Checklists for IT Professionals By John Makulowich
Who can deny that a key part of improving your productivity is organizing your time more efficiently? One step - if not the first - in the right direction is compiling a list of activities to consider before you start your next marathon project. What better place to begin gathering information than the Internet? With this motivation, I collected some lists I thought the harried infotech professional would find valuable. You'll note that I only offer the URL (uniform resource locator) and a thumb-nail sketch of the site; no need to waste your time with non-productive browsing.
ACSL's seven laws of direct marketing
If direct marketing is part of your responsibility, here's a list of seven simple rules placed on the Web by a U.K. company named ACSL, or Applied Computer Science Ltd. While the company researches the Sun SPARC systems market and publishes the SPARC Product Directory, this list will be worthwhile regardless of your hardware.
You find a list of a different sort at this Microsoft site for Windows CE, the new operating system for communications, entertainment and mobile-computing devices. Basically, CE allows non-PC consumer and business tools, like digital information pagers, cellular smart phones, Internet Web phones and digital TV set-top boxes to communicate and exchange data with one another. This Windows CE URL showcases a host of companies that produce productivity software, such as time managers, that are compatible with the CE operating system.
HP 3000 Consolidations and High Availability
Even though it caters to a narrow audience, that is, infotech staff thinking about reorganizing and restructuring HP 3000 systems, this list can serve as a model. From calculating projected cost savings (maintenance costs, staffing, software, real estate, energy savings) all the way to consolidation strategies, the terrain is fully mapped. This is paradigm value-added information simply because it would prove useful to many, if not most, infotech staff considering restructuring whatever their system hardware.
InterNIC Internet Documentation (RFCs, FYIs, et al.) and IETF Information
For infotech/information system professionals, the InterNIC contains a gold mine of checklist information prepared by different computer experts. You can find everything from "Multimedia E-mail (MIME) User Agent checklist" http://ds.internic.net /rfc/rfc1844.txt through "Connecting to the Internet: What Connecting Institutions Should Anticipate" (http://www.internic.net/rfc/ rfc1359.txt) to "Site Security Handbook" (http://www.internic.net/rfc/rfc1244.txt). The latter, produced in July 1991, is valuable for more than historical reasons. It contains handy checklists "to help a site determine which strategy to adopt: 'Protect and Proceed' or 'Pursue and Prosecute.'"
Software QA/Test Resource Center
Many Web sites on the Internet (versus intranets) carry collections of valuable links to other sites. One of the recent additions, compiled by Rick Hower, is this list of more than 50 Web site test and site management tools. It is set up in these categories: Load and Performance; Java; Site Mapping, Link Checking, HTML Validators, Site Management; Free On-the-Web HTML Validators and Link Checkers; PERL Scripts for Validating and Checking; Web Site Management/ Test/CM/Version Control; and Intranet Management.
Letters from Readers
Responding to my Jan. 23 column on travel sites, Krishni Kiffa wrote to suggest biztravel.com http://www.biztravel.com as a valuable resource. I agree, it is well worth adding to the four I listed.
John Makulowich writes, talks and trains on the Internet.
Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The URL for his home page is
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