Archive for Life of Brian

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 11-10-2016

I know its been a long time since my last public blog…keyword being public. I’ve been active with some more private things at work but thought I’d get back on the saddle and start blogging again. Where have I been you ask??? Well I’m still at Intel but recently my job has changed. In fact as I look at my last post back in mid 2011 that was about the time I moved into a position managing an IT team supporting Intel’s factories. It was a great experience that taught me a lot about our business. I’ve now moved back to my roots and am involved with Active Directory. Smile

I hope to share some more best practices with you as well as give you updates on my crazy life…and it has gotten a lot more crazy with more animals than ever. In fact I think I live in a zoo sometimes.

How are you all doing? I hope people still see this and if so I’d love to hear from you. Hit me up in the comments and let me know what is going on in your world. What keeps you up at night? Are you going to the cloud for AD? What would you like to see up here? Who are the power players in this space now?

I hope to start integrating myself back into the community. In the meantime make sure you follow me on Twitter too @mvpbrian

Last week I was a speaker at Tech Immersion 2011 here in Phoenix Arizona.  I gave four talks on a range of topics that covered Active Directory, PowerShell and Server Core.  Hopefully I have some new followers since the conference and if so make sure to say hi in the comments.

The highlight for myself was meeting Jeffrey Snover.  If you don’t know who he is then you better Bing or Google him now.  This is the father of PowerShell and now the Lead Architect for the Windows Server Division.  He was really great to talk, in fact there were a lot of great presenters there including, PowerShell gurus Don Jones & James Brundage, Microsoft Certified Master’s Miguel Wood & Mike Pfeiffer, MVPs and MCTs such as Simon Allardice, Scott Cate, Jeff Jones, Spike Xavier as well as Microsoft employees Michael Palermo, Harold Wong, Tony Harris & Kathrine Lord and ITIL/COBIT Master Mark Thomas.  I left one person out and that was on purpose.  Jason Helmick…what can I say.  He along with the rest of Interface Technical Training put on an excellent conference that will only grow more and more as time goes on.  Great job Jason and Lynn from Interface as well as everyone else that supported this event.


Here is a pic of Jeffrey and I after the event hanging out at Dick’s Hideaway.

I can’t wait for Interface to host another great event like this.

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 14-01-2011

I’ve moved my blog over to use Word Press instead of the previous Community Server that it was hosted on.  Hopefully all the redirects are set up and the migration worked.  The URL has changed slightly and is now  I’m still playing with the theme and picture (the current one is from last summer in Hawaii).

Hopefully this will motivate me to post more. I’ve actually got a few projects that I’m working on that should lead to more content.  Please feel free to give me feedback on the new site and requests for content wouldn’t be bad either.

In the mean time I also need to test a post with a picture so here is one of Santa and I on the couch at work!


While I’ve got Santa up here I just want to say thanks to him for personally visiting my house the last two Christmas Eve nights and making my girls wide eyed and extremely happy to see him.

I grew up on the Atari 2600 and because of that it has a found place in my childhood memories.  I’ve played my fair share of Halo over the years too.  Well what if Bungie was around 30+ years ago and released their mega hit Halo on the 2600?  Dream no more…


How cool is this?  You can actually play the game too.  It reminds me a lot of the game called Adventure for the Atari 2600.  Enjoy!

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 12-01-2010

For the last several years I”ve worked in a team that is spread all across the world.  The following ramblings are the items I”ve picked up from working in a virtual team as well as from books that I”ve read on the subject.  One thing is key, leadership is leadership.  It doesn’t matter if you are there local or remote.  Enjoy.


Trust is an important aspect in all levels of leadership. The degree in which trust is used across virtual teams is usually much deeper than what level is used with a local team. Trust is the key to getting performance from a team that is distributed geographically. Trust must be gained:

  • In you as a virtual leader
  • In the virtual project or virtual organization
  • In all virtual team members across distance

Building Relationships and Trust

Since virtual teams have limited interaction and limited knowledge of each other in their isolation, the virtual team must establish ways to help team members learn about each other quickly and frequently.

  • Establish ways for the team to learn more about each other professionally and personally so they will collaborate even when distant
  • Establish a short meeting for the team to talk with one another to troubleshoot and discuss current issues
  • Pair off people to work together on parts of the project
  • Acknowledge all types of recognitions including, birthdays, academic success, and other personal achievements

Virtual Team Alignment

People who work across distance tend to lose focus after any single meeting. Therefore, it is critical that the virtual team create:

  • A clear vision so every team member knows exactly where the team is headed
  • A clear emotional link so each remote team member stays motivated when distant
  • A published roadmap that is used as each person does work remotely to align work and efforts

Virtual Team Equality

Be extremely fair in treating all team members, near and far, equally. Even appearances or suggestions of favoritism break trust.

  • Avoid the temptation to rely more on those on-site with you than those at a distance
  • Take culture differences into consideration
  • Give every team member an equal opportunity to excel and contribute to the result
  • Confront nonperformance in a constructive manner
  • Be consistent and fair in holding everyone accountable for every factor needed to insure team success


Miscommunication and unequal access to information are trust-breakers.

Keep communications flowing to counteract the out of sight out of mind phenomenon on distributed teams.

  • Be extremely clear when making decisions
  • Frequency of communication should be increased compared to a team that is only local
  • Understand that members will have different communication preferences
    • E-mail, forum, phone, face-to-face,instant messaging,etc
  • What isn’t said matters too
    • Check for understanding or ask for clarification


Again these are items I”ve picked up over the years and through books.  Please feel to share you thoughts if you have anything good to add to the conversation.

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 30-04-2009

I admit it…I have issues with email.  So much so that I think I may have OCD.  I’m not trying to make fun of anyone that really has that disorder but I sure feel like I’m obsessed with unread email.  I can’t stand it in fact.  When a new mail arrives in my inbox I seem to stop what I”m doing and read it.  This is not helpful for someone that gets hundreds of emails a day.  Yes most are from monitors and alerts that technically I don’t need to read right away but I can’t stand having those little emails be bolded like they are in Outlook.  I have rules set up to move them into different folders…perhaps I should have rules to mark them as read.  It gets distracting too…like when I’m writing I see an email pops in and jump over to it and read it.  Ohhh and something that just drives me nuts is when I see someone else”s Inbox and it looks like this – Inbox (313). What are you people thinking…how can you have that many unread messages???  I know you just aren’t as compulsive as me and I”m just extremely jealous.

Tonight I go to my first therapy session – Must Read Email Anonymous…crap I guess its not so anonymous now!  :,,)

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 01-04-2009

Everyone has there own reason for loving or hating April Fools Day.  For the last 4 years it has been a day of great joy for me.  I got the email shortly from Microsoft that I was re-awarded my MVP for Directory Services!  I really think this blog has a lot to do with it and that means that i’m especially grateful to all 17 people (12 of which are probably family) that read it too!!!  Thanks to all of you for engaging me on through the comments and I hope that you will continue.

Here”s to another great year of technical discovery in the Life of Brian.

Filed Under (Life of Brian, Scripting) by on 26-02-2009

Just saw that a good friend and former co-worker FINALLY has a blog up.  Jason’s blog is geared toward PowerShell and it already has some nice posts as well as some videos on PowerShell.  I’m so far behind on the PowerShell curve but i’m sure Jason’s blog will help get me up to speed. 

With Server 2008 R2’s release coming soon all AD admins should take to the time to learn PowerShell since it is going to include ways to manage AD.  So make sure you hit for all your PowerShell loving…what’s with the name Jason? :,,)

Also i’m going to need Jason to explain to me why his videos on Microsoft PowerShell are in .MOV format???? What is up with that????

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 15-08-2008

I haven’t followed up on my trip to Israel late last month.  What a great place to visit.  I stayed at the David InterContinental which is a really nice hotel on the south side of Tel Aviv. The beach there was great.  The sea is so warm compared to the Pacific ocean.  I thought the weather there was wonderful.  I expected it to be much hotter but it was nothing compared to Phoenix.

There were some adventurous times though.  Trying to get gas was a challenge since the pump was in Hebrew.  One thing I learned from going inside to pay up front is that Israeli people do NOT know how to form a line.  It is the weirdest thing.  I love the people, but if you leave any space between you and the people around you someone will come in and stand in front of you.  Being from the states has also spoiled me on free drink refills.  That does not happen there as most soft drinks are in glass bottles. 

During my trip I went to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. Both are a must see and you can see some of the pictures on Flickr where I uploaded them.  I’ll upload more over time.

My trip was a successful one.  We successfully migrated one of our child domain environments out of one of our forests into a new one.  Way to go ADMT.  The best part of that was the people that meet there.  Dror, Yossi, Kfir, Yaniv, David, Efrat, Saar, Boris, Roni, Daniel, Roi,and Anat were a great bunch to work with.  I’m sure I’ve missed someone so I apologize.  I wish Numonyx all the best going forward.

Also on my trip I met up with Daniel Petri (owner of Petri IT Knowledgebase),his wife, and Guy Teverovsky (creator of the now gone CoreConfigurator) for dinner.  It was great seeing both Daniel and Guy again as well as meeting Daniel’s wife.

I’m sure I could go on and on with more stuff about my trip to Israel (I was there for 14 days) but I’m sure you have other more interesting things to do then to here my thoughts.

Filed Under (Life of Brian) by on 02-07-2008

You know I haven’t had a personal post about me and my life in quite some time.  Just thought I’d share that next week I’ll be traveling to Israel for the first time.  I’ll be staying in Tel Aviv and am really excited about being there for two weeks.  I can’t wait to really take in the sights and history.

Of course it won’t all be about site seeing as I’m going there for work.  For those not in the know, Intel has several locations in Israel. My wife Sami is a bit scared for me but from everyone I know that lives there and/or has been there says it is a safe place to be.  You just have to make sure you know certain areas to not go near.  I think she just doesn’t want to be left alone with our two crazy girls ;-,,)

I’ll be sure to post some pictures for those that are interested