Posted by: dferrett | April 17, 2009


Wow, it has been a long time since doing an update, and some wonderful things have happened in that time.

Firstly, Manly beat the crap out of the Melbourne Storm…40-Nil!

What a wonderful day that was, and I was there, at the stadium, soaking in the glory of the win, and more than enough beer to drown a rhino.

I just bought a Garmin Zumo 550 GPS for the car & bike. Its a great little unit (but expensive), and I have ordered a new mount for the FJR so its sits centrally just over the steering yoke. No more wrong turns following people who don’t know where they are going…yippee!

The job is going real well here at GF, and its nearly one year since joining. I am now Manager of the Intel Operations team, and enjoying the new responsibilities.

Will try to be more regular with the updates, and hope to get some good rides in this winter which I will report on. I will be able to show the actual route by uploading from the new GPS.


P.S. We went with LANDESK!

Posted by: dferrett | May 13, 2008

Change of scenery

I started a new job a few weeks back. I have left the consultancy scene and moved back into a corporate environment. So where does that leave this Vista Blogg? Well no Vista here and not very likely in the near future, depending on how MS decides to treat corporate XP customers of the coming months. However, the good news is that I have been tasked to look into and recommend a systems management tool or tools.

Coming from a largely Altiris background this has been fun. Having worked with Altiris for the last 3 years, how does it stack up against the opposition? Well frankly, it has priced itself out of the game.

The contenders at this time, are: LANDesk, ManageSoft, MS SCCM/SCOM and Kace Kbox. The KBox is new to Australia (only since Jan this year), and is a neat little package. It is appliance based and I like that because it takes away the battles that you can have with vendors over if the problem is caused by Windows or a Windows patch, or whatever. With the appliance, there is only one person to go to if something does not work.

LANDesk and Managesoft appear to be solid products, and of MS is really in the mix because we are pretty confident they will cut their proverbial nuts off to a volume customer and pretty much give it away, which makes for a pretty good value proposition.

Results should be out within a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Posted by: dferrett | March 31, 2008

It’s been a while….

I am back. Though I have not really been away, just busy with day to day work, life, etc. So, “what’s happening with the Vista project?” you ask. Well, we are finished on that project and it has been left in the ‘culpable’ hands of the customer. Actually that is not correct. It has been left in the hands of the Project Manager (my sympathies to Tony), as the customer is too apathetic and lazy to manage it themselves.

The SOE itself ended up quite ok, but we did make a number of modifications after the initial pilot rollout. The customer has advocated quite a locked down environment and this is hurting some users, but I guess they will get used to it. The GP stuff in Vista is quite granular and does make the job of lockdown easier than XP. For instance, with XP Group Policy if you locked the changing of the Time or TimeZone down, you locked the whole thing out. In Vista, you can stop users changing the time, but still allow them to change the TimeZone (which of course if important if you are on the road).

All in all, the project was well worth being involved in, even though the customer was a pain in the $^#&@!!

Posted by: dferrett | October 4, 2007

Vista Project

Back to Vista stuff…we are currently creating the scope for the Validate Phase of the Vista SOE Project. We will have more control over this phase than previous phases which is a good thing. The planned dates are blowing out though. We have 75 applications that need to be Vista tested and packaged and then tested again, and the PM would like this done by end of October, even though we are not starting on the Validate phase till the 15th October at the earliest.

“DREAMER…You stupid little dreamer” – (Courtesy of Supertramp)

It is actually looking like about 4-6 weeks to test, package and then UAT the apps.

Anyway, we are looking forward to getting into the meaty side of this project, like…BDD, WAIK, and some of the cool stuff you can manipulate in Vista with Group Policy.


Posted by: dferrett | October 2, 2007

Ride Weekend

The weekend ride was good fun. The destination of Cowra was a mistake, and the real destination was Coolah (the home of the Black Stump).

Some pics attached.

Black Stump Bikes

Posted by: dferrett | October 2, 2007

Maroon and White Tears

Little marron and white tears flowed freely on Saturday night when the Melbourne Storm rained hell down on the Manly Sea Eagles. Melbourne played fantastic in the second half and Manly were somewhere else (maybe Brookie?). Lots of talk over eye gouging (Ross) and cheap shots (Croker). My opinion…Ross should not play for a couple of weeks next season for his eye gouge, and Croker is a thug who, whilst legal, his hit on a stationary Stewart was a cheap shot. Stewart gave Slater a fair go a little earlier, and Slater was obviously giving Stewart the same thing, until Croker came and not only took out Stewart but Slater as well.

Anyway, the better team won on the night, and they deserved it after losing only 3 games all season. The Storm will be just as strong next season (even without King who is off to chase the big $$$ in the UK). Hopefully Manly will get stronger next year, but they must find a strong replacement for Monaghan, who will be sadly missed (just as he was on Saturday night…was he even there??).

Posted by: dferrett | September 26, 2007

Ride Weekend

Off on a group ride this coming long weekend to Cowra. I did not pick the destination, but a ride is a ride is a ride….right?

It will be good to get Fifi out of the garage and stretch her legs a bit. Not too much though, as its Double Demerits and the boys in blue will be out in force raising revenue for the state pollies, so they can spend it on pay rises for themselves.

Posted by: dferrett | September 24, 2007

New Plasma TV

Purchased the latest Panasonic Plasma TV on the weekend. Its the first Full HD Plasma TV to be released. 127cm (50″) of pure heaven.

Looking forward to setting it up in our new apartment in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by: dferrett | September 24, 2007

Manly vs Melbourne NRL Grand Final

Just as it should be, Manly will play Melbourne in the NRL Grand Final. 2nd plays 1st.

All is right with the world.


Posted by: dferrett | September 21, 2007

Vista BDD Deep Dive Training

For the last two days I attended the MS Partner Vista BDD Deep Dive training in Sydney. I have played around with BDD 2007, ACT 5.0 and other assorted MS tools for Vista deployment, over the last few weeks. I had hoped that this training would give me some deep insights (Deep Dive) into BDD and answer some of the questions that I had come up with for the customer deployment that I am currently working on. Unfortunately, rather than a Deep Dive it was really a Shallow Splash Around on the surface. Not fault of the instructor, Kyle Rosenthaul (, but more an issue with the training guide and the slides.

However, having said that, it was nice to see that the tools are quite capable of doing a good job and assisting greatly with any Vista (or XP) deployment. Unfortunately for me, the customer for this deployment is not using SMS so we are stuck with LTI (Lite Touch Install).

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