Microsoft internal videos

One thing that was new to me was the number of ‘internal’ promo videos made by each Microsoft BU. There seems to be a real drive to fill headcount by recruiting and poaching enocuraging people to move across.

During my New Employee Orientation (NEO) this was one of the better videos – for Entertainment and Devices (E&D). It’s pretty good; made better by the use of a cover of Girl from Mars by Ash. (Takes me back to the early 90s!)


What’s playing for the pack & load

I’ll keep updating this.

Tracks of the weekend so far:

The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name (Tom Neville Remix)
Goldfrapp – Ooh La La
Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People (Jon Carter Remix)
Colin Meloy – lead vocalist of The Decemberists – live
Durutti Column – Sketch for Summer

Ah – Colin Meloy is playing in Seattle on our first weekend up there. What are the chances of a late pass with no babysitter?

The Durutti Column track is from their first album “The Return of the Durutti Column” – I first got a copy of this over twenty years ago on cassette. My only CD copy is on disc 1 of the FAC400 Palatine 4 CD compilation.

Winning beers from Utah

We joke about Utah beer – but the hand-crafted local brews are big on taste if not on alcohol.

Good to see that several of our favourites won at the 2008 World Beer Cup:

Category 11: Other Low Strength Ale or Lager (15 Entries)

Silver Medal
Polygamy Porter
Utah Brewers Cooperative
Salt Lake City, Utah

Bronze Medal
Provo Girl Pilsner
Utah Brewers Cooperative
Salt Lake City, Utah

Category 54: Ordinary Bitter (10 Entries)

Uinta Brewing Co.
Salt Lake City, Utah

Category 70: German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier (22 Entries)

Bobsled Brown
Utah Brewers Cooperative
Salt Lake City, Utah

and one that we haven’t tried:

Category 70: German-Style Brown Ale/Düsseldorf-Style Altbier (22 Entries)

Alt and in the Way
Squatters Pub Brewery
Salt Lake City, Utah

Covad scheduled maintenance; notification and lost weekends

This weekends move plan:

  • park the DNS for the domains
  • finish the email hosting moves (move mail, redirect MX)
  • start decommissioning servers for move
  • reconfigure wireless for interim access

Totally shot because covads customer systems are offline between Friday night and Sunday night. No notification at all.

I’ve now got to reschedule during Monday when everything comes back online.

I called the 24x7x365 support and spent 30 minutes trying to talk to somone who could help. Turns out it’s an outsourced service in the Phillipines; the outsourcer has zero idea of current issues and can only log tickets.

I’ve escalated this within Covad; two issues:

  • where was the notification of outage
  • why don’t the 24x7x265 support have the ability to answer within 30 seconds that there is planned outage (it took 30 minutes to find this out)

The notification is the important part – I chose Covad because they had (at the time) stunning support; when I’ve called from Chicago, London and Sydney before about issues the person answering was intelligent and technically able to talk about DNS, ICMP quench issues or the like.

FolderShare vs. iFolder 3

I recently discovered Windows Live FolderShare. (Thanks Vic!)

Installed and running in minutes – it’s for syncing files and content between machines; in fact it’s the same functionality that was introduced in iFolder 3 for peer-peer sharing.

Worth a look for home use; supports Windows XP, Vista and OS X.

Spam, Spam, Spam

Moving the mail from home to the Google hosted service really has made my daily and weekly admin easier.

The main thing that’s changed is the amount of spam and the infrastructure needed to manage it:

spam volume

The last few spam coming in are for the non-switched domains – they’ll be switched over at the end of this week.

Moving – mail

I finally moved the mail service to Google Apps.

I looked long and hard; and even thought about moving the mail to a hosted environment for a few months.

Finally I tested out the google hosted email service – and it looks pretty good.

On the positives:

  • fully hosted, in the cloud service
  • backup, restore and availability are all looked after
  • anti-virus is included
  • anti-spam is fantastic
  • web mail, POP and IMAP services
  • 6GB ++ per user
  • it’s FREE!

The only downsides are around:

  • questions about privacy
  • no SLA on the free service

At the end of the day this frees up two servers running multiple services; and saves me the backup and availability headaches.

  • IPCop with Copfilter
  • Spam Assassi
  • Clam AV
  • eDirectory/Novell NetMail
  • It should also give family a better experience (webmail/POP to a google datacenter rather than to my server) and give me more bandwidth to play with.