Aug 26, 2013 test bank solution manual, testbank, test bank, solution manual, publisher, book, university, college, instructor, accounting, management, organization. I'm trying to create a database of drug characteristics such as onset of action, duration, drug mechanism, side effects, indications for use, contraindications, etc. SQL versions - 2008R2 and 2012,5,0,8,am wondering if.
I wrote this post a few months ago and it crashed my blog. Needed to be restored from backup hopefully this time I’ll have more luck! One of the advantages of being in the MVP Reconnect programme is that I occasionally get invited to webcasts that open my eyes to technology I’ve not had a lot to do with previously. For many years, one of the big holes in my knowledge was around Microsoft SQL Server. That was until I saw Brian Kelley ()’s “Brief overview of SQL Server”.
The content’s not restricted, so I thought I’d republish some of it here for others who are getting their head around the major on-premises components of the Microsoft Data Platform. SQL Server Editions There are several editions of SQL Server available and these are the key differences (): • Express Edition (previously known as MSDE) is a free version, with some limitations around database size, etc.
• Standard Edition lacks some enterprise features but has high availability and suits many application workloads. Another week means another weeknote and this one finished on a high because last night was the risual Christmas Party! Risual does Christmas parties rather well and I won’t go into the details here but suffice to say, a good time was had. I knew the weather forecast though and needed to be sober today (Mrs W wasn’t too happy about the idea of driving home in the snow) so I can bask in the delight of not-having-a-hangover.
Wonderful view to wake up to! — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) Anyway, it was a joy to wake up in this morning and see how the landscape was transformed. I took quite a lot of photos on my iPhone but Dropbox is currently refusing to upload them for me, complaining that one is corrupt (but not telling me which one!). I’ll edit them next week and post them then Then I drove home in the snow and ice.
England can’t cope when it snows (or indeed with any other extremes of weather: too wet; too sunny; too windy). We do mild-grey really well though. The week My week was the usual mix of consulting (paid work), training and pre-sales. I was fortunate to spend a day at Microsoft in Reading on Tuesday, topping up my Microsoft 365 (Office 365, plus Windows 10, plus Enterprise Mobility + Security) knowledge.
I’m hoping that, time permitting, some blog posts will come out of that. I’ve been driving around the UK almost 30 years, and driving for work for most of them. This week drove home to me (excuse the pun) just how overloaded the UK’s road infrastructure is, when it took me more than 5 hours to drive to Reading and back (about 75 miles each way), then around 4.5 hours the next day to drive 190 miles on nothing but motorways and trunk A roads (180 miles of which were dual carriageway). It seems likely that the first place autonomous vehicles can take a hold is on major routes like this and I for one can’t wait.
Maybe one day we’ll have segregated autonomous driving lanes on the motorways, where the cars can drive closer together (in constant communication and not constrained by human reaction speeds) and maybe even faster (if the law is changed). Today’s UK motorway delights brought to you by the M1 and the M25! Glad to be working from home for the rest of the week! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) This week also saw the quarterly, which I’m proud to have attended every one of!
I’ve made a lot of contacts over the 5½ years it’s been running – some of whom I can now count as friends and this event had one of the best set of talks in a long while including: • Simon Collison () on “The Internet of Natural Things” • Laura Sutton ()’s “Non-geek’s guide to the Galaxy” • Dr Neil Smith () showing us “Beatles vs. Rolling Stones: using data science to prove which band is best”! • Joe Leech () wrapping up with “UX, Psychology and the Power of 100” The next one clashes with my wedding anniversary, and Mrs W has even agreed to come along with me as an honourary geek! At home We’re hoping to convert our loft next year and the initial notice has been submitted for planning purposes. It seems that, now that councils are better at sharing information, marketers are scraping it to bombard us with offers of storage, home improvements, etc. Apparently, our neighbours will be getting mailshots from lawyers too all very irksome Initial planning notice was submitted this week for our loft extension since then, I’ve received lots of marketing post from home improvement, storage, etc. Has anyone else in UK experienced this?
Would be making my details available to 3rd parties? — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) Around town I missed – a floating carnival of decorated boats looks like quite a spectacle on the canal! It’s really noticeable how many people are now sleeping rough on the streets of Milton Keynes. Are trying to do something about that – but they need to raise funds to convert a double-decker coach to provide emergency shelter. To quote from their website: “Homelessness can hit anyone – most of us are just three pay packets away from losing our home.
With your help we can provide over 5800 safe, warm nights for people forced to sleep on the streets and help them find a positive future.” Look out for the bus in the Intu part of the Shopping Centre (Midsummer Place) and please donate, if you can: If you’re Christmas shopping in, please visit in and spare some change if you can. They’re raising £30k to convert a double-decker bus into an emergency shelter — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) At the other end of the scale I passed a man on the mean streets of MK proudly proclaiming that the best place to get a car parking space is the it may not be illegal to park a petrol/diesel car in an electric space but it is selfish (especially as there are normal spaces free) Other stuff Barclaycard sent me a new credit card “for security reasons”. It was nice to find that my Apple Wallet updated automatically on my phone and my watch.
Sadly the many websites where I had the details stored for recurring payments (Apple iTunes, Microsoft, Amazon, M6 Toll, Transport for London, etc.) didn’t. Pleasantly surprised to find that my card details were automatically updated in my Apple Wallet when my old card was cancelled.
That is a nice feature! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) That reminds me I wonder when my will show up It seems I’ve been stuck with about 1500 people ahead of me in the queue for weeks now in fact, the number seems to be going up (but if you use my referral link above, I can move back up the queue)! On the topic of referrals, my energy completed this week. It was painless (though I will have to wait to get my credit from First Utility, my previous provider – who seem more interested in selling broadband to me now than reducing my energy bills). Unfortunately, neither I nor my friend have received our promised referral credits from Bulb.
Enquiries are ongoing My son and I needed to force-quit an app on my Amazon Fire TV Stick but weren’t sure how. Helped by pointing us to Menu, Settings, Manage All Installed Applications where Force Stop is one of the options.
Sadly, means my Fire TV Stick won’t play YouTube videos from 1 Jan 2018.: Just got this message on my Amazon Fire TV Stick seeing as I bought it to get YouTube back on my Samsung TV, I guess it will be returned to! This article from suggests ongoing Google-Amazon spat; consumers lose out: — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) I’ve been watching Channel 4’s series about Donald Trump’s rise (). I’ll leave the politics aside but it’s fascinating to see how the wealthy can grow to take such a position of power I noticed that my Nextbase Dashcam was showing the wrong time (1 hour ahead) and every time I changed it, it reverted after the next power cycle then I realised there was a timezone setting and it was still on GMT+1 (BST).
After changing to GMT, all was good. It seems that it picks up the time from the GPS, so the timezone is the important setting I’m torn about the use of the new HEIC image format on my iPhone. Whilst I was at MK Geek Night this week, I spotted that.
I enjoyed the film and I’ve heard good things about the National Theatre production too, so tickets are booked for a family cultural treat: Tickets booked for production of War Horse at – looking forward to this: — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) My phone has decided that, when I get in the car, I’m headed for the local Tesco Express that’s a little worrying (I wonder how does Siri determine my travel patterns?): Bit worrying how my phone thought I was off to the shops when I got in the car — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) Podcasts I’ve mentioned before that I listen to a lot of podcasts. One of these is the Microsoft Cloud Show. Sometimes, it can be a bit too developer-focused for my tastes but I enjoyed, which pretty much encapsulates the conversations I have with customers as an Architect working with the Microsoft cloud! I also got the chance to catch up with Matt Ballantine this week (one half of the ). It’s been a while since Matt and I had a chat but I really enjoyed bouncing around our thoughts on modern collaboration and team working. and team-working. Like Matt, I’m finding myself drawing/writing on screen more (at least when working, using a Surface Pro – my MacBook lacks any sort of touch capability) though it’s also showing how unpracticed I’ve become at writing!
Wrap-up Anyway, before I get too far into Sunday evening I need to sign-off and check my children haven’t continued building their snow-wall across the neighbours’ drives Next week looks like it should feature a lot less travel (at least by road) and a return to cyclocross with my son. I might even be home a few evenings and maybe, just maybe, I’ll write a blog post that’s not one of these weeknotes!
I live in hope. Milton Keynes – Rochdale – London – Leicester. Not quite New York – London – Paris but those are the towns and cities on my itinerary this week. Every now and again, I find myself counting down the days to the weekend. This week has been different.
It was manic, squeezing work in around lots of other activities but it was mostly enjoyable too. The week at work My work week started off with an opportunity to input to a report that I find quite exciting. I can’t say too much at the moment (though it should be released within the next couple of weeks and I’ll be shouting about it then) but it’s one of those activities that makes me think “I’d like to do more of this” (I already get referred to as the extra member of the risual marketing team, which I think they mean as a good thing!). Bills have to be paid though (i.e. I need to keep my utilisation up!), so I’ve also had some consulting in the mix, writing a strategy for a customer who needs to modernise their datacentre.
On Wednesday evening, I managed to fit in a () meeting in London, with () talking about – another opportunity to fill some gaps in my knowledge. Then, back to work on Thursday, squeezing in a full day’s work before heading to the in Leicester in the afternoon for the UK MVP Community Connection. I’m not an MVP anymore (I haven’t been since 2011) but I am a member of the, which means I still get invited to some of the events – and the two I’ve been to so far have been really worthwhile. One of my favourite sessions at the last event was Tony Wells from (the guys who create the ) talking about storytelling.
This time we had a 3-hour workshop with an opportunity to put some of the techniques into practice. How not to tell a story! Tony Wells from reminds us that storytelling is a learnt skill, which we somehow seem to forget at work! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) The evening started with drinks in the space tower, then an IMAX film before dinner (and a quiz) in the Space Centre, surrounded by the exhibits.
We returned the next day for a Microsoft business update, talks on ethics and diversity, on extending our audience reach and on mixed reality. Unfortunately, my Friday afternoon was hijacked by other work and the work week also spilt over into the weekend – something I generally try to avoid and which took the shine off things somewhat Social I’ve had a full-on week with family too: my eldest son is one of six from Milton Keynes who have been selected to attend the in 2019 and, together with ten more who are off to the, we have a lot of fund-raising to do (about £45,000 in total). That meant selling raffle tickets in the shopping centre for the opportunity to win a car on Monday evening, and a meeting on Tuesday evening to talk about fundraising ideas Fund-raising with for 10 young people from Milton Keynes to attend the World Scout Jamboree and 6 to go to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in 2019 — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) Meeting parents and young people to kick off our fundraising plans to send 10 young people from to World Scout Jamboree and 6 to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in 2019.
We need to raise about £45,000 so if anyone has ideas, I’d love to hear them! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) So, that’s out every evening, and a long day every day this week by Friday I was ready to collapse in a heap. The weekend No cyclocross this weekend (well, there was, but it clashed with football), so I was on a different sort of Dad duty, running the line and trying not to anger parents from the other team with my ropey knowledge of It’s also December now, so my family have declared that Christmas celebrations can begin. Right from the moment I returned home on Friday evening I was accused of not being Christmassy enough and I was forced to listen to “Christmas Music” on the drive to my son’s football match (the compromise was that it could be ). Even I was amused to be followed in my car by a certain jolly chap: Look who followed me in my car today!
It seems Father Christmas has traded his sleigh for a convertible Morris Minor? — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) My part in decorating the house consists of getting everything down from the loft, putting up the tree and lights, and then finding myself somewhere to hide for a couple of hours until it all looks lovely and sparkly. Unfortunately, the hiding time was actually spent polishing a presentation for Monday and fighting with to complete my expenses not exactly what I had in mind New tech and my eldest son has managed to save enough birthday money to buy a smartwatch. He was thinking of a Garmin device until I reminded him how bad their software is when we sync our bike computers so he went for a. It looks pretty good if you have an Android phone. I have an iPhone and an Apple Watch (as you may recall from ) but if I was an Android guy, I think the Gear Sport would be my choice Ghost trains I forgot to add this tale to last week’s week note but I was travelling back home from Stafford recently when I noticed a re-branded Virgin Pendolino at the platform.
My train wasn’t due for another 10 minutes so I didn’t check out where this one was going, so I was a little surprised to pass it again as I arrived in Milton Keynes two hours later, after I’d gone the long way (via Birmingham) and changed trains showed me that I could have caught a direct train from Stafford, but it wasn’t on the public timetable. Indeed, although it stops at several stations, it’s listed as an empty coaching stock working (which is presumably why it is pathed on the slow lines including the Northampton loop). So, in addition to, it seems that Virgin run “ghost trains” too!
Listening I listen to a lot of podcasts when I’m in the car. This week I spent a lot of time in the car. I recommend these two episodes: •. Twitter highlights I’m no GDPR expert but this looked useful: Useful advice from — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) Company branding is great until it makes the information you give out next-to-useless: I’m sure the people who did the branding were really pleased with the font they chose now, is that a J or an I? The Hookup Game The N Download Game. — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) Credit is due to the social media team handling the account for Whitbread, they quickly confirmed that it is a J not an I (though I had worked it out).
Were equally on the ball when I complained about a lack of power sockets (and traffic noise insulation) at their Leicester City Centre hotel. Thankfully they replies were limited to Twitter and email – not midnight calls as my colleague Gavin Morrisson found when he tweeted about another Holiday Inn! Last time I complained on Twitter about sockets at a HI, they tracked me down and the hotel manager called my room at midnight asking what the problem was. I was not amused.
— Gavin Morrison (@GavinMorrison) This made me smirk (I haven’t “elevated” my Mac yet): This seems like hilarious messaging now. — Chris (@lindhartsen) If you don’t get the joke,. I like this definition of “digital [transformation]”: WHAT IS DIGITAL?: ‘applying the culture, practices & processes of the internet-era to respond to people’s raised expectations’. As definitions go, incredibly helpful (@tomkitomski) — Keith Luscombe (@KeithLuscombe1) This short video looks at how we need to “debug the gender gap”. Another week, another weeknote There’s not much to say about work this week – I’ve mostly been writing documentation.
I did spend a good chunk of Monday booking hotels and travel, only to find 12 days of consulting drop out of my diary again on Friday (cue hotel cancellations, etc.) but I guess that’s just life! Family life: grime, rap and teens! Outside work, it’s been good to be close to home and get involved in family life again. I had the amusement of my 11 year-old and his friends rapping to their grime music on my car on the way to/from football training this week (we’re at the age where it’s “Dad, can we have my music on please?”) but there’s only so much I can take so I played on the way back. It was quite endearing to hear my son say “I didn’t know you knew about Eminem!” after I dropped his mates off.
I should make the most of these moments as the adulation is dropping off now he approaches his teens! Talking of teens, my eldest turned 13 this week, which was a big day in the Wilson household: I’m not sure how this little fella grew into this strong chap (or where the time in between has gone) but we introduced him to the Harry Enfield “Kevin the teenager” videos a few months ago. I thought they were funny when I was younger but couldn’t believe how accurate they are now I’m a parent. Our boys clearly understood the message too and looked a bit sheepish!
Tech I did play with some tech this week – and I managed to create without writing any code: Virtual Mark (MarkBot1) uses the and runs in. And it’s very straightforward. I’m using and so far this serverless solution has cost me absolutely nothing to run! It’s also interesting reading some of the queries that the bot has been asked, which have led to me extending its knowledge base a few times now. A question and answer chatbot is probably more suited to a set of tightly bounded questions on a topic (the things people can ask about me is pretty broad) but it’s a nice demo Very interesting to read the logs (to then tune the knowledge base) looks like someone asked “how fat are you?”! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) I also upgraded my work PC to the latest Windows 10 and Office builds (1709 and 1710 respectively), which gave me the ability to, which is nice, in a geek-novelty kind of way: Nice! Pen as a remote (needed 1709 and ProPlus 1710): — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) Tech TV I have an Amazon Prime membership, which includes access to – including several TV shows that would otherwise only be available in the US. One I enjoy is – which although completely weird at times is also strangely addictive – and this week’s episode was particularly good (scoring 9.9 on IMDB). Whilst I was waiting for the next episode to come around, I found that I’d missed a whole season of too (I binge-watched the first three after they were recommended to me by Howard van Rooijen/). And that’s what presently keeping me from my sleep but it’s really good! I don’t have Netflix, but has been recommended to me by Derek Goodridge ().
Just like the first series of Halt and Catch Fire, it’s the story of the original IBM PC clone manufacturers – Compaq – but in documentary format, rather than as a drama series. IPhone images Regular readers may recall that a few weeks ago I found myself needing to buy a new iPhone after People have been telling me for ages that “the latest iPhone has a great camera” and, in daylight, I’m really impressed by the clarity and also the bokeh effect. It’s still a mobile phone camera with a tiny sensor though and that means it’s still really poor at night.
If a full-frame DSLR struggles at times, an iPhone will be challenged I guess – but I’m still finding that I’m inspired to use the camera more. 7 Days 7 Photos Last week, I mentioned the 7 days, 7 photos challenge. I’ve completed mine now and they are supposed to be without explanation but, now I have a set of 7 photos, I thought I would explain what and why I used these ones. I get the feeling that some people are just posting 7 pictures, one a day, but these really do relate to what I was doing each day – and I tried to nominate people for the challenge each day based on their relevance to the subject Day 1 I spotted this pub as I walked to Farringdon station. I wondered if “the clerk and well” was the origin of the name for “Clerkenwell” and it turns out that it is. Anyway, I liked the view of the traditional London pub (I was on my way home from another one!) and challenged my brother, who’s a publican Day 2 I liked the form in this photograph of my son’s CX bike on the roof of my car. It didn’t look so clean when we got back from cyclocross training though!
I challenged my friend Andy, whose 40th birthday was the reason for my ride from London to Paris a few years ago Day 3 Not technically a single photo – lets’ call it a triptych, I used the app (as recommended by Ben Seymour/) to create this collage. I felt it was a little too personal to nominate my friend Kieran, whose medals are in the lower left image, so I nominated my friend James, who was leading the Scouts in our local remembrance day parade. Day 4 I found some failed backups on my Synology NAS this week. For some reason, Hyper Backup complained it didn’t have enough storage (I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Azure that ran out of space!) so I ran several backups, each one adding another folder until I had all of my new photos in the backup set.
I felt the need to challenge a friend who works in IT – so I challenged my friend Stuart. Day 5 My son was cake-baking, for Children in Need, I think – or maybe it was my other son, baking his birthday cake. I can’t really remember. I challenged a friend who runs a local cafe and regularly bakes muffins Day 6 Self-explanatory. My son’s own creation for his birthday.
I challenged my wife for this one. Day 7 The last image is following an evening helping out at Scouts. Images of attempts to purify water through distillation were not that great, so I took a picture of the Scout Badge, and nominated my friend Phil, who’s another one of the local Scout leaders.
(All seven of these pictures were taken on an iPhone 8 Plus using the native camera app, then edited in and uploaded to ) Other stuff I like this: Loved this quote from: “When writing an essay, there are three questions you need to answer: What? And now what?” — Dave Coplin (@dcoplin) And I remember shelves of tapes like these (though mine were all very neatly written, or computer-generated, even back in the 1980s): A lost art form — Jake Rudh (@JakeRudh) On the topic of music, look up Master Boot Record on Spotify: Master Boot Record has an album called C:>AUTOEXEC.BAT where each song name appears to be a valid autoexec entry. — Glenn (@condrong) And this is pretty good for writing documentation too I added second-factor authentication to my WordPress blog this week. I couldn’t find anything that uses the Microsoft Authenticator, but uses Google Authenticator and was very easy to set up. But unfortunately not yet in my: Brilliant idea. Come on, time to add Milton Keynes to that list! — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) Being at home all week meant I went to see my GP about my twisted ankle (from the falling-into-the-sea incident). One referral later and I was able to see who’s already working wonders on helping to repair my damaged ligaments. And he says I can ride my bike too so I’ll be back on even if cyclocross racing is out for the rest of the season.
Cycling On the subject of Zwift,. I understand that these things happen but it’s gone up 50% in the US (and slightly more than that here in the UK). All that really does is drive me to use Zwift in the winter and to cancel my membership in the summer. A more reasonable monthly fee might make me more inclined to sign up for 12 months at a time and create a recurring revenue for Zwift. Very strange business model, IMHO. No for me this weekend (I’m injured but I will be supporting my 13yo) had to share this from though: — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) I particularly liked the last line of this article: “Five minutes after the race That was sooo fun!
When can I do it again?!” I may not have been riding cyclocross this weekend, but my son was, and Sunday was the popular race at RAF Halton. With mud, sand, gravel and steep banks, long woodland sections and more, it looked epic. Maybe I’ll get to ride next year! I did get to play with one of the RAF’s cranes (attached to a flatbed truck) though – amazing how much control there is – and had a go on the road safety rig too. Fantastic that the guys from came to at RAF Halton today with their driving simulator and crane!
Great fun – thank you! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) And of course, what else to eat at a cyclocross event but Belgian fries, mayo and waffles! Finally, my friends at () have some new kit in. Check out the video they filmed at the MK Bowl a couple of weeks back – and if you have kids in need of new cycling kit, maybe head over to.
Another week, another week note. And I really should try and publish these a bit earlier (it’s late on Sunday evening again!) More on my new roof bars/carriers I wrote about buying my new roof bars and bike carriers from. After I’d fitted the bars, I noticed a small dent in one of them. I had been super-careful when fitting them, so I can be pretty sure that it wasn’t anything I did. I emailed roofracks.co.uk and, whilst the dent is only visible in certain light conditions and difficult to photograph, they said they couldn’t clearly see the dent in the pictures I sent (including this one): (Is it just me? I thought the red ring would help) They wanted me to return the damaged bar at my cost so they could inspect and send a replacement (I’d already said it wasn’t worth it but asked if they could apply a small discount).
For that reason, I can no longer recommend roofracks.co.uk. Which is a pity, because they have competitive pricing (presumably based on volume sales).
Subscription fatigue I also referred to subscription fatigue in last week’s weeknote. I knew that my friend David Hughes had written about it somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where he pointed me to his newsletters ( and ). “Each developer that moves to this business model says “it’s just the price of a cup of coffee” every month, and it is. But my  issue is that many apps are moving to this business model, and that starts to add up.
I could be in the position where I am spending hundreds of pounds a year to essentially rent software. That is not for me.” Hear, hear! Travel I spent half the week in the north west of England. Rochdale to be precise. As it’s so difficult to get a parking space near Milton Keynes station after about 8:00 on a weekday, I caught a bus from home.
I found a great website that uses open data to list all UK bus services. Is not an official resource but, like, it is an incredibly useful one! I’d bought a ticket from Milton Keynes to Rochdale and back which, despite showing as only valid via Manchester, was not clear about whether it could be used on trams between Manchester’s two main stations (Piccadilly and Victoria).
Manchester Metrolink later confirmed that the ticket wasn’t valid (so it’s a good job I played safe and bought a tram ticket then!). That isn’t valid on Metrolink sorry. — Manchester Metrolink (@MCRMetrolink) If only Transport for Greater Manchester took a leaf out of Transport for London’s book with tickets that include public transport transfers (cf. Underground between London termini on through journeys) though it seems you can get a ticket that is valid for tram transfers – I just don’t know how! It needs to say either CTLZ or Metrolink City.
— Manchester Metrolink (@MCRMetrolink) I found it interesting to see that people on Twitter thought £67.50 was expensive for a return trip from Milton Keynes to Manchester (I thought it was a bargain). It’s certainly not expensive when compared with demand-based pricing on peak Manchester-London services (which can be over £300) or with the cost of driving ~400 miles to Rochdale and back Anyone who’s spent any time in and around Manchester will know it’s a city with a reasonably high chance of precipitation. Stupidly, I forgot to take a coat that fits over my suit to Greater Manchester. Luckily I had an umbrella in my work bag Also worth knowing (from my travels further south at the end of the week): the rear First Class section in Thameslink trains is declassified until further notice. I have no idea why but it’s useful to get access to some power: Hi Mark, First Class has plug sockets & is declassified in the rear carriage of the new trains until further notice. ^Isana — Thameslink (@TLRailUK) The socket location is a little unusual though: Work opportunities A couple of nights in Rochdale also gave me a chance to catch up with an ex-colleague and one of my most supportive former managers, Alan Purchase ().
He’s at Capgemini now – who seem to be hoovering up a lot of people with Microsoft skills (as are Microsoft themselves). Meanwhile, I got one of the regular LinkedIn contacts asking me if I’d be interested in a fantastic opportunity from someone I’ve never heard of who won’t even say who they are working for but this one was really special: it would involve moving my family to Ireland. Tempting though it may be to keep my EU citizenship post-Brexit, thanks but no thanks. The rest of the week As mentioned above, I was back dahn sarf for the second part of the week and spent two days in London with the first one at Microsoft learning more about the capabilities of Azure with regards to data and the intelligent cloud. I’ve been trying to grok this for a while (my background is Infrastructure).
The second day was more mundane, supporting a colleague on a consulting engagement. I tried using Apple Maps for turn-by-turn navigation on my watch whilst riding my Brompton to Microsoft on Thursday.
Unfortunately, Apple Maps lacks cycling directions (it only has walk, drive, public transport or taxi) and I got a bit lost with the various “no cycling” routes in Regents Park which made for an interesting route map! 7 Days 7 Photos Challenge I’ve been “challenged” for the 7 days 7 photos challenge on Facebook.
The rules are simple: Seven days, seven black and white photos of my life. No explanation. Challenge someone every day. – saying it’s not a challenge, and suggesting it’s just creating a bunch of poor black and white photos on Facebook.
I’m actually finding it a great opportunity to think about what I’m doing and to capture something from the day. Anything that gets me thinking creatively about capturing images has to be good, right?
3 days in and my efforts are on Flickr – see what you think so far Other stuff I was signposted to John Naughton ()’s by Matt Ballantine (). I think it should be required reading for anyone in a senior technology role I do most of my geek stuff with my eldest son, so I asked the youngest if he fancied a play with a BBC Microbit. Our inventor’s kit arrived this week: WooHoo! Save £5 On Inventors Kit for the BBC use INVENTIT code at the checkout.” — Dave Coplin (@dcoplin) We had a lot of fun and it was fantastic to see his face light up when his Microbit started playing the sounds and displaying the letter of the notes as he had instructed. Sunday afternoon “inventing” with our 11yo and a inventor’s kit from — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) I’ve played with the app a few times to generate a birds-eye view of a route I’ve cycled.
Takes a different view – using Google Streetview to help view a route (perhaps in preparation for a ride). Looks interesting as an approach for measuring the relative effort of different activities (e.g. Cycling, running, etc.). Today was Remembrance Sunday and a particularly poignant one where I live in Olney as so many local men were lost at the Battle of Passchendaele, exactly one hundred years ago. It’s always good to see so many people turn out to pay their respects but such a shame the traffic wasn’t halted for the 2 minute silence, as it has been in previous years. That’s all for now Right, that’s all for now.
If you read this far, thanks for sticking with me. These posts take a long time to write so any feedback is welcomed – it would be good to know I’m not just writing a diary for my own benefit! After some positive feedback on last week’s newsletter-style blog, I’ve decided to keep going with the format for at least another week. So, please indulge me in a little narcissism as I write about a week in the world of Mark although this post is a little late as it’s now the following Monday (I ran out of weekend) New bike carriers I wrote about racing cyclocross with my son. I have a 4-bike carrier that fits on a towball on my car but it’s just a cheap one from Halfords and, to be honest, it’s not that great. I’ve been considering getting a roof mounted system for when I have just a couple of bikes (i.e.
Not the whole family’s) and, I decided to buy a good product this time (buy cheap, buy twice). That meant a Thule system – and but I was still looking to do better than recommended retail price. After failing to land a couple of Thule ProRide carriers on eBay, I bought the whole setup from, including matching locks as standard and free standard delivery. One thing I thought long and hard on was whether to go for silver or black finish (my car has black roof rails).
I decided on silver – the 10% premium for black parts is simply not worth it – especially as the silver rails/racks have some black components. Survey marks Whilst walking in Dorset last week, I spotted a strange disc bolted to a pavement, with the words Survey Mark on it. I asked Ordnance Survey if they knew what it is and they responded to say it’s a “historical bolt style benchmark” –. Do you know what this is, please?
— Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) thats a fine example of a historical bolt style benchmark – details may be here- — Ordnance Survey (@OrdnanceSurvey) Back to work (highlights) After last week’s holiday, it was back to work this week – with a bang. My employer,, was headline sponsoring event – which meant a couple of full-on (but enjoyable) days at London ExCeL in a mixture of stand duty (chatting to delegates, capturing potential sales leads), presenting (4 short sessions on digital transformation) – albeit in a theatre “room” at the side of the main exhibition hall (so not the best environment) – and joining the keynote sessions (though I missed all of the breakout sessions). Added to events on Monday and Tuesday evenings, it was a very busy few days! Another great place to view the sponsorship from;-) — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) I really enjoyed the presenting opportunity – I’d like to do more if I get the chance, though I do prefer to create my own content (rather than presenting material created for me). I also saw some pretty cool presentations that I hope will result in some blog posts of their own – particularly the ones around Quantum Computing and DNA Storage. Accessibility Hobbling around with a twisted ankle (after last week’s unexpected fall into the sea) has given me a little insight into what it’s like to have limited mobility. I’ve still walked, but more slowly than usual – and not the distances I’d normally expect to cover.
No cycling, running or circuits this week either The closing keynote at Future Decoded had a major focus on inclusivity and accessibility – including the surprising statistic that 1 billion people in the world are disabled in one way or another (hidden or visible). Every one of us has reduced ability from time to time – not just people who are disabled. That may be permanent, temporary (as in my case) or situational (such as when holding a child whilst on a phone call). Washburn Serial Number Dating. Assistive technology is something that we can all use to make the most of our senses and get the best use of time – the most important thing we have! IPhones Readers of last week’s post may remember that I fell into the sea, with an Apple Watch Series 3 on my wrist (water resistant) and iPhone 6s in my pocket (not water resistant).
As well as the discomfort from the twisted ankle, that’s turned out to be quite an expensive slip After a couple of days drying out, my phone was working (sort of), with notifications (and even a phone call) on my Apple Watch – and my computers could “see” the iPhone. But the screen wasn’t working so I couldn’t unlock it. The damage to the phone was covered on my home contents policy as accidental damage but it was going to take a couple of weeks for the insurers to get their agent to collect, assess and then potentially return a repaired device to me. I don’t want a repaired device. Water damage leads to all sorts of longer-term issues, particularly when combined with corrosion, so they agreed to replace my phone if Apple would certify that the device was beyond economic repair due to liquid damage.
After seeing the bright red liquid damage indicator, Apple was happy to do that. Unfortunately, they valued my iPhone 6S at £299 – apparently the replacement price for an upgrade. Take off £100 excess and I had £199 in the bank but no working phone. Soggy iPhone sitrep: dead screen, battery, camera and salt residue all over electronics. Bright red liquid damage indicator!
— Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) I’d only been saying how expensive the new iPhone is and how I’d keep mine for a bit longer the day before I trashed my old one now I’m paying for that expensive iPhone 8 Plus over 20 months, with interest-free finance through the (AUP or “ay-up” as the staff referred to it I thought I’d suddenly been transported to Yorkshire). It also gives me the option to exchange for a new phone in a year’s time (iPhone 8S, 9 or 11 or whatever the next one is called), and it includes 2 years’ Apple Care. Let’s hope the camera is as good as I was led to believe by some of my friends (that’s why I got the plus, and why I got the 256GB version).
Unfortunately, iCloud wasn’t backing up as much as I hoped and a restore to my new phone was a little underwhelming. I had backed up my photos manually but there were a few I hadn’t got, and I had some expenses I really wanted to click “upload” on. I searched the ‘net for a local Apple repair specialist to see how much a new screen might cost and found, who helped me out with a temporary screen and battery so I could take a full iTunes backup of my phone.
Having seen the inside of my phone (lots of salt), they were amazed it even booted. I also learned that: • Tricks to and then using don’t help when you then plug it into the computer and it wants to confirm the trust (). • Apple “Geniuses” have no more tools (or the will) to help you access your data than anyone else. • The IMEI for an iPhone can be found on the SIM tray or in the metadata for a backup in iTunes (earlier iPhones may have it printed on the rear cover). • iPhones have a liquid damage indicator inside the SIM slot. It shouldn’t be pink and certainly shouldn’t be red!
• is a handy app for manually archiving data from an iPhone (). •, but a lot so I now have enough to back up automatically every night.
• to restore an iTunes backup (and it would be so much more helpful if Apple’s message told you that the backup is from a different iOS version – rather than corrupt or incompatible!) – that’s another one that will hopefully turn into a blog post of its own this week. • Patrick at is a complete superstar and I cannot recommend his services highly enough. Other stuff The app has an AR mode and it’s pretty cool: Just found the mode in – very cool! — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) This is what an Azure Stack looks like. Yes, it’s just a (mostly empty) rack of 1U servers and some very clever software: So this is what an looks like Our neighbours HPE have one on display, opposite (stand 23) — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) This is what a Tesla looks like under the covers: Ever wondered what a looks like under the covers? Wonder no more — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) The Apple 3.5mm to Lightning audio converter is likely to get lost. Maybe leave it permanently attached to a set of headphones (via )? So, how long until I lose this silly thing? (forgot to charge my Bluetooth earphones?
) — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) After a few months of using for free (thanks to discount codes), I’ve signed up for a year it must be good because I suffer from subscription fatigue and am trying to avoid adding to the pile of products that I use for “less than the price of a cup of coffee” a day/week/month/whatever. They add up to a lot of coffee Weekend No cycling for me this weekend but a good opportunity to get together with friends for a bit to eat and drink, followed by fireworks.
After reading I downloaded a different iOS camera app () but didn’t really get the opportunity to try it out before the live display Taking photos of fireworks is never easy – particularly on a smartphone. I’m quite pleased with some of the firework pics I took last summer though I fitted the new roof bars on Sunday – they look pretty good. I tested the bike carriers too but took them off until I need to use them. Looks to me like IKEA’s instruction-writers have been moonlighting at thank goodness for YouTube! — Mark Wilson????
(@markwilsonit) The instructions are OK, once you get your head around them, but this video helped a lot. Inspired by David Hughes () and Christian Payne (), a few weeks ago, I ran a Twitter poll to see if anyone would be interested in a newsletter of some of the stuff I’ve been up to.
The responses were mixed, but some went along the lines of “the email format doesn’t resonate with me” and “I like reading what you’ve been up to on your blog”. My blog has been falling by the wayside in recent months and I do want to write more, so I’ve decided to write a weekly (ish) newsletter here instead. In between, I’ll stick write the usual tech-inspired stuff but this will be more eclectic. Matt Ballantine () does something similar with his weeknotes – but he must be incredibly disciplined to get them out every Friday. I spend Fridays trying to end my week. So, here goes for issue 1.
I’m still not sure what this thing should be called? A week off I’ve just had a week off work. My previous blog post describes and I really needed to decompress. After the initial weekend madness (just like every weekend), the first half of the week was spent at home, mostly sorting stuff out (more on that later), then a few days away with my family The weekend before My eldest son has started competing in the and I’ve been joining in the novice races whilst he races in the Under 14s (both races take place on the same course at the same time). I seriously considered not racing last week after a very hard practice lap but then my son instructed me to “put your numbers on and race your bike”. I’m reasonably fit for long distance stuff ( the rather hilly inaugural 100 mile sportive) and my (circuits) a couple of times a week help with general fitness but cyclocross is something else. Particularly when you’re using a mountain bike because your son is riding his CX bike (how inconsiderate!).
I think it may be time for an. Certainly if we do this again next season!
Unfortunately, being ignored in the LBS doesn’t leave a very good feeling. Being ignored on social media after sending the tweet even less so Dropped into yesterday.
3 staff behind the counter. All ignored me.
Guess my n+1 won’t be a Boone then — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) Shopping I don’t often wear a suit for work these days – but there are occasions where it’s still expected (first meetings, particular customers, etc.).
I’ve been putting off buying a new suit for a while because a) there are two in the wardrobe that I really should slim down into b) I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. This week I gave in and bought something new. I took one of my sons with me and he happily browsed the technology department whilst I was suit shopping. He thinks I spent a lot of money though and suggested I get a blazer with some M&S trousers like his school uniform for a fraction of the price! Welcome to the world of work, son! Whilst he was browsing the technology, I spotted this: What on earth is the Windows Premium Collection?
— Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) The Windows Premium collection appears to be Windows 10, running on a selection of higher-end PCs (Dell XPS 13, HP Spectre, etc.).
First time I’d heard of it though Administration I spent a good chunk of my week off working through an administration backlog at home. Ultimately that results in a lot of scanning (on my Canon ImageFormula P-215 desktop scanner), some shredding and a little bit of filing (for those few documents that I do retain in paper form).
After hunting around for PDF editing tools (ideally command line) to remove some pages I didn’t need inside some existing PDF files, I found: “Preview does all of this quite well, fyi.” Sure enough: open the PDF in MacOS Preview; delete the extra pages; save. Karting, photography and train travel My youngest son wanted to go to a friend’s go-karting party this week whilst my wife and eldest were heading down to Dorset for a few days.
No problem, he could stay at home with me whilst I did some of my admin and then we’d follow on by train. The karting inspired me to get my Nikon D700 out again. It may be big and heavy but I love the control of the DLSR experience and the results. I’ve tried some pro apps on my iPhone (like ) but it’s just not the same! Afterwards, the train journey to Dorset gave my son and I a mini-adventure (bus, train, tube, another train) to join the rest of the family – and with it was less than £30! Walking Last Friday was a gorgeous day – almost no wind and bright sunshine didn’t seem like late-October!
My family took the chance to go for a walk along the South West Coastal Path from Swanage to Studland (for a pub lunch). October coastal walk! — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) Afterwards, I walked back with one of my sons – and what a treat that was! Glorious views and late-afternoon sunlight meant lots of photo stops but it was certainly my favourite part of the walk! On the beach Saturday’s weather was less impressive but, after lunch at, coincidentally located next to, where my wife and I had eaten the night before), we took the boys to the beach.
They were happy with their wetsuits to keep the cold at bay whilst they played but I decided to stay dry. At least that was the plan. I was walking out on one of the groynes to take a picture of the boys, when I found that walking boot soles have almost no grip once they meet wet wood and, faced with the choice of falling face-first (or probably chest-first) onto a large wooden beam or throwing myself towards the sea, I chose the latter managing to twist my ankle on the way, and then realising that my wallet and my iPhone were in my pockets. I’m hoping that the phone will be covered on the household building and contents insurance – we have accidental damage cover and I’ll be making that call tomorrow otherwise I could be getting an iPhone 8+ sooner than planned!
In the meantime, I’ve found out a lot about the water resistance of various Apple products: •. • (I was wearing my watch but it’s a series 3 so that’s OK). Zwift and Android My son fancied having a go on my Tacx Vortex trainer today, so we tried to get it working with Zwift for him. Normally, I use the iOS app on my iPhone but, as that’s still drying out, it wasn’t an option. Zwift is currently available for Windows, MacOS and iOS but not (yet) Android so we went back to. After spending a lot of time trying to get it working this afternoon with my son’s Android phone, it seems that I may need to update the firmware on my trainer for it to be recognised as a controllable trainer via the Android version of Zwift Mobile Link and Bluetooth LE (currently they only see it as a power meter and cadence sensor). Wrap-up That’s about it for this week let me know what you think of the whatever-this-is (newsletter?
Something else?) and I’ll think about writing another one next week. Last Tuesday was – a day aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.. The thing about mental health issues is that most people don’t understand – until we experience problems ourselves – and then we realise just how common those issues are. That’s why days like World Mental Health Day are so important. I had my first “episode” back in 2007, when I let work-related stress build to a point where I was diagnosed with anxiety.
It took a few weeks off and a change of job role to set me straight. But stress-related anxiety is not something that one “gets better” from (at least not in my experience). Instead, I’ve learned to spot the signs and to take action. I’ve begun to recognise when I’m heading in the wrong direction because I’m agitated with colleagues or customers over apparently trivial things. My work isn’t going to get less stressful, so I’ve put coping strategies in place: I exercise; I try to take a break most days (even if it’s just a short walk, although I really must stop combining the short walk with confectionary purchases); I blog (I find the writing cathartic). Hopefully no-one notices. It doesn’t affect my ability to do my job (unless my job has unreasonable expectations) and a good manager (or team member) will recognise when someone is struggling.
So it’s ironic that, in the week of World Mental Health Day, I found myself finishing the week with a tweet about working late on a Friday again (which I probably should never have sent). And when I finally stopped for the weekend I realised why I was in the state I was in: I hadn’t managed to get to any of my “” (circuit training) sessions; I travelled in evenings to be in the right location for the next day’s work and avoid an early start; I ate crap food; I didn’t get enough sleep ( beds may be comfortable but a hotel is still not home); I hadn’t blogged in ages; and I’d had a cold all week. This week has had less travel but still a lot of pressure. But I’m starting to wonder how much of that pressure is perceived. How much stress do I add by insisting that things are done to a particular standard? And really, does it have to be me? Do I have to say “yes” to every request?
I have deliverables to produce by the end of this week so, yesterday, I set Skype for Business to Do Not Disturb, closed Outlook and got my head down. My productivity soared. Stuff happened without me. The world did not end.
Unfortunately, I checked email at lunchtime and fell into a pit of despair but, after responding to some messages, I closed it again and cracked on as best I could with the document I need to write. I wrote some more. I felt (a bit) better. I won’t pretend that I’m not looking forward to a week off work next week.
Even if most of my half-term plans revolve around a huge clear-out and getting on top of my home admin. That will be another set of tasks off my list, off my mind. I posted another tweet this week – much more positive than last Friday’s whinge: Never underestimate the impact of saying “thank you” to someone for a job well done. Even if it’s just “doing their job” — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) I was amazed how many liked and retweets it got: that’s a lot of people who recognise the situation. I’m not sure that the person who took the time to say “thank you” yesterday realised the positive impact they made but the little things really do help. Further Reading • • •.
I’ve been interested in having a play with an action camera for a while now. I figure I can get some fun footage on the bikes, as well as ski-ing next winter, and I missed not having a waterproof camera when I was lake-swimming in Switzerland a few weeks ago! So, when I saw that a contact who had upgraded to the Hero 5 was selling his GoPro Hero 3 Silver Edition, I jumped at the opportunity. My camera came to me with quite a few accessories and (shipped from China in 3 weeks – don’t pay GoPro prices for things like a tripod mount or a lens cover!).
Whilst getting used to the camera’s controls (oh yes, and for the first time), I came across some useful tips on the ‘net including loads of videos from a guy called Bryn, whose new users guide was useful to make sure I had everything set up as I needed. Once I had everything set up and installed, My first outing on a bike with the GoPro was helmet-mounted.
That was OK, but it’s a bit weird having all that weight on your head and also not too handy for working out if the camera is running or not. Since then, I’ve got a bike mount so when my GoPro is mounted on my bike, I have it below the stem, which means technically it’s upside-down: Bike mount for my GoPro arrived this week fitted on the bike then realised it’s against rules:-( — Mark Wilson???? (@markwilsonit) No worries – the Internet delivered another video telling me how to set the camera up for upside down recording. One thing to watch out for is the battery life – don’t expect to be filling your memory card on a single battery – but it should last a while. It’s just that a GoPro isn’t going to work as a DashCam or similar (there are actually – I have a for that). Anyway, I don’t want to have to edit hours of footage so knowing I can only record a few minutes at a time is good for me (I have hours of recordings on that have been waiting to be transferred to disk for years!). I did recently use the GoPro to record some presentations at work: great for a wide angle view – but it got pretty warm being plugged into a power source the whole time (so again, a proper video camera would be the right thing to use – and don’t think about using a DSLR or a compact camera – I tried that too and they generally switch off after 20-30 mins to prevent overheating).
One thing I found is that each video recorded on the GoPro is chopped into chunks of around 3.55MB (I was recording 1080p). The file naming is worth getting used to. Each video uses the same number (0001, 0002, etc.) but you’ll find that the first one is named GOPR0001.MP4, the next is GP010001.MP4, then GP020001.MP4, etc.
So, when selecting a group of files that relate to the same recording, look carefully at the index numbers (the date and time stamp should help too). Also, depending on how you import the videos (i.e. Copying directly rather than using an application like MacOS Image Capture), you may see some.THM and.LRV files. Thumbnail and low-resolution video files respectively. So, that’s a few things I’ve discovered over the last few weeks and just a little bit of GoPro tinkering.
Please leave a comment if you’ve anything more to add!
Learn the skills to be a Director Of Engineering Learn a new skill online, on your own time. Get started today with video instruction from recognized industry experts.