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IT Pro File: From Vietnam to the classroom

Meet IT pro Douglas Paddock, who shares an IT problem-solving story, one of his IT bloopers, and his IT best practices dos and don'ts. Then, tell us about yourself!

IT Pro
Doug Paddock
Paddock's dos and don'ts
Do keep a computer log or database of all problems you troubleshoot. "You can look like a genius if you can reference a database of problems you've encountered in your career and come up with a solution to a problem quickly," Paddock said. "My database is mine, kept on my laptop, not a corporate system. When I move, it moves."

Don't forget to practice for disasters. Paddock learned this the hard way, when he lost data during a server conversion. Read about his IT mistake in this IT blooper.

Read the full list of Doug Paddock's dos and don'ts

Meet IT pro Douglas Paddock. In the first installment of SearchWindowsManageability's IT Pro File series, he describes his IT life history. Then, he shares a problem-solving story, one of his IT bloopers, and his IT best practices dos and don'ts.

An IT pro's road to success:
Douglas Paddock took a global route to reach his current IT life of multiple Microsoft certifications and career in computer education. He started as a college dropout in Vermont. Short of funds for tuition, he joined the Army in 1972 and ended up in the Vietnam War. His following 20 years of Army life took him from Asia, Europe, and Texas, the latter not being a country unto itself despite the locals' claims.

In 1986 in Korea, the Army put Paddock on PC duty. "I quickly realized that sitting behind the computer was a lot better than sitting in a bunker in the rain during field exercises," he said.

Paddock's life came full circle when a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center offered him a job, if he could pass my MCSE and MCT certifications. If he succeeded, he'd have a start in the teaching career he'd dreamed of back in Vermont. If he failed, that dream would die, and he'd have wasted the money spent on training for the tests.

Despite the risks, Paddock took the plunge. He passed the tests and has been a technology trainer ever since. Today, he holds MCSE, MCT, MCSA, A+, and N+ certifications and teaches at Louisville Technical Institute in Louisville, Ken. Looking back, he was glad he accepted the challenge. Now, he tells his students: "God helps those who help themselves, and gives them a bigger piece of the pie."

In the IT trenches with Douglas Paddock:
Paddock assisted an IT manager and former student in solving a Windows NT 4.0 migration problem. During the move to NT, the IT manager found that one of his retail company's vital applications wouldn't run on NT and would only run under DOS.

"He tried running in a DOS window," said Paddock. That didn't work. He asked Paddock how to use partitioning software to dual boot an NT 4.0 Workstation PC, so he could boot to DOS and use the company's DOS software to collate, send and receive his a daily reports.

The manager's company wanted all disks to be formatted NTFS. Also, the company refused to upgrade the application software, not wanting make application changes until the entire company was running NT 4.0.

"We considered several solutions, but the simplest one just didn't occur to me until I woke up the next morning," said Paddock.

Paddock had remembered that none of his former student's DOS machines were upgradeable to NT 4.0. The solution was simple and cost nothing. "Just keep one of the old DOS machines at each location," said Paddock. "Let it dial in and send and receive reports daily as the stores had been doing." The reports could then be transferred onto the network and erased from the DOS machine. This was a free option because the machines were there, and the former student already knew they were configured correctly and worked.

"I like this problem because it reminds me that sometimes you do not need a complex solution," said Paddock. "Administrators know so many ways to accomplish a task, that we sometimes forget the KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!) principle."


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