Category Archives: 1308

SBS2008 is coming…

It’s my last day in Seattle having been here for over a week to attend MVP Summit 2008. Whilst here we’ve learned a LOT more about SBS2008, Essential Business Server and of course how little sleep we can survive on!

Just stumbled across this this morning…

Now I’m not going to comment on its origin…but I’m happy for the link to be forwarded around in order to build momentum around the coming release of these great products.

Pass it on. And perhaps if you’ve got a bit of time up your sleeve you can through your own SBS2008 related video together to build up the excitement before release later this year πŸ™‚


Well I’ve received my official email, and the kit from Microsoft, letting me know I’ve been renewed as an MVP for another 12 months.

What does this mean? Nothing really changes. I’ll keep working with the user groups, the online community and those around me to help build a better SBS experience for us all. Even if I’d not been renewed I’d still do this though, as would any other MVP.

Being an MVP doesn’t mean I’m anything special either, except perhaps to those people I’ve managed to help (see

So to all those others who have made it through this renewal cycle – well done and thanks for helping to make a positive difference to the world.

Do you go fishing?

It’s been a very full week here in Seattle at the Microsoft global MVP summit. I’ve met most of the rest of the SBS MVPs (and they are as nutty as I thought they were!) and we’ve had a great time together.

Last night those of us that were still here went down to Pikes Place Pub for dinner together. It was a great time to wind down after the conference – but we still managed to talk about SBS & IT in general. One of the things that ties us all together is the passion (I don’t think there’s any other word for it) we have for the “space” that SBS fits into. It’s not about a product, it’s not about money or power or fame or anything like that – it’s the community spirit that brings us together from whereever we are in the world and enables us to make things just that little bit better for those around us.

This applies to us not because we’re MVPs (we’d still do what we do regardless of whether we have the award or not) but because at the end of the day we care about more than just ourselves. I think it’s as simple as that. And this can apply to anyone anywhere – not just people interested in computers or technology.

If you care enough about the world around you to reach out and help others, to make a difference in their lives first before it does anything for you, then you are an MVP – a Most Valued Person. That’s because your contribution will be of value to the person you’ve helped.

I recall a short story about a little boy on a beach, throwing fish into the water after they’d been washed up on the sand.  A man came by and saw what he was doing, and saw the thousands of fish on the sand flapping about, struggling to survive out of the water. The man said to the boy “there’s too many fish, you’re wasting your time, how do you think your small efforts are going to matter?”. The boy picked up another fish and threw it into the water, then turned to the man and replied “it mattered to that fish”.

Go make a difference to a “fish”. And to all those fishermen & women who attended the MVP conference – thanks for helping to make this world a better place for us all.

What happened to the MVP summit entries?

OK OK so perhaps I appear to have mislead you about my summit blogs. Firstly, I had MAJOR Internet connection problems whilst in Singapore – I think mostly because the conference venue and hotel were full of us MVP geeks hammering the Internet connection. I ended up deciding to just unplug myself for a few days and take in the event itself rather than try to stay hooked into the rest of the world at the same time.

So – sorry. The other reasons I found it hard to update things here are the days were rather full on so by the time I got back to my hotel room I was rather stuffed, plus most of what was covered in the conference is protected by NDA so I can’t talk about it.

Still, one thing I can relay is how great it was to be able to spend time with other MVPs, and learn they are also real people. Some of them (Steve Hudson) can drink more than their fair share and still stay excited about their favourite product (Word), or Graham (a Kiwi) became rather “huggy” after a few drinks. Not that it was all drinking mind you – that was just the final night (Wednesday) which was at a brewery.

Sean O’Driscol  gave a great presentation on the first morning and even referred to us SBS-MVPs as “viral” – probably because of the way we’re manage to be just about everywhere. I wonder if he realises how right he really is πŸ˜‰

We had a fantastic and very scary presentation about rootkits – what they are, what they’re not, a demonstration and advice on how to avoid getting them in the first place. This was probably the best presentation I saw and by far had the most impact on me. I’ve continued to keep in touch with the presenter (Mike) and we’re working on getting him out to Australia from Seattle sometime to present to those with a false sense of security.

All in all the summit was great and well worth my time, and money, to attend. The flight home was rough – overnight and I didn’t sleep at all. But I survived and am back at work – didn’t even get sick, which a number of other attendees from Australia did suffer from.

So – if you attended please feel free to post your comments here (taking into account the Microsoft imposed NDA) and I look forward to the next MVP get together in Redmond, Seattle in late September.

Over and out

PS. I did keep using the VoIP phone to call home and it worked a treat – definitely will stay in my travel pack for further use.

Singapore MVP Summit – day 3 (pt 1)

I’m now paying for my shopping sins (well, working). This morning I hit the shops in search of a new digital camera for myself and Stuart.The HP camera I brought with me decided to die and so is no good. Stuart was after a Canon IXUS 50 to give his Dad for his birthday so I thought I’d look for 2.

A caught a taxi up to Mustafa’s which is in Little India. It’s a huge department store with just about anything you can think of for sale. The prices, though, didn’t seem to be as good as I’d expected so I walked down to Sim Lim Square and did some further checking. I’d checked the price of the Canon camera in Australia so had something to measure the bargain against.

After some poking around, and price hunting, I found the right camera and the right price so I’m now the proud (and poor) owner of a new Canon IXUS 50 digital camera (plus one for Stuart). It’s amazing – in these big shopping complexes there are simply dozens of stores selling the same electrical goods, competing with each other on price. It makes me wonder how any of them make any money, especially when you consider they need to pay rent and other fixed costs, staff wages, and then have some profit left over. I guess my bargaining didn’t help their bottom line too much , but then I’m the buying and so am only in it for me! Interesting to be on the other side of the counter every once in a while – gives you a different perspective on business.

After what is now the last of my shopping, I walked back to the hotel, stopping for some lunch on the way. I’m keeping myself locked in my hotel room in order to get some work done before the cocktail party starts at 7pm. I believe Wayne is arriving later tonight from Sydney, but not until after the party kicks off.

I’ll endeavour to post back here after the event – if there’s anything to report. The real fun starts tomorrow so stay tuned.

I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go…..

Singapore MVP Summit – day 2

Very sad news – the Ferraris had all gone by the time I went outside. Turns out the event was only for the Friday night. So I’m afraid there are no pictures.

After breakfast I headed out for a walk to some of the shopping complexes. There are so many in Singapore and each one is just a little bit different. I covered a lot of ground though – from the hotel I made my way up to Bugis Junction, then Sim Lim Square. From there I walked to Orchard Road and walked almost to the far end – as far as Takashimaya.

Orchard Road is where a lot of the more classy shops are located, including the Mont Blanc store where I went for a bit of a drool. I did visit a tailor and arranged to get some trousers and shirts made for me. The price was amazingly cheap compared to Australia, particularly for custom made clothes. I’ll drop in for a fitting on Tuesday night and collect them on Thursday before flying home.

I then walked back to the hotel complete with a couple of detours to other shopping complexes on the way.

The sun gets rather hot here, even when cloudy, and combined with the humidity, the day can take quite a bit out of you so I visited the hotel pool for a bit of a swim. The pool itself is very nice and was not at all crowded.

I visited a food hall next door to the hotel for some dinner – the food is so incredibly cheap here but good quality. There is such a diverse range of tastes to experience too – you name it you can probably find it.

I finished off the night with another free VoIP call home to Vivienne and the kids, followed by some work. I’ll do a bit more touring around tomorrow before the conference starts, together with getting a pile of work done too which needs to be finalised before the week starts.

Till tomorrow then J

Singapore MVP Summit – day 1

So I’ve arrived in Singapore after around 7.5 hours flying. The flight left the Adelaide International Airport around 11:10am and arrived in Darwin a bit over 3 hours later. The flight itself was fine (Airbus A330-300) although the TV set for my seat didn’t work at all so no movies (caught up on some reading instead).

Brief stop over in Darwin then back on the plane to Singapore. I was in a different seat and this one too had TV problems. Aparently this particular plane has more entertainment system problems than any other in the fleet so if you’re boarding a Qantas Airbus A330 called “Esperence” don’t get too excited about the movies as you could get disappointed.

I arrived in Singapore later than initially planned by about 40 minutes and caught a MaxiCab to the hotel. Costs a little more (set fee of S$35) but it tends to be a nicer drive.

The first thing I saw when arriving at the hotel were a WHOLE BUNCH OF FERRARIS!!!!! There’s a conference in the hotel for Ferrari resellers by the looks and so there’s just a few Million $$$ parked out the front. My mates Robert Lecons and Martin Baily would love it here – might have to take some photos for them.

Checked into my room (1118) which is quite nice. Of course the first thing I looked for was the cable connection for the Internet link – what a geek! This trip I’ve brought with me a little NetGear RP614 router and a Netcomm V-100 VoIP device plus a telephone I bought yesterday. Got myself connected to the broadband service and called Vivienne at home as I’d set up one of these VoIP devices there too. So I phoned her for free and the voice quality was fantastic. You wouldn’t know it was across the ‘net.

Of course she had friends over watching a video so will call me back later, but just being able to use the technology to call home for free is amazing. Visit for more information on my new “toy”. Will be very useful for travelling and keeping in touch with home.. When I’m not travelling we’ll have it setup in the office for cheaper long distance calls.

So, getting settled in and thought I’d update you. Tomorrow will be a chance for some shopping and looking around (plus drooling over the Ferraris outside) and get some work done without the mobile phone ringing every few minutes. The bulk of the other MVPs are arriving tomorrow and Sunday.

Signing off until tomorrow. G’nite πŸ™‚


PS – just called my parents to say hi. The VoIP phone call to their PSTN service was only 60c for 6.5 minutes. Now that’s amazing.

MVP Regional Summit – 3 sleeps away

On Friday I fly to Singpore for the Asia MVP Regional Summit. This will be my first big MVP get together and I’m looking forward to it. It will be a chance to meet other MVPs and talk about both technical and business related topics.

Whilst it’s mostly going to be a “geek fest” I’m sure we’ll have a lot of fun. The Monday night event is scheduled to be held at the Singapore Zoo which should be amazing.

So, only 3 sleeps to go. I’ll tryΒ to update this blog as things happen, provided I’m not breaking any NDAs or embarrasing anyone who can get me back;)

I think Vivienne has prepared quite the shopping list for me too – perhaps I’ll leave the MasterCard at home πŸ™‚

Stay tuned…..