ImageMagick and batch files

I borrowed a film scanner this week – and I’ve been scanning old (and crappy quality) APS films to TIFF files. The results are pretty good – considering the limitations of APS.

Here’s the stunning Taj Mahal, Agra, India taken in August 2001.


I needed to convert around 2000 TIFF files to something that was useful on the photo album – JPEG. I decided on ImageMagick – it’s open source, free and really comprehensive.

I love ImageMagick – it’s a core part of the image resizing and conversion for my online photo albums.

I wrote a one line batch file for Windows to do the conversion:

for %%f in (*.tif) do c:progra~1imagem~1.7-qconvert %%f %%~nf.jpg

Nice use of the macro – the %%~nf will strip the filename out of the full filename %%f. Windows 2000, XP, Vista and 2003 server allow this – HELP FOR gives the full detail; it’s buried quite deep.

ITIL v3 Foundation

I’m in Provo for a couple of days – sitting on an ITIL v3 Foundation course.

The main reason – it’s a cheap and convenient way to sit the exam..

I can’t sit the electronic exam at Prometric in Utah until the New Year. If I was in London I could do it today. Strange how electronically delivered tests take so long to roll out.

Six degrees and Dan Clark

I was at the Novell Global Sales Conference in Orlando, FL all of last week.

Final evening – Saturday – we had the final wrap ups and call to action; followed by Dan Clark – the motivational speaker.

He was actually pretty good; and did well making his time personal to Novell and the audience.

Later that evening I was talking to my friend Rick Fowles – and mentioned that Dan made a funny Northern Ireland joke. Rick just grinned and said – “I know – I did my mission with him in Belfast”.

Small world. Proving Six Degrees of seperation is true once more.

Vista deployment

Just working on the final pieces of the Vista deployment thread for the Sales Conference.

I’ve got a whole hands-on lab from the fine lads at ENGL – should be good. 

Windows 2000

Windows 2000. Ah.


That takes me back.

Building more Vista migration stuff for the Sales kickoff; and I’m shocked how different Windows 2000 and Vista are in terms of resource requirements.

I’m running Windows 2000 quite happily in a machine with 196MB RAM on a VM; Vista takes at least five times that for the same performance.

Windows 2003 services on a stressed VMware workstation; aka fixing the ZCM Utopia services startup

Novell has a fantastic demo suite known as Utopia – listen to this Novell Open Audio Podcast for details.

One issue that was reported by the field was that running Windows 2003 server on VMware workstation with ZENworks Configuration Management would sometimes cause the ZENworks services not to start.

I’ve never really seen this issue; I saw one VM that was broken – but only saw that everything was slow.

For the sales kickoff I built a set of VMs and was testing them. Moving from ESX to VMware Workstation on SLED running on a Thinkpad T42p laptop I saw the issue.

In short the workstation service was being slow to start; the server was stressed – and the service timed out. The dominos started to fall; Net Logon failed etc etc etc.

My fix is simple. Make the workstation service dependant on something that is relatively benign but that will start with some reliability. I chose the DNS service (it’s a single server) – because that ultimately provides the DDNS underpinning to Active Directory and other services.

Here’s how:

sc config lanmanworkstation depend= dns

That simple. Reboot and you should now have a working ZCM Utopia demo.

For the internal Novell people – did this fix your problem?

Code names.. something stinks

I blogged last year on ZENworks project code names.

We recently almost announced a project codenamed “Brown Trout”.

Innocent sounding to the US reader; I’ll let the rest of the English speaking world share what the context is.

Hint: It’s brown, streamlined and lives in water. But it’s not a fish.

WordPress 2.3.1 and Windows Live Writer

Just a quick note; WordPress 2.3.1 adds support for WLW Keywords.

Some nomenclature changes – tags to keywords; but it works just great.

Here are the Keywords in WLW:


… and the corresponding tags in WordPress: