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Thread: Online IT degree recommendations?

  1. #21
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    As long as the server had Frontpage extensions on it, yeah you could sync the online version with your offline version and republish it to other sites.
    I had a blast for while way back when, when I found a customer who was paying zillions of dollars for website management, and I told them they could do that for about $200 "up front", and pretty much free after that. There were a couple of notorious local "website developers" that I made pretty mad.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  2. #22
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I had a blast for while way back when, when I found a customer who was paying zillions of dollars for website management, and I told them they could do that for about $200 "up front", and pretty much free after that. There were a couple of notorious local "website developers" that I made pretty mad.
    That's pretty much how I worked too. I charged them hourly to design the site and upload it there, and hourly rates to do any further IT help they needed, but I put the website on their own server which they paid for directly to the ISP and I never charged them for any ongoing costs. They would usually contact me for any changes because they didn't have frontpage or didn't know how to use it, but they could if they wanted to.

  3. #23
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    That's pretty much how I worked too. I charged them hourly to design the site and upload it there, and hourly rates to do any further IT help they needed, but I put the website on their own server which they paid for directly to the ISP and I never charged them for any ongoing costs. They would usually contact me for any changes because they didn't have frontpage or didn't know how to use it, but they could if they wanted to.
    And that was key -- not "I own you", but "I'll do as little or as much as you'd like". Often, they'd say they have somebody inside to do it, but quite honestly, they never got around to it, so they'd call me to bail them out. But people appreciate having that option - they don't fell "held hostage".

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  4. #24
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    And that was key -- not "I own you", but "I'll do as little or as much as you'd like". Often, they'd say they have somebody inside to do it, but quite honestly, they never got around to it, so they'd call me to bail them out. But people appreciate having that option - they don't fell "held hostage".
    I got several jobs where they specifically wanted to get away from their last web designer who basically hosted their site. If they had info they wanted to keep I would try to capture it and then I would redesign the site and upload it to a new server and reassign the name servers. I used to use Hostgator a lot. They were (are) cheap.

  5. #25
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    I got several jobs where they specifically wanted to get away from their last web designer who basically hosted their site. If they had info they wanted to keep I would try to capture it and then I would redesign the site and upload it to a new server and reassign the name servers. I used to use Hostgator a lot. They were (are) cheap.
    I still use HostGator - but I had to renegotiate pricing, because they stayed the same while a whole lot of competitors came online much cheaper. HostGator adjusted. Their tech support is - in my experience - US based, speaking goodly Engrish, and pretty quick to respond.

    And, yeah, it's pretty easy to snag most of an existing site before having your client fire "the other guy", then rebuild the site.... I would usually get a site up and running 'offline' first, to make sure my potential client was happy, before telling them to fire the other company and do the DNS switch.

    Unfortunately, many times, "the other guy" controlled the domain, too, so getting the DNS switch could be a bit delicate.

    That's another service I provided - "I'll set up your domain for you in your name, and I'll control it, but at any time you want, you change the password and I'm locked out, and it's all yours". That gives another level of comfort that they own the car, they're just letting me drive it for them.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  6. #26
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    It looks like most of us on the board are old school guys that pretty much learned on the fly and on our own. I have a degree in Electronics, but I don't have any certifications. I was going to get the A+ but decided it wasn't worth the hassel as you now have to continually renew it. But, enrolling in an accredited MCSA or MCSE course that has a quick turn around, (I have a buddy that did his in about 8 or 9 months) and can get a foot in the door will get you further than sitting in classrooms IMHO. I've trained a LOT of guys with certs, and many of them just were not up to the task. It takes retention, quick learning, networking with others and problem solving skills to be successful in IT, everything else is just fluff.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  7. #27
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    It looks like most of us on the board are old school guys that pretty much learned on the fly and on our own. I have a degree in Electronics, but I don't have any certifications. I was going to get the A+ but decided it wasn't worth the hassel as you now have to continually renew it. But, enrolling in an accredited MCSA or MCSE course that has a quick turn around, (I have a buddy that did his in about 8 or 9 months) and can get a foot in the door will get you further than sitting in classrooms IMHO. I've trained a LOT of guys with certs, and many of them just were not up to the task. It takes retention, quick learning, networking with others and problem solving skills to be successful in IT, everything else is just fluff.
    Yeah, you actually have to have an aptitude for troubleshooting, and you don't learn that in a classroom. It's not just 'knowing things', it's knowing what to do with what you know, and being able to track down causes.

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

  8. Amen Littlejoe amen'd this post.
  9. #28
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Yeah, you actually have to have an aptitude for troubleshooting, and you don't learn that in a classroom. It's not just 'knowing things', it's knowing what to do with what you know, and being able to track down causes.
    Eggzactly! That's my problem with most Cert's. They want to know if you can memorize stuff, and if you can take a test...none of which will tell you if someone can fix something.

    Most of my professional career has been in a problem solving job...Radio station engineer, Copier, fax and printer repairman, Bench Tech with Agilent Technologies rebuilding/upgrading Sniffers, even when I worked for a Civil Engineer as a Designer/Project Manager. (I took care of all their IT stuff as well), the job was to solve the problems, get it approved with the City and help the construction guys solve issues in the field that invariably cropped up.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

  10. Amen Cow Poke amen'd this post.
  11. #29
    radical strawberry
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Yeah, and the problem is that the IT field moves so fast -- by the time somebody is certified to teach IT and gets a job teaching, the technology is drastically different. A friend decided to do the "computer science" route years ago, and they were teaching MS FrontPage (are they still around?) and dBase. And a lot of programming, which isn't bad if you want to be a code writer, but I was required to write very little code in my career - when I needed code written, I hired that out.

    And, I'm trying to say this politely, but the IT field can be so lucrative, that if somebody is really good at IT, why are they teaching it instead of working it?
    I got pulled into computer science by brute necessity.

    At heart, academically, I've never been anything but a mathematician, but it just so happened that back in the 80s, as a grad student, I was investigating a set of 73-spaces that I'd patched together by cloning and marrying together eight projective planes. All of them had 137 billion vectors, but a tiny few of them had spectacular symmetries.

    We're talking over a billion mirror planes. I'd never seen anything so beautiful.

    I so needed to know more about them.

    But there was no possible way to do that many calculations with even the best machines that were commercially available at the time. I could program my problems to run on IBM 3090s, their hottest machines back then, but the back of the envelope said it wasn't going to finish in the next decade, even after optimizing them in assembler. IBM let me and a few other geeks into their lab in New York where they were working on their next generation, but it was clear they were never going to be hot enough anytime soon.

    So I went looking for time on the experimentals, starting with the Crays at NCSA in Urbana. Wicked expensive, priced by the microsecond, and totally raw. Not just bring your own programs, but bring your own compilers, and your own operating system if you needed anything more than their stripped down Unicos. So to do the research, you had to learn to program, and to run the programs, you had to port the compilers, and to port the compilers, you had to build your own o/s.

    Bill Gates built the Microsoft empire doing something like that, except the compiler he ported was for BASIC, and the disk o/s he straight out stole, pretty much the skill set you'd expect from a really bright Harvard drop-out.

    The price was a funny money scam, by the way. Trying to hide who was funding it, the IC, mostly the NSA, released grants through the NSF. In effect, they bought the machines outright, intending them for next gen crypto work, but made it look like they were paid for by researchers, at the same time giving themselves an in for recruiting.

    There was really good money in a lot of that, but the price you had to pay in restrictions made it unattractive. At IBM, you had to go through four key-card doors to get to a terminal that would let you access their machines, and I never saw the machines. They assigned us minders when we needed to go to the bathroom.

    The IC was much worse, and my lasting impression is that kept them from being the best. You'd see them at conferences asking, umm ... naive questions. They had so many more mathematicians than anyone else, bright guys, but the fact they couldn't talk to each other kept them second rate.

    At NCSA, during some down time for maintenance, I was wanded off and had a seat on their Cray-2. No key card doors, and everybody could talk together. Still got the group pic, somewhere around here.

  12. #30
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lao tzu View Post
    I got pulled into computer science by brute necessity.

    At heart, academically, I've never been anything but a mathematician, but it just so happened that back in the 80s, as a grad student, I was investigating a set of 73-spaces that I'd patched together by cloning and marrying together eight projective planes. All of them had 137 billion vectors, but a tiny few of them had spectacular symmetries.

    We're talking over a billion mirror planes. I'd never seen anything so beautiful.

    I so needed to know more about them.

    But there was no possible way to do that many calculations with even the best machines that were commercially available at the time. I could program my problems to run on IBM 3090s, their hottest machines back then, but the back of the envelope said it wasn't going to finish in the next decade, even after optimizing them in assembler. IBM let me and a few other geeks into their lab in New York where they were working on their next generation, but it was clear they were never going to be hot enough anytime soon.

    So I went looking for time on the experimentals, starting with the Crays at NCSA in Urbana. Wicked expensive, priced by the microsecond, and totally raw. Not just bring your own programs, but bring your own compilers, and your own operating system if you needed anything more than their stripped down Unicos. So to do the research, you had to learn to program, and to run the programs, you had to port the compilers, and to port the compilers, you had to build your own o/s.

    Bill Gates built the Microsoft empire doing something like that, except the compiler he ported was for BASIC, and the disk o/s he straight out stole, pretty much the skill set you'd expect from a really bright Harvard drop-out.

    The price was a funny money scam, by the way. Trying to hide who was funding it, the IC, mostly the NSA, released grants through the NSF. In effect, they bought the machines outright, intending them for next gen crypto work, but made it look like they were paid for by researchers, at the same time giving themselves an in for recruiting.

    There was really good money in a lot of that, but the price you had to pay in restrictions made it unattractive. At IBM, you had to go through four key-card doors to get to a terminal that would let you access their machines, and I never saw the machines. They assigned us minders when we needed to go to the bathroom.

    The IC was much worse, and my lasting impression is that kept them from being the best. You'd see them at conferences asking, umm ... naive questions. They had so many more mathematicians than anyone else, bright guys, but the fact they couldn't talk to each other kept them second rate.

    At NCSA, during some down time for maintenance, I was wanded off and had a seat on their Cray-2. No key card doors, and everybody could talk together. Still got the group pic, somewhere around here.
    Wow. I'm compressed! That was even fun to read!

    1 Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

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