What Color Is Your Field?

So, at last, we’re done. After fighting with multiple new versions of the Windows Azure SDK, updated features in the management portal, changes to the functionality of services, and the regular changes to the names of various parts of Windows Azure, we’ve shipped the third editions of two of our Windows Azure guides and the…


UPS Outside Your Head

Does lateral thinking mean you need to look outside your own head instead of just accepting the most obvious solution? If so, I might as well plead guilty in terms of managing the backup power supply for my servers. Like a great many people I depend on APC UPSs to handle mains power fluctuations and…


Passing In The Night (and Day)

I love those scenes in nature documentaries where they deploy a remote camera, and the local wildlife takes an interest in it so you get wonderful close-up shots of inquisitive animals. A while ago my wife persuaded me that we should get one to use in the small copse of trees next to our house….


Sitting Comfortably On The Cloud

It’s been four months since I moved all my websites to the Windows Azure Web Sites platform, so how’s it working out? Very well so far is pretty much all I can say, because there’s been nothing in terms of operational activity to report. A welcome change after all the fuss and effort of running…


A Sticky Situation

I discovered this week why builders always have a tube of Superglue in their pockets, and how daft our method of heating houses here in the UK is. It’s all connected with the melee of activity that’s just starting to take over our lives at chez Derbyshire as we finally get round to all of…


Is Digital Analogous to Analogue?

It seems that, contrary to expectations, the few remaining record stores still selling old-fashioned vinyl LPs and singles are flourishing here in England. At first you might think this is only because old codgers like me just have an old record player, and we spend our days looking for rare copies of original Rolling Stones…


An Unmoving Experience

It seems, from the regular emails containing instructions about the delivery of packing boxes and the matching status updates confirming the allocation of my new work area, that I’m about to move to a brand new office. Our beloved old Building Five (or, to use the correct terminology, “Bldg5”) is about to be redeveloped to…


A Busman’s Holiday, or Just a Hard Drive?

They say that plumbers typically have leaky pipes in their own house, and that the wives of painters and decorators all complain their own house could do with a lick of paint. When you do one kind of job all week, the last thing you want to do at weekends is the same job. Here…


It’s Not Intellectual Property – It’s Just Cupboards!

It’s been a very long time since I exercised my DIY skills fitting out a kitchen and a bathroom during a hectic two weeks holiday. But the time has now arrived for an upgrade and, as I’m not getting any younger, I’m attempting to organize it so that someone else does the hard work. Preferably…


Do I Want A Flash(ed) Router?

It’s easy to forget just how much modern devices depend on software. OK, so it’s pretty obvious that your computer and phone are just paperweights without the magic ingredient of a programmer’s inspiration. But you need extend your thinking to include stuff like your television, microwave, digital watch, and even your fridge. It seems strange…