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IT Reference Posters? 43

Posted by Cliff
from the no-cubicle-should-be-without-one dept.
bighead314 asks: "Maybe I haven't had enough coffee, or my brain power has gone down while working through my lunch break, but I cannot seem to find a good source for getting command/syntax reference posters for our office. We are looking for some SQL, UML, Oracle 10, and other reference posters to plaster on the walls for quick reference. However, the search for a site/company that sells more than just one poster has yielded nothing. Anyone out there have some good links or know of places were these can be purchased without having to buy 10 accompanying SQL Server magazine subscriptions just for the insert?"
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IT Reference Posters?

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:11AM (#15769750) Journal
    You know, the best method I've used to come up with what you're looking for is to just use a search engine and either blow up what you find or post it as normal size or put it in a binder that's always available. You can find some nice PDFs here [digilife.be] if you want to take that route or you can look all over the place [bluewin.ch] and mix/match. I personally only print out those I find myself using over and over again.

    If you absolutely just want high quality print and don't have time to do this yourself, just visit Learn & Thrive [learnandthrive.com] which, to my recollection, has some decent sized posters available. They don't have the very particular kinds of posters you're asking for but then again, I don't know anybody who would do Oracle 10 specifically.

    My suggestion is to get a high quality PDF from those first two links and just blow it up and have it laminated at Kinkos. Cost? Probably a lot less then buying something online.

    If you really really want to do it yourself, I would suggest using The Gimp [gimp.org] (or your favorite image editor) to capture images and text and make your own 'cheat sheet' with everything specific to where you work that would be pertinent. Share it with everyone else if you do and make sure to export as a high quality file format. Have it printed and keep it updated and specific to your workplace. If it's worth that much for productivity, you can probably convince your boss that the ROI is there for your time and money to get them printed.
    • I would agree with you. My only addition is that this is the kind of project I'd farm out to an intern -- too time-intensive for management or regular staff to be doing.

      At my company I've talked to the art & production departments to have their interns collaborate with mine to get very professional looking reference pieces done.
      • At my company I've talked to the art & production departments to have their interns collaborate with mine to get very professional looking reference pieces done.

        When I was the only IT guy at a student newspaper, I found that less professional, but funny (or at least funny to me) posters that I threw together got the best results. If I put a mascot on the poster - say, the Terminator endoskeleton with its head replaced by David Warner's to make Cyborg David Warner - everyone would pay attention and remem
        • A no-go in my office -- we're too close to the business end and the marketing and advertising departments. Heaven forbid a client sees a less-than-professional poster (and this at a 'creative' company). Plus, it might crash with the Warhols up on the walls :)

          If you've got a good design team, they can do a funny poster professionally -- not sure if the impersonality of a professional-looking poster might reduce how many people adhere to what it says... something to think about.
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:19AM (#15769829)
    I don't think these posters are useful anymore. It is much easier to search the net and find your answer then trying to eye a font 10 keyword in a huge 24"x36" paper.
    • by gfxguy (98788) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:30AM (#15769917)
      I've seen this kind of response a lot when people are reviewing or asking about books.

      Frankly, while I can sometimes find something I need quickly enough, the books and posters and quick reference cards usually end up being more than worth their cost. I could give specific annecdotal evidence, but don't want to get off topic. Suffice it to say that I've discovered that I can find a lot of things within minutes (if I had a quick reference, it would have been more like a minute or less), and there are some things that I just couldn't find, or were out of date, or simply wasn't clear (because someone without technical writing experience wrote it). A $50 book has saved me hours and hours of wasted time.

      All I'm saying is that these posters and quick reference cards and books are still certainly quite useful, IMO.
      • Actually I think your parent post is true ("I don't think these posters are useful anymore") if you have two screens (ie dual head).

        Otherwise text based stuff is still good.
    • by ranton (36917) on Monday July 24, 2006 @12:31PM (#15770409)
      Like another responder mentioned, the increase in productivity from a poster (or books) is definetly worth the cost. Even if you buy one for $20, that is incredibly cheap for what you are getting. Lets say it is a poster of the .Net 2.0 framework. You will probably be able to use it for at least 3 years until you start using the next framework. That is less than $7 a year, or $0.56 a month. If you pay a programmer only $40k a year, that is $120k over 3 years. $20 is a small price to pay.

      That $40k programmer is making about $20 an hour. If that poster saves him 1 hour over 3 years it is worth the money. That means that if he saves himself only 2 seconds each week for 3 years, the poster was worth it.
      --
  • Marker Board Walls (Score:4, Interesting)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:19AM (#15769830)
    I would prefer to Marker Board Walls [houseinprogress.net], Like the ones that Google supposedly has draped inside it's campus.
    • I used to work at an ISP (now out of business, sadly, like most mom and pop ISPs) that had one entire wall of every office covered in showerboard, which served as a cheap and enormous whiteboard. It was pretty cool to be able to keep tons of reference stuff on those boards for months at a time and never have to worry about running out of whiteboard space.
    • At University of Washington in the CS building they have huge whiteboards on every floor and several rooms which have whiteboards for walls.

      It's enough to make a man weep with happiness.
    • by wik (10258)
      You can pick up whiteboard wainscoting at Lowes for $10 for a 3x4' panel. It's incredibly economical and of decent quality if you mount it properly.
  • I remember seeing a few years ago Computer Associates had some Oracle, DB2 and a few other RDBMS posers outlining the relationships between the system tables. I think they were even free at the time.
  • by Jakhel (808204) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:28AM (#15769901)
    I've found that there are alot of things that are lacking in the IT world, especially in the way of quick reference documentation for specific industries (healthcare, finance, etc.) that have standards which only someone with experience in those industries would know about. It would be nice to have a quick reference guide (like a data dictionary but a little more in depth) that explains some of this ESPECIALLY where standardized data is concerned. This could be a nice little side project/business for you if you can find someone to team up with who knows about syntax. Throw up a small website or pitch it to a publishing company and you could have yourself a good second source of income. Think of those little laminated cheat sheets sold for high school calculus or physics classes.

  • Posters? (Score:2, Informative)

    by humungusfungus (81155)
    Um, I would suggest more coffee :)

    DYI. You could start by finding simple online references (there are few languages that don't have a s**tload).
    Then:

    1) Print them yourself. It would take very little time to compile your own command list with exactly what you want from online documentation. Lay it out using your favourite word processor, burn it to CD or write to floppy/USB key, take it to your local print house and get them to blow it up to a poster. You can even get them to laminate it. Done.

    2) Do the same
  • visibone.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by MaggieL (10193) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:49AM (#15770072)
    There's also some very nice stuff at http://visibone.com/ [visibone.com]

    The value of whiteboards can't be overstated, and on-line reference material is very helpful, but we don't all have multiple 36" monitors, and as Bob ("Mr. Visibone") Stein points out, "The easiest thing to find in your office will always be your wall".
    • > "The easiest thing to find in your office will always be your wall".

      I've seen offices where I knew there must be a wall behind the bookcases behind the piles of stuff, but not because I could see it....
    • I second this! (Score:3, Informative)

      by cr0sh (43134)
      The value of whiteboards can't be overstated

      Where I currently work, we have whiteboards hung on every wall of the office I share with another individual. We fill up and erase them constantly. They are great for jotting down ideas, notes, diagrams, flowcharts, doodles - you name it. We have a large "stock" of dry erase markers which are kept close at hand. In addition we keep rags, erasers, and white board "cleaning fluid" (alcohol) nearby as well.

      Some other things to note:

      DO NOT BUY YOUR WHITEBOARDS THROUGH

  • www. ... (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by LoudMusic (199347)
    Double you double you double you dot make your own dot com.

    You're talking about a piece of paper with a bunch of commands printed on it, right?
    • because he doesn't want to spend a work week researching and formatting a pieces-of-crap poster when he can pay $5.00 and get a professionally researched and produced one tomorrow?
  • ILoveJackDaniels.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by OakDragon (885217) on Monday July 24, 2006 @11:54AM (#15770122) Journal
    ILoveJackDaniels.com [ilovejackdaniels.com] has some in PDF format, although they are geared to ward LAMP stuff.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Or you could post on slashdot about a paper solution and get hundreds of links from people who are willing to show you how much better google is to paper... Oh wait...
  • On a similar note to the reference posters, I have been seeking a "365 day" flip page calendar with *nix tips for a long time. At one point I even suggested it to Oreilly, as they already have the reference material (ex: Unix Power Tools) from which to populate the calendar. Such a calendar would have a *nix tip or command for every day of the year, much like the cartoon (ex: Far Side) calendars that are often seen.

    donfede
  • by isj (453011)
    I have found the posters at o2chart very useful. The IMS poster in particular gives a good overview and is much nicer than the diagram in 3gpp's TS 23.234 + 29.228
  • anyone know where to get sql (oracle, pgsql, mysql, etc) railroad diagrams?

    having to jump between db's can be a pain in the arse, but something like a rr diag would make this a lot easier.

    although in a ms access kind of world, i guess these wouldn't be too popular anymore.
  • by Fez (468752) * on Monday July 24, 2006 @01:11PM (#15770718)
    While this doesn't help your SQL problem, there are some really nice Network/Security posters by Javvin [http]. I have their Network Protocols map up in my office and I was considering getting the network Security poster as well.
  • Drat! I was excited when I read the title of this but not the article.

    I was hoping it was about the value of posting your references on your resume when applying for IT jobs. I have applied for so many jobs and I always emphasize for potential employers to contact my references since they are my best selling point. Hardly anyone ever does. Maybe I should ask this on a new thread.

  • Perl 6 Fans (Score:3, Informative)

    by triso (67491) on Monday July 24, 2006 @03:05PM (#15771537) Homepage
    Don't forget the Perl Periodic Table of the Operators at http://www.ozonehouse.com/mark/blog/code/PeriodicT able.pdf [ozonehouse.com]

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