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Managing Technologists

By Ned Rhinelander (CNET) ·
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trying out the new wysiwig editor

by Ned Rhinelander (CNET) In reply to Managing Technologists

<h1> this works <strong>great</strong></h1>

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Perl...a managerial tool?

by Ned Rhinelander (CNET) In reply to Managing Technologists

I am teased by my employees and peers frequently about my reliance on Perl. <br />
<br />
It's funny...I have dabbled in a lot of programming languages since
college. Assembly, Pascal, Fortran, Procomm+, <a href="http://www.multiedit.com">MultiEdit</a>
macros. Then I entered the later 90s and learned Perl, Awk, C,
C++, and Java. Most recently I added PHP, which I really
love. But when push comes to shove, i always go back to Perl.<br />
<br />
How does it relate to management? Bear with me:<br />
<br />
I have was fortunate enough to land a job right out of college...it was
at ZDNet, starting out as a copy editor basically reformatting text to
put onto CD ROMs. Those days ZDNet was a killer online company with a
presence on all the major services (Prodigy, Compuserve, MSN when it
launched).<br />
<br />
It was at this first job that I learned some of my most important
skills. Faced with hours of reformatting and unwrapping
paragraphs, I decided that there had to be a better way. So I
took the manual for our text editor home with me and discovered it had
a programming language. (www.multiedit.com...it's still a
great product). Within a few months I was writing programs
that analyzed text and presented the user with prompts with what to do
(unwrap, make bold, etc). Within a year I was writing programs
full time. <br />
<br />
Years passed, the online services were eclisped by the internet and I
finally learned Perl and Awk. I started building an online ad
system in 1996, the ancestor of which is still running faithfully on
this very page you are reading. I then started to get into
management, got an MBA, and was happily retained when CNET purchased my
old company, shortly before purchasing TechRepublic.<br />
<br />
So finally I will get to the point: I find that no matter what
the task is ahead of me, I can use Perl to help assess the situation
and usually come up with an answer. <br />
<br />
- Application bottleneck or performance problem? No problem, I
can do independent verifications of speed and performance. <br />
- No one monitoring log files? Well, give me an hour or two and a
log file, and I'll have an independent analysis of just what's going
on, tailored specifically to answer the questions I was interested in.<br />
- Activity report not quite right? That's ok, it will take me
less time to write one myself then to figure out how to buy time for a
regular developer to do it--they are usually too busy on more critical
tasks.<br />
<br />
I've been pretty steadily writing code ever since I began this path,
and more I progress down the road to management, the more thankful I am
that have a good grasp of Perl. It's messy, cryptic syntax is the
perfect tool for my needs. It's allowed me to retain an ability
to actually contribute to solutions when problems or crises arise,
rather than just blindly exerting pressure on staff. Or that's
what I like to tell myself!<br />

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Perl...a managerial tool?

by jmgarvin In reply to Perl...a managerial tool?

<p>Perl is the work horse language.  I grew to love perl the first time I have to parse a log.  After that, I was a die hard fan!  Not only is the built in Boyer-Moore algorithm built right in, but there are a ton of plug-ins to make Perl even MORE functional</p>
<p>I know some people hate the kitchen sink approach, but this is really what makes Perl a great language.  It is pretty easy to use (very hard to read) and not to hard to create complex scripts in only a few lines of code...</p>

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Identity Management

by Ned Rhinelander (CNET) In reply to Managing Technologists

We are having a lot of internal discussion about how to make it easier
for users to sign in on Techrepublic. People have multiple email
addresses and multiple passwords, and cookies are getting lost at an
alarming rate. How do we tie them all together and create a
decent user experience?<br />
<br />
Single Sign-on seems like one good option, despite what is says <a href="http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1009-5710677.html?tag=fdnew">here</a>.
As long as there is no credit card info required it doesn't freak me
out to provide my identify to a 3rd party. Sure beats having all
the distinct sites I visit, independently storing my info.<br />
<br />
The other thing I'm considering is Biometrics. I see that some laptops are coming equiped with <a href="http://www.angel-investor-news.com/ART_fingerprint.htm">fingerprint readers</a>. I've also read about the <a href="https://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/home">Trusted Computing Group.</a>
Apparently a lot of machines have security chips on them. What I
don't know, is how we as a web site could take advantage of this.
Could we allow users to upload a biometric signature to their
profile? I'm still researching.<br />

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Identity Management

by JayMa In reply to Identity Management

Ned:<br />
<br />
To me it looks like this blog so far is focused on the technology of IT
Management or on how IT Technology interacts on IT Management ??<br />
<br />
As to Id Management, my view as a user is the least info I provide on myself the better.<br />
<br />
JayMa<br />
<br />

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Identity Management

by tsecret In reply to Identity Management

<p>Valid Technologies LLC (<a href="http://www.validtech.com">www.validtech.com</a&gt where I am the CTO is rolling out it's product VSSA that can do what you are looking to do without locking you into a particular brand of PC.</p>
<p>We use the Authentec sensor manufactured by APC (Wholesale at about $32) and the IBM i5 eserver for all of the user biometric credentials with a patent pending process.Most IT people do not realize the i5 usies the latest technology, has the highest security, reliability and scaleability in the industry. The best part it starts at around $20K and will scale to almost infinity while running Linux, AIX, integrated Windows servers in addition to it's native i5/OS where our product lives.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If nothing else I think you find this information very usefull. We also worked with the IBM Research Lab's in Rochester MN for well over a year to ensure the products readiness for the largest companies in the world (How is 381 tb of internal disk sound).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Hope this was usefull.</p>
<p>Tom Secreto</p>

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Identity Management

by tsecret In reply to Identity Management

<p>What if the Biometric data could not be reversed into a fingerprint (which we all leave around everywhere we go) and what if the storage of that personal data was so well encrypted and tied to a specific server that it would be rendered useless to anyone.</p>
<p>Wouldn't the security of your banking data far out weigh any perceived exposure. I think that a lot of people, once they understand the mechanics, become very interested in this protection.</p>
<p> </p>

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Identity Management

by laurent.dupin In reply to Identity Management

Funny. I'm part of CNet here in France, in ZDNet team exactly. I have part og the blog development to work on and I have a discussion today with a top management member, just like your front line argument. We are preparing a blog, where we could discuss of how to make the real bridge between business and technical teams? In order to make the kind of words ("It's impossible!")... impossible for good. But it's hard to find someone to blog on that topic... Maybe one solution could be to create a "multi persons blog", with a funny & false identity, just like "Mr Black", "Mr Giga" or thing like that. A better way, I think, to make these topics live on blogs. By the way, our blogzone is just here : <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.fr/"><strong>http://blogs.zdnet.fr/</strong></a>

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