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.  

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  • I’m taking a break from Microsoft

    Hi, I’ve always been open and honest on my blog and it is time to share broadly the news that I’ve left Microsoft.  I’ve been considering my career and a few things became apparent. I wanted a break .  When I joined Microsoft over 12 years ago, a sabbatical was part of the deal.  While this changed during my employment, I’ve decided to take one anyway, so I’ve been putting my feet up over the last few weeks and will continue to do so into the new year.  Obviously, I’m not sitting at home completely idle, but it does mean that I’m generally here when my girls get home from school and cannot say a pressing piece of work is keeping me from spending time with them.  This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but not been able to do so while in full time employment.  Playing The Gunstringer (includes Fruit Ninja Kinect) with Lizzy or visiting the Royal Institute with Molly tonight for the filming of the Christmas Lectures are just two highlights. Finding a new passion .  Looking...
  • Getting my Nokia Lumia 800 to work with Virgin Mobile UK MMS settings (and trimming the SIM too)

    I recently fell of the back of a boat which resulted in my faithful Samsung Omnia being written off.  Since this was a personal phone, I decided to upgrade to a Nokia Lumia 800 as it looked like a fab phone.  I have so far not been disappointed, however I hit two problems. The first was that my SIM was not a micro-sim. I contacted Virgin who told me they were very soon to launch a micro-sim, but not yet.  I bought a 30-day sim from Vodafone in the short term, but then discovered that I could trim the current SIM to fit by following the detailed instructions at http://www.solutios.com/simcutting/ .  All has been happy until my wife asked about sending MMS pictures from her phone.  When I tried to do it from mine, I discovered that it kept on failing with an error and asking me to try again.  This has been the second challenge that I have had with the phone! Searching the web found many frustrated people, some who had resorted to resetting their phones to factory defaults to get things...
  • Finally got all the Christmas Lights up for 2011 on the new house

    Hi all, I thought I would share my Christmas lights – I do love them David
  • Christmas lights - Stage 1 of new home lighting

    Hi, I love Christmas.  I’m not religious, but I really enjoy the happiness it brings people and the fact that everyone seems to spend time not working, with their families or unwinding.  One way I do this is through putting a stupid number of lights on my house.  For the last few years it has looked like this: I moved to a new house this year, so things are a little different.  I’ve not finished yet, but this is what I have so far.  The "train” is hidden and once it is all completed, I will share the final picture.   Just sharing my little pleasure (although I think my electricity supplier likes me doing this as well!)   David
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  • Snow around the home

    It appears to be a snowy time for many people at the moment, so I thought I would share a few pictures from chez Overton.             I hope your enjoying the weather and not freezing.   take care David Technorati Tags: Snow Personal
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  • Late post on the Christmas lights on my house for Christmas

    I was late putting the lights up for Christmas due to an operation on my hand, however they made it.  You can see them here - http://davidoverton.com/media/p/12744.aspx and http://davidoverton.com/media/p/12743.aspx   and Thanks and Happy New Year David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Christmas lights , personal
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  • David Overton on Channel 4's 3 minute wonder - Crisis - my depression!

    It seems like an age ago that I spoke with a film crew about my daughter's at Microsoft's nursery and about the depression that first came visiting over 3 years ago now.  As a result they spent some time with us as we put up the Christmas lights on the house .  This is always a cheerful time of the year for me, but as the video shows I am still very aware of my unhappy side and the understanding my family, especially Melanie show towards me. This simple 3 minute video aired mid-August on Channel 4, but until now was not legally available on line.  Martin, the producer has made mine and the other 7 videos available at http://vimeo.com/channels/microsoftbabies .  All the videos show how the families of Microsoft employees live, work and look after their loved ones.  Mine, shockingly titled Crisis is embedded below: CRISIS from Martin Hampton on Vimeo .   I hope you get to see the very human side of the people that make up Microsoft UK.   thanks   David
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  • It has been a while on the blog

    Well hello again, I've been away for quite some time - work has been very time consuming and two members of my family have required some dedicated attention while they have not been feeling well (and no, no swine flu). I'm hoping to start finding more time to "do" the blog and potentially a "tips and tricks" section for SBS 2008 based on my learning's to date. I do still have quite some work backlog, but I'll try to post some of the blog backlog too - I have hundreds of items to post!! See you soon - and keep the questions coming. David
  • SBS 2008, Installing, migrating and configuring BOOK now available to pre-order

    [updated 2nd May 2009] Hi everyone. My SBS 2008 book is in now available to order. Details below. If you want to ask questions once you have the book, go to http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?13 . To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration David Overton Set up and run your small business server making it deliver big business impact · Step-by-step guidance through the installation and configuration process with numerous pictures · Successfully install SBS 2008 into your business, either as a new installation or by migrating from SBS 2003 · Configure hosted web sites for public and secure information exchange using Office Live for Small Business and Office Live Workspaces · An illustrative book for people with basic technical skills and no SBS background In More Detail Available April 2009. Order now! Cover price £24.99 Packt Special Offer £22.49 save 10% Multi-buy Discount £20.49...
  • How to upgrade (migrate) from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 on the same system without using a swing migration

    Someone posted this question on a discussion group at work and it got me thinking. If you bought a nice new system over the last 2 or so years in preparation for SBS 2008 (Cougar as was or even SBS v.Next) and had it installed with SBS 2003 you've probably heard that SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 is a 2 box migration and needs the Swing technique to do an on box migration. I've come up with a much simpler solution, but your hardware might need some additions to make it work. So here is what you need: Box with 6GB of RAM minimum (4GB for SBS 2008, 1GB for SBS 2003 and 1GB for Hyper-V server). 1 new disk for SBS 2008 system disk and 1 disk to hold Hyper-V (which could be small if desired or temporary) System that meets the minimum system requirements of Hyper-V ( http://www.microsoft.com/servers/hyper-v-server/system-requirements.mspx ) You need to ensure your hardware is really up to spec and is fit enough that you want your new SBS 2008 system to run on it for the next 2+ years, otherwise this may well be a false...
  • David Overton's first book - Installing and Configuring SBS 2008, including migration from SBS 2003

    [updated 5th May 2009] Hi, If you are interested in ordering a copy, click here and you will be taken through to the Packt Publishing ordering page, with a choice of electronic (e-book in for form of a PDF) or Softback traditional book or both available for immediate shipment . If you are interested in other locations, click here . For a small amount of information on each chapter, see the items below. Introductions Introduction to SBS 2008 Preparing to migrate from SBS 2003 Installing SBS 2008 and connecting to the Internet Migrating systems and settings from SBS 2003 Migrating email from Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 Migrating the CompanyWeb SharePoint site Migrating users and data from SBS 2003 Configuring your services Securing your server Managing users and their computers Working with SBS Services as a user Introduction to SBS 2008 management The chapter flow is well described by this picture: To order the book click http://davidoverton.com/r.ashx?1M Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration...
  • Microsoft job cuts: thousands of UK staff at risk - ComputerWeekly.com - What a load of old rubbish

    [updated post MS announcement on 22nd January 2009] I hate bad journalism and this is a really good prime example. Microsoft job cuts: thousands of UK staff at risk Author: Cliff Saran Posted: 11:08 05 Jan 2009 Rumours are spreading on the web that up to 3000 staff at Microsoft UK could face redundancy. Up to 30,000 jobs worldwide could be at risk, as the company battles with the economic crisis, which has led to businesses spending less on software Microsoft like any other business is facing financial pressure, so I'm sure there will be a squeeze, but there are less than 3,000 employees at Microsoft UK, so cuts of 3,000 staff would remove Microsoft UK from the map. Maybe someone lent on the keyboard too much and put an extra zero or two on the end. I'm absolutely not in the know, but this is clearly (I hope) bull writing at it's best. New people join and others leave Microsoft all the time, just like any enterprise. In the past the balance has been tipped so that more people join than those who want...
  • Steve from Sytec saw me …

    Steve sent me this earlier in December, but I thought it was worth sharing. Here is the photo he took: ttfn David Technorati Tags: David Overton , Overton , Personal , UK Train Stations
  • Christmas season arrives at the Overton Home, except Yipp Productions for Channel 4 TV were there!

    This year, like all others for the last 10 years we’ve decorated our house with Christmas lights.  We have at least 3 different religious views in our house, which is amazing considering there are two adults and two children, aged 8 and 2, however we love the smiles the lights bring to ours and others' faces, so each year it gets a little grander (or kitch or tacky!). The pictures from this year can be found at http://davidoverton.com/media/g/doverton/tags/Christmas/Personal/default.aspx .  Below is what the outside of my study looks like! So, why Yipp for Channel 4 this year?  The house is “well lit up”, but not enough to make the news, however being a working dad who has had some trials and tribulations, and very much being in the right place at the right time meant I was asked if I would mind being filmed and having a chat about life.  Yipp recruited Martin Hampton to come along, ably assisted by Katie.  You should be able to hear about my life in a very short film clip next year...
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  • I’m a PC and I’m a school governor

    Microsoft’s campaign now has David (UKSBSGUY) in it!! I love PC’s, I love freedom to choose between a PC, a MAC or anything else, but I CHOSE PC’s. I love SBS 2008 and I love small businesses that make the world go round. I also love my family and I’m amazed by the people at my local infants school, so I give back by being a school governor. If you want to know more about the school, go to http://www.yateley-inf.hants.sch.uk/index.html . David Technorati Tags: imapc , Personal , Microsoft , uksbsguy , Windows
  • Star Wars Clone Wars and Robot Chicken both rock

      and  This weekend I finally got to see Star Wars The Clone Wars and while my Star Wars sensibilities were offended for the 1st 5 minutes (the voices are different and my eyes had to get used to the new visuals), but once I had done so both Molly and I really enjoyed the film. If you like simple fun, then you should also look at the Clones Vs Droids Game at http://www.clonesvdroids.com/ .  It is very simple, move your troops around, plan your shots and then see if your shots work, assuming your opponent moves too.  I have to say it took a few goes to master when playing against real opponents as first they moved than I had expected and then they actually jumped onto my “side” – something I was not prepared for!  Have a go, it is fun!     Finally, on my Star Wars-tastic adventure there is Robot Chicken.  This short DVD is based on the former works of Robot Chicken – the stop motion animation group take their normal themes and apply them to Star Wars.  I really, really...
  • Watching Pink at in Atlanta

    Just thought I had to add a quick post to explain why I have a bunch of Pink photos on the blog site. While at an internal Microsoft event the final day treat was time at Six flags with Pink. I’m a great Pink fan, although not all Microsoft employees were, which meant that when Pink tried for audience participation she didn’t quite get the reaction she was hoping for. Anyway, some of the thumbnails are below and more on the link above. ttfn David
  • 4 painful days while davidoverton.com transfers ownership and gets powered up again

    Well, this is one of those “I should have called support earlier mails”. I’ve been trying for about 3 months to get my davidoverton.com domain transferred from one vendor to the vendor I use for all the others. All attempts failed, so last night I phoned Australia to try and get it fixed and now the transfer is underway. However, the transfer has a 4 day “cooling off” period, so the domain is in limbo. Most people still access via uksbsguy.com, so most traffic will get through, but expect a few problems!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: personal , uksbsguy.com , davidoverton.com
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  • What software could you not live without – tell Windows Vista Magazine?

    I’ve just noticed this blog post on the Windows Vista Magazine - What software could you not live without? We’re searching for the 100 best programs for Windows Vista – and we need your help! By James Stables on 08 July 2008 In our October 2008 issue we will be compiling a list of the 100 best pieces of software which power up Windows Vista. These are the pieces of software you would never run Windows without, which make a difference to your everyday life and that you would recommend to all other readers. We want to hear your ideas to make sure no stone goes unturned and no program is left out. This is a great opportunity for the Windows Vista Magazine community to share the combined experiences and knowledge that help make this one of the most diverse magazines on the market. Leave us a comment saying what should be in our software top 100. I’ve just left my list, which to be complete is also below: My core products: Vista Office 2007 - for my work Live Writer for blogging Live Messenger to communicate To tweak...
  • Vote for me in the ComputerWeekly.com IT Blog Awards 08

    Hi, so I made it – thank-you to those who nominated me – now it’s time to vote for me!! If you like what I do, help me to show Microsoft that my blogging and style is the “right” style. Click on the picture and vote for me in the Company Blog shortlist. Click the picture above, or go to Company blogs: ComputerWeekly.com IT Blog Awards 08 | 30 Jun 2008 | ComputerWeekly.com thanks David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , personal
  • Do you like my blog? If so, why not nominate me for the Computer Weekly IT Blog awards?

    [update - I missed the nomination deadline, so don't vote for me!! double update - I've been accepted - so DO vote] I was browsing Steve Clayton’s blog today and noticed these awards. While I’m not one to play copy-cat, I’d like to think my blog posts are useful (well, enough people read them). So, there appears to be a bit of a competition – if you like what read hear, consider nominating me :-) You can read more about this at http://www.computerweekly.com/blogawards.htm . Nominate me in Company Blogs Thanks David Technorati Tags: Personal , If you only read one post today , blog
  • Welcome to readers of Windows Vista Magazine as I'm now a contributor

    Some of you might know that I used to write for Windows XP Magazine, but having used Windows Vista during the beta cycle I eventually had to give it up as I was writing about an OS I was not using. Well, that has all changed - I've been using Vista for over 3 years now and I've now got a technical spot back into the Windows Vista Magazine. My 1st articles are about identifying Vista performance issues and then will continue on to understanding system crashes and then solving some common Office 2003/7 and Vista problems. I'd love to hear about topics you would want me to cover - just leave a comment or e-mail at admin@davidoverton.com . If you want to only see my Windows related articles, click onto this link - http://davidoverton.com/blogs/doverton/archive/tags/Windows+Vista/default.aspx Please feel free to ask questions on the site, or even on this blog post. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows Vista , Windows Vista Magazine , Personal , Vista
  • Where in the world has David been?

    I’m really sorry that everything has been so very quiet on the blog front – work has just been maxing out and I even took some personal time out – I’ve now been married for just over ten years and to celebrate Mrs Overton and I visited Niagara Falls for the weekend. It was a wonderful time and worth the break, however I now need to get my skates on. Niagara Falls from our hotel room American and Honeymoon Falls from hotel room Before that I was planning and helping an ”EBC” or Enterprise Briefing Center with a number of UK ISVs. The trip gave insight to these Partners and an opportunity to discuss next steps on working together. It certainly helped me in my conversations with COA Solutions: This week I will be working on SBS 2008 materials for publishing when the technology preview becomes available. I also have a back log of other information to share about Microsoft, SaaS, ISVs, partners and more. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Personal , ISVs
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  • I know I shouldn’t, but the EU is beginning to make me wonder what they are playing at .. is it personal and how is it better for the people in the EU?

    It is strange that I have come to accept that we live and work in a global economy quicker, it appears to me, than the EU. I accept that we can’t be the best at everything in the EU and we have to work out what our value is to others – true for every business. However, the EU seems to have an anti-non-EU feel to it. It also seems to want to create competition, even when no-one wants to compete – just to stimulate the industries, rather than because “punters are asking for alternatives”. This week I’ve seen two things that I wanted to share that raise concerns in my mind. Oh, in case you weren’t sure – this is a personal rant – nothing to do with anyone else but my own opinion! First was the Intel vs AMD piece which talks about requiring Intel to raise prices to avoid being nabbed for anti-competitive practices - disco-tech | Discovery Institute's Technology Blog: EU vs. Intel : Since Intel can't possibly know what AMD's cost of production is, we either have to accept collusion or accept that Intel...
  • How UKSBSGUY.com and DavidOverton.com use Dynamic DNS and why it broke the site … anyone have a better provider?

    Hi, My site is hosted by me on the end of a dynamically changing IP address (well, it could change, but has not for about 18 months). To get round this I have bought a number of domains, but they are all changed and updated by a magical piece of software that sits on my server that updates the DNS records for my domains whenever they change. This would be great, except for the fact that having had network/ISP trouble I now have Dynamic DNS trouble: When it works it is great, when not, it is very poor. In this case my provider is http://www.deerfield.com and I use their DNS2Go service – I’ve not found anyone better, so if you have a recommendation, let me know. One nice feature for these guys is that the 1 tool updates 5 domains ( http://davidoverton.com , http://uksbsguy.com , http://ukvistaguy.com are the main 3). If this all sounds a bit wondrous, here, in pictures are the steps: My basic architecture consists of my server, the Dynamic DNS provider, my Domain Registrar, you and the software provided: To set...
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(c)David Overton 2006-17