Expanding my IT knowledge (not for professional purposes)

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by carrierPigeon, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. carrierPigeon

    carrierPigeon [H]Lite

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    I am interesting in expanding my IT knowledge to be more proficient in my home computer use. I know that there are educational resources but many or most in my top categories below are geared more at the professional.

    Here are the areas that I am interested in (basically in order of importance, from most to least):
    1) Windows 8.1, troubleshooting, mainly.
    2) Windows 10, troubleshooting, mainly.
    3) Ubuntu (or perhaps other distro), everything
    4) Privacy focused mobile OS (definitely not Google or Apple controlled). Maybe Open Kang.
    5) A home network setup to put Google, Facebook, etc, in a "sandbox" by themselves ie. a designated IP address
    6) automation (writing internet dating messages, downloading bank statements, running checksum on my files/logging said issues)

    So far, I have considered the 70-688 book, Supporting Windows 8.1. However, the description says that it's going to assume that you are a professional already. I know a thing or two but I think I am in about the 20 percentile, if you ranked everyone on this forum for their IT (non-programming) knowledge. So, I am thinking that that book might be above my head.

    I also noticed some posts about comp TIA A+. But, that doesn't seem to cover Windows 10 yet even. Also, has a lot of material that I probably wouldn't bother with at all.

    I prefer something in a PDF format or in videos or such that I can download. Paper books and websites are ok, too. But, I don't like material that has a periodic fee, since I will likely take a lot of time to get through the material.

    I thought that this website would be a good place to ask because many here have developed an impressive level of knowledge :)
     
  2. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Why would you want to learn to support Win8.1? It's being rolled out.
     
  3. dthree

    dthree n00bie

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    Start offering free computer troubleshooting services on facebook groups or craigslist ads. Or volunteering at the library or senior center to maintain their computers. You will quickly learn to troubleshoot by solving real world problems. :)
     
  4. atreidesgoldenpath

    atreidesgoldenpath Limp Gawd

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    This is a good idea. I’ve learned more like this than most other ways.
     
  5. carrierPigeon

    carrierPigeon [H]Lite

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    doesn't force updates on you, so potentially fewer privacy infractions.

    Yea, that's an idea. A similar idea is posting on forums responding to people's request for help, and seeing what other people trying to help post.
     
  6. Frobozz

    Frobozz [H]ard|Gawd

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    While effective, this will also teach you how to graciously deny people who become dependent on you. While also worthwhile life skill, it can also burn you out if you're a slow study and then damage your soul when you execute.

    personally, I'd just think up some personal projects that would encompass what you're looking to learn. For scripting, privacy & linux setup a box (or 2) to run HomeAssistant, Nextcloud, Zabbix, and/or PiHole. For mobile, get a cheapo phone that's compatible with Lineage OS and the like. For Windows, download some eval versions of Win Server and setup and explore what you can during your trial period.

    Most of it is just finding projects that interest you and then "break it until you fix it"
     
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  7. tporter

    tporter [H]Lite

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    I would start a free trial at pluralsight.com it is very well laid out and has all up to date material for people at all skill levels. $35 a month for personal is nothing if you're really serious about it. Luckily I get it free through work :)
     
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  8. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You might want to move that up the list. Why? Because it moves you into the realm of programming, as you get better in programming you'll start to understand harder computer problems and how the overall system works. Plus, the act of creating something tends to pull you in and keep you wanting to learn more. Building more things will result in you naturally learning about the other stuff you want to learn about (troubleshooting, mobile, network, etc.).

    I'd recommend Python for a beginner language. It can do anything from simple scripting to A.I. / data-science, games, and/or full software. To get started, check out: https://www.pythonprogramming.net [Sentdex's YouTube channel ties to this], Derek Banas: https://www.youtube.com/user/derekbanas , and for a book, "Automate the Boring Stuff" https://automatetheboringstuff.com/ .
     
  9. carrierPigeon

    carrierPigeon [H]Lite

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    Ok, thanks for the input. I agree that learning programming helps in understanding (and troubleshooting) computers. I have taken the first 2 undergrad classes in C++, during which we dealt a lot with raw pointers. During the course, I also learned bash (similar to unix command line) a little. Working with raw pointers has helped me be better at general IT technical support (slightly). Part of that coursework was just a few months ago so it's reasonably fresh in my mind (though quickly escaping). Do you think it would make sense for me to study the aforementioned areas but using C++? There is a side benefit of that and that is that if I continue with college coursework (which wouldn't be any time in the next 6 months), it would probably help. The curriculum gets into C in the next class (data structures). After that class, if I am feeling balsy, I could go into algorithms, which is supposed to be the toughest class of the entire bachelors degree.