I've spent the last year or so learning, doing, and resting. During that time, I haven't even thought about writing or sharing in any serious sense. However, over the past couple of months, I've started to get more energy around writing my thoughts again.

That leads me to a different dilemma. My job isn't technical anymore, so I'm not involved in the things I was originally driven to share. I'm a manager, in almost the truest sense possible, at this point. I'm involved at a much higher level than I ever really imagined possible for me. I have different issues, mostly people and technology direction, that I'm concerned about on a daily basis. I'm left wondering what it is exactly that I want to share.

I think I'm most interested in technical management issues of the day, whether it be outsourcing pieces of infrastructure or new directions in virtualization, so that's most likely the direction I'll head. I won't be compelled to share every random thing I've seen over the past day or two in this venue. That will stay on my Twitter account (@josephhinkle).

I have been fortunate to be a part of this community for the past eight years. Rod and the rest of the gang has created a fantastic resource and meeting place that continues to grow in amazing ways. I hope all of you realize how unique MyITForum truly is. I can only hope that I can find something valuable to contribute again. Either way, it should be fun trying!

-Joseph

I was having a discussion on Microsoft licensing today, which will probably be a frequent topic for me. Think about what would be needed to manage Windows for a large enterprise, assuming a Microsoft solution set. Windows Enterprise is becoming a must-have license. ConfigMgr, MDOP for virtualization, and the newly announced client management license suite would also provide needed deployment and management components.

To get that, the customer would need to acquire the Windows platform, MDOP, the Core CAL, the Enterprise CAL for client management, and ConfigMgr licenses for the servers. To manage the server environment, the server management suite or the new Core Infrastructure enrollment would also be needed. That would entail two pillars of the Microsoft platform in Windows and the Core CAL, plus four additional products.   

The challenge for Microsoft is to stack these components into groups that make sense. Grouping the products into suites that provide value together makes the business case simpler. In the example above, licenses would be purchased in two completely separate stacks: Windows and CAL. When the Client Management License suite and MDOP are in completely different groups, it becomes more difficult to create a business case.

I would use the recent change to the Terminal Services CAL as an example of the right approach. APP-V for Terminal Services was rolled into the new CAL. That's a fantastic change. It simplified the model and provides great value to companies who want to publish apps with RDS.

Bundles like the Enrollment for Core Infrastructure also make a ton of sense. The enrollment provides the server OS and everything needed to manage it. Great! It's simple and easy to build a case for, assuming that the price is right. The same could happen on the client-side. Take Windows, MDOP, ConfigMgr, DPM, OM, ServiceMgr, and Forefront for Windows and roll it together. That creates a complete management and feature set with the System Center suite and the rights to Windows Enterprise.

A communication and collaboration suite would also make sense. If Exchange, Office Communication Server, SharePoint and Forefront for Exchange and SharePoint were licensed as a CAL bundle, the intrinsic benefits to that combination would be apparent. It also breaks the acquisition into manageable pieces.

This type of approach would also let companies opt into new technologies as initiatives, rather than acquiring a large number of products that creates a nearly insurmountable implementation burden. If I signed a full-platform Enterprise Agreement today, it would take at least a year for my company to realize a significant benefit from it. I would almost be into renewal before I had all of the products implemented. That kind of ROI story isn't compelling.

I know that Microsoft recognizes this problem on some level, as is evidenced by the improvements I listed above. There seems to be an effort to fix the issue and for that, I applaud them. A system that complex will not be fixed in a day. I can only hope that a solution is implemented that creates a more customer-friendly environment in the short-term.

Some of these are really funny.  The C# debate appeals to the geek in me.

C#

In the name of the programming language C#, is that # thing (octothorpe) after the C a number sign or the musical sharp symbol? What should the wrongname template say? Some argue that a Microsoft FAQ supports the sharp symbol, while others argue that the ECMA standard promotes the # symbol and that it has better browser support. Some propose using # as a superscript (C#), which few editors like. Editors repeatedly reverted between each other, some refusing to discuss the issue on the talk page. The issue was resolved with an e-mail exchange with Microsoft stating that in their view it's an octothorpe symbol representing the sharp symbol, similar to how "<=" represents the less than or equal symbol, and that thus Microsoft does not disagree with ECMA. Written "Netscape" but pronounced "Mozilla", eh?

Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I can remember when I took that class, albeit not at Stanford.  It was the fall of 1996 and I had never written a program in C before.  I did have some really bad habits from teaching myself BASIC and Pascal though. 

Now, you can get all of that knowledge for free on the Internet.  I can't image how much farther along I would be if I had had the opportunities then that I have now.  The world is an amazing placew.

This course is the largest of the introductory programming courses and is one of the largest courses at Stanford. Topics focus on the introduction to the engineering of computer applications emphasizing modern software engineering principles: object-oriented design, decomposition, encapsulation, abstraction, and testing.

Stanford School of Engineering

 

Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. The original name lists featured only women's names. In 1979, men's names were introduced and they alternate with the women's names. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2008 list will be used again in 2014. Here is more information about the history of naming hurricanes.

Worldwide Tropical Cyclone Names

I still have an "accordion-style" laptop bag that I'm very happy with.  I'm tempted to get a new laptop friendly one if I keep flying so much.  Theoretically, this week is the end of my travels for a while though (YEAH!).

 

The guidelines below took affect on August 15th.  You can leave a laptop in a bag  in the OK section when you send it through the x-ray machine.

OK
Photo of bag designs that provide clear X-ray images

Photo of a red circle with a horizontal slash
Photo of bag designs that do not provide clear X-ray images

TSA: New 'Checkpoint Friendly' Laptop Bag Procedures

Interesting solution.

Adeona is the first Open Source system for tracking the location of your lost or stolen laptop that does not rely on a proprietary, central service. This means that you can install Adeona on your laptop and go — there's no need to rely on a single third party. What's more, Adeona addresses a critical privacy goal different from existing commercial offerings. It is privacy-preserving. This means that no one besides the owner (or an agent of the owner's choosing) can use Adeona to track a laptop. Unlike other systems, users of Adeona can rest assured that no one can abuse the system in order to track where they use their laptop.

Adeona: A Free, Open Source System for Helping Track and Recover Lost and Stolen Laptops

The Microsoft RDP Client for Mac update went official today. Download here.

This hit a few weeks ago, but I just got back to it. Funny stuff.

World of World of Warcraft

I've been thinking about getting an Amazon Kindle. It's driven mostly on the portability The book prices are a fairly compelling argument as well, since business books tend to be fairly expensive for the amount of content. My biggest problem is that I haven't actually seen one yet. It probably won't stop me from getting one in the end. Have any of you seen one? Owned one?

Garth mentioned that he was running Vista 64 on his laptop. I've been running it on my Latitude D531 for the last month or so with few issues. I had some initial touchpad driver issues, but I found a driver for the 630 that would work on Vista x64. Cisco doesn't have a full VPN client, but the AnyConnect SSL VPN client works well.

On the bright side, it performs well compared to Vista32. I haven't run XP64 to see if it performs better or worse though. I have the RAM maxed out at 4GB, so it's nice to get the full compliment when running VMWare Workstation on it.

Scooby Doo can get behind the wheel again in Florida.

Not in real life, of course. The talking dog doesn't exist. But opponents of a bill to let Georgia's habitual traffic violators take court-ordered driving classes online signed the cartoon canine up for an Internet course in Florida, which has a similar law.

Ruh-roh. Not only did he pass, Doo got a certificate.

The stunt was pulled by Driving Educators of Georgia, a statewide association of driving schools trying to persuade Gov. Sonny Perdue to veto the legislation known as HB 1027. The group argues such a system would make it easier for reckless drivers to get their licenses back. It also would be prone to fraud, the group says.

[From Foes of Web driving class get Scooby Doo certified | ajc.com]

At least he gave me credit this year. At the bottom. Next year, I expect a general pronouncement of my greatness at the top of the document. It's the least you could do.

:)

I've been using Xobni for a couple of days and I'm really impressed. I'm a statistics junkie about stuff that I do, so email statistics are just fantastic. The search engine is nice, but the forwarding and reply controls from the Xobni bar make that much more valuable. It does duplicate some of the functionality that was introduced in Outlook 2007, so it you already are using 2007, it isn't as mind-blowing as it would be on 2003.

That said, statistics rule, therefore Xobni rules. People are ranked by the number of emails sent to and received from them, thought it seems that sent counts more than received. The Xobni Analytics feature is fantastic. It gives views on email by time of day and some other neat layers that I can't remember right now. Good stuff.

Outlook contact information is integrated, but Global Address List contact information, like phone numbers, is not integrated. There may be a way, but I haven't found it yet.

Give it a try if you haven't already.

I stopped subscribing to discussion lists long ago, but I decided to try it again with MyITForum. I was apparently missing something the last seven years.

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