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Not much progress on the home lab front but…..

June 6, 2013

Dissapointingly little to report on the home lab front recently. I still have heat issues in the study, something that’s not cheap to sort. It’s the typical British attitude to complain about the weather, whatever it’s doing but it’s annoting me. Come Winter, I can leave the window a crack open and it’ll be fine, but I want to get going again NOW!

Despite a lack of home lab, I have had a laptop refresh at work. Gone from an HP Elitebook 8460p w/16GB to a newer model 8470p with the same 16GB of RAM moved over. It’s not much different, but a slightly quicker processor so all good. We’re a VMware partner at work, so we have some Workstation licenses (albeit v8 still) and I bagged one a while ago. So a couple of days of faffing later, and it’s good to go. The point of this rambling is that I’m getting a virtualised environment up on that laptop, keeping me fresh on the Server 2012 front. There’s also going to be a couple of Win 8’s on there, it’s been a while since my cert track has required any client OS exams and I’m lacking in in-depth knowledge. I’m going to need it once I start down the MDT/SCCM deployment path…

On a REALLY positive note, I won an iPad mini recently for recognition at work, and although I would never see myself as someone who would go out and buy an Apple product, it’s actually a welcome little gadget. The size is spot on. We’ve had an iPad ‘One’ at home for a while and it’s slow (perhaps needs a reset but then don’t Apple devices ‘just work’…?) and not hugely portable. The size of the iPad mini is bang on, I can pick it up and browse the web, anything I desire without having to go and sit at a table. It’s the portability that makes it for me. Something I use it for most, in a geeky way, is to read RSS feeds from my favourite logs. I use Feedler and although this app is set to become useless due to Google Reader closing (why?), I am simply taking in much more knowledge during a typical day than I ever have. I am perhaps late to the whole RSS feed party, but I can really see the benefit of not having to check web pages, and therefore forgetting on a regular basis. Check the app, any new stuff is there, read it tick it off, move on. Very good. Which leads me on to….

TechEd2013. New products? Not half. R2 releases of Server 2012 and System Center 2012 due for relaese before the end of the year. SQL Server 2014 unveiled. I’ve only just got around to looking at the new 2013 stuff, and there’s more to come. Do I have less time to look into the new stuff nowadays, or is it just rolling around faster? It’s definitely harder to stay on top of the game as general Microsoft support engineer. I’m beginning to believe I’m missing out by not narrowing down my expertise, but then who can afford to pigeon-hole themselves? Part of me thinks I haven’t got enough breadth to my CV, loads of MS but not much else. I need to get something at least introductory in both storage and networking (can you tell I’ve been living and breathing Cloud?), and I’ve been looking at the introductory base exam for EMC, E10-001 or something, a couple of the guys in the office claim it’s vendor-agnostic and so should provide proof of my basic knowledge of storage, FC, SAN’s etc. I’ve meant to my CCNA forever, and although it’s evolved into something else now, I’d love to put something on my CV, again to qualify my entry-level networking nouse.

Please Santa, for Christmas, please can I have 48 hours in a day…?


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