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Tag: F1

End of ‘Summer of Sport’ Parts 1 and 2

End of the Euros

It’s amazing to think that it’s pretty much a fortnight since Spain gave the footballing world a demonstration of their skill, flair and team spirit when they destroyed Italy to win the Euro 2012 final comfortable 4-0. I have no idea where the time goes.

After getting a bit of unjustified flack being called boring Spain put in an amazing performance showing again that at the moment they’re on top of the footballing world.

Their work ethic and ability to retain possession was amazing all tournament. This high percentage of ball retention not only wears opponents down it completely nullifies their ability to score – proven by the stat that Spain only conceded a single goal throughout the whole tournament.

The next World Cup in Brazil should be fantastic and it’ll be fascinating to see how Spain, Brazil and Argentina get on. They’re bound to be the favorites and Messi will need to at least get to a World Cup final, if not win it, to prove he’s the best player in the world.

History at Wimbledon

Last Sunday was the end of Wimbledon which proved to be a historic tournament with a Brit getting to the mens final for the first time in over 70 years. Sadly for Andy Murray he fell at the last hurdle going down 3-1 to Roger Federer who surely now has underlined his credentials to be considered the greatest tennis player of all time. Things started pretty well with Murray taking the first set, but Federer levelled at one set each before a rain delay followed by the closing of the centre court roof which seemed to make all the difference.

Will be interesting to see how Murray does at the Olympics as well as the US Open later in the year. He has the game, he has the coach and Federer, Djokovic and Nadal all look beatable at the moment.

Another great F1 GP

The F1 British GP was almost totally washed out on Saturday during qualifying as July continues the recent trend of mega-rain. Mark Webber won a pretty exciting race ahead of Alonso in the Ferrari. Not a great weekend of the Brits though with Lewis trailing in 8th, Jenson further back scraping a championship point in 10th and Paul Di Resta not even getting round the first lap.

This weekend the Lotus Team carried The Dark Night livery to promote the upcoming third and final part of Christopher Nolan’s modern Batman trilogy, (IMAX tickets booked for opening night next Friday very excited).

Olympics just around the corner

There are just a couple of weeks to go before the London Olympics start which I’m really starting to look forward to. The BBC have just released their opening titles videos which look like high res cut scenes from a Playstation game and they’ve also released a Smartphone app for iOS, Android and Blackberry which will provide loads of stats on each sport as well as multiple video streams. Pretty cool.

We had a community event in the village last week and both kids where chuffed to get their hands on an Olympic Torch brought along by some lucky people involved in the Olympic Torch Relay.

My week in IT

This past couple of weeks work has been all about planning and high level design documents. Because of this I haven’t had the chance to get much more in the way of hands on with XenApp 6.5 or PowerShell as I was hoping. Though did quickly update AppSense to the latest release today in our proof of concept XenApp farm when I noticed AppSense had released a slight upgrade on 25th June. Haven’t looked at the release notes in detail yet so I don’t know what they’ve fixed or new features have been introduced. I also had the chance to re-use my first PowerShell script grabbing some data from Active Directory to provide some stats to the customer relating to how many accounts have access to what. Very pleased with myself.

O2 loses it’s network

O2 had a pretty bad week after it managed to lose its network leaving millions of customers without a connection.

Coincidentally I switched from O2 to 3 this week. A colleague pointed out that a SIM only deal would be far cheaper so I now have a ‘all you can eat’ data package for £10 less per month. On top of that I got £82 cash back, so have gained a saving this coming year of over £200. I’ll be able to put that towards an unlocked iPhone 5 from Apple at launch avoiding getting locked into a long term contract with one of the network providers. Though this approach has a high initial outlay it generally ends up the best value option in the long run.

Getting my iPhone 4 switched to the new network and with the existing number was a bit go a pain though. First 3 rejected the O2 PAC code – turns out that O2 have a new Telefonica naming standard and the 3 web forms automated system didn’t know what to do with that. Was able to sort out through 3s automated help line number easily enough. Next issue it turned out that the phone was locked to the O2 network. To get that sorted you have to fill in some more online forms and wait for O2 to sort it. This was quoted as taking up to 28 days, what a cheek! However, I got a text back within the week saying the phone was no longer locked and to sync it with iTunes to finish the process. Not quite. The phone had to be reset through iTunes to unlock. Which as it happens wasn’t a bad thing as it’s running much faster now.

End of life for iGoogle announced

Bit disappointed to see the link on iGoogle this week saying that it’s being discontinued. I use it pretty much exclusive for causal browsing when I’m looking to see what’s going on in the work of IT, Apple, SharePoint, Sport, News & Entertainment. It’s an essential tool for this and I’ll now have to find an alternative.

Though what i have noticed is that by using a tool like iGoogle I to tend to have a narrow view of news on the web. If it’s not an RRS feed in the portal or published by someone I’m following on Twitter I wouldn’t tend to come across it. Maybe a change is a good thing to broaden my horizons.


England lose on penalties…again, Lewis crashes out of European GP & some progress on XenApp 6.5 PoC

Exciting European GP

The week started with an unexpectedly exciting European Grand Prix at Valencia with Alonso picking up the victory after Vettel had car problems while seemingly heading into the distance for an easy win. Lewis Hamilton was unlucky to be punted into the barrier with a couple of laps to go after attempting to defend his position with tyres that clearly gave him no traction. A race I confidently told my Father-In-Law would be boring as always turned out to be on the edge of your seat stuff from flag to flag.

England crash out of Euro 2012

Later in the week after amazingly topping their Euro 2012 group, England put in a hugely defensive performance only to be beaten by Italy on penalties. A dull 0-0 result after extra time, it was a typically gritty but uninspiring performance from a Hodgson managed team but not what I hope will be typical of England in the years to come. Again England showed themselves to be a poor team with no pace, no touch and worse still, no ambition.

Though they were always in the match, it was more of a case of England holding on that carrying any sort of threat to the Italians. If England had won the shootout, it would have been the wrong result.

The stats speak for themselves:

One silver lining on the cloud – it was pretty much expected. So unlike after the desperate performance of World Cup 2010 against Germany and the disappointment that caused, this time there was little to make us believe that England could do much in the tournament. Getting out of the group was a result in itself.

Can only hope that finally a lot of the old guard are dropped in favour of a bit of youthful pace and style. It would be nice to see future England squads built around the likes of Hart, Jagielka, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Welbeck. I think the likes of Terry, Gerrard, Young, Rooney and co. have had their chance and failed to perform time and again.

Italy went on to comfortably beat Germany – not something that I expected because I had a hunch that Germany would be the ones to upset Spain.

Wimbledon starts

Euro 2012 is almost over but Wimbledon is underway. All the Brits crash out pretty quickly, though so far so good for Any Murray who’s into week two again. And the really good news for him is that Nadal suffered a shock default so is no longer in between him and the final next Sunday. Though I suspect Tsoga will be a tough opponent.

Working from home

I decided to dodge some traffic problems around the office this week and work from home.

I like working from home – it tends to be easier to get your head down to start and finish tasks that can often get interrupted when working in the busy office environment. On the downside you do feel removed from the hustle and bustle of things and don’t get a good feel of what’s going on in the office.

It’s also nice to have the radio playing in the background, however I do have to fight the urge for tea and snack breaks. As bad as it is working at a desk all day with no exercise it’s ten times worse on your health and fitness if you back that up with too many tea breaks and treats!

Progress with the XenApp 6.5 Proof of Concept

Good news is that I was able to fully focus on troubleshooting the cause of some major performance issues effecting our Windows 2008 R2 proof of concept environment. It’s been frustratingly difficult to identify what’s been going on. For some reason some accounts experience a logon of over 5 minutes, where others log in immediately as you’d expect. There had appeared to be no explanation for this and strangely the problem disappeared if XenApp 6.5 was installed. I’ve finally been able to determine that only certain administrative accounts (mine included), are effected when their AD roaming profile is stored on certain Windows 2003 Server file servers. The problem isn’t the file server as other administrators are unaffected, rather the permissions delegated to certain accounts. Investigations continue…

Windows 8

I’ve installed the Windows 8 Release Preview on Parallels this week for a bit of a play. I installed an earlier release on an old laptop a few months ago and though it looks and feels the same, it didn’t seem so jarring this time.

Not sure how easily it’s going to transfer to the corporate desktop let alone how the Metro desktop style will transfer into the next version of Remote Desktops Service in Windows Server 2012.


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.

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