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Establishing the Amazon Kindle as a Tool

The Amazon Kindle is a very practical device, focusing primarily on electronic reader issues such as battery life, text formatting, and of course the well marketed fact that it is glare resistant. I’ve opened a new category on itadmins.org for this device to highlight some of the uses that make it more of a tool than a toy with a color screen that does everything a computer does.

The biggest problem when a device goes mainstream is determining where it fits into your life. First off, don’t compare it to the Apple iPad. It is not for entertainment unless you find entertainment in literature, which some people still do. The Kindle was developed to distribute and consume documents, not to update your status, not to view pictures of your friend’s kids, and not to keep up with the Joneses. It is a tool to disseminate knowledge and information in a readable way, much like books. Let me ask you this: Can a calculator do any of these things?

With that said, the Kindle does its job beautifully. I spend a lot of time reading on it, whether to my daughter, or on my own. This is where the device excels.

You no longer have to go to the bookstore (Time Saving)

There are some people that enjoy perusing a bookstore for hours on end to find that one special book that meets their needs. I am not one of them. The more specific your desired knowledge in a brick and mortar, the harder it becomes to find exactly what you want or need. I’ve spent countless hours traveling from store to store looking for specific titles that bookstores do not carry because I’ve dug too deep. I read some pretty technical books that are borderline manuals. This type of specific need is not cost effective for a store to market to when the latest 8 dollar paperback sells a million copies. With the Kindle, I can search, or find the manual online and push it over Whispernet. This makes it easier for the store and myself.

Document distribution

This is an area that still needs to be developed to its full potential, but I am going to start looking for the code to do so. What I want is the ability to push reports about my home network automatically to my kindle every morning to know what is going on with it. If I am running out of space because I uploaded too many photos, I want to know. I want a weather report specific to my home pushed to my Kindle every morning. I want to know if the batteries are low in my camera and cell phone before I leave the house in the morning. To summarize, I want an electronic nag to prevent the surprises that often occur when you start using electronics in your home.

Reading

I am a reader of Historical literature. I love learning about Ireland, a place I would like to visit sometime. I read The Magic Treehouse to my child. She loves it, despite the fact that TV doesn’t think History is cool enough for kids. Go figure, use a device for its original purpose and you get enjoyment out of it. This is something I feel has been lost in our modern days of mods, hacks, and apps.

I am going to continue to develop this category with information about using the Kindle for everyday purposes, but I will try to remain practical and within the needs it was targeted for.

Writing A Successful Technical Resume

With so many people out there looking for a job right now, I thought it would be nice to compile some tips on writing resumes in the technical field.  Individual results may vary, but these are a few things I have learned:

1.  Always include a Skills section if you are going to post your resume to a form.  The reason why you are doing this is to provide a list of searchable skills.  If your resume is vague, it will never show up in any queries the company may conduct in the future.

2.  Do not under any circumstances whatsoever use a template for your cover letter.  Take the time to specifically type out how you qualify for the position, what skills you consider critical to the company’s success, address any gaps between the desired skills and what you know, and make sure it feels like a letter addressed to the company.  This brief effort, as simple as writing an email, will get you the attention you deserve.  If you apply at the same company twice, using a template twice may make the potential employer question your sincerity.

3.  Take notes while on the phone discussing your resume.  This will expose any areas you can improve and shore up potential problems.  Recruiters and hiring managers are scrutinizing every detail now.  If more than one interviewer expresses concern regarding information or you find yourself discussing skills not on your resume often, it is probably time for some editing.

4.  Keep multiple file formats on hand.  I have a Word, PDF, and text version at all times.  There is no data standard for on line job board systems and formatting can take away your dream job in a heartbeat.  I upload the Word version, print the PDF version, and copy and paste the Text file.  This system seems to fit 99% of the time.

5. Pay very close attention to the job details.  The days of blasting out your resume to 200 employers until someone gives you a chance are long gone.  There are specific hardware, software, and years of experience requirements that will disqualify you immediately.  It is better to assume a quality over quantity position in a finicky job market.  You will get more responses and interviewers will be less stressed with everyone.  They have very difficult decisions to make and their performance is also being scrutinized.

This is just a brief transfer of my own personal experiences.  If you have any others, please feel free to comment.

Websites as Graphs

I’ve been to this site before, but someone reminded me of it this morning. Aharef is a javascript that creates a graphical representation of a website. Is there any purpose to it? Of coursenot, it’s just cool.

http://www.aharef.info/static/htmlgraph/

Here’s what itadmins.org looks like: