Tuesday, January 26th, 2010
I travel a lot as many of you will know, both locally and internationally. When I travel my laptop is my right arm in terms of connectivity to the office, and to the world. If my laptop has problems then my ability to work while away is severely restricted. I have in the past had temporary issues with my laptop that have taken a day or two to resolve and during those times, I’ve not been able to function properly… this leads to lack of sleep and increased stress levels – all things that are really not needed particularly when you are travelling!
For the last 12 months however I’ve been a little smarter. I’ve carried with me now a HP Mininote Netbook which I’ve kept as a “spare” in case of emergency. Here’s two examples of how it’s saved my sanity…
When I was travelling with my family in Europe at Christmas 2008, I took TWO of them – both identical. IT was lucky I did as while in Paris for 4 days, the one I was using totally failed. We had 2 weeks left of the holiday, but I was able to continue pretty much un affected as I could switch over to the other laptop.
More recently though in December 2009, I was in the US on a business trip. The US flights are always very packed and my backpack and laptop was placed a few rows back in the overhead compartment. When we landed in Seattle, another gentleman got my bag out only to fumble it and it dropped onto the arm of the seat. Later when I got to my room I found it was very broken… in fact it was bent! Not good. Ok – I grabbed my HP Mininote out of my OTHER bag and powered it on and was in business in a matter of minutes. I had not done any work since last syncing my laptop so I lost no data at all as a copy of it was at our office. I was able to continue my business trip without having to worry about trying to get my laptop repaired in a foreign country or the potential data loss associated with it. The fact that I had a cheap netbook with me made my trip so much more positive than it would have been.
So… think about it for a moment… a netbook costs less than $1000… and while it might not be as full featured as a real laptop or notebook, it is certainly VERY cheap insurance for an exec who is always on the move.
Monday, January 18th, 2010
A friend of mine has recently decided to start their own small business. She asked me what should she do / read in order to help her get her on her way. Here’s a few blogs that I read and suggest anyone considering starting a small business should read too.
FlyingSolo – this site includes not only a decent blog on Small Business in Australia, but also forums designed for solo business operators to ask loads of great questions and leverage the experience of their peers in the Small Business market.
SmallBizTrends – This site is US based and as such a lot of the taxation specific information does not apply to us here in Australia. Having said that however you can still find a wealth of information from some very experienced people and som totally different views to those expressed here in Australia.
What blogs do you read in your Small Business and why?
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
I was working on a clients site installing OfficeScan 10 on their Windows Server 2008 server. This is a larger client and therefore they don’t use WFBS as it’s too small for their needs (600+ users, 50 servers across 60 sites etc). Anyway – after installing OfficeScan 10, I went to access the console and got the logon page up. I entered my credentials and was immediately given the error message “Your OfficeScan session has timed out. Please login again.” and yet I had not been able to login correctly. After some digging, I found reference on Trends website to articles indicating that this issue is related to the permissions on the PCCSRV\TEMP folder being incorrect. All the current articles talk about Windows Server 2003 and were of no help to me. Ultimately I solved it with help from Trend’s support team. WE found that allowing the EVERYONE group FULL CONTROL of the PCCSRV\TEMP folder would resolve the issue. Problem fixed, now hopefully they will update their knowledge base. I believe this issue only occurs on Windows Server 2008 Server too.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2010
We all advertise for staff from time to time, and often when you are writing an ad you put in something you intend to change later… well this job advert has caused many IT geeks to look twice…http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/11/it_developer/
Sunday, January 10th, 2010
As part of bigger plans I have for 2010, I’ve just completed the migration of this and other sites I manage over to a new hosted virtualised solution. I’m also now running it all on Windows Server 2008 R2 which so far seems to be slicker than the older Server 2008 R1 version. If you happen to see any issues with the new environment, please let me know so I can work out the kinks ASAP.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
I woke up this morning to find that my site was down. Every webmasters nightmare. I logged on remotely to the site and found that the virtualised servers I run it on had crashed for some reason overnight this taking out out of action. When I broswed the site locally on the server I was able to get additional information about the crash error and it told me that some of the tables in the MySQL database were indeed crashed. A quick google and I found this blog post that helped me to repair the database. I had two tables corrupt and once repaired the site was back online. The two tables I had that were crashed were wp_wassup and wp_wassup_tmp. Fix was then pretty easy for both and took only a couple of minutes.
Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
This weeks CRN Channelweb blog post focuses on the planning needed to be successful in 2010 – please take a look here
Tuesday, January 5th, 2010
I have a couple of HP ML 110 G5’s here in my office. I was doing some maintenance and did BIOS upgrades to them to the latest version available here. Immediately AFTER the BIOS upgrade, I noticed that the fans in the system ran at full speed ALL the time… the noise was intense in my little office. Like most of us however, I didn’t have time to dig into it and I left it be.
Over Christmas break I’ve been doing a little bit of work and finally the noise of these servers really got to me, so I decided to investigate. The HP support forums are actually full of people talking about this problem. Some have resolved it by downgrading their BIOS to an older version. The real answer though is not in the BIOS at all, but the Systems Management Firmware. You need to upgrade BOTH in order for the fans to slow down properly as they should. You can get the latest Systems Management Firmware here.
So buried in the release notes for the BIOS upgrade is a note as below. It is the only suggestion that we should do BOTH at the same time. In future I’ll be taking note of that tip!
When upgrading to BIOS version 2009.10.09 or later HP requires that the BMC version 3.11 or later is also installed on the system in order for proper server operation.
Now that I’ve done the upgrade to both, the loudest thing in my office is fan from the Netgear switch… hmmm must see about that too
Monday, January 4th, 2010
Welcome to 2010. Yes this post is on 4th January, and not 1st… but I’ve been taking a little time off to relax.
The start of 2010 brings with it fresh hope for the renewed economic growth that we started to see a few months back. It brings hope for the challenges that face us all both in our business and personal life. Many people use the New Year to make resolutions about what they will and won’t do. I think it’s a good idea but let’s not get too hasty shall we or we might end up burnt out before we get past the middle of the month.
Have a great 2010 and I look forward to chatting to you all.