Archive for April, 2009

My Android app’s and finally a decent Jabber client: Jabiru

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Here are 2 videos I made of how I currently use my G1. I show off some apps and how they work.
I am especially happy with finally finding a descent Jabber client with conference support. (specifically: xep-0045 support)

The app is called jabiru and is quite simple, fast, nice and compact. You can find it on the Android marketplace.

With this I can now finally chat in my regular chatroom, the wowcast chat on Bindpoint, which is not actually a Jabber chat at all, but is exposed as such. (I am hoping that they will also expose their chat system as IRC at some point).

Video one: (click here if you cant see the video below)

Video two, Jabiru connecting to Bindpoint: (click here if you cant see the video below)

Time for certs, and some professional development

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

Its been ages since I did anything in the form of training.

I always loved collecting many of the Microsoft Press books, many of them training books that would lead to official certs, but I would never put the time in to actually train for them.All I ever managed to get was MSCA 2003 and the Exchange 2003 exam.

My enthusiasm about the new job is such that I think now is a good time to invest myself again.There are several products we use at the job that I am currently less than familiar with, Exchange 2007 and VMware being the main ones here, and I could seriously use a bit more depth in other areas like Citrix.

Things have changed significantly in MS cert land since I last had a look around. MSCE no longer exists, instead, Microsoft has chosen to go mainly product-specific. You are able to get a basic cert in just about any MS product, which leads you to become a MCTS or Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist. You can then chose to go deeper and becomes MCITP or Microsoft Certified IT Professional. This latter one is more like the old MCSA, but its still more oriencted towards a specific technology group that MCSA used to be.They are broader, and usually combine 2 MCTS certs with specific MCITP exam.

Its funny though, the MCTS or MCITP are not well known at all yet. Almost no where durign the last 6 months of job hunting, did I come across these terms in job positions. Its gonna take several years for these certs to gain that value that comes of managers and recruiters being “familiar” with them. That is never a strong reason for myself to go for these though.

For me, these certs, but more specifically, the training that goes with them, is a structured way for me to invest myself. I could learn just as much from the internet, all the info is out there, aswell as other great books that are not specifically training books (I love the MS resource kits for example). But I never approach these materials in a structured way.

For myself, based on my own interests but also the job I am now in, the following certs seem the most interesting to me:

MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 – Configuration, Exam 70-236
This one comes mostly from the fact that at the job, we run this, and neither me nor my collegue know much about it. As with almost all of the infrastructure, it was built by a third-party, and there has been no time to really get into it.
My own relationship with Exchange has always been a little strange. I have had a distant interest in the technology, but never really got the chance to work with it consistantly.

To this day, I am annoyed at my lack of experience with any version of Exchange. I won’t claim its my first choice for training from the standpoint of personal interest, however going for this one first has 2 large advantages: 1. We are currently working with the product and are unable to adequately support it. 2. It will be a nice introductory for myself back into the MS training scene.

I also plan to get this cert completely on my own. Self-study, and probably even pay for the exam myself. I want to use it as leverage, to show that i am willing and eager. That way, when I ask them to send me on a VMware course, it will be an easier descision for them. In other words, I want to give them this one as a freeby, while giving myself the breathing room to get back into the routine without any external pressures.

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-236): Configuring Microsoft® Exchange Server 2007

To this end, I am ordering the self-paced training book from Amazon this afternoon.

Transition path from MCSA on Windows Server 2003 to MCITP:
I am MCSA+Messaging, and of course there is a transition path to take.
This consists of transision Exam 70-648 which leads to two MCTS certifications:

And then a, what they call “Professional series exam”, Exam 70-646, which leads to: MCITP: Server Administrator. The way its described, seems to place it a little beyond the MCSA level, but not exactly MCSE.

The books that go with this are:

MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-646): Windows Server® 2008 Administrator

MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-646): Windows Server® 2008 Administrator

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-640): Configuring Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory®

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-640): Configuring Windows Server® 2008 Active Directory®

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-642): Configuring Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-642): Configuring Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure

From there on, I may later wish to procede to MCITP: Enterprise Administrator, which requires a further 3 exams, which includes a choice between 2 desktop MCTS certs. (see link).

Lets see if I can get the exchange cert before August. Then it may be realistic to expect myself to get to MCITP: Server Administrator by the end of the year.

Logging on: GrefTek

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I see Jem beat me to the punch, so I’d better post fast to minimize damage.

I am a friend of Jemimus and I am also a (somewhat) fluffy admin. When Jemimus moved his tech blog from geekswithblogs and moved them to a wordpress install on my Linux box we kicked some ideas around, which resulted in me becoming a guest blogger.

I work for a company, which is the biggest internet publisher in the Netherlands, where I currently fill the role of consultant/project manager and have a lot of experience as a systems administrator for the same company. My field of expertise lies in the realm of the open source applications and operating systems, large webfarms, (complex) web applications and even complexer networking environments. I deal with a lot of complex IT projects.
I also used to be a webhoster until recently and am still very active as a coder, writing simple web applications whereever needed.

What can be expected from me, subject wise? Well, mostly internet-related posts, focussed on trends, policy, managers  and rants… a lot of rants (mostly about security- and user-related issues). In my current position there is plenty to write about. As such I hope to complement Jem’s interesting posts with mine to make things an even more interesting read.

Interested about me some more? Just take a peek at Just don’t surf away, or else Jem will give me a savage beating. 😉

Guest blogger! Greftek

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I have my first guest blogger on this blog! My good buddy Greftek!
He works for a Dutch internet company as a consultant, and his expertise covers such topics as Linux, Linux, and the color purple!

He shall shortly introduce himself, but I thought I would start with the most professional picture I could find of him.

greftek by greftek.

Phasor Burn: The Official Unofficial System Administrator Oath

Friday, April 10th, 2009

This is basicly a report of something the Phasor Burn blog linked to.

Very nice blog btw, and he linked to my related rant on there, thank you for that 🙂 The original is from an alt.sysadmin.recovery post from ’99 by Mike Sphar, and it deserves reprinting:

I am hired because I know what I am doing, not because I will do whatever I am told is a good idea.

This might cost me bonuses, raises, promotions, and may even label me as “undesirable” by places I don’t want to work at anyway, but I don’t care.

I will not compromise my own principles and judgement without putting up a fight.

Of course, I won’t always win, and I will sometimes be forced to do things I don’t agree with. My objections will be made known.

If I am shown to be right and problems later develop, I will shout “I told you so!” repeatedly, laugh hysterically, and do a small dance or jig as appropriate to my heritage.

I am not sure its in our own best interest to actually show we feel rather self-satisfied at times when things do go wrong, but we all feel it of course. Sadly, within the complexities of corporate politics, its sometimes quite hard to show clearly how your the disregard of your advise is directly to blame for the issue at hand. But when our moment comes, savor it, but savor it privately 😉