Wireless Networking Course

My Wireless Networking course is once again running at Macquarie Community College at Carlingford starting this Thursday night. It runs over two consecutive weeks from 7 to 9pm.


The course covers the basics of wireless from keyboards and mice through to WiFi. It also provides you with a basic understanding of TCP/IP networking including configuration and importantly security. The course also covers a complete configuration of a wireless access point including how to implement strong security.


To enrol or obtain more information visit the following link.



BPOS Review

Here’s a worthwhile review of Microsoft’s Business Online Productivity Suite (BPOS). Called “Microsoft’s BPOS: Cloud Computing’s Silver Lining?”, it concludes:


“We couldn’t think of a single reason why an average person under real-world circumstances wouldn’t be better off with software as a service provided the look, feel, and functionality of the cloud app was identical to its packaged counterpart…except one.”


That one reason is simply if you have an old line of business application (like an accounting program).


One of the interesting points the article does raise is that the standard desktop software we currently use is only licensed. We don’t own it, even though we pay big dollars for it. So, licensing a package across the Internet is essentially very similar to way it has always been done, with some major benefits. You only pay per month, per user and you get access to the latest updates of the package rather than having to apply updates or install new versions.


Everyone agrees there are challenges for online software however as the article again says:


“If Microsoft doesn’t carry this service model to fruition, someone else, Google being first in line, will.”


As the article also highlights, we seem to believe that small businesses won’t make use of things like SharePoint and Live Meeting, where in fact quite the opposite will be true. They are going to embrace these tools since they allow them to run their business more efficiently. I feel these are businesses that are going to shed their existing infrastructure first (bye, bye SBS) and move en masse to online applications.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the world is changing. Are you?


Here’s yet another example of why you need to think about what you post for public viewing on the Internet. The story “The family Christmas photo that became an ad for a Czech food store” demonstrates how once you upload your information to the Internet you have no idea how that information may be being used. It also shows how someone can use it for commercial purposed without acknowledging or paying you for something you created.


Generally most people would not hand over personal information to a stranger in the street if they were asked, yet they willingly do so on the Internet? How come? Seems to me, most people really don’t understand both sides of the Internet. Yes, there is plenty of good but there is just as much bad. The issue isn’t the Internet per se, it is the human beings that use it.


Value your privacy because the Internet sure doesn’t and once you surrender control of your information then it is lost for ever. Be ware!

Stsadm tech ref

Much of the administration of SharePoint can be done with the command line tool stsadm. Like any command line tool you need to know all the syntax to get the most from it but remembering or looking up all the parameters can be quite painful at times.

Here’s a nice graphic reference you can use when you work with stsadm commands.
It’s interactive so you can click on the command to get more information. I especially like how it is graphically coded so you know which commands are not available in the UI and which commands are new in Service Pack 2. This should make working with stsadm much easier.

You’ll find them site at:

WSS = http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/windowsserver/sharepoint/dd418924.aspx

MOSS = http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/office/sharepointserver/cc948709.aspx

Look familiar?

Now where have I seen that face before? I’m proud to say that I’ve been profiled in a recent CRN (Computer Reseller News) article called “CIA man is an agent of change”. The article covers some of the history about my starting off on my own as well as my current thinking on the state of business as a technology reseller. For those who read this blog then there should be no major surprises (always nice to be consistent eh?).


One of the things the article didn’t cover is how I’m generally bullish about moving technology into the cloud via hosted services (especially email). Although detractors can point to many valid problems and challenges these are no different from those facing any previous instance of technology and because of this I am extremely confident that they will be overcome. As such, my advice to resellers is that at the very least you need to be aware of what hosted technology can provide rather than locking yourself into only on-site infrastructure. But then that’s a whole ‘nother article isn’t it?


Have a read of the article and let me know what you think (director@ciaops.com).

Brain overload

Here’s an interesting article “Warning: Brain overload” which suggest that our obsession with digital content may in fact be affecting our poor little brain. It says:


“the sense of mind-lag and unease that result from info-overload may be causing significant levels of anxiety and depression.”


which means that more and more people feel they are falling further and further behind, in some way missing out. The article continues that:


“One fear is that habitual rapid media-browsing can, ironically, block our ability to develop wisdom”


because we are having to deal which volumes of information we simply do not have time to process what we receive deeply enough so we merely ignore it. We all apparently are born with the ability to empathize with others yet because we are now processing so much information we are actually caring less. In many ways this is making us less human. As the article says:


“Constant bombardment by outside high-intensity stimuli is not likely be healthy”


because our brains are now reaching capacity in the their ability to digest and make sense of all the information. The problem is probably not too much information simply that we have not taught ourselves how to effectively filter that information. It’s the old Pareto 80/20 rule. You have to work out how to get through the 80% of the junk to find the 20% that has real value. That is the trick, and it is something that most people do not appear to be improving. As the article says:


“The irony of high-speed modern mass communication is that no one is actually communicating.”


It seems like that more and more each day. The more everyone carries on about how much better we are with Twitter, Facebook, Web 2.0, You Tube and the like it would appear that we are losing our humanity. We are fast becoming like unfeeling machines. As the article concludes:


“Either you control your technology or it will control you”


Which is just like a recent article I’ve been working on call “How we’ve surrendered to technology” that I’m looking for feedback on, so if you have some time I’d appreciate any opinions.

June release

The June update for my Windows SharePoint Operations Guide is now ready for subscriber download. This month, amongst other things, I’ve included a few more tutorial section including:


– Taking files offline with Outlook 2007

– Creating a wiki and linking with Outlook 2007

– Mapping a Network Place


The Guide is fast approach 1,500 pages and now includes a full text index allowing you to locate the information you need quicker.


After our May birthday special the price has now returned the normal price of $299, however during June I’ll be offering the Guide for $99.67 a month over three consecutive months. I hope this term payment option makes it a bit easier for people who have been considering the Guide but just couldn’t afford the total purchase price in a single month. This way, for less $100 over 3 months you’ll get access to all the benefits of the Guide as well a full annual subscription.


At this stage the 3 month part payment option for the Guide will only run during June 2009 so hurry. Also, don’t forget that I have a number of other incentives if you recommend the Guide to others. Even if you aren’t a subscriber I’ll reward you if someone takes up a subscription on your recommendation.


For all the information about the Windows SharePoint Operations Guide go to www.wssops.com.