Archive for December, 2009

Firefox Fans Skew the Statistics with Funny Math

There are various articles floating around the Internet right now about how Firefox has overtaken IE as the most popular browser in the world…  Let’s have a look at Mike Albee’s Article from the LA Business Tech Examiner

Ok, let’s take a look at the graph referenced in the article:

firefox-beats-ie

A quick analysis of it does show, yes Firefox 3.5 is more popular than Internet Explorer 7, however is IE 7 the only browser Microsoft has and is IE 7 representative of what you call “Internet Explorer”?  No, by no means.  IE is IE6, IE7 and IE8.  Oh one other thing before we get in to the nitty gritty of the stats. The comment about Firefox:

Each new version built upon the project’s original goals of speed, security, and reliability.

So, why is it then that they have to patch it for security holes more frequently than IE?  Here’s a good article describing this:

Report: Firefox Security Superiority a Myth

Interesting thing, it’s a linux based article too, so no bias either.

Anyways back to the numbers, I think it’s interesting how you got to the conculsion that Firefox “trounced” (article headline) IE, because if we add up everything – Stats Counter, the same people providing the aforementioned graphs give us the real result:

real-browser-stats

…and in case you think I’m making this up, here is a URL for you to visit:

http://gs.statcounter.com/#browser-ww-monthly-200811-200912-bar

Looks to me like IE still has a demanding stronghold on the market – in fact if my math proves me right – I think that 60% (about what IE has) is DOUBLE 30% (what Firefox has)….

What’s next?  Linux being more popular than Windows (95)? 😉

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InformationWeek and Virtualisation – Take it with a grain of salt

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I’m a Microsoft MVP, MCT, MCITP, CCNA and hold various other certifications, however when I write articles I will take the view that there might be a better technology out there than Microsoft, but I will ensure I write articles with the proper facts being portrayed and not try to put a “media” spin on things.

OK, now that’s over, let’s look at what has got me revving.  A bloke called Elias Khnaser has written an article for Information Week entitled “9 Reasons Enterprises Shouldn’t Switch to Hyper-V”.  He didn’t put a disclaimer at the top, but Elias works for a company called Artemis Technology and if you go to their “Partner” page, Artemis is a VMware Enterprise Partner and they consider this their one of their “Spotlights” compared to their Microsoft Gold Partner status which is just listed as a valued partner.  (UPDATE: since writing this article, the logo has changed to include their areas of expertise and has been fixed, however at the time of writing the logo was “warped” and furthermore if you moused over it, the description about the partner was set to “information to come”, whereas all of the other valued parnters seemd to have descriptions).

Anyways, let’s look at the article…

1. Breadth of OS Support….:

Hyper-V, however, supports only Windows and SuSE Linux

Hmm:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-supported-guest-os.aspx

Microsoft support more than just Windows OS’s and SUSE.  Here’s another page I’d like to steer Elias to:

http://boincstats.com/stats/host_os_stats.php?pr=bo&st=0

OK, so it’s a piece of software, but what does it say? Yep, that says of the top 15 OS’s 12 are Microsoft’s, so why support such a breadth of OS’s if there’s no need to…Anyways, I digress.  Let’s carry on:

2. Memory Management

In this article it goes in to Memory management and talks about how Microsoft just say throw more memory at the situation whereas he states VMware can overcommit and utilise more memory…Interesting, in contrast to this article:

Performance Tuning Best Practices for ESX Server 3

That white paper clearly states:

Avoid frequent memory reclamation.  Make sure the host has more physical memory than the total amount of memory that will be used by ESX plus the sum of the working set sizes that will be used by all the virtual machines running at any one time.  (Note: ESX does, however, allow some memory overcommitment without impacting performance by using the memory management mechanisms described in “Resource Management Best Practices” on page 12 [of this document].

key word of course is *some*, yet everyone knows you never overcommit memory in a production environment (thanks to my friend Mitch Garvis for the heads up on this one – A Brief Discussion of Security with Regard to Resource Over-Commitment in VMware)

3. Security

Well, don’t get me started on this one as VMware has a kernel infrastructure that means if you inject one malous driver in to the Hypervisor layer it can (and will) affect EVERY VM you have.  Hyper-V does it differently.  Here’s a reference for the differences:

http://4sysops.com/archives/the-difference-between-the-microsofts-hyper-v-and-the-vmwares-esx-hypervisor/

Biggest difference is microkernalised hypervisors versus monolothic hypervisors.

4. Live Migration

Well, lets look at this one.  In order to do it with VMware, it’s not as straight forward (oh wait, it’s not mentioned in this review of *one* paragraph) as it seems either.

5. Priority Restart

Seems as though the spin on this paragraph is going down the clustered route not a priority restart route.  He mentions Exchange, IIS, SQL all of which, you don’t want a VM infrastructure to *move*.  You want them highly available via clustering, not a VM management utility or tool…

6. Fault Tolerance

Not sure where this one is heading, but again it seems like he’s letting VMware control the applications, something any good system administrator (see third party software and reliability).

7. Hot Adds

All I need to say is CSV and I don’t mean comma separated values.

8. Third Party Vendor Support

Please list some…Furthermore, I’d ask why (and 9 is maturity) if VMware is so much better, do they need third party products to make their product good?  Hyper-V has SCVMM R2 and that’s all you need, period.

9. Maturity

Sure Hyper-V hasn’t been around long, but you have to admit, it’s gaining ground on VMware at a very fast pace now that the R2 version is out and the “kinks” have begun to be ironed out…

Morale is,  it seems this story has a load of FUD in it and that proper research wasn’t done in order to make it impartial.  Next time an article like this is written, maybe it should be prefaced with the caveat the author is a VMware addict or seems to be trying to have it out for Microsoft Hyper-V, for whatever reason that might be.

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Teletext Goes Night Night

So, in the early hours of this morning, they officially shut off our ability to use our televisions as Teletext machines:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/jersey/hi/tv_and_radio/newsid_8366000/8366937.stm

What’s that mean?  No longer can nan and pop spark up the telly to find out what time the flights are arriving and departing, no longer can they find out what the latest news is, if the ferry is going or not, but wait, here’s something…they’re keeping it around to tell us about the lottery draw…

OK, so do I see it as a big loss?  No, not really as I’ve grown up with technology, but for someone who doesn’t have technology or know how to use it…I do find it humorous though that some people are saying…

…[our website] has all the airport and harbour movement as well as a daily and five-day weather forecast and shipping forecast

Well, that’s fine and dandy if you have a computer, but if you don’t (or if you don’t even know how to use a computer!?)?  And if you don’t have the internet (as the UK has some of the poorest connectivity speeds in Europe)?  Furthermore, what are they going to do at hotels and businesses that commonly put up the teletext in order to let visitors know when the flights are coming and going?

…Again, like I said, it’s not going to affect me (unless I’m without the Internet or my laptop), but I don’t think they totally thought this one through, replacing it with, well, nothing for the older generation, not to mention it was a heck of a lot easier at 6 a.m. to check Teletext than having to fire up wally (my laptop)! 😉

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The BBC sticks it to us (yet) again

So, it’s official.  We pay for the likes of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brandt to take the piss out of people…we pay for a service (iPlayer) to only be available to us while we’re at home (i.e. coming from a UK IP address) and now it’s been noted that we pay for HD service that is sub-par.  Thanks Auntie.

In the recent news release of the BBC, they’ve told us that normal HD service runs – with their *new* encoders – at 9.7 Mbps, whereas the older ones used to run at 16 Mbps…Go figure, let’s downgrade right, as we’ve probably had to pay for fines for phone-in competitions ran wrongly, stupid things our employees do and who knows what else that, us as the British public have the fun of paying £140 per year for!

I guess if it’s anything, at least they’ve reported on their own faults (the downgrade), yet their unwilling to admit it has affected the service:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8415636.stm

Oh and yeah, let us not forget in order to get this channel if we have Sky (even though we pay our TV License) we still have to pay yet an addition £10 per month…

</soap box>

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Being an MCT

Last week I had a chance to visit the Microsoft EOC (EMEA Operations Centre) in Dublin.  If you’ve read some of the other posts I’ve made you’ve seen some of the interviews I did with my fellow colleagues…Long and short of it was we were there with Microsoft Learning to try and help improve two courses – 6416C and 10159A.  One is on Windows Server 2003 – Windows Server 2008 skills and the later is on Windows Server 2008 R2 skills.  Anyways, I digress. 

One other thing we got to do while there was discuss what it was like being an MCT and what we commonly got up to and why we became MCT’s and also how we like to help others by teaching and sharing our knowledge.  I got to be a part of this interview for Microsoft with fellow colleagues Dave Franklyn and Andre Williams…Have a sneak peek at it here and find out just what it’s like to be an MCT (and, no we don’t get paid a lot nor do we get to drink a lot of beer – watch the video to see what I’m alluding to :) Oh, and if you’re wondering – yes that’s XBox Girl in the background hanging out with us!! :)

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Geolocation – What’s In It For Me?

More and more it seems that people are taking Geolocation and trying to use it for what they think it’s worth…however, let’s take a look at it and see if it’s really worth it…

Geolocation first of all – what is it?  Well, if we visit http://www.hostip.info/ it will probably tell us some information:

hostipinfo

Does it work?  Well, looking at the above, it found my public IP address (or at least the proxy I was behind) but did it target me ok?  Nope, I’m not in the UK.  Failure #1.  Close but no cigar. 

What else is the problem with GeoIP?  Well, let’s take TechEd for example.  We all love it and we all go right 😉  If you went this year, it was in Berlin.  What does that have to do with the price of cheese?  Well, Berlin is in Germany and if you went to a service like Yahoo! Mail from a German IP address (Geo Located), Ihr Yahoo! Mail in Deutsche wast (yes, that’s my poor translation of your mail was in German). So, in Family Feud/Fortunes BUZZ – Strike 2.

OK, so we’ve found two faults with Geolocation, how about looking at the bright side of things (“Always look on the bright side of life, ba dum …).  I’m sure you’ve all seen visitor maps, right?  Well, if you haven’t look to the right column of my blog (provided it’s still in the same layout).  you should see:

geomaps

Those little maps are created with Geolocation and as long as they’re semi-accurate (thinking I’m in the UK when I’m really not, albeit I’m close), they give us a precise figure of who’s been to our website.

So, long and short of it?  Technology is a cool thing, just be careful how you use it or you could be preventing non-German speaking individuals from getting in to their Yahoo! mail :)

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Do you read IT stuff when you travel?

Up until 5 years ago I used to travel all the time – and I mean all the time.  Clocked up over 1,000,000 frequent flyer miles and then decided to pack it in and move to a little island.  Well, recently I’ve been travelling again and it came to me, rather than reading technical manuals all the time, put down the Server 2008 R2 pocket book and try and read something else for a change and so I did.

Being from Guernsey (well ok I wasn’t born there), I have a fascination with the island, it’s people and the history.  Good news is that there is a local author that has written a local book on all of that.  The book is entitled Rachel’s Shoe:

rachelsshoe

you can get it from Amazon or from the Author’s website.  I won’t tell you too much about the book other than it is set back in the war time, which of course has loads of ties to the island (hence my meaning to read it) and it deals with a girl and there is set to be a sequel…the rest I’ll let you read for yourself but I must say it’s as interesting as BitLocker to Go and Direct Access :)

…I must say, a different read than my Server 2008 R2 book was, but a refreshing one at that…well, better get back to Direct Access now :)

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Seasons Greetings (with font problems!)

Sometimes people make my job blogging so easy (p.s. thanks!) :)  As you do during the holiday season, you send and receive cards.  If you’re special enough to get cards from vendors or clients, you look at them to see if they’re signed or if they’re printed and then you put them festively on your desk or hang them up.  Well, I got a beauty the other day.  Same bloke that worked for EasyJet, then left and went to WH Smith…Guess what, he makes Christmas Cards now..Check it out:

holiday greeting oops (757x1024)

SeasonÕs Greetings From The team

Rather than name and shame the people, just enjoy the ho ho – ut oh – that was made when the printers put these cards to press…Oh, and when I was in high school, my English teacher would have liked me to point out, From shouldn’t be capitalised, nor should The (well you might capitalise it), but Team should definitely be…

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MCT TTT Dublin

This week there is an event going on at the EOC (EMEA Operations Centre) in Dublin wherein 17 MCT’s from around the world have met to discuss Microsoft courses and how to make them better.  I’m happy to say, as per what seems to be the defacto standard now :) we’ve made some videos.  Here’s the innagural video of me (being interviewed by Italian MCT Lorenzo Soncini):

and then there is Dave Franklyn my compadre and partner in crime as Erdal isn’t here.

Watch for more videos to be posted from other MCT’s!

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November’s Hot Windows 7 & 2008R2 issues

help-icon A series Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 issues have been reported to Microsoft customer support. From these issues, we figured out several hot issues and authored Knowledge base articles to explain the solutions.

To identify and troubleshoot these issues, you can find more information from the KB articles:

· 975787 Adjust User Account Control settings in Windows 7

· 976832 Error message when you insert a smart card in a reader on a Windows 7-based or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computer: "Device driver software was not successfully installed"

· 975784 Enable the Quick Launch bar in Windows 7

· 975785 Customize the notification area in Windows 7

· 975786 Customize the notification area in Windows 7

· 975788 Turn off the secure desktop in Windows 7

· 976034 Get a detailed Power Efficiency Diagnostics Report for your computer in Windows 7

· 976170 Troubleshoot Aero problems in Windows 7

· 976877 Troubleshoot Aero problems in Windows 7

· 976736 How to install Windows PowerShell on a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 Core

· 2006291 Error message When You Bring up the Server Manager Console and click on Add / View Roles: "0x800B0100"

· 977510 Authentication fails when an external client tries to log on by using a read-only domain controller in a perimeter network

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