Bottom line is, even if you see ‘em coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.    – Joss Whedon (via Whistler) Life is an odd thing, some times the rules of your whole universe change underneath you and you have to make some drastic changes just to keep going. Read on →

This year has been a pretty rough one for me, too many good people gone forever with nary a replacement in sight, the proving of “no news is good news” (one more “are you sitting down” phone call and I’m either gonna go boom or crack) and lots of crap rained down from above. In response to life taking a firm hold of my dangly bits I’ve decided to take the next eleven days out and then start afresh from January (I know it’s only a symbolic date) with a clear head, a lot more enthusiasm and a lighter tone. Read on →

One of the things that irks me about many of the sites I visit is the steaming pile of shite they call searching. Between the missing entries, the irrelevant articles and, this is my killer, only actually using one of the search words provided I cant see why people even bother to put the entry box on the site when you can get far superior results from Google. Now before I get accused of being a hypocrite I’d like to point out that the search box is actually provided by, and uses, Google so the results, while not always bang up-to-date are typically useful and honour the actual search you enter. Read on →

I have a page of Internet Explorer Plugins on, while none of them are complex they do seem to be both useful and quite popular (over 30,000 downloads in the last five months… not too bad :)) and so I have a fair amount of interest in IE despite being a very happy FireFox user. Now Microsoft have decided to make themselves more open and transparent, and part of this includes something called the IE Blog, a site I subscribed to about a day after it started. Read on →

As a sysadmin a (hopefully) small chunk of my time is taken up laying cables and physically adding machines to the network (a desktop support person, my kingdom for a desktop support person!), while this shouldn’t be too hard most modern offices seem purpose built to drive me insane. Firstly we have the two patch ports and four plugs for six people. This forces you to invest in four / six way extension leads and a switch under each row of desks; as an aside a switch for each person with a laptop or more than one machine is a nice thing to have. Read on →

Today we have some good news, David Blunkett has quit after his dirty washing was dragged around in public. Normally I’d keep anything political away from this site but this is noteworthy as he’s the man who’s been pushing ID cards. I’m all for good security, which is one of the reasons I’m against ID cards. They add cost to the system, complexity to the people forced to use them and don’t actually provide any benefits. Read on →

One of my more infamous quotes at work is “trust me or sack me.” This is the shorter, pithier version of one of my stronger views, you should never hire people you don’t trust or have faith in. When you take on a new employee you are investing a lot of money and effort, both in initial outlay and over a period of time. If you don’t fully believe your hiring choice is the correct one then don’t make it. Read on →

TheRegister has an informative, and pretty short, article on MS NAP, a technology that should help keep networks clear of worm activity by requiring all machines to have up-to-date patching and anti-virus before the network equipment will let them play with others. Now lets gloss over the more obvious question, how do you get a machine on the network for the first time, as it’s simple, the kind of company that actually needs this will have a patch management system in place for new builds (maybe just something like MS SUS) to bootstrap the process. Read on →

I’ve done my time in the first person trenches, from Single player Wolfenstein, all the way to Halflife and its expansion packs along with a diversion into multi-player Jedi Knight 2 (If you played online I probably kicked your arse :)) and the early Doom games hold a warm place in my nostalgia but lets face it, a Doom movie was always going to be bad. The script writer, David Callahan, has made a couple of comments online, the full Doom Screenwriters open letter is available but I quite like the Penny Arcade Doom Movie Strip which summarises the article quite nicely. Read on →

Because if you have a good one you won’t realise how good they are until you get a complete doozy. A while ago i had the luck to work for a very insightful manager, lets call him Mike (his parents did). It took him about an hour to figure me out and from then on he played me masterfully, always the right amount of trust to ensure i was confident about my work but with enough challenge to both make me think about what i was doing and push me into giving more than the pay rate warranted. Read on →