## Thursday, September 30, 2010

### Which Oracle Certifications Are Right for You?

Oracle offers more than just database certifications. Find out which credentials are right for your career now.
Allan Hoffman | Monster Tech Jobs Expert

Oracle’s certification program might entertain a new motto: “Not just for database pros anymore.”
The company offers certifications for a variety of job roles, matching the wide-ranging offerings of the company itself, from application software to development tools. Founded on the concept of relational database technology, Oracle now bills itself as “the world’s largest enterprise software company.” It now offers data warehouse design and application servers, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, aided by Oracle’s recent merger with PeopleSoft.
For IT professionals working with Oracle products, the company’s multifaceted technology translates into a broad spectrum of certifications for database administrators, software developers, analysts, Web administrators and others.
Oracle Primary Certifications
Oracle Certified Associate (OCA): The associate credential is designed for IT professionals beginning to work with Oracle. Typically, OCAs will already have acquired the foundation of knowledge for their work as Web administrators, database administrators and developers. Oracle views the OCA credential as an appropriate starting point for techies early in their careers. By earning an OCA certification, you can have increased entry-level job opportunities, says Oracle’s OCA candidates guide. "It is the stepping-stone to starting a successful career as an Oracle professional. Oracle Certified Professional (OCP): OCPs generally have achieved a degree of experience and success in their careers. For example, developers may have demonstrated their expertise by managing a large-scale Oracle database or developing applications used throughout a company. This credential is seen as a way to move on to senior-level positions.
Oracle Certified Master (OCM): The OCM credential can be summed up in a single word: Guru. OCMs, whether database pros or developers, are crucial members of IT departments who handle mission-critical projects and tasks. The OCM credential significantly raises the bar for certification with its hands-on testing, according toan article in Oracle Magazine, a company publication. The OCM is Oracle University’s response to the industry’s need to effectively test candidates on their ability to perform in a real-world, live application environment and is a test of both knowledge and experience, the article notes.
Credentials for Specific Oracle Products and Releases
Oracle’s certifications are typically tied to specific products and releases. Deciding which certification path to choose depends largely upon what Oracle technology you will be working with, whether Oracle Database 10g, Oracle9i Forms Developer, Oracle Application Server 10g, Oracle9i Database, Oracle Forms 6i Developer or Oracle9i Application Server. An Oracle-produced Guide offers advice on the steps to becoming certified by Oracle.

#### Oracle Certification Resources

These training and information resources are useful for techies interested in Oracle certification:
Oracle University offers instructor-led, self-paced learning courses. Self Test Software provides practice tests endorsed by Oracle. The tests are designed to help those pursuing certification target areas where they need practice and additional knowledge. Oracle Magazine regularly includes articles geared towards IT pros seeking Oracle certification. DBAzine.com is an online community for database issues. SearchOracle.com is a clearinghouse for Oracle articles. OraBlogs aggregates Oracle blogs. Oracle FAQ is for Oracle products and includes links to books, message boards and other resources. Oracle Headline News provides the latest from the Oracle world. Database Journal contains a special Oracle section

# Create Service-Stopping Batch Files to Optimize Your PC for Specific Tasks

You may have lots of software installed on your PC, but you don't need it running all the time. If you want to save some system resources, or just create a distraction-free environment in one click, a simple batch file can help.
First I'll walk through how to create a batch file for anyone unfamiliar with the handy Windows scripts, and then explain how to use some simple commands to start or stop resource-draining services or kill distracting applications.

### Creating a Batch File and Starting Applications

To create a batch file, all you need to do is create a new, plain-text file with the .bat extension, and enter any commands in the file the same way that you would use them on the command line. You then execute the batch file (by, say, double-clicking it), and it'll run through the commands in the order you've written them into the file. Simple enough?
If you wanted to start a new instance of an application you should precede it with the startcommand. For example, to create a batch file that would start Notepad and open a new Explorer window that shows a certain folder, you could put these two lines into the batch file:
start notepad start explorer c:\path\to\start
The batch file displays each command as output on the console, so if you would like to prevent that you can add the @ symbol before the command to eliminate extra output, or you can simply put this line at the top of the file:
@echo off
Now that we've got a few simple batch-file basics out of the way, lets move on to more useful batch file tasks. (Remember, you can copy and paste any of the commands below into a plain text file, save it with the .bat extension, and you've got yourself a batch file.)

### Stop or Start Services in a Batch File

Many applications these days install a bunch of supporting services that help the application, but they really don't need to be running all the time. On my system, I've found this is especially true for virtual machine software, which often installs a bunch of heavy services that use a lot of extra resources. If you aren't running a virtual machine all the time, they really don't need to be running.
What we can do is create a batch file that stops the services, and another batch file that starts them back up. To do this, you can simply use the net command with start or stop as the first parameter, and then the name of the service after it. You can either use the service short name, or the display name in quotes, like one of these two examples:
net stop wuaserv net stop "Windows Update"
You can find the service names easily enough by opening the Services tool (use your Start menu search to find Services and run it) and double-clicking on one of the services. You'll see the short service name highlighted in the example below:
(For another way to look at the services that are currently running on your system, pull up the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Escape) and click the Services tab.)
You can start the services again by using the opposite command, like so:
net start wuaserv
Note that if you're using Windows 7 or Vista and you've still got UAC enabled, you'll need to run the batch file as administrator to actually stop the service. You can create a shortcut to the batch file and specify to always start as administrator in the shortcut properties to eliminate having to right-click every time.

### Kill Applications with a Batch File

While stopping services is helpful to free up some system resources, you'll be able to free up a lot more resources by killing applications that don't need to be running—which can also be very helpful in killing distracting notifications and the like when you really want to focus. For instance, if you really should be writing that paper, you could have a KillDistractions.bat file that turns off everything else other than your preferred text editor.
To kill an application from the command line or a batch file, all you have to do is use the taskkill command with the /IM parameter, which matches the image name column from Task Manager—which is really just the file name of the application executable. For instance, to kill Notepad you would use the command like this:
taskkill /IM notepad.exe
This command by default will simulate clicking the red X in the corner of the window, so you'll be prompted to save your work if necessary. If you wanted to kill applications instantly without saving anything, you could use the /F parameter to force kill instead, like this:
taskkill /F /IM notepad.exe taskkill /F /IM chrome.exe
You've got plenty of other parameters to choose from with the taskkill command, which you can browse with the /? parameter (i.e., type taskkill /?).

### Create a Shortcut to Start the Batch File

Now that we've walked through the basic commands you'll need to create a batch file that starts or stops all the services and applications we don't need running, we can make the last line of the batch file start up the application that we're planning on running, and then customize the shortcut to start the batch file minimized so the Command Prompt window isn't flashing on the screen. So right-click your desktop or in any Explorer window, go to New -> Shortcut, and point it toward your batch script.
If you click the Advanced button on the shortcut window, you'll be able to specify to run the application as administrator if necessary. If you're stopping services in the batch file, you'll need to use this option, though you should note that any applications you start in the batch file will also be started as administrator. Of course, if you've disabled UAC, this won't matter either way.

### Putting It All Together

Now that you know how to stop services, kill applications, and create the proper shortcuts, it's time to put it all together into a useful combination. Here's an example script that I use to kill distractions when I'm ready to switch into writing mode, but you could customize this to fit anything you might need.
taskkill /IM tweetdeck.exe taskkill /IM chrome.exe taskkill /IM firefox.exe taskkill /IM pidgin.exe taskkill /IM notepad.exe
Since I often use virtual machines to do my testing, I've also created batch files that start and stop the services when necessary to make sure that I'm only wasting resources when I actually need the virtual machines running. To stop the services, I've created a file called stopvmware.bat, though I've also set all these services to manual startup, so I only need to use this after I close VMware.
net stop VMAuthdService net stop VMnetDHCP net stop "VMware NAT Service" net stop "VMUSBArbService"
Then when I need to start VMware again, I can simply use my startvmware.bat file, which starts up the services and then launches the VMware application.
net start VMAuthdService net start VMnetDHCP net start "VMware NAT Service" net start "VMUSBArbService" start "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\vmware.exe"
You can customize these scripts to do anything you might want, and tailor them to your environment, but this should give you the tools you need to get started creating your own time-saving batch files.

### Watch oNe Never Goes Out Of Style

Posted: 28 Sep 2010 10:24 PM PDT
This watch will never go out of style. Watch oNe is not your traditional analog watch, it’s a digital watch that offers you literally multiple interfaces so you can never go out of style. You can easily change the time display mode by clicking a button, starting from traditional to futuristic display. It could represent your style, your mood, and your personality. What if you get bored and want more sophisticated time display? Well, you can buy new “face” in the available online store and upload it via micro USB port hidden on the side of the watch, as simple as that. The physical watch itself has been designed to make it possible for you to interchange different parts with a range of colors and m
aterials.
Designer : Igor Chak

Here at How-To Geek, we’ve covered many different ways to reset your password for Windows—but what if you can't reset your password? Or what if you’re using drive encryption that would wipe out your files if you changed the password? It’s time to crack the password instead.
To accomplish this, we’ll use a tool called Ophcrack that can crack your password so you can login without having to change it.

The first thing we will need to do is download the CD image from Ophcrack's website. There are two options to download, XP or Vista, so make sure you grab the right one. The Vista download works with Windows Vista or Windows 7, and the only difference between XP and Vista is the "tables" Ophcrack uses to determine the password.
Once the .iso file is downloaded, burn it to a CD using the guide below.
If you are going to be cracking your password on something that doesn't have a CD drive, such as a netbook, download the universal USB creator from PenDrive Linux (Link Below). A USB drive will not only run faster but you can also use a single USB drive for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 if you copy the needed tables to the drive.
To create a USB drive that works with all versions of Windows, download the free password tables from Ophcrack's website.
Note: There are free tables available on Ophcrack's website and there are paid tables, the paid tables will typically get the job done faster and will be able to crack more complex passwords but the paid tables may not fit on a USB drive because they range in size from 3 GB to 135 GB.
Now extract the tables to \tables\vista_free on the USB drive and they will be used automatically by Ophcrack.

### Boot from CD/USB

Boot the computer from the CD or USB drive that you created.
Note: On some computers you may have to go into the BIOS settings to change the boot order or push a key to show the boot menu.
Once the disk is done booting, Ophcrack should start automatically and will begin cracking the passwords for all of the users on your computer.
Note: If the computer boots and you only have a blank screen or Ophcrack doesn't start, try restarting the computer and selecting manual or low RAM options on the live CD boot menu.