Coming in October – MySQL Explained

MysqlMy newest book, MySQL Explained, is due to be published this month! You can check out the LeanPub page to show your support and to sign up for notifications of when it’s published.  See the description of the book below.

About the Book

MySQL Explained is a step-by-step tutorial for everyone who’s ready to learn about the database software most commonly used for storing information behind some of today’s most popular websites and online applications.

Written especially for people outside the I.T. world, MySQL Explained provides the background information you need to get familiar with database theory and the principles behind organizing data. This book starts from the ground up, helping the reader to understand the very definition of a database, the forms it can take and the different options for storing information. By the end of this book, you’ll understand the reasons for choosing MySQL, the options for installing it and the tools that it offers to store and safeguard your data.

If you are in any way involved in designing or managing a website or data solution of any kind, you owe it to yourself to understand the tools involved. Quality database management sytems are essential in today’s data-driven world and such essential tools should not be a mystery to those who depend on them. MySQL Explained can help you unravel the mystery and learn more about a technology that will be around for a long time to come.

MySQL Explained is published through OS Training which, in addition to publishing tutorials like this one, offers onsite and online training in web technologies including Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.

Please take a moment to visit the LeanPub page for MySQL Explained and give us your feedback one whether this is a title that would interest you. Also, be sure to check back here for more information about MySQL and other technologies in the upcoming months.

A Complete Guide to Installing MySQL and PHP with IIS

One of my latest projects was setting up WordPress, the popular content management system, on a client’s web server which was running Windows Server 2008. WordPress requires installations of MySQL for the database back-end and the PHP scripting language in order to serve up the WordPress content. On a local Windows machine, I’d probably just use a pre-configured WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack package like EasyPHP which is installed quickly and includes all the necessary components. That’s not quite an option in a professional environment, though. I was also working with Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.5 for the web server instead of Apache so the process is a little more involved.

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New Kindle Fire for $49.99!

The Kindle Fire goes on sale for $49.99 on Sept. 30, 2015.

The Kindle Fire goes on sale for $49.99 on Sept. 30, 2015.

I don’t usually do blatant advertising in these posts but I have to get the word out about this one. On September 30, 2015, will be selling the 7″ Kindle Fire with 8GB of memory and Wi-Fi for only $49.99. That’s a fantastic price for a great product. I’ve had mine for a few months now and love. it.  In addition to reading books, I can watch Netflix on it, surf the web, listen to music and take pictures.  I’ve been amazed by the video and audio quality on it and the camera is better than the one on my smartphone.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a tablet, I would definitely recommend the Kindle Fire. With webmail and all the free apps available through Amazon’s store, I can do most everyday tasks on my Kindle Fire. The voice recognition is also excellent so it’s easy to dictate e-mails and updates.

At $49.99, the Kindle Fire is something you definitely have to consider when buying a new tablet.

(In the interest of full-disclosure, the links in this post are affiliate links.)

Job Opportunity – Systems Administrator

(This post is re-published from

CareerSource Citrus / Levy / Marion is looking for a Systems Administrator to provide support for their offices in Citrus, Levy and Marion Counties. The job description below was provided by the agency. If you or someone you know is qualified for this position and interested in applying, please apply through, referencing job order # 11078489. (Veterans Preference)

Minimum Education and Experience

  • Associate’s Degree from a two year college or technical school with major course work in Management Information Systems, Computer Sciences, or related field with 3 to 5 years of IT work experience in infrastructure/network environments in network operations, maintenance, design, implementation, administration and support or an equivalent combination of education, experience, or demonstrated competence.
  • MCSE and/or MCSA Certifications in Windows Server 2008/2012 required.
  • CCNA certification preferred.
  • Experience with Citrix XenServer/XenApp highly desired.
  • Other related networking certifications desired.
  • Valid driver’s license for required travel.

Knowledge, Abilities, and Skills

  • Knowledge of and proficiency in the use of computers with emphasis on client/server architectures, operating systems, programming languages, graphic workstations, and installation of hardware and peripheral.
  • Knowledge of migrating and upgrading Citrix Servers and components
  • Knowledge of Active Directory environment, User Accounts, Groups, OUs, Sites, Subnets and GPOs.
  • Knowledge of firewalls, filters, CISCO POE VLAN switches, State APP-EFM, OSMIS & OSST, wireless access points network, CISCO VOIP Call Manager, Unity Messaging, and Exchange email servers.
  • Ability to configure and troubleshoot thin client devices.
  • Ability to work independently and be self -motivated.
  • Ability to maintain good working relationships, exercise initiative, and interact positively.
  • Ability to work with customers to solve hardware and operating system problems.
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

General Description

Highly responsible professional and technical work responsible for the day to day administration of a Windows 2008 active directory integrated network and Citrix Server Farm to include 15 servers, 5 domain controllers, 300+ workstations, routers, hubs, switches, firewalls, MPLS and metropolitan area networks, Microsoft certified systems engineering and lead administrator for Citrus, Levy, and Marion County wide area network.

Essential Job Functions

  • Administers Citrus, Levy, Marion County Wide Area Network – network, email, and internet.
  • Manage, maintain and monitor the Citrix Server Farm to ensure that capacity planning is adequate for supporting and maintaining Citrix apps.
  • Maintain Citrix Farm hardware, software and operating systems
  • Identifies, analyzes and rectifies computer system problems and failures.
  • Provides top level helpdesk desktop support for staff and public computers.
  • Diagnoses, troubleshoots, reports, and resolves issues with network, software and hardware.
  • Installs and configures network file/application servers.
  • Setup, installs and ensures operation of network equipment, cabling, hardware and software.
  • Administers network user accounts and email accounts.
  • Administers DHCP/DNS and Web Servers to include updating Webserver and Intranet.
  • Maintains, backs up, and updates servers, firewalls, and controllers.
  • Maintains and updates domain controllers, web filters, company internet, webservers, antivirus, and printers.
  • Builds, configures and maintains workstations company wide.
  • Builds computer labs.
  • Maintains, T/S and administers various switches.

Work Schedule: Full-time. Must be able to work flexible hours

Salary: $38,500 – $58,100 per year, DOE.

Qualified candidates should apply online to be considered and search using job order #10078489.


admin-ajaxThe Ocala I.T. Professionals helps to promote job leads and other career opportunities as a service to the businesses and individuals in the local I.T. community. If you follow up on a lead that you find here, please mention the Ocala I.T. Professionals as your source of the lead. If your business or organization is looking for I.T. talent in the Ocala / Marion County area, please contact us to find out how we can help you locate the right candidates.

Upcoming Hiring Events – Ocala / Marion County, August 14, 2015

I’ve received the following announcements from CareerSource for Citrus / Levy / Marion counties of upcoming hiring events and job fairs in Ocala / Marion County and surrounding areas. See the individual announcements for full details and contact information.

  • Labor Ready, Golf Course Maintenance positions in Citrus County, Florida – Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 8 – 11 a.m.
  • ResourceMFG Production Associate positions in Ocala, FL, Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 10 a.m. – Noon.
  • Sonic Drive-In Hiring Event, Multiple positions open in Ocala, FL – Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • Tri County Job Fair 2015, Chiefland, FL, Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Portable USB Chargers – Simple, Inexpensive and Useful Accessories

51cSWdgxMHL._SL1000_In our new world of rechargeable devices and constant connection, more battery power is never a bad thing. Seeing a battery indicator at 5% and a device begging to be recharged sends many people into a scramble looking for the nearest convenient charging solution. When there’s no outlet available or when you don’t want to leave your device tethered to a wall for the next hour, miniature USB chargers can be a lifesaver whether you’re on the road trying to summon assistance on your phone or just trying to buy some more time on your tablet at a crowded conference.

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Microsoft Access for Beginners – FREE for download

Just as a reminder, my first book, Microsoft Access for Beginners, is still available as a free download in PDF format from This book covers versions of Access through 2010 and I’m not planning on updating it further at this time but much of the information is still applicable to the current version of Access. If you’ve been wanting to get an introduction to Microsoft’s desktop database software, this is a great place to start. You’ll learn the principles of organizing data into tables, writing queries on those tables and creating the forms and reports to work with your data as needed. If you’re interested general database principles in addition to Access, please see my other book, Your First Guide to Database Design which is available from both (Kindle edition) and (PDF).

Retooling and Refueling Workshop for Professionals – April 27-29, 2015

The Professional Networking Group is holding a Retooling and Refueling Workshop for Professionals transitioning back into the workforce or making a career change on April 27-29, 2015 at the College of Central Florida. Attendance is free but registration is required. Visit the Job Seeker Center’s Specialty Programs at or call Robyne Fraize at 352-873-7939 ext. 1141

Professional Networking Group - Retooling and Refueling Workshop for Professionals transitioning back into the workforce or making a career change. April 27-29, 2015 at the College of Central Florida. Attendance is free but registration is required. Visit the Job Seeker Center's Specialty Programs at or call Robyne Fraize at 352-873-7939 ext. 1141

Professional Networking Group – Retooling and Refueling Workshop for Professionals transitioning back into the workforce or making a career change. April 27-29, 2015 at the College of Central Florida

On the Importance of Backups and Storage Decisions

Windows 7 installation routine

Re-installing Windows 7 ….

I admit it’s a little bit of a geek thing but I’m in the habit of wiping and reloading my computer systems at least once a year to keep everything working right. I find that, even as careful as I am about what I install, I still work with some major software and Windows systems start to slow down and get a little flaky after awhile with random hiccups that take time to track down. Sometimes, it’s easier just to take a day, back everything up and re-install Windows from scratch.

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Fixing the Orange (or Red) Status Icon in WampServer

As part of my latest project, I decided to try out WampServer, the Windows development environment for developing web applications with Apache web server, MySQL database and PHP scripting (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP – WAMP). Packages like WampServer and EasyPHP are simplified ways to create a testing environment on your PC without spending a lot of time downloading, installing and configuring the individual components. The package also includes utilities such as PHPMyAdmin and SQLBuddy for managing your MySQL databases and writing SQL queries. The software is available in 32- and 64-bit versions and the installation is pretty straightforward.

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