Archive for March 2020

Weekly Wrap Up – ITOM Certification

March 27th, 2020 — 4:48pm

ITOM – As the title suggests, I spent a decent amount of time this week training and taking tests for certification in the “IT Operations Management” suite of products offered by Micro Focus. For one of my clients, I spend quite a bit of time working with Operations Bridge, among other products. I completed the certification, but it wasn’t easy! The overall suite of products is amazing. – I’ve a reseller for a long time, but took some time this week to review their offerings. This is a leading payment provider for taking ecommerce / online payments. I suspect that any businesses not selling online will want to reconsider that after these past few months. I put together this payments page to explain how I can help.

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Weekly Wrap Up – Zoom Zoom!

March 20th, 2020 — 5:22pm

Here’s what I was up to this week:

Zoom – Seems like everyone who never used a conferencing platform suddenly wanted one, all due to the corona shutdowns. Though I had used Zoom before many times with clients, I finally paid for my own subscription. This is handy for business and even personal use, since your invitees don’t need an account.

Flash EOL – as browsers move to ending Flash support, I had a client with some old flash content suddenly break. Turns out the javascript code we used to run the flash (swfobject.js) was no longer working with the latest browser updates. We just bit the bullet and moved the content to Youtube (it was video anyway). By the end of 2020, browser support for flash is going away, or so they say. I’m not sure I buy it.

Php – more custom php work, for an LMS, and also some other misc. work.

Corona note – So far my workload has kept strong during the economic muffling we’re going through. It’s hard to say how long that will continue, but these are times where new opportunities present themselves. Many industries may be changed after this, because the way we live will be different. Companies may start “onshoring” more, as a way to diversify production. Events and social gatherings may change. Some business models will die, but new ones will emerge. Stay aware, often great businesses rise from the ashes of a crisis.

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Weekly Wrap up – AWS Metrics

March 13th, 2020 — 5:12pm
  • Cloudwatch – I spent some time working with aws metrics in cloudwatch – pulled via scripts using the “aws cloudwatch” command line tool. This is a pretty powerful way to monitor and track all kinds of metrics on elbs, ec2, rds, and other AWS entities.
  • API – more api work with Dell openManage. API’s are pretty standard now with most web based tools. Mostly, I’m pulling data, and pushing it to another database, or triggering emails, based on various logic / business rules.
  • Coronavirus – my state (PA) is basically under quarantine. Clients (even out of state) have mandated “work from home” for most employees and consultants / contractors. Most of my clients will be able to financially weather this, depending how long it goes. It’s a good lessen in diversifying your consulting clients (or income sources). While this type event is “once in a lifetime”, there are smaller events that hit specific industries more often.

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Weekly Wrap Up – SSL websites

March 6th, 2020 — 8:28am

Several clients this week had SSL related website issues. SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer” and is what secures websites (when you see https:// or the “lock” icon on websites you visit).

Originally running websites over SSL was reserved for ecommerce or sensitive transactions. Normally, web traffic was sent in plaintext, and SSL provides end-to-end encryption of data. Since many people use public WIFI networks these days, many websites have gone to SSL for all traffic. In fact, Google now gives search preference to sites that are running over SSL, and most browsers / plugins give scary warnings if you try browsing a site that is not running with encryption.

Anyway, when converting your website to SSL, there are usually just a few issues to be concerned about. You’ll need to track down any hardcoded references to “http:” in your pages, and change them to https:, or make them relative. Second, you’ll need to add a way to “force” users to load the site using https, usually done with a global redirect to the https version of the site. Overall, it’s not that big a change, however, there is an added yearly cost (around $150) to have the certificate that allows the encryption to work.

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