Thursday, July 23, 2009

Way to go, Mike!

Many of us have dreamed of this but few of us will achieve this dream. Mike has managed to do what many of us won't ever achieve. We should all stop and admire him, have a beer in his honor and strive to achieve greatness as he has!


The Outspoken Wookie

Windows Server 2008 R2 RTMs as well

As expected, since the same code base is used for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Vista R2 (oops, I mean Windows 7), Windows Server 2008 has RTM.


The Outspoken Wookie

Windows 7 has been RTM!

As per the Windows Team Blog, Windows 7 officially hit the RTM (released to manufacture) milestone on 22 July, 2009. This is great news as currently Microsoft doesn't have a viable OS for sale now that XP has been deprecated and only available as a downgrade (sic) from Vista Business and Vista Ultimate.

October 22nd is when Windows 7 will be made available for purchase through retail and OEM channels, and as I blogged earlier, it will be made progressively available from 6 Aug via various official online delivery methods.


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Win 7 on Connect/MSDN/TechNet on 6 Aug, 2009

According to, Windows 7 RTM will be slowly making its way out to the world starting on Aug 6th, 2009.

MS Action Pack Subscribers will have it available to download from 23 August, 2009.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apollo 11

This morning I was sitting here watching the STS-127/ISS EVA #2 that's continuing work on building the ISS as well as listening to the Apollo 11 mission audio in real time (well, real time but 40 years after the fact).

Now, as has been widely publicised recently, NASA had overwritten the original Moon landing tapes during routine tape reuse due to limited funding. If only someone had thought to have a Historian employed at the time... Hindsight is normally 20/20! :) The footage that's currently being restored and enhanced was located, if I recall correctly, in Perth, Western Australia.

One sad note in the 40th Anniversary celebrations is that Walter Cronkite, the broadcast journalist that much of the 600 million people watching the Moon landing were listening to, unfortunately died on July 17, 2009 - just a few days before the 40th Anniversary of the first Moon landing. Walter Cronkite was also well known for his broadcasts of a number of other historic events.

So, as I sit here in Brisbane, Australia watching live, streamed vision from the STS-127/ISS and listening to the Apollo 11 audio, all I can think of is the words of the gorgeous and effervescent Patience Hodgson when she once said "Science is Golden". :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, July 20, 2009

112 = Cp

Finally, 13 years after it was first discovered, element 112 has a name. The team of scientists who discovered this element in fusion experiments in 1996 decided to name the element after the man "who changed our world view" and the IUPAC will endorse "copernicium" (Cp) in around 6 months, giving the scientific community time to discuss the name.

Nicolaus Copernicus was the man who proposed in his De revolutionibus orbium coelestium the heliocentric model whereby the planets actually orbit the sun, not the Earth - a fact that was pivotal in discovering and understanding gravity and in realising that the stars are a great distance away and that the Universe is, well, rather large. This publication was one of the major starting points for the scientific revolution of the 16th century.

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium was delayed for publication by Copernicus until just before his death, likely reason for this delay was that the religious narrowmindedness of the time would have resulted in religious persecution because of his findings.

We all need to have a beer/bourbon/scotch/coffee/water/whatever in honor of scientists like Copernicus who have enlightened us. The mind is a wonderful thing and scientific principle is a wonderful way to develop our minds.


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Australian Internet Filtering

With total and utter cluelessness and wanton wasting of Australian taxpayers' money, Senator Steven Conroy continues to plough forward with his attempts to bring Chinese-style dictatorial censorship of the Internet to every Australian citizen whether they want it or not. Thankfully, 2 different childrens' advocacy groups - Save the Children and National Children’s & Youth Law Centre - have added their weight to the growing number of advocacy groups, freethinkers, IT industry groups, parents and other Australian citizens who don't believe that this filter is the right way to spend our money.

To have a read of the joint statement released recently, click here.

What this Internet filter definitely will do is cost millions of our dollars, fail to achieve any of the goals such a project should be aiming for, increase the cost of Internet access in Australia, slow down Internet access in Australia, increase the amount of equipment ISPs need to run to provide Internet access (therefore reducing the reliability of the already unreliable Internet access we have here in Australia, impose a closed list (as in closed to public scrutiny) of blocked sites, reduce the freedom of every Australian, prove that we were once the "lucky" country but are now the "unfairly censored" country and eventually fail and be removed. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, this will all happen after wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer money that could be better spent providing functional protection for our children through better education as well as a great many other things.

I wonder when we, as a people, agreed to have the Government take control of our morals instead of us accepting responsibility for them ourselves? I certainly don't remember that being an election issue, however it seems to be something the Government just decided that they could do better than parents can. I certainly don't recall democratically electing a dictatorship.

I wonder what it is with Senators with "Steven" in their names, Communications in their portfolio and no practical knowledge of this subject at all. First came Senator Ted Stevens in the USA who thinks of the Internet as "...a series of tubes" and gave the world, aside from a good belly laugh, a good understanding of his total lack of understanding of how the Internet works. Now comes Senator Steven Conroy who wants to try and censor Australian citizens' Internet access as if he was running a dictatorship, believing that this is a good thing and won't be a total joke, waste of money (as in *our* money), failure and example of how little the Government understands not only what the Internet is, but what freedom of speech means. Not that we have a Constitutional right to free speech as the American people have.


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner

For those of you who don't regularly read the EBS Team Blog, they have announced the release of the Microsoft IT Environment Health Scanner - a diagnostic tool designed for administrators of small or medium-sized networks who want to assess the overall health of their network infrastructure.

This tool, whilst based on the scanner in the EBS Preparation Wizard, is now EBS agnostic - it doesn't ask you about your EBS installation type before running it, nor does it offer the Windows EBS Readiness report after the scan. Other than that, it *is* the EBS Preparation Wizard health scanner.

If you've never run the EBS Preparation Wizard over your network, I'd strongly recommend downloading and running this tool. It is a good tool to run on your client networks - and especially on the networks of prospective clients to see how much work you have to do to get them on the straight and narrow...

Now, a bit of information that's not given to you in the documentation for this tool...

First, even though this is a tool that *should* be "run as administrator" (when UAC is enabled) by default it won't ask for elevation and even though it asks for an administrator account user/pass just as the health scan starts, this is not enough as you will receive 2 errors because the tool was not run with elevation - in Data Collection, you'll receive an AdReplConvergence error and also a SysVolInfo error, both resulting in a lot of checks being skipped. Honestly, how did this get past the beta testers like this?

On an SBS 2008 primary server (the SBS 2008 Standard bit) when you run this tool you will most likely receive a warning indicating that the server is configured to use only the default time source and then refers you to a KB article on how to fix this on Windows Server 2003. Well, SBS 2008 is *not* based on Windows Server 2003, so a better KB would have been... well... there is no Microsoft KB on how to do this in Server 2008, however Richard N Williams (aka "the man who knows ntp") wrote an article on this which can be found here. However, despite the health scan warning, unless you have either a) a seriously unreliable Internet connection or b) a local hardware clock that's more accurate than your motherboard clock, such as the Star Card, then using will do fine. Personally, I prefer for our Linux and BSD servers as it is physically closer than, however on Windows systems, I usually stick with

Additionally, this MS IT Environment Health Scanner fails to perform one check that the EBS Preparation Wizard performs that I consider quite useful - "Dynamic Updates are enabled on DNS root zones". It also fails to perform "Domain controllers that are running Windows Server 2000/2003 have the correct service pack installed" which could be a useful thing to know.

So, between this MS IT Environment Health Scanner and the EBS Preparation Wizard, which should you choose? Well, if you want to use the scanner that does the most thorough check of your network, use the EBS Preparation Wizard tool - but just remember to tell it that you'll be joining EBS computers to an existing AD domain.


The Outspoken Wookie

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Greatest Ever Headline,2933,529935,00.html?test=latestnews

Sure, it is a sad story, but an absolutely brilliant headline! :)


The Outspoken Wookie

Monday, July 06, 2009

McAfee McDestroys McComputers

According to The Register, McAfee has been at it again, releasing another DAT file (5664) that has decided the regular (and critical) core Windows system files are malicious and need to be removed, resulting in both a BSOD and an unusable machine in a number of cases.

I wonder when AV vendors (all of them, as pretty much all of them have done this from time to time) will realise that a proper test of their database updates before releasing them is an essential part of the customer service they need to provide to their own customers?

Sure, getting databases updated for new, active, infections malware is important, but so is leaving the machines that your customers run your software on in a usable state. The two are not (and should not) be mutually exclusive!


The Outspoken Wookie

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Getting started with Companyweb

Robert Crane has released his latest eBook - Getting started with Companyweb - which gives a good overview/introductory tutorial to using the Companyweb feature of SBS 2008. I've had a quick read through the eBook and it seems to cover the basics quite well, with his Windows SharePoint Operations Guide taking the reins from this point and dealing comprehensively with all aspects of SharePoint Services - the product on which Companyweb is based.

Companyweb is a very powerful component of Microsoft Small Business Server 2008. It is build using SharePoint technology that is also available on most other Windows Server editions. It is the starting point from which you can create a solution to solve your collaboration needs. Basically, all you need to know is that Companyweb is a standard tool, much like Word or Excel that you can easily customize to suit your business needs.

This document has provided a very basic overview of some of the most common features available with Companyweb as well as taking you through a basic tutorial of these features. This document should make a great starting point for anyone wanting to come to grips with the basics of Companyweb on Windows Small Business Server 2008.


The Outspoken Wookie