"> Friday Archives - Engr Kabir Saleh

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These IT certification trainings are an extra 60% off this Black Friday

If you’re not sure where you want your career to head next year, then you should highly consider IT. With the right training, you can pass IT certification exams and pursue high-paying jobs in the ever-expanding IT field. Luckily, you don’t have to wait until New Years to make your career resolution. This Black Friday, we’ve lined up four deals on IT certification training bundles that you can get for 60% off using BFSAVE60 at checkout.

The Cisco CCNA & CCNP Routing & Switching Bundle

Newcomers to the IT field will need to learn the basics first, and this bundle is a great introduction. Here, you will learn the foundational skills necessary to implement, manage, and troubleshoot local and wide-area network solutions. 

MSRP: $1,495

Sale Price: $29

Price with BFSAVE60: $11.60

The Complete Microsoft & Oracle SQL Certification Bundle


This massive bundle features 11 courses on IT certifications for both Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. These courses will teach you how to use relational database management systems (RDBMS) to implement databases, write queries, manipulate data, and more.

MSRP: $3,289

Sale Price: $39

Price with BFSAVE60: $15.60

Amazon Web Services Certification Training Mega Bundle

Few cloud computing vendors offer as many services like Amazon. In this bundle, you’ll learn about the solutions AWS offers. The first course covers training essentials such as how to navigate the AWS Management Console, but subsequent courses focus on individual solutions like Amazon S3 and AWS Database Migration Solution.

MSRP: $1,299

Sale Price: $69

Price with BFSAVE60: $27.60

The Complete Six Sigma Training & Certification Bundle

An IT department can’t be successful unless it values efficiency. This bundle will introduce you to Lean and Six Sigma, two methodologies used to systematically eliminate areas of waste such as time and over-production. A skilled project manager can implement these skills in any industry, whether it’s IT or app development. 

MSRP: $2,300

Sale Price: $59

Price with BFSAVE60: $23.60

Prices subject to change

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Flashback Friday: Your traffic is just going to degrade our perfect network link

This IT pilot fish and his co-workers have spent a week in heated discussions with the networking group. The subject: some major network problems between two particular sites. Why heated? Networking swears it can’t see any problems on the lines, so the problem must be with IT’s servers.

But fish and friends know better; at some points, the line between the two sites is dropping out completely.

It’s impossible to know how long the impasse might have lasted if someone at one of the sites hadn’t asked the networking people the right question: “Are we running on the emergency standby route?”

The reply: “Err, yes; shall we switch you back to the primary route now?”

Turns out that two weeks before, while the networking group was improving the link between the two sites, the sites were switched to the standby route. The improvements were completed, the network tested out perfectly — and no one remembered to switch the sites back to the original route.

“Every time we complained about the network fault,” sighs fish, “they were checking the primary route, which was saying everything was fine — especially since it had no traffic on it.”

After making the switch, the networking group checked the standby route, fish reports — and found a fault.”

The primary route to Sharky is through my inbox. Send me your true tales of IT life at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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The Best Black Friday 2019 Deals

Black Friday comes but once a year. This time around, the annual celebration of commerce falls on November 29, 2019. However, many retailers now produce their Black Friday offers throughout November and early December.

So, you don’t have to wait until the day itself to grab some bargains. We’ve rounded up the best Black Friday deals that you can get right now.

Note: We will be updating this page as more deals become available. Some deals have already been announced but won’t go live until specific dates, too. We have listed the go-live date where this is the case. Check back regularly for the best Black Friday deals of 2019.

Amazon Devices

Along with Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday is one of the best times to pick up an Amazon device. The company regularly offers discounts on their smart home collections, and this year is no exception.

Kindle Paperwhite – 35% off (from November 22)

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Buy Now On Amazon

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet – 33% off (from November 22)

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet

Buy Now On Amazon

Fire TV Stick 4K – 50% off (from November 24)

Fire TV Stick 4K

Fire TV Stick 4K

Buy Now On Amazon

Amazon Echo – 40% off (from November 28)

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo

Buy Now On Amazon

Amazon Echo Show 5 – 45% off (from November 28)

Amazon Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5

Buy Now On Amazon

Computers, Laptops, & Phones

Black Friday is cemented as an annual tradition, and some of the most commonly sought-after items are computers, laptops, and smartphones. If you’re ready to upgrade, check out some of these best Black Friday deals for large savings.


Maybe you’re thinking ahead to the new year and your ambition of becoming a keen photographer. Perhaps you know that a camera would make the perfect gift for the shutterbug in your life. Either way, this is a great time to pick up a bargain-priced camera.

Headphones & Speakers

Been considering investing in a new set of headphones or speakers? Black Friday is the best time to get yourself a new set. Once you’ve chosen a set—and saved some money—it’s time to kick back and relax with high-quality audio.

Monitors, TVs, & Home Theater

Black Friday is one of the best times of year to invest in a new television or monitor. In the run-up to the holidays, there are considerable savings to be had, even in home theater devices.


If you’ve been after a wearable for yourself or as a gift, there are plenty of deals to be had. This year, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearables are available at substantial discounts.

Home Appliances

Although not commonly thought of as Black Friday purchases, home appliances are often available with massive reductions. Given the high cost of these items, you can save yourself a lot of money over the Thanksgiving season.

The Best Black Friday Deals

While we’ve rounded up some of the best Black Friday deals available right now, there are plenty of retailers getting in on the action. The volume of discounts over just a few days can be overwhelming and makes it hard to decide which are the best deals.

Before jumping into any purchases, you may want to check if your Black Friday deal is a massive bargain

How to Make Sure Your Black Friday Deal Is a Massive Bargain

How to Make Sure Your Black Friday Deal Is a Massive Bargain

Black Friday and Cyber Monday promise big discounts, but do they live up to the hype? Use these tips to check and score bargains.
Read More


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How to Make Sure Your Black Friday Deal Is a Massive Bargain

Black Friday and Cyber Monday promise to give you the biggest discounts across the entire shopping year. There are, without doubt, attractive discounts. But at times, you might feel like the discounts aren’t quite what they could be. Black Friday deals can feel overwhelming.

Here are several tips you need to make sure you bag a great Black Friday deal.

1. Check the Price History

amazon deal price runner

The first thing you need to check is your Black Friday deal price history. One of the accusations leveled at stores and online retailers is that they ramp up prices before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Once the higher price is established, the retailer drops the price and advertises the large discount.

It is an easy win-win strategy for retailers.

You can beat manipulated prices using a price history tracking website. Price history sites track the price of a product across a long period. You head to the price checker site and search for your product, then figure out if the Black Friday deal is as good as it seems.

One of the most popular price checker sites is CamelCamelCamel, which tracks price changes on Amazon.

Alternatively, check out PriceRunner for a more extensive range of prices from a wider range of sites.

Visit: Camelcamelcamel

Visit: PriceRunner

2. Check Black Friday Price Comparison Sites

camelcamelcamel amazon price history

With so many Black Friday deals popping up, figuring out who has the best price is difficult. Websites and other retailers will tell you that their deal is best. Understandably, they want a sale. However, it doesn’t take long to complete a quick internet search to figure out if the deal on offer is what it seems.

You don’t need any special tools to check Black Friday prices. The easiest option is to search for the product online and compare the prices between websites.

As part of this, do not consider any Black Friday discount or deal before you check. It only takes a moment but could stop you from paying over the odds for a discounted product.

3. What Is the RRP?

List Price on Amazon

One of the first things you should check on any deal is the RRP. That’s the Recommended Retail Price. It can also be mentioned as List Price by sites like Amazon.

The RRP of any product is the sale price that the manufacturer recommends. The RRP gives retailers the opportunity to twist the appearance of a sale price in their favor.

In some cases, the Black Friday RRP is drastically out of date. The website might display a higher RRP than the regular price to give any discount a higher percentage.

For example, if a product RRP is $100 and the site advertises $90, that’s a 10% saving. However, if the site regularly sells the product at $90 regardless of the sale, you are not receiving a discount. The site is manipulating the price to make it appear as a discount.

What Is the MSRP?

The MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. An MSRP is analogous to an RRP.

4. Check for Black Friday Qualifying Offers

Another key price point differentiator is a Qualifying Offer. Some advertisers will display a fantastic price that you just cannot say no too. However, on closer inspection, you realize that the price is only available if you also purchase another product, deal, subscription, or otherwise.

A qualifying offer can quickly strip back any potential discount. Some websites are notorious for displaying an amazing discount price, only to reveal that massive discounts are only available for long term members. Or that the discount miraculously reduces after you sign up for the service.

Qualifying offers are open to abuse. Depending on your country, advertisers may manipulate figures to make the qualifying deal an intriguing proposition.

Black Friday Small Print

The other thing to check as part of qualifying offers is the small print. Retailers and manufacturers rely on you not checking the small print on Black Friday.

If you don’t read the small print, you could sign up for something or service (or stop yourself from using one!) without realizing it.

It is easily done. The length and depth of the fine print for many sites, services, and products means that many people skip through the details. As consumers believe most sites and services won’t cause them harm or otherwise, they breeze through the small print without considering the implications.

5. Set Black Friday Budgets and Product Targets

One common Black Friday tip is to set targets. Don’t head into the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales without taking a moment to figure out what you’re looking for.

If you head into Black Friday without a purpose, you will come home without the hardware and the deals you want.

You don’t have to know exactly what you want—but it does help. However, if you want to buy a specific product on Black Friday, make sure you understand the current price for your product so you can understand if your Black Friday deal is really a deal.

Another thing to consider is the type of product you’re buying. Some products attract consistently higher discounts than others; here are the best things to buy on Black Friday

10 Best Things to Buy on Black Friday That Save You the Most Money

10 Best Things to Buy on Black Friday That Save You the Most Money

Here are some of the best items you should buy on Black Friday if you’re looking for great deals.
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with those extra discounts.

6. Set Black Friday Price Alerts

Watch This Deal button on Amazon

Tying into your Black Friday price and product targets are price alarms or deal alerts. Even if you don’t use a price alarm for the rest of the year, it is a great idea to use a Black Friday price alarm.

The price of a product can change so rapidly on Black Friday or Cyber Monday that you can miss a quick deal. If you’re tracking the price, you’ll understand if the Black Friday discount is a real bargain.

Use a product price alarm or a deal alert to keep your eyes on the Black Friday prize. Most price alert websites or services will drop you an alert straight to your inbox. If you set alerts for the products you want most, you’ll pick up a Black Friday Bargain.

Some Black Friday deal alert tools to consider include:

You’re a Black Friday Deal Finding Expert

Everyone is out for a Black Friday deal. The allure of massive discounts on a huge range of products before the holiday period is enticing. Make sure that you don’t fall for a Black Friday pricing trick ahead of the big day using these tips.

If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, check out the best Amazon bargain hunting sites

The 5 Best Amazon Price Watch Trackers for Bargain Hunters

The 5 Best Amazon Price Watch Trackers for Bargain Hunters

Want to find the best deals when shopping online? Run a check on an Amazon item’s price history before you hit the buy button.
Read More

to get yourself a deal.

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Flashback Friday: Give them a headache and they might be generous

It’s the mid-1980s, and this pilot fish is working on a project to convert his company’s payroll system from one proprietary mainframe to a newer model.

“After converting the system, we did parallel runs for the same week between old and new hardware,” says fish.

And lo and behold, the newer hardware comes up with a total payroll that’s 8 cents less than the run on the old hardware. An intense effort over a long weekend is required to uncover the problem. What fish’s team finds in the end is that the 8-cent difference is spread among three hourly employees— the only people who received pay raises that week.

Digging into the calculation of the hourly rate, fish and his team discover that it’s calculated in COBOL to nine decimal places, and then rounded to three decimal places in an unusual way: The last six decimal places are split off, and if the value is greater than zero, the third decimal place is rounded up by one.

With more digging, the team finds that for all three employees who got raises, those last six decimal places are zero. The new system correctly leaves the hourly rates alone — but the old system is rounding them up, which is where the 8-cent difference comes from.

But why? Still more digging, and the team realizes the answer is the new hardware.

“The new hourly rate was initially calculated as a signed field,” fish explains. “On the new hardware, the sign bit was over the most significant digit of the number. But on the old system, the sign bit was carried over the least significant digit — the ninth decimal place.

“So when they separated out the last six decimal places, those digits were always greater than zero — and thus always rounded up. The old payroll system had been running for years, and no one had ever caught this.

“And payroll’s solution to this? They said, ‘Just have the new system always round up by one.’

“Yes, it’s true — for once, the bean counters gave away money!”

Feed the Shark! Send me your true tales of IT life at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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Flashback Friday: Trial by error

As the supervisor of the help desk, this pilot fish is in on the interviews of new applicants.

“And I’ve decided to learn from my mista— I mean, my experiences,” says fish.

Case in point: Fish’s department hires a tech from another part of the organization. She’s worked as a tech at the other department for a few years, has the right certifications, knows the organization and will be able to hit the ground running — which makes her an apparently perfect candidate.

A few weeks into the job, a fix is released to enable use of a VPN. The change: just modify two registry entries. Simple enough, right?

But when fish tells the tech to apply the fix to a user’s laptop, she tells him that she has never edited a registry entry.

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Flashback Friday: See, I fixed it

Pilot fish arrives with his tools to fix a paper jam, and finds a really big one. Dozens of sheets of paper have been pulled in at an angle, and the machine is thoroughly jammed.

User explains that she was trying to print a report when the copier sucked up all the paper. “I tried pulling it out,” she tells fish, “but it’s stuck.”

Fish uses a box cutter to cut away half of the paper on one side of the roller, and then he’s able to pull the rest of the paper out from the other direction.

But he notices that it looks as if there’s some grease on the feeder wheels. He wipes some of it off and then notices that something doesn’t seem right. He rubs the substance between his fingers. It doesn’t feel like grease. He sniffs it. He definitely doesn’t smell like great. “What the heck?” he says. “This smells like perfume!”

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Flashback Friday: But was it vibrating?

Flashback to the early 1990s, when this pilot fish works at a regional campus of a big state university.

“One day, our IT staff and computer science faculty made a road trip to the main campus,” says fish. “We were treated to a tour of the main campus’ huge computer room.

“Our tour guide told us to look but not touch, and he meant it. I merely pointed to a washing-machine-sized disk drive and was sternly reminded by the very nervous guide that the slightest vibration can cause these finicky disks to crash.

“Perturbed by what I felt was an undeserved scolding, I pointed a second time — to a member of our computer science faculty who had planted his very ample behind on top of one of the disk drives.“The look on our tour guide’s face was priceless, but that brought the tour to an abrupt end.

“No damage was done, unless you count the tour guide’s near heart attack.”

Point your true tale of IT life in Sharky’s direction. Send it to me at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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Flashback Friday: User see, user do

It’s more than a few years ago, when PCs are new, parts are expensive and this pilot fish is working as a PC tech for a school district.

“One day, I was called to fix a PC at a school library,” fish says. “After I fixed the PC, I noticed the keyboard was incredibly grimy due to many little fingers typing on it.

“I snapped the keys out, shook out crumbs and dust, cleaned each key and reassembled the keyboard.”

Next day, fish gets another call from the same school library. One of the library admins is complaining that her computer shows garbage on the screen when she types.

After asking a few questions, fish concludes that the PC has either a virus or a bad motherboard. He grabs a replacement PC and heads back to the school.

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Flashback Friday: Too smart for its own good

It’s the 1990s, and this IT pilot fish works for a busy wholesale distributor. “We shut down on Sundays, but otherwise ran pretty much 24 hours a day,” fish says.

But one morning, fish walks in to find a crisis: The air conditioning unit has died, it’s 100-plus degrees in the computer room, and equipment is baking.

Some of the equipment is smart enough that when the heat got too high, it powered down. But other equipment isn’t so lucky, and it’s toast.

What fish can’t figure out is why no one was notified about the A/C breakdown. An automatic call should have gone out — but it never did.

After a bit of checking, a clue turns up: One of the pieces of equipment that’s smart enough to take itself down when the heat is high is the newly installed phone switch.

“Unfortunately, it did so before the emergency sensor was triggered and tried to call us,” sighs fish.

“Within a week, we had a dedicated phone line that didn’t go through the ‘smart’ switch.”

Sharky is dedicated to telling true tales of IT life. Send me yours at [email protected]. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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