Monthly Archive: October 2004

The importance of the thick client platform

It amazes me that so many people seem happy to predict the demise of Microsoft over the next few years, whilist they seem happy to evangalise every other thick client platform, from the relative thin Mozilla platform:

Business 2.0 :: Magazine Article :: In Front :: Microsoft’s Worst Nightmare It all adds up to a business opportunity for startups, established software companies, and Web giants alike. Though Ross and the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation don’t stand to make money, Firefox’s open platform gives it enormous potential to hatch a new class of applications that live on the desktop but do business on the Web. Amazon (AMZN) could build a search application into the browser that lets users buy books without visiting its website. Google could make Web-based Gmail accounts behave like desktop applications such as Outlook. Word processing, calendar applications — virtually anything could be programmed right into Firefox.

To the platform, to the much more comprehensive LSB platform, to the huge Linux + GNU platform. 

Well to be honest if there was ever a company that understood the importance of platforms – upon which people can deliver applications – it’s Microsoft and there is plenty of evidence that Microsoft …

How Still’s has affected my life – the answer suprised me!

I visitied my specialist last week and he asked me how Still’s affected me, focussing on issues like could I dress myself, cook etc.  I am fortunate that Steroids seems to keep the major inflamatory affects of Stills reasonably under control so I am able to lead a fairly normal life, when I don’t feel too good I just don’t do certain things, or get one of my 4 girls or my wife to help out.  

After I had left though I got to thininking how I have modified my life to work around Still’s and I realised what a major effect it has had, it’s just that I have adjusted in such a way that it does not seem that I have given too much up overall. In fact taken as a whole I think I am happier post Still’s, but that’s probably as much to do with my positive outlook on life as anything else.  These are some of the changes:

1.      I cann’t do all sorts of things I used to do:

a.       No DIY

b.      No climbing

c.       No weight training

d.      No hiking

e.       No heavy …

Microsoft – Inremental innovation as well as integrated innovation

Microsoft has made much of its “integrated innovation” value proposition.  But for many enterprises its incremental release of feature packs is probably of more interest.  This is evident when you look at both XP and 2003 Server, but 2003 server is the more impressive of the two. 

So far Microsoft have released the following feature packs:

Automated Deployment Services (ADS). Available as a download, ADS for Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, includes a new set of imaging tools that enable you to automate the deployment of Microsoft operating systems.

Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM). For organizations that require flexible support for directory-enabled applications, ADAM is a breakthrough in directory services technology based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

File Replication Services (FRS) Monitoring Tools. A number of tools are available for managing FRS, the replication engine that keeps Distributed File System (DFS) shares synchronized, including both continuous monitoring tools, such as Ultrasound and Sonar, and snapshot troubleshooting tools such as FRSDiag.

Group Policy Management Console (GPMC). GPMC simplifies the management of Group Policy by making it easier to understand, deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Group Policy implementations.

Identity integration. Identity Integration Feature Pack for Microsoft Windows Server Active …

I installed google desktop search, but not for long …

A friend recently pointed out that google have just released their desktop search product in beta, everything google does seems to be in beta, a few hours before almost everyone on my blogroll also reported the fact!

Anyway like thousands of other bloggers I quickly installed it.  At first I was none too happy with it though.  It did not ask me where to store its index, what file types to index, which areas to index.  In fact it seemed way too simple to setup.  So I uninstalled it worrying that it was going to go away and index every file on my two 120G disks.  Well I should have looked a bit harder at the FAQ and when I did I realised that it can take such a simple approach to life because it only indexes Office documents and HTML files, and these don’t take up anywhere near as much space.  However I guess, but have not checked, that it did index my multiple backup areas.

So having reinstalled it what do I think.  Well to be honest I don’t like it all that much.  I have huge numbers of files, often many versions of the same file and …

Microsoft stalls as Citrix continues on a roll

Microsoft watch reported today that Microsoft are dropping the “anywhere access” functionality scheduled to ship in Windows 2003 Server R2.  Which is a real disappointment, tempered slightly by the fact that Citrix continue to innovate around their platform.

In May, Microsoft officials said to expect R2 to include bug fixes for Windows Server 2003, as well as some of the 12 to 15 Windows Server “feature packs” that the company has rolled out since Windows Server 2003 shipped in April 2003. These feature packs include Active Directory Application Mode, SharePoint Services, Windows Update Services. Officials also said at that time that R2 would include full Network Access Protection and “Anywhere Access” capabilities, the latter of which was expected to draw on Microsoft’s next-generation Terminal Server features.

But now Microsoft has decided to push the Network Access Protection security capabilities it into Windows Server “Longhorn,” the Windows Server release due in 2007.

“Delivering Network Access Protection in R2 would have forced too many changes at a low level,” said Samm DiStasio, a group product manager with Microsoft’s Windows Server division, in explaining the company’s decision to postpone the feature until Longhorn Server.

At the same time, the Redmond software vendor has …

Citrix Previews Future Technologies

As usual Brian Madden has all of the latest information on Citrix, this time it’s the main features in Metraframe Presentation Server 4.  Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me.

Citrix’s future technologies include:

  • Smart Access
  • ActiveSync via ICA
  • TWAIN imaging device ICA redirection (scanners, cameras, etc.)
  • Performance management technology licensed from Aurema and RTO
  • Audio enhancements in preparation for VoIP
  • EMF-based Printing
  • Windows 64-bit support
  • Application Isolation Environments
  • Virtual IP addresses
  • GoToWebinar
  • ICA Session Recording, Archiving, and Surveilling
  • Hardware Appliances

For a more detailed list of each feature check bout Brian’s web site

A story about thinking

This charming story is based on the ‘Six Thinking Hats’ by Edward de Bono. The story shows the individual use of the hats and their effects as types of thinking. Perhaps this is just the beginning and readers will add further chapters to this story or write similar stories embodying other thinking tools and frameworks. It is my wish that we can gather a large number of stories that are suitable as ‘bed time stories’ which people can then download from the site and read to their children. Any volunteers to create some illustrations? Please send your contributions to me at

Peter de Bono

The Magic Hats
By Lorna Santín

A long time ago, in a beautiful village with small straw houses, something happened which I’ll tell you about.

About a hundred people lived in that place . There was a bread maker, a locksmith, several miners, a teacher and many more men with different jobs. Each of them lived with his family – his wife, his children … There were younger, middle aged and older children.

Some of these children liked playing near a waterfall just outside the village. Of course their parents didn’t like the idea at …

Six Thinking Hats

I have just started to think through some of the processes, I take for granted.  One of these is “researching and descision making”.  One of the first approaches I cam across was the “Six Thinking Hats”; approach it stunned me that a process I am so familliar with could be so dramatically improved through applying more structure.  What particularly appealed was how the approach works within teams to avoid conflict.  Here’s a summary of the approach:

  • White Hat:
    With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them.

    This is where you analyze past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.

  • Red Hat:
    ‘Wearing’ the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.

  • Black Hat:
    Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not …

AOSD and work

One of the responses to my post on the Stills Message Board was about AOSD and Work, and the difficulty some people have with communicating with their employers about the disease, and in fact with some health industry workers.  I thought this was interesting because it’s similar to my experience so I thought I would write a bit about it.

First off you need to be able to explain why Still’s affects your ability to work.  At first I just tried to describe the pain, but in my case the pain is really not that extreme and others do manage to work with that level of pain.  I am a pretty motivated guy normally so that got me thinking a bit more about why I struggle to work when I am in a flare and why even when things have stabilized I don’t have the stamina I used to have.  This is what I came up with:

  1. Although I suffer from Joint, Muscle and Tendon pain these in themselves I can put up with and generally work through provided my arms and hands are not too bad, (as I spend a lot of time typing)

  2. The main things that affect …

AOSD Update

Well it’s that time again.  A quick look back at the last month and how I have coped and what I have learned about AOSD.  Here is a summary chart showing cumulative symptoms:




  1. At my last visit to my specialist I was on 20mg of Prednisone, I was doing pretty well but my bone density scan showed I was below normal.
  2. We agreed that I would reduce to 10mg and then taper off to zero and transition to Methotrexate.
  3. Just after this visit I came across some articles that suggested that sustained medium intensity exercise produced natural Cortisol and I began to get excited about the prospect of substituting exercise for Prednisone.  This didn’t work and I blogged about that in much more detail here
  4. As I reduced the Prednisone I introduced a NSAID Celebrex
  5. Anyway I slowly came off Prednisone, I seemed to be doing reasonably OK and I initially put the gradual increase in pain down to Prednisone withdrawal.
  6. Then all of a sudden I was hit with really bad waves of fatigue, very poor concentration, plenty of tendon and joint pain, headaches etc.  I was feeling really rough. 
  7. At first …