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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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Willing to test

by Homelan In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

I have a very small home-office setup. Three systems, peer-peer connected via WindowsXP.

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I'll put it to the test

by BPA_Joe In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

I've just installed Win XP Pro at home and would like to ensure that I've plug all the holes. I'd gladly put your new security guide to the test and provide feedback.

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RE: I'll put it to the test

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to I'll put it to the test

Thanks for your interest. I'll ensure I post a link here when the alpha version is ready.

EE

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Gotchya List?

by Brilliance Audio In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

One thing that I have always wanted in a user guide is a "Gotchya" list. You know that horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach on Sunday morning about 10 a.m. when you've completely wiped the old system and are putting the finishing touches on the new system and a fatal error happens - Gotchya!

Of course, it is usually easily fixed with a hot fix or patch that is posted on the Internet that you can't access now because all networking just went south. :)

I would include a list of things that should be downloaded or configured prior to the other steps in the user guide. And with XP security, I think it would be a good idea to include the basics of the Microsoft security patch release schedule and critical patch management.

I have learned that before any installation of anything - search for "install" and the program on the tech support website and read the subject line of everything that comes up. I have survived quite nicely by finding out *first* that my particular NIC doesn't have an updated driver, a hot fix was just issued yesterday for my particular situation, etc. It might be useful to have a list of known issues, or at least a spot to look for updated information prior to using the guide. Something a little more informative than "check the readme file". :)

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RE: Gotchya List?

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Gotchya List?

k_gosh,

That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing it.

For our alpha version, we're planning on including a basic checklist at the end that you could review to ensure you didn't skip or overlook an important step. It's easy to address 22 elements, spend quite a bit of time on them, but miss a 23rd element that opens the whole network up to an attack. That's what we're hoping this guide, combined with its corresponding checklist, could help prevent.

EE

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I'll give it a shot!

by srvctec In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

I'd be glad to try out the new guides and give feedback. I just became "the computer guy" at work in addition to my service technician duties and have several XP Pro machines to keep secure.

srvctec@sbcglobal.net

Kurt

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RE: I'll give it a shot!

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to I'll give it a shot!

Kurt,

I appreciate your interest. I'll make sure I add you to my e-mail list for reviewers.

Thanks,

EE

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Willing to Test Security Guide

by nre In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

I work as the academic help desk manager at a university. I would be happy to test the new guide in an environment that could you all the help it can get.

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RE: Willing to Test Security Guide

by Erik Eckel Contributor In reply to Willing to Test Security ...

Thanks, I'll ensure you're added to my e-mail list of reviewers.

Having a help desk perspective will certainly prove valuable.

EE

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Please add me to the list

by bswin In reply to TechRepublic editors need ...

Quick start guides are an excellent idea, would very much like to add my two cents while still in the formative stage.

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