Now, for those of you who've met Mike Pallot, or maybe read his blog, you'll know one thing; he is quite a small bloke. Only kidding Mike - he is incredibly passionate about the world of Enterprise Search. From reading Mike's blog, I've noticed that he's been biting his lip a little around talking about the big G. I mean Google, for those of you who's minds were wandering.
Well, he's spoken up, and I'd advise you to have a read - pretty interesting I'd say. What Mike is trying to get at, with a post entitled "Time to stop the hype about Google?" is around the help and support that we come to expect from companies that we purchase items, or services from, just doesn't seem to be there with Google. Now, I don't know enough about the area to give a strong opinion, but from my point of view, Google lack a strong business model, they lack a clear direction - I hear about so many applications coming out of Google, that I just lose track; Google Earth, Google AdSense, Google Desktop and so on, many of which, as James points out, are in beta, and have seemingly been that way for some time.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Google don't produce some good stuff - when I first used Picasa a couple of years back, I thought it was great, and I have a Gmail account, although it is rarely used now, but they did provide me with what I needed at the time. However, as Mike goes on to say, if I needed help and support, would I be able to depend on Google to provide me with it? I'm not so sure, and it looks as if Zdnet agrees - thanks James for the link.
Maybe Mike isn't the only one that is starting to notice that Google isn't always the best option. Reading the Wall Street Journal, I noticed this headline "Comcast Signals Unhappiness With Google" - what have you done Mike! I'll let you read the article, but if Microsoft's Search Technologies can get in the door there, it would be a great feather in the cap.
Just a quick post - this video was recently forwarded on to me, and after watching it, I do have to admit, this distribution of Linux does actually look pretty funky! I'm not sure about the 'disappearing in a puff of smoke' windows, or the wobbly windows, but the use of the cube is pretty cool, although it's not always easy to see what is on all sides of the cube, unlike with Flip 3d in the Aero Interface, which I find makes it much easier to visualise your windows.
WINDOWS VISTA (AERO) VS LINUX UBUNTU (BERYL)
The thing with Vista is, for me, that it isn't just about Aero - I could talk about the value until I'm blue in the face, around finding and using information, securing your data, enhancing your mobile lifestyle and easing deployment, but, I'm not so sure about this distribution of Ubuntu. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a poor OS, not by a long way, I just don't know enough about it to comment fairly, although judging by comments on certain sites that I have read, Ubuntu looks great, but the learning curve is very steep. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on Ubuntu, and Vista, but don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to start some big Vista vs Linux debate - I just wanted to share my brief thoughts on another very visual OS.
The video does finish with the infamous Windows 95 blue screen, but we can just skip past that one :-)
For those of you out there who have an interest in the different ways that you can deploy Windows Vista, Office 2007 and your other applications, you may be interested in the Business Desktop Deployment Workbench, or BDD for short.
So, what is it?
Well, the BDD is essentially, your one-stop-shop for deployment when it comes to our new wave of technology. Want to customise your Vista install? Want to inject drivers for hardware into images? Want to customise WinPE 2.0? Want to easily create Unattend.xml files? Want next week's winning lottery numbers? OK, BDD can't help you with that last one, but it can allow you to do all the others!
The BDD, when combined with the other free accompanying downloads such as the Windows Automated Installation Kit, and the User State Migration Toolkit really do allow you to do a hell of a lot with your images and applications.
So, what about these recommended resources?
Well, first up, there is a load of documentation built into BDD:
You can click on each of these images (found within the 'Information Center' within BDD) and they will branch off to more information and documentation. Alternatively, you can find more information here:
Now, I'm not sure how many people know that this has actually released - I know that there were a few Release Candidate's released just before Christmas, but I can confirm that the RTM of Service Pack 2, for Windows Server 2003, is now out there and ready to download.
"Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) delivers on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative and illustrates Microsoft's commitment to continually create software products with enhanced security, increased reliability, and simplified administration. The SP2 update can be applied to all Windows Server 2003 products and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition"
But what's new with SP2 (I'm not listing all of them!)?
So, about these top 10 reasons...well, I'm not going to just copy and paste them from one site to another, instead, you can find them over here with the obvious ones being improvements in security, deployment, networking and manageability, however, flying in at number 9, is 'Performance Improvements', but the statement doesn't suggest that the performance improvements are on the physical machine, but in a virtual environment, for when you are running WS2003 under Virtual Server. This improvement, along with an improvement in SQL Server performance under intensive workloads, lead to more efficient data processing. Great!
You can find all the different downloads of SP2 here, but I'd have a quick scan of the release notes before you install, just to be sure. For those of you wanting to update Small Business Server 2003 R2,it's important that you read Knowledge Base Article 932600 before installing SP2.
Have you seen this? DesignIT is a competition that we started last year, that aims to bring out the very best in the IT community, with the grand prize being a £15,000 donation from Microsoft, to Charity.
In a nutshell, the DesignIT competition is about you using your expertise in technology to help a charity. You apply the creative and clever thinking, and for one UK charity, we'll make it happen.
Ok, so what do you have to do? Well, here's the official blurb from the website:
"For all those IT professionals who dedicate their time to a charity, this competition is a great opportunity for you to help even more. We are asking you to send us a system design that will improve the IT infrastructure of a charity of your choice. If you don’t have a particular charity in mind, don’t worry as we have asked the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), Leonard Cheshire and Global Action Plan to supply us with a number of problems that require a creative solution. You have to work to a budget of £15,000 and this must include all software and hardware. You can submit anything from a picture perfect Visio diagram to a sketch from a whiteboard and don’t worry, your system design can include more than just Microsoft technology."
Now that doesn't sound too hard does it? You have to admit, if you love IT, there is no better cause than this one - You can do something you love, whilst potentially changing the lives of people out there who are less fortunate than you and I.
So, if you need a bit of inspiration, some of the example submissions can be found here. These submissions include Mobile Document Sharing, Multimedia Distribution for Students with Autism, and an Office Manager. No copying now! :-)
So, you've got the information, you've got some examples to start you off, and you have the knowledge that your effort could change someone's life.
Now, all you need to know is that the competition closes on the 23rd March, so get a wriggle on.
ENTER HERE and choose your problem.....
Finally, do you want to test your creativity? Use the creativity calculator!