What do you do to keep your skills sharp?

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iantm's picture
Joined: Apr 2 2005
Posts: 709

Here's an odd little survey. What do you do to keep your support skills sharp?

Here's what I do to keep my skills sharp at work. At my desk, I have four work provided computers. One is a PC running windows, I've got a PowerBook G4, a G5 tower (which is being replaced with a core 2 duo iMac), and a tray load iMac running os 9.2. Between having all these platforms easily on hand, I can test fixes, maintain familiarity with each platform in which to better support it.

At home, I've got a beige g3 and an 8600/300 both running os 9, the work issued powerbook, a 500 mhz tibook, and a 500 mhz g4 cube. The cube and tibook are both running 10.3, and I have 10.2 loaded on the beige g3 as well as 9. I have to keep as sharp with as much as possible.

What do you do to keep sharp and knowledgeable so that you are prepared for whatever comes your way professionally?


- iantm
ACPT & ACDT (long expired)
BMW Certified Technician

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coius's picture
Joined: Aug 25 2004
Posts: 1975
going to school

headed for a Cisco certificate. Which also means taking the A+ classes all over again :/ Oh well, at least I am brushing up on some of the old stuff...


See my PB540c 33Mhz serve a website! http://yui-ikari.coius.info/

Reverend Darkness's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 502
Interesting topic

As I sit here at work, taking support call after support call, I have the following machines immediately within reach:

PB G4 running Tiger
iMac G3-350 running OS 9
PB G3Wallstreet with XpostFacto running Panther
PB G4 dual-partitioned Panther and Tiger
PC running XP Pro

For problem testing, I have access to:

Dual G5 running Tiger Server, Tiger, and Panther Server
NetApp Filer
Several Windows 2003 Server, 2000 Server, 2000, and XP machines

My Web Server is a Dual G4 running Tiger Server
My Mail Server is the same
My Backup Server is a G4 running Panther Server

I keep sharp by working. I have to make sure I'm on the bleeding edge of available Apple and Microsoft technology in order to help customers, some of whom have access to technology that I do not yet. (i.e. Leopard and Vista)

At home I have a Beige G3 Xpost-d to Panther, a Windows XP box (my wife's) and several piles of bits and pieces that my wife wishes weren't there anymore.


When I see lightning, you know it always brings me down... because it's free, and it's me who's lost and never found.

gobabushka's picture
Joined: Apr 26 2004
Posts: 494
Me, I am always working on co

Me, I am always working on computers, whether at home or work. There's always some project that i'm doing!


"I reject your reality and substute my own!!!" -Adam Savage, MythBusters

Dr. Webster's picture
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1688
I'm a server admin. My job is

I'm a server admin. My job is more than enough to keep me on my toes.


Applefritter Admin

mmphosis's picture
Joined: Aug 18 2005
Posts: 318
expert consultant

At sharp minds are hurled sharp objects.

The Apple II+ is in storage.
I am typing this on a 5+ year old iBook.
Most often the computers I encounter are "someone else's headache" and sometimes discarded by the roadside.

The only thing that "professional" means is that we charge a fee for service rendered.

My zero cost A+ certification reads "certifiable."

If I could get this @*&! printer to work I would even show you the paper.

I usually listen to people before jumping to solutions.

Joined: Jun 18 2005
Posts: 196
I am constantly working on ho

I am constantly working on how to program my VCR and use my Cellphone.
Keeps me sharp as a tack.


moosemanmoo's picture
Joined: Aug 17 2004
Posts: 686
I'm still in school and I try

I'm still in school and I try to keep up with whatever is new with technology, if only by learning about it. I'm taking my A+ test this Saturday, as a matter of fact. It would be much more useful for me to take the 2006 test, but my school is paying for it, so it's their choice!


Join the chat on irc.freenode.com, channel #applefritter.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
my AF degree

I check out Applefritter daily. Some of my friends say I'm certifiable, but I think they have something else in mind.

Jon's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
I haven't programmed much in

I haven't programmed much in the past 4 years. I have never really programmed much of use to anyone but myself, or for educational reqs. I'm planning on getting myself into useful programming skills (ie, I already know how to write in BASIC and C++ (hey, look mom, I can declare variables and overload functions!) buy programming a simple custom util using Objective C on OS X. If I get it going well I've got plans to port the mini-app/menu bar icon/widget to a gDesklet/etc for Linux. When/if I get it done it'll serve the non-Windows users of a 15,000+ member community site. Skills/fame/and possible charitable donation funding! Woo!


I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 700
my brain is put to work every

my brain is put to work every day working on cars. i also spend considerable amounts of time playin on my 4 computers, 2 pc and 2 mac.


(dead) PB100, Q650, PB Wallstreet, beige G3, Imac snow 600, Ibook g4, SE30, (dead) IIsi, TiBook 667VGA, PBg4 1.5, MDD dual 1.25ghz, 1.8ghz g5 tower.
OS7.5 to 10.3.9. I LOVE CLASSIC MACS!