.) So I'm battery-driven and offline as I write this,
although if you're reading it, the situation must have improved. I even
have a leaking water supply valve, but so far that doesn't seem to be
affecting my ability to use a computer or connect to the Internet. Give
it time though. </p>
<p>And speaking of leaks (great, great segue): Microsoft's Office team
has apparently sprung a leak of its own. A prerelease version of Office
12 has surfaced, although it's reportedly so shaky that it's probably a
good idea to observe it from a distance rather than compromise your
system by attempting to run it. <a href="http://office-watch.com/office/archtemplate.asp?current" target="_blank"><b>The latest issue of Office Watch</b></a>
reports that the version is available on 'various 'underground' but
commonly used Internet services like warez sites and peer-to-peer
sharing services.' That issue offers an excellent overview of what's
discernable so far from this early release. Check the <a href="http://office-watch.com/office/archives.asp" target="_blank"><b>OW archives</b></a> for a helpful series of articles previewing Office 12 features, too.</p>Other resources of note:

<ul><li> This <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/2300-10877-5873648-1.html" target="_blank"> photo gallery</a> offers a look at Office 12 features.</li>

<li><a>The article </a><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/2100-10877-5873597.html" target="_blank">Office 12 makeover takes on 'feature creep'</a>
discusses what to expect from Office 12 (is it just me, or does the
idea of fighting feature creep with more feature creep sound a little
like homeopathy?)</li>
<li><a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-11183-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=181499&messageID=1849838" target="_blank">See what other TechRepublic members are saying</a> about the aforementioned article.
</li></ul>

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Pigs aloft

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>TechRepublic contributor Shannon Kalvar recently pointed me
to <a href="http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1925.html">RFC 1925</a>, which many of you no doubt already know about. Nestled between RFC 1924
(A Compact Representation of IPv6 Addresses) and RFC 1926 (An Experimental
Encapsulation of IP Datagrams on Top of ATM) lies this list of "The 12
Networking Truths," which seem to be right on the
money. It's hard to pick a favorite, since so many resonate so strongly (ohmigod, I said "resonate"), but
consider, for instance, number 3:</p>


<ul>
<li>"With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However,
this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going
to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly
overhead."</li>
</ul>


<p>Or number 6:</p>


<ul>
<li>"It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by
moving the problem to a different part of the overall network architecture)
than it is to solve it.</li>
</ul>


<p>But I guess if I had to embroider one of these precepts and
hang it in my cube, it would be number 11:</p>


<ul>
<li>"Every old idea will be proposed again with a different
name and a different presentation, regardless of whether it works."</li>
</ul>


<p>Yeah, buddy.<br />
<br />
Shannon also provided his <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5138-10878-5993763.html"><b>10
New Year's resolutions for IT managers</b></a>, which has some
excellent reminders about what we should be focusing on as we head into 2006.</p>

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Single-use shovels

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>We had our first Winter Storm WARNING (!!!) of the season a
couple of weeks ago and as predictions escalated (1 to 3 inches, no wait: 4 to
6 inches...), the stores were overrun with frantic folks stocking up on pork
rinds and snow shovels. The local TV stations could run the same archival
B-roll year after year (and for all I know, they do): jammed-up parking lots,
store-length lines, triumphant consumers bearing away the last shovel on the
shelf. But here's the puzzling thing: What did all these people do with last
year's shovel? Please, if you have a theory, clue me in.</p>


<p>Anyway, here comes the awesome segue. I don't know where I
come up with them, I really don't. But let's talk for a minute about Word's AutoText
feature. (Bear with me.) AutoText is like the shovel you can REUSE the next
time it snows, and the time after that, and maybe even for something other than
snow. AutoText lets you create and store text and graphics so that you can
insert it in a document with a few keystrokes. But as practical as this feature
is, many users have never learned to take advantage of it. So I created a <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-10877_11-5989521.html">short picture
tutorial</a> that steps through the process of creating and using AutoText entries.
It's worth sharing with your Word users, especially the chronic shovel buyers.</p>

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Single-use shovels

by cutehobbes In reply to Single-use shovels

..haha ..that was funny ...talk about the environmental implications of
not re using the shovel ..so much loss of resources

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Best downloads of 2005

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>Well, nobody's asked. And nobody's going to. But I decided
to put together a list anyway. According to my by-no-means statistically accurate
reckoning, I published around 225 downloads since joining the Content Team at
the end of February. There were a few article compilations, some revamped
resources, problem/solution guides, templates and checklists, sample chapters, presentations,
workbooks, a smattering of tools. And lists of <a href="5264-1-0.html?query=10%20things">10 things</a>.
Lots of them.</p>


<p>The <a href="5909-6240-0.html">All
Downloads</a> link has come in handy for my retrospective meandering, offering
a chronological list of everything in the downloads library (going all the way
back to a <a href="5138-10878-729830.html">Word 97
newsletter template</a> I created in 1999 for the "Training Republic"
component of the brand new TechRepublic.com site. Pretty slick, too.)</p>


<p>But back to this year. I traipsed along through the list of
all the stuff I've published and found myself going, "Great download?
sleeper, sleeper, dog, semi-dog, great, great, great, decent? great!" It's
a little scary that I could conjure an instant assessment of all these pieces
of content, impressions that were in some cases validated by the response of
TechRepublic members. Other downloads, though, were embraced or shunned
according to some algorithm I have yet to puzzle out.</p>


<p>Taken as a whole, the year's collection of downloads was
strong. I'm pleased with about 95 percent of them, and even the ones I wish had
turned out better were pretty well received. My favorites, though, seemed to be
member favorites too. These items won my vote based on cleverness,
practicality, and/or presentation. I'm listing just a few of them here. Ten, in
fact, since this is the Year of the Decimal. And before I forget? MANY thanks
to the contributors who came through for me over and over again during the
year. </p>


<ul>
<li><a href="5138-6240-5633390.html">101
uses for canned air</a> (and its lively, if somewhat tasteless, <a href="5208-6230-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=170723&start=0">discussion</a>
and this <a href="5138-10877-5737438.html">follow-up</a&gt</li>
<li><a href="5138-1035_11-5609077.html">Support and
Configuration Checklists for Small/Midsize Networks</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10878-5579556.html">Nineteen
words that don't belong in your resume</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10877-5719819.html">34
timesaving mouse tricks for Word users</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10878-730076.html">Intrusion
detection checklist: Six stages of handling attacks</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10881-5766711.html">Seven
warning signs that you should turn down a job offer</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-27-730152.html">Build
a foundation for project success with this definition template</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10877-5844562.html">Three
tricks to make Word templates easier to find and use</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10877-5875593.html">10
things you should know about PowerPoint abuse</a></li>
<li><a href="5138-10879-5886455.html">46
things to check when you're having server problems</a></li></ul>Happy New Year, everyone!<br />

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Calendar people

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>Like to-do lists, calendars help provide the illusion of
organization and control over tasks and commitments. But not just any calendar
will do. At least it's my theory that if you don't care about the style and
layout of the calendaring software or calendar format you use to track events,
you probably don't need a calendar at all. Maybe it's a matter of taste or
aesthetics, maybe it's a touch of OCD. But if you're a calendar sort of person,
you have some decent options heading into the new year.</p>


<p>Word has always been deficient in offering useful built-in calendar
templates--heavy on ugly design elements and light on functionality. So I built
this little <a href="5138-10877-5823670.html">bare-bones
template</a> that automatically inserts the dates for you depending on the
number of days you specify. There's room for entering your appointments and
activities. And not much else. It's plain but practical. (You can stick a
little clipart in there, if you feel the urge. Snowflake for January, whatever.)</p>


<p>Then you have the slicker choices, courtesy of Microsoft
Office Online. These are <a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT011653371033.aspx">prefab
calendars</a> for various applications and purposes. Sixty-four of them,
altogether. There are a bunch of academic calendars in Visio, Excel, Publisher,
and Word format. Calendars by the month, year, and multiyear. Portrait,
landscape, five days, seven. A variety of incredibly ugly PowerPoint calendars,
including some misguided stripes and a sort of Madras plaid. Lunar calendars
for different time zones (who knew the moon operated that way), photo
calendars, postcard calendars. And even a basic <a href="http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/TC100176651033.aspx?CategoryID=CT011653371033">12-month
calendar in Word</a> without a single scrap of art deco design nonsense on it.
If your taste runs that way.</p>


<p>Happy calendaring!</p>

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Calendar people

by NEES In reply to Calendar people

<p>Thanks. I enjoyed reading this entertaining and informative article.</p>
<p>More like this. </p>
<p>Enjoy your day. </p>

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Worst cliches of '05

by JodyGilbert In reply to ISO Nexus

<p>In his <a href="5138-1035-5997213.html">New Year's
resolutions for net admins</a>, contributor Rick Vanover cites three phrases
that he'd like to see go away in 2006: </p>


<ul>
<li>What can we do to
move forward?</li>
<li>


We don?t have the
bandwidth for?</li>
<li>


There needs to be
some accountability...</li>
</ul>


<p>His dislike of these phrases seems to stem largely from the
situations in which they're typically used (accountability, for instance, being
demanded at the beginning of a project but mysteriously waning in importance when
things go awry and it's really needed).</p>


<p>I have a list of buzzwords and cliches that I'd like to see
disappear, too--but for the sole reason that they're INANE. Well, that and
they're so damn threadbare from overuse. Maybe if we all put our minds to it,
we can stamp out some of these gems in the next year or so. If you have your
own choice phrases to add to the list, by all means share them. </p>


<ul>
<li>Spin some cycles on</li>
<li>Pick the
low-hanging fruit</li>
<li>Lean into</li>
<li>Get some traction</li>
<li>Put some resources
against</li>
<li>Synergize</li>
<li>Gain buy-in</li>
<li>Drill down on</li>
</ul>

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Worst cliches of '05

by jmgarvin In reply to Worst cliches of '05

<p>I hate:</p>
<ul>
<li>We need to get the baseline</li>
<li>Tweek the settings</li>
<li>Network/server consolodation methodologies/schema</li></ul>

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