Microsoft's ^@&^#&@ W2K MCSE Policy

Written by Richard Lowe

Like over 800,000 other people, I spent an incredible amount of time and effort studying to be an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). I took six classes, studied several books from cover to cover, took practice tests and usedrepparttar knowledge in my job and on my own time. Why did I do all of this? Because I wanted to have one ofrepparttar 133592 most prestigious certifications inrepparttar 133593 field -repparttar 133594 MCSE!

For those of you who don't know,repparttar 133595 MCSE consisted of six tests designed to ensure that system administrators meet a minimum level of experience and knowledge with Microsoft products. The concept is this gives guidance to managers as to who they should and should not hire, and ensures that those people know how to use Microsoft products.

In my experience, people who honestly passrepparttar 133596 MCSE exams are indeed better qualified for their positions than others with equivalent experience and skills. Of course, boot camps, brain dumps and similar methods of cheatingrepparttar 133597 process tend to allow people to dishonestly passrepparttar 133598 exams. This, however, is true with all certifications (and tests for that matter) and not unique torepparttar 133599 MCSE series.

In their attempts to get people to upgrade from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000, Microsoft has run into quite a bit of resistance fromrepparttar 133600 industry. While there are very significant reasons to upgrade, Windows 2000 requires major changes in network configurations, applications and user training, which has tended to slow acceptance. In addition, since Windows 2000 was released aroundrepparttar 133601 time of large expenditures onrepparttar 133602 Year 2000 bug, system managers found themselves without funds or manpower to upgrade their networks.

In order to force people to upgrade more quickly, Microsoft has, in it's infinite wisdom, decided to retirerepparttar 133603 Windows NT 4.0 certifications. Thus, on December 31, 2001 any and all MCSE certificate holders who still have not upgraded will need to remove those four letters from their resume and business cards.

It now appears that over half (at least 400,000) of these MCSE's will be invalid in under five months! I know from experience thatrepparttar 133604 change from Windows NT to Windows 2000 is not an easy one, and given that many people actually have to work for a living it's not surprising that so many of them have not had a chance to obtainrepparttar 133605 new certifications.

There is also a large amount of anger aboutrepparttar 133606 policy. It appears that Microsoft is only interested in increasing it's bottom line, which translates into selling an endless procession of upgrades torepparttar 133607 operating system andrepparttar 133608 office suite. It's plainly obvious that Microsoft feels it's dollars come from these upgrades, and thus those engineers who cannot or will not upgrade their certifications have little or no value.

Even worse is that Microsoft has startedrepparttar 133609 path towards Windows XP certifications! A large number of MCSE's have not even started (much less finished) their training for Windows 2000, and now they have to figure out how to upgrade that to Windows XP! And, of course, it's a sure bet thatrepparttar 133610 next version of Windows will follow very quickly after that.

Me and several ofrepparttar 133611 people who work for me have obtainedrepparttar 133612 MCSE certification for Windows NT 4.0. Given that we all work very long hours (a 60 hour week is a short one) and have lives, it's a miracle that even some of is found time to pass these exams.

And now Microsoft is saying that we are no longer valuable. They are directly implying that we are not worthy of their greatness because, well, we are too busy actually putting their products to work to takerepparttar 133613 time out to study and passrepparttar 133614 exams.

We do want to passrepparttar 133615 exams and we do want to become certified on Windows 2000. Every single person that works for me strongly desires to pass these tests. Our objection does not come fromrepparttar 133616 fact thatrepparttar 133617 tests exist or that Microsoft is raisingrepparttar 133618 bar or improving their products.

Our objection isrepparttar 133619 underhanded, sneaky and downright unethical way that Microsoft is forcing us to put pressure on our company and our employers to needlessly upgrade over and over again. The pressure comes from every aspect of Microsoft - from forced upgrades via their licensing practices to their forced certification policies.

Let's play devil's advocate for a minute and see what we can learn. Perhaps Microsoft has to do this because they are more intelligent and have a wider vision thanrepparttar 133620 rest ofrepparttar 133621 world. Microsoft knows they have a far superior product, and in order to ensure that we lesser beings providerepparttar 133622 best value for our companies, they are requiring us to upgrade our knowledge. Heaven forbid that companies (especially large ones) actually keep Windows NT 4.0 installed on their networks (much less Windows 95 or 98). To allow that would be completely irresponsible of Microsoft, wouldn't it?

Getting Revenge On Bandwidth Stealers

Written by Richard Lowe

Well, you've discovered that someone is stealing your bandwidth. You've sent them a polite email (if you can figure out an email address) and perhaps even a less than polite message. They keep stealing your images, your sound files, your videos and even your zip files. What do you do now?

One thing that is very common is to replacerepparttar graphics image with something else, something which boldly says "stop doing this". I've known some people who use pornographic images or include swear words. I would not recommend these actions, as they are unprofessional. A simple "This person is a thief" or "this website is stealing bandwidth" or something to that effect is fine.

Don't worry about how big you makerepparttar 133591 graphic - it will show up just fine onrepparttar 133592 offender's web page. If they did not include high and width tags,repparttar 133593 graphic will show as is, otherwise it will be distorted - but who cares?

Remember to fully optimizerepparttar 133594 graphic image. A GIF with eight colors is perfect, and a JPEG image compress by 50% to even 80% is great. This reducesrepparttar 133595 effect ofrepparttar 133596 bandwidth stealing by loweringrepparttar 133597 size ofrepparttar 133598 image that's being stolen.

Let's say you have an image that's 50k in size and it's being stolen. The web site that's usingrepparttar 133599 image is displaying it 100 times a day. That's 5 megabytes of stolen bandwidth per day! If you can create a new graphic and optimizerepparttar 133600 image to, say, 5k, you reducerepparttar 133601 effect to 500k of bandwidth instead of 5mb. In addition, of course, sincerepparttar 133602 person stealingrepparttar 133603 bandwidth will hopefully stop doing it, then you may eliminaterepparttar 133604 problem all together.

You can even reducerepparttar 133605 graphic to a simple 2 color 1X1 pixel image if you want (although that will not displayrepparttar 133606 rude message). This may be your only option ifrepparttar 133607 webmaster still does not removerepparttar 133608 link to your images.

Oh yes, there is another important piece to remember. You have to changerepparttar 133609 name ofrepparttar 133610 graphic that your own pages are using. Otherwise, of course, your pages will show that you are a thief, and that's not what you want.

Let's say you are using a graphic called "mine.jpg" and it is 127k in size. Several sites link to that graphic. You go to each of those sites, getrepparttar 133611 webmaster email address from each, and send a polite letter asking them to removerepparttar 133612 link. You are ignored (which is oftenrepparttar 133613 case). A harsher email is not only ignored but one ofrepparttar 133614 webmasters responds with a nasty email.

So you go ahead and rename "mine.jpg" to something like "mine2.jpg", then create a new image which is only 2k in size (just 4 colors) which says "This webmaster is stealing graphics. Please ask him to stop".

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