Blog Comments

  1. jtotheb's Avatar
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    Microsoft changed the wording on their skills measured pages for the Server 2008 exams, which apparently is all they have to do! I don't remember them making it widely know apart from on their own certification forums. They changed them way back last autumn, but the new official second edition R2 training books have only just come out. I sat the 70-642 just after Christmas and it was R2 based, but I'd known it would be going in.
  2. JessFlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanHamilton
    Jess
    Many thanks. Have been told no funding this year now so on the back burner but I've found out a lot more about how modern apprenticeships work so maybe next year...
    Ian
    Hi Ian,

    That's a shame, but it seems to be a similar picture across the board. Best of luck with your future recruitment. Jess
  3. IanHamilton's Avatar
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    Jess
    Many thanks. Have been told no funding this year now so on the back burner but I've found out a lot more about how modern apprenticeships work so maybe next year...
    Ian
  4. JessFlack's Avatar
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    Hi Ian,
    I'm a Work-based Learning Advisor from City University London and often place students in IT Helpdesk/User Support roles in schools etc, in fact most of our IT students looking for placements will do this kind of work as it provides them with a really good technical grounding - something they will need when they graduate and search for graduate roles. At City, we use SFIAplus to map our students' learning, it might be of use to you have a look at this if it's not something you've come across before? You can see the basic version here SFIA Foundation | SFIA Home | SFIA Foundation and if you are a member of the BCS you can see the full SFIAplus version via the main membership page. It's an industry standard matrix of all the jobs across the IT industry that people can do - at various different levels. Most students will start out at level 2 and work their way up. Helpdesk/user support comes under USUP - Service Desk and Incident Management.
    Hope this is useful.
  5. RobBaxter's Avatar
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    People who talk the MSITP EA course anything less than "challenging" is mad. I went to firebrand to do mine, im glad i did as it tool 13 days of solid uninterupted tutoring to get it. The last PRO exam was hard a friggen nails!
  6. Drummer_Boy's Avatar
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    The cloud is a hot topic at the moment (I remember when a cloud was an ISP's internal comms infrastructure!), and no matter what our thoughts on it we need to have an answer ready when the bosses come calling!

    I attended the AWS event in London last week (we operate a 'private cloud' environment for our customers, or SaaS as it were 2 years ago!). The AWS vent was very good, but I noticed that the emphasis has subtley shifted to flexibility, and away from cost, as mentioned in a previous post.

    If you need high burst capability, but normally low capacity then the cloud could be the solution for you, as you effectively 'buy' the based level kit, and then rent,m when needed, the rest.

    If you expect to fully utilised a piece of hardware over a period, then running in house is still cheaper - they'll try and muddy the waters with cost of people, but usually this does not stack up in the real world.

    For example, my US colleague is looking at moving to a hosted exchange platform, and the platform providers provided a TCO spreadsheet, based on 5 people working a 24*7 shift pattern, and proving it was cheaper. This was all well and good until I pointed out to my CEO that we only have 2 people working normal office hours, and so the TCO was smoke and mirrors.

    There is a military saying of 'time spent in reconnaissance is rarely wasted', that works equally well for IT. Also, 'Buy once, cry once'.

    PS @GrumbleDook, thanks for the mention.
    Updated 22nd June 2011 at 09:56 AM by Drummer_Boy
  7. GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    If you want to see them being used by students you only have to ask. I can take you to a goodly number of local schools where they have been used and used effectively. I am not saying it is without pain ... a certain amount of that has had to be managed by laborious work by me or, more frequently, one of me LA colleagues.

    It might even be that as a device they are more suited to primary school. Heck, they get so much more out of it than I have seen in secondary schools so far, but that is not unheard of for new tech. Unfortunately, as you are all too aware, the standard of tech and the standard of teaching with tech in primary schools is too varied ... and that will not be solved by a single device such as an iPad or any other tablet. Then again, neither would a Wii, a new machine running Windows 7, a lovely setup based on Ubuntu ... but that doesn't mean we don't try.
  8. willtech's Avatar
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    I somehow passed first time I was half asleep and had not revised. I was shocked when they said I passed. I find the windows server 2008 AD a hard exam
    Updated 20th June 2011 at 09:43 PM by willtech
  9. Grumpy_Old_Man's Avatar
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    You'll get there next time.
    I'm another one who needed two attempts. I found the 70-680 exam to be the hardiest of the three Windows 7 exams, probable due to the amount of material covered.
  10. mmoseley's Avatar
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    I Agree...It took me 2 attempts and I think I passed it bang on 700 (i think!) But keep going, it will click!
  11. SYNACK's Avatar
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    Just read this on Slashdot Why businesses move to the cloud: They hate IT | ITworld

    The cloud is a tool so that those who don't actually fully know what they are doing can avoid those that do and make decisions (bad or otherwise). The cloud is Apple for admins, a box of crayons for those that can't work a pen.
  12. Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    We have just done the same, and decided that it was time to move away from the DigiBlue Cameras. We bought Zu3d (£350 for a small network licence) and 10 webcams. The software is much better than the Digital Blue Software, and it does not need expensive propriatory cameras to work either.
    Updated 16th June 2011 at 02:47 PM by Mr.Ben
  13. JamesG's Avatar
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    Replacement Cameras are not really needed, our school found a way around it without having to buy a whole new kit

    You can still access the camera video files by doing the below instructions. It basicly turns the camera into a external HDD so you can access the files you want.

    * Switch on the Camera when itís not connected to the PC



    * Hold down the Resolution button on the camera.



    * Plug in the camera while still holding the Resolution button.



    * You will notice a new drive mounted in your 'Computer' folder called 'Removable Disk'.



    * Double-click to open it, then open the 'DCIM' folder > '100MEDIA' folder.



    * You can now drag the movies out of that folder and into any location you wish, double click the files individually to view them.
  14. GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The important thing is not that you think out loud ... but that you think ... and your worries are expressed carefully, considerately and with a decent amount of understanding of the impact that things can have when they go wrong. Keep thinking ...

    I might have to sort out another DPA chat at a #NetworkNorthants meeting again. I'll have a dig around for a speaker of the quality of @Drummer_Boy
  15. Fatmas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzaidi
    Was the Processor (P4) powerful enough to handle the data transfers? FreeNAS also has other features, such has the uPNP, DLNA stuff, where you able to play with those or other features?
    I found it to be ok at transferring data. We copied all the teacher's user areas to it and it was slightly quicker than the tape backup. I don't know whether it's being used anymore as I left the school back in April, but it was a great proof of concept and worked very well.


    I didn't have too much of a play with those features as initially, I just wanted to get it working.

    Yes if you have a good HDD and a decent NIC / network infrastructure, that would make more of a difference than a quick CPU.
  16. Gibbo's Avatar
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    I would have thought it would be. The "crunch points" would be good HDDs and NICs.
  17. kzaidi's Avatar
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    Was the Processor (P4) powerful enough to handle the data transfers? FreeNAS also has other features, such has the uPNP, DLNA stuff, where you able to play with those or other features?
  18. synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Indeed, it's that reliance.
    And as for installing a 2nd line - for anything that's properly useable for that backup, the cost in doing so will instantly wipe out any financial benefits, surely?
    I will stress it appears it's the reliance thing I'm more concerned about, very much along the lines of what you're saying znova. I'm of very similar status, I'm by no means an expert but always keep my ears open for anything that may make our lives easier/better - our being us as technical staff, the schools, staff and pupils. I will absolutely not be happy with anything that comprimises a pupil's education because, along with data protection, that is the most important part of our jobs. Without the pupils, we have no reason to exist in our current state.

    Of course there are benefits, and much of the average techie's job is to weigh up all the pros and cons of everything we do. And those pros and cons will differ for all establishments. I'm also a firm believer that the "one size fits all" ideas are not viable solutions, because it means there are schools and establishments having to comprimise just to conform. I already dislike the one size fits all curriculum but that is something entirely out of my remit or control. Thankfully computers are easier to bunch into categories than people!

    Don't take any of this to heart by the way, for anyone that may take offence at it. I tend to "think out loud" in blogs, that's what I really think it's for. Opinions are opinions of course, and I am very happy to stand corrected!
  19. znova's Avatar
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    Hello,

    interesting post. I've just done a fair amount of research into cloud apps though I am by no means an expert. Cloud seems to divide people into 2 camps like Marmite - you either love it or hate it. I used to be in the former but now I hover around the middle.

    A few points: security seems to be the biggest issue why people are reluctant to take up cloud based apps. However, I would argue that being ISO27001 certified means your security is probably tighter than your average network. But you are absolutely correct, you are still responsible for the data, and most cloud-provider contracts are VERY vague and non-negotiable for all but the largest organisations.

    The second issue is money. Cloud providers generally attract clients with low monthly rates. However, it's like the difference between renting and buying your own house. In the long run (and for some apps less than 2 years) it's cheaper to buy and install in-house.

    I would say at the moment cloud has its uses - but I would stear away from anything cloud-based that is paid for or "business-critical". MIS in the cloud as you said just isn't sustainable with the current infrastructure. However, Google docs etc. could give Microsoft a run for their money.

    I am actually going to be involved in a school cloud project (moving to Google docs, Gmail etc) so I am not really anti-cloud. As I said, as long as it's free, non business-critical and doesn't involve sensitive data(DPA), why not. Obviously the school network infrastructure and broadband connection has to support it!
  20. zag's Avatar
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    Why not get a 2nd Broadband line?

    We have a VDSL backup here and it takes 20 seconds to swap over the gateway if the main one goes down.