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Five Years Of WordPress: A Celebration?


It honestly doesn’t seem like that long ago… and of course it seems like forever.  Of course I have been blogging for well over a decade, but I seem to remember sometime in 2010 when Cory Fowler started telling me I should migrate my blog from Community Server over to WordPress.  I was pretty happy with what I had, but I trusted Cory and told him that if would help me to do the migration then I would do it.  And so on November 2, 2010 he and I set a meeting to sit down at Artisano Bakery Cafe in Oakville, and as I watched on he did the heavy lifting… that is, he exported my old blog (a couple hundred articles deep at that point) and then created my new account here, on WordPress.com.

There was a slight cost involved (as there still is to this day) so that my blog appears at www.garvis.ca (and www.virtualizationczar.com) instead of at garvis.wordpress.com.  Remembering the advice I received from people wiser than myself (and that I have since passed on to many aspiring IT Pros) I needed to build and maintain my brand… a professional site should not be a redirect.

I do not remember how many visitors I had in 2010 (combining the old site and the new one), but I think I was pretty happy at the end of 2011 to have welcomed nearly 26,500 visitors.  Five years later and for the first time ever I am on pace to record 210,000 visitors for the year… and while that makes me happy, it does not make me satisfied.  What really satisfies me is when people tell me that they have read my articles; when they have enjoyed the personal ones and grown or learned from the professional articles, that is what really makes me keep at it.

Thank you for your continued readership.  If you are a new reader, then I am glad you found it, and I hope you stick around.  If there is something in particular that you would like for me to write then just ask… my blog is about me, but it is for you.

Thank you for your comments, your questions, your inquiries, and yes thank you for your occasional donation!  Of course, if I am in your city (or you are in mine) rather than going through PayPal I am always glad to accept a drink or two Smile

I know that I sometimes fall behind in my writing… I know that so many of you were looking forward to a bunch of new posts once I got to Japan, and that didn’t happen… I wrote a few but have not published them yet.  They are coming, I promise.  One or two professional ones, along with one of two personal ones.  Stay tuned, I promise I am back!

Live Writer: Not gone, just a pain in the Windows 10.

I have been blogging with Windows Live Writer for a very long time.  So when Microsoft did not see fit to install a Universal App (formerly Windows 8 app) of it, I was glad that I could simply install the same old version… and even if they were not going to upgrade it who cares, because the old version does everything I needed it to do.

So when I installed Windows 10 last week one of the things I had to do right away was, of course, install Windows Live Writer.  Aside from the fact that I have a new OS and need my familiar apps on it, a new OS release is one of the prime times you want me to be blogging, right?

Crap… Windows Live applications do not seem to be friendly with Windows 10.  Is this the end of an era?  I don’t think so.  As someone once said, where there’s a will, there’s a way.  (My friend Al Aronson used to say that where there’s a will, there’s a relative… but that’s another topic)  I started looking around… and finally I found Stefan Stranger’s article on it.

**NOTE: If you upgraded from Windows 8.1 and had Live Writer installed, you may not need to do this, and it might work without any of these hoops.  If so, carry on!

Step 1: Download the Windows Live installer from this link.  Note there are other places you can download it from, but they do not appear to work.

Step 2: From Windows PowerShell navigate to the directory where you saved your file (c:\Users\Mitch\Downloads) and run the following command command: .\wlsetup-all.exe /AppSelect:Writer /q /log:C:\temp\Writer.Log /noMU /noHomepage /noSearch

There will be several moments of… nothing.  There is only this:


However if you wait a few minutes, the application will be there… just like magic!


See that?  At the top, right under SnagIt in Recently Added.

On the one hand I am really glad that I figured out how to make this work (Thanks Stefan!).  On the other hand, I wish Microsoft would invest in upgrading some of the tools that we love, even the free ones.  Yes I know there is no money to be made from a free blogging tool, but come on… The people who use it are the people who blog about you, and we can either give you lemons or laurels.  Windows 10 overall is getting a laurel… but the fact that the Live tools (remember when you made a huge deal about these because you were taking apps out of Windows 7?) have not been upgraded in forever is a big, juicy lemon.

Another Humble THANK YOU!

I do my best to blog consistently, but as I am sure you all know, sometimes work (and life) get in the way.  I assure you it is never my intent to shirk the blog… but the reality is that (despite my having placed a very handy PayPal link on the site) I have never earned any money from blogging.  Don’t worry, that is not why I do it.  I blog – I have always blogged – to help the IT Pro community, and to entertain, and to inform.

Blogging for me is not entirely selfless.  I get true satisfaction when I help people, and the way I know I am reaching you all (since it is not from my PayPal balance) is from comments, replies, and sheer numbers.

That is why it makes my heart swell when I watch my WordPress statistics page.  It is especially meaningful when I write something personal (as I did on September 30, 2014, when I wrote My parting words as a Microsoft MVP.  With all of the technical articles and how-to blogs I have written, that piece resulted in the single highest hit-rate day I had experienced in ten years of blogging… September 30 held that honour for nearly a year.

I have been busy with a lot of different technologies over the past weeks, not to mention my participation in the Pan Am Games.   So in the last week of July I posted five articles in five days – two technical (on PowerShell), two product review/comparison, and one personal completely non-technical piece on the PanAm Games.

If you haven’t noticed, all of my completely non-technical articles are saved for Fridays.  That is the day that I assume people want something lighter to get them ready for the week-end.  Two weeks ago it was a long-overdue piece on Las Vegas, last week and this week it was on the Pan Am Games.  I enjoy writing these pieces, and I know that I do have a growing non-technical audience that I like to write for.

When the week started (with a piece on PowerShell) the statistics were leaning toward an average month – about 16,500 hits, which by the way still blows my mind because I remember the days when 10 hits a day made me happy.  It usually breaks down as 600-650 from Monday to Friday, 500-600 on Fridays, and I am happy if I get 300 hits Saturdays and Sundays.

However as piece after piece came out, something amazing happened… Monday ended and I had 711 hits… 700 hits in a day is not unheard of, but it is usually when I post something either interesting or controversial.  Tuesday was 743 hits… two days above 700 hits is amazing for me!  Wednesday reached 861 hits… wow, I can literally count on two hands (maybe three) the number of 800+ hit days I remember.

I should point out, by the way, that Wednesday was also the day that Windows 10 released.  So of course my Thursday morning post discussed the new OS.  With that said, Thursday’s numbers absolutely shattered the previous record.  1,072 hits from 887 visitors.


Fridays are always slower, but still, 827 hits from 701 visitors left a huge smile on my face.

What was probably the best single week of hits (5,300 or so) helped The World According to Mitch to shatter another record.  Thanks to you, 18,381 views on my blog were recorded in July, making this month (my birthday month!) the best ever for the site.

I am sure the fact that I did not neglect you helped… In a 31 day month I posted 15 articles.  I will try to remember that the next time I get complacent.

Thank you all… and if you have any comments, questions, or requests… feel free to ask.  I love you all!

Fourth Year: Thank you once again!

Thank you.

Three years ago The World According to Mitch, a blog that I started because the two or three dozen people to whom I would e-mail my thoughts and insights got sick of getting my e-mails, was recognized by BizTech Magazine as one of the 50 Must Read IT Blogs.  For that year there was no nomination process that I knew of… out of the blue I found out via Twitter that the blog had been put on that list.  There are a few tipping points when the blog readership jumped, and that was certainly one of the bigger ones. (Read A Humbling Recognition)

A year later when the 2012 list was released I was thrilled that The World According to Mitch was one of the few blogs to repeat – I was thrilled, partly because that was the first year that readers were invited to vote for their favourites… and then again in 2013! (Read A Humbling Accolade, A Humbling Accolade, Year 3)

50 Must ReqadThis week my heart leapt when I was informed that once again The World According to Mitch made the list for 2014 as well.  The 50 Must-Read I.T. Blogs 2014 includes this humble site.

I am not going to lie, this year I actively solicited your votes.  I was worried, because I did go dark for a few months… as you might have read, this year has not been a good one for me (personally or professionally), and the number of articles I wrote dropped drastically from previous years.  I am so glad that so many of you stuck with me (and I can tell you that there are ‘friends’ who did not) during my darkest times.  I promise that I will do my best to not disappoint – I will continue to blog and to do what I can to help entertain and inform you all.

For the fun of it, there are only three blogs on this year’s list that have appeared every year… Chuck’s Blog (Congratulations Mr. Hollis!) and CIO Dashboard (Chris Curran of Price Waterhouse Cooper)… and my little site here.  I am humbled to be in such esteemed and respected company.

While I am naming names, I want to congratulate CanITPro, the Canadian IT Pro Connection – or the IT Evangelism Team at Microsoft Canada.  While I am no longer with that team or a resident blogger on that site, it is great to see them recognized for the amazing work that they do.

As you know, I am no longer a Microsoft MVP.  Oh well, I’ll move on.  I did not blog because I was an MVP, I was an MVP in part because I blogged.  I am not going to stop doing what I do because of something so petty.  I am also no longer affiliated with the Microsoft DPE Team.  That is both good and bad – bad because I no longer have the same level of access I had, good because I no longer have to temper my words according to Microsoft’s marketing message.  When Microsoft does something good I will say so and talk about it… and when they blow it (and yes, it happens!!!!!) I am going to tell you (and them) about it.

Thank you all for sticking with me, and as I will do with Microsoft, please tell me when I am getting it right… AND when I get it wrong!


Rock the Vote!

For over a decade I have been working on this blog, first on MITPro.ca, then a couple of different URLs and every year my readership has grown… and I have worked hard to maintain the level of posts that you have come to expect.  While this year has been a difficult one for me (more to come when I am ready) I am happy to say that I am back on my feet, and the writer’s block has for the most part abated.

So it is the time of year again where BizTech Magazine is asking for you to vote for the top IT blogs… The World According To Mitch has been on the list since 2011, and with your help, I am hoping to retain our place.  However I need your help!  Please vote for me here: https://list.ly/~ZTczk – it only takes a second!  Click on the VOTE button and let them know that The World According to Mitch still matters!

Thanks for your… I am looking forward to another year of IT (and whatever else I choose) blogging!


Do you still like this blog?

I hope you do!  In 2011 we were awarded one of BizTech Magazine’s 50 Must Read IT Blogs.  We need your help to stay on the list!  Please take a moment to vote here: https://list.ly/~ZTczk and let me know that you still find my writings useful and handy… or at least amusing and interesting :)

Goodbye TechNet… But not quite.


Microsoft is retiring the TechNet Subscription service.

September 1st came and went… most of us in North America enjoyed the long Labour Day weekend, whether we were with family, at the cottage, enjoying the CNE, or doing whatever people who don’t live in Toronto do for Labour Day.

What most of us did not feel was the hard stop of all of our TechNet Plus Subscriptions.  By all rights we should have, but last year, shortly after the TechNet team announced that they would be ending the benefit availability, they announced an extension.  So if you had purchased a valid subscription by August 31, 2013 you would get a 90 day extension… in other words, you can continue to access your benefits until November 30, 2014.

There was a huge outcry last year, and I was not part of it… partly because I was on contract to Microsoft, and partly because I will still enjoy my MSDN Subscription as an MCT and MVP.  However for the people who relied on TechNet, this is a sad end.  Fortunately you will still be able to use evaluation versions of the software… but we all know it’s not the same.

Even though we have another day, I will still say my fond farewell to the TechNet Subscription.

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