Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Blade Transfer Services 6000 - Sharepoint Portal Server - Nil

Dontcha just love Sharepoint Portal Server (SPS)? (NOT)...

I'm currently using Blade Transfer Server (BTS)to transfer 6 GB of data to a remote server across the world using http. No problems... Not one error, in fact the file got there in 6 hrs!

However... I'm struggling with SPS to get 6 word docs no larger than 800k each transftered to a remote SPS server. Does anyone use SPS seriously across the internet? I have no end of problems with it. (I'm really sorry to say)...

Perhaps we need to add some Document Managment attributes to BTS ;-)
Watch this space


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Why YOU need Blade Transfer Services

Today has been a strange day. Floods in Seattle, network interuptions here in Wellington. All in all it led to a day where you couldn't trust a computer would be running, let alone network be relient and available.
Here's where BTS came to my aid and saved the day (again)....

We all use software that we think we know, but then there is always that moment (it's akin to the bomb defuser cutting the wire) where we say to ourselves "Is this really going to work, and if it doesn't have I wasted hours of my time?"....
Today I was so happy to use BTS to upload 4GB a data from here in Wellington New Zealand to Microsoft USA. I knew for a fact that if it broke 5% of the way through the upload could resume. I knew for a fact that if it broke 80% of the way through the upload could resume. I knew for a fact that if it broke 99% of the way through the upload could resume.
To cut a long story short, the data got to Redmond and the job got done against all odds!

I'm so happy we've got BTS (even if we did have to write it ourselves!)...


Thursday, November 22, 2007


Bankers, yes I type it correctly although I'd be forgiven for a Freudian slip I suspect...

Well I'm finally back from my world tour of travelling to Amsterdam/Prague/UK/Las Vegas/Bangalore (I'll post later on how to get a good cup of tea in these places)...
But for now let's look at banking...

We charge in $US, it makes it easier that way. Sure we're from New Zealand but charging in a single currency makes it easier for you customers out there. I THOUGHT!
Here's the rub... If you pay us by cheque from a bank using $US (and you're not physically in the USA) then the banks cannot clear the cheque without sending it back to the country of origin who will then charge approx. $100 to clear it.
Any bankers out there who can tell me why this is and why it makes any sense at all?

Mr Grumpy ;-)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What a lovely movement Free Hugs is. It's certainly alive and thriving in Tokyo!

I took a walk down Takeshita Dori amongst all the colourful creative kids there and up to Harajuku station. Just between the entrance to Yoyogi park and the station there is a large area of colourfuly dressed teens, loving having their photos taken.
Then I came across it, the Free Hugs group. They all looked a little Emo to me, but what would I know? In fact the whole free hugs thing does quite fit in with the Emo culture.
It led me to think, at the end of such a shocking fortnight of loose mad gunmen on the run killing people for no reason. Perhaps the world needs to listen a little more to Free Hugs. Certainly it was uplifting for me, a stanger in Tokyo.

Thanks Free Hugs people of Harajuku, the hugs were lovely!


Outlook clients receive error 0x8004010f when downloading the Offline Address Book

Now I know lots and lots of you get this error.... It's one of those ones that drives you nuts and you never really get to the bottom of it. Here's the best description of that error I've seen.

Just came out 2 days ago :)


Friday, April 20, 2007

The most important thing - Making a cup of tea worldwide in hotels.

I spend more than 50% of my nights in hotels overseas. (I spend 3% of my nights on airplanes, but that's another story). I'm currently in Tokyo and managed to make a good brew. It occurred to me that this travellers insight could be useful.

Here's my guide to a good cuppa in the hotel room. A good cuppa is hot black tea, with milk and sugar in a cup.

1) Tokyo: In the rooms they provide a water heater that boils water and keeps it not all day! Brilliant if you like green tea which they provide free. For Tokyo, bring tea bags (hard to get in shops) and grab the sugars from the breakfast room (they don't provide in room). Milk you'll need to get from a store.
2) USA, where to start? Mr Coffee is a machine that is in nearly every room and is great for coffee, sometimes you get little tubs of long life milk, but mostly you get a plastic bag containing, a napkin, 2 sugars, 2 non sugar sweeteners, 2 sachets of non dairy creamer powder, a plastic rod for stirring. There is no chance of getting a tea bag in the room (see Decaf Tea blog) so you need to bring tea bags, with a bit of ingenuity you're ok.
3) USA- Los Vegas Forget tea!!!! seriously forget it. There is NOTHING in the room to make tea or coffee as they want you in the casinos, room service takes 90 minutes!!! Vegas is not a good place... Bring tea bags, milk, sugar, cup, electric water element that fits in cup. Above all don't drink the water out the tap in Vegas, I've been sick twice on tap water there.
4) New Zealand; Australia: Civilised they provide all tea equipment in room and free.
5) Britain, it varies, but generally it pays to check when you book if they'll provide in room. The Brits are always into making money, so don't be surprised if you have to call room service. However the Brits understnad the tea-aholic and you can always get a cup somewhere, even if it's sharing a cup with the night porter! (I'm not joking).

That’s all for now...
More later


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are you working for $1 per hour? I bet many of you are - read why!

Recently I've been involved in a debate about posting on newsgroups and how I should follow the Netiquette guide.
Now I do understand why this guide was written many years ago on slow bandwidth, but how relevant is it now?
Let's get back to my main point... How much is high speed bandwidth nowadays? $30 a month? A dollar a day? So why are information workers still using dial-up? I bet it wastes hours each month, I'd go as far to to say that if you're using Internet Banking, e-bay, online subscriptions, newsgroups, windows updates etc etc you'd be coming close to wasting up to a hour a day! For what? To save a dollar a day?

Why is anyone using dialup? Why are people spending hours following Netiquette to avoid a few bytes when the could just have it all for a dollar a day?

Peter O'Dowd

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Performance problems with Outlook 2007? New patch released.

If you're using Outlook 2007 in cached mode then I really recommend you add the following patch just released by Microsoft yesterday...

As stated "You may experience performance problems when you are working with items in a large .pst file or in a large .ost file in Outlook 2007 "

My .ost file is 2.5 GB, since applying the patch I've noticed considerable improvements...


Thursday, April 5, 2007

The walking thing ---- stroll on!

OK I'm starting to feel like crocodile Dundee here...
I spotted a restaurant from my hotel window here in Florida. It wasn't clear from the vista just how the hotel 'entry' got to the road. However this restaurant was 1/2 mile away at the most.

The Americans in here, know where I'm going, but please bear with me ;-)

I asked concierge how to walk to the restaurant. Well you'd think I'd asked for the crown jewels on a plate! "Sir, you can't walk there" I'm told.... But whyever not?

Anyway I relented to their protests, and got the Hotel shuttle for 1/2 mile to the entrance of the hotel. This delivered me to a major road, where only cars may roam. So I made my way gingerly across it and got to the restaurant...

On the way back I was determined to enjoy my walk back to hotel and walk off my meal. So (heaven forbid) I walked out the restaurant and crossed the major intersection and walked up the hotel drive. I suspect I broke some rules here ;-) However the walk was lovely, the only problem was the lack of pavements (side-walks) in many areas....

My saying for the day is "Floridians/Californians, try walking, honest it's ok" :)

Have fun

DeCaffeinated Tea? Give me a break!

Picture this: Spent a long day training a room of attendees (great people, but still tiring). Go back to hotel room. End of a hard day. Turn on the Mr Coffee maker machine (That I've adapted to make tea and not coffee) grab the hotel provided tea bag and it is decaffeinated!

Whoever heard of DeCaf tea....?

Now before you say... ahh but tea has more caffeine than coffee, I'd like to point out it does not. Far from it....

Check out this site for details..

And please please lobbyists in the USA, tell the hotels to stop providing DeCaf tea...

Whatever next? Ribena with no Vit C?


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Do NOT fly Delta if you care about your bags

I'm sure there are the die hard Delta airlines acruing airpoints out there how won't like this. However I make no appologies for the most pathetic service I have ever seen in the world. Yes the world.

Valentine and I flew into Orlando yesterday, her bag didn't arrive, mine did.
OK, mistakes happen, we can all understand that. So after spending 2 extra hours at the airport filing a missing bag claim we left.
Today 11am: We're officially told, her bag has left Los Angeles it will arrive at 7pm
Today 7:50pm: We're officially told, sorry but the bag only just left Honolulu
Tonight 11:30pm The Call Center in India!!!! (Yes India, for all those of you unemployed in the USA) we're officially told, we cannot tell you where it is because, guess why? Because they're in India!!!!

We're still waiting for the bag...

Perhaps it has to goto India first?

Not impressed Delta


Exchange Connections - Orlando - April 1st 2007 - starts tomorrow

What a great show this is going to be.

I've just arrived in Orlando ready to present the Ex2007 workshops tomorrow. There's a whole raft of great speakers here again this year including, Jim McBee, Kieren McCorry, Brian Komar, Mark Manasi and all the regular gang....

Here's the link

Hope to see you here, drop me an email if you're here...


Issues accessing OWA on EX2000/2003 with Vista?

I had this issue, it occurs because Vista no longer includes support for the ActiveX control that is used for HTML editing in Outlook Web Access.
If you see large red X's when replying to mail or creating a new mail item, you should read the following KB


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

If you can't trust Ribena, who can you trust?

Ribena.... Glaxo admitted that its cartoned Ready To Drink Ribena, which it claimed had 7mg of Vitamin C per 100ml, in fact had no detectable Vitamin C content.

Ever since I can remember, I've bought Ribena as the 'healthy' drink. Whether I'm thirsty in a Services in the UK, or a petrol station in NZ, I have always bought Ribena, thinking it was the healthy choice. I avoided the Coca Cola, after all it's full of sugar.. Today in court it was proven that Ribena contains 40% more sugar than Coke and zero Vitamin C!

So who do we trust now???

Ribena stitched us up! Where do you go from there?


Monday, March 26, 2007

Carbon Neutral

Real buzz words at the moment. Carbon Neutral. Sites are popping up everywhere e.g. Yet how many of us come even close to achieving it?
At blade we've made a determined effort to be enviromentaly friendly, we recycle wherever possible etc... However recently it was brought to my attention just how carbon neutral we are at blade.
We've just released a product "Blade Transfer Services" that allows reliable uploads of large volumes of data. Currently this is being achieved by many companies by sending a DVD of data. I'm sure there are some statistics in here about how much 'carbon' we are saving, and if anyone has a formula I'd be happy to work it out. But let's look at it now. The DVD is made of plastic, it probably won't be re-used. There has to be some consumption of gasoline to get it to the location. Notwithstanding all of this there's a delay in productivity, it's far quicker to transfer over the wire. Is this an example of a win/win situation? One where by not only do we get performance benefits but we're also helping the environment!
There must be lots of these examples out there...
Comments welcome :)


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sunday's are special in New Zealand

It's always a lovely day here in New Zealand.

You see, Saturdays here are Friday in the USA and so I have to work on Saturdays with all my american collegues. Mondays here are Mondays here so I have to work with my Kiwi collegues. But Sunday is great, on a New Zealand Sunday, no-one in the world is working their regular week.
This is not true anywhere else in the world! Think about it you need to be a clear 24 hrs ahead of even the latest starting Saturday to claim this, and we're the only ones :)
Peter O'Dowd

My first blog

So finally I've done it, after a lot of requests, here it is, my own blog. Hopefully this will be an informative useful place for you guys to visit, at the least it will be a place for me to just get things out there!

There are quite a few things coming up over the next few months.

Firstly there is Exchange Connections starting next weekend. I'm running the 3 days of Exchange Server Troubleshooting labs AGAIN! It seems the world never tires of them. However this time I'm adding quite a bit of Exchange Server 2007 into the mix. For more info jump to here...

This is a big week for us here at blade. We've finally released our very cool software package "Blade Transfer Services". You may download at 30 day trial here.
This product was initially written for us, out of necessity. There’s a saying “Necessity is the mother of invention”. At Blade we have to upload files of up to 6GB, perhaps the result of a months worth of work, quickly to our customers. There was nothing, absolutely nothing, on the market that provided us with the reliability that we required in these days of closed firewalls. It was taking us days to get files to customers. Something had to be done, and it was clear we had to do it ourselves. The result far surpassed our expectations, finally we had something that could do exactly what we wanted when all else was failing around it. It’s given us the competitive edge and finally our customers trust us to deliver something that should in theory be straight forward, but in reality isn’t.

It's strange how there aren't any other products on the market that perform this function likes ours does. I think we're opening up a new paradigm of 'uploading'. It seems the world is used to downloading. So even if you're provding a service you get your customer to 'download' the deliverables. It's insane and hopefully we're going to start to change that a little.

Well that's my first blog. Here's to many more :)
Comments welcome