David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small. I specialise in Windows Intune and SBS 2008.
This blog is purely the personal opinions of David Overton. If you can't find the information you were looking for e-mail me at admin@davidoverton.com.

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  • I've been called something's before, but this is the 1st time I've been call the "The British Scoble(iser)"

    I was at a Citrix event last week. It was a good event with my role explaining to people that "no", Microsoft and Citrix don't hate each other and in fact our technologies are very, very complementary. I'll post on the Microsoft, Citrix, Virtualisation (Terminal Services, Application, Desktop and Server) later, but part way through I got talking to Jon Silk from Lewis and we discovered that we both blogged to communicate with the world and have a conversation. I happened to mention the fact that I had 1.5M page hits last month and about 65,000 unique people (excluding search engines) visit the blog every month and look what he wrote... The British Scoble(iser) I met David Overton, ISV Partner Account Manager at Microsoft, at a conference today. We nervously circled each other over the bad coffee making polite comments. Then he let slip that his blog gets 65,000 unique visitors a month and I realised I was talking to the UK's answer to you-know-who . Check out his approach to blog design. We are at opposite ends of the spectrum... Even so, I'll be following him from now on (via RSS, where it can't hurt my eyes so much). Now, while this is very, very flattering I don't think I have quite the same outlook, access or sponsorship as Robert Scoble did while he worked for Microsoft, but I do get reasonable access to businesses of all sizes and tend to speak my own mind!! I'll try to live up to the brand... so as always, feedback is grateful!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Scoble , Microsoft , UK , British Scoble
  • BBC NEWS - Machines 'to match man by 2029' says Kurzweil

    I've mentioned it before - Dr Kurzweil is a very interesting man. Wikipedia describes him as: Raymond Kurzweil ( pronounced /kɚzwaɪl/) (born February 12 , 1948 ) is an inventor and futurist. He has been a pioneer in the fields of optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis , speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments . He is the author of several books on health , artificial intelligence , transhumanism , technological singularity , and futurism . The BBC has picked up on an interesting article about the future and the challenges facing humanity for which Ray contributed. Machines 'to match man by 2029' By Helen Briggs Science reporter, BBC News, Boston Tiny machines could roam the body curing diseases Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029, a leading US inventor has predicted. Humanity is on the brink of advances that will see tiny robots implanted in people's brains to make them more intelligent, said Ray Kurzweil. The engineer believes machines and humans will eventually merge through devices implanted in the body to boost intelligence and health. "It's really part of our civilisation," Mr Kurzweil explained. "But that's not going to be an alien invasion of intelligent machines to displace us." Machines were already doing hundreds of things humans used to do, at human levels of intelligence or better, in many different areas, he said. Man versus machine "I've made the case that we will have both the hardware and the software to achieve human level artificial intelligence with the broad suppleness of human intelligence including our emotional intelligence by 2029," he said. read the rest, including the list of challenges at BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Machines 'to match man by 2029' ttfn David Technorati Tags: Personal , Off Topic
  • Intel chip pass two billion transistors milestone - Tukwila!

    I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - now that performance includes scaling "on chip", this 4 core chip is the next step. This chip is for servers, so I don't expect to see it on my desktop any time soon! Chips pass two billion milestone By Jonathan Fildes Science and technology reporter, BBC News The chip has four separate cores The first chip to pack more than two billion transistors has been launched by silicon giant Intel. The quad-core chip, known as Tukwila, is designed for high-end servers rather than personal computers. It operates at speeds of up to 2GHz, the equivalent of a standard PC chip. It marks the latest milestone in chip technology; Intel released the first processor to contain more than one billion transistors in 2006. "It's not revolutionary, it's another evolutionary step," said Malcolm Penn, an analyst at Future Horizons, of Tukwila. Lots more at BBC NEWS | Technology | Chips pass two billion milestone ttfn David Technorati Tags: Intel , Multi-core , Server
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  • Nano-tech to use old mechanical designs to implement technology rather than simply copying silicon

    One of my University lecturers help at the London Science Museum to build the Babbage difference engine around twenty years ago. Engines like this which is very mechanical based are obviously simple ways to implement functions of modern cpus in nano technology. It was a a nice surprise to see the article " Antique engines inspire nano chip " where we see that this is progressing. “The blueprint for a tiny, ultra-robust mechanical computer has been outlined by US researchers. ”What we are proposing is a new type of computing architecture that is only based on nano-mechanical elements,” said Professor Robert Blick of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the authors of the journal paper. “We are not going to compete with high-speed silicon, but where we are competitive is for all of those mundane applications where you need microprocessors which can be slow and cheap as well.” ttfn David Technorati Tags: Nano Technology , Babbage , Difference Engine
  • Star Wars art work from Celebration Europe

    While I was at Star Wars Celebration Europe I managed to spend quite a bit of my unearned bonus on bits of "art". Some I will put pride of place on my wall, others will go in a tube because I don't have enough wall space. Here is what I bought (I just photographed them and then used a tool to remove the perspective from the photos, but don't expect print quality images): From Steven D Anderson the "Dark Avenger" poster, signed by him and one of 250 (11 / 250) and the little post card of the two ladies with blasters. Next up was Joe Corroney - I love his work especially since he also does some of the Star Wars comics. He has a web site http://JoeCorroney.com and his Star Wars blog can be found at http://blogs.starwars.com/joecorroney/70 . As you can see from the pictures on the left, I was lucky enough to not only get number 20 of 250 from his collection, but also the ORIGINAL PENCIL drawing that made this great poster. WOW, amazing and top. This is my best treasure from this event. For my sins, the next stand I never actually bought anything, but is easily worth a mention, which is Jake Steel - http://www.jake-art.com . I will be hunting down something from this man soon! Brian Rood had some fabulous posters, one of which was double sided. I liked his work so much I bought 3 sides (2 posters). The New Hope Posters are 39/250 (on both sides) and the think the Where Science Meets Imagination posters are un-numbered. Russell Walks had a couple of pieces there, one referencing Cell Block 1138 which I did not buy, but his other ones was very nice - showing characters from all 6 films. He signed his work and posed for a picture with Molly too . We also bought a couple of pencil sketch pieces from him. One of the nicest things about the Boba Fett one is that it was drawn for a celebration with Disney, another passion of mine, so he is carrying a Mickey Mouse autograph book - something truly original. Jerry Vanderstelt 's Yoda was eye catching, so much so that after much deliberation I went...
  • Star Wars Celebration Europe - How I got to re-shoot the Imperial storming of the Tantive IV and the final movie

    OK, so still need to do a all up post, but before I do, here is how I got to re-make the video. One item at the event was part of the set for the Tantive IV. The nice director and actors explained how shooting from different angles and by swapping bits out the set could be made to look even bigger etc. They then asked for 6 volunteers to be the "rebels" who die in this shoot. I was lucky enough to be picked, so off I went to wardrobe (yes, a proper costume maker, costumes and props). I quickly put on my rebel uniform with my 5 hapless colleagues and off we went to be briefed. We had to shoot 3 scenes and then these were to be edited into the original film, Scene 1- Running down the corridor toward the place we expect the imperials to board. while we are running, an explosion will rock us back (you have to act the explosion) and then on we go. Scene 2 - Run into position, line up your sites, then look above and back as you hear a noise and wonder what it is, then focus again on the big door. We had all been given numbers (I was 4) and when you number was called, your time was up. Die, but be careful to do so without falling into the middle as the Stormtroopers (who were volunteers from the 501 Garrison I think) could not see down well and would fall over you and get hurt if you got it wrong. Scene 3 - Play dead while Darth Vader comes to get you Unfortunately there was no way to take the final product home with us, so it was then a phone recording to keep afterwards. Since my little face is hard to see, I have some key shots below and then a link to the movie I recorded very badly at the end. Scene 1 - David runs on Scene 2 - David is wearing a heavy hat and all you get to see is the back of him Scene 2 - that "get your face on the screen" moment, but this short person and the pro actor behind me make my "face on the screen" when looking back, not very "me" Scene 2 - your death scene - hmm, can you see me... nope!! Scene 2 - remember that don't fall into the middle - well...
  • Star Wars Celebration Europe Photos on the site

    Hi, this is a quick note to say that I could not help myself - I went (sorry, I took my 7 year old daughter) to Celebration Europe. If you don't like Star Wars, then it is best you probably look away now. I got my (or in some cases Molly's) photo taken with all the stars and characters I could find including Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) , Anthony Daniels (C3PO) , Kenny Baker (R2D2) , Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) , Ray Parkes (Darth Maul) , Matthew Woods (Voice of General Grievas) and some of the leading artists down Artists Alley (picture is of Molly with Bonnie Burton and Tom Hodges) who wrote the book How to Draw Star Wars. I will post a long blog on the 2 days on "how I got to star in Star Wars", all the art we bought and a full run-down of what we did, but before that I wanted to share with the Star Wars fans out there my pictures - they can be found by going to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/starwars . I have not photographed the artwork yet, but will be doing so, so expect that to go up as well. ttfn David P.S. It was an amazing experience Technorati Tags: Star Wars , Celebration Europe , Mark Hamill , Luke Skywalker , Anthony Daniels , C3PO , Kenny Baker , R2D2 , Peter Mayhew , Chewbacca , Ray Parkes , Darth Maul , Matthew Woods , Voice of General Grievas
  • Green phone charging from Orange - designed for Glastonbury, but still useful

    Since I have been posting a few things on being greener, this is something that can help charge your phone on a beech, in the garden on anywhere else. Orange goes green for festival phone-fueling “Orange today launched a prototype wind-powered charger capable of delivering a constant supply of green juice despite “the unpredictable English climate”. How? The turbine charges a battery, and it’s from that power pack that the phone’s own battery is charged. It is, of course, a variation of one on humanity’s oldest devices, the windmill, though this time kitted out in suitable, sponsor-friendly colour. The windmil weighs a mere 150g - let’s hope it’s capable of being anchored against strong gusts - and is compact enough to be tucked into a rucksack.” ttfn David Technorati Tags: Climate Change , phone charging
  • e-Paper update

    Again from the Trends Blog . Big, color e-paper E-paper Still Coming Soon: LG.Philips LCD Teases World With A4 Color Electronic Paper “This is their all-new, world-first A4 electronic paper, a 4,096-color flexible 14.1-inch page made using “metal foil and plastic substrates rather than glass.” They only use power when the image changes and since they are reflective like real paper, they can be seen perfectly from any angle. Even under direct sunlight.” Slightly-flexible displays LOLED: Sony Flexi-OLED Screen Is Trouble Waiting to Happen “Today Sony showed off some 2.5-inch OLED screens that are capable of being slightly bent. It is made out of a glass substrate and is only .3mm thick. Supposedly the display has been created for lightweight, bigger and “softer” electronics” Interactive paper Digital paper with interactivity and sound “By combining paper with printed graphic codes and electronically conductive ink that is engineered to be sensitive to pressure. When the paper buttons are touched, the sound is played out via the printed speakers.” ttfn David Technorati Tags: e-Paper , trends
  • Sometimes I wish my brain was just 10% as capable as this

    I got this mail the other night that directed me to this video - it is of a Savant and the process he goes through to prove that he can "see" pi to 20,000+ decimal places and do amazing number feats (anyone do 37^4 in their head?). He was also able to perform other memory feats by turning what he saw into numbers. Bored, late at night having wound myself up with some programming issues, I decided to go stumbling through the web. The very first site was this Youtube video of a guy with an extra-ordinary brain. I think it’s ½ hour long, might be more – I just watched it from start to finish – but it is REALLY worth watching. Incredible. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4913196365903075662 I don't normally spend more than 5 mins on a site like this, but ended up walking through this video constantly amazed at his skill. Upon further investigation it turns out that this man, Daniel Tammet, has a book and blog site - http://www.optimnem.co.uk/ - possibly worth getting! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Daniel Tammet , Savant
  • Fantastic looking MiniPC's from Engadget - SA800 is stacked and ready to roll

    As is always the case, saw this and thought I would pass it on. Oh modular box of silicon affection, how we love thee. The latest -- the SA800 -- from MiniPC (Japan) is a DIY house of fun packing up to a Core 2 Duo T7600, 2GB of 667MHz DDR2 memory, 2.5-inch 40GB SATA disk, and an Intel 945GT chipset. Want more disk, no problem, stack a 3.5-incher in an extra slab above. Better video with HDMI-out or optical drives? Yup, they've got a stackable component for that and more. Have it your way starting early July in Japan. MiniPC's SA800 is stacked and ready to roll Posted Jun 29th 2007 8:57AM by Thomas Ricker Filed under: Desktops MiniPC's SA800 is stacked and ready to roll - Engadget ttfn David Technorati Tags: MiniPC , SA800 , Stacked
  • You know I like sailing, one day I might even own a big boat, but I hope this does not happen to it - ever!

    This is 110% off topic - http://www.yachtforums.com/forums/general-yachting-discussion/7055-splash.html shows how NOT to launch a multi-million pound boat. ttfn David
  • WOW!!! Microsoft Surface has just made me say - "I have to have one" and so does everyone else in the family too. This is seriously cool (and not really much to do for most small businesses)

    [updated 1:05 with more information and moving silverlight code to a 2nd page] I'm a difficult person to impress - Silverlight is one technology that impresses me seriously as to the future direction of media and web applications. Now however we have a new platform that I really like the look of - Surface . Have a look at the web site - see the possibilities of this touch and object sensitive device. Put a camera on it and the pictures poor out of it. look at photos and movies on it. It is just a wow, how cool is that type of device. Maybe I should run some form of competition on the blog and see if anyone wants to win one when they ship!! For more information go to www.microsoft.com/surface/ with the "Executive Q&A: What the new surface computing category means for Microsoft and consumers" found at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/may07/05-29Surface.mspx and the general PR at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/may07/05-29MSSurfacePR.mspx . Finally you can see more at http://www.on10.net/Blogs/larry/first-look-microsoft-surfacing-computing/ . I have uploaded some photos to the site , but since I wanted to show how easy Popfly was too so instead have a look at the photos using Silverlight too. [updated to remove silverlight dependency on viewing the blog, however you can click the image to see the carousel working for real] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Surface , SIlverlight , popfly , table
  • BBC News Online | Technology | Decoys fix quantum key swapping

    As some of you might know, my background was in Security for a while and I studied how Quantium keys and security could be used while at University (RHUL for those who want to look it up, although for me it used to be called Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, University of London). Anyway, quantum keys and entanglement were the talk of the days and how bullet proof they were. Well now it appears that they might not be quite so amazing, or at least our ability to use them without leakage. Anyway, I saw this at the BBC technology site and it is nice to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel :-) Decoys fix quantum key swapping British scientists have found a way to fix a vulnerability in quantum cryptographic systems. If left unpatched, the flaw would make it possible to grab information about the keys used to scramble information without being detected. The flaw emerges because of the way that laser diodes emit the photons of light used to carry quantum key data. Using decoy photons, researchers can spot when attackers are eavesdropping on secure communication channels. Source: BBC News Online | Technology | Decoys fix quantum key swapping ttfn David Technorati tags: Security , Quantium
  • HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software (Beta Release for Windows) - The future after JPEG?

    I'm not really much of a photographer myself - all my cameras are snappers and the pictures I take are just that - snaps. Now Jo in the Office is a Pro and has sold many of her photographs. Every so often I ask her about Office Collaboration, SharePoint, Content Management to understand what can be used in the small biz space and then spend time talking about which camera I should get :-) I heard recently about HD Photo which is "and format for end to end digital photographers" (Press release " Microsoft Announces HD Photo, a New Imaging File Format With Advanced "). It is worth noting that to speed release there is a HD Photo Plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® Software (Beta Release for Windows) too. If you've ever paid close attention to your photos you will know that a "lossy" format means that you loose some of the detail compared to the original, but get much smaller files. Now "HD Photo fully preserves the original image fidelity with high dynamic range while still allowing for significant improvement in compression size." It might even help my snaps look better too. ttfn David Technorati tags: HD Photo , Adobe Photoshop , WIndows Vista , Digital Photography
  • Korea sees robotics as a key future area and is pumping in R&D to build on it, Robots learning to walk, Robots helping the elderly and finally the Microsoft

    I really like to see robotics coming ahead leaps and bounds and also a bit of Azimov fear and the requirements of "ethical roles and functions". I have a lego Mindstorm kit that Mel bought me a while back, but somehow I don't think this is quite where they are. Having said that, if you are into robotics, it might be worth you having a look at http://msdn.microsoft.com/robotics/ ttfn David Technorati tags: robotics Robotic ethics Robotic age poses ethical dilemma “The South Korean government has identified robotics as a key economic driver and is pumping millions of dollars into research. “The government plans to set ethical guidelines concerning the roles and functions of robots as robots are expected to develop strong intelligence in the near future,” the ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy said.” Learning to walk Walking robot steps up the pace “A humanoid robot is teaching itself to walk and eventually run around a California research lab. Dexter took its first tentative steps only a few days after it first discovered how to stand upright. Dexter’s designers say their robot differs from commercially available predecessors because it can learn from its mistakes.” Robots for the elderly University of Tokyo crafts tea-grabbing humanoid to serve you better “In an effort to create a tactical team of droids ready and willing to serve the aging population of Japan, the team is working with Kawada Industries Inc. to create friendly robots that can assist folks with around the house chores such as pouring tea and cleaning the dishes. Several models were out and about during a recent demonstration, as one wheeled bot delivered beverages to its master, and other renditions responded to human movements and the bevy of sensors installed in the floor and sofa of a room.”
  • I'm sorry - I am not perfect and nor is Microsoft. Sometimes it is our fault

    I can be abrasive sometimes and whether it "is my fault" or not, I don't always understand others' point of views. To this I would like to say "It is my fault". Now, if you have got up off the floor, let me give you a few examples. I say "contact our customer support" and you say "I don't have time". Before I rant - OK, I understand this, if you could share the bug at some time, we will try to fix it. We haven't been able to identify it yet, so need your help I say "There is no OEM media, get over it" and you say "I need OEM media to do my installs". OK, I can't fix this one. I do understand where you are coming from. If I were to share the fact that in the UK, which is a low piracy country, our tests so far have shown between 10-15% of all copies of Windows are pirated and many come from Action Packs and other OEM keys, does that help understand why this is such an issue? I do wish I could give you back OEM media, but I've been told it is just not possible. While Microsoft did publish the changes coming, I now get the impression that many did not realise that this was linked to the change in qualifying an upgrade, making the process different to Windows XP The list goes on, however why did I even start this? Well a man I respect lots is Joel. I started reading his latest filing: "Now I was fuming. Squiggly lines were coming up out of my head. I was a half hour late to work and had to go to the locksmith for a third time. I was tempted just to give up on him. But I decided to give this loser one more chance." "Seven steps to remarkable customer service http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/customerservice.html It then carries on: I stomped into the store, ready to unleash my fury. “It still doesn’t work?” he asked. “Let me see.” He looked at it. I was sputtering, trying to figure out how best to express my rage at being forced to spend the morning going back and forth. “Ah. It’s my fault,” he said. And suddenly, I wasn’t mad at all. Mysteriously, the words “it’s my fault” completely defused me. That was all it took...
  • Did you know how the world is changing - where the business is and what the future holds - have a look to find out

    I saw this posted internally http://www.scottmcleod.org/didyouknow.wmv and it reminded me of a talk Ray Kurzweil he once gave giving timelines for many things. It is worth having a poke around his site - http://www.kurzweilai.net/index.html?flash=1 and also at some of his predictions - http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/features/future_perfect/trans6.shtml . By 2009, we won't be carrying around notebook computers or even palmtops you won't see the computers. The visual display's will be written directly onto our retinas from eye glasses and contact lenses so we'll either see a virtual display hovering in air or, even more compellingly, the visual display can overtake our whole visual field of view and create, basically, visual virtual reality. ttfn David
  • Problems with Girlfriend 1.0 (&1.2), Fiancee 1.0 and Wife 1.0

    Again, this was sent to me by my good lady. This was sent to me by my wife as 2 of 2. The other one can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/01/16/problems-with-boyfriend-5-0-husband-1-0-and-nagging-5-3-humour.aspx Dear Technical Support, 18 months ago, I upgraded to Girlfriend 1.0 from DrinkingMates 4.2 , which I had used for years without any trouble. However, there are apparently conflicts between these two products and the only solution was to try and run Girlfriend 1.0 with the sound turned off. To make matters worse, Girlfriend 1.0 is incompatible with several other applications, such as LadsNightOut 3.1 , Football 4.5 , and Playboy 6.9 .Successive versions of GirlFriend proved no better. I tried a shareware program, Slapper 2.1 , but it had many bugs and left a virus in my system, forcing me to shut down completely for several weeks. Eventually, I tried to run GirlFriend 1.2 and Girlfriend 1.0 at the same time, only to discover that when these two systems detected each other they caused severe damage to my hardware. I eventually upgraded to Fiancée 1.0 , only to discover that this product soon had to be upgraded further to Wife 1.0 . While Wife 1.0 tends to use up all my available resources, it does come bundled with FreeSexPlus and Cleanhouse2007 . Shortly after this upgrade, however, I found that Wife 1.0 could be very unstable and costly to run. Any mistakes I made were automatically stored in Wife 1.0's memory and could not be deleted. They then resurfaced months later when I had forgotten about them. Wife 1.0 also has an automatic Diary , Explorer and E-mail filter , and can, without warning, launch TurboStrop and Multi-Whinge . These latter products have no Help files, and I have to try to guess what the problem is. Additional problems are that Wife 1.0 needs updating regularly, requiring ShoeShop Browser for new attachments and Hairstyle Express which needs to be reinstalled every other week. Also, when Wife 1.0 attaches itself to my Audi TT Convertible hard drive, it often crashes...
  • Problems with Boyfriend 5.0, Husband 1.0 and Nagging 5.3 (Humour)

    This was sent to me by my wife as 1 of 2. The other one can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/blogs/doverton/archive/2007/01/17/problems-with-girlfriend-1-0-amp-1-2-fiancee-1-0-and-wife-1-0.aspx Dear Tech Support: Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in the overall performance, particularly in the Flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. In addition, Husband 1.0 un-installed many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as: Football 5.0 , Rugby 4.3 and Cricket 3.0 . Conversation 8.0 no longer runs; it simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, to no avail. What can I do? Signed, Desperate ************************************************************* Dear Desperate: First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Try entering the command: C:/I-THOUGHT-YOU-LOVED-ME to download Tears 6.2 , which should automatically install Guilt 3.0 . If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewellery 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5 , Happy Hour 7.0 , or Beer 6.1 . WARNING: Beer 6.1 is a very nasty program that will create Snoring Loudly. CAUTION: Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law. This is not a supported application and will crash Husband 1.0 . In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot apply new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. I personally would recommend Hot Food 3.0 and Lingerie 7.7 . Good Luck, Tech Support
  • How the iPhone is changing the perception of Apple

    I think Apple can do some amazing things with hardware and making some categories exceptionally sexy (can you remember MP3 players before the iPod) is one of their core talents. This has led to a large following who "ooh" and "ahh" after almost anything Apple make from a keen almost religious following. I then saw the iPhone and was amazed by the number of people who said "wow, all that in one device - why hasn't anyone else thought of this" - I almost spilt my cornflakes - this is not a new. Then there was the "what a nice device" - I like to feel my buttons, so nope, this, along with a whole host of other phones like it is not for me. Is the styling great... well, each to their own. I think Vlad summarised it well with the iMeToo , but for some people, all the previous messaging about phones has not hit the mark and the iPhone might just be what some people need to move on their thinking as to what a device might do for them. Vijay links to seth's blog on this very subject at http://www.iqubed.biz/blog/?p=193 . I then noticed when browsing the Guardian Online that the whole "Reality Distortion field" around Steve Jobs is discussed: Is that Mr Jobs? This is reality calling, about your iPhone - Observer, Sunday January 14 2007, John Naughton Last week saw two events in the annual calendar of the computing industry. The first was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a gargantuan technofest that attracts thousands of companies, and tens of thousands of visitors every day. The second was Macworld Expo, the annual gathering of a small, semi-religious cult in San Francisco. One was the annual gathering of an (...) This surge of technoporn was just an especially vivid illustration of the 'Reality Distortion Field' that surrounds Jobs. And it turns out that the field distorts the judgment not just of journalists but also of 'analysts' who are paid to give detached advice to professional investors. The wonderful Good Morning Silicon Valley blog sampled the vapourings of these high-priced oracles and came up with some...
  • Seasons Greetings (Happy Christmas in my house) and throw snowballs at the UK Partner team

    Updated with game URL This is a simple festive one. The UK Partner team have a simple set of questions, which if you get enough right answers (of course you will all get 5 out of 5) then you get to throw snowballs at them. Fancy playing the quiz and game yourself? While they are all heros for the work they have delivered this year, including content for the SBSC members, the person I would personally aim for is Karl (suited on the left). I've only had a chance to play once, and I scored 17. Let me know how you do in the comments!! Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year from everyone at Microsoft, and from me!! ttfn David
  • Steve Job's Bloopers

    This happens to everyone - I've certainly had my demos die - especially at SMBNation in Amsterdam, so ho hum. However, so many people enjoy seeing others in pain, I thought I would share :-) http://soapbox.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=ac651701-cd09-4021-9008-bbc5950107f1 ttfn David
  • The UsefulTechnology Blog : The Joys of International Working

    The video on this blog is just amazing - this can be what it is like here, but a bit of planning and you can easily delay things to get time.. of course that delay might hit a product ;-) Link to The UsefulTechnology Blog : The Joys of International Working
  • Vlad Mazek - explains why Work Life Balance is so important

    I came across this on Vlad's blog - I think Vlad finally has a handle on Work Life Balance - have a look at his blog to see the picture and realise what he is saying when getting ready to walk down the Aisle and someone wants him to do just one more thing ;-) Congrats to Vlad as he is now a married man!! Dear Vlad, I am really running on a tight deadline here and as much as I can appreciate that you’re out of town I REALLY need an ETA on <SBS Show, Shockey Monkey, Vladfire>… I am running out of time. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Here is your ETA. Provided in 4MP resolution just in case you can’t see my ETA guarantee: Source: Vlad Mazek - Vladville Blog » Blog Archive » Can I have an ETA?
  • Happy 50th, hard drive. But will you make it to 60?

    I saw today that the good old hard disk is 50 years old - I remember my winchester drives, I remember my 1st PC 5MB hard disk. Now my laptop has 2 x 80GB hard disks and my PCs at home are powered by disks totaling a few TB. What is interesting is whether "platters" will be replaced by RAM in some way. To learn more, go look at Happy 50th, hard drive. But will you make it to 60? at ComputerWorld. ttfn David
  • Poor Chris Parkes - he compares his people ready business life to the marketing message - and brings down the house!!

    I am not one to laugh at other's misfortunes... or at least not very often, but Chris had arranged to go to the Kent Partner Group meeting, when I asked him how it went he gave me some story about hit house falling down. Being the sport he is, this is part of his blog entry on the whole sad affair. I still say it is an extreme way to avoid meeting partners, but that is Chris for you! I am sure he will be at the group soon! Source: Chris Parkes: A PC is not just for Christmas... : A Day in The Life (of the People Ready Business) A Day in the Life of...Ken 8:00 - 9:00 AM Check email/voicemail messages 9:00 - 10:00 Review cash on hand and bank balances 10:00 - 12:00 PM Attend scheduled meetings 12:00 - 1:00 Have lunch 1:00 - 2:00 Meet with accounting staff 2:00 - 3:30 Review finances/prepare reports 3:30 - 5:00 Continue work on current projects/work on the To Do list generated from meetings 5:00 - 7:00 PM Review and respond to email messages/work on a facilities issue/go home A Day in the Life of...Chris 2:15 - 2:30 AM Get woken up by an almighty crashing sound and vibrating floor/go downstairs to investigate 2:30 - 2:35 Realise that you can't get into the lounge as something is blocking the door/decide to leave until daylight/go back to bed. 2:35 - 3:15 Sleep 3:15 - 3:25 Wide awake again due to more noise. 3:25 - 7:00 Sleep 7:00 - 9:00 Head downstairs to find ceiling has fallen in/begin clean up operation/rescue TV and XBox 360. ttfn David
  • GPLv3 Could Kill Open Source, Top Linux Developers Warn

    Every product appears to have a license, even those that are "free" - interesting read that even the free licenses seem to be coming under fire. Many of the top Linux developers have announced their objections to the proposed GPLv3. In a position paper released Sept. 22, leading Linux developers like Andrew Morton, James E.J. Bottomley, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Christoph Hellwig, and six others explained in detail why they "reject the current license proposal." Source: GPLv3 Could Kill Open Source, Top Linux Developers Warn
  • Simple tool - online alarm clock - ever needed a really big alarm clock on your PC?

    Maybe it is just me, but I often want a huge clock on my PC when I am in a hotel, and I want there to be a wake up call. This web site gives me exactly what I want - http://onlineclock.net/ ttfn David
  • how up with technology (E-typed) is your neighbourhood (or Britain's digital tribes)

    I love the User Experience Trends Blog that covers all sorts of weird and wacky things, but saw this and just had to comment on it. UCL have mapped the country and put postcodes into technology usage. I didn't agree with mine, so added the feedback. Anyway, here is the item from the blog: Classifying by technology use Britain's digital tribes revealed . "Households in Britain can be classified into 23 "e-types" depending on their access to technology, say researchers. E-types include mobile explorers, the e-committed and rational utilitarians. [...] Every postcode in Britain has been assigned a classification which people can check online to see if they agree with the researcher's analysis. "What really emerges is that almost all of the types have some interaction with technology," said Professor Paul Longley, who led the study at UCL. "In a sense we are all digital now"" ttfn David
  • Personality test based on Jung - Myers-Briggs typology

    Someone recently asked me my Myers-Briggs personality type and while I had taken this test a long time ago, I could not remember my type. I went to the Personality test based on Jung - Myers-Briggs typology and answered the 40 questions. It came back with the following information - always an interesting read. Purely for fun. Your Type is ENTP Extroverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving Strength of the preferences % 22 12 38 22 ENTP type description by D.Keirsey ENTP type description by J. Butt and M.M. Heiss Qualitative analysis of your type formula You are: slightly expressed extrovert slightly expressed intuitive personality moderately expressed thinking personality slightly expressed perceiving personality ttfn David
  • Finger improving - stitches removed

    I am not one who likes to dwell on things, but the doctors have said I can drive and this is in part to the progress of my finger. I am off the big pain killers too, so the mind is less numbed, although I do now feel like I want my drugs back - they made the world a more smiley place. To see how I did this, go to here . For those who like the gross things in life, once again, some links to the gory detail: Finger from above before the stitches were removed Finger from side before the stitches were removed Finger from above after the stitches were removed ttfn David
  • Robbie and Susanne's Marathon - come join in

    Think of this as a 1st mover notification. I am always in awe of those who can motivate themselves to do physical exercise and even more so if it is also raising money for charity. Well Robbie and Susanne have decided to take up the challenge. They have a joint site that will feature blogs, training details, events and other useful information as well as guest speakers/ bloggers. The site is just beginning, but pop along to Robbie and Susanne's Marathon and support a good cause and then sponsor them both - I have - by clicking the two charity logos at the top. ttfn David
  • Great Weekend sailing that ended with me in A&E and St Mary's Hospital on the Isle of Wight

    I seem to be able to find trouble at the moment. I attended part 1 (3 of 5-days) of a competent crew training course designed to get me on the ladder to bigger and better sailing experience and finally teach me what the wind has to do with sailing. Over the three days we started with the basics, like how to make a distress call, only ever abandon a boat when you will be stepping up into a life raft, clothing, life jackets and how to use a toilet on a boat. We then progressed to the basics of sailing, so the naming of the various parts of the boat (I have real trouble remembering the shrouds). Finally we got on with the sailing and had some awesome days learning to sail in all weathers. As should be the way with sailing, each night was spent with much merriment and drinking, but as many of you know, I don't drink, smoke or swear ever, so I was always 1st up :-). We also arranged it so that the 3 men on the boat all had cabins and the 2 ladies shared the communal area - this might sound mean, but the men managed a snoring symphony, so being behind doors was good for everyone. On the second night we stopped at a lovely location - The Folly Inn in East Cowes and even managed to berth alongside the Inn, something most of the skippers and experienced sailors had never done before. The time here was spent having great food, some nice drink and watching the wedding party and two stag groups having fun besides the 6 sailing boats that we had brought. Bindi found an amazing dog that she brought out to show us, so we decided to set her a challenge of bringing us one of the stag boys and in less than 10 seconds, she bounded back with one as shown on the picture on the left. On the final day we had started late and had been sailing for about 2 hours when we decided to anchor up for a warm lunch before sailing back to Port Solent. We had already experienced a very rude Wight ferry that tried to run us down as we dared to sail the solent, even though they have the maneuverability and are supposed to avoid sail boats, meaning...
  • This is broken! Great web site about broken signs, projects etc

    I was reading this blog from the Live Writer site and came across this link - it is just one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. Link to ...the musings of a psycho...: This is broken! enjoy David
  • Zune Prototype published

    This is such a screaming laugh - " Silberbauer Says " have a published a picture of the Zune. Enjoy, but don't come whining to me that it is not like this when it is delivered!! ttfn David
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  • Power cuts due to the weather

    Folks, while the server is on a UPS now, the internet conenction seems to be more sensative to the lighting and thunder outside :-) Hopefully the server will not be down too often. ttfn David
  • David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)

    Many people ask me what I do and sometimes they are amazed with the answer "I help Microsoft Partners build solutions that deliver value to their small business partners – for free". This is a great job and part of it is to engage with as many partners as possible to improve the quality and knowledge around the solutions that can be built upon Microsoft technology. This year my role has a slightly different focus, but the way I achieve it will have many similarities. It has becoming important for me to ensure that partners are not just technically capable, but also selling solutions, sometimes even offering their customers alternative licensing options to suit their business needs. Some may see this as me selling out in some way, but while I love technology, if it is not applied correctly and you and I can't make money out of it, then there is a limit to the business value of the technology. I will still be blogging, posting on both business and technical ideas, but also be discussing how to sell solutions, what the licensing options truly mean, what extras you can add to a sale to add value for you and the customer. I'll even be discussing how online services are an opportunity for you, but more on this later. On this note, is there more I should do to help you sell more, have more customers and make more money? If so, let me know what is needed, whether it is something from Microsoft or David. Comments are open on this one, so fire a comment onto the blog. Expect to see a post on the work we are doing with the Technet team to get you even more technical resources and the process for access to all those nice betas, hosted services and where they fit as part of a solution and the options on licensing to make it easier for your customer to understand the value of technology and even buy earlier. Ttfn David
  • After Vlad’s suicide note, and Susanne said people were changing their lives, what is happening in mine

    1 st off, go and read Vlad and Susanne's blog entries. Is this a so long and thanks for all the fish post? Have I been lying to you all this time and I don't really care about the community or the partners that toil in this part of the business? No, or at least not to it all, but my life has new perspectives now and this will have an impact. Lets' look at what happened - I went to the Worldwide Partner Conference and helped present at a couple of mobility sessions and attended the 1 st ever Small Business Symposium - 600 people attending to work out about partnering with Microsoft in the small biz marketplace. It was a storm. I also went to a few parties and very, very much enjoyed myself. Those of you who know me well know I don't drink much as I am nearly always driving - well not in Boston, so the drink was certainly flowing too. It got me thinking - what was my end goal in life? "To Live to Work, or Work to Live?" I have a new baby ( http://uksbsguy.com/lizzy ), a family and need my own life and they were not getting the attention they need. Thinking about all this just completed the world spinning effect I felt last week. I spoke to several important and close friends and after wallowing for a week, I am now in fix mode. I did considered leaping off the world right there, finding a new job in the US as it was hot, sunny and without many worries (we called it staying in "LA LA" land), but that would have left the rest of my life in tatters and actually did not help me with what I wanted - it was just a nice place with nice people. So I have worked hard to put things back together, but I have decided that I can't spend the time I currently do with technology - so some would say "no more mister nice guy" as there will be less "let me just fix that for you" things I will do." I've also decided to scratch a couple of the other itches I have had, which means that I am off to get qualified as crew and then skipper for my small sailing bug, maybe do...
  • Queenie (Susanne Dansey) meets Allison Watson, as did Chris, but who is Allison Watson?

    If you know anything about the Microsoft Partner organization then you should know that Allison Watson heads it up. Susanne Dansey comments on her blog that she recently met Allison at the UK Party in the evening at the Worldwide Partner Conference. A bit of background has just hit the press on Allison Watson and it shows how determined she is to improve the life of a Microsoft Partner. Further proof that some of us are human – really. Ttfn David
  • Web site layout changes – temporary while site is upgraded

    I have just updated the site to a beta of the next version of Community Server which means the nice theme I normally use has stopped working. I will look at why next week, so again we are back to the "old" style of interface. Ttfn David
  • Off to Partner Conference in Boston - see you blogging from there

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I am due to fly today @ 11am to Boston for the Partner Conference - if you are going then I will see you there, if not, you can read about it here. ttfn David
  • UK Managing Director Leaves the UK bound for Microsoft Corp - welcome to Gordon Frazer from South Africa

    Today we had a bit of a kick of for FY07 (Financial Year 07 in Microsoft) and a review of FY 06. We had a healthy year with excellent growth (this is no way a prediction of the MS Company results) and we also did a bit of sweeping a few things out. It has been speculated for a little while that Alistair Baker would be moving on and today we had it confirmed. As of 31st July, the new MD of MS UK will be Gordon Frazer from the South African Sub. He did seem like a very positive and fired up person, so I think this will be nothing but goodness, as will having another Brit in the power halls at MS in the States. For the press release, have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/uk/press/content/presscentre/releases/2006/07/PR03662.mspx ttfn David
  • Bad links now fixed

    Sooo many of you clicked the links in the posts from the last two days, but got an OWA screen that I had to go back and edit about 16 posts. All fixed now - thanks to Rob for pointing it out. ttfn David
  • Draft release of my web log analyser tool (using IIS Log files)

    People have asked for my tools I use to produce my site statistics, so I have released a draft cut. It should all work. To get the best out of it you need a $20 subscription to http://www.maxmind.com/app/web_services_guide#city and MapPoint , but otherwise it works - without both these it is fully functional, but no maps. The source can be found at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry735.aspx and the exes at http://uksbsguy.com/files/11/files/entry736.aspx . ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Feel the force - See Star Wars Lego II - The Original Trilogy Game - AWESOME

    As some of you may know, I am a true Star Wars Geek. I love all 6 films - yes, even Jar Jar. I had heard about the 2nd game - me & Molly are loving the 1st game and then I saw this on MSN Video - amazing! Cool features - all the characters, the ability to go off piste with any vehicle and the ability to take characters apart and create new ones - just like you would with Lego Pieces :-) ttfn David
  • Giving money to good causes - Warren Buffet follows Bill and Melinda

    One of the reasons I picked Microsoft to work for was that I felt the company had a goal stronger than "to make money for the shareholders", but also to actually do some good in the world. Bill Gates has announced that he is planning to slowly transisition to a part time role in Microsoft over the next two years to dedicate his time to the Bill and Melinda Foundation who have already given away billions to help those in need. (See http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060615.htm for Bill's transition. For some astounding stats, look at http://www.gatesfoundation.com/MediaCenter/FactSheet/ - snipped from it: Number of employees: 241 Endowment: $29.2 billion Total grant commitments since inception: $10.5 billion Total 2005 grant payments: $1.36 billion Illustrative Grant Commitments United Negro College Fund , Gates Millennium Scholars Program - $1 billion The GAVI Alliance - $1.5 billion Malaria Vaccine Initiative - $258 million Save the Children , Saving Newborn Lives - $110 million United Way of King County , Seattle, WA, - $55 million Knowledgeworks Foundation - $20 million National Council of Culture & Arts , Mexico Library Project - $11.7 million Public Access Computing Hardware Upgrade Program , Multiple library systems - $5.3 million Now I read that Warren Buffet is to give away 85% of his 40B$ wealth to charity, with 5/6 going to the above fund. For more info, see http://www.gatesfoundation.com/AboutUs/Announcements/Announce-060625.htm This is what I want to help others do, while Microsoft makes lots of donations, by making MS successful, I enable these people to continue to do this. I think Microsoft donates something like 7% of its cash each year to good causes - not many other companies can say they do that. When working recently with the SBS product team in the UK I discovered that we give away 4+ copies of SBS plus associated software to UK needy causes a month. That is just SBS, we also give away many other products too. I know that the nay sayers could say "why not give away...
  • Site look and feel updated

    I found some amazing site themes at http://japan.communityserver.info/ and have updated the default site with this. If you wish to change it back, click http://uksbsguy.com/user/EditProfile.aspx and select the site theme of "default for CS2.0". You might also notice the Posts on this site Zoom Cloud showing you a cloud of the keywords mentioned on the site. See the site in it's full glory at http://uksbsguy.com ttfn David
  • Off Topic - How not to retain customers - Someone wants to cancel their AOL subscription

    I just had tto post this. Microsoft sometimes gets a bit of a kicking about support, but things like the Official SBS podcast , changes to search on our http://support.microsoft.com site, people like me and even the huge SBS community have changed most peoples experience with our support. When I say this, you just have to laugh in amazement as to what was going through this guys mind? http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=5ff445af-bf5c-4c3c-9424-ff467ea97a87&f=rssimbot_us_default ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Raise money for NSPCC (UK Childrens charity) while searching the internet using clickscount.co.uk

    I know this is s a small one, but if you go to http://www.clickscount.co.uk to try your internet web searches, you will rasie money for the NSPCC each time you click. Underneath is the MSN Search engine, which has improved hand over fist over the last few months, but it has got to be worth a try, even if it is just for MS related information. ttfn David
  • OFF TOPIC - Overton Family has another child - Lizzy May

    Hello everyone, just a quick note to say that today Lizzy May was born into this world at 2:24am GMT. She is happy and health, as is her mum and the rest of us. She weighs 6lbs 15 1/2 ounces and was 54cms long. If you want to see some lovely pictures, go to http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/category1018.aspx obviously this will slow down some of the posts over the next few days or weeks. ttfn David
  • Off-Topic - get the football results results live on your desktop

    Yes! The Soccer World Cup started yesterday! The Windows Client team contributes to this awesome event with the super cool Football Scoreboard. T his gadget enables you to track the teams and results in real-time. Don’t miss out on any important goal! The useful applet is part of the Value of Genuine initiative driving up compliance. It only runs if the user has a genuine Windows installed. Spread the word, let friends and family know about this great tool! Have a great World Cup experience with Windows Genuine Advantage! The applets can be found on: German download French download English download
  • Are you a Small Business Specialist, a SBS 2003 Specialist, a small business technology specialist or an IT Techy?

    I have met a whole bunch of partners over the last couple of weeks, all requesting different things, and it has got me thinking - are you / do you want to be a specialist or generalist and then do you want to be all things to a business, or a super capable techy? First off, if you are a generalist, then this honestly means that you are a "Jack of all trades and a master of none" - well either that or you seriously need to get some more sleep. I prefer working with people who specialise in a few areas rather than those who try to do anything. If you do want to appear bigger and have a broader skill set, why not try relying on your local community of SBSC partners and farm out things you don't know well to those you can trust and become amazing at the things you do. If you fear competition with these guys, it is worth remembering a couple of things. 1st off, there are 4m small businesses in the UK and around 500 SBSC partners - that works out at 8,000 customers each - do you really think you are all going to compete or have the ability to service more than your fair share? Also, your customers should work with you because they trust you - do things to ensure that trust is maintained, be more than a super techy, and your position is assured. On the business or technical front, this is a key question in the small business space. As a pure techy, you work to make the technology do amazing things, but perhaps you don't actually drive the business decision in your customers, you respond to them. You see, you cannot be a super techy (IMHO - please comment if you disagree) AND a super business person at the same time. To cover both, you need to de-focus a little on one or the other so that you are good at best, but not great at both, but then remember this and think about calling in the cavalry should it be required - whether this is MS Support or one of the partners around you. The key here is that if you want to drive the business in your customers, you need someone else to be the super techy at times. Now, if you want to...
  • New Microsoft web site design tool – Expression Web Designer

    Microsoft is launching a number of products over the next two years, which means a number of products coming into beta. Many of these cans be used by skilled small business IT consultants to build better solutions for customers. One such tool is the Expression Web Designer. It is designed to be highly accurate to online standards, ensuring greater compliance with a variety of browsers. It also makes extensive use of CSS to ensure a greater standard across sites. Finally, providing access to data and enabling data manipulation tasks through the browser is a key capability. To see more and downloads the product, go to http://www.microsoft.com/products/expression/en/default.mspx and watch the videos and start playing today. Ttfn David
  • Off-topic – Get a bit of Vista technology on Windows XP - Windows Media Player 11 (wmp11) beta

    I know this is off topic, but as a beta tester of Windows Vista, I have also been using the new media player to manage my music. The new ways of organising music and seeing what is in albums or podcasts has got easier. WMP also now handles pictures, which given the number of them I have, it is a nice change to see this functionality off of Media Center systems. So, to get the new UI, formats and ease of management, go have a look at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/default.aspx Ttfn David

(c)David Overton 2006-13