Thursday, 25 August 2011

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

All over the news and tech blogs this morning is the news that Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple CEO. To be honest this isn't unexpected as  he's been suffering with Cancer for a while now but it's still sad. The company is in safe hands with Tim Cook as the new CEO but it's still a great loss for Apple and the greater tech community  in general. I just read Steve's 2006 Stanford commencement address again and one passage struck a chord with me about the futility of life and speaks volumes about Steve's approach to running Apple as a company and to his own life:
No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
 I know some people are Apple fanatics and others don't have the time of day for Apple products but there's no denying that Steve has created something unique and special. I hope Steve is able to take time to get better and wish him all the best.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

IT4Charity Blog

I'm in the process of developing a blog at work. It's still a work in progress but feel free to take a look.

It's at

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Opinon: Blackberry Colt

I just read an article on Electricpig concerning a rumored future blackberry device that's supposedly going to run QNX - the same OS that the PlayBook runs on. The article discusses the 5 things the author thinks it needs to succeed, While it's a well written article, I must take issue with some of the points made:

  1. BES - When I used to work within Microsoft, I used to regularly have to produce material on how Exchange ActiveSync was more effective than BES as it was native to Exchange Server whereas BES is an additional layer of middleware (with additional TCO). I agree that for existing BES users, this may stop them migrating to the new device but for new enterprise customers it will save them a fortune in licensing costs alone.
  2. Flash - I totally agree that Flash is pretty much a given these days but I don't think it's a requirement for competing with iPhone 4 which doesn't support Flash at all. Most of my web browsing takes place on my iPhone 4 and to be honest, I've never encountered a website where I thought "*!%@$ If I only I had Flash!". To compete with iPhone 4, it's all about the User Experience (UX) - Lot's of devices of various flavours (Android, Symbian, WP7 Mango etc) stand head and shoulders above the iDevice in terms of features but I wouldn't change and will likely get an iPhone 5 because I love the UX.

The other three points he makes are bang on :)

Published Work

I need a repository for a list of my published work so for the time being, this is it:

Microsoft Identity and Access Management Series (Joint Author)

Accelerated Linux administration for experienced HP-UX or Sun Solaris administrators

Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide (Subject Matter Expert and Beta Teach)

Installing, Configuring, Troubleshooting, and Maintaining Windows Vista (Lead author and beta teach)

Exchange Server 2003 Security Hardening Guide (Lead Author)

Introduction to Installing and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (Lead author and beta teach)

Using Windows System Resource Manager with Windows Server 2003

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Speech Server (Lead Author)

Monday, 8 August 2011

Outlook 2010 Best Practices

OK we seem to be on a bit of a roll with Windows stuff today so I thought I'd share a link to Outlook 2010 Best Practices from Microsoft. This is actually a very well thought out article and over the many years I've been working with Exchange servers, I've seen many a user mailbox that could have done with some of this advice.

A lot of the steps are Outlook specific but some of the general principles apply to all e-mail services.

Backup not working on SBS2011? That'll be Sharepoint's fault!

We recently had an issue on several recent installs of SBS 2011 Standard whereby backups kept failing.

After some digging, it turned out that the culprit was an incomplete installation of  Sharepoint Foundation SP1.

You can find the full details over at the SBS forum but basically you run a powershell command to see if the upgrade has completed properly and if it hasn't, you need to run psconfig with a couple of modifiers.


How To Clear the Outlook Email Address Auto Complete Cache

For some reason, the auto-complete in my Outlook 2010 has gone screwy and started having the incorrect addresses for auto-complete entries.There are several options but as this is a relatively new install of Outlook, I'm going to nuke the cache. "That would make a good blog post" I thought to myself, so here goes.

It's actually surprisingly easy too and works for Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Outlook 2010 Method

  1. In Outlook 2010, click File and then click Options.
  2. Click the Mail tab.
  3. Under Send Messages, click Empty Auto-Complete List.
Outlook 2003/2007 Method

  1. Make sure Outlook is closed.
  2. Open Windows Explorer and browse to %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook (or just copy and paste it into the address bar).
  3. Rename Outlook.nk2 to outlook nk2.bak (just in case you need it ever again)
  4. Thats it. There is no step 4 :-)

For a more in-depth look at the various options related to Outlook auto-complete cache, look at this KB article which has every permutation of config steps known to man.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Of blogs and blogging

We've just been having a conversation about blogs at work which made me think of this one.

I've not been near my personal blog for a while now as I tend to post opinion and the stuff that was previously blog fodder to Facebook and, more recently, Google+.

For anyone interested, I now have a new job. University is over and I'm working full time again.

I may post some stuff here if the mood grabs me.