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Documenting a Network? 528

Philip writes "Three years ago I was appointed as a network manager to a barely functioning MS-based network. Since then I've managed to get it up and running — even thriving — but have been guilty of being too busy with the doing of it to document the changes and systems that were put in place. Now as I look back, I'm worried that I am the only one who will ever know how this network works. If I get hit by a bus or throw in the towel for any reason, I'd be leaving behind a network that requires some significant expertise to run. Ultimately, this won't be a good reference for me if they are trying to work out technical details for years to come. It looks like I'm going to have to document the network with all sorts of details that outside consultants could understand too (no, I don't want to be the outside consultant), especially since it's likely that my replacement will have less technical expertise (read 'cheaper'). Are there any good templates out there for documenting networks? Is anyone who has done it before willing to share some experiences? What did you wish your predecessor had written down about a network that you inherited?"

Collaborative Academic Writing Software? 328

Thomas M Hughes writes "Despite its learning curve, LaTeX is pretty much the standard in academic writing. By abstracting out the substance from the content, it becomes possible to focus heavily on the writing, and then deal with formatting later. However, LaTeX is starting to show its age, specifically when it comes to collaborative work. One solution to this is to simply pair up LaTeX with version control software (such as Subversion) to allow multiple collaborators to work on the same document at one time. But adding Subversion to the mix only seems to increase the learning curve. Is there a way to combine the power of LaTeX with the power of Subversion without scaring off a non-technical writer? The closest I can approximate would be to have something like Lyx (to hide the learning curve of LaTeX) with integrated svn (to hide the learning curve of svn). However, this doesn't seem available. Google Docs is popular right now, but Docs has no support for LaTeX, citation management, or anything remotely resembling decent formatting options. Are there other choices out there?"

MSDOS is not dead, it just smells that way. -- Henry Spencer