Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I promised more, but no more until after #ITTU6 !

For tweetup details see www.twtvite.com/ittu6

Red sky at night...

Waiting to be called for the first part of my journey home, the moderate <wg> Glen Beck on Fox in the lounge. North Korea shelling the south, Irish Banks in trouble

A visual respite from the unpleasantries of the world.

But on a lighter note

I promised more would be revealed !

Timezones, oddness and Dad again.

I'm back in Barnes and Noble, using the free wifi to catch up with life back home, and it struck me. Back home, it's 1:20 in the morning of the 23rd; what would have been Dad's 77th birthday.

It's not a time for celebration, but commemoration. But with a 5 hour time shift, should i be marking it already? My family are all there (but asleep i hope!). But I'm not. How am i supposed to react, how am i supposed to behave, think, respond?

There are no rules, except to do what feels right at the time. And right now? I don't know.

All i can be sure of is that my Mother and my sister will wake up in a few hours, and be acutely aware of his absence. Over here, i shall miss him (as i have all week i've been here, oddly). But i've got a project to finish, bags to pack, and flights to catch home. Dad's birthday this year will be a few hours shorter, does that make it actually different? Who knows. I've had 2 long birthdays, 32 and 29 hours long. They were nothing special...

Wish you were here Dad.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dad, books, Starbucks, and Americans

One of things that joined Dad and me was a love of reading. We'd share books and not infrequently buy the same one and end up bringing it to share and get the "nope, read it!" response.

So one of the less obvious ways I miss him is literature. Dad didn't have a great love of America (I often told him, "I don't like Americans either Dad; but then again, I've not met one I didn't like". And that's true, the global image of the 300lb yank in bermuda shorts and hawai'ian shirt failing to comprehend a foreign language and foreign currency is stereotypically wrong, but out there.

Dad also deplored the rise and rise of the "Mall". Here in Lexington the area of Hamburg seems to be one extended Mall over a few square miles. But there is a Barnes and Noble. Big corp they may be, but it's also a temple to the printed word (and of course there are others - bigger or better - to be found). B&N have been holding events this week to encourage schoolkids to buy books and get into reading, and that's a wonderful gift, if accepted.

And finally Dad intensely disliked Starbucks' inability just to serve him a simple coffee.

So as I'm sitting in the Starbucks franchise at Barnes and Noble in Lexington, Kentucky; that gives me a lot to think about.

Although Dad never came this way, I think (in the end) he'd have liked this place; and knowing that simultaneously gives me pleasure; and sadness for all the books we won't share anymore...

#iPad and #iTunes - why i am giving up on films. #fail

I am now giving up viewing films on my iPad. I have a blog in preparation on the experience of a windows person with their first Apple device, but in the meantime, having tried to download 6 films to watch on flights, and had 4 fail with iTunes having to sort out refunds, i am giving up.

Either the iTunes infrastructure is no good for films, or the support desk is not good enough at *really* sorting it out.

In frustration, Peter

Get out of gaol with a failed windows client VPN setup

I (perhaps foolishly) built a new laptop a few hours before travelling to the US for some client work.  It arrived 5:30 pm (on a pre 10am delivery!!), and I was up until 1:30 doing all the setup.  the next morning I was up bright and early (well early) to travel.
On arrival today, I found that I could not VPN from the machine with my (non-Domain Admin) account.  I won't bore you with all the testing I tried, but I did find a get out.
1) Login as domain admin (or similar)
2) connect VPN
3) Switch users
4) login as user
5) although the user cannot see the VPN, it is there "under the covers" and connections back to base worked fine
A victory for lateral thinking!

And after just a few minutes

We're over the coastline and leaving it all behind...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's a shame, this doesn't do it justice

And it isn't green, it isn't flat

And we're about an hour or too late for the light :-(

And the camera on the phone is somewhat challenged!

No Peter, pinch zoom doesn't work here...

Greenland from x,000 feet

After cloud for over an hour, the skies clear and the pristine snow is revealed

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hmm water and electricity #TEE10

What could possibly go wrong....

Nice one #Lavazza and #Berlin

Just had one at the restaurant, so didn't try this; but a vast improvement i should think over the cheap and cheerful Nescafe machines on display at other stations.
Next time i'm passing I'll remember.

Nollendorf station.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This #TEE10 convention centre is huge

And we're only in the southern half with 7,000 delegates...

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The 7/7 inquest and radios

I've been keeping a weather eye on the inquest, and was surprised to hear about the radio communication troubles.

I'm surprised, because as far back as the Moorgate disaster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moorgate_tube_crash 35 years ago, the authorities knew there were issues. The Kings Cross fire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King's_Cross_fire 12 years later had similar problems.

Why after so many deaths and reports into these issues was nothing achieved?

Hotel weights and measures

1mm - the minimum clearance around the bed
1kC - the maximum range in temperature of the shower
£450 - the acceptable rate per MB for Hotel WiFi
£15 - the minimum reasonable cost per bottle of water supplied to the room
By the lift - a quiet location
7:15 - sufficiently close to 8:00 for your alarm call
17.4kB/sec - Super Fast broadband connnection
By the car park entrance - alternative quiet location
2 - a wide range of pillow choice
€12 - a reasonable charge for laundering socks
€17.50 - bargain charge for 2 boiled eggs and a slice of ham for breakfast
45minutes - close to the City centre
6:30am - reasonable time for room service to knock on your door to see if you have left for the day
2 - sufficient hangers in the wardrobe
1 - copious supply of electricity sockets
1st floor overlooking the main road by the lift and the car park entrance - the quietest room in the hotel

#TEE10 Keynotes and how not to do them

if you keep a weather eye on my twitter stream (www.twitter.com/pjbryant) you may have noticed i got a bit annoyed this afternoon at TechEd Berlin.

This was because of the keynote. When Brad turned up in suit and tie, i knew we were
in for a repeat of the 2009 disaster that was (now departed to Nokia) Stephen Elop's keynote. I could go on for ages, but i'll summarise instead:

1) Keynotes at conferences have been paid for by the delegates in some way. They have certainly given up their precious time to attend the conference, and expect value back from Microsoft for so doing. At a cost of €1895 for the conference, each session is about €75. I like to get value for that.
2) Keynotes have (traditionally) been exciting. They have brought a genuine WOW into the day, and kickstarted the conference such that everyone feels energised and ready to go.
3) Keynotes have been timed to the start of the day, so rather than meander into the conference you'd want to turn up, get your freebie (if there was one), and see something you've not seen before (the South African drumming especially comes to mind).

This keynote repeated last years failure - Microsoft clearly have not learned from the maxim that you have to remember the past, else you are condemned to repeat it. It failed on the criteria above as:
1) This was not value for money, i did not come out (and many others did not) feeling it was €75 well spent. In fact i came out thinking i'd wasted an opportunity to better plan my conference.
2) There was no excitement, nothing new, no electrifying demo
3) The keynote fizzed out. At the end of the day people left to go and do something better. This keynote was clearly timed to be able to broadcast to the widest possible community (most of whom HAVE NOT PAID for it) including the US. Brad was talking to the suits outside the room not the golfs and t's in the room.

Finally, i was pretty active on twitter during the keynote. It was interesting to note the large number of tweets coming from Redmond (and other locations) staffers who were clearly deluded enough (or encouraged enough) to cheerlead from the sidelines.

Microsoft, get your house in order. Make the next TechEd Keynote 100% relevant to the people in the room, and let others watch because they are interested, not because they are the true audience. Make sure delegates go away:
1) fizzing with excitement for the rest of the week
2) glad to have been there
3) inspired to do something when they get home
And that the online viewers really wished they had been there.

Repeat the same mistake next time, and i'll know for sure you don't care about me as a delegate, and that may mean I (and others) may give up coming. I can watch a lousy keynote from home; and have nicer coffee.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Ye Gods the bags have got smaller and cheaper! #TEE10

But frankly that's a good thing. My wife doesn't really understand why I want to keep 19 previous TEE bags :-)

And to be honest I'll never have 20 laptops to carry around.

#TEE10 Apple 1 Microsoft 0

At Tech*Ed there is a wireless network. With 7000 delegates and staff (possibly more) it's a network i would not like to have to supply. It can get a bit flaky. This morning they are still tuning the setup i should think and the organisers prefer not to have a strong signal in the session rooms to put people off using their devices.

Well, the new iPad has maintained the connection so far, the winmo6.1 phone has connected but been unable to shift a single byte... Maybe I should upgrade to Windows Phone 7...


Under a lowering sky, and the lightest of showers, Tech*Ed 2010 is under way

#TEE10 prizes for bag contents

A) for a tempting goody and probably the strongest draw to a stand Dell. For the single glove and a "get the other at our stand". It's a tad cold here in Berlin, and if you did not bring gloves, you may well be tempted

B) for chutzpah Nokia. For advertising a non Windows Phone 7 device at the Tech*Ed immediately after the winmo7 launch. A bold move :-)

C) Microsft for cutting the cloth accordingly. I've already commented on the bag this year (although that blog entry seems delayed in my phone as the day 1 WiFi seems flaky) but given the choice between a financially secure Tech*Ed and yet another smart laptop bag, i know what i would choose

Now, to Exchange 2010 DR and HA planning :-)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Nice afternoon!

Well it was a few days ago when I took this :)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Honestly #NHS

Have we really reached the stage where this kind of thing is needed on Hospital ward because trained caring staff wouldn't know otherwise.

PS please get my Ma some food that she can actually eat...