Understanding IT

My First Two Years as an Author

My First Two Years as an Author

It was roughly two years ago today that I started my blog and released my first short story, DAISY, and set my first nonfiction work, Understanding IT. I wanted to take a step back to look at the performance of my various projects, and I realized something very important:  Advertising is incredibly important, and something that I've completely neglected.

Free Weekend: Understanding IT & DAISY

Over Labor Day, (4 - 8 September) both Understanding IT and DAISY will be completely and totally free; no strings attached or reviews required.  Simply click on one of those links to download the book to your kindle compatible device!  

[DAISY] was an adorably quirky story, with intelligent themes. It exceeded my expectations and left me smiling, both quite surprising for a short story.
— Brandy

Understanding IT is a "crash course" introduction into everything Information Technology (Databases, Statistics, IT Service Model, etc); aimed for the professional who has to carve out time on the train ride to work, or over lunch. DAISY is a romantic comedy from the point of view of a quirky, romantic, and well-intentioned artificial intelligence, DAISY, who spices up her life of targeted advertising by playing match maker with unsuspecting users.

If you're interested in more of my work, you can check out NASA Down, my first short story, and read up on my upcoming book, Voyager for free. Both stories are realistic science fiction narratives about climate change, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), and the effects these transnational issues will have on humanity.



Free Weekend: Understanding IT

Great news everyone, my new technology book Understanding IT: Decoding Technology and Business will be free over Labor Day weekend (3 - 7 September)!  It's actually been available on Amazon since early July, but my career took another unexpected turn so I wasn't able to get it out to everyone as early as I would have liked. 

In other news, DAISY has been doing extremely well on Amazon and I thought that I would make sure everyone had an opportunity to read it on the web.  So, I made it available, for free, here. 

Defense In Depth

Defense In Depth

Security can be an overwhelming topic to get started and as a result, a concept known as Defense in Depth has been making its way across the industry for the last couple of years.  Defense in Depth is an organized and systematic way to ensure that your network is as unattractive to hackers as reasonably possible. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as “unhackable,” so the object of security is to make the costs of attacking your network more than the benefit of doing so without incurring more cost in defense than your network’s security is worth. Defense in Depth does this by breaking the security process down into eight distinct phases.

  • Security Through Obscurity
  • Establishing Identity
  • Encryption and Hashing
  • Hardening your Devices
  • Preventing Intrusion
  • Adhering to Laws
  • Routine Maintenance
  • User Education

These sections are only a snippet of the fifteen pages that I've dedicated to security and privacy in my 140pg book, Understanding IT: Decoding Business and Technology. I've posted this to introduce the concept of Defense in Depth as it relates to the Malware Business Model and as a precursor to Cutting The Cord, Episode Four: Securing Your Network [Episode One and Two]. The topics covered here may be broad strokes, but before a specific technical understanding can be reached, the frameworks have to be established.

(Update) Understanding IT

Over the past year I have been engaged in writing two books, Understanding IT: A Guide for Business Leaders, and Current Trends in Business Intelligence. My last update cited that I would be releasing both books in January's 2015, and I am pleased to announce that this date is still solid.  However, there has been one very significant adjustment to my original plan: Current Trends will no longer be a stand-alone work.

As it stood, Current Trends was going to end up being a short work of approximately forty pages with a large number of pictures and diagrams, and I just did not feel comfortable releasing it as its own product.  Simply put: I wasn't falling in love with where the book was going. As a result, I decided to scrap the forty page book and expand the topics covered in Understanding IT to also include data science fundamentals, the Information Technology Service Management framework, project management, and more case-studies in proper IT governance as it relates to first-time IT managers and small business owners.

It is my belief that, while it made sense to start the books as individual works, the combined manuscript will be more beneficial to the consumer while aligning more with my career goals (to obtain an ITIL and PMP certification) and producing a product in which I am more proud to claim ownership.

The process of combining the books was relatively easy, but the extra research load (namely reading through the libraries of ITSM and PMP) has proven to be a challenge.  However, given that I have an 80% complete manuscript (already line-edited), I've also started approaching agents and publishers to give traditional publishing a fair shot before moving on to independent alternatives.



Writing Updates

As many of you may recall, I've been working on a book, Understanding IT: A Guide for Business Leaders, and I had recently decided to publish my graduate thesis under the title Current Trends in Business Intelligence. What you probably haven't known is the progress that I've made on these projects.

Understanding IT is a book that aims to give a high-level overview of the Information Technology science, career, and best practices from bus architecture to databases while being specifically targeted towards small business leaders or newly appointed manager over IT assets and personnel.

Current Trends is my graduate thesis outlining how companies have traditionally acquired data, turned it into knowledge, and used that knowledge to make money; why business intelligence has traditionally been a privilege of the silicon valley giants; and why the rise of open source products and MOOCs are making business intelligence more applicable to smaller firms.

I'm about five of ten chapters completed with my rough draft of Understanding IT, and about 1/3 completed with the 30pg thesis that Current Trends represents, so I'm feeling relatively confident that I can have a rough manuscript completed by late April or early May.  After that, I'll hand the manuscripts off to an editor (in this case Gabriel Fitzpatrick), come up with something for the cover art, and do a whole bunch of administrative junk associated with self publishing.

My goal is to be completed sometime around Christmas with a publication date of January 2015!

Understanding IT, an Introduction for Business Leaders

I've been toying with the idea of writing a professional book for the better part of three years now, and after some thought, I've decided to pursue this endeavor between the completion of my Graduate Certificate (May 2014) and the starting of my Masters in Business Administration (August 2017).  I've already acquired about 3/4 of the notes required, by virtue of my obsessive note taking throughout my academic and professional career, but this will still be a rather large undertaking.

The book's premise will be a survey of the Information Technology field as a whole, from the component level all the way to the business analytics and "big data" level.  As far as I can tell, there are no books that explain the concepts, technologies, and histories of these fields in plain English, without a lot of fluff, and without costing an arm and a leg.

I'll be writing more about this as time goes on, so be on the look out for references to "The Book" (which has not been named).  In the mean time, have a teaser into the layout:

 

  1. Building the Computer
  2. Understanding the Operating System
  3. Programs and Languages
  4. File Systems
  5. Network Theory
  6. Configuring Your Network
  7. Maintaining Your Domain
  8. Certifying Your Administrators
  9. Web Servers
  10. Databases

 

 

This will likely evolve over time, but I think this layout is a pretty good starting point.  One thing I want to do with this, since it is going to be a self-published, digital copy only, book is to include a lot of inline references that will point back to an appendix in which there will be an annotated bibliography of everything I used to create this book.  

The reasoning behind this is that this book will be covering such a large amount of information that I will be leaving a lot of stuff out.  For example, while I intend to cover the basic history and evolution of Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix, I cannot cover every detail; nor would I want to.  The compromise here would be that a reader who wants to know more about the history of Linux, simply needs to click the link in the paragraph(s) talking about Linux, be shuttled to the back of the book, and write down the references associated with Linux.

I hope to have it ready to edit before I start my MBA, in which case, I would hope to have it published by 2015.