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CAST Seminar on 16 April 2012 Print
March 2012
The seminar in 2012 will have 8 sessions covering 4 hardware sub-systems
of a computer, Windows which drives the hardware, server virtualisation which optimizes the use of hardware, and the hardware which interfaces with the network.  On top of these, it will include case studies and knowledge base articles to assist real life technical support.  We will mention some software applications as this is inevitable for a computer but software applications are not the focus of this seminar. 

• The technical level is L3 to L5 on the Compucon Seminar Scale which prescribes L1 as for generic audience, L2 for generic technical, L3 for technical overview, L4 for technical details, and L5 for technical hands on.  People involved in implementing and supporting information systems and networks for business clients (as against consumers) will benefit most.  People new in the IT industry will benefit but they may find this seminar too much to handle at one time (like a big bang).  This seminar contains about 30% new content as compared to 2011- some sessions are 100% new and some include 20% new content only.  People who have attended this seminar before will benefit and possibly are the ones benefiting the most.

• This seminar has been positioned differently to all other courses in the IT industry or given in learning institutes.  It is different as the content is up to date, it does not contain sales propaganda, it is given by practising specialists in the industry, it contains both theories and practical implementations, and most importantly, it removes myths and reinforces certainties.  This seminar promotes attention to detail as well as the big picture, and it aims to assist peers to adopt the same practices.  People with training in A+, Network+, Microsoft and Cisco certification, or in Computer Science at a university level will benefit from this approach.

• There is a minor speaker change from last year.  Edmond will take up Knowledge Base and Case Studies in place of Joseph, and Mike Grant will handle Wireless and Networking in place of Edmond.  In addition, this seminar will have Dave Fielder and Sion Roberts as in-class tutors.  They will ask questions or add comments to help the audience put messages into perspective.

• This seminar has been held once a year for the last 10 years.  It is the only seminar in the year which incurs a fee for attending.  For 1st timers, the fee is $210 + GST.    If a company sends 2 persons or more to the seminar, each will pay $140 + GST only if they are 1st timers.  Refreshers will pay $70 + GST only.  The fee will cover the tuition, seminar manual, lunch, muffin, wine and cheese, and a day of valuable experience. 

11:00 - 11:15  Course Outline (TN)
11:15 - 12:15  PC System Architecture & Design Philosophies (TN), 25%
12:15 - 12:45  Wireless & Networking (Mike) 30%
12:45 - 1:30 Lunch Break (take orders at 10:50am)

1:30 - 2:15pm RAID, NAS & SAN (Ed) 30%
2:15 - 3:00pm  Graphics & GPU (Ed) 30%
3:00 - 3:30pm  Technical Knowledge Base Review (Ed), 100%
3:30 – 4:00pm Muffin Break

4:00 - 4:50pm  Compucon Windows (Daryl), 20%
4:50 – 5:20pm Server Virtualisation (Daryl) 100%
5:20 - 6:00pm IPMI & Remote System Management (Daryl), 10%
6:00 – 7:30pm Wine and Cheese

Architecture: Where is PC positioned when phones are becoming very smart and tablets are so easy to use? How to deliver max performance from minimum specification?  How to achieve very high performance from very low wattage?  How to achieve customer loyalty with solutions in lieu of PC platforms? How to make computers that are reliable?  We will provide a brief history of Chipset and CPU evolutions, the race in architecture between Intel and AMD, and the new face of computing with nVidia joining. (1hr)

Networking: This is an overview of networking technologies pertaining to small and medium businesses.  We will cover the world of wired and wireless by referring to IEEE specifications, OSI 7 layer model and TCP/IP stack.  We will look at performance parameters, security standards, and power over Ethernet.  We will se the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 and discuss the adaption transition process. (30min)

RAID & Storage: HDD is inexpensive and yet data is the most expensive. RAID is such a device for deploying inexpensive devices for the most expensive assets. We will cover the various RAID algorithms and levels of performance and security.  We will explain the benefits of Host versus Hardware based RAID, and the use of enclosures with useful visible indications.  We will briefly explain the Building and Re-building processes and how we can provide remote RAID Maintenance monitoring service.  We will disclose the simplicity for constructing NAS and SAN for department and enterprise data storage. (45min)

Graphics & GPU: We know VGA as a graphics display adapter previously.  Modern VGA is known as GPU for its computing capabilities, initially for visualisation and further for pure computation. We will cover the 3 levels of nVidia market segmentations as in GeForce, Quadro and Tesla.  We will attempt to define the demarcation between integrated and discrete graphics.  (45min)

KB and Case Studies: This is the most practical session of the course.  We will review a couple of real life technical support cases that have high learning values and disclose the logics and tools we use.  We have posted many technical knowledge base articles on our website within the last 12 months.    We will explain a couple of them for appraisal.  (30min)

Windows: Compucon has developed a unique Pre-installation System for Windows OS to achieve system stability, quality assurance and consistency.  We will explain how it works and how it benefits our peers and end users.  All desktops pre-installed with Windows would have a Compucon Folder- what are in it and how it benefits customers?  We will discuss recommendations for routine maintenance, fault diagnosis and recovery.  This info alone could worth your time investment in this course.  (40 min)

Server Virtualisation: Server Virtualization is new for CAST although we have covered it previously in several CPD seminars.  This session will focus on Windows Hyper Visor only.  We will explain the concepts of virtualisation and real life implementation issues such as hardware requirements, sizing, limitations, and best practices. (40 min)

IPMI and Remote Management: All Compucon servers including the single processor WGS are equipped with IPMI which is a piece of silicon which remains active as long as the server is connected to the wall (even when the server has crashed).  We will explain how to set up IPMI, what it does as differ to VPN, RDP, VNC etc.  We will recommend the best practices for peer adoption and explain how Compucon can provide a hand on remote system maintenance and diagnosis.  (40 min)