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Thoughts on many things Posts

The experience paradox

I am sure that I am not alone in making an effort to keep abreast of what jobs are being posted within what can largely be termed my field, and am struck by the paradox represented by requiring relevant experience for most jobs, even entry-level positions. For example, I have seen my share of highly educated people cycle through a support department on their way to the jobs they’ve educated themselves towards – usually software development – in an effort to gain “relevant experience”.

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Thoughts on SPOC and responsibility

An important principle of ITIL is that all requests should go through a single point of contact (abbreviated to SPOC). What this means, is that a single channel should be defined for the reception, classification, and distribution of a request or incident. Crucially, it does not mean that all contact with the customer should be done by tier one.

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Farewell Bear, hello … OneNote?

In December of 2016, I discovered Bear Writer. At the time, I had been using a number of different solutions for note-taking and organisation, none of which had really done the trick for me. That all changed with Bear. Arriving to critical acclaim, Bear is certainly a very pretty app, and its iCloud sync feature has served me well enough. There has just been one issue; it is only available on Apple devices.

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An interesting approach to digitizing hand-written notes

In recent years, a number of approaches to taking hand-writing and turning it digital has come to the market. From tablet computers to writing tablets with e-Ink technology, there are plenty of offerings out there, none of which has scratched my itch for hand-written notes. Tablet computers tend to be too slick and slippery, resulting in a less than satisfactory writing experience, and e-ink writing tablets are – at least as this is being written – just not good enough for my use.

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Risk management is at the heart of change management

One of my many roles at work is that of change coordinator for a large subset of our customers. I have learned a lot in this capacity, and have come to feel that, while Incident Management is the natural first step in ITIL implementation, until you start implementing Change Management, the majority of your effort is largely spent firing fires.

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Drives mapped through login scripts unavailable from Windows Explorer

Every so often, a customer will call in, saying that they are unable to access one of the servers that are mapped through their login script. There are generally two reasons for this; either there’s an issue with the network connection, or the drive letter is already being used for another device. To troubleshoot the issue, then, we start by confirming that the computer is online, and then have the customer log off and back on again. ‘

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Access UNC paths from the Windows command line

I am, with surprising regularity, faced with the need to access UNC paths from the command line, as that is perhaps pretty much the quickest way to browse to network shares with a different user than the one currently logged in. There’s just one issue: the Windows command line does not support UNC paths from the cd/chdir command. There is, however, a way to work around this issue; by creating a temporary virtual drive. 

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Easy service monitoring

One of the things that is stressed in the DevOps Handbook, is the need for telemetry, or monitoring of services. For services you run on your own infrastructure, there are several tools that can be used for this, such as SCOM, Zabbix, and Splunk. When you don’t have an infrastructure that supports these tools, however, you need to find a different approach.

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Reviewed: Tesla Model S part 10: Features the model S really should have

As should be clear to anyone who has read any of the other instalments of this long series of reviews of the Model S, I am a very happy Model S owner and driver. The car is comfortable and fun to drive, while getting me from a to b with a minimum of fuss. I have not, however, claimed that it is the perfect car. 

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