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
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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...

(c)David Overton 2006-13