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…

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Time to Stop Typing and Start Thinking

It’s amazing how, sometimes, things get simpler the more you fiddle with them. Or, to be more precise, something that seems to be evolving into an increasingly complicated problem turns out to be easy to resolve when you step back and look at it from another direction. I guess it’s what they call “lateral thinking”;…

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Keep Calm and Eat Cake

One of the wondrous features of Windows from Vista onwards is Network Location Awareness (NLA). It means that, while the whole family can view your photo collection at home, when you pick up your laptop and wander out for coffee everyone else in Starbucks can’t see the holiday pictures of you in embarrassing shorts. Or…

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Joie de VB-er

Well I’d have to say I haven’t had so much fun for ages. Playing with familiar stuff (and some less familiar stuff) has revived my joy of writing complicated algorithms and creating useful utilities. It’s almost like being back in the old days of creating COM components for classic ASP web sites to do the…

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Can I Plug My Guitar Into My DNS Server?

Well, perhaps last week I could have. It turns out that it was quite happily performing as an amplifier. And there was me thinking I understood this stuff. Another Decidedly Negative Scenario in terms of my network administrative abilities. But at least I’ve learnt some more things I didn’t know that I didn’t know. What…

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To R2 Or Not To R2?

…that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the server cabinet to suffer the outrageous lack of valuable new functionality, or to take arms against the powerful improvements to the core Windows Server operating system. And by opposing, manage without them? To sleep (or hibernate): perchance to dream of an easy upgrade. I guess you…

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A Drip Under Pressure

I read somewhere a while ago that the word “expert” comes from a combination of the two Latin words “ex” meaning “a has-been”, and “spurt” meaning “a drip under pressure”. I’m not sure I actually believe it, but is does seem a remarkably fortuitous match to my capabilities when it comes to the grudge matches…

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The Shadow in the Machine

There’s some ethereal guy called “system” wandering around inside my servers stealing stuff. It’s a bit like when you were a kid and your parents hid things from you. When my hamster died, my Dad told me it had gone to live on a farm. Of course, when I got a bit older and my…

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How Much Configuration Do You Need?

I endured a severe culture shock this week. And that was without meeting new people from countries afar, or travelling to distant lands. And it didn’t involve a trip to some foreign eatery (such as our local Indian restaurant or Greek fish ‘n’ chip shop) either. No, all I did was respond to a change…

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Going to the Dogs

I’m starting to worry that I can’t cope with the frantic releases of operating system versions. I just got settled with a couple of Vista machines and, more recently, two Server 2008 boxes, and now I’m being pushed to “dogfood” Windows 7. I wonder if I should install it on the machine I use for…

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