Writing ... or Just Practicing?

Random Disconnected Diatribes of a p&p Documentation Engineer

  • Blog Post: Seventeen Syllable File Delete in ASP.NET

    The days when I played with ASP.NET web sites all the time have, perhaps unfortunately, gone. Now my day job has me delving into grown-up stuff such as the wonderful worlds of cloud service infrastructure, design patterns, systems and software architectural, Big Data, and even open source projects named...
  • Blog Post: Recertified, Un-moused, and Port-holed

    You can't believe just how fast a year goes by. It seems like only yesterday I was rebooting all the Hyper-V virtual machines because the server certificate for Hyper-V had expired. And now it's gone and done it again. The certificate is renewed automatically, but it disconnects the VMs when it does...
  • Blog Post: Missing The (Access) Point...

    Let's face it, the only proper way to connect computers together is with real wire in the form of good quality Ethernet cables and switches. The current all-encompassing drive towards wireless was, I reckoned, just fad that would soon pass. At least, that's what I though a few years ago. The reality...
  • Blog Post: Learning to Walk Again

    This week has been an interesting combination of learning and re-acquaintance opportunities. Learning because I finally got fully switched over to Windows 8, at the same time as discovering how many parts of your body are involved in the simple act of walking. A couple of weeks ago I suffered a reoccurrence...
  • Blog Post: The Windows Server Update Service That Doesn't

    One of the great things about being a technology pessimist is that you don't suffer that sinking feeling when something doesn't work as expected. And, of course, you get to experience a nice ripple of surprised elation when stuff actually does work as it's supposed to. This week I've experienced a roughly...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: I Bet They Wish They'd Called It Facebooc

    Some days it would be nice if things just did what you expected. Like music coming out of your MP3 player when you press the play button, or nice brown toast coming out of the toaster after the prerequisite two minutes. Or Windows Media Center quite happily recognizing that, yes, it does have a TV tuner...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Bey0nd Th3 Fr1nge

    So the Edinburgh Fringe Festival ended last week and, as usual, they announced the winners of the under twenty seconds joke category. The winner, it seems, was Nick Helm's contribution of "I needed a website password containing eight characters, so I used SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarves". Oh dear. And second...
  • Blog Post: Hello, Server 27 Here...

    The editions of my daily newspaper that I most look forward to are those when my favorite columnist, Bryony Gordon, is in attendance. As an example, in her Notebook column a couple of weeks ago she happened to mention that not only has her own cat posted a birthday greeting to her on her Facebook wall...
  • Blog Post: Making an Average Decision

    Did you know that almost everyone in Sweden has more than the average number of legs? According to Professor Hans Rosling of Sweden's Karolinska Institute, this must be the case because a few people have one or no legs, while nobody has more than two. He uses this fact to illustrate just how silly it...
  • Blog Post: Blocking Malware Domains in ISA 2006

    As in many households, several regular and occasional computer users take advantage of my connection to the outside world. I use ISA Server 2006 running as a virtual Hyper-V instance for firewalling and connection management (I'm not brave enough to upgrade to Forefront yet), and all incoming ports are...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: In Search Of An Up-to-Date Definition

    Maybe we've just been lucky with car insurance. When somebody reversed into the side of my wife's parked car some weeks ago, our insurance company sorted it all out with one phone call, got the car fixed within a week, and even aggressively pursued the other insurance company to get the excess we paid...
  • Blog Post: Honey, I Shrunk The Internet

    If any UK-based Internet users noticed that the Web was running a bit slow last Thursday, I apologize. Probably I was partly to blame. I managed to send an extremely large zip file on a four hundred mile round trip just to move it three quarters of an inch. I'm expecting a large invoice from my ISP to...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Take Two Aspirins And Call Me In The Morning

    I seem to have spent a large proportion of my time this month worrying about health. OK, so a week of that was spent in the US where, every time I turned on the TV, it scared me to death to see all the adverts for drugs to cure the incredible range of illnesses I suppose I should be suffering from. In...
  • Blog Post: Easter Bonnets and Adverse Automation

    A couple of initially unconnected events last week conspired to nudge my brain into some kind of half-awake state where it combined them into a surreal view of "automatic" stuff. One of the events was the return from Tina, our editor and proof-reader, of my article about the Team System Management Model...
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