Professional Geek
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  • Knowledge versus Ability

    I was looking down the “recent posts” bit on my wordpress dash board when i came across this post

    Programming Knowledge versus Programming Ability « Imran On Tech

    I generally agree with the post and it has a good footballing analogy too!As we’re looking for new staff at the moment it definitely got me thinking.

    On the whole i hated the process whenever i’ve been looking for work (and yes i know there are other ways, such as agencies, but i’m being pretty broad here!)

    Advertise job, Receive CV’s, Filter CV’s, Interviews, Offer job

    I always wondered how you could give someone a job based on what is written on a couple of pieces of paper and a brief chat.

    I know lots of jobs have test know-a-days but that doesn’t tell you if they’ll be able to recover that corrupted Exchange store while they have 100 users in their ear

    Anyone can embelish their CV and “blag” at the interview.

    What about someone who is really talented but is a bundle of nerves at the interview so doesn’t come across well. How can you determine what if they’ll fit in with the rest of your staff? How can you determine they are willing to put in the effort to make the company succeed? There are hundreds of elements to determine if someone is right for your company before you even get to their ability to do the job?

    As a small business we also dont have the time or the money to go round and round trying to make sure we pick the right person. We need to get it right straight away!

    How do you determine if someone has the ability to back up the MCSE (or other appropriate certificate!) they wave at you?

    I’d be interested to hear how other people do it?

  • Longhorn Product Name?

    Have Microsoft given a product name to Longhorn Server yet?

    I was looking to see what was new on the Microsoft download site when i saw the following

    Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 Step-by-Step Guides

    Or am i just really behind on my news since i got back?

  • Fibre connection to your house?

    Interesting article on The Register today about the economics of replacing the copper network in the uk with fibre. This is something i’d really like to see but i wont be holding my breath.

    I’ll be making the move to cable (Virgin Media as it is now) in July when my current ADSL contract expires. I live buy ativan paypal quite a distance from the exchange in my area and after doing my research it looks like the maximum speed i can get is about 4Mb (if i’m lucky!) and with my laptop and computers, my wife’s laptop, plus my XBOX 360 i’m struggling a bit on my 1Mb line at the moment 🙁

  • Activate Remote Desktop Remotely

    Just a small nugget as i have used this a couple of times but always forget which registry key it is!

    If you have a pc your trying to Remote Desktop into but it isn’t enabled, use the remote editing features of regedit to change the following

    HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\fDenyTSConnections

    Change it from 1 to 0 and your in!

    I’ve used this on XP but not Vista yet but the same key exists so i’m guessing it still applies

    * There is a more up to date version of this post available here *


  • Tipping the hat

    Just thought i’d “big up” someone elses blog today

    Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror blog is primarily a programming blog but it covers a wide variety of topics is well researched and entertains. I throughly recommend you take a look

    A good example is his latest post on the wheel mouse and it’s origins.

    I personally can’t do without the wheel on mice. It’s such obvious and natural feature that feels weird when I use a mouse without it!

    One thing i can’t get used to though is buttons on the side of the mouse. Some of the Microsoft Intellitmouse products have take to putting them on the side. I generally curse at the mouse when i go “back” in IE by mistake!

  • Easing Myself Back In

    Well the wedding went really well and we had a nice relaxing break in Edinburgh. It’s such a great city  (even if the weather was rubbish!) and the people were so friendly 

    As i expected i’ve come back to a large pile of stuff to catch up on so thought i’d post something simple to get back into it

    Have you been to the Multimap website recently?

    They have had a bit of Web 2.0 facelift and i’m quite impressed with it’s new look and some of the new features include

    • The hybrid view displays road names as you hover over them
    • You can put points of interest on the map (cash machines, wi-fi hotspots,etc)
    • It keeps search history and you can create favourites
    • It will give walking directions as well as driving directions
    • When you get directions it displays little sections of the route in seperate windows

    There is probably lots of other little stuff i haven’t found yet. I generally use a mixture of Live Local and Multimap for my “mapping needs” so was nice to see the update

  • I’m off for a week

    I got married on Saturday so posts are going to be limited until next week..

    We had an amazing day and my new wife did some amazing things to make it extra special which just reminded me of why i was marrying her!

  • Just a bit of closure

    I posted a week or so ago after my frustration with some work we were quoting for. I got some good comments from Nick including a follow up post here which gave me the sort of feedback i was looking for.

    Nick thought that maybe we were coming in a bit high while the competition were coming in a bit low.

    Just to follow up on his was 25 workstations (not 15) and also we were looking at about 80 effort hours instead in of the 90-100 he mentions. Also we are doing a little bit more work than just the SBS (firewall, router, other stuff)

    I was very pleased to get his comments as it gave me a bit of perspective and allowed me to see it from a different angle.

    As closure on this i thought i’d post to say we got the business in the end. When pushed a little further they conceded that maybe they would “be pushing it” with the amount of hours it would take them and a new figure appeared that wasn’t too far away from ours. This in combination with certain parts of their quote not quite making sense meant that the trust went and we were awarded the job.

    This sort of proves me right for the reason i’d get so worked up and prompted the post

    The competition had quoted a smaller labour figure and would have added it on later giving the customer a nasty surprise at the end. When we quote it’s the MAXIMUM they will be billed. If we quote 10 days and it only takes 8 then they’ll be billed for eight. If we quote 10 and it takes 12 then we take the hit and make sure we learn from it.

    All’s well that end’s well in this case but it could have gone the other way with the customer learning the hard way