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What Video Game Character Are You? I am Kung Fu Master.
I am Kung Fu Master.

I like to be in control of myself. I dislike crowds, especially crowds containing people trying to kill me. Even though I always win, I prefer to avoid fights if possible.

What Video Game Character Are You?

Blogs I read

Rob Marshall @

... my god, it's full of stars

January 2009 - Posts

  • UK Proposes Broadband Expansion, Plus a Music and Film Tax on Friday January 30, @03:11AM

    Just have to repost from Slashdot as they sum this up perfectly.

    "First the tech illiterates in the UK government want to extend broadband internet connections to every home, whether it makes sense or not, then at the same time they propose a £20 per year (approx $29US) broadband tax which they claim will pay the record and film industries for their failed business models. Coincidence the two proposals are linked? And why should people be forced to pay for the failed film and music industries?"

    I read about this on the train this morning, and am shocked that i'll end up paying to support the Music and Video industry, without any option of dropping out. It'll be a cold day in hell before I EVER pay these parasites any of my money outside of the Cinema, Rentals and occassional DVD\Music purchases I make. I'll be writing to my MP to add my voice to the MAJORITY of brits that don't want this happening. Suggest you do the same if you are resident in the UK.

    How can they justify a national tax when it's only a minority of people pirating?

    Over here, we have a statement from the government that they are not going to disconnect pirates from their ISP's, and now this national tax. No wonder they did this, as they knew they would be implementing a TAX!!!

  • Extreme Ironing record changes hands!

    Had to laugh when I saw this pop up in the news.

    128 (a symbolic computing number!) divers did some extreme underwater ironing at around 15-20meters, to snatch the world record from the australians!

    What a sport, lol, insane but so funny seeing them doing it!

  • WMUG Event: 31st October 2008 - Presentation Media now available

    We managed to get the Video and Slide-decks from the 31st of October 2008 event on to the WMUG website. The event was presented by none other than Wally Mead, on the subjects of Configuration Manager 2007 Site and Client deployment, and included an overview of Service Pack 1 and Release 2.

    The quality of the videos i'm afraid, is pretty awful. Not because Wally was off-key and told loads of bad jokes, well ok there was a few but even a bad joke can be good if the timing is right! No, it was because the video recording at source was of such low quality, that we ended up with quite a lot of the small text on-screen becoming unreadable. These things sometimes happen, but for future recordings we'll try to manage them better.

    Now, to compensate for that slighty, we're included the slide-deck that Wally used on the day. I'm hoping that the verbal cues in the videos themselves are enough for you to decipher what he is doing on the Configuration Manager Console or underlying OS, and any textual interaction he performs may be spoken out loud during the recordings.

    It shouldn't detract from the content that much, as Wally is full steam as usual, giving out great advise and exploring features of the product with his usual whit and charms, as he progresses through the session topics. A great effort from Wally, who stood up and covered this off for over 5 hours with hardly a pause for refreshments. I personally had a great day being in the audience, listening to the questions, and interacting where I could. And I'd like to personally thank Wally, and those of you that managed to attend. And, finally I hope that those of you who couldn't attend, can benefit from us publishing this content for you all to see.


    Wally Mead at the WMUG 31st of October event, presenting on Configuration Manager 2007

  • MS08-067 worm spreading like wildfire due to?

    From the BBC News website:

    "Microsoft did a good job of updating people's home computers, but the virus continues to infect business who have ignored the patch update."

    Am struggling to understand why businesses are holding out? Oh my, why?! Worm\Virus = down time = loss of profit ... sigh.

    If you haven't patched yet, then you should find this URL (MS08-067 bulletin) very handy. Visit it, prepare for the patch, roll it out ASAP and at the same time make sure your Anti-V DATs are up to date you numtees!

    If it's your patching mechanism that let you down, or you found it too hard to manage the deployment, then now is a good time to look at Configuration Manager 2007 to help you patch your systems in a controlled manner. You'll be more effective at deploying these patches and practically no down time due to nuisance worms!

  • 4 weeks and McKinnon will know if he's being taken to the USA for Cyber-terrorism charges

    Garry Mckinnon, who I've blogged about here and here, has to sit tight for 4 more weeks before knowing if he's going to be extradited to the USA for Cyber-Crimes.

    Just to recap, this is a guy who has Asperger's Syndrome (confirmed), who zoned in on insecure military\government networks looking for proof that aliens exist, along his way he really didn't do any real damage except force the network admins to down systems out of sheer panic, then blame the outage on him so that they could bolster their claim for extradition as well as protect their jobs! Say they didn't take down those systems, then all Garry did was walk in, look, get disappointed at not finding evidence for aliens (maybe he hit on the wrong servers? He must of skipped over the server called ALIENINFOSECRETS), then leave or get in the process, hmm.

    All his PC, the data on the disks, the phone logs, his mobile (cellular) phone usage, his friend-base, essentially his entire world, all that information has been retrieved by the Intelligence Agencies. No shock stories the next days saying "Garry McKinnon proven link to AL-QUADA" or such attention grabbing headline in the media. The intelligence agencies know EXACTLY what he did, where he went. And, they know he's not part of a sleeper unit, and that he's not linked to Al-Quada or any other groups that represent a rebel region, country, or even an ideology that facilitates terrorism. Worth looking that word up here and here for a head scratching moment ...

    This situation really pisses me off. This guy is essentially a UK national treasure. He found that after the 9/11 incident, if Al-Quada had anyone with reasonable skills they COULD have breached the USA Military\Government networks and caused REAL HAVOC and DAMAGE. Garry was literally inside critical systems, the extent of the damage that could have been done doesn't bear thinking about. How embarrassing is that for the Military\Government. Routers with default passwords sigh, would you setup a router for the company you work in and keep the default password? Wouldn't you feel uncomfortable doing that? Take it further, you work for the military and you don't change the passwords? Come on, a single dumb-mistake or a catalogue of them? This just highlights the need for more training, reasserting the polices that are already in-place, and performing an audit to protect these assets from further abuse. It's probably happened already, outside the limelight of the media, and as a result of Garry these systems should be as tight as a sharks butt, and that's water tight (or so they say on the Natural History channel ;-).

    So Garry came along, prodded, got caught, and the admins secured the environments. Also keep in mind this isn't a high-tech crime in that he was using a pretty low spec PC and a dial-up modem! And he was in almost total isolation when he did this! I respect this guys skills out and out, I'd like to meet him to discover more about this story. It shows you don't have to have straight A's, a degree, or years of experience to have quality skills to reach right out there, and do something extraordinary and way beyond the capabilities of most of us.

    Garry is a real example of someone with rare talent. Hark back a 100 years and he'd of been recognised as a SAVANT, and might have progressed a branch of science like Einstein (amongst many left-handed or autistic folk) did. Think I'm talking a load of baloney? Then look it up (and out of interest check out the left-handed phenomena). The world has been progressing off the backs of these Savant geniuses since records began. Now, we push them away in favour of healthy minded-folk. And, look at how rapid our progress is? Some of these normal folk are just not making the connection\jump that these Savants often make easily. It's just a fact of life, and it's not suppose to diminish the efforts of others. Historically, our progress in the sciences has slowed down. Go figure. Bring on the Savant equivilent of the A-Team!

    Garry McKinnon should be working for a penetration testing company. Or, he should be helping the worlds' governments highlight routers with default passwords or other such embarrassing practices. At least someone should be utilizing this talent, and not letting it go to waste. If I was rich, I'd hire just savants and see where it goes, just to see what these folk could deliver. Why doesn't Google or Microsoft do this? It's like having the best tools in the lab set aside while the more mundane, average tools cluster together and make a ham of something, or deliver out of sheer brute force via quantity of numbers. You can only throw bodies at a problem if it's the kind of problem that can be spread out and resolved that way. Sometimes, a concept\idea can only be conceptualised by a single person, who drives it forward to give us such things as "The Origin of the species", or the "Theory of Relativity" et al. These examples are messy, in that normal folk contributed. Einstein progressed using research and contributions from others no doubt about that, same as Darwin; But their framework and ideas were very unique.

    Think I'm talking crock about the contributions to society that Savants make? Think that only normally balanced minds produce all the worlds' science and technological breakthroughs? Get ready for a bit of a shake-up in your thinking then, and read this and Google further if you're interested. You are in for a SHOCK! TRUELY! And realise something important, we're all born quite mad, it's the human condition, genius shares the same bed with insanity, and if you wipe out insanity then at a stroke you damage genius.

    My final thought on this matter, at least until the verdict on his deportation is made public in 4 weeks time ... Just think if Garry had been obsessed with quantum mechanics instead of the existence of Aliens ... Or just imagine if this talent gets 70 years in prison for Cyber-Terrorism charges ...

  • SCCM 64-Bit WoWness

    Jim Wightman's blog posting on SCCM not natively being a 64-bit app has been on my mind for a while now. I'd like to wave a wand and magic up a 64-bit version of the production today, so that we can leverage even more performance out of the OS and Hardware. But realistically, it won't arrive until the next major product release as it cannot be fitted in to an R2 or service pack release.

    Good points though Jim, this stuff should get back to Microsoft

  • Steve Jobs - Head of Apple just needs his Hormone software patched

    Glad to hear that they have identified Steve Jobs illness, and can treat him.

    Steve Jobs

    Apple's Jobs admits poor health


    Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is being treated for a "hormone imbalance" but is staying on as the firm's head ...


  • Better news? Microsoft Plans Cost Cuts, But Huge Layoffs Unlikely

    Found this on the CNBC website ... far more promising news than what's been coming out of the rumour mill so far!

    Microsoft will embark on a significant cost-cutting initiative in 2009, which might begin as early as this month, to offset a global slowdown in sales.
    However, sources tell me the cuts will largely be handled through attrition and the non-renewal of contract employees, rather than through a rumored, sweeping layoff.

    Now that's much more like it!

  • Rumour no more - Microsoft intending to lay off 17% of employees

    I've been following this since mid-december, but I did not want to blog about it pre-xmas\new year as it's a slug of bad news no MS employees wants to see.

    However, it's now internally (but not publically) been announced according to several reports on the web (none of which are can be seen as authorative) that 17% (15K) of staff are going to get their marching orders come 15th of Jan 2009.

    It's just unbelievable that they need to scale down the work-force so drastically. My sincerest thoughts go out to the folks I know in Microsoft EMEA, and I hope not a single one of them gets the chop.

    And during this cut-back I hope they don't throw the baby out with the water as they say!

    Here's a link to news source on the subject

  • Rob is now a Configuration Manager MVP!

    My email check on Jan 1st 2009 resulted in quite a surprise, with an email confirming that I am now an ... MVP!

    Dear Rob Marshall,

    Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This
    award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others.

    So I'm an MVP in Configuration Manager. Awesome!

    This award means a lot to me. Thank you very much Microsoft. And thanks to all those involved in getting me noticed, and to those that generally kept my spirits up, and helped me over 2008 both technically and personally. I've had some amazing fun times with SMS and ConfigMgr in the 5 or so years I've been full on with the products, and hope to do so for many a year to come!

    My first action as an MVP is to give you all a day off! How incredibly nice is that of me?!?!

    Here's my MVP Profile, along with the directory of all 37 (to date) Configuration Manager MVP's around the Globe

    Posted Jan 02 2009, 12:26 PM by Robs Blog - MVP
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