OT: Mount Barney hike photo

For the extended family and friends, here is one of the photos from last months hike up the South East Ridge at Mount Barney.

This link shows a photo that one of the kids took while we while we were breaking camp Sunday morning. Essentially it was a small ledge approx 1.5m one end and 2m the other end. We fit 5 kids (ages 10-15) and three adults on this ledge.

All in all a fantastic weekend ;-)

A card by any other name is still a card

I just saw Dan York (via twitter) point to a Fast Company article about “The Ultimate Calling Card” – which I found interesting – nothing really new but worth pointing to anyhow.

I’ve often thought of writting a book, but finding the time, or more precisely, taking time away from other activities, is the most difficult part of the equation. Perhaps I should take the advice I heard some time ago: “15 minutes per day, every day”. Hmmm….

Moving computers around OUs

I’ve had this snippet hanging around as a draft for some time, here it is.

Moving comptuers around OUs (Organisational Units) can be a pain if you can’t find the computer you want.

To find a wayward computer open up Active Directory, right click on your local domain name, select find, change the scope to show computers, type in the name you are looking for and bingo, you’ve found it.

From here you can right click the computer name and move it to the OU you want it in.

The key to “True Fans”

Reading the post over The Technium about True Fans and it made me think (and I’m taking a personal approach here):

EVERY business needs fans.

The key to my business is how well we treat our fans.

Then they either become non-fans, or they become true-fans.

In this context, the words fans and clients are inter-changeable.

Kevin talks about artists, and the concept (reality) that each artist can survive with a limited number of fans, different for each artist, but nominally pegged at 1000 true fans per artist. Obviously you need fewer true fans if your making more dollars from each one, more if you make less from each.

Now artists may be creative types, but business people like to eat something other than chicken soup too. It makes me think about the equations used to determine pricing, levels of service and how many clients are needed. As Kevin puts it “The processes you develop to feed your True Fans will also nurture Lesser Fans.

I don’t think there is one right answer, one size fits all approach. But I do believe that this thinking can be applied to more than just artists.

What is VDI?

Found this VERY interesting read on the state of VDI:

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is not a product. You can’t call up a company and ask for 5 licenses of VDI. It is concept comprised of multiple solutions or products to achieve a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (though recent announcements have Citrix XenDesktop as a single product that comes very close). The concept of VDI virtualizes desktops operating systems (Vista, XP, Linux, etc) and deliver the remote view of the desktop via a display protocol. In addition, there will be management and control systems to manage the provisioning/deprovisioning of virtual machines and applications.

All in all a comprehensive look at some of the players, the concepts and a comparison. If your looking to understand a little more about remote desktops this is a read for you.

update: Forgot the link! Here it is now:  The Current State of VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (Thanks Stephen)

Beat Adobe Reader black and red

On a Terminal Server today some users were experiencing red and black patches appearing when they opened PDF files.

A Knowledge Base article at Adobe indicates a similar, but evidently not the same, issue having been rectified in Adobe Reader 8.1 – that of the color not being rendered correctly for the first rectangle object in a section of a PDF document. Evidently not the same because it didn’t work for me. What did work however was disabling Text Smoothing.

Here is how to do it:

Open Adobe Reader | Document | Accessibility Setup Assistant | Set all accessibility options | Next

TICK THE BOX to DISABLE TEXT SMOOTHING

Next | Next | Next | Done

And bingo, no more red and black patches appearing.

Dynamic Web Hosting changes

Dynamic Web Hosting has been acquired by Dolphin Technology Group, with whom I am also involved.

It means a change of name, it will now be Dolphin Web Hosting. One of those little things that tickles me is that the TLA (Three Letter Acronym) remains the same – DWH.

Importantly it also means a much larger pool of resources for us, engineers, expertise, hardware and infrastructure.

Lee Hopkins has already noted the change, and over the coming months the change will become more evident (for example, we will redo the web site – we might even makeover the Dolphin Technology web site ;-).

Security isn’t virtual

When speaking with some people, it has been evident that they figured virtual servers were more secure than traditional physical servers.

This quote: “I don’t want to be reverse engineering our products to find exploits or figure out signatures, fundamentally, that means we have to partner. Fortunately, there is a bunch that are happy to partner and I encourage that.” by VMware founder and chief scientist Mendel Rosenblum certainly indicates that there are security concerns (found via: VMTN Blog).

My take on it is this: not only do virtual servers have the same set of security issues as a physical server, but because there are now ‘more components in the system’ there are also more ‘points of failure’, that is, there are now more things to consider in order to make things safe.

Update 21st Sept 2007 3:32pm: see this on latest VMware bugs.

Crises conceal opportunities

Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity.” – Joe Sugarman

I was sent this quote Tuesday this week. It is appropriate on many levels, but particularly so with regard to this web site.

You see, my database, which contains all my blog posts since I can’t remember when was miraculously destroyed. Along with it’s backups. That to me is a CRISIS.

Note to self: paranoia is healthy.

I first began blogging shortly after Chris Pirillo recommended using ‘BLOG’, a windows app that would do scheduled ftp uploads to a web site. I became a Textpattern fan, then switched to WordPress. My database contained all my posts from Textpattern and WordPress, and a whole bunch more.

But as the quote (and title) suggest, crises conceal opportunities. The opportunity here is a fresh start. No ties. A new commitment.

So, here begins not a new chapter, but a new book, the old one is no longer in print.