Archive for March, 2007

FSB National Conference – Belfast

I would write about this but I’m still trying to recover from the Guinness drinking. The FSB work hard and party hard and Belfast is a party town! Great set of people in Belfast and what a great buzz there is! I’ll write some more once I’ve recovered all my faculties!

You gotta love Linux

I was loving Linux today because I needed to download an ISO, the IBM ServeRAID 7K bootable CD. I used Linux to download the ISO then burn the ISO to CD using “cdrecord”. I was able to mount the ISO on the local filesystem using the following command

mount -o -loop -t iso9660 filename.iso /mnt/iso

This allows you to browse the contents of the ISO without writing it to CD. There’s not a native tool in Vista to write ISOs, so having Linux around was great.

*** UPDATE ***

Apparently this can be done on Windows without too much trouble and Dave has the details on his Blog.

Sometimes we should take our own advice!

You know that little rule about “not installing beta software on your production server”? Well, I just went and did that with System Center Essentials on my SBS box and this is how I lived to regret it! I couldn’t get it to install properly and so I decided to remove it and that’s where things started to go wrong. It didn’t trash my server or lose me any data but caused me enough headaches that I decided to reinstall from media again. Sharepoint stopped working and I couldn’t get it back again, the backup wizard stopped working and other errors started to appear in the logs. In the end I reinstalled from the SBS 2003 R2 media and putting data back, having to get a new SSL certificate and get the mobile devices synced back took a whole day and evening, not to mention locking myself out of Vista when unjoining the domain – eventually reinstalling with Vista Enterprise from the MSDN subscription! Sometimes we have to learn the hard way and that’s why I will not be doing that again. Test it in a Virtual environment!

The box of goodies that is the Certified Partner subscription

So what do you get for your annual fee as a Microsoft Certified Partner? The greatest thing for me is the MSDN subscription and in particular Visual Studio 2005 and related SDKs. There’s more licenses, toolkits, training content than you can shake any kind of stick at! …and what about the big shiny plaques and the banner…my son was certainly impressed and ask if I was the only one in the world who had one!

FSB National Conference

The FSB National Conference is on 22-24th March 2007 in Belfast. Microsoft will be at the Conference and Dave’s going to be running some workshops on the Friday and the Saturday. I’ll be there as one of the delegates of the Leicester City Branch along with the Chairman, Karl Craig-West.

The Thursday evening is starting off with a Pub Tour organised by the FSB (notice how it’s not called a Pub Crawl!). This is my kind of organisation!

Leicester and the Sunday Times Rich List

The Leicester Mercury has an interesting story on some of the people who made it in to the Sunday Times Rich List and who are based in Leicester. The author of the annual Sunday Times Rich List, Dr Philip Beresford said Leicestershire was one of the best examples of successful entrepreneurs in the country. He also said, “It has a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit. One of the things about Leicestershire is that it is not dominated by just one sector, there are a number of businesses who are very successful, and the Asian influence is huge.”. Anyway, there’s lot more good stuff in the report so I’ll let you read it yourselves. I haven’t quite made it on to the list but give me a few more years!

Sharepoint Services v2, Office 2007 and SBS – it does work

Dave Overton has found a solution to making your Office 2007 system play nicely with Companyweb (Sharepoint Services v2) on SBS 2003 and I’ve tried the solution and it works a treat. This is great as no one seemed to know the answer to this and Dave has managed to find a way to do it which is fairly straightforward and which doesn’t involve upgrading to Sharepoint Services v3. Dave is working like crazy at the moment to resolve issues and answer questions, so it really is appreciated that he’s putting so much effort in to this. It’ll certainly make a difference to me and remove one of the key issues for me in recommending Vista in a SBS 2003 environment.

The Last Days of the Raj

That was the title of the docu-drama on Channel 4 tonight and it was a very compelling piece of television. It related the events of the last days of British occupation of India and the Partition of the sub-continent into what is now modern India and Pakistan. It is one of those momentous events which still echoes through the ages and its effects are still felt today. It was an event that my parents lived through in the Punjab. The line that was drawn split the Punjab into two and triggered the greatest human exodus the world has ever seen, 20 million displaced and 1 million people died in the ensuing chaos and factional fighting. Neighbour against neighbour where for centuries people had lived together as brothers. The Sikh homeland was torn in two, some of the holiest places of Sikhism like the birthplace of the founder Guru Nanak was left on the Pakistan side and where they are still today. Sikhs and Hindus migrated from the Pakistan side to the Indian side and Muslims made the opposite journey. This is not to blame the ex-colonial rulers, they did what people like Jinnah wanted and created the world’s first Islamic nation, namely Pakistan. On the eve of Independence, Nehru made a speech which to me stands as one of the great speeches of the modern age.

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.”

The rest as they say is history!

Which Partners are using Vista?

Steve Clayton recently asked this question as the partners he’d talked to weren’t running Vista. Now, if he’d asked the Small Business Specialists he would’ve got a totally different reply. Many of us are running Vista and Office 2007 and at the recent Microsoft Small Business Symposia it was apparent that many people were “on board”. Were using it and actively selling it, so it’s time for Microsoft to recognise this. I’m not talking about the Microsoft Small Business Team, they know what we’re doing and have supported and encouraged us. I’m talking about recognition in the wider Microsoft Ecosystem. We’ve run partner events up and down the country with the Small Business Team and the PTS guys. I just saw James Cash is running an executive briefing on Vista and Office 2007, so Microsoft where do you want to put your resources? So at this moment in time if you want Vista and Office 2007 support, where would you go? The correct answer is a Microsoft Small Business Specialist! Nice to be at the cutting edge!

The Conservatives love Open Source

What? The Conservatives are going all Open Source on us. The Shadow Chancellor, George Osborne, is reported as saying they will “create a level playing field” for open source software and that they could save a heap of money on the Government IT bill. It’s so simple isn’t it? The Register has some more detail and apparently the Open Source guru advising the Tories wouldn’t talk on record although I’m intrigued who it might be? It’s not me! Oh, apparently “Microsoft is a valued employer in the UK” according to George!

Here’s my prediction, Microsoft will go Open Source! You heard it here first, I think? I don’t know when but there are signs. They might not call it Open Source, they might call it Shared Source or something else. What Vista showed was that kind of development is hard, really hard! There were ruptures that people were not happy with the development processes and the management processes. They got there in the end but if I was Microsoft, I’d be asking myself why do we need so many developers working in this way? They might well be asking themselves this?

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