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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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  • Blog Post: On the Twelfth Day of Christmas an IT Pro sent to me...

    Twelve New Servers Coming   The product guys at Microsoft have been busy so there are going to be lots (but not 12) of new servers coming out this year: Windows Server 2008 (in 8 exciting flavours depending on whether you need virtualization or not) SQL Server 2008 editions: developer, express,...
  • Blog Post: SQLBits Goes West 19-21 November, Newport

    When I am not doing the day job I like to draw and paint to relax so I have combined a bit of business & pleasure for the SQL Bits Goes West  conference by doing a few cartoons for them… As you can see the event has grown to three days. While there has always been a deep dive, paid for training...
  • Blog Post: On the Fifth Day of Christmas an IT Pro sent to me...

    Five Acronyms One of the worst things about being in IT is doing battle with all the acronyms we use, and having to constantly explain them to people who don't work in our industry. Two of the worst things about being in IT is doing battle with all the acronyms we use, having to constantly explain them...
  • Blog Post: What you see is what you get

      Data Visualisation is one of my many interests and Marc Holmes showed us a bunch of wordles like the one above in yesterdays team meeting, and we had to guess the blogger. Mike Taulty won despite not recognising his own blog!. You can see why Marc didn’t use my wordle, SQL Server sort of stands...
  • Blog Post: Apologies for the Inconvenience

    Sadly I am not as reliable as SL Server and so the blog has not been updated for a couple of weeks while I have been recovering form an operation.  My events have also been affected so Keith Burns will be on hand in Scotland tomorrow instead of me, and my TechNet virtual event on saying farewell...
  • Blog Post: On the Ninth Day of Christmas an IT Pro sent to me...

    Nine Laptops Surfing   Why do large hotels hammer us for internet in our rooms, and sometimes charge for wireless access in the lobby areas while the independent guys invariably provide it for free? Because they can I suppose. Technorati Tags: internet access
  • Blog Post: SQL Server TV

    One of the Microsoft guys at the last SQL Bits events was Chris Guest who works in the Media Room team which is all about TV over the internet.  I wasn’t sure why he was at a SQL Server event so I grabbed a camera (well two camera and and cameramen) to find out more… Technorati Tags: SQL Server...
  • Blog Post: Do What You Love

    “Happiness lies in being privileged to work hard for long hours in doing whatever you think is worth doing.” -  Robert A. Heinlein, “ To Sail Beyond The Sunset ” I want to make two comments about that quote; firstly it pretty much sums up working at Microsoft, secondly that is on an e-mail signature...
  • Blog Post: Bi Product

    I have just read Paul Gregory’s guest post for the TechNet Flash , and the two things that caught my eye was to be bi-lingual and to keep your skills up to date.  I put these two themes together and came up with the title for this post which essentially means being skilled in more than one technology...
  • Blog Post: Brown IT

    Green IT is about saving power in offices and data centres, so my definition of brown IT is about making the best use of the existing kit you have.  This is good for two reasons, it saves you money as you don’t have to buy new hardware, and it saves vital resources. You will see loads of stuff telling...
  • Blog Post: Is the Tablet PC dead?

    I have the luxury of 2 laptops one for infrastructure demos and one for the day to day stuff most of us need to do.  I have added luxury on top of that becuase my day to day machine is a multi-touch tablet (Dell XT2).  Before I get the iPad comparison comments at the end of this post about...
  • Blog Post: 3rd day of Christmas – Ducks in a Row

    This blog is written using Windows Live Writer as are many of the others on TechNet and MSDN.  In this video Giorgio Sardo shows how he writes his and how to control your PC with a Samsung Omnia.. Technorati Tags: windows live writer , silverlight , wpf , blogging
  • Blog Post: 5th Day of Christmas – Deep Zoom

    Deep Zoom actually does what it says on the tin.  However while many people have seen demos of it I am not sure many have actually tried it or know how it works and that it’s free. To rectify that Viral Tarpara (he’s the good looking one in the shot below) explains all in this short tour.. Technorati...
  • Blog Post: 2nd Day of Christmas – Brighton 360

    Although Photosynth has been widely publicised in the general and IT press I still come across load of people who don’t know what it is.  In this short video James O’Neill in fine Blue Peter tradition shows a synth (the buzz word for what you make in Photosynth)  he made earlier of Brighton...
  • Blog Post: After TechDays there’s After Hours

    Hopefully you are aware of Tech Days in the UK during the week of 10-16 April, but you might not be aware of the After Hours evening event on the 14th April. This is  still about technical stuff but with homage to  scrap heap challenge and Top Gear, rather than the day events where we all concentrate...
  • Blog Post: Art for Arts Sake

    A little while ago James discovered a fun little app ( SP-Studio )  for SouthParking people.  He didn't do a great job on me last time and now I have been recast as a SQL Ninja, I am not sure if that’s a tribute to my DBA skills or because he thinks I look better covered head to foot in black...
  • Blog Post: On the Eighth Day of Christmas an IT Pro sent to me...

    Eight Mashups Linking   Happy  New Year. You've eaten and drunk too much over the last week or so and I expect your brain has been taking a break as well.  So to get you gently back into technology how about creating a mashup?  This is simply a web-site that uses dynamic components...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live Writer just keeps getting cooler

    Every couple of months as I write my blog in Windows Live Writer, it pops up and says “would you like to try the latest beta?”, and throwing caution to the wind I say OK. It just quietly keeps getting better, so when I joined Microsoft last July you could put in a picture very easily without a degree...
  • Blog Post: 10th Day of Christmas – Windows Live Sync

    Viral has made another video for my Christmas series, this time on Windows Live Sync, which allows you to aggregate and share your digital life.. and sorry it’s a little late! Technorati Tags: Windows Live Sync , home computing
  • Blog Post: Merry Christmas and a Happy 2012

    My Christmas card for 2011 is inspired by a frequent visitor to my back garden the Goldcrest .  The trick to seeing them is to resist the temptation to tidy up and dead head too much, whereas that’s exactly the sort of thing you should be thinking about in your data centre to keep it clean and tidy...
  • Blog Post: 8th Day of Christmas – ThumbTack

    The OfficeLabs guys have been busy in the run up to Christmas and have release a gizmo called Thumbtack. It’s a sort of web based OneNote and allows you to quickly aggregate research from lots of web sites.  My wife Juliet explains it better than me… I can see this being used by lots of kids for...
  • Blog Post: Social Office

    A lot of people who use facebook also use Office so Microsoft Fuse labs have used Azure to provide Office document sharing between facebook users in much the same way as facebook users can now share pictures and videos. I Simply went to http://docs.com and signed in with my facebook account to get started...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Free Software – a personal top ten

    You might think this will would make for a really short article post but actually  there’s a  huge amount of free tools and resource out there and I have had to restrict myself to a top ten across the server and client,  based on what Simon and I have used.  So please feel free to...
  • Blog Post: Work Experience

    A lot of teenagers are on work experience at the moment, and as I don’t have any of my own children I got to be cool uncle for a week and took my nephew Harry to spend a week inside Microsoft.  We run a full week course of lectures and practical exercises along the lines of the apprentice, to teach...
  • Blog Post: Days of Christmas – where do I get the stuff

    My wife Juliet asked me a stupid question about all those Christmas Videos Viral , James and I made.. where’s the stuff? What she meant was where are the links to try it yourself so here you are Mrs Fryer… Virtual Earth Photosynth Windows Live Writer XNA Game Studio and the XNA Creators Club Deep Zoom...