Windows 8.1

July 1, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Michael “MJ” Murphy, a Technical Instructor at Skillsoft.  This vlog was done over the internet using Adobe Connect, which is a web conferencing platform for web meetings, eLearning, and webinars.

Back in October of 2012, MJ and I talked about Windows 8, so we decided to record a follow-up vlog on the upcoming release/update called Windows 8.1 Code Named Blue.  If you followed news about Windows 8, the overall consensus was not positive.  MJ pointed out that last quarter PC sales were down 14%, the biggest single quarter drop in PC sales. He thinks a lot of the blame has to do with the Windows 8 operating system, and he thinks PC sales will continue to slide.  “We are certainly living in the post PC age, and more and more we are going to see devices, handheld devices, tablets, smartphones, and a panoply of new devices come to market.  Windows 8 is Microsoft’s offering for the touch screen,  tablet, smartphone space. The problem for many is that the touch screen interface doesn’t translate well to the desktop and server.”  So now we have the new release, Windows 8.1 Code Blue, that MJ thinks will bring back options to make Windows 8 more appealing for the desktop / server users e.g the start button, option to use standard desktop mode.  The new release was just made available by Microsoft, please download it and tell us what you think.

For the #idontcook portion of this vlog, we talked about options in MJ’s hometown of Scranton, PA. His latest restaurant recommendation is a great place right outside Scranton in Clarks Summit, PA called Formosa.  Formosa is an Asian Fusion restaurant with some French influence, “The place is incredible, the food is incredible!!”.  Now the great thing about this specific #idontcook segment, is that MJ tells us about an off the menu item that requires you to bring a granny smith apple to the restaurant with you.  Michael the chef (I guess MJ is on a 1st name basis with the chef) used to make an apple and crispy duck salad that they don’t offer anymore, but they always are happy to make if for you if you bring your own apple.  Wow, BYOA is the type of off the menu recommendation that Rothman Tech-Tips #idontcook is all about!!


May 7, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  4 Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Will Slade a DC/Baltimore CRM Consultant.  Will is an old friend from my Microsoft days and we were both active in the DC IAMCP (International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners).

Will and I discussed xRM (Extended Relationship Manager), which is a set of tools used to enhance the popular CRM system Microsoft CRM.  Will has a great blog called will.i.crm, and in one of his posts he makes the great analogy of legos and Microsoft CRM.  We talked about how important it is to do a lot of upfront strategic planning and requirement-gathering prior to moving to a new CRM system.  Will recommends bringing in a good Microsoft Partner to come in and ask all the tough questions, “Why are you doing this to begin with?”,  is just one example of a question Will would ask.  As we talked about xRM and CRM, Will had a great quote, “As easy as CRM is to use, and how fun legos can be, you need to take a step back and have some of that upfront strategic planning, otherwise you are just going to start snapping legos pieces together like crazy and before you know it, you ended up with something that is un-usable or not optimized.”  For more information on xRM or Microsoft CRM, feel free to connect with Will on LinkedIn at

For the #idontcook portion of this vlog, Will and I talked about his hometown of Columbia, MD.  Columbia, is the halfway point between Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD.  Some Columbia folks like the Redskins (HTTR!), and some like the Ravens — it is a great mix of people from both DC and Baltimore.  When I asked Will about his favorite restaurant, he started talking about great places to eat in downtown Baltimore, Ellicott City, and Bethesda.  I insisted he represent his hometown of Columbia so he mentioned Victoria Gastro Pub, and recommended the Duck Fat Fries!  Will also mentioned that they have a very good “adult” beverage selection, which I can co-sign.  Victoria just also happens to be Columbia’s top technology happy hour destination, frequented by many Microsoft and Cisco employees and partners.


SharePoint 2013

March 21, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Joe Crabtree of Perficient, Inc.  Joe is an old friend and was the first-ever vlog guest on Tech-Tips.  This vlog was done over the internet using Google+ Hangouts On Air.

Joe and I discussed SharePoint 2013, which is the latest release of Microsoft’s popular portal, and collaboration software, SharePoint.  Joe talked about the numerous features of SharePoint, like project management sites, document sharing, document and records management, public facing internet sites, business intelligence, and social/blogging features.  Joe and his team describe SharePoint as the “central hub” of a company’s interactions with users, or a one-stop shop for employee information, data, and knowledge sharing.

Nobody knows SharePoint like Joe, so I asked him about the cloud, and how SharePoint can be used in a cloud environment.  Joe mentioned Office 365, which is Microsoft’s subscription-based, cloud service that includes SharePoint, Office, Exchange, and a few other Microsoft products.  Here is a screenshot of SharePoint 2013 in Office 365, leveraging the document management feature Joe mentioned on the video:

For more information on SharePoint 2013 you can contact Joe at

The #idontcook segment was a little different for this post, as Joe now lives in San Diego, CA, but is a former D.C. resident. My first question was about his favorite restaurant in the San Diego area, and he immediately blurted out fish tacos at Tin Fish in the Gaslamp District.  He talked about how fresh the fish is, and how your options range from Salmon and Swordfish to  Halibut and Mahi Mahi.  Then I asked Joe to tell me about the D.C. restaurant he misses the most?  He marveled about the iconic D.C. spot, Ben’s Chilli Bowl.  “I fiend for some Ben’s Chilli Bowl!  One thing about the West Coast, is that you have a lot more health conscious, vegetarian-type eateries, and you can’t get a big, old, fat chilli dog anywhere.”  If you live in D.C., and haven’t been to Ben’s Chilli Bowl, SHAME ON YOU!  If you are coming to D.C. for some sightseeing, put Ben’s Chilli Bowl on your list of go-to places to visit.

Eye Tracking

February 22, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Jon West of LC Technologies, Inc.  This vlog was done over the internet using Google+ Hangouts On Air,  where you don’t need special software to record your conversation and every Hangout On Air is automatically saved to your YouTube account.

Jon and I talked about Eye Tracking, which is the process of measuring either the point of the gaze (where one is looking) or the motion of an eye relative to the head.  Jon talked about working with the disabled community and building assistive technologies that enable quadriplegics to be fully functional on their computers, and how they type, send emails and go about their work day because they are able to easily communicate with the outside world.  Jon also mentioned the growth of Eye Tracking in situations of security, web usability and  advertising research, and that there is a future possibility of controlling your mouse with your eyes — whoa!

These are the stories that make me passionate about technology. People like Jon and his colleagues at LC Technologies are using technology to make people’s lives easier.  Take a look at one of their products, the Eye Follower:

This Eye Follower is a combination of hardware and software in one solution.  The monitor is on top and below the monitor is the eye-tracking device.  There are a total of four cameras within this device that can locate where a person’s eyes are. In addition, there are two telephoto cameras with infrared that follow and lock into a person’s eyes, allowing the device to pinpoint where a person may be looking on the computer screen.  Now that’s some cool technology!  To learn more about Eye Tracking, you can contact Jon at

For the #idontcook portion of this vlog, I asked Jon for his favorite restaurant in the Washington, DC, area and he suggested Southern Hospitality (SoHoDC). It’s a Southern-influenced gem of restaurant with a spacious outdoor patio located in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.  Jon talked about the great service and great atmosphere at SoHoDC, and said his favorite thing on the menu is the Steak and Asparagus Salad.  Now I didn’t give him a hard time about recommending the salad because it had steak in it, but all I could think about was that Seinfeld episode where Jerry is on a date and he orders a salad, and a voice in his head says, “Just a salad, just a salad, just a salad”.

Big Data

January 8, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Jason March of Natoma Technologies.  Jason and I discussed a technology that is gaining a lot of steam in the Federal Government space — it’s called Big Data.  Big Data is a collection of data sets, so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on hand-database management tools or traditional data processing applications.  Jason mentioned a great point, “We are growing and growing, faster and faster, we are accumulating more data streams, and social media streams.  We are growing data at such a rapid pace, that it is getting beyond the scale of any one person or any one single technology”.  This quote is something every IT organization needs to examine — how are we managing all of this data and how can we find value in this information?  Jason said that Big Data is becoming such a trend in Government, that Federal agencies are creating a position called ‘Chief Data Officer’.  Forget calling into the CFO or the CIO, these days it’s all about getting the meeting with the CDO!  To learn more about Big Data, you can contact Jason at

For the #idontcook segment, Jason talked about the growing restaurant scene in the Clarendon area of Arlington, VA.  He recommended Tallula Restaurant on Washington Ave, walking distance to the Clarendon Metro station.  Jason raved about Tallula talking about his last meal there, “Last time I went there I got the Lamb Burger, it was unbelievable!  I’m a big fan of lamb, I’m a big fan of burgers, it was a good night out.”  Sounds like Jason will be heading back to Tallula, and spending time in the growing Arlington/Clarendon restaurant scene.

Google Chromebook

December 13, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Bill Adler who has a weekly tech-column on the Cleveland Park Listserv.  This vlog was done over the internet using Google+ Hangouts On Air,  where you don’t need special software to record your conversation. Every Hangout On Air is automatically saved to your YouTube account.

Bill and I talked aboutthe Google Chromebook, which is a new $249 laptop from Google.  It weighs 2.4 pounds, and has over 6.5 hours of battery life.  

Bill told an interesting story of how he used to travel with his iPad, but struggled to cut and past without a keyboard.  He is now a proud Chromebook user, and showed off his new ethernet dongle, because the Chromebook is WiFi only.  If you are a big Gmail and Google Drive/Apps user, the Chromebook makes a lot of sense.  It boots in a matter of seconds, can you say that about your Mac or your PC?

For the #idontcook portion of this vlog, I asked Bill for a casual food suggestion in the Cleveland Park, DC area.  He suggested Alero, a Mexican-themed restaurant with a nice outdoor patio — a highly-demanded feature in the DC area.  Bill gushed when talked about Alero, saying “The meals are absolutely filling, and the margaritas are delicious!”.

I am sure you noticed me wearing my Redskins jersey on the vlog, I am a DC native and life-long Redskins fan.  I 1st started watching Redskins games in 1983, when John Riggins ran all over the Miami Dolphins to win Super Bowl XVII.  I cried when the Los Angeles Raiders crushed the Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII.  I watched Doug Williams, Timmy Smith, and the “posse” put up the highest-scoring quarter (2nd) in Super Bowl history against John Elway and the Broncos in Super Bowl XXII.  I watched one of the best teams in NFL history, led by Mark Rypien, and a dominating defense dismantle the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.  Since then being a Redskin fan has been tough, RFK was replaced by FedEx Field.  Jack Kent Cooke was replaced by Dan Snyder, Charley Casserly was replaced by Vinny Cerrato.  Countless amounts of new coaches, quarterbacks, and high-priced free agents that were total busts!  But I never waivered, I resisted the temptation of becoming a Baltimore Ravens fan like a lot of my University of Maryland friends.  But now we have RG3, one of the most exciting players to ever wear the burgundy and gold.  After 20+ years the Redskins finally righted the ship……Hail #HTTR.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

November 8, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  5 Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Hannah Watkins, Web Marketing Manager at Hannah and I discussed SEO or Search Engine Optimization, a subject that should be near and dear to everyone that has a website. SEO is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or “un-paid” search results. Hannah mentions meta tags, keywords, title tags, and something that has really been trending lately, which is type of content you have on your site and how much of it you have, which leads to more traffic on a site. Hannah said, “what search engines are looking for nowadays is updated content, tied in with what you have on social media, the user interface, the experience, and it’s really all about creating a positive experience for those website users.” To learn more about Search Engine Optimization or SEO, you can contact Hannah at

For the #idontcook segment, Hannah recommended TJ Stone’s in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  Hannah told me her and the crew go there quite a bit, and that they have delicious food and a great atmosphere. For her favorite dish Hannah went with the Pulled Pork, she didn’t even have to think about it, when I asked her the question — boom, Pulled Pork! I personally don’t dig on swine for religious reasons, but for all you pork lovers out there get over to TJ Stone’s ASAP for their Pulled Pork. The best part about this vlog, and a Rothman Tech-Tips first, is Hannah firing her finger-gun at the camera as we were signing off — next time we hope Hannah pulls out the double gun action!

Windows 8

October 19, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Michael “MJ” Murphy, a Technical Instructor at Skillsoft.  This vlog was done over the internet using Adobe Connect, which is a web conferencing platform for web meetings, eLearning, and webinars.

MJ and I talked about Windows 8, which is the new Microsoft operating system (OS) for PCs.  MJ is a former Microsoft employee, and tells us that 2015 will mark the 30th year that he has been making a living off of Microsoft and Microsoft products.  When talking about his Microsoft experience, he has a great line, “I don’t drink the Microsoft kool aid, I mix the kool aid”.  When talking about Windows 8, MJ talks about the world we are moving into — the world of portable devices, tablets, and touch-screen — and how Windows 8 fits into that world, since it was built for that world.  But as MJ reiterates, if you are looking for a desktop solution and are thinking about upgrading to Windows 8, “you are in for a world of hurt”.  He thinks that there is a learning curve with Windows 8, and references a great YouTube video called Windows 8 – Even a 12-year old can’t do it.  He talks about the new interface, with no start menu, and how the new user has to personalize his or her settings.  MJ feels the learning curve is too high, and says “thank God they are going to be selling Windows 7 for a while”.

For the #idontcook portion of this vlog, I talked to MJ about his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. I referenced one of my favorite shows The Office, that takes place in Scranton, PA.  MJ confirms that Poor Richards is a real bar, and is connected to a local bowling alley.  When I talked to MJ about his favorite restaurant in Scranton, he mention a regional Italian restaurant in nearby Dunmore, PA, called Anna Maria’s.  He recommends the prosciutto wrapped asparagus, describing it with a great quote, “it’s like butter, it melts in your mouth”.

Cleveland Park Listserv

September 13, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Bill Adler, moderator of the Cleveland Park Listserv.  Cleveland Park Listserv is an email list for people who live in Washington, DC, specifically the Cleveland Park neighborhood. It’s a way to meet, exchange news, and find out what’s happening in the area. The Cleveland Park Listserv is Washington’s most vibrant electronic-community — the largest neighborhood email list in the country and the only neighborhood email list with columns and features.

Bill describes a listserv as “low tech”, but that’s what makes it such a great technology — it’s easy to use and serves a great purpose.  When I moved to Cleveland Park, I used the listserv to find out the best pizza and Chinese delivery, local brunch spot to take my Mom, and a dishwasher repair company.  Don’t get me wrong, some of the posts are zero interest to me, but that is what makes a listerv great — it’s not just for me, a techie, but for everyone in the community.  When it comes to the technology, Bill uses Yahoo for the Cleveland Park listserv platform, but you can also use Google Groups or another free service called bigtent.

For the #idontcook portion of this vlog, I asked Bill his favorite restaurant in Cleveland Park, and he confidently said Sorriso, an Italian restaurant on Connecticut Avenue.  He explained that the atmosphere is like someone’s home, where you are getting a great home-cooked meal (it reminds me of an Italian restaurant I went to NJ that was in the basement of someone’s house).  When I asked him his favorite dish at Sorriso, he said “I die for the Veal Ravioli”, so you know IT HAS TO BE GOOD.  I haven’t made it to Sorriso, but based off Bill’s recommendation, I’ll be going there soon.  He does moderate the listserv, so he really has to know the best places to eat, right?


July 12, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

On the latest segment of Rothman Tech-Tips (#RTT), I interviewed Josh Barr, a #DC based telecommunications consultant on ethernet. Now we have all heard of ethernet cables, but Josh took the time to educate us on ethernet internet service. This new version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second. Now that the cloud is part of everyone’s IT strategy, having this fast internet is critical to your business.  For more information on ethernet you can contact Josh at

For the #idontcook segment of this blog Josh recommended Graffiato in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC.  Graffiato is an Italian-inspired restaurant by top chef Mike Isabella, and Josh is a huge fan of their pizza that is made in one of those cool looking wood ovens.  Is it me or does every restaurant with a wood oven smell amazing? As soon as you walk in, you want to order a pizza and a beer right away without even looking at the menu. If you are not a beer drinker, Josh recommends a variety of specialty cocktails on the menu. If you like Graffiato and want to check out Isabella’s other food joint, Bandolero is a new modern Mexican restaurant in Georgetown. Plus, he has 2 more restaurants scheduled to open in 2013.