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Whiteboards lead to architecture lead to whitepapers

Over the past 15 years I’ve become very aware that different people take in information in very different ways. I am a visual learner as an example – so seeing diagrams, manipulating shapes on a touch screen, linking conceptual boxes together – that’s my thing. Others prefer to read and digest, others like to listen, question and engage in conversation.

I am writing a series of architecture papers – and to make sure that the concepts and intent are really landed I’m doing a lot of whiteboarding and socialising too.

Elasticity in the cloud

It’s nice to be able to turn the dial to 11 when you need something doing quickly.

Just rebuilt the thumbnails on the photo albums – it’s a CPU intensive job. Turn Azure up to 11 – more RAM, more procs – and it’s done in no time.

Comcast backbone issues

Something is broken with Comcast Business Internet.

Speed test (urg) to Comcast in Seattle gives 50/10 – as expected:


Speed test to Comcast in San Jose gives 50/10 as expected:


Speed test to Comcast in Salt Lake gives 2/10 – which is horribly broken.


Same Ookla test outside Comcast – and I get 2/10 in Seattle.


Comcast Chicago compared with Comcast Seattle.


Excel 2013 and Power View – sometimes doesn’t start

I had a group of machines for a pilot project just stop launching Power View.

Very frustrating – and then my machine stopped working.

I finally tracked down the problem – and hopefully this helps others.

Using the Registry Editor – RegEdit – browse to

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\User Settings

You should see a registry key PowerViewExcelAddin


Delete the key.

Now open Excel – create a new blank workbook.

On the Insert tab you should see PowerView


Click on PowerView – Excel will say you need to enable Power View – click on Enable.


The Power View and all of the BI should work now.

Change control–test before tinkering

Bobbins. I made a change to the web server config in Azure today – and it took the web server VMs offline.

Still troubleshooting on the why – but I had to rebuild the base server and re-attach the web content and database drive.

Lesson learned – test, test and document the changes..

Hardware load-in

Early start this morning – head into Seattle to meet a truck and driver delivering a Perceptive Pixel 55” interactive touch screen for an event this evening.

The screen and PC are not too big – but they are fragile and expensive – so the shipping case is enormous! Over 1200 pounds (500kg) of wood, steel, wheels and hardware.WP_20140128_08_42_42_Pro

Delivery was an adventure; two hotels with similar sounding names within 100 yards of each other; narrow alleys; rubbish collection; cyclists and bad drivers.


Eventually the box was unloaded and we went for an unescorted trip through the back offices of a large hotel. Guaranteed to get security interested and come find you 😀