Change Management Final

Friday, 4 April 2008

Yesterday, the final “Managing Change Plan” for the Flexible Learning Centre was released, as far as the areas that aren’t being disputed by the NTEU.

A quick read has revealed that my position will transfer to ISTS on April 21st. I’m currently on leave until mid-May so I’m not expecting that to affect me much. There’s also a review and evaluation of the whole process scheduled in 12 months time - that will make interesting reading.

One other thing I learned last week was that there’s no chance of me getting a redundancy package instead of my position moving. I figured this might be the case, but when $$$s are involved you want to make sure.

Having a break has been a good thing though:

As I’ve said to a couple of people already, you definitely know you’re on holidays when you start to lose track of what day it is!

{Year} of the {Hero}

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

I don’t know who thought of it first, but it looks like if you’re running a conference or product launch this year, you need to include “Hero” in the title.

Microsoft have been running their Heroes Happen {here} launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 over the last few months.

Now I’ve just received an email from IBM telling me about their Rational Software Development Conference - “Where teams are R-Heroes” (no, I’m not making this up).

And like Microsoft, IBM Rational have names for their R-Heroes too.

I think this just goes to show how bad things can get when the marketing guys have too much spare time.

And what’s up with those curly braces? If we had some VB events, should they have named it “Heroes Happen Begin Here End Here” ?

Things I need to learn more about

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Following on from a conversation I had yesterday, I realise there are some areas of .NET that I don’t understand as well as I might:

You usually know what you know, but it is helpful to know what you don’t know too.

Ziova CS505

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I don’t think my next-door neighbour Phil would mind me describing him as a videophile. He was one of the first people I know to get a digital settop box (and confirm that it made a huge difference to the quality of the TV reception in our area).

Phil doesn’t have Internet access, but he’d heard about the Zensonic z500 high definition network DVD media player, and asked me to print out some specs for him to review. While doing that I discovered that Zensonic had changed their name to Ziova, and also had released a new model, the CS505.

So yesterday Phil dropped around and told me he’d gone ahead and bought a CS505. He still had a couple of questions though:

Can you save videos to a hard disk via the USB port?

It looks like the answer is “No”. You can use the USB port to upgrade firmware (more about that shortly), or you can play movies from it, but it looks like the CS505 is only a player, not a recorder.

Can you update the firmware?

“Yes”, though it is a little involved.

After reviewing the device settings, Phil’s machine had shipped with firmware version 1.1.1. To get access to firmware updates, you need to register your device (I did this on Phil’s behalf). First register with the Ziova Support Forums then use the same login for My Ziova, where you need to enter your device details (make sure you get the serial number and both MAC addresses correct!)

Once that is done, you’ll see that there’s a firmware upgrade to version 2.0.1. Don’t be fooled by the text that says “use the recovery CD” though! The only way to upgrade from version 1 to version 2 is to use a USB 2 device (flash drive or hard disk). Trust me, I tried to use the CD, and (like others found), that doesn’t work.

I was a bit worried (especially as this wasn’t my device!), and I didn’t have a USB2-capable flash drive on hand (they are quite specific that it needs to be USB 2). Then I realised that I’d recently received a 75Gb external drive from Microsoft (with lots of training material for the 2008 product launches). 10 minutes later, I’d copied all the content onto my home PC. Follow these steps to get the external drive setup correctly:

  1. Download and extract the Recover Version 2.0.1 zip file.
  2. Remove the external drive.
  3. Run RecoveryUSBMaker.exe
  4. Re-insert the external drive
  5. RecoveryUSBMaker.exe should now detect the external drive and offer to reformat it.
  6. Wait for it to finish, then you’re good to go.

You can then plug the drive into the CS505 and restart the player to being the firmware update process. It does take a few minutes, so give it a while.

Did it make a difference?

The first thing we noticed was that the menu “theme” had changed. It seemed a bit smaller, but as I said to Phil, that might be because they’ve added more options to the screen. It all seemed to be ok, so I said goodnight and we left it at that.

This morning Phil dropped by again. Had something gone wrong? No, he was over the moon! He wanted to thank me for my help, as he assured me he could see a noticeable improvement in the video quality and was now extremely satisfied with his purchase.

It’s nice to have a happy ending :-)

Some light reading

Monday, 17 March 2008

I’ve just placed my first ever order with Amazon for the following books:

The first three came about by reading recommendations from the old list, the new altdotnet list and the Alt.Net book list.

The fourth will hopefully help me pass the 70-547 exam. I did consider the Microsoft Press book, but the reviews weren’t inspiring.

If they arrive as predicted, they might end up being a nice birthday present next month.