James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

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  • Blog Post: Imminent Death Of Twitter Predicted: A case study, the Malaysian F1 GP.

    First to explain the title “Imminent death of X predicted” is a snowclone , and its entry* in the Hacker’s dictionary sticks in my mind Hugh Macleod proposed “ All online social networks eventually turn into a swampy mush of spam." as Hugh's law , and a few weeks ago an article entitled "Can Twitter...
  • Blog Post: Very much alive.

    It's been great to spend the holiday weekend out and about with the family, and I spent Saturday evening been playing with the pictures I'd shot - I can't say much about the software involved but it's very, very cool. I set my laptop to record Dr Who and the qualifiying for the Malaysian Grand prix ...
  • Blog Post: Camera-phones One Note and OCR.

    Everyone uses different bits of office. There’s a core piece that everyone uses and then we all have our personal 10%. I like the OCR feature of One-Note. For example on the way to the BETT show a few days back I saw an advert on the tube that’s a grander variation on “How do you pronounce Ghoti ?” ...
  • Blog Post: Europe ...

    It was interesting to watch peoples reactions to the findings of the European Court of First instance yesterday. Whilst I'm the first to admit that Microsoft is not the most popular institution in the world, it was clear that the European Union (here in Britain at least) is even less popular; one of...
  • Blog Post: Things that suck / Things that rock

    I think everyone knows the saying an optimist says the glass is half full, and a pessimist says it is half empty. A cynic says it doesn't matter what you call it, it still contains the same amount. A PR person will tell you it matters a lot whether people think is it half full or half empty...
  • Blog Post: Inspector Morse is dead, alas.

    My respect for Inspector Gadget wavered just a fraction when he appeared to question whether the Police need to follow the law - at least when it comes to searches. His post drew a lot of comments, many saying "of course they do". We give the Police the job of invading our privacy on occasion : someone...
  • Blog Post: Civilisation will come to an end because no one will understand what anybody else is saying

    In yesterday's post I said "I’ve got an interest in how we communicate – and how sometimes we say a lot without getting a message across" . Recently I was asked to review someone else's document: it was full of jargon, which I didn't think the target audience would understand: but worse than that I couldn...
  • Blog Post: An interesting journey with PowerShell GPS data and SVG. (Part 1)

    Eileen phoned me from a traffic jam yesterday. "I've got a demon in the car" she said. A little late for a technical person Eileen has joined the world of Sat Nav owners and her characterization of hers put me in mind of the personal Dis-organizer device which shows up in some of the Terry Pratchett...
  • Blog Post: Two stories of consumers who wouldn't put up with it.

    For years - and I hadn't realised quite how many years I've been trying to get a specific DVD. It's a TV series called "Joking Apart". It was written by Stephen Moffat , who is better known for "Coupling", some Episodes of the rejuvenated Dr who ("Blink" in this series, and acclaimed "The empty Child...
  • Blog Post: Humphrey Lyttelton. 1921-2008.

    On the Roadshow we have been in Cinemas so it seemed appropriate to have a round of IT professional's film club, an idea which we lifted from Radio 4's "I'm sorry I haven't a clue". I've never really taken to any other Radio station: I can remember asking my grandmother why "Just a minute"...
  • Blog Post: Powershell in Birmingham

    For those in the audience, the files needed for this demo are in my skydrive folder (link on the left of this blog in the "NEWS" box or use this link ).  Unfortunately having run through the demo for the last time I moved 3 files from my desktop (instead of copying) when I made the ZIP...
  • Blog Post: An Unhelpful mire of Marketing-speak

    I've shared the text in my post " Civilisation will come to an end because no one will understand what anybody else is saying " with a few people and they liked it... I was teasing Andrew earlier that he never wrote anything which interested me, but that's not strictly true. A slide on his blog, jumped...
  • Blog Post: Vulcan hunting: a mini case study in social media

    I’ve described some of my activities over recent weekends as the biggest hunt for a Vulcan since Star Trek III - The Search For Spock . The Vulcan I’m after isn’t the pointy eared kind but XH558, the only flying example left of the V Bomber. It’s very easy to talk a lot of tosh about beautiful machines...
  • Blog Post: On blogging

    I'm was in more philosophical mood than normal this morning. I've heard Tom Reynolds on Radio 4 twice in the the last week; first on "Midweek ", then on " Meet the blogers " Tom works for the London ambulance service, and his blog " Random Acts of Reality " has lead to a "blook", wonderfully titled ...
  • Blog Post: Good flash / Bad Flash

    I came upon an example of how Flash can be used well at www.seewindowsvista.com . In response to my post about adobe "Mike" said that Flash is a great technology if it is used appropriately - which it is. But I quoted Jakob Nielsen : " Most of the Flash that Web users encounter each day is bad Flash...
  • Blog Post: Back from tech.ed

    I’ve had a busy few days: after Tech.ed we had some internal training in Barcelona over the weekend, and I  flew back from Tech-ed to a concert in London on Sunday night. I have quoted a line or two of Anne Clark’s on this blog: I saw her in a TV programme about a book called “Hard lines”, and they...
  • Blog Post: 10 worst and 10 best of Microsoft

    Over at Microsoft-watch, Mary-Jo Foley gives her list of Microsoft's top 10 flops , and I have to disagree with a few of them : Tablet PC/Pen Computing/eBooks: Too soon to say this is flop . Putting tablet functions into all the builds of Vista means that we don't have a different OS for the tablet,...
  • Blog Post: Gas bills and the people ready business.

    It’s a constant puzzle to people from the US and Europe that Britain seems to be split brained about weights and measures. We buy our petrol in Litres, but our beer in Pints. My French car gives me a read-out of fuel consumption in Miles per Gallon, but is taxed in Grams of CO2 per Kilometre. Yet our...
  • Blog Post: And I get paid for doing this ?

    Actually, no. I got bribed with free sandwiches to use my lunch time testing stuff for First lego League. I didn't even know we supported these folks, but my colleague Paul Foster does a lot of work with enthusiast communities like these, in places like robotics. 400 teams of 9-16 year olds participate...
  • Blog Post: The Numpty paradox: trying not to insult customers

    A long time ago, in a company far far away, I ran a Novell network (2.15 !). The other administrator and I checked had Supervisor powers on this network and we found that it was nearly everybody. So we removed all of them. Our director threw a fit - so I told him I'd log his machine in as supervisor...
  • Blog Post: Systems of belief ... and Ray Ozzie.

    My colleague Orlando has a thankless task. We have our big training event this week and Orlando has the job of pulling together the "summit" for evangelists the weekend before the event. Past summits have made it difficult to believe in the value of these events. No one wants to give up family...
  • Blog Post: In lieu of a cartoon of my own ...

    I'm prone to "writer's block" -or as I call it the "tyranny of the blank sheet of paper". Starting a document or presentation, creating a photograph (as opposed to recording an event) or drawing a cartoon can impossible (I blogged about mind mapping which is can be a great help for these). I want to...
  • Blog Post: The scientific reason why social networks don't do it for me.

    Somewhere in my school science lessons we were introduced to something that I know as the law of sheer cussedness ( Cussed, [Kússid] causing annoyance and anger, especially by being uncooperative). Basically if a chemical reaction which emits heat has reached equilibrium cooling it down makes it react...
  • Blog Post: Who makes a good decision ?

    I provided Eileen with a quote to use in the Management Excellence programme she's been involved in.  She called me a "Non-manager who championed management Excellence", and I replied I was "in favour of all kinds of Excellence*. My view was summed up in the quote If you can't do...
  • Blog Post: Top travel tip. Use the calendar. Properly

    One of the things that we noticed on the roadshow was the *much* better system for getting us feedback (see here and here oh and here ) and - always looking for ways to improve our processes - a couple of us noted that there's a big document mailed out with the event information for the presenters, but...