A catch all category for posts that are neither specific to a Microsoft technology which has its own dedicated category or posts that aren’t based on a Microsoft technology, as rare as those are.

Project Home Lab: Server Build

In case you haven’t gathered, progress on the home lab build has been frankly awful and it’s entirely my fault for putting other things first like sitting and watching TV. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will have seen back in April, I tweeted a picture of the build starting on the 2U Hyper-V server and all of the components I’ve had delivered thus far have been installed. For those of you who don’t, here’s the picture I tweeted.

Project Home Lab Hyper-V Server

This is a really quick post but something exciting I wanted to share. Last night, I did a bit of work to help get the home lab up and running and after finishing some bits and pieces, I’ve now got the Hyper-V server up and running with the Windows Server 2012 R2 installation. Here’s a screenshot of Task Manager showing the memory and CPU sockets and cores available on the machine.

Friends in the 21st Century

When I was growing up, we had friends and friends swere people who you went out with and socialised together, people who you’d call on the phone to see how they were doing or how their life was going. Now, in the year 2014, what on earth has happened to the concept of friends: did the old definition get completely unwirrten and nobody told me and you can guess already that this is going to be about Facebook.

Just this weekend, I met someone at a party and I spent probably no more than fifteen minutes total time talking to said individual. I didn’t dislike him at all, but does meeting a stranger at a party and spending net fifteen minutes with them really consistute a friendship these days?

Two Weeks of Dell, VMware and TechEd

It’s been a while since I’ve worked with VMware to any serious nature but for the last two weeks, I’ve been working with a customer to deploy vSphere 5.5 on a new Dell Vrtx chassis. I’ve seen the Dell Vrtx on display at VMUG conferences gone by and it sure is an interesting proposition but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to work with it real world.

SQL Server Maintenance Solution

I am here to tell you about another great SQL tool available for free online and that is the SQL Server Maintenance Solution by Ola Hallengren, a Swedish database administrator and was awarded a Microsoft MVP this year for the first time.

You can download his tool from and on the site, there is full documentation for all of the features of the tool including the most common configuration examples and its use so you can get up and running really quickly with it.

HD Voice and O2 Out in the Cold

HD Voice is the name given to a feature which offers Wideband call quality through your mobile. Mobile networks haven’t exactly been all over this because I suspect of the largely falling call volumes across their networks due to the increasing prevalence of smartphones and apps like Skype and WhatsApp but does that mean they should stop trying?

A couple of weeks’ ago, Vodafone announced that they have been rolling out HD Voice on their network leaving O2 UK as the only network in the UK to not offer this now?

Welcome to Fordway

So a couple of weeks’ ago, I said that there were some exciting times coming up for me and I figure it’s time to spill some beans if you haven’t seen already through other sources like Twitter or LinkedIn. Last week, I started my new role as a Consultant for Fordway of GodalmingĀ and it’s been […]

Prometric Microsoft Exam Vouchers

The team at @TechNetUK have just answered probably the most important question to any IT Pro in the Microsoft space out there with a blog post at and that is the subject of exam vouchers.

Exciting Weeks to Come for Me and the Lab

Over the next couple of weeks, there’s going to be some exciting things happening that I’m looking forward to. I’ve got some great ideas about website deployments on Microsoft Azure which I’m trying to compile together into another one of my TechNet Guides to publish and the hardware for my home lab project is finally coming together after much waiting for a couple of critical pieces so I will be able to finish my series of the project. Once the environment is put together, I will be hoping to post a tonne about the things I get deployed in there: System Center, Windows Azure Pack, MDOP and more.