Excuse O’Clock….

I know it’s been 5 months since I last posted… but I’ve been kinda “busy” …. 6 weeks holiday: UK – Hong Kong – Singapore – Australia – New Zealand – Cook Islands – USA – UK. No more than 3 days in any one place, LOTS of flights (17ish), 3500+ photo’s and some killer jet-lag for christmas 🙂

Obviously, this break left me with a fair bit of catching up to do – both at work and in my “real life” 🙂

The mini-note (HP 2133) was been superb – it’s everything I was hoping for in a “netbook” – the reviews generally speak for themselves – so I won’t bore you with another one…. but suffice to say it’s now running Windows 7 and it’s flying – much better than Vista I have to say!

I’m hoping to post a bit more now – work is interesting… VMWare is looking like a winner in our investigation of what Virtualisation software to use, Exchange 2007 is upcoming (pending proof we can support IPhones with it) and a gentle roll-out of Windows 2008 (and maybe SQL 2008) is looking likely 🙂 I’m finally getting my head around sysprep – as we’re finally rolling out XP – Vista / Win 7 is a while off due to some DOS requirements (I kind you not!) so hopefully I’ll have some bits to blog about soon 🙂

I’ve also caught the “Twitter-bug” http://www.twitter.co.uk/slimboyfat if you’re interested (I’ve had the account for quite a long time – but never really “got it” until recently)

Watch this space……


What everyone’s talking about…


Well, I’ve been added to the popular gang – I’ve been invited to join the Windows Home Server beta!

I’ve grabbed the software and got my key – I just need to juggle some disks around to get myself some hardware – I’m just short a big disk… so it might be an EBay job – I’ll just have to see if I have enough free space to move data and pull one from my array – if not a 500Giger from EBay sounds tempting 🙂

 Lots more details and info to follow I’m sure as I start testing and playing around with it.


I want one….. please let me beta test this?

I’ve NEVER been as excited about a Microsoft announcement as I am about this one.

Charlie, I’d more than like to test this – I’d LOVE to…… I think I’d be a perfect example of what you need to test it – data syncing using a combination of Foldershare and SyncToy and a bunch of batch files / ftp’s etc. 

Music / Photo’s / Documents etc. on 3 Laptops and 4 PC’s, Firewire attached disks with loads of storage and multiple copies of all my data – I’ve probably got in the region of half a terabyte of backups dotted around my house (and with my parents for offsite storage) – all being updated (at least) once a day (if not in real-time) and weekly / monthly archives I’ve got for a final worst-case rollback…

Please, please, please can I it? I’ll test any hardware you like – it doesn’t need to be the HP kit – although it’s rather nice and might just have the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) that I’ve been looking for – the heat / noise / power use combo that my current strategy has is something of a problem on the WAF front – it’s not very popular – but probably not a Divorcable Offense like losing all of it!!

The Xbox360 is coming soon to complete the setup – and one of these to go with it would be perfect – it might just justify the 360 – anything that makes it easy to show off the wedding photo’s whilst streaming the music to go with them would be considered a “Good Thing” TM

The ideas that Rick has are excellent and to have voiced them a year ago is visionary, I have to agree with him that they could have done more – but for version 1.0 it’s looking pretty good!

So, if there’s anyone out there from the Windows Home Server team that wants to send me some test kit – I’d be more than happy to give it a trial run?


Scoble – what’s he on about now?

The eternal hype machine that is Robert Scoble, has reached a new level of obscurity with one of his posts today but he’s got my attention….

You know, even inside Microsoft people have no clue as to what’s coming next week. I was just showing some people here the videos of what’s coming next week and they said simply “wow.”

So what’s he planning? Well, I’m presuming that it’s something different so it won’t be:

  • a VOIP & Chat product they already have one of them – but it’s not as “nice” as GoogleTalk IMHO….
  • a phone that plays music – Apple and Motorola are making a nice mess of that one….. and my ScoblePhone with a 512Mb Mini-SD card is a far better alternative….
  • I’m guessing that as it’s to be announced at PDC I’m guessing it’s something to do with Vista. Quite what, I’m not at all sure – WinFS is in Beta, Visual Studio is about to be released, SQL 2005 is almost a go…. so what’s it going to be? Something cool I hope – I sincerely do!!

    Some have accused me of overhyping what’s coming next week. Well, I don’t want to ruin this chance to keep expectations low (the industry hasn’t seen such an opportunity to take advantage of such low expectations to perform some shock and awe in years), but damn this is the most excited I’ve been about Microsoft since I joined.


    Yes, it’s been a while since we’ve shipped something significant. Yes, we have missed out on several new trends like the iPod and search. Yes, Steve Jobs‘ accusation that we’re just copying his company has looked pretty true.

    But now it’s time to change the world. Again.

    Go ahead, accuse me of hyperbole. Of FUD. Of mud throwing. Whatever. Let’s get together for beers next week and you look me in the eye and tell me that I overhyped this PDC.

    btw – I have to say that if this next quote doesn’t get you fired for blogging – nothing will!! 🙂

    I think I’ve been underhyping Microsoft. I had lost my belief. I was almost ready to get Steve Ballmer to throw another chair and go work for a cooler or at least smaller company.

    I’m listening Robert… amaze me…… PLEASE


    My prayers may be answered!!

    It sounds like my earlier rant may have been listened to (although I suspect that I’m not the only one to complain) 🙂

    Based on this ZDNet Australia article a new technology called “Freeze Dry” will be a part of Windows Vista. Full details are included in the article, but here’s a short quote the whet you appetite:

    “some patches require machines to reboot, users who leave documents open and unsaved run the risk of losing that data if the machine is automatically updated. Freeze Dry eliminates that problem by automatically saving application state and documents and then restoring them once the system restarts”

    It just sounds way too cool – from a Sys-Admin perspective, it makes WSUS (and it’s successors) far more powerful, and as a home user with Windows Updates switched on it should mean that I’ll never loose another Blog post!!

    Thanks to Ed Bott amongst others for the heads-up.


    Are you listening Microsoft?

    Joe Wilcox over at Microsoft Monitor makes an exceptiionally good point in his post Make the Music Available to All

    He’s pointing out the pain involved in making stuff available to multiple users on Home PC’s / Networks – that stuff being music / photo’s etc.

    To quote him:

    “Problem: Making music easily available to everyone. The music collection comes from four sources: CDs I ripped, purchased DRM content from MSN Music or Napster and subscription stuff from Yahoo! Music. Authorizing the computer to play DRM downloads or subscription music was easy enough. Making that content available to all three people wasn’t as easy.”

    What I’d like to see is a common music database or content list easily made available to, at the least, Windows Media Player and, ideally, to other digital media software, too.

    Because there is no simple mechanism is place, I had to open Windows Media Player under each user account and search through the 3,300 song library. Better would have been one search that made the list accessible to all three user’s Windows Media Player. I even went so far as to put all the songs in the Shared Music folder.”

    It’s an excellent point – and a problem dear to my heart. This is one feature that would really make Vista a worthwhile upgrade for home users – Microsoft need to wake-up and realise that as well as making it secure, they REALLY need to work on “making it work” if it’s tricky for me as an MCSA to share music with my girlfriend on the PC we share at home and to make it available on my laptop as well – then what chance does the average Joe (sorry for the pun) have?


    Vista Install 2 – The out-come

    Well, the install of Windows Vista Beta1 on the Compaq D330 failed – an error copying files apparently – which means I have to start again….. you’ve NO idea how annoying typing in the product key gets at the 10th / 12th time of asking…..

    I tried the 2 dvd’s I burnt originally and then tried a freshly burnt one too….. so I’ve got the hump with that machine for the time being!!

    I’ll just have to go back to using Virtual PC on the old machine I think – although it’s painfully slow…..


    Longhorn – Install 2

    I’m trying it on some spare kit here now – a Compaq d330D P4 2.6 with 512Mb RAM – just as a straight install – stuff the Virtual PC idea….. I’ll post on progress in a bit – in the meantime I need to find my install key …. off to MSDN I go again….. I really should write it down somewhere!! 🙂


    Vista Beta 1 – Install completed!

    Well, I left the Windows Vista Beta 1 install runing overnight, and it finally completed – and I have to say, I’m fairly impressed!! Given that it’s running in a VM on a 1.7 Pentium, performance is acceptable – the rest of the box is useless whilst it’s running – but what the hell!!

    Installing the Virtual PC add-Ons makes a big difference – the graphics are much improved, and performance seems a touch better as well. I suspect that I might have to load it on my 3.4 P4 at home as well – see if that makes things a little happier!!

    All in all, not a bad start to the day!