Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
In case you’ve missed the direct announcements from Trend Micro Australia, make sure you register and come along to the WFBS 7.0 event later this week in North Ryde. It’s on September 2nd at Trends offices – details and registration for the event are here
Monday, August 30th, 2010
I travel a lot in my job – sometimes seeing multiple cities, multiple times in the same week. So it’s certainly something that I’ve become accustomed to and am quite proficient at. Here’s some of the technology that I travel with and why. The photo below shows you some of the technology laid out on the table.
Here’s a breakdown of what is there and why.
1. The top right cable is a 7metre VGA cable. Using this I can link my laptop to the TV in my hotel room and use it as a 2nd monitor which can make you very productive at times.
2. The Microsoft Bluetooth Wireless keyboard and Keypad allow me to have full functionality of a decent size keyboard. If I choose to use the VGA cable to display my laptop screen, I can easily relax on the bed with they wireless keyboard and get some work done.
3. The Microsoft Bluetrack wireless mouse on the bottom right – this works on any surface – yes – even the glass desktop you see here. It’s also designed to fit in your hand and therefore reduces stress.
4. The 4 port power board – when you are travelling, it’s easier to take one International power adaptor and a power board than multiple power adapters. I can then plug in all my powered devices, charging phones, camera batteries etc without needing individual adaptors for each device.
5. The Motorola Bluetooth headset is very useful. This is linked to my laptop and I use it in conjunction with Skype to make calls back home, clients, etc. I can walk around the room using it without an issue and it charges from a standard USB port which means it’s one less charger to think about.
6. The International Travel adaptor – that’s the black thing on the left of the Motorola bluetooth headset – this one adaptor allows any to any power plug conversion and is fully self contained. I have two of these – one in my travel kit as above and another in my backpack so I can use things outside of my hotel room.
7. The last things I have are two USB 400GB hard drives – those are the black and blue cases you see here. The Blue Hard Drive is fully encrypted using BitLocker to go and I store a lot of information on it that I don’t need on my laptop. I use BitLocker To Go to ensure that if the drive is lost, it’s contents can’t be accessed at all. The Black Hard drive is totally non encrypted and used for backup purposes to backup my laptop while I travel. I use StorageCraft ShadowProtect and each backup is fully encrypted to prevent others reading it. Using this if my laptop had a massive failure, I could either restore it to the same laptop, or access the data from a replacement laptop if needs be.
Other things I carry in this travel bag that are not shown include, a Leatherman tool, and a small multipoint screwdriver as well as come cable ties, spare baggage tags and a very small fold up umbrella.
This photo shows how it’s setup
Ok – that’s a couple of travel tips that I have – what tips do you have?
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Harry Brelsford from SMBNation put me onto this youtube channel run by someone called VARTruth. The question is who the heck is VARTruth and what are they talking about… well as someone who’s been in the SMB IT community for some time now, I think that it’s pretty clear that some of these videos are about some of the well known characters in our industry. So I wonder who this one is about
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
The second session for today is the Hyper-V 2006 R2 SP1 Dynamic Memory Allocation session by Ben Armstrong. This is actually really cool technology that will allow Hyper-V to allocate RAM dynamically to virtual machines as it’s needed. What this means to us is that we can configure a VM to use say 2GB of RAM, but it will only use that 2GB of RAM when it really needs it. Similar to the CPU allocation that we have now, this feature really gives us the chance to add more virtualisation instances to a given host than ever before. Very cool technology indeed. Most of the time, this technology is only available in the Enterprise versions of Windows Server, the good news is that this will be available on ALL versions of Windows Server 2008 R2 and HyperV Server 2008 R2 once Service Pack 1 is released and applied to those systems.
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
Yesterday at teh Keynote for TechEd 2010 Australia, one of the coolest things was the Kinnect demo on the Xbox360. Now this has nothing to do with IT infrastructure what so ever – but you’ve got to admit it is pretty darn cool. Check out the videos below. The first one shows how it works under the covers and the second one shows it in use in a game… I can just see the household furniture being broken as people jump around the house to try play the game.
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
I’d love to report just how great Exchange 2007 SP1 is after attending the first session today, but unfortunately I can’t… you see despite having people register as to which sessions they attended, the rooms are overflowing with people outside the door. Now event organisers will tell you just how much of a success this is, but honestly – it’s a result of bad planning. Microsoft knew in advance how many people would be attending and which sessions they were going to, so they had the chance to change rooms to accommodate – unfortunately as you can see – it’s not happening. I sure hope they sort this out for other sessions or else TechEd will be a waste of money for me and many others.
Rosemary Stark has the unfortunate job of turning people away
Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
TechEd Australia is off an running now. One of the things I’ve learnt over time is that when you are in a place for any length of time, the way to make it feel like home is to get a few things that help make it easier for you… and they can save a few bucks too. I’m up here for both TechEd, some client work and some rest and relaxation and I’m here for 8 days in total. Here’s a photo of a few supplies I picked up… Note the chocolate… and fresh fruit… oh – there were apples and Milk too to but they are missing as I forgot to put them on the table.
In all seriousness though – staying at a serviced apartment instead of a hotel means the cost is kept down. Shopping at the local supermarket for things like breakfast cereal, and some late evening snacks will save you a heap of cash and having a few drinks in the fridge means you can avoid the crush at the bar if you want a drink before bed.
Monday, August 23rd, 2010
Many of you know that Correct Solutions (my SMB IT focused reseller business) has for 13 years been my main focus, and that over the last 4 years or so, I’ve taken a step back there to refocus on life and work in general. Ryan Spillane, my business partner there at Correct is an absolute legend in terms of the support he’s given me both as a friend and business partner. You may also know that I’ve worked with a select few vendors to better understand the needs of the SMB IT Professional and reseller channel. I normally spend 2 to 3 days a week working at Correct Solutions with a few of our clients that have specific needs. The rest of my time has been spent relaxing on a sunny beach, doing nothing…ok that last bit is a dream yet to be fulfilled. The rest of my time has been spent working on a few special projects here and there for resellers such as Kerio, Trend Micro, Microsoft and HP at times. Some of you will also know that I held a 12 month part time contract with Microsoft last year and that was a load of fun. It ended when I was able to convince Microsoft to drag Mark O’Shea back into the SMB space which is a great thing for us all.
Over the last 6 weeks or so I’ve had the opportunity to be working with StorageCraft Asia Pacific (APAC) initially as a stand in while the famed Jack Alsop took a much deserved holiday (his first real holiday in years). This has been a lot of fun too and I’ve enjoyed working with the team a lot. Well as it happens, the StorageCraft APAC Vice Presidents, Greg Wyman and Rich Giddey liked the work I did so much they decided to ask me to stay on in a more permanent role. So I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be taking up a role with them as “General Manager – Technical Services – Asia Pacific”. In this role, I’ll be responsible for the entire Technical Services team at StorageCraft APAC, including the support for the reseller channel, training, and a host of other things that Greg and Rich will pass on to me. StorageCraft APAC recognise that the power of their channel is based on getting great technical support and making life easy for us resellers to install and support their product. In my role, I’ll be seeing how we can take their levels of support to new levels. I’m looking forward to working with the StorageCraft team and contributing as best I can to making a difference to the support you all get from the APAC team.
My involvement in Correct Solutions will continue as it has in the past as will the advice I’ve been giving to other vendors interested in working in the SMB space. I’ll still be contactable on my email addresses that you have for Correct Solutions and SBSfaq.com but I’ll have an extra email address over at StorageCraft.
This site will continue as it has in the past. It will remain my independant voice on things in the SMB IT Pro community and I anticipate only enhancing it more and more over time. I love doing the community work that I do and as an MVP I want to continue to help out in the SBS space as much as I can. I’ve got 3 more books in the works focused on SBSv7, StorageCraft and Kerio technologies as well as a v7 Visual Guide for Trend Micro WFBS. I’m confident that this is going to be an incredible ride
Thursday, August 19th, 2010
I reported last week about the iPhone hack that Michael Jenkin was investigating. I understand that Michael has been working with various authorities on the problem. Microsoft have had their security team review a number of systems and found no compromise, the federal authorities are happy that the servers are not compromised either. Apple however have been noticeably silent on the issue and in fact AFAIK not even responded officially except to request that the media not be contacted… One might be forgiven for thinking that Apple was either not interested in the issue, or more seriously, knows about the issue and therefore does not want to talk about it… whatever the reason, it’s not a good situation for iPhone users
Michael Jenkin was understandably upset to learn that Flash SMS or 0 SMS records are not available from Telstra. The messages can be directed to a phone and then once dismissed, all traces are removed. Telstra either do not record the messages or the senders of these messages or at the very least, do not want to release this information, even to the owner of the phone. This does not bode well for current issues the world are facing including cyber bullying and other tactics and criminal activities involving mobile phones.
Wish I had more to report on this… but figured I’d try to bring you at least some of the information available now.
Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
The public can now get access to the first public preview of one of the next versions of SBS known as SBS Aurora. You can get the preview from the Microsoft conenct site here
This beta is very important for the SMB space as it contains a number of new technologies not used before such as the enhanced Drive Extender technology that provides easy methods to extend disk space using disks that are not the same capacity. You’ll want to be testing out things like this with your common line of business applications to make sure that there’s no issues. I know that Microsoft have already done a huge amount of testing in that arena, but there is no substitute for public testing.
The SBS team have blogged about it here with more info too.
Get your hands on it today!