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Category: Sports

My wife doesn’t like sport…

…and I can’t understand that! In my opinion no other form of entertainment comes close to the same ability to impact your emotions or even lift an entire nations spirits.

AndyMurrayWinsWimbledon2013

Consider the London Olympics last year, or Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon this past weekend – true ‘I remember when’ moments in a sports fans lifetime. I like and follow many sports closely, though obviously not all – but not to have any significant interest in any single sport bewilders me!

Irrespective of how overwhelming the odds for one side of the other, with sport you can never be 100% certain of the outcome and eventual winner. You don’t get that with any other type of entertainment  – with sport you genuinely don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s not just about cars driving in circles, or people kicking or hitting balls, it’s much more than that.

I’m  huge fan of F1 and one of the keys things with motor sport, and F1 in particular, isn’t so much each individual race or even the season as a whole, but its history and the context of each race one after the other.

As the championships complete year after year, the performance of the teams shift, teams come and go, and the politics of the sport have a huge impact. Driver A overtaking and beating Driver B on a particular Sunday may not on the surface appear to be such a big deal, but the drivers will almost certainly have some history as will the teams and its these relationships that provide the backdrop to what’s going on on the day, and what makes the race so interesting.

It’s the same with Andy Murray’s victory – winning wimbledon is a massive achievement in its own right, but with so much pressure after more than 70 years waiting for a British champion plus having come so close in 2012, it is so much more.

I can clearly remember Borris Becker winning his first Wimbledon MaradonaHandOfGodand Chris Waddle missing that penalty in 1990.Maradona’s ‘hand of god’ goal at the Mexico Word Cup

and Nigel Mansell’s tyres blowing up spectacularly when on his way to certain championship victory in 1986. I could probably list hundreds of these personal moments and memories – no doubt many of which would match any forty-something sports fanatics own list.

MansellBlowOut1986

To me sporting moments such as these bookmark a sports fans life and it most cases are the events that enable me to remember where I was and what I was doing at any particular point in time.

For me that’s what sport is about – you never know for certain what’s going to happen next, and the history involved means that there’s so much more going on that just the competition you’re watching at any moment.

The London Olympics was an amazing couple of months and Andy Murray’s win was just as good this past weekend. Both will forever be in my memory as ‘remember when’ moments – I hope they will be for my kids as well, because Mrs. D – well, she’s not that fussed.

 

Summer of sport begins…Apple introduce iOS 6 and Mountain Lion

A week of sports, Apple product launches and continued system decommissioning in the office

Fast on the heels of the Diamond Jubilee weekend and extended public holiday, (wind, rain and the odd bit of sun), it was a big week of sports.

Euro 2012 got underway and the French Open tennis final was delayed until Monday for the first time since 1973. Great result for Lewis Hamilton on Sunday finally getting his first win of the 2012 F1 season with a thrilling victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, but bad news for Jensen Button having a nightmare and finishing a lowly 16th.
Andy Murray gets knocked out first match at Queens and both Luke Donald and Rory Mcllroy fail to make the cut at the US Open golf.

A week of ‘so far so good’ for England at the Euro’s, with a solid 1-1 draw with France followed by a recovery to win 3-2 against Sweden four days later. As expected it’s been a workman like display under the management of Roy Hodgson, but as I’m sure Chelsea fans would agree, it’s a results game, there are no prizes for who plays the most attractive football – just ask Barcelona or Harry Rednapp.

Apple news

After the usual round of internet rumours, (new iMac’s, AppleTV SDK, full Apple TV, etc, etc), Apple took to the stage at WWDC 2012 to officially launch iOS 6, OS X Mountain Lion as well as revamped MacBook Pro’s.

iOS6iOS 6 looks to have some nice features, as does Mountain Lion, but both are more evolution than revolution – I wonder how many more years Apple will be able to get away with that before they start to fall behind the competition. Other than adding extra features not much has changed in the look and feel of iOS and I think it’s starting to look at bit old in the tooth.

Why did Apple choose to launch the new MacBooks before the new OS was available? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to keep WWDC software based and introduce just iOS and Mountain Lion, then to later launch the new MacBooks with the new OS. Doesn’t make sense to me to deliver customers new laptops knowing that they’re going to have to upgrade pretty much straight away. A delayed launch of the new Macbook range would have allowed more internet buzz and a separate hardware focused event to release both together.

As usual Apple seem to be keeping stocks low. There is only one Retina screen MacBook Pro in my local Apple store, and that’s on display in the window! Initially online orders were estimating a 1-2 weeks delivery and that’s now up to 3-4 – didn’t Apple know these things would sell by the bucket load? I can understand wanting to keep stocks low and demand high for consumer based products such as iPad and iPhone, but for more specialist (and pricey), kit I’d have though quick, high sales figures would have been better than high demand. There’s no other computer manufacturer that is able to generate anything like the buzz of Apple when it comes to hardware launches so having and selling stock has surely got to be better than no stock and high demand.

There’s a Microsoft announcement for next Monday expected to be a MS branded tablet/pad/slate/touchscreen device. Will be interesting to see if Microsoft can make a dent in Apple’s dominance in the tablet space – they didn’t seem to make much of an impact on iPods with the Zune range and though Windows 8 looks promising I’m not sure there’s room for anyone else to muscle in on the tablet marketplace.

What’s going on in the office

Another week of progress decommissioning our XenApp 4.5 farm with 8 blade chassis/112 servers ready to go, and even the official start of a tech refresh project to implement XenApp 6.5 to replace the current XenApp 5.0 farm.

Have spent some time in the past week or two setting up and tinkering with a XenApp 6.5 proof of concept, and though Windows 2008 R2 and XenApp 6.5 look to be a clear improvement over Windows 2008 and XenApp 5.0, it’s still surprising how many gaps Microsoft continue to leave when it comes to configuring Windows Server for an enterprise Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Services environment. Why is it still necessary to hack registry keys to lock down the desktop for users? Seems completely daft – surely by now there should be a simple console or Group Policy template to make it simple to lock down the OS to keep the apps focused on applications.
I don’t know why Citrix or AppSense don’t step in a provide a product to do this.
As I learn more about the setting and policies needed I’ll collate them into a blog entry.

Euro 2012 – England 1-1 France

1-1. Would probably have taken that at the start of the game, you definitely don’t want to be losing the first group match. But I can’t help thinking that England were controlling the game and let in a soft goal – maybe two points dropped.

All in all though, a good start for Roy and co. and there’s no reason not to be positive about the matches ahead. Hodgson has always managed to over achieve with the players at his disposal, whether with Switzerland, Fulham or West Brom – I think he’ll do the same for England. Make us hard to beat, if not spectacular.

Roll on Friday

 

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