What do you do to keep your skills sharp?

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iantm's picture
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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?

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

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coius's picture
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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...

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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.

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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
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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!

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

Dr. Webster's picture
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Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
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.

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Applefritter Admin

mmphosis's picture
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Joined: Aug 18 2005
Posts: 314
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.

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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.
LOL

Dave

moosemanmoo's picture
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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!

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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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
Jon
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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!

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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

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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.

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-Justin
(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!