48 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010
Too many hotspots
Slightly off the main topic, but it's the number of disparate hotspots - you move round a station/shopping centre/etc and your poor phone hops from provider to provider and always wants to reauthenticate via some irrating home page - solution is give us with free wifi and use 3G :(
Can't someone with power pass some laws to force a single provider of free wifi for these areas otherwise it's a waste of the airwaves.
One reason businesses stick with on-premise versions of software is that the Change Cycle is slower and more controllable. But if this "sync" push comes to other products (SharePoint, Lync, Exchange) than trouble will ensue?
Either you avoid the local updates, because the local (legacy) stuff can't keep up and then get told you're out of support OR you try and keep up and break everything? Worse case for MS is that every business has a different level of updates and support for the product becomes entertaining.
Wife and I both had the form (from Swansea Council - name and shame) which said we'd been transferred to the new system and put on the "open register". previously I always ticked the box for not - so wife rang to get us back off - with little security checking - so presume an unscrupulous someone could ring and get us put back on the open register.
Open Register should be ditched anyway - I have enough cold callers at work as it is (if you call through the switchboard or with a blocked number - I don't answer anyway anymore!)
Container = Application running in isolated space = have these people not come across a mainframe??
New IOS = New IOS Support in Apps = Overhead
New iThing appears, therefore new IOS appears, there's a raft of App Upgrades which include support for the new IOS, so the Apps also get bigger and slower? Could even be just the fact that 30 Apps which haven't changed in a while all update in the background and hit the system performance for a few days?
As for running IOS on older hardware - it would be great if it actually worked properly - take a look at the endless discussions on IOS 7 and the "App Refresh" (I've now see it on IOS 6 - so I think the issue is with the App Writers, but still)
More Music = Less Revenue
Perhaps the Musicians should consider that there are far more people making music as it's fair easier to do? In the days of old getting signed to a label was a big thing, now you can get discovered on youtube etc. More competition = lower prices etc. Same happening in eBook land - anyone can publish an ebook easily. So should Spotify do an Amazon and allow people to upload their own works?
BTW: I use Spotify to save me the pain of digitizing my old Vinyl/CD collection! Though their habit of dropping Albums I had saved as playlists is a PITA.
Windows Server - An option?
If you can get access to a MS DreamSpark Account (for Students) it includes access to Windows 2012 Server - which now includes the "Essentials Role" (Backups etc). Stick something like Plex on top. - Probably too expensive otherwise.
Mine's running on an old HP ML115.
Just throw it in as an alternative for those happier in Windows-ville.
Points of Failure
So your running a piece of software on your laptop. Points of Failure include...
hard disk, ram, cpu, fan, battery, charger, windows OS, application itself
Add cloud connection and you add NIC, BT (ADSL), ISP, loads of network switches/routers, cloud providers infrastructure, etc.
So "going local" saves you a bit of risk, but what about time to return to service for any of these, All the local stuff is a one man band (yourself) and a visit to a shop (or perhaps an online order!!) to replace components, or nicking your other half's/kid's machine. However, much of the rest have teams of professionals trying to fix it 24x7.
So yes, these cloud connections should be loosely coupled, but in the end you have manage the risk - a coffee spill could knock you out for days, but a cloud service is typically only down for hours...
Been there done that
I spent 3 years in Malawi as a volunteer. "internet" was a 9600 baud modem. So I collected tools, software, etc when in the UK, or from other volunteers/AID workers etc. ZIP Drives where my best friends - remember them?
Anyway, spent a lot of time fixing laptops with software issues, viruses, etc. So top tools needed were: Current AV software, Partitioning tools, OS + Driver disks, Common Application install Disks, doggy licence keys (cough!).
So go with a SysPrep'ed image by all means, but hardware (graphics, printers, gadgets) drivers may be your issue? The remote WSUS idea appeals - can you inventory before you go? Get them to run off a System Report and post them, just something. But you'll need to get the data off the machines before you nuke 'em, so a USB hard drive or two could be useful. I'd also suggest if possible virtualising the Applications (ThinApp?) - so no install required? An USB CD/DVD as well as the CDs etc of the OS, and common Apps, may be the only way to get them going.
But local hardware could be a mixed bag, and XP/Office 2003 etc may still be the right tools for the job - they won't have the drivers for that either though? CD/DVD/Floppy drives will be knackered - even USB ports may be too old? Take a working desktop you can use to plug in IDE drives to uprgade???
I'd really consider the suggestion of shipping the lot somewhere connected? Or take a Satellite Dish?
Re: Macs ARE PCs.
I think you're describing http and https which are the protocols that run over the Internet which delivers the web page to your browser... I'm being a pedant I know, but I've just upgraded my iPad to 7.1 and it still has the refresh app bug - so am not best happy!
IOS 7 issues
May be you could consider a more current issue with IOS 7 app refreshing on older ipad/iphone hardware, here's the 30+ page thread on the Apple Support Communities....
So now this rumour is out there, corporates are more inclined to wait to see if's true - thus holding up any possible 8/8.1 moves. MS should release an 8.2 with Start + Apps in Windows a.s.a.p. There's a lot under the covers in 8/8.1 to like from a corporate point of view, but can't see past the Interface change.
Re: legal? We shall see
Car makers can't enforce "only at authorised garages" for their servicing, and "servicing" of a server must include firmware updates when the service engineer installs new hardware??
Having said that, HP could easily charge for the necessary firmware updates? But suspect they can't block it entirely?
Bake it into the OS?
Maybe it's time to move away from a backup system making copies, and baking backup into the OS? E.g. The O.S. writes all new blocks to clean disk, so nothing is lost as the systems run. So now any point of time is recoverable? Then tools can be used to trim blocks out based on filters - e.g. Everything older than a certain date - or replicate sets of blocks to create images for specific dates to other locations. Sets of blocks can be indexed in order to aid finding data. Automatic thering can move old blocks from fast storage to slower/cloud based storage etc. Factor in depuplication mechanism and each unique block of data could easily be stored very few times depending on your personal level of paranoia?
(Is this worth a patent or has it already been done?!)
Msdn and dreamspark
Technet has died unfortunately, visual studio + msdn can get you access to both windowss server/system centre for longer than the feeebee trials. It also includes access to azure for all sorts of play scenarios. Not that cheap though.
Also, if you're a student with a registered organisation, then you may get access to dreamspark, which provides free licking for various developer products including windows server datacenter edition!
I've had good mileage out of proxmox in the past - combined KVM + openvz platform
A search for VMware/hyperv labs will reveal a few similarly minded individuals too.
Beautiful summary of the VDI licence nightmare. I've been trying to work out the best scheme to provide VDI for students. There are two ideas, one is to provide Students Access to a "virtual" version of our Lab PCs to access from Halls and Home during holidays. The other is provide remote students a desktop to run some specific applications.
Microsoft licences just make this impossible to manage. A typical student has at least a laptop and a phone, and likely a (non-Redmond) tablet, and probably their parents desktop? - so VDA needed (and compliance managed!) for each device they want to access. Oh, and they'll bring the laptop to the Campus and try and do the same.
I have a feeling the only way to make this work is to loan each student a Surface RT and restrict access to those!!
Can the Reg get hold of whoever came up with this stupid scheme and make them explain themselves (or resign from Microsoft). We just want to buy an OS licence for a VM and share it like a normal student PC!!! ARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!
Re: Ahhh, the nostolgia.
Indeed my first job (at Leicester Uni Computer Studies Unit) involved teaching programming (Basic or Pascal, I can't remember!) on a network of 480z's driven by a 380z. The server had two 8" floppy drives which provided the OS (CP/M?), Editor etc,, and the other disk stored the students efforts.
One day we dusted the bank for a "Winchester" Hard drive - I think about 5 Mb!
Re: Race to the bottom
Looks rather like "Shell" are using them a lot!
Long Lived TV progs...
Think you might have missed out "The Sky at Night" to go with BP and Cory?
Forefrontt doesn't like this page
Forefront this there's something dubious about this page - could be serious, could be unfortunate! Have sent it to MS for analysis!!
Re: BT should be structured on same level basis as the other public utilities
Some nice souls in our area (Gower) managed to get some of this Broadband pot and get a local company to install FTC - which works a treat, but all they did was get OpenReach to install the equipment! And now we have a choice of one ISP at a higher price than if the Government has just paid openreach to enable all cabinets everyone - which would have been the cheapest, quickest and simplest solution for all?
Microsoft Licencing - Ugh
MS Licencing's department is always behind the curve, and usually not even in the same ball park as the software development guys and even their marketing guys.
Please MS simplify the licencing - reduce the size of your licencing department - I don't even care if you keep the cost savings!!
Licencing - PITA
Sad man that I am, I have a UPS for the router and for the DECT phone base station which is great, except last time the power failed, the new FTTC gubbins failed - so UPS useless!
But I feel your pain w.r.t. Microwave + Cooker, etc.
BTW, Bed side alarm has a battery backup and a BUTTON to change to BST - wow!
Apple Store sells Windows Licence Then
So Apple Store needs to sell a Windows Licence for this to work?
Sorry sir/madam can't sell you that, you need to go see if you can buy a copy from ebay?
Given Microsofts direction with Windows "Scale out file servers" and Shared SAS JBODs, and others, no doubt, in the Open source space, I say there's a move to building a DIY "SAN" out of servers + software + commodity hardware and the death nell is on the dedicated SAN controllers - which in our HP SANs (3PAR + Lefthand) are just servers anyways. Yes there's some clever ASICs in the servers, but with SSDs and Untrim etc., these are becoming less critical to adding performance/managing storage.
It's much like the load balancer/firewall/router bits - usually a Linux OS + some applications. Either it's now a vrtual appliance or a physical appliance - a.k.a. an Intel server board and some dedicated cards.
Data centre of the future - racks of different vendors servers, JBOD enclosures, and switches but looks uniform because it's all running the same software stack.
Opportunity to fix confusion
At least there's an opportunity to fix the SkyDrive + SkyDrivePro (SharePoint) confusion which only gets worse with 2012 R2 "Work Folders", which probably should have been SkyDrivePro?
Guess they'll go with "Live Drive" assuming they're not planning to rename Windows Live now that chunks of it are Office 365 (Outlook)? Though I'd prefer they call it something obvious!
Re: "The most awesome thing about Delphi is that it is not C++"
Pro-pascal - now there's a compiler with bugs in!
A little GEM
Anyone Remember GEM? Started with overlapping Windows back in the dim distant past. Apple threatened to sue them for using overlapping Windows, so they switched to a Tiled interface (GEM2) and hence disappeared from the planet? Is history going to repeat?
Re: What I want....
Google Bluetooth hearing aid, seems its already been done?
Think you'll find that the Grey Squirrel has quite a good memory - remembers where it's buried it's nuts. Perhaps you'd be better off with a "Memory of a Gold Fish" style comparision?
Think this tech is great for the centre console, but for core info (speedo, fuel) I think the old fix'd dials would be better.
Seems I've mostly avoided this fate now (university IT manager makes me too scary?), but when I was a volunteer in Malawi, I got roped in to fix every aid workers laptop, and quite a few NGO office set ups plus the local university! Local I.T. Support was virtually non existent, with only one I.T. "Shop" in the next town which was way expensive.
Viruses and pirated software was rife, and laptops were always bust - given the heat, dust, poor "roads" not a suprise. And AOL was on pretty much every machine!
Private Cloud licencing for SQL etc
Licencing a private cloud is getting better, but only for System Centre and Windows Server, can we see something more flexible for other products - e.g. Office Cloud Suite - which would licence any physical server/CPU for all the backoffice products (SQL, Exchange, Lync, Sharepoint, Project, etc...) so I don't need to provide rules on my cloud to nail VMs to licenced hardware.
Also do away with the silly rules about who can then use the software - we're a University, and would like to host a few servers for a College we support, but the licencing for that is a mess - so we'd have to run a seperate cloud licenced with their software just to run these - PITA.
Re: I just hope...
Not watched "Space Cowboys" then?!
Lew had a point
"Gerry, this is not a series, this is a feature film!" - So 30 miin (20 mins after adverts) isn't gonna work for me. I'll go back to dreaming that someone will grab the franchise, and do with it what Marvel have managed with the Avengers etc - two hour big scale entertainment. film, CGI + "Real" Actors + a proper Rescue plot ... Not the rubbish that Riker produced.
Another lost opportunity :(
Technet not enough to cover this lot (instead of spend $$$$ on Windows Licences)? Where does Technet run out of steam? To setup a test bed for AD/Echange/System Centre 2012 you'd be spinning up a fair few VMs - so where's the problem? Especially if you use the free HyperV for the physical boxes.
If you need to licence it properly, it's not really a test bed is it? Better to build a smaller local test bed and run the rest on Azure (some free time for that is included in an MSDN licence!)
More money than sense this man!
Computer Science - be careful what you ask for
Having taught in a dept delivering a Computer Science degree, I'd have to say many Computer Science Degrees are full of Mathematics modules. Some will contain an element of "Software Engineering" - programming and design. Some may even contain some Microprocessor stuff.
Very little of all this prepares a Student for the world of IT in business where you're installing OSes, Complex Applications, setting up Hypervisors, Systems Monitoring. fault finding etc.
Perhaps an analogy which works is a Degree in Engineering being near useless to the Car Mechanic. Would a typical mechanical engineering degree actually provide someone with the knowledge to change a Turbo on a BMW?
What's needed is someone with the Interest and Aptitude for the job working through an apprenticeship, picking up the array of MSCE, VAP, CNA, etc. qualifications.
There is a required background to all this stuff (Understanding Network protocols, how CPUs work, a bit of programming etc.) but how much of this stuff is included in a Computer Science degree these days I wouldn't be sure.
Some professions seemed to have it sussed - a Law Degree will definitely help you become a Lawyer, likewise a Medical Degree. A Software Engineering Degree may even manage to set you up as a programmer. But the gap is for a degree for an I.T. Pro who spends his days installing/troubleshooting complex combinations of systems - how do learn what's needed to plonk a windows domain on a VMware install on a set of blade servers, with a big bad SAN underneath?
Get a Group going
I'm some 5/6km from the Exchange (Rural) and have 1.5mbs - which obvoiusly is liveable, but further from the Exchange things get ludicrous, so some Generous Community types, setup a scheme to get better broadband, so hopefully this month (The FTTC in place already) I'll be switching to a VDSL2 service.
Check out www.gowerbroadband.com
All this faff shouldn't be necessary most of the money channelled into Broadband improvements in this counrty seems to be creamed of by committees/reviews/surveys etc. The powers that be should set up a model like the National Grid/National Rail - it's effectively the case with OpenReach anyway - but one broadband network for all the ISPs to share and cut out all the waste?
Got a couple
I've got a couple of Chinese £60 tablets for my kids for Xmas. Running ICS - though the two aren't identical builds! Performance is just adequate for the kids to play a few games (Angry Birds!) on - though my wife borrowed one to take on an office trip - OK for a bit of browsing and email too. Better value for the kids specific tablets which cost more, have a tiny screen, and charge £15 for each pack of games! Just don't run too many apps at once!
Not as good as my iPad obviously, but a fraction of the price! These are based on an A13 chipset - a cut down version of the A10. Hopefuly, a few better ROMS will appear for them soon, but the issue is the hardware is inconsistent - not all have the same touchscreens, etc. Cheap enough to take a punt on (for me at least)
Iphone only :(
Good Idea But
Good Idea, but need to see if it survives the hash environment/handling that things get in the poorer parts of the world/
Re: Hyper V
In Academia you buy Windows Server Data Centre + System Centre Data Centre per dual sockets (at approx £300/year) This includes SCVMM (appox equivalent to vCloud Director), Orchestrator, Backup (DPM), a Service Desk, Monitoring (Ops Manager), VDI, etc etc. Given that you're likely to licence your VMware infrastructure for all this anyway if you're running Windows Servers, then HyperV is very very cheap. VMware Academic pricing is no where near as aggressive at present.
We're VMware at the moment, but for how long?
Seems that HP Marketing haven't anything better to do then. We still use the product names as they were before HP brought the companies - Lefthand, 3PAR etc. I suspect we're not alone. Worse than that, is that they've tried to merge these products tech support into the core HP Support structure. The trouble is that the original support teams were offering a far better service than HP ever has - by all means buy up these little guys to provide investment etc, but please leave their names and support alone!
Should return the Start Menu and move the "Modern UI" active tiles to the TaskBar instead???
Re: not new coke
All a good theory enterprises to skip windows 8, but windows 2012 server also has the metro interface. Touch screen server consoles anyone?
I remember huge arguments here when MS introduced the Ribbon bar on Office - "we can't upgrade people won't understand the change, we'll need training, etc." . We'll have the same arguments again - and frankly I can see why this time. Metro on a desktop PC is a poor change from the start menu. How many people are going to ring support once they're in an app
saying "how do I start/switch to another app"!
PS: VMWare Tools (workstation 8) install and appear to work - dual monitors - even bigger fail - Apps only run on one, desktop on the other - can't run two apps side by side?
Could be bad timing...
HP P10000 is real - see this about 3PAR VAAI support for vSphere 5
live in iPad
Also a flat - http://www.yournewhome.co.uk/Barratt-iPad-homes_2
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