Online resources outside the mainstream

Aug. 1, 2008
Every once in awhile, I'll be at a trade show booth or in a training class, and I'll actuallytry to use one of the tools that are very familiar to you.

by Patrick McLaughlin

Every once in awhile, I'll be at a trade show booth or in a training class, and I'll actuallytry to use one of the tools that are very familiar to you. Sometimes, it's a punchdown tool; other times, it's one of those fiber-termination tools that is so easy to use, anyone can do it in under a minute. Well, anyone but me.

OK, I don't want this to turn into some confession about my total lack of skill using hand tools. What I'd like to focus on are some of the tools that, in all likelihood, you and I both use with some level of proficiency.

Specifically, some Web sites have found their way to the top of my list of favorites. Our industry has its obvious Web resources, including the sites for this and other magazines serving your information needs, trade associations, and interest groups like The Green Grid.

But there are others that might not be so obvious. So, please allow me this opportunity to introduce you to them, with a brief description of each.(Cabling Installation & Maintenance has no business affiliation with the producers of these sites): – A bountiful resource on hazardous-substance-reduction initiatives, such as RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substances), WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment), and REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals). – The page of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory site that is most closely related to energy efficiency in data centers. It summarizes the LBNL's research into ITenergy consumption. – They do a much better job of summarizing who they are than I could, so this is di-rectly from their site: "Nyquist Capital provides actionable and quantitative insight into the networking and communication component, equipment, and carrier marketplace." I first learned of the site through CI&M's sister product, Lightwave, which picked up on Nyquist's report last fall that Google had decided it was dissatisfied enough with the 10-Gbit Ethernet networking gear available on the market that it would build its own. That story got my attention and I have been a regular visitor ever since.

So, now let's hear it. What do you think of the sites on this brief list? Which of your favorite useful sites did I fail to list here?

Some time ago, I used this space to tell the story of a colleague who asked, "When I get onto the Internet, where am I going?" Hopefully, he has figured it out by now. As for me, well, not only do I know where I'm going, now you know, too.

Chief Editor
[email protected]

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