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Should I learn programming or networking? Programming has the benefit of being a higher paid position when you have the skills they want or need. Does networking pay well? You don't need a four year degree in computer science to develop networking skills. It is often an associate's degree or even a one year internship. And pay rates tend to correlate to your certification level. Which one is harder to learn? A lot of people can teach themselves programming. Networking is harder. Only because it is so hands-on. On the other hand, networking can't be outsourced to a code monkey in India or China. The guy might be from those nations, but he has to be here to install those new server blades. Which career do you think is harder? Programmers have to stay up to date with changes to the languages, like C to C++ to C#, whereas networking is more stable. LAN and WAN networking hasn't changed much except for the routers and such getting smarter. Two words: wireless and wi-fi. Or is that three? As the networking components get smarter, they don't need as many networking people. But routers and cables still can't install themselves. What do you think of the working conditions? Programming tends to have a high burnout rate. Companies like to push programmers to have high productivity levels, though they can't handle it for a long period of time. Then again, having to scoot around in crawlspaces and thread fiber through the walls is a challenge. What is that worth to you? Start out in networking, and you may make 30-50K depending on skill sets. For programmers, it is anywhere from 30K to 70K depending on what you can do. But I don't know if anyone has a networked hardware example they can cart into a job interview, whereas they can send demonstration executables or website links to perspective employers.
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Why should I learn shell programming? It seems like we have an app for everything, so why bother cracking that shell. The biggest reason to learn shell programming is to simplify system administration. Such as? When you rename a lot of files, you can rename each individually and repeat the process several hundred times or use three lines of shell scripting. I don't think I'm going to run into that problem. Shell scripting can be used to filter files by unique values using a one line command, without messing up the files' order or having to export the file names to Excel. That's done with the awk command. That sounds rather awkward. Shell programming lets you work without having to code or save the code. You'll learn how to use your command line effectively. The Python command line can replace a lot of shell scripting. Shell scripting can be used for database maintenance and backup. That's what DBA are for. Shell scripting is ideal for cron jobs, creating tarballs of your directory structure and automated backups. You can even add and remove PHP extensions on the web server. You make it sound like shell scripting does everything. Don't use shell scripts when you have to do heavy duty math or complex calculations. Fortran would be better. How about C++? That's less obsolete. That works, too. Shell scripting can tap into simple command lines that would take many steps with a graphical user interface or many lines of code in most other circumstances. What else can shell scripting do? Shell scripting is the best choice when you need to access the system hardware directly. OpenGL and C++ work well for that today. Backups are often done with shell scripting, where the shell command lets you automate it. I though there was automated backup software already. Or I just need to install it. You can get by without using shell scripting most of the time. But when you need to know your ip address fast, ipconfig/all is faster than trying to crawl under a desk looking for that info.
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Should I learn Mathcad, or Matlab? Mathcad is a good starting point. Mathcad lets you do simple analysis and plots. You make Mathcad sound like the introduction to mathematical software. There's Mathlab, Matlab, Mathematica and Maple -- the four big M or math software tools. Mathcad is almost the first level tool, whereas Mathematica is the second or third. What do I do for data analysis? Matlab is good for complicated math analysis. If it isn't symbolic, you could use Excel, too. Why is Mathcad popular? You don't have to learn programming to use Mathcad. Matlab almost requires learning Fortran. I've heard it was because Mathcad is cheaper per user license. That's a motivator, too. Which one do you think is better? Mathcad works fine for engineers. Matlab is needed for higher level math courses, and you need Mathematica if you'll be a mathematician. That's probably the source of the software application's name. When do Matlab's added functions matter? Matlab has more programming functionality, and it has physics modeling you can't do in Mathcad. I heard you could model prototypes in Mathcad. One weakness of Matlab is its graphics. It has trouble creating graphs Excel can generate at the push of a button, whereas Mathcad can save plots as a separate object. Why is Mathcad so much more popular than Matlab? Mathcad is cheaper per seat, though you can get a student version of Mathlab for $50 or so. But if you learn Matlab, you're getting a good basis in Maple. I heard Maple is the symbolic toolbox for Matlab. Maple and Matlab seem too advanced for my needs. Mathcad is the basic tool. If you're in advanced mathmatics or physics, you have to upgrade to Matlab if not Mathematica. Then I'll learn Matlab just so I don't have to learn two tools. Or learn Matlab so that I only have to learn Mathematica later, instead of three different apps.
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Should I learn Oracle or SAP? Oracle training can be expensive, but the end result is a higher pay rate for database management jobs. You can get a job in SAP management, too. Oracle is more widely used as a database tool. There are product verification, CRM and medical software applications built on Oracle databases. Whereas SAP has an entire payroll, inventory management and ERP software package. And you can only find a job at those companies that have SAP installed. SAP is a major ERP vendor. Which means there aren't many small or even mid-sized companies with SAP running on their servers. You can find small companies with access to an Oracle database, even if it is patient records in a larger medical data repository. I've heard that SAP technical consultants can make a lot of money. If they made their product more user friendly, the consultants couldn't charge as much. But if you spent that much to buy SAP products, you'll shell out more to figure out how to use it. SAP and Oracle aren't entirely exclusive. They both have a financial module. SAP financial is pretty much limited to the payroll, ordering, billing and financial planning of SAP. I could get paid as well as a CPA to work in that IT niche. Oracle financial skills don't preclude you from working as an Oracle DBA. SAP financial certification means you can almost only do that, and you'll be replaced by the first CPA or MBA with familiarity with the software. What should I do? Don't make me be a Cassandra. Learn Oracle so you can find a decent job. Who is Cassandra? She could see into the future but not prevent it. It's a lot like SAP financial projects. You want me to take an Oracle job. I see well paying positions in your future.
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Why should I learn advanced Excel? Microsoft Excel makes it easy to process large amounts of data. It has limited database capacity, and it can't do what Big Data can do. It is far better than the hand ledgers people used to do for book-keeping. And it is a good way to track expenses. If I'm going to track expenses, I'll use a financial software package like Quicken. If I want simple charts and graphs of my financial situation, Mint and other apps are fine. Quicken has excellent charting functionality and great data analysis. A lot of the functions and calculations are time consuming. That's where advanced Excel skills like Macro programming are invaluable; you get to leverage Excel and save time. Excel isn't a relational database. Yes, you can store a customer list there or track expenses, but it is limited in the types of reports you can use. One word: pivot tables. That's two words. Or four, depending on how you look at it. Excel doesn't let you use forms, unless you turn around and learn VBA. That's what Microsoft Access is good for. Excel doesn't do a good job of modeling. But every good modeling application lets you import Excel spreadsheets for the initial data input. And there are toolpacks for scientific data analysis to make Excel as good as many of the scientific applications, without having to learn another software package. Excellence in using Excel is important in the marketplace. Familiarity with Microsoft Office is almost a minimum these days, but being able to say you are familiar with VBA, data tables, pivot reporting or conditional formatting proves it. What if I learn Excel and they want to use another application? Advanced Excel skillsets include formatting and importing data to other applications. Then you can import their data to the new app or export it to Excel for that custom report someone over in marketing or sales always seems to want.
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Should I study computer engineering? You'll certainly get a lot better pay than if you're trying to do web design. And for 99% of people, you'll make a lot more than bloggers, too. I've heard programming is hard. Programming can be hard if you have trouble planning the logical flow of a program or mapping out data flow. I've heard that computer engineering is essentially programming. It depends on where you go to school. Computer science may be programming whereas computer engineering is hardware. Do you have to be a math geek to do computer engineering? No. Being an engineering type is a necessity for computer engineering. I kind of guessed from the major. Computer engineering is good for those who like technology, who are detailed and technical in nature. And it could attract those who want to make a killing like Steve Jobs. Or it could be those who want to design the next killer app. Is computer engineering for those who want to design the next generation of the iPhone? That's more the purview of electrical engineers than computer engineering majors. Can computer engineers design hardware? Yes, but most of their work and their classes focus on the software. Do I have to be good at math? You need to understand some math. Now spaghetti like flow charts, that's something you need to be good at. To understand the logic flow. And the variable references in object oriented programming and handling and transformation of data. Oh, and you need to be able to track the classes you create and class inheritance. What do you study in computer engineering, other than logic and diagrams? Several different programming languages. And you'll learn some math, technical writing and the standard educational core. Do I have to worry about my job being outsourced to India? Microsoft tried that, and they got Windows 7 and Windows 8 out of it. Do not worry about code monkeys taking your job just yet.
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Should I learn SQL or PHP first? You can learn the basics of PHP in a few weeks on your own. It is regularly taught in a single semester of college. What about SQL? Depending on how well you can visualize the data, learning SQL can take weeks or years. I'd probably need to learn one of those flowchart tools to figure out the relations in a relational database. PHP is the backbone of the internet, or so I've heard. I know you can learn a lot because there are so many opportunities to use it. Basic SQL is easy. Stored procedures are supposedly hard. You could learn how to maintain and query databases with SQL. After you learn how databases and tables work, you can learn a web language like PHP. Which one should I learn first, if I'm pressed for time? PHP is harder to learn than SQL. If you are going to learn both, learn PHP first. You can build entire projects in PHP without ever using SQL. That would give me a lot of practice. But you can do a lot with PHP if you have a database. SQL and MySQL can do a lot with PHP, but you don't have to know both. I heard you can pick up phpMyAdmin and SQL in an hour or two. That's only their connection, not PHP and SQL's peculiarities. But learning the ins and outs of SQL and PHP will take a long time without adding phpMyAdmin to the mix. So I'll start with PHP. I'll have more opportunity to do something with it. And without possibly screwing up someone's relational database before you've learned to restore it. And if I learn PHP, I can get paid to maintain sites while I learn how to use SQL. Or decide to learn MySQL instead. Or NoSQL. Not a chance; it isn't mature enough to be practical.
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My iPad is fully charged but won't turn on. What can I do? You can certainly rule out that the reason it won't turn on is the charge. Well, that is totally obvious. Is the battery properly seated in the iPad? If it is loose, the iPad won't come on. I don't think it is an electrical connection. Some batteries have a memory, where it only charges up to a certain level even if less than the official definition of full. That is more likely to happen if you drain the battery all the way repeatedly. I usually charge the battery every night. Hold down the home and wake button at the same time. This can reboot it and get it out of suspend mode. I've never heard of suspend mode, but worrying if it is broken has been keeping me in suspense. If it is in suspend mode, holding down the home and sleep-wake button will activate it. What if it doesn't wake up and boot up? The battery may be totally drained and needs to be recharged. I already ruled that out. Try charging it via the computer instead of the charger. If it gets power via a USB cable, you might be able to turn it on even if the battery is the problem. It might be a hardware problem. Talk to the one of the geniuses at Apple. They won't let me in the door. I meant the genius bar at the Apple store. They'll either fix it or get you a replacement. I heard I should try to reboot it, but the device doesn't have a control-alt-delete. Hold down the sleep/wake button until the red slider comes up. Then turn it off. What then? You may need to tell it to force quit an app, if that's why the device won't come on. Then hold down the wake and home button. That's Apple's equivalent of the reboot button. If it gets the device to come back on, it is worth it. No, just worth the hassle.
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Do I have spy software on my cell phone? It can be hard to tell, especially if someone intentionally infected your phone. Why would someone do that? A parent who wants to know what you are text messaging or sexting, a jealous lover who wants to track your location. The NSA tracking our every move. Nah. They get all that data through the ISPs, so they don't need to put spyware on your phone. How can I tell if I have spy software on my phone? If the data charges are sky high and it isn't because you have location services on all the time, someone else may be spying through the phone. For example, an infected phone may record all your conversations and send the audio to a cloud server. I have high phone bills anyway. If the phone turns on after you've turned it off, that's a good indicator someone else is controlling it. So are weird background noises when you talk, because some spy apps turn every call into a conference call. My battery keeps running out. That might be because you don't charge it fully or it's in need of replacement. I get a lot of weird text messages. If you clicked on a link in one, you could have infected the phone with malware. I wish there was an easy way to tell it was infected like a file called virus. In the 1990s, there were tech support calls because the antivirus software was in a Virus file, so people called thinking their machine was infected. But modern spyware has a neutral sounding name so it isn't obvious. What can I do? Have you jailbroken your phone? That creates an open door on many phones, and in some cases, the jail break app is an infection in and of itself. How can I fix it? Turn it off and take it to the phone store to get scanned for a virus. Or restore factory defaults and see if the strange behavior stops. And if not, get a new phone. But be careful transferring your old apps and files, or you could infect the new one.
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Should I learn Oracle or SQL Server? While Oracle DBA certification pays well, the classes and getting a practice version of Oracle is expensive. I heard you could get versions of SQL Server for free. Part of it depends on the software developers you're working with. Use SQL Server if you're working with Microsoft's .Net, whereas Java developers are more likely to use Oracle. I didn't know that SQL Server was a Microsoft brand. So if you'll be working on MS servers and MS databases, you need to learn the SQL server. Which one is better for my career? There are typically more MS SQL jobs, but the Oracle jobs pay more. Oracle doesn't have as many jobs, but you have less competition. Those who didn't join the Microsoft cult pay a price for it. Which one is harder to learn? Oracle is rather complex, whereas MS SQL Server is simpler because it has a good graphical user interface. It's nice to hear that Microsoft made at least one good user interface. They usually put out crap, but once in a while, there's a good one. I've heard MySQL is more popular. Only because of the so called popularity of Microsoft. Oracle is the heavyweight database tool. Which relational database is better? MySQL works with almost any web-based application. Oracle is more stable, secure and scalable for enterprise wide applications. I'm glad to know that the big data that is running the world isn't all beholden to Bill Gates. No, but most PCs that generate the data still are. It sounds like I need to learn Oracle. Fortunately, you can learn Oracle inside and out and a little MS SQL and do almost any database admin job you'd like. You're guaranteed to get dates if you can proudly announce you have stable, well paying employment. It's like saying you're a musician, artist and athlete at once. Girls will just be happy if she doesn't have to pay for the date these days.
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Can you explain to me how to become a Linux administrator? I might say to start by getting a computer that has Linux installed on it and learning about the operating system. I’m already ahead of you. In theory, having a Linux box with admin rights makes you a Linux administrator. I want something I can put on my resume, not just have bragging rights as a Linux fan on online forums. Practicing installing software and configuring it. Take the time to understand how to install and upgrade Linux systems. What else would a Linux admin need to know, aside from the fact that Linux has that little penguin logo? To learn how to properly manage a Linux box, read a lot of literature on Unix before deploying a Linux distribution you can practice with. I’ve already gotten the advice to read Linux magazines and books. Is it any better to say I read the blogs instead? To be taken seriously as a Linux administrator, you have to know how to use VNC, SSH, tar, lists, system log files. You have to be able to manage kernel run-time parameters, virtual machines and networks. That does sound like system admin work. You’ll have to manage NTP, FTP and HTTP servers. And a partridge in a pear tree. No, fruit based references are pretty much just Apple. You need to be able to configure Apache and any thing else they want on the server as well as use cron jobs and bash scripts. I thought people bashed Bash because of the security hole found in it in 2014. That was newsworthy because Bash had not had any known holes before that, whereas Java updates at least once a year due to a security hole. Oh, you should learn about shell scripting. I hope I can come out of my shell to ask questions about it. There are plenty of how to resources from StackOverflow dot com to online how to instruction sets. Learn how to use VI, since this is critical to log analysis. I’m imagining that applies to user login logs. And security logs. You need to learn how to use MySQL command line tools effectively, even more so if the server actually has a MySQL database on it. I’d rather learn Oracle, since that skill set pays more. Only because Oracle is licensed and charges for a lot of the training in how to use it. MySQL is free and growing in popularity because it is free. I suppose that is your two cents worth on the topic. Consider it a free open source opinion. If you want to become a Linux admin, learn the basics through reading ebooks, real books and online resources. That gives me a good basic understanding, but managers may not trust it. Then you can consider going to the Linux Professional Institute and taking the LPIC1 test to prove you know the basics about administering a Linux box. The alternative is setting up the servers on a cheap contract basis.
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Tell me: how is MATLAB used in engineering? Matlab is a level up above the scientific calculator. Matlab gets used for complex data analysis, graphing equations because a picture is worth a thousand words - Or fifty lines of equations. Matlab can be used to create engineering calculators in a website, like showing someone how much torque is needed to turn a wheel based on the size and weight of the tire. That’s the engineering equivalent of a mortgage calculator on a website. You could use Matlab for that, too, but Excel could be used for that, as well. Matlab does better for things like mapping the pressure points on a structure when you add a load. I know Matlab lets you create pretty plots pretty quickly. Matlab can be used for array and matrix manipulation. I don’t think I’ve used arrays for anything except figuring out forces on a fictional arrow on a piece of graph paper. Plotting the air flow over a wing to study the aerodynamics is a real world use of that. So it's figuring out how the pressure can warp a material matters. That’s a lot of civil engineering, and maybe aerospace. The matrix manipulation is used to determine optimal solutions when you need to maximize production output and minimize cost when you’ve got multiple resource constraint equations. The most common of which is budget cannot exceed X dollars. Add an equation for X amount of material A and Y amount of material B equals Z finished products, plus D production lines can handle E volumes of material B and C can handle oh so many units. Now maximize production of units within the budget. You need to be an MBA to figure that out. No, a basic understanding of converting real world stuff to algebra equations and maximizing some value like production rate or profit within material and labor constraints is sufficient. That’s a lot of math. And that’s the industrial engineering use of Matlab. Though pretty charts from Matlab make it easy to show off the solution to the MBAs.
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My iPad is asking for the wrong Apple ID. What do I do? That's a common problem if you bought a new device and changed your Apple ID to a new email address. And it can happen if you upgrade the iOS. It keeps asking for the old ID credentials -- and you can't change the password or email address. The problem is probably because you have the old ID associated somewhere else like iCloud. Go to iCloud and verify the email address, or delete the old account. I don't have iCloud. You may need to go to settings, iTunes, Apple ID and deliberately log out with your old ID. After you've logged out with the old ID, log in with the new one. I don't think I'm still associated with the old ID. Go to AppleId.apple.com and verify which email address is associating with your account. Your new ID might simply be listed as an alternate, not the primary. Why does it keep remembering my old Apple ID? All the content you bought with the prior Apple ID is still associated with it. I don't want to delete all the content I paid for in order to eliminate a login problem. I have more money tied up in those files than I do the iPhone and iPad. You can eliminate that association by re-downloading all the old content from iTunes via the Cloud. I don't know if I know how to do that. A simple way might be doing a complete restore via an iCloud backup. Doing a full restore from backup is the Apple equivalent of Control-Alt-Delete on Microsoft machines. It's the default solution for a lot of conversations. The only problem with this restoration solution is that it only restores paid content, not anything else you have on the device. Don't worry. I can find the rest of it again on BitTorrent again.
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In what order should I learn computer programming? This is a mouse, this is a keyboard, and the computer brain is called a CPU. I learned that in fourth grade computer class. You might want to start with HTML. It is the foundation of the internet so it has immediate examples even on the results you get when you Google it, and you can learn it in a few days. Things like CSS and HTML5 sound a lot more complicated than what I can learn over a long weekend. That's the more advanced level of HTML website design. But you can learn the basics in a few days. What is the first programming language I should learn? Java is one of the easiest software languages to learn, and it is fairly ubiquitous. I guessed that from all the Java runtime errors I get when viewing various websites. What do you consider to be the first serious programming language I should tackle? Haskell, if you believe the gurus who think it teaches you purely functional programming methods. C++ if you want to know what the computer science geeks who will make 70K out of college do, instead of their professors. What language would I use for web design? Darn near any of them. You could work with Python, Perl or PHP. They like those P's. There are plenty of C's, too. C, C++, C# which is C on a .net platform and Objective C. What's the objective of that? Objective C is used to program iPhones. That's almost its entire objective, because it isn't used anywhere outside of the Mac universe. That's still a big and well paying universe. What should I stay away from? Aside from Unix and Linux geeks who want to convince you that open source is the only way to go? Or the Dungeons and Dragons weirdoes who still insist we learn Lisp? I heard I should stay away from Visual Basic, Visual Studio and anything .NET. It is easy to get tangled up in those programming languages and frameworks. Object oriented languages like Java are the best ones to start with.
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Should I learn HTML or just use Dreamweaver? You can use Dreamweaver without using HTML, but HTML is faster to learn. HTML doesn't have all the fancy graphics or the what you see is what you get interface. If you don't see what you expect to see, you need to know HTML to fix it instead of reinventing it in Dreamweaver. Why not just create web pages in Dreamweaver once I get good at it? You should know HTML to add audio files, create references between pages, integrate CSS to make the page mobile-ready or update a website. Dreamweaver is superior to HTML. Dreamweaver is like a Ferrari, fast and beautiful but often not rugged enough or versatile enough to handle many of the more mundane chores. Who do you think only needs to know Dreamweaver? Someone who assumes Wordpress templates are a sufficient proof of their programming skills. I can give the Dreamweaver pages to a webmaster. And the web master may spend a few hours tweaking it in HTML to make it work right on the server, delaying the realization of your dream assuming it isn't a technical nightmare. What if I want to be a professional webmaster? Professional web designers and web programmers must know HTML. Even web programmers who write PHP programs need to know some HTML to properly display reports via a webpage. I'd hate to learn both. When you get into programming, you're opting for continual learning. Ask anyone who learned C+ a few years ago and now knows C++, C# or Objective C. Or they learned Erlang and now know Ruby on Rails. It's more like the Basic users learning Visual Basic, but you'll end up having to learn more than one language to stay in the job market. You think I ought to learn both. If you don't want to be stuck in a niche and risk being replaced by the person who knows both, yeah. And since HTML only takes a few days to master, not knowing it makes you look incompetent relative to the high school intern who does.
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Should I study networking or programming? Programming is often popular for math majors, whereas networking is more popular for those who like hands on experience. Socialization? No, but the male plug to female plug analogy is not off. Networking guys are going to install all the right cables, blades for servers and routers and such. I'm worried about programming work being outsourced to India. You get tons of code, but it is full of bugs. And that's aside from a data pull popping up a notice that it is pooling. There are tons of online libraries of code modules for Java, Lisp and others. Doesn't that eliminate the need for new coders? You still need programmers to thread those modules together to make something that works. And programmers should be around to create better versions of those existing things. So you need some new programmers to fill in IT security holes. Is that a good long term job prospect? It is if only to keep up with the hackers. What is your opinion of networking? Networking is one of those jobs you can outsource to a consultant downtown but can not send off to India unless you send your servers there, too. Given the revelations that the NSA has been putting bugs in the hardware being shipped overseas, I'm pretty sure no one will send their hardware abroad again. And upgrades to routers with build in firewalls or network appliances that automatically store network traffic require someone with the right skills to do it in house. Yeah, because though the NSA has all your files, they won't give them to you if you need them restored. They only get the metadata of the emails you send outside the corporate network. They do not have copies of intra-office email that never leaves the corporate network. I heard the cloud was going to eliminate the need for networking. Even if you use cloud computing, you still need networking gurus to maintain server farms. And since the NSA considers everything in the cloud public information, a lot of companies are reinforcing their private networks to keep their data private. At least that means I should go into networking.
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Should I learn 3DS Max or Maya? 3DS is popular because it has a larger user community. That makes little sense. If a lot of people already use 3DS, it is the de facto design software where they work. So other people learn 3DS to get a job at that place. That makes sense. Why was 3DS more popular? Maya was a lot more expensive than 3DS Max. Schools bought the cheaper software to teach their students, and it grew from there. I guess that's why a lot of companies have cheap student versions. No, it is why smart vendors gave schools free software to train students in, who then buy that for their companies and demand it of new hires when they grow up. It seems like a silly contradiction since both are owned by Autodesk now. The tools and user interfaces are becoming more similar, but Maya is still the higher end tool. It isn't like Dyson keeping the fancy name while downgrading to cheaper and cheaper parts. I heard Maya was more stable. Maya is used for VFX. 3DS Max is better for architecture and stable models. I wasn't sure if Maya was better for animation. You can do some animation in both, though 3DS is bigger if you do game development. I heard Maya was better if you want to work in the film industry. Maya is ahead in terms of adding special effects to film. It's scriptable too, meaning programmable, though the MEL programming language is proprietary and hard to learn. Which software package should I learn? 3DS is more forgiving as you learn to work with it. And your pocketbook will be more forgiving, too. But Maya is higher end and has more job opportunities. Learn 3DS to get the basics, since it will give you a short learning curve if you need to upgrade to Maya. And learning the simpler one gets you in the market faster.
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Should I get Oracle certified? Oracle certainly thinks so. Have you seen the prices for their classes? Oh, getting Oracle certification is expensive, and their product line is so complicated that you need multiple courses. Between the classes and the tests, it can cost as much as a year or two of college to get Oracle certified. Actually, you can take the Oracle certification courses at a number of junior colleges. College is still expensive, even junior college. Oracle courses taken as downloaded classes or online virtual courses or in person are still expensive. One value of Oracle certification is proving that someone without prior work history regarding Oracle did well enough with Oracle certification exams to pass. If you’re new to IT or just Oracle admin, the certification could be worth it. AKA, the ability to move from help desk tech to service technician and go from 30K to 80K a year. I’ll say that Oracle database administrators can make 60K or 70K to start and up to 100K depending on their skill sets. That’s worth getting an Oracle certification. The Oracle skills are certainly valuable in the marketplace, though they are not the regular 100K paycheck anymore. I know MySQL and other databases are growing more popular. Mostly because their software is not as expensive to license, and in part because people can learn about the software through casual experience on a server just like they learned PHP. There are not many decent PHP certifications that are worth much in the marketplace. Unless you are new to the Oracle field, you do not need the certification. I’m sure there are Oracle professionals with certification. How does it improve their pay grade, since paper usually does in other fields? The premium for the certification among those who have experience and experience plus a piece of paper from Oracle is practically zero for Oracle admins. Yet I’ve heard the certifications are worth a lot. Now, if you’ve taken classes on their Payroll systems, Fusion procurement tool or JD Edwards enterprise shop floor and manufacturing data management tool, that’s worth a lot in the marketplace. Glad to know certification is worth something somewhere. Those skills are worth 5K to 15K more in the marketplace than just managing a database. But certification is only highly linked to those skills because it is harder to find a position at the bottom to learn it as part of the job, much less on your own. You can install MySQL on a database and get MySQL for dummies books, but no one wants to trust their payroll system to a newbie. Anyone willing to trust a new hire with their payroll system is either working off Excel or Quickbooks. The hard part is that I am new to Oracle so I probably need certification but balk at the price of the classes. So read all the books and blogs and take the online modules for what you cannot learn on your own. Then pay the couple hundred dollars for the test and see if you can pass without paying several thousand for the Oracle course.
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What is the fastest way to learn PHP? I’ve heard it is one of the most popular scripting languages, and free to learn, but I do not have as long as it seems to take. I suggest the w3schools dot com and their PHP tutorial. It runs on through everything from what PHP is, to the installation of the necessary software, to explanations of data types to advanced things like file handling and MySQL. I thought MySQL was a separate database tool. It is, but a lot of PHP websites pull data from MySQL websites, whether for a shopping cart or generating a price quote. I’m no where near that skill level. Learn-PHP.org has free interactive tutorials for PHP. What do I have to download to get that to work? Nothing, it is all through the website. However, that site is not as complete as W3schools dot com. I want a complete resource if I can find it. Go to the source. Start with PHP.net. If reading all of their specification documentation taught me about the language, I’d have Java down by now, from all the time spent trying to figure it out. PHP.net has basics like the language reference, the FAQ to answer most basic questions and the guide. PHPacademy dot org has a lot of decent, free beginner PHP tutorials. What else do you recommend? LearnXinYMinutes dot com is a good resource. I want to learn PHP, not X. I know there are a few one letter programming languages like C, F and R, but that website is supposed to teach you the basics of any programming language, in a number of minutes. That does get points for being fast. I’ll give them points for the basics of syntax and program structure, but it is not as thorough at explaining the how and why as some of the other sites. I’m barely at the point of programming hello world; I’ll worry about advanced structure later. Try Code Academy. They have a lot of good free online tutorials to get you up to speed once you’re past Hello World, around four hours for the beginner level and a long weekend to get to the advanced stuff.
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Should I learn ASP.NET or VB.NET? Which one is more popular or has more job options? ASP.net is used for programming web application web forms. VB.NET is often used for Windows based applications. I heard someone say that they knew .NET. Is that a third language? ASP.net is more of a tool than a language, or rather, a web development framework you build sites on. You can use languages like C# or Visual Basic on ASP.NET. Is VB.net a framework or a variation of Visual Basic? VB.NET is a .NET language. When you use C# on an ASP.NET, you get C#.net, and if you use Visual Basic or VB on ASP.NET, you have VB.NET. Which language should I learn if I want to use ASP.NET? One advantage of ASP.NET is that it doesn't rely on a particular programming language. C# and VB are the major competing language-framework combinations for web development. We've talked about all these languages on .NET. ASP.NET means there is an ASP language. The old ASP language, though, has died. ASP let you work in VBScript and JScript, both of which are pretty much gone. So I should just learn VB.NET. Any programming language compile-able by the .net bytecode is able to use asp.net or a different framework like WPF. So you could find a job whether you learned VB or C#. There's even an F#. Don't get me started on that. But there are lots of options. I heard VB.NET can be used to build web applications, too. ASP.NET is the part of the .NET library used for creating websites. You could use the MVC library, too. And .NET is rivalled by the newer Windows Presentation Foundation or WPF. Even if you are familiar with VB.NET, it doesn't mean you know ASP.NET. Don't make the mistake of learning the first and then listing both on your resume. If I flub on something that major and the recruiter knows the difference, I'll look like a fish out of water.
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What is the fastest way to learn Linux? Go to a Linux guru forum, and paste the reasons I hate Linux list by a Windows fan, and read all the replies. That does not answer the questions I have about the OS, though it is pretty sure to get me trolled if not hacked. I’d say then to do the Linux Foundation course, called Introduction to Linux. I cannot afford their fees. They moved the course to EdX, and that version at EdX dot org is free. Linux Torvalds even makes an appearance. That sounds like a promising start, especially if it is free. What else can I do? Go to Linux dot com slash learn and go through their free training course, though it is the EdX class. But that same page has links to a lot of other resources, too. What do you recommend other than the EdX course? LinuxSurvival dot com has a lot of information on Linux commands, especially the dirty dozen you need to do most things. I do not even know the most basic commands. Try LinuxCommand dot org, which teaches you the basic commands and all about the Linux shell. Or you could go to the site learn Linux the hard way. That may be the best way, long term, but I need something easier. I know that a lot of Linux gurus are certain we’ll have cybernetics in a few years, but we cannot yet upload Linux to the brain. You’re going to have to read and watch videos and such. What are some other resources I can use? UC Davis has an online Unix and Linux tutorial center. They even give an introduction to the VI text editor and Emacs editor. So then I’d understand the VI versus Emacs wars. And a ton of XKCD comics. You might like the University of Surrey’s Department of Electrical Engineering courses. I want to learn the software, not the hardware. With Linux, the hardware is almost peripheral. You have the right mindset for Linux. But their EE department has several tutorials on Linux. Not as easy as Khan Academy, but it is a start. If you get past the very beginning, try IBM. As an employer? For Linux training at IBM dot com slash developerworks slash linux. They have a lot of information for Linux programmers, system admins, Linux apps - And a lot of ads saying buy IBM. More like install IBM apps for your enterprise servers, but yes. But free content targeted to the areas you want to learn once you’re past the EdX course level helps you get the info you need fast.
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Can you tell me why Python is the future? I think you've been listening to too many Python fans. Ian Bicking wrote a blog about why you ought to leave Python. I'm sure you could find someone proclaiming why Lisp will be the future despite not taking off after forty years. And there are millions of Python users who are voting with their installations. One of the reasons Python is so popular is because of GitHub. That makes it much easier to add patches to a project. So much for a community getting together and recoding something instead. Another advantage of Python is its large, supportive community. You get a massive code library from it, open source support, free learning resources and online discussion boards. That's where inertia takes over. What was popular before remains popular because it has the larger customer base. And having a large user base does mean that Python has more tools for everything from debugging, to testing to custom plug-in design relative to niche languages, where programmers have to invent that neat little feature they want. Windows has a lot of tools, and inertia, too. That does not mean it has a future. Python is one of the most commonly taught programming languages, as well as an easier to learn one. You may find as many jobs in Java, but working with it well is harder. Whereas Ruby will only get you a job in Silicon Valley. Ruby on Rails is good for programmer productivity at slapping together apps. Python lets you build everything from software interfaces to websites to games. What about languages like PHP and C#? I'd say C# is a niche for those who want to use Microsoft servers but avoid ASP.net like the plague. PHP is a niche, far smaller than Python, which hinders its future. Lua and CoffeeScript I know are flashes in the pan. What keeps Python from following that path? When you install Linux, there are two major dynamic interpreters -- Python and Perl. And Python has more uses. So the open source community has made it a default language for itself. And that's why it has a bright future.
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Do you know how to tell if your phone is tapped? Given all of the NSA revelations, you can bet all the metadata for every call is recorded, if not the actual content. The NSA is the only government agency that we know does, indeed, listen. I mean tapped by law enforcement or a snooper. It is hard to know 100%. You could track your battery levels, because a rapid draw down is a sign it is on more than usual. Why would that reveal if it is tapped? You put your phone in hibernate mode or shut it down. The listener activates it to listen in, or the software kicks in when there is a conversation. So it is used more, using up the battery. What's another way? If it is your land line phone, call the phone service provider and report a problem. A technician should come out and could tell you if it is tapped. I have a cell phone. Your cell phone could be tapped via software. You should look at the cell phone processes. A secret software application probably won't be in the list. No, but an unusually high resource usage level would be a sign. Take it to a cell phone repair shop, they could identify tapping software and likely remove it. How can I tell for myself? Background noise and pulsating static are good signs. So, I guess, is third party laughter when I ask if this is between just me and you. One option is to speak in a type of code, referring to events as weddings instead of gatherings, like terrorists did. Another option is the old fashioned one. What's that? Only arrange a date and time to meet over the phone, then only discuss the highly sensitive topics in person. So for privacy, we're back to World War 2 methods of communication. The prime minister of India says he's NSA proof, because he has no cell phone or email address. I can't go Amish -- or Indian -- like that.
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Should I learn ASP.NET, or C#? C# is the C programming language on the .net framework. C# is C on dot net. Do you have to learn dot net along with C#? If you want to learn C#, learn it without ASP.NET. Then you can develop console applications. What's the use of ASP.NET then? ASP.NET is only a web framework with a lot of libraries to help you build websites. You have to have some sort of code to build on it, whether it is VB.NET or C#. There is even an F#. Which language do you think is better? C# is probably the easiest language on the dot net framework to learn. Is there a lot of demand for it? C#'s biggest rival is VB.NET, not ASP from which ASP.NET drew its original name. If you really wanted to push the limits, learn something like IronRuby or IronPython. If I've never heard of it, neither has an HR manager, so I won't bother learning it. I heard that it is probably better to learn ASP.NET and C# simultaneously, which I think would help me in the job market. Dot net is just a framework. Learning both simultaneously lets you do more because you learn both a language and a framework. I'm not sure that would make a difference. All dot net languages and platforms compile to the CIL or Common Intermediate Language. The biggest difference is the classes and the lifecycle. Which one do you think I should learn? If you're going to pick one, learn C#. Then you aren't limited to the Microsoft suite of tools. Which language is better if you want to be a developer or a sysadmin? You don't need to know C# if you are only going to be system administration. You need to know both if you'll be doing development. I think I'll go with C# to get both the language and framework. I'll go back to ASP.NET if the price is right.
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Can you tell me why HTML5 is better than XHTML? HTML5 is better than XHTML because it was written to be backwards compatible with HTML4. For example, all your existing forms aren't obsolete though you can rewrite them with the forms elements of version 5. You could argue that the latest version of a language is always better. XHTML is not fully supported by IE 8 or earlier Internet Explorer browsers. HTML5 is. Who cares about IE 8? In fact, given the security holes, who is using Internet Explorer anyway? You should not design a website that could block a large number of customers, IE users or not. In fact, it isn't supported by the older versions of most browsers. What is another reason? HTML5 can handle XTML-style tags, but the reverse is not always true. Java isn't always backward compatible, either. Java is its own horror story. XHTML is a stricter version of HTML, and a lot of programmers do not like to be forced into strict constraints. That probably accounts for the popularity of PHP. You can integrate PHP into an HTML page, but XHTML's strictness acts as a framework to make that integration easier. You just gave a factor in its favor. XHTML does have the benefit of creating websites that can be read by XML parsers. But HTML5 has XML syntax, one of the few things XHTML had in its favor until HTML caught up. XHTML is still superior. The World Wide Web Consortium supported XTML5 as the de facto standard, instead of XHTML2. So it may be better, but standard tools are what everyone else will choose to use. XHTML does a better job rendering unusual media formats, and it will be the future of web design. XHTML is over-rated, and its impact is overstated. I'll stick with HTML. Even if your document type says it is XHTML, the browser treats it as standard HTML if it is delivered as standard text or HTML format. So even using the so called better option, your pages may still end up in HTML on my screen.
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Should I learn ASP.NET or PHP? Some people say they hate ASP.NET because it was developed by Microsoft, ignoring the fact that you can work with C#, C on a .net platform, and VB.net. Because the ASP language is dead, ASP.NET really just refers to a framework anyone can build on. Working with anything by Microsoft is expensive. So use the Mono project. What are the benefits of learning asp.net? First, Microsoft and colleges have tons of learning resources, from online tutorials to in person classes on it. I'm sure I can find resources on PHP. Second, they have massive libraries and it is all made for enterprise level applications. After all, Microsoft wants you building world-class, big name company systems on asp.net. All of that is simply because Microsoft is behind it. PHP supports some of the biggest websites in the world, such as Facebook and WordPress. ASP.NET runs faster than PHP in almost every instance. What's another reason? There are people who say that hosting a PHP site is easier, and you don't have to mess with the licensing of a Microsoft Windows host. I've heard PHP has an easier learning curve. That it does. So what should I learn? If you want the best paying job opportunities, learn ASP.NET. If you don't mind only running Linux and Unix web servers, you can stick to PHP. PHP is running on over 200 million sites because it is free, and it has as many tools as ASP.net. Or you could have the ultimate in employability and know both. Then I'll learn PHP first, because it is easier and I can practice for free on my own computer sandbox. I'll learn Windows ASP.NET if I have to. Or if someone makes it worth your while. The lure of the Linux and Unix free domains is pretty tempting.
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Should I learn Django or PHP? Django is a framework. In that regard, it is like Rails and CodeIgniter. And PHP is a programming language. PHP is one language you can use to create websites. And PHP code is often not based on best practices. I've heard PHP is easy to learn. Django is also one of the best documented frameworks. That makes it one of the fastest frameworks to learn. Should I learn PHP to code and Django as a framework? You can, though there are plenty of Django projects written in Python. A lot of PHP programmers haven't heard of the major PHP frameworks like Zend and Sembony. PHP has the LAMP and WAMP stacks that make it easy to get started in the language. That's almost like a framework. Django is one of the longer lasting frameworks, in a marketplace where many have come and gone. If you're going to program, you should learn a framework and Django is one of the better choices. Yet I see people proudly carrying textbooks about Ruby on Rails. Ruby and Rails is more popular than Django as a framework, but part of that is because it is popular in Silicon Valley. Where is Django superior? The Django framework tends to lead to the faster development of applications with less code. Less code means less that can go wrong. As long as you don't leave something important out. Why does PHP get such a bad rap? Many people think that because they've learned how to create a plugin for Wordpress they are now serious software developers. So you've convinced me to learn Django, regardless of the PHP language. What are the benefits of PHP? Django is a faster framework to work with because it already has a good, set way to do many things. Whether you learn Python or PHP is your choice. I'll go with PHP since it sounds better than listing a snake in the grass on my resume.
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