Surface Pro 4: First impressions

I must be mellowing as I get older.

When I got my Surface Pro (was it really only February of 2013 that they came out?) I was still working with Microsoft, and a colleague at the Microsoft Store in Toronto (back then there was only the one) arranged for me to get in early so that I could open the first device sold in Canada, and of course I recorded it.

When I upgraded to the Surface Pro 2 a year later (February 13, 2014) I was heading out of town from Ttve igioronto to to Quebec; there was no way I would get all the way to Chateau Frontenac with the new device in the car, so I stopped off for lunch and recorded my unboxing video at a rest area off Highway 401.  That video did not turn out well, but it was recorded.

It was only five months later (July 3, 2014) that I traded in the Pro 2 for my first Surface Pro 3… This would be the first Surface that would be my primary PC.  My family was out of town (visiting Grandma for the Fourth of July no doubt) so I was able to rush right home, set up my video camera and tripod, and record the unboxing video from my dining room table.  While I would go through a slew of them (there were several flaws in the original Surface Pro 3 so I had to return it a few times to get a good one) it (and they) would be my primary PC for over a year.  I say they because when I went back to work for Rakuten in January, 2015 they provided me a corporate laptop which was also a Surface Pro 3.  Once they got it right, they were pretty rugged machines.  Unfortunately shortly before my recent trip to Japan I well and truly Claused the device, when my Rakuten Surface was knocked out of my hands and made its way to the bottom of Lake Ontario.  We will give the device a pass though… that was slightly abnormal use, and it was the one thing that I found could not be recovered from.

And then, on December 9, 2015, nearly a year and a half after the Surface Pro 3 came into my life, I traded up again.  I picked up my Surface Pro 4 (this time with an Intel Core i7 CPU and 256 GB of storage) from the Microsoft Store.  However rather than running home to open it, I called my girlfriend and went over to spend some time with her.  The conversation did not revolve around how excited I was to have my new device; in fact it didn’t revolve around computers at all.  We had a nice evening, and after a few hours I took my leave.

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…and THEN I went home to record the unboxing video!

Watch the Unboxing Video here…

I have now recorded five unboxing videos (two were not good enough quality to share).  I don’t think I did too bad this time, but you can be the judge.

While recording the video I had the two devices side by each, and was able to make a couple of comparisons between the 3 and the 4.  However it was only after I shut off the camera that I started to see some of the great differences.  On camera I mention that the keyboard magnet seems to be stronger than the old one; I had forgotten that the stylus now connects to the side of the device magnetically as well, and my first impression is that the magnet there is quite strong as well.  I never used the magnetic corner of the SP3 because I did not want to have to replace my lost stylus; I am not at all worried that this one will be lost… although time will tell.

I was disappointed that my Juiced Systems 4-in-1 adapter does not fit while the power supply is connected.  While I was not prepared for that, I consider it a minor nuisance, especially because of the better battery life we have been promised.  I already knew that my new device would not fit into my old docking station – I have to decide now whether to pick up a new dock, or just order the compatibility shim that Microsoft has created.  We’ll see.

Isn’t that one of the bigger issues we have when we replace laptops and tablets… we have to start our collection of toys from scratch?  Fortunately this is not entirely the case with this device.  The leather folio folder that I picked up last year for the Pro 3 fits my Pro 4 perfectly… That was a relief, as I really like the folder.  I am also thrilled that I don’t have to throw out my extra chargers – those are the same too, a relief knowing what I paid for them.

I spent an hour installing software before heading off to bed.  No, I have not tried the new high-res camera logon yet but I will, don’t worry.  I have written this article on the Pro 4 on the train into the office, and I cannot say enough about the improved keyboard design.  It is a much easier typing experience.  I know there is also a keyboard with a fingerprint reader, but one thing at a time.

No real complaints yet, although I am sure there will be a pet peeve or two.  Stay tuned to find out what.  In my next article, find out why I opted for the Surface Pro 4 over the Surface Book!

Five Years Of WordPress: A Celebration?

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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!

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.

Wow.

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!

Gartner agrees with me… Hyper-V is for real!

In September Microsoft Canada contracted me as a Virtual Partner Technology Advisor, tasking me with evangelizing Microsoft virtualization solutions.  One of the reasons I was such a good fit for the role is that I am very familiar with both Microsoft’s and VMware’s server virtualization solutions – I teach and consult on both platforms.  I am a VMware Certified Professional (VCP 4) as well as a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) Virtualization Administrator.

For the past ten months I have (in an official capacity) espoused the benefits of Hyper-V and the Microsoft Server Virtualization Solutions.  I have visited over thirty partners and given a dozen or more presentations to user groups; I have taught at least five full classes of 10215A to partners and end users alike, and I continually hear the same question from IT Pros and users alike: ‘What you are telling us and showing us is nice, but can Microsoft really compete head to head with VMware for market dominance?  Are they really a legitimate player in the virtualization space that has for so many years been dominated by a single player?

My answer has been yes every time, and each time Microsoft releases new versions of Hyper-V – first 2008 R2, then this past winter Service Pack 1 – they come closer to technological parity.  The closer they come to being an equivalent technology (and they are now closer than ever!) the more the deciding factor is going to start coming down to price… and man, does Microsoft ever win in that category!

Of course it is easy to see me as biased, but I’m sure we all agree that Gartner is unbiased.  According to their latest (June 30, 2011) Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure, Microsoft has firmly taken a position in the Leaders square.  For years VMware alone occupied that coveted position (based on rankings along the X-axis of completeness of vision, and the Y-axis of ability to execute).  VMware (who it should be noted are still the leaders)  has Microsoft and then Citrix nipping at its heels.

According to the report:

Citrix and Microsoft have joined VMware in the Leaders Quadrant by increasing vision and execution respectively. Although market share leader VMware continues to set the standard in products and the pace in terms of strategy, Microsoft has increased its market share (especially among midmarket customers new to virtualization), and Citrix is leveraging its desktop virtualization strengths and its free XenServer offering to expand its server virtualization share. The road map from virtualization to cloud computing is rapidly evolving, and executing will be very important during the next year as this market continues to rapidly evolve and grow.

Interestingly one of the factors that many of the companies I have spoken to with regard to this choice – price, and the ability to make a profit off the solution – is called out in the report as both a key strength and a weakness ‘…when it comes to influencing the channel to promote its product, rather than its competition.’  Because Hyper-V is a free product (or, more accurately, is a component of a product that the client is already buying), there is nothing more to sell… the partners cannot mark up another product. 

One of the points listed in the Gartner report under ‘Cautions’ is the ‘Hypervisor dependence on a running copy of Windows as a parent operating system’ can also be viewed as a strength, because of the sheer amount of different hardware types supported, ranging from high-end server farms used in the enterprise to laptops and white-boxes that IT Pros, enthusiasts, and students may have in their basement as learning platforms.  For a recent presentation I was forced to downgrade my VMware hypervisor to an older version simply because ESX 4.1 was not supported and would not even install on my demo box. To quote the report:

The most significant hypervisor difference continues to be Microsoft’s reliance on a parent operating system on each virtualization host — which carries the benefit of a proven driver architecture, but the burden of potentially more planned downtime for patching and maintenance (however, Microsoft’s patch record to date for its parent operating system has been good).

All in all, I think it is going to be hard for VMware to remain the industry leader for long.  Let me be clear: they make great products.  Whatever my beef may be with the company, I don’t have a bad word to say against their server virtualization technology.  However with Microsoft catching up as fast as they are (System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012 is currently in beta) it is hard to see VMware remaining the industry leader for too much longer without coming up with something so dramatically new and unique as to vault them once again ahead of all other players.

I look forward to seeing vSphere 5 (possibly being released as early as July 12th); from what I have read mostly through unsanctioned sites it will be VERY interesting to see.  However I still don’t see it being worth the price difference. 

One thing’s for sure… it will be an interesting couple of years in the virtualization space!

Office 365–Complex or Options?

Last week Microsoft officially launched its cloud-based infrastructure offering, Office 365.  As a virtual insider I have been using this solution for the past six months for my IT consulting firm, and frankly had forgotten that it was a beta offering.  That is because while the packaging may be new, all of the applications – both client- and server-side – are mature products that released to manufacturing long since.

I am not surprised by the number of negative reviews; the different offerings and price points are complicated to understand, owing to the sheer number of them.  For the do-it-yourself guy who is not very technical it may be difficult setting up the DNS records properly.  Some of the features available in the rich client versions are not available in the on-line applications.

While I may disagree with some of the criticism I want to be clear that I share your pain; this morning I finally opened the e-mail that essentially said that ‘The Office 365 beta program is over; we hope you have enjoyed using it… now it’s time to start paying for it!’ I was disappointed that there was no link in the e-mail that would lead me to where I could do that.

When I did log into my management site (portal.microsoftonline.com) I was greeted with a simple, discrete line up top reminding me that I had 42 days remaining in my free trial subscription.  I was pleased by this because it takes the pressure off somewhat… until I click ‘Buy now’ and am told immediately that I need the E3 level subscription for my company. 

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Fortunately a closer read let me know that I had other options… I have already purchased the Office Professional clients for my computers, so that would save me a ton of money.  So now I had to look at my other options:

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These are the bundles available… but there are so many components, what if I only want to pick and choose the ones I want?

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What… there’s more?  Wow, keep scrolling!

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Ok at least I am near the end… all I have to do is expand Additional Services and I’ll know everything…

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All of a sudden this is looking daunting and expensive… maybe I should just buy a license of Windows Small Business Server 2011 to run my infra… wait a minute!  I had one of those ‘smack my forehead’ moments.  Doesn’t Microsoft usually put together special packaging and pricing for small businesses?  Certainly the six of us who use our corporate e-mail (and SharePoint, and and and) would qualify as an SMB… let’s see if I can find that anywhere on the page…

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Okay, let’s click here and see what turns up…

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Now wait a minute… $6/month per user?  There has to be a catch… scrolling down I see this plan offers me all of the services I need (and still many that I don’t)… I am still looking for a catch!

I haven’t found one… If you have the Office client (which I do) or are willing to use on-line apps (which have most but not all of the functionality, and have the pesky disadvantage of not being available on airplanes) then smaller organizations are in luck. $72 per user/year is not a lot considering the time I would have to spend installing, configuring, and maintaining my own Exchange and SharePoint servers.

So what about the confusing options for Enterprise?  There are absolutely a lot of choices.  There are people who will always say that Microsoft can’t get anything right, and the people who poo poo these editions and tiers are the same people who would complain that if they had fewer choices they would be restricted in their options.

For smaller businesses it is a no brainer, and for larger organizations they will have to sit down and plan what options they need.  Does Office 365 need more thought than competitive options?  Sure… but it also offers more choice.

A Brief Comparison of Features Between VMware and Hyper-V (Guest Blogger)

A few months ago Chris Childerhose, a consultant and MCITP with a local Microsoft Partner, impressed me when the afternoon of Day 5 of my class on Windows Server Virtualization (10215A) he sat the exam 70-659 and scored a perfect 1000.  He has since gone on to pass the remaining exams to earn the certification Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Virtualization Administrator 2008 R2.  As an advocate of Microsoft virtualization he was asked to put together a comparison to vSphere 4.1.  This is what he came up with.

Microsoft Hyper-V – Bundled Virtualization Software

clip_image002With Microsoft’s Hyper-V you can consolidate many servers down to fewer physical servers without compromising on services.  Hyper-V allows for the consolidation of multiple server instances as separate virtual machines running on a single physical machine (the Virtualization Host).

So how does Hyper-V compare to VMware, the de facto standard for virtualization? Microsoft has made great improvements to Hyper-V and with the latest release (2008 R2 SP1 has added many features that can be found in VMware.  This list outlines many of them:

Feature

vSphere 4.1

Hyper-V 2008 R2

Bare-metal Hypervisor imageESX/ESXi imageHyper-V
Centralized Hypervisor Management imageVirtual Center Server imageSystem Center Virtual Machine Manager
cross-platform hypervisor management imageNone imageSystem Center Virtual Machine Manager
virtual machine backup imageVCB  or 3rd party products imageWindows Server Backup, System Center Data Protection Manager, or 3rd party products
High Availability / Failover image(Via Virtual Center Server) imageFailover Cluster Manager
VM Migration imagevMotion (Via Virtual Center Server, Enterprise Plus) imageLive Migration
Storage Live Migration image(Via Virtual Center Server, Enterprise Plus) imageNo
Guest OS patching/management image(Via Virtual Center Server – not in next version) imageWindows Server Update Services (WSUS)
End-to-end OS monitoring imageNone image(via System Center Operations Manager)
Host/VM level optimization imageDRS (Via Virtual Center Server, Enterprise Plus) imagePRO (via System Center Operations Manager)
Application/service monitoring imageNone imagePRO (via System Center Operations Manager)
Integrated physical and virtual management imageNone imageSystem Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, System Center Configuration Manager

 

There are differences in the products with VMware having some features that Hyper-V does not have, and vice versa. With Microsoft’s Server Management Suite Enterprise (SMSE) products like SCVMM (Service Center Virtual Machine Manager), OpsMgr (Service Center Operations Manager), and ConfigMgr (System Center Configuration Manager) you can monitor and administer not only the virtualization environment, but also the virtual machine operating systems, host operating systems, and the physical hardware much more richly and robustly than the VMware products can.

The Hyper-V role is available in all versions of Windows 2008 R2, as well as with the free Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Guest OS licensing for the operating system does not favour either platform, because the Virtual Licensing Model that Microsoft released with Server 2003 R2 applies to both platforms.  The licensing is “1 + N” which means that based on the version of Windows 2008 you purchase you can run “N” virtual machines.

· Windows 2008 Standard – 1 + 1 virtual machine

· Windows 2008 Enterprise – 1 + 4 virtual machines

· Windows 2008 Datacenter – 1 + Unlimited virtual machines

While there is no difference on licensing, there is a huge difference with regard to the cost of the platform.  VMware does offer a free hypervisor (ESXi) but in order to use any of the advanced features (vMotion, DRS, etc…) you have to purchase licenses for it.  As well VMware is sold on a per-CPU basis, and with a ‘core tax’ for CPUs with more than six cores per CPU.

Microsoft also has the Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 which is a dedicated standalone product and contains only the Hyper-V role, Windows Server driver model and virtualization components. No additional license is required to use any of the advanced features, which can be implemented using tools such as Failover Cluster Manager.

One last major difference is to the certification program for each.  In order to become a VMware Certified Professional (VCP) you must take a one week class (which the instructor can decide to pass or fail you) and then take the exam.  In order to achieve any of the Microsoft certifications you can take a class, or you can choose to learn the technology on your own, and then sit the exam.

For further information on Windows 2008 R2 with Hyper-V please visit – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-main.aspx

For further information on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 please visit – http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/default.aspx

Get on the Bus!

For the third year in a row the Springboard Bus Tour will hit the road leading up to TechEd.  If you have never met the bus you are missing out, because it delivers expert advice, great learning, and huge career benefits to IT Pros.  It delivers answers to questions you may have been having about desktop deployment, virtualization, managing consumer-devices in the office, cloud solutions such as Intune and Office 365, Application Compatibility, and much more! MSW-Tour-CityBanners

This year I am very excited, because my city (my adopted city, really…) has been chosen as the launching point!  That’s right, on May 2nd we will be taking over the MaRS Centre, South Tower at 101 College Street in downtown Toronto, CANADA!  (Yes, I know there’s a typo on the registration page… we’re fixing it!

So if you live in the Golden Horseshoe – or really anywhere from London to Kingston, Buffalo to Orillia, come join us for a great day of Windows 7, Office, MDOP, and more!

REGISTER NOW and save your seat for this free day of technical demos, Q&A sessions, and real-world guidance from Microsoft experts. We’ll see you on the road… and make sure to come say hi to me, Sean, and the rest of the STEP MVPs!

Oh, and remember… if you are not in or around Toronto, the Springboard Series Tour Bus is making stops in Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Dallas, and Columbus… so you still have a chance to catch up and learn!

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Creating a Multi-OS Deployment Point with MDT!

Hey folks,

I know for months you’ve been on me because the screen shots in my Multi-OS Deployment Share post were lost. Today I am glad to say that I have created a video of it for the DPE team, and am glad to share it with you here!

Remember, this video creates the deployment point only; in order to put it onto a USB key, you would follow the instructions in my post Creating a Bootable USB Key.

I created this demo using my trusty HP ProLiant server running Hyper-V, and as always relied on Camtasia Studio for recording the video. Thanks to HP and TechSmith for the help… couldn’t have done it without you! –M

A Do-it-Yourself SWMI? No sweat!

Ok, let’s be honest.  We all know that we need to secure our Active Directory infrastructures, but many of us are not entirely sure how.  You may even know that Group Policy is a great tool to do it centrally, but with literally thousands of Group Policy settings available in Windows Server 2008 R2, where should we start?  You may even be advanced enough to realize that you should probably secure different OUs differently… but what policies should we apply to our Domain Controllers? to our Virtualization Hosts? to our Clients? and so on…

If you have the time (and the money) I strongly suggest taking Jeremy Moskowitz’s course on Group Policy… a one week deep-dive into Group Policy, and you will likely be an expert.  For the rest of us, Microsoft has created the Security Compliance Manager tool which will actually create the appropriate Group Policy Objects (GPOs) for you, list the settings for you in an easy-to-manage Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet, and then allow you to apply them to the appropriate Organizational Units.

Don’t get me wrong… you should probably dedicate a day or two to getting to know this tool, but once you do, you’ll be done Smile  Check it out at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc514539.aspx and take the first step toward a Secure, Well-Managed Infrastructure!

Laptops and laptops!

Many of you have pinged me in the last few days to tell me you are still waiting to read a review of my new laptop… the HP Envy 14 (Beats Edition).  and let me tell you, it is one kick-arse machine!  The review has been somewhat delayed due to a couple of professional obligations that have kept me somewhat busier than usual in the last two weeks.

One thing I had almost forgotten is the vastly different experience between consumer laptops and corporate laptops, and what reminded me of this was firstly the differences between my old laptop and my new HP Envy.  The old machine was definitely built for business, and the Envy is definitely meant for the consumer.  The very few things that irk me about the Envy are very clearly chalked up to that.

With that in mind, I asked a contact at HP to hook me up for a few weeks with a shiny new HP EliteBook, a truly business-class laptop.  Within the next week or so you will be reading two different reviews of two very different laptops – both excellent machines and their purpose, both definite buy recommendations.  However I will outline the differences between the two so that when it is time for you to buy your next laptop – whether it is completely professional and you need that functionality, or if you want the cool factor with the high-end sound and graphics – you will be able to do so from an informed position!

Stay tuned…

When Our Work is REALLY Worthwhile

The title is of course misleading… work is almost always worthwhile – in one way or another.  However this incident reminded me that some of us work for much more than a paycheck.

I have spent the week overseeing the deployment of a secure IT environment for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada.  As with many organizations one of the aspects of security hardening that I have been taking care to include is with the people, and I have to say that the people I have met have been mostly outstanding. 

On Monday I met a young woman who was bright and chipper and outgoing who seemed to have all sorts of things going for her.  We have crossed paths in the hallway several times, and occasionally exchanged some witty repartee. 

Yesterday morning I was working on her system as she patiently waited, and I said something about ‘Life is too short…’  to which she replied ‘True… of course, because of my diabetes mine will probably be shorter than most.’  This is a paraphrase of course… I wish I remembered her exact words.  I do remember her expression – it was perfectly calm, friendly, and accepting of her lot in life.  It was not at all downbeat or depressed.  She might have easily been saying ‘Sure, I’d love to get a coffee with you!’ but she wasn’t… she was talking about her mortality as if she was resigned to her fate…

…except she is not resigned to anything.  Every day she comes into work with the organization dedicated to changing that fate.  She raises money and does what needs to be done in order to find a cure for her disease.  She could probably make more money working in any other job, but she realizes that some things are more important than money.  She is also unlikely doing it for herself – although she may be young she is no juvenile – but for the kids who may one day not have to be so brave as to accept their fates when talking to the IT Consultant.

It makes me wonder why we are not all working for a greater good?  She made my day, and hopefully you will take this as the feel-good story that I intend for it to be.

Happy Friday everyone!

Dawn of a New Day

Ok, the title may be overstating things a little.  However today does mark a great change for The World According to Mitch.  I would like to welcome all of my readers to MGarvis.WordPress.com.

Huh?  What do you mean? After so many years are you saying that Mitch, always the proponent of running your own servers, is not?  Has he changed his tune?

No, I still believe in server hardware… in fact to prove the point I am currently up to six servers at home, and wish I could be running everything from there; I simply don’t want to pay for a commercial Internet pipe into the house.  So for the past couple of years I have been ‘borrowing’ space for my Community Server site from a RackForce.com site, which suited me very well… but I started finding issues with CS, and decided not to upgrade to v.Next.

I started investigating solutions and decided to go with WordPress.  With the help of a very good friend (and an excellent dev/web guy) the import process was completed over the week-end, and all that was left was for the DNS record to be transferred.  That, for those paying attention, is not something that any IT Pro should ever leave up to a Dev guy, no matter how nice he is Smile  I got it fixed this morning (yes, my MX record was down too) an we are off to the races… the new World is live!
I am taking some time to get used to the new format, new features, and new capabilities… but now when people tell me that my head is in the clouds I can tell them ‘Yes… and so is my blog!’

Sadly it seems we have lost all of the old comments… I am not going to take the time to re-post them.  So all of the articles on The World are up, but the slate is clean.  Who is going to be the first to post?  I can’t wait!

M