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TechRepublic editors need opinions on new quick-start guides

By Erik Eckel Contributor ·
Several members have expressed the need for primers (quick start-type guides) that summarize essential information allowing them to quickly familiarize themselves with a specific topic. A team of editors is working to test publishing just such a file, but in order to make these guides as helpful as we can, we need your feedback. While these files will ultimately live on TechProGuild, we will make some of them available for a short period to all TechRepublic members.

Based on what we've heard in the past, the first topic we're going to develop an alpha version for is Windows XP Professional Security. After brainstorming, editors here think it makes the most sense to include the following elements: overview, planning, setup & configuration, troubleshooting, optimizing, and a glossary. We're also creating an interactive checklist you can use. It highlights common actions IT pros should take to secure WinXP Pro environments.

How well might such a completed tool work for you? And, would you be willing to review an alpha version when we publish it? If you're interested in participating, please e-mail me at eeckel@techrepublic.com.

Thanks much,

Erik Eckel
TechRepublic Executive Editor

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Not off subject

by JimHM In reply to Reality check

Sorry don't believe I was off subject - this site started off free, all articles and information (books and CD's always were a charge). They gave points away, and coffee mugs - but never came up with something with the points.

Now if they wanted to - lets say that 1,000 points equals a dollar, then 89,000 point would be a year membership - which would then encourage people to participate in dicussion and answer the Q/A Technical question.

But nope - That would make it free again - or they would reduce the points awarded - I've dealt with Gartner services for over 15 years - they refine and seqment each service then charge for each segmented service. So that you may have server - but you don't have the Linux service.

I just see a repeat of that pricing model occuring here in techrepublic. Once free - now $89.00 - no discounts on books or cds to get your money back - no bonus for points they award -

The same questions were ask with Gartner services - how can we better define a service then - poof a segment service for more money.

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RE: Not off subject

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Not off subject

JimHM,

You've made it clear you don't wish to pay for the resource we are developing and planning to test. I appreciate that feedback. It's certainly valuable.

Instead of debating the topic of content providers recovering production costs, though, I'd like to keep this thread focused on how my team can create a resource that you'd find helpful and valuable (and if part of making it "valuable" requires making it available free for a period of time, that's good to know).

Please keep your recommendations coming.

EE

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Thats a good starting point

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

And provided that you provide the details of setting up an XP network even if only a peer to peer and the proper way to instigate security on it that would be great.

I mean to keep different users out of folders that they are not supposed to have access to and securing the entire network from intrusion from outside sources via the Internet connection.

I've seen some so called professionals setup a network with an ADSL Modem connected to a hub and then everything running off the hub with no security what so ever applied to any computer on the network.

Col

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RE: Thats a good starting point

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Thats a good starting poi ...

Col Luck,

Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure how far we'll go in describing how to set up a network (that might be an entirely separate quick start guide altogether), but we'll be sure to cover network security.

Let me know if you'd like to see an alpha version. I'd be happy to pass you a copy when it's ready.

Thanks again,

EE

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Willing to test

by techmail.cmccubbin In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

Always willing to be a test bed subject. I believe the guide shoude be formatted much like the plasticized "bar charts" or cheat sheets you see for a variety of topics. Keep them simple, with a sub-topic, such as firewall configuration and then a 1-2-3 of how to do it. These should be for the basics not to cover every contingent.

Send on the tests!

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RE: Willing to test

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Willing to test

techmail@cmccubbin.com,

Thanks for your interest. I've added you to my list. I'll pass you an alpha version of our first guide when it's ready (likely early next week).

Thanks, too, for your feedback. We're working to ensure members can easily find the relevant sections they need and we're also working to break out numbered steps wherever possible.

EE

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Enhancing usefulness

by Tuckerglt In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

This sounds like a great idea, I have two suggestions and I will be happy to beta test the documents as well.
1)Please include either brief explanations for settings or if that is not possible then a link to a site where a person can learn the reason for a setting.
2)Make sure there is an easily printable form of the complete document without having to print each "page" indivdually.

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RE: Enhancing usefulness

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Enhancing usefulness

Tuckerglt,

Thanks for your interest in helping test our guides. Before I can add you to my list of reviewers, though, I'll need your e-mail address. If you can pass that through, I'll add you to my list and ensure you receive a copy when the first one is ready (likely early next week).

We're working to number the steps that must be completed (thereby hopefully addressing your settings question) wherever we can. We're also planning to publish the guides as PDF files, as they are easy to read and easy to print (which hopefully addresses your second question of making the document easy to print).

Please let me know of any other ideas you might have, and don't forget to send your e-mail address to me at erik.eckel@techrepublic.com.

Thanks again for your feedback,

EE

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Sounds like a great idea; I'm anxious to see how it evolves

by Eggy In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

Erik,

It sounds like a good idea. I'll stand-by to see the 'alpha' version, and following progress as well. Please let us know how/where to watch for news as things unfold.

Thanks,
Pete

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RE: Sounds like a great idea; I'm anxious to see how it evolves

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Sounds like a great idea; ...

Pete,

Thanks for your interest. The more feedback I can receive on the guide, its format, and how well it addresses the topic it covers, the better.

I'll be sure to publish a link here to an alpha version when it posts.

EE

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