Archive for September, 2007

How to Lose Disgracefully

Ireland were dumped out of the Rugby World Cup today by Argentina. What really got on my nerve was Brian O’Driscoll’s reaction and saying that only one team came to play rugby! One of the things about Rugby is that if you lose you hold your hands up and just say you weren’t good enough. You always pay tribute to the opposition after the match. Sean Fitzpatrick (former All Blacks Captain) and Francois Pienaar (former South Africa Captain) were scathing about O’Driscoll’s comments. As Sean Fitzpatrick said, Ireland were living on past reputations and never turned up for this competition and should really be looking at themselves and why they were nearly beaten by Georgia. Compare this reaction with Gareth Thomas’s views and the Wales manager losing his job eventhough Wales went out fighting to the last and by the smallest of margins.

SMB Nation Podcasts

This is from Harry Brelsford’s Newsletter. Nice one Aaron, what a great guy for doing this!

SMB Nation To PODCAST Four (4) Speeches
It was nearly 20-years ago that Woodstock was held on Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York. During the show – sheer madness emerged! Crowds were much larger than anticipated and simply ran over the gates and ultimately the conference organizer bellowed that famous phrase “it’s now a free concert.”
With that context – welcome to SMB Nation 2007, the fall conference starting in 48-hours at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond. While our situation isn’t exactly that same as Woodstock (economic realities require us to maintain an overall fee structure for full participation), we have been blessed with over 700 participants and we’re very excited that over 60 percent of the attendees are new to SMB Nation!
For the rest of the world *unable* to attend – we have VERY GOOD NEWS!. We are working with Aaron Booker (a fellow Small Business Specialist) who owns Hardlines in Bellingham, Washington USA to bring FOUR SESSIONS to you as a COMPLIMENTARY Podcast. (I’m shouting in UPPERCASE because I am so excited!).
To attend the Podcast of four selected sessions, you will need to REGISTER for the specific sessions of your choice (see below). Note that these complimentary Podcast sessions represent less than ten percent of the total conference content but it gives you, the remote attendee, the opportunity to attend SMB Nation 2007 virtually for just a sampling!
The four complimentary sessions Podcasts (90-minutes in length) are :
Session 1A: KEYNOTE
September 29th – 9:00AM PST GMT-8
Eric Ligman, Microsoft US Senior Manager Small Business Community Engagement
Arnie Mondloch, Director – Marketing and Relationship Engines, US Partner Group
You must register here to attend Eric and Arnie’s lecture:
Session 2A: Tcat – Certification Secrets Test Taking Tips
September 29th – 10:45AM PST GMT -8
“….I know that but couldn’t remember it on the exam !@#$$%…” Tcat will share his secrets that helped him overcome life challenges to earn multiple certifications, write books and become a well-respected international speaker and trainer. His passion is helping other people achieve effective results in all aspects of work and personal life with a special emphasis on passing exams! Take the first steps – listen intently for Tcat – and then prepare for and take your certification exam!
You must register here to attend Tcat’s lecture:
Session 5B: Larry Schulze – Getting the Right People on the Bus – HR Topics that Matter
September 30th – 9:00AM PST GMT -8
You need to add people to grow, but hiring can be a painful process. This session will show you the best practices to hire someone that is the right fit for you, your business and your culture. Whether it is your first hire, or just another new face on your team, you will learn how to recruit, hire and integrate new employees into your business. You’ll better understand why the right timing is important and why managing employees today is different from many years ago. Plus, this session will cover how to create an employee manual and why this is important to your business.
You must register here to attend Larry’s lecture:
Session 6B: Dana Epp - Mitigating Business Risk in a Remotely Accessible World

Identity and access management for small business. Join Dana in exploring how to securely protect your customers from potentially risky remote access with the use of strong authentication. Learn how to better validate the identity of remote users (including you and your employees) and discover how to provide effective audit logging to track remote usage like never before. Is that really employee ‘Bob’ from accounting trying to get in, or a hacker that captured his Active Directory login credentials? Come see how to find out!
You must register to attend Dana’s lecture:
So if you can’t attend live and fully participate, I understand and I hope you’ll drop by for these sample content sessions! AND we certainly hope that we’ll see some of our virtual friends at SMB Nation 2008 (tentatively October 2008 again in Seattle).

Leicester Creative Coffee Club up and running

Rather than repeat myself, here is my post on today’s Creative Coffee Club blog.

If you’re interested in starting one in your area then let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the appropriate people. Apparently one is launching in Silicon Valley! Cool or what! 

MSDN Event – Birmingham

I was at the MSDN Event in Birmingham this afternoon entitled “Overview of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5″ presented by Daniel Moth and Mike Taulty of the Microsoft Developer Group. I was really glad I went because it convinced me that I should start using Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2. Daniel did a good job of convincing me that VS 2008 was a true superset of VS 2005 and as the CLR has stayed the same from Framework 2.0 -> 3.0 -> 3.5 then there’s no great problem. Framework 3.5 is a superset of the preceeding Frameworks. The headline feature in .NET 3.5 is the new language construct called LINQ (Language Integrated Query). Think of it as a SQL like syntax for working with all sorts different data types, be they objects, datasets or databases. This really shows the power of the .NET runtime, that such new language constructs can be developed without any changes in the underlying CLR. So, you’re just getting the compiler to do some clever stuff for you and produce the appropriate IL.

What you get in VS 2008 is a really productive environment with intellisense and they’ve added the Expression Web editors for CSS support. Having been using Expression Web and Sharepoint Designer 2007 recently, these are really great tools. Also, VS 2008 has extensions for doing things like Sharepoint Workflow, Office Business Applications, etc all built in. Also, it’s got new Visual designer for WPF, so it you’re wanting to do Vista based development then this is the tool of choice.

Right, I’m off to download VS 2008 Beta 2 and Framework 3.5 from my MSDN Subscription…

Gartner declares Open Source biggest Disruptor of our time

I know people don’t always believe I have a complete grip on reality but maybe they’ll believe Gartner. According to Gartner Open Source accounted for 13% of the $92.7 billion software market in 2006 and will account for 27% by 2011. They say “Continued acceptance will drive down prices and force proprietary software vendors to change their business model.”

Gartner also declared Open Source software the biggest disruptor the software industry has ever seen. Open Source can mean big bucks! One recent example has been Zimbra who were bought up by Yahoo for $350 million. Zimbra has a dual source licensing strategy where you can have the Open Source version or you can buy their support and enhancements to the product for a fee.

Richard Tubb at Technet, Manchester

Richard has a good write up of the Technet Manchester event. Unfortunately, I’m not going to make it to the first round of Technet events but they are well worth attending. There is a load of great events coming up from Microsoft, so I’m having to pick and chose quite carefully but will be at the MSDN Event next week in Birmingham. Writer eats humble pie on SCO

Poor old Daniel Lyons, a writer at, who has been covering the SCO vs IBM case for the online publication is eating a huge portion of humble pie but even that is an understatement. How hard must have this been for him to write? Like many other analysts at the time they thought a tiny Unix company could win big time payments from IBM and scupper Linux. In reading Daniel’s article it is slightly pathetic because he says he believed the management team of SCO, he even had meetings with them, they told him they had a smoking gun. Oh well then, they must be right because they said so! That humble little GPL, you know the one that no one could possibly make any money out of, beat the pants off years of litigation and millions of dollars. Yes, a single A4 piece of paper against reams of license agreemeents, deals and IP documents. Do I feel sorry for Daniel Lyons, absolutely not!

As I write this, SCO has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, it’s share price has collapsed and is being threatened with delisting from the Nasdaq. I can see a little black and white penguin called Tux standing on the carcas of SCO, waving it’s little flipper forward, squeaking “Next!”…

Microsoft on the Road Events

Microsoft are coming to a town near you/us in October/November 2007 to share the love, do some group hugs, high fives and plie us with pizza and beer. Some of the venues have some SBSC specific content and discussion, which Jen has skillfully blagged off the Roadshow for us SBSC Partners.


Dear Partner,

We are taking to the road to see you, our partners! Jump in the driver’s seat and join us to find out how we plan to get your business motoring. A top Microsoft technology and business team will map out the latest developments in the server and desktop markets and take you on the journey from market opportunity to technical ‘how to’ demonstrations.

We’ll get under the hood of Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, along with the Office Ready PC, giving you detailed insights to get your business moving. And of course, we’ll be outlining the route ahead for the new Windows Server 2008, with its built-in web and virtualisation technologies for increasing the reliability and flexibility of your customers’ server infrastructure.

Additionally we will be running exclusive SBSC pre-sessions at four of the locations so be sure to make one of these events by signing up here. The SBSC content events are :-

10th October – London

11th October -TVP, Reading

17th October – Nottingham

23rd October – Glasgow

Gareth and myself will be at the above events (well, I’ll be at the Nottingham and Glasgow ones) to talk about the SBSC PALs Programme and get people’s feedback. We should be having our first quarterly conference call with Microsoft Corp in October so would be a good time to get people’s thoughts.

What's really important

I saw something on the TV this morning which really made me feel pride for supporting The Foxes (Leicester City). Yesterday, The Foxes played Forest in a replay of the Carling Cup and at the start of the match Leicester City allowed The Forest keeper to take the ball unapposed and score. This is because one of the Leicester City players had collapsed in the first game with a double heart attack and Nottingham Forest reacted magnificently and put the health of the player before everything and abandoned the match. Forest were 1-0 up at the time. The player has since recovered and in no small part thanks to Nottingham Forest Football Club’s quick reaction. Leicester came back to win 3-2 with a last second goal but that hardly mattered, well just a little! Somethings are just too important and I have new found respect for these two clubs and their supporters.

Creative Coffee Club hits town

…well, it’s actually hitting a few places and the Facebook group has grown to 170 people.

The Leicester event is on Wed 26th September at 10.00am – 12.00pm at Ritazza, which is at the De Montfort University Campus. You can check out the CreativeCoffee Club website.

See you there.

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