Friday, September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hmmm #Windows8 #IE10 Certificate issues - anyone seen incorrect revoked

I've loaded the laptop (a touchscreen one) with the dev build of Windows 8.  So far so good.  The highlights have to be
a) it works!
b) it boots in under 20 seconds (and that's with a normal BIOS, not UEFI)
c) it installed in about 15 minutes from a blank disk to a logon screen

However, working from home, I was working with Outlook on the box and got some problems so thought I would hit the OWA site for my email, when I did so, I got this:
That was a bit of a showstopper!

So I've done the usual google thing, nowt.

I've tried the Outlook Anywhere connection - fails.

I then VPN'd into the network, and hit the Exchange CAS server with the local name and logged on fine. 

So the certificate is not revoked.

Further supporting evidence is the fact that ActiveSync is still working on the phones, and I can use OWA from the iPad.

So, anyone seen this?  Got a fix?  The only clue I can think of is that the certificate is for a non-standard name; it's not for www but owa.

Ta, Peter

#LFMF VMware datastores are case sensitive!

Working in a Microsoft world with only brief forays into Unix and Apple server technologies, I tend to forget some lessons from those alternatives :-)

So, today when working on some PowerShell scripts to copy datastore folders around for backup purposes I was a bit stumped by a copy failing as no object was found. The essential components of the script are:

Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core

Connect-VIServer -Server FQDN of server or vCentre -Protocol https
$datastore = Get-Datastore Test
New-PSDrive -Location $datastore -Name TT -PSProvider VimDatastore -Root '\'
Copy-DatastoreItem 'TT:\sage\*' 'J:\esx\test\sage'
start-vm -vm 'Sage'

The Add-PSSnapin puts the VMware supplied PowerCLI snapins in place to manage ESX/vCentre architecture
Connect-VIServer does what it says on the tin
New-PSDrive creates a PowerShell drive mapping to the datastore in question so that it can be maipulated., and the Copy-DatastoreItem with those parameters copies the entire folder over (you can recurse through folders and so on if you wish, this is a simple copy)

Can you see the mistake, no I couldn't either!

The script would fail on the copy-datastoreitem command and jump onto the start-vm. Now I know there should be error handling and all that stuff, but this was a quick 1-off to sort something out.

So I browsed teh data store through the vCentre interface, all was there, the target folders were there...

In the end the Unix issue of capitalisation rang a distant echo. The Sage folder on the datastore was precisely that "Sage" not "sage".

Quick edit, and all is running.


'scuse the inappropriate word wraps in the code.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Want #Mango #WP7 now? But your network connection is not immediately adjacent to your desk, or awkward to break. #PowerShell

Mango is now available, and there is a cheat that seems to bypass the “wait until Microsoft/Your Carrier” make it available to you.  Read more here:
However the trick relies on disconnecting your internet connection within a few seconds.  This is fine and dandy if the cable is right by your keyboard, mouse and monitor, but not if it isn’t.
Obviously you can enable/disable the NIC, but Windows 7 (at least here) takes a variable amount of time to perform the disconnect.  Factor in UAC asking you for permission to disconnect then you have a bigger timing problem.
So a quick jump to the internet.  The following lines of code sort it out.
Firstly, start a PowerShell session (ISE or prompt), but with Run as Administrator rights to avoid issues.
Then use the line:
Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapter | Format-Table Name, NetEnabled, NetConnectionStatus, DeviceId –auto
This lists all your network connections, (extract below)
Name                                       NetEnabled NetConnectionStatus DeviceId
----                                       ---------- ------------------- --------
WAN Miniport (Network Monitor)                                            6      
Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Server Connection     True       2                   7      
Identify the Device ID for your network connection.  In this case 7.
The following lines of code needs to run once only in your ISE session
$Nic = Get-WmiObject win32_networkadapter -computerName LocalHost -filter "DeviceId = 7"
Note that the number 7 at the end will need to be changed for your environment.
Then finally –
As you wish to switch your NIC on and off. 
So, having prepped all that, a quick click on linking on the Zune screen below
Followed by a click on UPDATE, and then immediately run the disable command, and Robert’s your mother’s brother.  When you click on the presented choice to download an update – don’t forget to enable your link again.
Note you may need to update teh Zune software, so you'll get a bit of this:
For a bit.

But then you should see an update offered, something like this.

7403 offered to user
7403 ready to download

Repeat until you have Mango installed


Labour's good and bad company tax plan - this is all you need to know

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A marketing decision that will probably not be a triumph of hope over expectation...

Blue Peter annuals a thing of the past...

Another part of my childhood gone.

From Blue Peter book number 3 or 4 I was given these every Christmas by my maternal grandmother until I was really tooooo old for them. I still have them, including the 2 pictured above.

But now last year's turns out to be the last.

Inevitable in the modern era I suppose. I wonder if they are thinking of a retro iOS app where I can get all the back copies to read here! Ponders...

I think @dhmorton knows what's going to happen next

Programming errors everywhere

And no one in the petrol station knows how to clear it.

I kept schtum.

Update 21:31 22/9/2011 As James has pointed out in the comments, i was wrong, so have changed the title accordingly

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I've finally worked out why strolling the streets of London has this effect...

And by effect I mean a degree of melancholy. It's not a bad thing, it just is. But it's because as soon as I hit the streets of the more historical areas of London it inevitably brings back memories. Memories of Pa explaining the sights, statues, buildings, history etc; and in later years either talking to Pa on the phone about a recent trip or calling him whilst in town, to find out something I'd forgotten (the location of the London Stone comes to me mind see - I was within a 100 yards or so, but could not recall quite where it should be).

For a (right bloody (c) Peter Sellers) Yorkshireman, he knew a lot about London. He could have passed the knowledge test for taxi drivers I should think. He made a decent tour guide too (as long as you weren't a bloody tourist!).

So I walk these streets with memories, and echoes of times gone by.

And, it seems, almost inevitably, I end up in the very first pub Dad took me (and me alone). We'd been shooting at the rifle club under Somerset House, and as usual I'd "whopped his ass" with the pistol. Having finished we wanted to quench thirsts. We went to the Wellington on the corner of The Strand. I was under age, so had a soft drink (I think I declined the offer of alcohol as I was dry having got stupidly (stupid as in drinking in the evening without having eaten anything ALL DAY) drunk the previous Christmas at the Curry's Loughton staff do). We returned home to Essex by tube.

A few months later I returned with some school friends, having some time to kill before a demonstration of quadrophonic playback at the IEEE around the corner. This demo was especially good, as it feature Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd. "I know a pub" i declared - as if they would be hard to find ;-) Happy days!

A few decades later, and I'm back again. It's hardly changed, except the prices and the cigarette smoke.

One of London's increasingly rare taxi driver shelters...

If you can persuade them (unlikely), you can get a great cuppa within.

Charles, Gordon of Khartoum.

Emotional father to Corporal Jones of Dad's Army. But also the reason Gladstone's affectionate moniker was reversed. He was known as GOM, here's Wikipedia's take:
Gladstone was known affectionately by his supporters as "The People's William" or the "G.O.M." ("Grand Old Man", or, according to Disraeli, "God's Only Mistake").

However after Gordon's death some reversed that to MOG "Murderer of Gordon".

History 'O' Level studied 76-78 British and European Political and economic history 1815-1914. Ithankyou!

Rifleman Tul Bahadur Pun V.C., Gurkha, Hero.

Sadly he died this April. But I didn't know, despite our somewhat poor treatment of the Gurkhas, that he was in fact already commemorated.

His name is here, on the Chindit memorial at the back of the MOD on the Embankment.

We got something right then.

Update 17/9/2011: here's his picture at Wikipedia: Photo of a hero

And the full article on him: His wiki page

A leitmotif for our times

Parliamentary access behind bars...

I am much relieved to note Charlie Gilmour by his absence

It was late, but finally the women who served

On the domestic and military front in World War II were recognised.

But I cannot help but wonder if the empty clothes do so in a negative way.

Or maybe it's a recognition of the emptiness of the recognition to date.

Update: Later that day. As my Ma pointed out, the empty clothes signify the hanging up of the uniforms at the end of the work, a job well done, and life returning to normal (although that was a new normal, post war). Thanks Ma!

I see the Admiralty still has trouble getting Channel 5. #NotWorthTheEffort !

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Microsoft, Redundancies and Mojo

Yesterday was the start of Build, Microsoft's most important conference since... ...the last most important conference. But it is and was important.

During the day. Jon Honeyball said this:

I almost immediate RT'd with the comment

But it's more than the obvious.

It's not that long ago that Microsoft made some pretty heavy duty redundancies. I can still remember the shock and surprise of names like Steve Riley and Eileen Brown being identified as "at risk" and then receiving their redundancy notice. It felt like a mistake. In some respects it was.

But when you have been made redundant (as Mrs B and I have been about 9 times if I've counted them correctly!) then you can look back at the company you have just left with a number of views. It may take some time before the sadness, regret and anger wear off; but when they do you'll probably end up seeing why the company did it and either consider them complete idiots for choosing you, or understanding why you were the candidate chosen.

If the company is fundamentally a decent one, and has operated through the process reasonably (and legally) then hopefully you will understand and accept. This will mean you probably have residual good feelings towards your former employer and good wishes for your former colleagues.

Many have commented on the flat profile of Microsoft since Ballmer took over the helm. For Microsoft to get it's mojo back, it means that the company can once again be on an upward curve. It means that your former colleagues have a better chance of not experiencing your fate.

But it also means that, despite everything, your redundancy was not in vain. Collective good has come from the process - it wasn't just a crappy decision made to lever you out and exact some pointless revenge for your face not fitting, or a perceived misdemeanour.

Thinking back to the companies that made me redundant, most have gone bust a year or two later. I just felt lucky enough to get out whist the going was good, but for those companies that made good decisions and recovered and thrived - I'm glad for them. If the Microsoft mojo has recovered from the trauma of restructuring, grows from Build and becomes a colossus again, bestriding the industry with unambiguously leading desktop and tablet systems (the servers speak for themselves already) along with continuing and improving good practices; then I, for one, will be cheering from the sidelines.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

An open letter to the controller of Radio 4 Ms Gwyneth Williams @bbc @whjm

Dear Ms Williams
I recently listened to the Radio 4 branch of the BBC. And heard something I am sure you would want to know about (as both a successful woman and controller of the branch in question).
It appears that on FM, DAB, and online radio across the country there is a programme labelled Woman's Hour broadcasting items such "Cook the perfect tarte tatin", "Women in Business", etc. My complaint is that women are not a minority or a niche area. They do not need to have their radio programmes selected for them. I am deeply offended by this condescending and unnecessary practice.
I would appreciate your response to this complaint and I hope that the BBC will be able to think of a more appropriate way of broadcasting these items.
Yours in sisterhood
PJ Bryant.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday, September 02, 2011

#LFMF #PowerCLI Get-Folder contents #PowerShell

Because a “copy folder from the Datastore browser” backup of VM files is so inefficient, I’m writing a PowerShell process to improve my backups of the virtualised world.  Because I can move VM’s around onto different storage locations a hard coded “goto this datastore, download these VM’s” is going to need rewriting every time I do this.*

So I resolved to use as a starting point the Get-Folder command (and spawn a generic process for each Folder) that I have.

So I started to look at a folder (from the VMs and Templates view, not Hosts and Clusters) to do some testing on.  As the only, completely non active folder is Templates, I thought I’d start with that.

So the line of code I was looking at was something like:

Get-VM -Location (Get-Folder Templates) | Sort Name)

However I was getting nothing back, the code would run (there’s a lot more, but I won’t bore you with it until it’s all working), and there was a null result.  I didn’t quite spend days and days looking at it (see King Crimson - Indiscipline, Lyrics here), but I did spend quite a while thinking I’d got something wrong.

Then I had a thought – isn’t there a Get-Template command too?

Coded like this:
Get-Template -Location (Get-Folder Templates) | Sort Name)

I get some results.  Stupid of me to test a folder with wholly atypical contents

More later!

*I know some will wonder why I take flat file backups of VM’s.  It’s because I’m paranoid OK?  I copy them to external USB/FireWire drives for complete recoverability.  It’s not like I do it every day or anything