Microsoft, Tech-ed IT Forum, Barcelona, Day 5

by on Nov.17, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, Technology

The Last day ….??My brain is close to melt down, so i only attened a few sessions today, Stuck some labs in the gaps to practice what we had been
Session 1, Delivering rich media with server 2008, shame the presenter could not deliver a rich presentation.
at least the new media extensions support MP3s and other file formats, there also seem to be a better level of integration between HTTP and MMS delivery of content, shame there is NO API for automatic creation of play lists in the current beta, so i may just have to pop to http:/ and have a whinge..
Session 2,?? Q&A with the REAL IIS team, Hard core stuff but i will try to summarise what came out of the session, following many Questions from myself and a few other

IIS is no longer supported with failover clustering, a large debate ensued over why cluster instead of load balance
The ability to initiate a worker process re-cycle still requires admin, and therefore cannot be delegated, like other feature of IIS7, but ops manager may provide a solution there
There is no feature to do logging by folder for micro sites, but the integrated pipeline architecture would make it easier to write a plug in module to achieve that,
Modules can be written in managed code (.net) as well as native code (c++) and thre is a good SDK
Apparently if you install a *.domain SSL Cert you can do host-headered SSL…. ( this was available on IIS6 and something??I??did not know)
There is a NEW feature on Worker process timeouts, at a server level, you can enable dynamic timeouts, if the server is under stress, it will adjust the idle timeout of a worker process to free up memory. Something??I picked up on though, this is a server setting, so in a shared environment where some heavy apps co-exist with lightly used apps, the session stability of the lightly used apps could suffer. Yet another excuse to go to IIS.NET and have a whinge, sorry provide constructive critisism

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Microsoft, Tech-ed IT Forum, Barcelona, Day 2

by on Nov.13, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, General, Technology

Very Busy day,??6 Session, some good some bad

session 1, IIS7 to IT Pro’s by Issac Roybal
Tonnes of really good new features, many of which directly address problem i have experianced over the past FOUR years, I wonder when i can get it on the ground

Session 2, went to a?? great hand on, self paced LAB on configuring IIS7, this actually left me with more Questons than answers

Session 3, Lunch team slot on Windows Home Server, fantastic home Pc backup and central storage box, full support for up to 10 media connect 2.0 devices, (shame i dont have any YET !!!!!!), built in web server to allow uncle jim to acces a slice of your library, yoiu even yourself from that nasty hotel 1000 miles from home! soon to be shipping with a pucker public cert on the domain with full support for UPNP and dynamic DNS too.

Session 4, MORE IIS7, but how to used the new shared config feature in a WEB farm, so many NEW features to fix problems i spent weeks writing scritps for in IIS6. (met a dutch bloke yoiu managed a web farm doing 150,000,000 hits per day, make my intranet 8,000,000 per hit look pathetic)

Session 5, SQL server storage and performance, some excitable lunatic talking about 32CPU server with 512 Gig of ram and 92 hard disk spindles just for the data

??Session 6, Windows server 2008 core, seem like a nice idea, but with .net being “managed code” it cant be deployed on CORE, making the IIS CORE version suitable for ASP (yeh right), ??HTML and PHP (i think DONT QOUTE ME)

ah well time to return to the hotel for nosh and an early night, unless i can find seom of the guys i met in redmond in april 🙂

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Microsoft, Tech-ed IT Forum, Barcelona, Day 1

by on Nov.12, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, Technology

just left the Keynote speech at MS TechEd in Barcelona
some really great stuff on the horizon, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, system center etc,
However the most impressive thing for my, as a geek, was Home server, and dedcated windows based server for the home, automated back up household PCs, support from windows media devices such as XBOX 360. Full PC backup and restire etc etc

Far too many usefull feature for a home PC enironmrnt too mention here

however some what ammusing was when the speaker asked how many people are running a “server” at home over 20 % of the audiance raised their hands,
So I am NOT the only one

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Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

by on Oct.23, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, General, Rant, Technology

I had a lovley surprise this morning, 1600 bounced spam emails in my “selective catch all” mail box

I use the term selective, as it has a huge (3000+) blacklist, that and the RDNS connection filtering I run, keeps my normal spam, in the mail box, down to less than 10 a day, with some 3000 being actively rejected.
There is a big debate around whether “catch all” is a good idea these days, But I find it soooo usefull, to be able to use a slighly different email address for any site I register with, especially when outfits like autotrader (autotrader@) leak email data to nigeria like a holey thing and inteflora (flowers@) sold my email address on,

This mornings little treat was not rejected by the RDNS process as they all came from legit mail relays, as bounced email. Which basicaly mean some arsehole is spoofing email from my domain. having been hear before, it is usually followed by a barage of don’t email stuff like this please email from the less astute netizens

I also have reason to believe that one of my work email address’s is being use to spoof spam too, as I have one or two bouced email arrive there too

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Fixing my power consumption Part 1…

by on Oct.01, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, Technology

Following on the shocking revelation as to how much my toys were costing me to run
I spent satuday morning, moving data, re-writing backup scripts, and have managed to SQEEZE all my data onto the disks in the server, which has enabled me to shut down the extreemly power hungry FC storage array.
This has also left me short of space, but a USB2 external disk is on the cards for the general archive stuff !

Next will be replace the UPS. i have a belkin 600VA one lying around, that shoudl be enough now i have reduce the power to under 200 Watts

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Power (oh my god)

by on Sep.27, 2007, under, Computers, Geekdom, Technology, Unbelievable

got my self one of those domestic power meters and been around the house,


Need to change my storage strategy, the Compaq RA4100 fibre channel chassis with 12 disk may well be over kill, but it is also DAMN expensive to run,
and I have NO idea why the UPS is pulling 100Watts with NO load !!!

??As i am only ising the storage for archive type stuff not “live” apps, I am planning to replce it with an external USB2 disk,
the Cost Recovery Period will be less than 4 months !

Not sure what to do about the server though, it is runnign AD, Exchange, VMware server with VOIP PBX and dansguardian ….

Device Watts kWh per month Cost (GBP) per month
Server 165 118.8 11.4048
data Storage array 308 221.76 21.28896
router 3 2.16 0.20736
hub 6 4.32 0.41472
Disk 10 7.2 0.6912
UPS ? 102 73.44 7.05024
Fish tank Light on 18 12.96 1.24416
Fish Tank light off 4 2.88 0.27648
Printer (standby) 8 5.76 0.55296
Print Server 8 5.76 0.55296
Xbox (standby) 1 0.72 0.06912
15″ LCD TV 2 1.44 0.13824
standard sat RX 25 18 1.728
cordless phone 3 2.16 0.20736
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WordPress revolution

by on Jul.02, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, Technology

Following on from Outbreak of wordpress, it must be contagious, two things have developed

1. My humble internal install of wordpress has been gazumped for highlevel internal demos
2. I am now looking at wordpress MU with LDAP, for that enterprise, AD intragrated blogging solution


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Caught RED handed with my hand in the SWEETIE jar

by on Apr.26, 2007, under Computers, Technology

In the USA there is a decent computer and electronics??chain called FRYS,

So I felt duty bound to buy an item or two, hey, wont get caught sneaking it past the wife, as i can leave the boxes etc in the US………… 😉

So I phone the wife up and ask if my coporate credit card statement had arrived yet? and could she fax it to me,
After much rustling on the phone , I hear, “YEP got it, …….. no, oops sorry !… this is your peronal one……. ” followed by

🙁 DOH !!! 🙁

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Technology at its best

by on Apr.16, 2007, under BroadBand, Computers, Geekdom, Technology, VOIP, WiFi

After much google,ing and faffing, i have managed to

  • get my SIP softphone (VOIP) to connect to my asterisk box at home with out the use of a VPN
  • Get RPC over HTTP email to work
  • setup WEBDAV over SSL access to my file server

So I no longer need the VPN to do normal networky stuff to home, the only reason i need the VPN now is to trick Sky Anytime into thinking I am in the UK, and that is only the gui client, the peer to peer service does not give a stuff, so once i have requested the video, i can drop the VPN !

I am Glad i am NOT paying to the t-mobile WiFi usage !!

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Vista, Compaq R4065EA and a card reader

by on Mar.24, 2007, under Computers, Geekdom, Technology

Though I would try Vista on my laptop, nothing is ever simple

NEW hard disk and some more RAM (US prices are Sooo reasonable)

install was great, than came the fun
Sky Anytime requires admin rights to run (something which Vista does not give away lightly), i then had to phone sky to tell them i had rebuilt my PC, as te ANYTIME software thought it was a different machine, the Sky Anytime helpdesk was surprisingly effecient at sorting that out !

Then there was device drivers, the modem, Card reader and web cam do not seem to come with bundled drivers, Compaq support site says they wont support Vista on ths laptop, but then they dont do 64 bit drivers for XP for it either (what is the fucking point is selling a 64 bit laptop without 64 bit OS and Drivers)
so “google is my friend” and discovered a few other laptops with the SAME crad reader chip set, and managed to down load a driver from here


not going to bother with the modem, have not used one in years !

the WEBCAM however is a different story

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