Lesson Learned ~

Every now and then we get a dose of reality, and it makes us realize that we shouldn’t skip the small stuff.  Here is why.

Tonight I received my new Cisco router…  I began installing, and configuring this new fangled fancy router at approximately 7:30pm, it is now approximately 11pm, and I have just finished and I finally have internet access.  What process did I have to go through to get my internet working again?  I’m glad you asked…  Now mind you I have installed numerous routers in the past.  I’m familiar with using Cisco routers, but I have also configured Belkin, and Netgear routers as well.

Nowadays newer routers come with an installation CD that moves you through the process without much effort by using their installation wizard.  Unfortunately in this case it also installs a proprietary software that I will probably end up uninstalling eventually…  So I’m following the directions on the screen (at least I think I am).  Is the router connected to the modem… Check… plug-in your router… Check… and this is where it begins the configuring process.  The process that someone spent a very long time writing a program to help someone like me that doesn’t follow directions…  We’ll come back to that statement here shortly, but after the program does its thing, and everything is installed the computer it informs me that I have network access, but no internet access… So now I’m in troubleshooting mode.  First, I restart my computer, as this is something ever IT pro will tell you to do first thing (well maybe not all cases, but most of them).  Still no internet access.  Now I begin checking my internet, and network settings on my computer.  I switch from my quasi-administrator account (the one I use regularly), and log in to my official administrator account.  Nothing so far has helped me in getting internet access.  Luckily, I have internet access on my phone without the use of Wi-Fi… thank goodness for my Data connection, so I Googled it (since when is that a verb), and it came up with some very interesting suggestions and solutions.  Although, none of them solutions to the problems I was having. I restarted my computer a couple more times, checked some more settings, and was beginning to believe I had been sent a faulty router (I had purchased a refurbished Cisco router).  Now being resigned to the fact that I would have to return it I attempted to install my previous router.  I go through the same motions, and unplug everything from the new router to the old one, and plug it into the cable modem.  Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately) I notice that the orange light on the Belkin router is blinking, and for some reason it’s not turning green.  Finding this to be rather odd considering it worked only 3 hours earlier I begin to investigate further, and I end up unplugging the router completely from the modem, and…this is the moment that I realize the mistake that I have been making for the past 3 hours…  I was using the wrong ethernet cable, and instead using the cable running from my t.v.!!!  You wouldn’t believe how upset I was with myself for not realizing it sooner, and for spending so much time on trying to set up my router.  You will all be happy to know — well obviously since I have internet now — that everything is working as it should be.  I have my new router installed, and a piece of my sanity back after finally finishing the setup of my Cisco router…

So I’m sure you realize what the lesson learned was???  Definitely, unequivocally, and without a doubt, CHECK YOUR CABLES, this always seems to be the one thing that stumps me, and for such an easy fix too.  I believe this will be the last time that I have this issue, and will be a bit more through when I’m switching over hardware.

NewTechieGirl

Algorithms & What you didn’t think you already knew about them…

Until very recently (well the last year or so) I had no idea myself what an Algorithm was.  It wasn’t until I started taking college courses that I learned what they are.  I had heard the word used in the past, although I had no idea what it meant, or the desire really to find out more about it because it didn’t seem to pertain to anything in my life… or so I thought, but as it turns out in fact we come across algorithms everyday.

Here is the definition from the World English Dictionary:

algorithm
n
1. Compare heuristic a logical arithmetical or computational procedure that if correctly applied ensures the solution of a problem
2. logic, maths a recursive procedure whereby an infinite sequence of terms can be generated

As you can see there are a couple of different meanings for algorithms, and in this case definition 2 applies the most.  In its most basic form an algorithm is a set of instructions that eventually make up a solution.  An algorithm is also something that can create something once its set of instructions have been carried out.  This result can be anything from a cake after following a baking recipe or learning how to skydive from an instructor.  I would imagine that mathematicians would argue that they shouldn’t be generalized as much as I have done, but .  Algorithms can be quite complex or fairly simple depending upon the desired outcome of the solution, problem, or recipe.  I’m betting a lot of you with no previous knowledge of what an Algorithm was are having light bulbs go off right about now.  The use of algorithms is all around us in computers, analyses of data, even Facebook, and Google use them to predict things that you are already planning on doing.  They have a similar App for smartphones in development (if it hasn’t come out already), and there is also a really good TED Talk on the subject of algorithms as well.   I’m hoping that I’ve been able to shed some light on the subject somewhat, and have given you the desire to want to learn more about them.

NewTechieGirl

Data Scientist ~ Could this be your future or mine?

I know it has been awhile since I’ve posted anything new, and I do try to keep something for everyone to read while I’m away with work, and school.  I hope that you haven’t lost interest quite yet, and that you’ll stick around a bit longer.  After a mountain of homework that I finally tackled this weekend, and while perusing the internet as I so often do I came across an article about the next big career in IT… wait for it ~ Data Scientist.  After reading the article (I’ll post the article at the end of my post) I was amazed at how little I fathomed the amount of data that people use on a day-to-day basis.  This prompted me to do a bit more research on the subject, and what did I find exactly…  Well, tons and tons and tons of…yup you guessed it — DATA!!! (Data on data, how puzzling, but I digress)  Until recently I hadn’t even thought of where all of the data that I view, or use, or create goes or comes from.  It seems difficult to grasp a subject that you can’t actually grasp… let me elaborate.  While in school we read textbooks, take notes, do homework, make projects, all of which is a sort of data.  Now this “data” gets graded and turned back into us either at the end of class, quarter/semester, or year.  What do we do with this data?  Well in some cases this data gets thrown away some people tend to be collectors of data (we’ll call them hoarders), and while others keep only the important data and destroy the rest.  Now imagine the mass quantities of data that you plus everyone else creates while in high school, or college even, and expand that even further to businesses, non-profit organizations, the “Government”, and you can see that the amount of data storage that we require is astronomical…and it will only grow as we continue to create more data, and require more storage.  Different technology companies have responded by creating smaller and faster storage devices, and even the “Cloud”, which is in its simplest form is offsite data storage, all of these things help us to store the massive amounts of data that we create and use on a day-to-day basis.

RAMAC

First hard drive introduced by IBM in 1956 with 5MB of storage.

Currently consumer hard drives can go up to about 4TB (terabyte) which is about 4000GB of storage, and average about $399.00 in price from what I found on newegg.com.  Granted most companies require quite a bit more storage than your average user, and therefore there are much larger options for them as well.

Now back to the analogy from earlier about the amount of data you accumulate in school, if you consider that while in school you are in control of all of this data, and that the data is physical in nature and you figure out ways of storing, and using this data to your benefit.  This to me is what a Data Scientist would do with all of our data that we create and use on a daily basis now and in the future.  These questions…Where does all of that data go?  Where should it go?  How should it be stored?  How can it be indexed?  Is it searchable?  Will this data ever need to be accessed again?  Can this data be analyzed to produce better sales?  and the list goes on and on.  It definitely seems that there will be a need for Data Scientist’s and I suppose the only question now is…will you or I be one of them?

 

Happy computing 🙂

 

 

Interesting Articles:

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/01/06/data-scientist-jobs/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/127105/timeline_50_years_of_hard_drives.html