Archive for December, 2006
There’s a great story at the BBC News website about people queuing for 32 hours to get in to the Chapel at King’s College Cambridge for the Christmas Carol Service. I’m not a Christian but I love Christmas Carols and we sang them at school every year but at my kids’ School you’ll be lucky to hear one Christmas Carol. It’s that ethos of we don’t want to offend other faiths! I’m a Sikh and I sang them and enjoyed doing it even if “Christ” was never “My Lord” and it never turned me away from my faith. I love the Hope and Sense of a New Beginning in them, the proclamation of something quite amazing in such humble surroundings, an event which was to change the World!
There’s a great quote from the Bible which I really like from the Book of Ruth which says
Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God; where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if even death parts me from you.
The important part for me is the “…your people shall be my people, and your God my God…”!
Those zealots over at the Free Software Foundation have just launched the BadVista.org site. It’s a site whose aim is to expose the great evil that is Vista, that will corrupt you, take your women and children and be revealed in the Final Judgement day as the Anti-Christ! Okay, a bit strong I know but the fundamental question is whether Software Freedoms as defined by the FSF are Absolute Rights? Are they some Universal Human Truth which it is a sin to go against? They are most definitely not and while I like the GPL, it is a License Agreement just like the Microsoft EULA is a License Agreement. The Absolute Freedom people have is to chose whatever License Agreement they want to distribute their own Intellectual Property. This pseudo-religious or quasi-religious crusade (not sure of the right term here?) is quite ridiculous and why Linus Torvalds the creator and maintainer of the Linux Kernel has become increasingly frustrated by the FSF and won’t change to the GPL v3 when it is released.
This explains why Microsoft is hesitant in engaging with IBM (from my personal point of view). Microsoft and IBM are not really the best of friends historically. It’s a shame because IBM does some great kit which has to run Microsoft OSes and use other Microsoft Technologies. However, HP has been engaged within the Small Business Specialist Programme for a while but I’m one for having multiple vendors engage with the Community because we are “IT Consultants” so should be able to chose the best solution for the customer. I know it’s not as simple as that but as with anything in life there is always some politics at play!
The family and I have just got back from a few days in Edinburgh. Although I’ve been quite a few times before it was a first time for my wife and kids. Some of the highlights were the open air ice skating rink that has been erected in the Princes Street Gardens, right outside the National Gallery of Scotland. The kids and I had a go and I’m pleased to say that I didn’t fall once! Jeevan got quite good at the skating considering it was his first go ever!
One thing about going to Edinburgh is that you get the strong sense that Scotland really is a Nation in its own right especially if you go to Edinburgh Castle and see the crown jewels of Scotland. The most famous of this is the ‘The Stone of Destiny’ or ‘The Stone of Scone’ upon which the Kings and Queens of Scotland and England have been crowned. Apparently it was only returned to Scotland in 1996 after having been taken to Westminster Abbey by Edward I. Better late than never!
Steve Wright of BMS has a post on his blog about becoming a Microsoft Certified Partner. This is a great achievement and great for MITPRO as Steve has been an active member of the group. You’ll be able to see Steve at the Small Business Symposium as he’ll be on one of the Partner panels. This is another recognition of Steve’s committment to the Small Business Community by Microsoft and his peers. The Midlands Community might be small but we’re committed. We’ve got 2 representatives at the Small Business Symposium on the Partner Panels and we’ve got 3 active bloggers who post about the Small Business Community. We can do more, lots more and hopefully we’ll be able to reach out further will a little imagination!
We’ve launched our new website/blog with a new name as well, so the SBS Midlands Group will now be known as the Association of Midlands IT Professionals (MITPRO). There’s lot of good stuff to come, more technical, more business, more of everything especially if I’ve got anything to do with it! There’s a small solid group of people working together to make this happen and I just wanted to say thanks to James Cash of JamesCash.co.uk, who’s hosting the MITPRO blog for free and has set up Wordpress for us all and looks after the monies. Nice one James! Also, check out his new blog and he’s quoting Leonardo Da Vinci, damn he’s upped the blogging stakes now! Now, where’s my complete works of Shakespeare…?
There’s beginning to be a bit of a waiting list to come and talk to the group but the benefits go well beyond just having big name vendors do their spiel. The value is of building relationships (Susanne has talked of this before and is the master of this) but what we can learn from each other is the key. So, the year is ending on a high note!
How do you take a photo of your whole family with yourself in it without having a timer and another person to take it for you? Well, you try and hold the camera out in front and take about half a dozen shots before you get everyone in shot! This is one of the few photos of us all together. I’m the devishly handsome one on the left!!
I’ve been infomed today that iQubed has been re-accredited as a Microsoft Small Business Specialist for 2007, so looks like I’m in it for another year! I’m pretty proud of this achievement considering I’ve had to skill myself up quite a bit on Microsoft Server technology during the past 12 months. That’s not to say that I didn’t know anything, its just that I’d been more used to making Windows Clients talk to Linux Servers, pretending to be Windows Servers. I knew quite a lot about networking and datacomms from my Ericsson days, so it wasn’t a complete leap into the dark. Going from software developer to IT consultant has been a challenge and I have a lot more respect for system administrators than I ever did! It’s always good to have a good deal of humility and as I’ve learnt more about the Microsoft Technologies the more I’ve come to respect the development that Microsoft has done. They don’t always get the credit for what they do, but hey…that comes with being one of the most dominant companies we’ve probably ever seen.
Another thing I’ve learnt is that IT support for SMEs is a crowded marketplace for us and whether for iQubed this is the best area to be in? I think the focus is going to have to shift to more software/application based work which is why I recently signed the SPA (Service Provider Agreement) for Dynamics AX. Obviously this is a whole new certification path before you can sell and seriously consult on Dynamics AX but sometimes you have to take the risk!!
Well, I had to do it as my Samsung P28 laptop unfortunately didn’t rank very high on the Windows Experience Index base score, whereas now I get a respectable 3.0 which is sufficient to get the Aero Interface and other 3D effects, hooray! The Dell Inspiron 1501 is an AMD Turion 64 x2 processor and it’s got 2GB RAM in it and it came to £679 + vat. Finally, I’ll be able to run the Demo showcase stuff. I installed Vista RC1 on it and it detected everything and configured it correctly. The onboard video uses upto 256MB of system memory, so the graphics performance of 3.0 is not the highest but good enough.