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Featured Resource for Today's Successful IT Pro

The Book on IT Customer Service:The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master Human Relations Skills to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service

Book: The Compassionate Geek: How Engineers, IT Pros, and Other Tech Specialists Can Master the Art of Human Relations to Deliver Outstanding Customer Serivce

 A real-world, plain-language how-to guide for building amazing IT careers and delivering amazing customer service to customers and end-users.

 Now in its third edition, The Compassionate Geek was written by a tech person for tech people. There are no frills, just customer service best practices and ideas that actually work! Filled with practical customer service tips, best practices, and real-world techniques, The Compassionate Geek is a quick read with equally fast results. Each chapter includes a reflection and discussion section to help you improve your customer service skills. There are lots of personal stories and examples of mistakes made and lessons learned. This new edition adds an entire chapter on overcoming personal and professional obstacles.

Here's what you ll find:

  • The four intrinsic qualities of great customer service providers 
  • Customer service tips on how to say no without alienating your customer or end user 
  • Best practices for communicating with email, including examples 
  • Best practices for communicating using chat and texting 
  • Ten tips for being a good listener 
  • Two practical ways to keep your emotions in check using emotional intelligence (eq) techniques 
  • A six-step flow chart for handling customer and end user calls 
  • Customer service skills to use when the customer or end user is wrong 
  • How to work with the different generations in the workplace 
  • Motivational stories of human triumph with reflection and discussion questions 
  • Techniques for overcoming personal and professional obstacles

All of the information is presented in a straightforward style that you can understand and use right away. There's nothing foo-foo , just down-to-earth tips and technical support best practices learned from years of working with technical staff and demanding customers and end users.

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Learning Resources for IT Pros

Cisco ASA for Accidental Administrators: An Illustrated Step-by-Step ASA Learning and Configuration Guide

Book: Cisco ASA for Accidental Administrators: An Illustrated Step-by-Step Configuration GuideCisco ASA for Accidental Administrators, version 1.1, is a major update to the previous Accidental Administrator ASA book. This new edition is packed with 48 easy-to-follow hands-on exercises to help you build a working firewall configuration from scratch. Based on software version 9.x, it continues as the most straight-forward approach to learning how to configure the Cisco ASA Security Appliance, filled with practical tips and secrets learned from years of teaching and consulting on the ASA. There is no time wasted on boring theory. The essentials are covered in chapters on installing, backups and restores, remote administration, VPNs, DMZs, usernames, transparent mode, static NAT, port address translation, access lists, DHCP, password recovery, logon banners, AAA (authentication, authorization and accounting), filtering content and more. Inside this concise, step-by-step guide, you’ll find:

How to backup and restore software images and configurations
How to configure different types of VPNs, including AAA authentication
The secrets to successfully building and implementing access-lists

All this information is presented in a straight-forward style that you can understand and use right away. The idea is for you to be able to sit down with your ASA and build a working configuration in a matter of minutes. Of course, some of the more advanced configs may take a little longer, but even so, you’ll be able to “get it done” in a minimal amount of time!

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The Accidental Administrator: Cisco Router Step-by-Step Configuration Guide (Volume 1)

Book: The Accidental Administrator: Cisco Router Step-by-Step Configuration Guide

The Accidental Administratortm: Cisco Router Step-by-Step Configuration Guide is packed with more than 30 easy-to-follow interactive exercises, loads of screen captures, and lots of step-by-step examples to help you build a working router from scratch. Easily the most straightforward approach to learning how to configure a Cisco router, this book is filled with practical tips and secrets learned from years of Don s teaching and consulting on Cisco network devices.

As a bonus, you won t waste your time on boring theory. All the essentials are covered in chapters on installing, backups and restores, and TCP/IP. You ll learn the nitty-gritty on subnetting, remote administration, routing protocols, static routing, access-control lists, site-to-site VPNs, network address translation (NAT), DHCP, password recovery, and security. There s even an entire chapter on the new Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6).

Here's just some of what you'll find:

  • How to configure and manage access lists
  • How to set up a site-to-site VPN
  • How to implement IPv6

All the information is presented in a straightforward style that you can understand and use right away. With The Accidental Administrator: Cisco Router Step-by-Step Configuration Guide you ll be able to sit down with your routers and build a working configuration in a matter of minutes. Of course, some of the more advanced configs may take a little longer, but even so, you'll be able to "get 'er done" in a minimal amount of time!

In addition, there are supporting videos and a supporting webpage to provide even more help and updated information.

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Book: The Accidental Administrator: Linux Server Step-by-Step Configuration Guide

The Accidental Administrator: Linux Server Step-by-Step Configuration Guide

Get the Kindle edition for free when you purchase the paperback edition.

 The Accidental Administrator: Linux Server Step-by-Step Configuration Guide is packed with 54 hands-on, step-by-step exercises and 185 graphics including screen captures showing you exactly what you should be seeing on your own screen. It's the most straight-forward, visual approach to learning how to configure a Red Hat/CentOS Linux server, filled with practical tips and secrets learned from years of teaching, consulting, and administering Linux servers.

There's no time wasted on boring theory. The essentials are covered in chapters on installing, administering, user management, file systems and directory management, networking, package management, automated task scheduling, network services including DHCP and DNS, Samba, NFS, mail servers, Web and FTP servers, SSH, security, firewalls, NAT, performance monitoring, management tools, and more.

Inside this concise, step-by-step Linux server configuration guide, you'll find:
Where to find and legally download the free server software
How to build and configure an Apache Web server, including virtual hosts
How to configure file and printer sharing for Windows clients with Samba
How to understand Linux file and directory permissions
With 54 hands-on exercises using virtualization (VMWare is used in the book, but other virtualization environments will work equally as well), this book is perfect for both individuals working by themselves or for groups such as classes and users groups.

All the information is presented in a straightforward, yet casual style that you can understand and use right away. This practical book makes it possible for you to build a working Linux server in a matter of minutes. Of course, some of the more advanced configs may take a little longer, but even so, you'll be able to "get it done" in a minimal amount of time.

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Tweeting Linux: 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or Less

Book: Tweeting Linux: 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or LessTweeting Linux: 140 Linux Configuration Commands Explained in 140 Characters or Less is a straight-forward approach to learning Linux commands. Each command is first explained in 140 characters or less, then examples of usage are shown in screen captures, and finally more details are given when necessary to explain command usage. You'll see the most commonly-used commands, plus a few gems you might not know about.

Written by a veteran IT trainer and Linux administrator, here's a sampling of what you'll find:

  • How to use rsync to synchronize files
  • Two tools for managing Apache Web servers
  • Four commands to query name servers
  • Four ways to get help
  • Four ways to install and manage software
  • The secret command that prevents even administrators from deleting a file
  • How to use diff to compare files
  • Seven ways to use "find" to search for files
  • The three steps to installing software from source code
  • The little-known Linux tool that combines ping and traceroute
  • How to create pop-up notices in the system tray

All information is presented in a straight-forward style designed for everyday use by working system administrators.

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About the author

Don R. Crawley is President/Chief Technologist of the Seattle-based I.T. training company, soundtraining.net. He has more than 35 years experience working with workplace technology and automation and holds multiple technical certifications including Linux+ and IPv6 Silver Engineer. In addition to being a best-selling author, he has spoken before audiences in all 50 states and Canada, plus the United Kingdom and Australia. In his spare time, he plays the pipe organ, watches the ships on Puget Sound, and laughs with his family.

Errata Please check here for any corrections to the books.

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